Finally (finally!) we have had some lovely weather! And oh boy, have Ava and Ruby been making the most of it – the garden looks well and truly lived in.
It's funny really, because both have their girly-girl side ("Pleeeease can I wear this sparkly, sleeveless dress?" / "Okay then, not entirely appropriate for the weather, but we'll add a fleece." And "Pleeeease can I put your lipstick on?" / "Ummmm. No.").
Yet, when the better weather once again makes World of Garden more appealing, they don't half get stuck in and, y'know, rough it.
Last Thursday (and every Thursday is a 'mummy day'), for example, we woke up to a gorgeously warm day. I enjoy those mornings when I know we're not going anywhere and there's no particular rush. I gave the girls a leisurely bath, washed their hair, and cleaned between their toes.
The good weather was perfectly timed, because the kitchen was looking so abandoned, it was practically humming the tune to All By Myself. Anyway, the beauty of our kitchen (whatever state it happens to be in) is that it has double doors opening straight out on to the garden, which means the girls can play, and I can get things done while always being aware of them and supervising from a short distance.
So as I scrubbed the sink and cleaned the glass and wiped the surfaces and mopped the floor, they were there in the corner of my eye, happily bouncing on the trampoline, running the length of the lawn, picking the dandelions and generally having a jolly old time.
When Ava came in and asked me if they could water the garden with the hose, I thought: "Not a bad idea really, that'll save me a job!"
So I turned the water on (just a little bit), and watched for a minute as they took it in turns to sprinkle the flowers (and lawn, and fence, and each other's legs).I guess as this point, I must have got really absorbed with cleaning out the fridge. I mean, I knew there was nothing terrible going on outside, because I could still see them, from the corner of my eye, frolicking. And from the corner of my ear, I could still hear happy giggling. There seemed to be nothing that warranted my attention more than the rotting bag of carrots in the bottom drawer.
But perhaps I should have paid more attention to the giggling as it got progressively louder.
Well, the telephone rang, so I picked it up gingerly with a wet and slightly gunky hand, and popped it between by ear and my shoulder. It was the sodding bank.
Why is it when banks call YOU, and you agree you'll speak to them, that they then make YOU prove who YOU are?
I always feel like saying: "Er, hang on a minute, you called ME! From a blocked number! Shouldn't we be doing this the other way round?"
What I often do at that point, in fact, is interrupt them and say it's not a good time. It's never usually a good time, and I was never going to respond well to someone trying to sell me an account that'll cost me a tenner a month when I'm elbow deep in month old veg.
That's not what I did right then though. What I did right then was say "oh sh*t". And hang up (sorry bank man).
Because when I turned my head and gazed down the garden, for about three utterly heart-stopping seconds, I couldn't see the girls.
Don't worry (like I did). They weren't gone. They were merely camouflaged.
You see, we have a massive planter, which was half full of garden soil and freshly purchased compost, ready for planting. They had stuck the hose in it for a good few minutes I'd guess. And then, when it was nice and gloopy, they had both got in.
They were, and I mean this in the most literal sense you can imagine, covered top to toe in mud. Rolling around the in the yet to be dug over vegetable patch, they had momentarily disappeared.
Of course, I saw them the second I stepped out through the door.
And then they saw me.
And laughing like lunatics, they started running.
Towards my almost perfectly clean kitchen.
It was like a scene from an action movie, I leapt in their path and diverted CERTAIN DISASTER!
They're girly girls sometimes, but (disaster averted) I'm also pleased to say they are also, sometimes, utter mud monsters.
Did I hose them down before they got near the house? Yes siree.
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