Friday, 10 August 2007

Plan A

I'm taking Tiger to London. This is part of Plan A. Tiger is going bonkers on a daily basis now, and it's getting steadily worse. One minute she's a happy child drawing a picture of a Pegasus; the next she's snarling and writhing and throwing puffins and xylophones about the house.

So we thought Plan A might help. Plan A is to give more one-to-one time to each of the children. Outnumbered by triplets, that's not been easy. There's competition over everything, which doesn't help anyone, and it's been like that since Day One with the competition over Grit's body parts. Now, Tiger, Shark and Squirrel seem locked in competition for anything.

As an aside, I'd like to boast that competition at the Pile takes the form of who's first to achieve a Master's degree, or who's first to be accepted into the Royal Academy of Music. But it's not. It's who saw the colour green first, or who was out of bed first. For a while it was who was first to get into the house, which involved countless scrums on the hall floor as Tiger, Squirrel and Shark clawed, kicked, bit and punched their way over the threshhold after a visit to the Co-op to get cheese for lunch.

Anyway, after weeks of Tiger going bonkers, it's time for Plan A. Foolishly, we assumed that with help in the house, in the form of an au pair, at last we'd be able to achieve Plan A, since we seem to have had it since January.

But today we don't have an au pair. Because Sasha has gone to London to spend the day with Ermintrude. And the whole family is heaving a big sigh of relief and feeling liberated. The irony that Plan A now only seems possible because the au pair has left the house does not escape us.

And Tiger does go to London. She has mummy Grit on her own all day long, while Dig feeds carrot sandwiches to Shark and Squirrel. He says bread and carrots are the only things he can find, so it was a logical step. Anyway, he takes them for a few turns on the roller coaster at the kiddie theme park, so he's happy enough, and I guess Shark and Squirrel are too.

I wish I could say the same about Tiger. She goes bonkers in the Natural History Museum and says life would be better if I didn't exist, which makes me want to give up on Plan A altogether.

But I'm not going to. So I march off to the V&A, where I can slump in the courtyard with a lemonade and lick my wounds while Tiger goes off to paddle in the fountain-paddle pool.

Plan A wasn't much of a success today, then. But we'll stick at it a while yet.

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