I had a great afternoon today with our lovely friends Annabel and Peter and their two fab children Eliza and Hugo. Up until now Phoebe and Eliza have had a bit of a rough friendship, we suspect because we have met up after school so Phoebe is supertired and Eliza is superexcited, never the twain shall meet! However for the second time we had a lovely playdate from them both, minimal screaming and tears! They even sneaked upstairs to bounce like mad things on my bed. Hugo and Clara just get on with things generally. Clara is a bossy little whatsit who takes no prisoners and Hugo is Danger Boy (stairgate was erected in his honour and will make another appearance on Thursday!)
Whilst they were here I had a few things to do like making bread and a Piñata for the Halloween party next week. As I do my dough in a breadmaker (small children + messy ingredients + no patience = breadmaker for first step) I had to knock back the dough and make a loaf so I got the 3 girls involved and they made hedgehog bread rolls (Ok so Phoebe was difficult and wanted to make a penguin...). They lined the 3 little chairs up against the counter and got stuck in with their dough and had a marvellous time kneading and shaping (I use the term loosely) their hedgehogs before putting them down for a snooze on the baking tray to prove. We even got told off by Eliza for talking to loud as the hedgehogs (and penguin) were trying to sleep!
Whilst we waited for them to prove I made up some wall paper paste, we put a mat down on the living room floor and started on the next layers of the Pinata. Phoebe, Clara and I had already done one layer of thick white paper to start it off. Today we did lots of layers of newspaper. Remarkably (especially given Clara's tendancy towards mess of the highest order) it was a remarkably calm and un messy affair. We think it is because they had something to focus on. I would also confess to them getting a bit bored after a while and Annabel and I reclaiming our youth and bulking out the layers, well if you can't use your children as an excuse to do silly things when can you?! I just need to finish it off with some kitchen towel to give it a nice white finish so that it paints easily. Once the piñata was done I shoved the bread in the oven and once it was baked the children ate their rolls as snacks!
I should also add that whilst all this was going on Hugo was merrily playing with magnets and watching. We weren't leaving him out he is just a wee bit too young to get fully stuck in with wall paper paste we thought (that song "When Father Painted the Parlour" comes to mind when considering any 1 year old, two ice cream tubs of wallpaper paste and a shed load of ripped up newspaper!).
The plan with the piñata is to paint it on Thursday whilst we have a Mummy-needs-to-survive-halfterm party. I think mat down again and a shed load of orange paint and a load of brushes and hope the kids all stay focused on the large round papier-mache thing and don't get distracted by, oh I don't know, the lovely blank walls lol! I am also planning on making biscuit dough in advance and let them loose with the cutters. I will probably also shove some bread dough in to brew as that went down so well today and is so much fun for them, it really is nearly impossible to muck up bread making!