Well, glorious weather aside, we’ve had a rather miserable few days at filmmaking HQ. The cause? A sickly toddler. Poor little thing!
When she was first born, I took heed of all the advice that said clear your calendar of commitments for a few months. As someone always on the go, it was really refreshing to be able to do that. It took the pressure off at a time when you should be allowed to be ‘selfish’ about what you do and don’t do.
But then, time presses on and you forget these lovely lessons you’ve learnt and benefitted from. Recently, I’ve been busy reading for new film ideas, finding my feet in the world of blogging and twitter, writing, fundraising for The Swimmer, and helping with the post-production of our last short (the one we needed a composer for) and of course being a full-time mummy. So, it was terribly inconvenient (!) to wake up on Saturday morning to find a poorly little toddler on my hands. We had so many plans to get out and enjoy the sunshine, but none of it was to be.
I’m the sort of mummy that loves a routine (no, I never managed Gina Ford) and has a full week of activities and play dates arranged around nap and mealtimes. In a battle against the lure of CBeebies, we spend most of the day somewhere else. We carry pots of fruit and other terribly healthy snacks around, and have fairly nutritious balanced meals. And it all works perfectly well – I don’t need change, thank you!
But then someone gets ill and it’s all out of the window, including that lovely nugget of time you had over the lunchtime nap to get some work done. You’re housebound but can’t do anything in it. At first you panic, because clearly the skies going to fall down if you change your plans and routine for a few days, but then it doesn’t. Admittedly the housework piles up and food supplies dwindle day by day, but that’s nothing a little creativity can’t manage.
Next, you realise you’ve gone a day without turning on your laptop, so you quickly open up and manage a quick tweet, because surely the world will be wondering where you’ve gone. A speedy scan of the emails is too much to resist and you have mixed feelings about the number. Great, I’m not forgotten! No, I’ve got too much to do! You write a list. It’s half a page – almost, with embellishments. Almost half a page?! Is that it? But I’m ‘busy and important’.
And that’s the moment you step back and relax. As the little one, slowly lifts her head from illness/heat induced drowsiness to look at you with forlorn eyes, barely able to manage those important requests that she feels she needs for recovery: “Beebies”, “Chocolate”, “Snack” you give up on being ‘busy and important’ for a little while longer.
The laptop is shutdown, CBeebies goes on for what will probably be a long session and you both settle down with a couple of squares of chocolate. Just mummy and the little one.
It’s great to be busy, after all we invest so much of who we are in what we do, but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s good to be a little selfish and shut yourself off from the world to be with a little girl that just needs her mummy.
…and beebies, and chocolate, of course.