This undoubtedly had much to do with the fact that two of their cousins, Zarina (6) and Amaara (4) had come to spend the day. The two darlings had arrived, dressed as fairy princesses, which pretty much set the tone for the morning.
My daughters love dressing up in princess dresses. The problem is that they don't distinguish between occasions which call for princess dresses (such as parties) and those that do not (like a trip to Pick 'n Pay or the butchery).
About a year ago we spent a Sunday afternoon in Canal Walk mall, doing shopping and running other errands. Nuha, as was quite usual at the time, was wearing a princess dress and tiara. A little girl looking confused, asked her mum, "Mommy, why is that girl dressed like that? Is she a princess?".
"No dear , she probably just came from a costume party, isn't that so?" the mum replied, directing the question at me.
"Yes, she did, " I lied, nodding as I tried to appear convincing and hoping that Nuha wouldn't speak up and expose my lie. I know it was silly to lie, but that response had just seemed more normal than
"No, she dresses in a princess frock, with tiara and princess jewellery whenever we leave home."
But not only do the girls enjoy dressing in costume. Shakeel, at age 12, still runs around in his Superman costume (which includes his cape); jumping from the filing cabinet onto the bed, pretending to be a superhero.
So it was perfectly natural that, once the cousins arrived in costume, my kids would throw on their slightly-worn-due-to-overuse costumes.
The morning was one of princesses, fairies and superheroes; of magical spells and gallant heroism.
Although part of the afternoon they spent playing Playstation, the bulk of their remaining time together was spent building an imaginary vehicle (a car?) using all my sofa cushions. By this time I had stopped nagging them to tidy up after themselves; and had just resigned myself to the fact that that the house would remain a pigsty until bedtime.
(Please excuse the very poor picture quality)
After the cousins had been bidden farewell, I was under the mistaken impression that my lot would calm down and perhaps just go and read or draw quietly. But I should have known better, especially when Nuha quietly slipped into the kitchen to collect three colourful plastic cups. By the time I realised that they were up to no good, not only were they soaking wet, but the washing hanging on the line was too!
But I forgave them when I heard the excited giggles- and besides they were keeping clingy Aisha (2) busy so that I could get supper done.
All in all, the first day of the holiday had not been as traumatic (for me) as I'd thought it would be.