Wow, thanks so much to all of you who have been in touch with me, either on here or through twitter to say how much you enjoyed my introduction to life with Amy Jane. She’s a little handful, as you can see… I focus on the thought that one day all this spirit will mean she will be running her own company, or the country, or maybe even the world. Then I can retire and let her look after me… and I intend to act disgracefully, just to get her back. Wearing a purple dress and a red hat that doesn’t suit me doesn’t come CLOSE to the things I have planned!
So, what has Amy been up to in the past few days? Well, this afternoon was mainly spent tormenting her older brother, a pastime she excels in. I took delivery of some new garden furniture today, and the kids were beside themselves with excitement at the size of the empty boxes, especially Finlay, my 8 and a half year-old. He loves a box does Finlay; his bedroom is full of them, all to be made into rockets, or spy dens or just somewhere to hide from his nightmare sister. Anyway, today he was overjoyed, and busied away making some kind of den, complete with crayon sign saying ‘Keep out!’, aimed directly at Amy. She spent roughly 30 seconds on her box and got bored of colouring it in, and decided to wind him up by drawing with pink crayon on his. Sure enough, within seconds he was raging, and a slow smile of satisfaction spread across her three year-old face. Mission accomplished. After she had climbed into his den and refused to get out, scribbled on it and ripped off the windows I had carefully cut out with a Stanley knife, Finlay was so angry he had to climb to the top of the tree in our garden, just to get away from her and I think, to stop himself strangling her. I was very proud of his self-restraint; even though there was an awful lot of shouting that he hated her. I don’t think he means it. Or at least if he does, he should have got over it by the time they are in their 20’s. Or at least their 30’s…
Box-time ended when I called them both inside and gave them both a quiet but stern talking to; Amy for being so naughty and Finlay for shouting. I sent them both upstairs, and I sneaked into the kitchen and had a crafty handful of Amy’s smarties and a glug of white wine. Feeling more in control, I oversaw bath time, tooth brushing, bed time telly and story-telling. I then had to humph Finlay’s box up to his bedroom as he decided he wanted to sleep in it, and help him pull the duvet off his bed and shove it into the box with his pillow, night light and (don’t tell any of his friends, his teddy). And now I can’t relax because I am convinced he is going to either suffocate or have nightmares, or worse, tell his teacher that he now sleeps in a box. How do I explain that?
I had finally settled down to catch up with How To Look Good Naked, when I heard a noise from upstairs. It was soft, but I recognise an Amy footstep anywhere. She was supposed to be asleep, tucked up in bed after milk, too many stories and lots of promises to stay in bed all night like a good girl. I made my way upstairs; there was no sign of her in bed, which was not a good sign by any stretch… I heard the noise again, ‘pad pad pad’, stop. ‘Pad pad pad’, stop. Giggle. Soft mutterings, then a kind of squelching sound. I followed it along the hall to my bedroom, and then my bathroom. I could hear it again; ‘pad pad pad’, giggle, low chatter, thump… I pushed open the door, and there was Amy, naked and covered in my Champney’s body lotion, surrounded by white, fresh-smelling footprints. “Hello Mummy!” she cried, looking thrilled to see me. “What are you doing Amy?” I gasped. She looked at me like it was perfectly obvious, and I had to admit it was a pretty stupid question. “I’m making footprints Mummy! Look!”. And she grabbed a fistful of cream from the tub (that I had foolishly left by the sink instead of hiding under lock and key like the dangerous weapon of mass destruction it obviously was), smeared it on the floor, and then walked through it, making, yes indeed, some very clear footprints on my bathroom floor. “I don’t want footprints on my floor!” I think I said, although I can’t be sure. “Look at the mess!”.
Amy looked at me pityingly, as if I had no sense of adventure. (I’ve bungy-jumped for God’s sake! I know adventure!). “You need to use Cilit Bang Mummy. Bang! And the dirt is gone!”