Sometimes, I am the kind of mum who is All Business. You know the type… a frowny, grumpy lady who growls a lot about unbrushed teeth, who yells at kids with their full names before counting to three, and who says things like “Are your hands painted on?” (Thanks to my sis-in-law for that one).
But really, I’m just pretty exhausted most of the time, so by the time 7pm rolls around I’m running on adrenaline down the home stretch, trying to get the kids into bed so I can have a moment of blessed, bloody silence before doing an hour or two more work.
But not last night.
Last night, I was Fun Mum.
At 6.45pm, when I am usually building up to a crescendo of “This-Lego-Must-Be-Cleaned-Up-Or-I-Will-Give-It-To-Another-Kid-Who-Will-Tidy-Up-Their-Room”, I told the kids instead to put their gumboots on and follow me outside.
“Is it a chicken?”
“I bet we’ve hatched another egg.”
“Is it a snake?”
“Then why did she give me a basket?!”
My two little pyjama-clad chickens followed me single file down the driveway and through the orchard, theorising on what adventure we were embarking upon a mere fifteen minutes before bedtime, when we reached the two plum trees next to the shed.
After months of waiting, the day had come! The plums were ready for picking!
These trees groan from the vast number of plums crammed onto each branch. I have heard that the more a plum tree is ignored, the more fruit it will bear. Lucky for us, other than netting them from those damn cockatoos, I have been woefully negligent in tending these trees, barely even giving them a drop of water.
Miss Almost-7 had been insisiting that I whipper-snip the overgrown grass beneath these trees before she would deign to pick a single plum. She was worried about what might nibble her toes instead of the fruit while she was a-pickin’. But I was neglectful on that front too. Between a job, a farm, three kids, four goats, six head of cattle and a flock of chooks, trimming the grass under the fruit trees is pretty low on my list. So we picked them from the driveway instead and managed to fill a basket.
So this weekend will be filled with plum tarts, plum jam, and maybe an upside down cake with, say, plums?