Today was a good day. But I had a secret weapon. Do you want to know how to get two children upstairs, washed, teeth brushed and into school uniforms in less than 3 mins? Well, it's achievable, but you need to have a little help.
First, have the Parcel Force delivery man ring the doorbell just as you are finishing breakfast and then inform said children that of course they may open the eagerly awaited Miniswap 3 package as soon as they are dressed and ready for school. Yes, I am officially a manipulative mother. But look - it worked!
Okay, so one of them has a collar still awry and the other has a serious case of bed head, but we weren't going to let trivial details derail the fun. And we were sure Miss Chris and her lovely girls wouldn't mind.
Getting to know them has been a large dollop of the fun of Miniswapping - I trawled the Pink Picket Fence archives like a stalker, looking for clues as to what the girls liked and as soon as we saw what was inside our parcel this morning, I knew for sure that Miss Chris had done the same thing. Dino-heaven, a palaeontological paradise, call it what you will, that package hit the spot.
But as soon as they came home, it was up with our puppet theatre and time to try out the wonderful felt puppets Miss Chris and her eldest dreamt up. Don't you just love those expressive dino-eyebrows?
Apologies for the photos - we were having too much fun for staging them prettily. And certain elements of the parcel (the Peeps) may never make it in front of the lens. This is our first encounter with them, but I can tell that Mark has all the makings of a Peep-a-holic.
Mummy, when we've had these, will you buy some more?
You can only get them in America sweetheart.
Oh (wistful). Hey, why don't we go to America!
Yes, everything from America has extra cachet here today. Even packaging. Game of Ice Road Truckers anybody?
Or Chinese Drumming? Recognise the box Chris?
Yup, it has been a very fun day. Too fun for stylish photos, an oversight which I'll remedy tomorrow before I enter them in the Flickr pool. Because there are stickers and postcards and letters and collage and maps and fabric and trim and buttons which I haven't even taken pictures of. But when you are busy playing and being grateful for new friends, some things are allowed to slide.