“We just stay here and have a talk,” she said to me. We were lying on my bed, having done a bit of bouncing and I suggested we might like to go downstairs. But E wanted to stay, she looped an arm over my shoulder and we lay head to head while she chattered on, half gibberish but she was happy enough.
Lots of folk my age seem to remember Sundays with a mixture of boredom and dread – boredom that there wasn’t much to do and dread of school the next day. I was often stuck at home, homework, reading and no friends nearby, or we went to visit my grandparents, both lots in one day and a meal at each.
The recent government announcement that they would look at abolishing Sunday trading hours was rather a depressing one, I thought. It seemed if you objected you got yelled at for being religious, which wasn’t at all the case for me. I do get so depressed at the constant commercialising of everything and it does seem to me now, that we as a country so badly need some kind of rest day once a week, that more shopping really isn’t the answer. As it happens, S and I hate crowds so much we rarely go anywhere near shopping centres on weekends but I’ve become rather fond of the quiet Sunday at home with not much to do. Boredom can be good, for children as well as adults. I think it’s probably a sign of my age…
Last Sunday, for instance, we had all had a lie in, then read some books in bed over a cup of tea (or milk) and then breakfast. E and I had come upstairs to dress, bounce and were now lying on my bed chatting. From there we went downstairs, talking of dollies and books, and did some more reading and examined some caterpillars in the garden until she and S went to buy a newspaper and go to a garden centre. With them gone, I made coffee, did the ironing, hung out the washing and put the dinner on. I cast on a new knitting pattern and pottered about.
When E and S returned she ate lunch and then she and I took her scooter to the park where we explored the pond area, saying hello to the ducklings and cygnets, and spotting some tiny fish in the pond. Then we just sat on the grass for a while and talked some more.
My idea for dinner was that she hasn’t had a chance to eat much with us recently, we don’t eat much together at the weekend as S and I tend to eat later. And despite her eating smoked fish dishes all weekend I thought it would be good to have a family dinner and something for her that wasn’t too processed. So I roasted a bird from the freezer and served it up. She looked delighted, ate two mouthfuls and said she’d finished. Ditto pudding. She ended up eating ravioli and yoghurt instead. Still it was nice to be sociable.
We didn’t do much all day but what we did was quiet and home-based and together. The house does now look very much like we’ve been at home all day without much to do – there are hair clips, soft toys and trains all over the place. But I liked it. She’s of the age where she liked it too. It won’t last. But we could all do with a day once in a while with simple pleasures – the smell of clean linen, a home cooked dinner and some mindless chatter with a three year old who wants you to be her whole world.