You would have thought that a 4-1 defeat would have put the men in our house off watching football for at least a few days. They might watch the final but you'd think they would lose interest. No. They haven't. It's 8.45pm, I've re-arranged the greenhouse, fed the chickens, weeded my pots, strung up my cucumbers, washed up and they're watching Brazil play someone I don't even want to think about. I've wanted to reduce my telly watching for years, well, the World Cup 2010 has done that for me.
As the kids get older, they have more opinions and they want to express them later and later in the evenings. Time was I could get away with putting the clocks forward in the winter months and get them into bed by 6pm. Admittedly, I was usually woken at 6am but I had the luxury of a long evening in front of me.
Now they're 9 and 12, I find I have to compromise my evening's entertainment to satisfy the demands of their televisual preferences. I'm getting more gardening done now but I am wondering about the ever approaching autumn and winter months. They just don't seem to go to bed and my quiet evenings are being eroded little by little, minute by minute.
Don't get me wrong, I like snuggling up under a family blanket in front of the woodburner as much as the next mother but not only do they have an opinion on 'Antiques Roadshow' versus a repeat of 'Top Gear', they're getting bigger and our living room is not. If I end up on the sofa with J, I'm invariably used as a pillow replacement or, horrors, as a foot rest. J has toes that are mud-magnetic. They are something to behold.
If E is my sofa-companion, I am subjected to an evening of wriggling and fiddling. If I'm not brushing her hair, she's asking me deep and meaningful questions about the pros and cons of various imaginary pets.
G & I appear to have got to a stage in our relationship where we rarely sit on the same sofa together. I'm not sure when this development occured but it may be knitting related.
It's funny how family routines change slowly over time. We're definitely in a period of transition as J is heading towards teenager-dom with his little sister snapping at his heels. I've realised that we haven't taken any photos of them recently, probably since Christmas so I'm hoping to get the camera out and try to make sure we've update the photo album before they really start to grow up.
Now I think about it, J may only have one more World Cup at home. Next time he'll be 16 and in 2018 he'll be at college or somewhere else that isn't here. That's scary. Note to self: take more notice and allow sprawling on sofa.