Considering the quiet weekend we had, there seems to be an awful lot to catch up on (I’ve had to make a list!)
We didn’t go out and do anything special – in fact, we only really went out on Sunday to get some shopping in Bexleyheath. The Lovely Melanie stayed at home cooking lunch while I took the girls. They were in mischievous for; not naughty, just high-spirited and loud – running down the up escalator and then back up the down escalator in the car park, that sort of thing.
Because I was feeling indulgent they also had a go on an inflatable bouncy dome in B’heath – one that you climb inside and is like a giant inflatable room. That was £3.00 incredibly well-spent judging by the screams of delight coming from inside. Amber popped her head out a number of times to tell me “This is the best thing ever!” and to ask “Can we take it home?”
As I mentioned, the Lovely Melanie stayed at home to cook dinner – a regular Sunday ritual she’s installed to ensure that at least once a week we all sit down and eat simultaneously as a family.
It was Amber’s turn to choose the menu this week and she went for meat pie with potatoes and sweetcorn followed by rice pudding.
The pie was delicious – helped by our having a new oven that actually cooks things now, rather than simply imparting heat to them over an extended period; the potatoes were good (but would have been better mashed). Only the sweetcorn was controversial. It’s not a typical side-order with pie and mash, but it was what Amber asked for so…
I don’t particularly like sweetcorn, nor does Millie and the Lovely Melanie didn’t really want it with pie…
Nor, it turned out, did Amber! I think all the sweetcorn ended up in the bin. The menu-setter went very quiet indeed when asked why on earth she’d chosen sweetcorn.
The rice pudding – home-made with a spoonful of jam added – was heavenly, even better than the stuff from a tin (not something I claim lightly).
We were all stuffed after that and were going to have a nap, but I’d promised Millie we’d find a computer game that she could play on the PC. Skyrim is too complicated (and occasionally scary) to play alone and Horrid Henry is a bit…basic.
Millie quickly chose LEGO Harry Potter – no surprises there – which we then spent the rest of the afternoon playing. I honestly thought she’d get tired of it very quickly, but she was very upset when, over two hours later, we had to stop playing for her to go to swimming lessons.
One of the interesting things about helping her play was how ingrained the conventions of gaming had become in me, so much so that I didn’t realise they weren’t immediately bloody obvious and became a bit exasperated at times (“Of course it’s W to go forward! What else would it be! Duh!” – as I didn’t quite say). Millie still hasn’t got the idea of keeping one hand on the movement keys and using the other for everything else.
She has grasped most of the visual the conventions, however; such as how to interact with things, what you can interact with and the idea of sequential puzzles (where one puzzle unlocks the solution to the next). And although I stepped in to help out occasionally, most of the time Millie played by herself.
I sat with her and made suggestions, but it was definitely her playing the game – again, completely unlike Skyrim, where they watch me play, suggest where to go and which weapons to use, as well as naming our horses when we get as new one (usually because the previous fell off a cliff – my equestrian skills are not the best).
Saturday, the girls spent making and colouring a fairy story of their own, using a present from Nanny & Grampy that adds them to the illustrations. And when I say “Saturday” I mean all-day Saturday. They were completely dedicated to this task and very proud of the finished products.
This is amazing, because “all-day” is a long time for an adult to concentrate on one thing, for the girls to do so almost boggles the mind!