This house is full of noise, toys and boys

It is a normal day, a normal Monday afternoon. I have five seven year old boys playing with lego, two 10 year old girls doing whatever 10 year old girls do, something pink and fluffy, and any minute now two teenagers will walk in the door, hot, tired and hungry. Hot; as it’s a glorious Wellington day – and I am feeling the need for Fish and Chips on the beach, tired; as they both were at the fantastic Phoenix game last night, and hungry because they are teenagers and teenagers always seem to be hungry, especially the sixteen year old male variety. People think I am crazy when I have so many in my house. Crazy or just numb I haven't decided.

I have music on in the background, have brought the washing in, and am thinking about what to have for dinner. It is surprisingly calm for this wee house in the suburbs filled with little people. It’s nice.

It’s been a busy weekend with family. A’s mum here from OZ. She has only recently moved to Australia, to avoid mid-life crisis I guess, and has been back twice already both times for weddings. The first, her own daughter’s wedding was in December. Friday was a family friend, who has recently lost both parents. It was a significant event for her.

Naturally in this family it follows that the weekend was filled with food, family and Phoenix (couldn’t help the alliteration). The Phoenix game was absolutely electric with a record crowd. You would not even get that much enthusiasm at a World Cup rugby match. C and A roughed it with the Yellow Fever – who were apparently particularly hyped. We were a bit far away from them to hear them, in a far more respectable family section. Well, ‘family’ might be a stretch. The people in front of us did not seem at all pleased to be in front of our two families with two sets of twins who were making boy noises, kicking the seats and generally behaving as though they had ants in their pants. The Nix came away with a fairly convincing win – although it did take half an hour of extra time to do it, which was difficult for our kids who had had enough when the adults hadn’t. The wholes crowd though participated in the chants which were at times defening. Maybe even louder than the ACDC concert!

I have been out for a walk, just me and my iPod, the first in some time. I have missed it. It's great to come home, heart rate elevated, skin tingling after having time in my own head with my own selection of serenades. But now it’s bedtime for the younger three. Z is nagging me to read to her tonight. She loves it. I remember mum reading to us and loving it. I have tried some of the books that have stuck in my memory, with disappointing results. I think the expected level of language has changed so much that the kids really struggle. I probably need to persist or else some of the old classics are going to be completely unattainable to them. Z & I have read a high ratio of Roald Dahl books which we both love. These were written in the last 20-30 years and the language is entertaining and clever but not challenging. Trying to read CS Lewis’s The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett proved difficult and for a while I was tempted to re-write them for my kids. And these are both books that I absolutely adored as a kid. I wonder if mum changed it as she went along – I doubt it.


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