I have been gripped by a low-level anxiety this evening. The day was lovely; but this evening has been low-level anxiety ridden. I think this is partly to do with the fact that I saw all of my money whorled (yes, whorled) into the swarming vortex of Christmas this morning, and I haven't even bought food or presents for several key family members yet. I know that as financial problems go, this one is extremely non-urgent. However, you know that thing where you think of people who are worse off than yourself, and then you are meant to feel better? It doesn't work, does it? Because if it did, there'd only be one unhappy person in the entire world. The one person whose life was the absolute worst life in existence on the whole of the planet. And I am most definitely not that person. Therefore, that thing you are meant to do is clearly rubbish.
I didn't do stories tonight, MrM did them. He read the first chapter of the 6th Mr Gum Book, which looks as though it is going to be as much of a success with the kids as the other 5 have been. Andy Stanton, I salute you. However, about 20 minutes ago, I heard a plaintive voice say "I can hear a scary noise". Turns out C had been reading Moshi Monsters magazine since a quarter past seven, and Ava had been reading various random books which she keeps under her covers in a pile at the end of her bed. Grrrr.
Double grrrr that this self-same scary noise is the neighbours' burglar alarm, which is still going off as I type, probably continuing to stop A and C from getting to sleep. But it's OK because they're not over-tired or anything. C didn't hit me and his sister earlier shouting "YOU'RE ALL STUPID" or refuse to get ready for his bath saying "I AM NEVER GOING TO GO IN THE BATH EVER AGAIN!". I didn't have to show him one of his presents (which has not been sent to Santa yet obv) and threaten to put it in the charity bag in the understairs cupboard to get him to comply with his bedtime routing. No, that didn't happen at all.
Anyway, when I went up, I decided to offer a bonus story to try to soothe them to sleep. I picked Betty and the Yeti by Ella Burfoot, out of the same winter collection from The Book People which I plucked the dreaded Jack Frost out of on Monday. I think both kids were a bit too old for it really. I think they would have loved it a couple of years ago. The pictures weren't really to my taste, a little bit on the twee side, I felt, and the storyline was predictable, but in a way that pre-schoolers love. I plan to try again when general stress levels are lower, and put a bit more feeling into the voices next time, and see if the reception is better!