Sunday papers, for example. Even if we still occasionally remember to buy them, they are more likely to be made into pirate hats, or to act as barriers to squelches of poster paints and Play-Doh than they are to be read cover to cover.
Jewellery and shoes, bought in a previous life for girls' nights out and parties seem to have found a new home in the dressing up box. And, despite the fact that I have worn flats for the best part of three years, it was a backache that recently illustrated how even my own discomfort was merely another object of fascination and entertainment!
I had noticed, when I looked in the mirror one Sunday afternoon, that my right shoulder seemed to be about and inch and a half lower than the left one – and it occurred to me that this was probably the reason for the dull ache I'd been ignoring for a couple of weeks. So I asked Ava's daddy if he would mind giving me a shoulder rub to relieve the offending knot.
On reflection, it really would have been better to put up and shut up until after bedtime. Ava and Ruby were in full swing – and when I lay face down on the floor so Dan could start pummelling my back, they were both utterly delighted at our bizarre behaviour. Ava decided, having had it explained that mummy's back was hurting, and daddy was trying to help, that she should help too.
This she did by first standing on my back between my shoulder blades. It was quite good actually – and it didn't hurt, because she only weights about two stone. But then she did a surprise move – a sort of wrestling-style bum dive on to my head.
"Aaaarrrgh! Er, I don't think that's really helping darling!" I said.
"Oh!" She looked genuinely surprised. Then she cocked her head and said in a very sympathetic nurse-type voice: "I do think this will help, mummy." And she nodded sincerely as she carefully stuck her big toe into my nostril.
It made me laugh, but it didn't help with the shoulder pain and I felt a sense of dread as I saw her survey the room, obviously looking for implements that might aid in her quest to heal me.
The first of these was a (very light, phew!) plastic ball that she dropped on to my face a few times, to great squeals of joy from both herself and Ruby.
Next, Ava spent a little time trying to see how many of her fingers she could fit into my ear and, finally, her pièce de résistance was a big squirt of factor 30, squashed in her warm little hand and rubbed vigorously into my cheek... and hair.
Well, I wasn't relaxed and my shoulder hadn't stopped hurting but, when I finally gave up and got up off the floor, I still felt better – because I realised that watching my bonkers little girl, and her bonkers little sister, clomp round in my shoes with bits of newspaper on their heads, and even having digits inserted into my face to fits of giggles, makes my heart burst.
It might be a crazy life – but that sort of crazy provides more entertainment than the Sunday papers ever could.
Do you ever think about the difference pre and post children?
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