Not quite rocket science...
"WHERE are the kids?” Tracey wanted to know.
"Watching telly,” I said.
"Shouldn't they be outside playing?”
"Yes,” I agreed, sitting down to enjoy my coffee. The ensuing pause reached its third trimester before I got back to my feet. "Fine.”
Tracey is absolutely right, of course, when the weather is nice the kids should be outside playing, but I don't mind the kids enjoying computer games or watching TV.
I can even claim it's educational because Master24 alleges to have passed a test in Religious Education on Hindu gods based on years behind a controller playing Final Fantasy.
Their faces focused on an assortment of electronic devices, the four older kids were almost watching something I was pleased to be missing on ABC2. It was Giggle & Hoot, or similar. Like my older kids I didn't pay it much attention. Clearly Miss4 had chosen this show.
"Cats always land on their feet,” she informed me, before turning back to the screen.
See! I'm virtually home schooling already.
"That's super interesting,” I lied, turning off the TV at the power point because I figured it would take hours to find the remote under the cushions, dolls and blankets fighting for territory on the lounge. "Time to get outside and catch some rays.”
Aside from Miss4, who was now screaming at me, my announcement managed to attract the attention of one other child. Not that she gave any indication of moving from her perch.
"Is someone here?” asked Miss6.
"No,” I said. "No one has to be here for you to go outside.”
"Well, who's Ray?”
"You said,” explained Master11, proving he'd heard and chosen to ignore me, "we had to go outside and catch someone called Ray.”
"Yes, okay,” I cut in before he could distract me too much. "I meant go outside and play. As in, turn everything off.”
"But there's nothing to do!” complained Miss12.
Nothing to do.
We have thirteen bikes, a trampoline, a big yard, a Nerf arsenal - and I'm only listing the stuff I can see from where I'm typing this post.
"How about you play with your pets?” I suggested. There may have been tone. "They need to feel the love just like the rest of the family, you know.”
We all walked outside and, right on cue, one of our cats jumped up onto the balcony railing.
"Minion!” squealed Miss4, racing over to our favourite feline family member.
Only instead of patting or hugging or feeding poor Minion, she pushed him off the railing and eagerly watched him plummet to the grass below.
"They lied, Daddy,” she informed me, walking off.
I'm so proud - only four years old and she's already conducting experiments in our back yard.
DISCLAIMER: The drop wasn't very high so no animals were injured in the making of this post, although one cat was out of sorts all afternoon.