I read something the other day that said the way parents are forced to work – whether that’s on a pitch or penning a shopping list – is using ‘splinters of time’. Those fragments inbetween naps, polite requests for “CHIPS NOW”, nappy changes, face/bum wiping and play date madness.
In those fragments, everything can be achieved – even if the eye twitch is pneumatic and the adrenalin coursing through your being. But while I’ve been working from home with the girls in tow, it’s been necessary to try and extend those fragments so I can make some headway with the inbox of doom and – if the gods are with me – sip a cup of tea that isn’t lukewarm. Here’s a few ways we’ve made those fragments into, well, shards, of time to celebrate Frankie & Benny’s Parenting Awards:
Despite a truckload of primary-hued toys being scattered about the house, my youngest refuses to engage with toys. I have about one minute at the most with Sophie La Giraf before she’s tossed aside and the meltdown ensues. For reasons I can’t fully explain, she’s been enamoured with non-toy toys. That includes keys, old trainers, dirty washing, discarded toilet rolls, plastic Tupperware lids and books – specifically those not meant for children, including ‘Parenting The Shit Out of Life’.
Skip the golden arches and any of the other fast-food spots and whip out the picnic basket instead. Load it up with a few sandwiches, drinks, and healthy snacks and spread out in your lounge. You’ll have a meal and play area in one, and combing the two makes for a double win.
Paint the town
Well, maybe not the town but the house. And before you get The Fear, no paint is involved. Just arm them with a bucket of water and a paint brush and get them ‘painting’ the outside of your humble abode with water. As one patch dries, it opens up another area that they’ve ‘missed’. I’ve managed to secure a solid 27 minutes straight out of this activity. I can’t take credit, though, it was my mum’s idea – I have fond memories of ‘painting’ for days in the summer of 1986 and I turned out OK.
At the point where everyone is going off the walls and you are about to enlist the services of the digital nanny (iPad), give it one last throw of the dice with a dance off. We tend to go with Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off because it somehow crosses all generations with its natty beat. The ‘winner’ gets a plate of food at the end. This is exercise and entertainment uniting in one song – forget Zumba, it’s all about Mum-ba.
Frankie & Benny’s is celebrating parents and their ability to keep the brood shtum while you manage a cuppa. If you fancy winning a trip to Disney World, enter the Parent Win Awards competition on Twitter, Instagram or on the F&B Facebook page by April 20. Enter using #Fbparentswin