It’s now the second week of the Easter holidays and this is very much evident in the vibe at home. We are all going into our own version of a little bit mad. The eight year old is beginning to show signs of boredom and this is manifesting as momentary lapses into angsty adolescent.
“DO NOT give me attitude young lady!!” I have heard myself say 17 times over the last week. Though she is no doubt merely responding to whatever energy I am giving off.
This morning she told me I had too much make-up on and it didn’t look very nice. I bit my tongue and told myself to respect and admire her honesty. Brutal as it was, perhaps she was right, I do go overboard on the bronzer when I’m tired.
The toddler seems to have more energy than I have ever known him to have. He refuses to do absolutely anything that involves keeping still for more than five seconds. Nappy change? Hell no. Sit in your high chair for lunch? Absolutely not. Allow me to put your coat on? Crazy thought. The defiance, together with all the screaming and running up and down the house like a tiny lunatic; has left me rather spent. I can’t remember any of this from when Maia was his age, my memory seems to have wiped it all, which has to be a good thing.
Though I am now looking forward to getting back into the term-time routine, (something I never thought I’d say) we did have a glorious Easter. A day trip to Oxford, several egg-hunts, several friends over, a couple of play-dates and lots of table tennis in Joel’s parents’ garden; we enjoyed a very chilled few days with just the right amount in the diary.
One new-found activity that’s been helping with the madness and keeping Maia and I busy whilst Leo turns our home upside down, has been dancing. Or, to be more specific; creating TikTok dances. (I say TikTok, I don’t actually have TikTok (yet), but for the purposes of description, these are the kinds of short, 15-60 second dances we’ve been choreographing.) They currently exist as reels on my Instagram feed.
Of course, as with most things we attempt to do together, I quickly became obsessed. This takes the form of wanting every move to be perfect and slick and not look as though it’s a silly video by a mother and daughter who don’t really know what they’re doing; which is exactly what it is. This disgruntled perfectionism is not fun for Maia.
“No! You’re not doing the heads properly! Let’s practice again!”
“Mummy?! I thought this was meant to be fun! You keep getting annoyed at me! I don’t know if I really want to do this anymore…”
“OH NO DON’T GO! I’m sorry! You’re doing so great!”
Several videos in and I have learnt the error of my ways. We will never be slick, and the videos will always be silly, this is all part of the joy.
I have always been generally quite rubbish at choreography. I will make something up only to forget it completely a few minutes later. As you can imagine this is quite infuriating for my poor child, who is only trying to please her mother, but is working with an incompetent teacher.
Miraculously, she’s agreed to another dance, so we spent the duration of our walk through town earlier singing samples of songs we think might work. Some lyrics we paired with amusing facial expressions.
“Mummy that woman just looked at you funny, and then at me!”
“Oh dear..she probably thinks we’re bonkers…”.
She’d be right of course.