Saturday, dawn: Husband and father-in-law depart for a weekend of bonding and looking at history in Berlin.
Saturday, 9am: Arise, having read book and enjoyed coffee in bed while the children watch some morning TV and get themselves breakfast (I warmly recommend the over-fours).
Saturday, 10am: Raining, so we proceed to the usually hideously over-crowded indoor playground, where I bury myself in my book (Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos, which is so beautifully, poetically written that I cry into my coffee) while the children leap about on the trampolines. When not reading, I check out the fathers, ranging from hot to not but all of whom appear to be actually enjoying spending time with their children and think about how the father species has improved in my generation; drink the world’s most disgusting latte; and try out the trampolines.
(Note to self: trampolining after three natural births is dicing with public humiliation.)
Saturday, 3pm: Return from playground and have burning urge to bake peanut butter biscuits. Eat biscuits and lie on bed while finishing book.
Saturday, 7pm: Have marathon Harry Potter reading session (six chapters of the Prisoner of Azkaban) on my bed, which is declared the girls’ dormitory for the weekend, broken by philosophical discussions on why Snape is mean, why the Weasleys are so funny, and which further HP story includes the unlikeable and ratty Peter Pettigrew.
Saturday, 9pm: Tell the girls to sleep and start Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key.
Sunday, 7.30am: Smallest child wakes at record late hour. Oldest sister takes him down for breakfast and telly. Read more of the excellent Sarah’s Key, washed down by two cups of coffee and thank the universe for my coffee machine.
Sunday, 9am: Children return to the dorm for more HP.
Sunday, 11am: Persuade family to get dressed.
Sunday, 1pm: Eat lunch and head for the cinema to watch Up (Oben, auf Deutsch). Eat peanut M&Ms during movie. Suffer regret.
Sunday, 4pm: Visit ice-cream parlour. Drink the best Milchkaffee in the Burg while the kids have ice-cream.
Sunday, 4.30 to 6pm: Attend a formal Lego and puzzle session. “You will play with me, Mummy,” says smallest child firmly.
Sunday, 7pm: Bath and return to dorm for climactic finish to the P of A. Sirius Black is a goodie! And Harry’s godfather! Harry conjures his first Patronus! It is almost too much for us all to bear – even those of us who have read it all before.
Sunday, 9pm: Off to bath to finish Sarah’s Key. Husband and father-in-law due back shortly.
Number of books read: 3
Number of coffees drank: 7
Number of cute dads discreetly admired: 2
Number of peanut butter biscuits: 3
Number of peanut M&Ms: whole packet
Number of meals I actually consumed at a table: 1
Number of feelings of overwhelming love for children: too many to mention
How much I am looking forward to husband coming back: a lot