Sometimes I am blown away by both how clever and obtuse my kids can be. They are only 8 years old but it amazes me how much they pick up. Gone are the days that I could spell things out to get one past them. They generally understand what makes me freak out and are smart enough to know when I start getting shrill or twitchy to stop whatever it is they are doing before I turn into Gollum mummy.
Sometimes I think I am too tough on the kids. But then again, our little routine works so why mess with it? Yeah sure we get up at 6am to walk the dogs and yes, yesterday it was minus 5 degrees but that is what winter clothes are for. Also, part of the deal of us getting Kevin and Rosie was that the kids understood how important it is to walk them every day and to be responsible for looking after them. I like the fact they start off the day every morning with 60 minutes of brisk exercise. Also I don’t want to go out into the cold dark morning on my own so I like the company. And because they are up at 6am they are generally ready for bed at 6pm. Talking about 6pm, I am fanatical, bordering on obsessional about them getting to bed at 6pm. Why? Because I truly believe that young brains need as much sleep as possible.
Aside from the healthy crap, it has been just me and the kids now for so long that my routine is important to me. It is all about the kids all day, every day and I would be a fucking basket case if I did not have my evenings to myself. It used to be cakes, now it is seemingly endless hours of work and travel planning, emails to friends and occasionally it might just be hours of getting horizontal and watching some Netflix. Whatever it is, I need that time after 6pm. I know that my days are numbered. I know it will not last much longer, in fact, the day we jump on that plane may well be the last day that I have such an ordered life. But I am hanging onto it for as long as I can.
So I was talking about how clever my kids are. They understand me well; they know my little quirks. I had thought that they understood in particular my 6pm obsession. So you can understand my shock last night when at 6.45pm I got an email from my daughter. The kids have got their new IPads that Nanna and Poppa got them and they are their new pride and joy. I know they will be a much needed necessity when we travel and in the lead up to their travels they are allowed 30 minutes in the afternoon and I know they get up before 6am to catch up on a bit of iPad time.
So the fact that my daughter was awake is fine. Any awake time after 6pm is annoying but I could have dealt with it The fact that she was stupid enough to send me an email to alert me to the fact she was awake and using her iPad was pure bloody stupidity. I stomped down to their room and there was that tell-tale rustling of trying to rearrange themselves to make it look like they were sound asleep. Rissie did not even have time to get her iPad put away. She looked at me a little shocked and asked of me her little voice trembling, “But Momma how did you know we were awake?” I shook my head at how obtuse she was being, “How did I know? How did I know Larissa? For god’s sake you sent me an email!” Realisation dawned on her face. Slowly.
Archie looked at me sleepily and said to me that he was so tired. I looked at the glow coming from underneath his pillow and snapped at him, “Of course you are tired Archie, your iPad is still glowing beneath your pillow!” Do they think I am stupid? I took away their iPads and told them that if they did not go straight to sleep there would be no iPads for the rest of the week. The shocked silence filled my little black heart with joy. The pure stupidity of them to alert me to what they were doing. Unbelievable. I returned to the lounge room confident that they had been shocked into submission and I would not hear from them again that night.
When I went to bed that night, there was a little note on my pillow. It was a drawing of me reading their latest book to them. Out of my mouth came the bubble “You are horrible!” I hoped that was meant to be me reading them the Naughtiest Girl in the School and not the way I spoke to them. We are reading so much Enid Blyton at the moment we are all starting to sound a little like characters straight out of an Enid Blyton story. Archie even said to me this morning about someone that they were a “sly little fellow”. He made me want to come home and make a picnic basket that contained lashings of ginger beer. Anyway I digress, the note said “We love you Mummy. We are sorry. You are beautiful. Please don’t take our iPads away.” See what I mean. Clever and stupid. They had obviously been stupid enough to ignore me completely and stay awake long enough to draw me a picture and write me a note but clever enough to do it so that I had no idea and by the time I read it I could not possibly be cross.
Naughty, naughty little monkeys. I truly dread the teenage years.
I was craving something sweet when I made these brownies – I also wanted something in the fridge for whenever I was craving a treat. Unfortunately, Archie and Rissie discovered them and decided that they were a great snack and that they also belonged in their lunch boxes and they did not last long. I need to make another batch and find a hiding spot for them and exercise my right to selfishness.
No Bake Brownies
This mix was perfect for a 7-inch x 11-inch slice pan. I always line my tins as it just makes life easier and protects the tins as well - so first step is to line your tin.
1 ½ cups walnuts
1 cup almonds
3 ½ cups pitted dates – roughly chopped
¾ cup Cacao Powder
3 ½ cups Icing Sugar
1/8 cup Cacao Powder
1/8 cup Almond Milk
Handful slithered almonds
Blitz the walnuts, almonds, dates and Cacao Powder until mixture is thoroughly combined and comes together in a rough ball.
Press into into lined tin and put into the fridge for an hour or so
To make the topping place the Icing Sugar and Cacao Powder into bowl and add the Almond Milk. Beat with Mix Master – depends on how fudgy and thick you like your topping but you might want to add some hot water to get the desired consistency. The above mixture was quite thick and I literally had to put it on as if I was spreading thick peanut butter on bread but it was delicious and went perfectly with the base. Top with slithered almonds and return to the fridge. Once set cut into squares. Keep in air-tight container with layers separated by baking paper.