A friend who blogs and comments here sometimes is a mother who stays at home. She is always busy with crafts, and art, and Girl Scouts, and a whole range of things she gets to do as a mother. And today it got me to thinking – almost wistfully but not quite – about some of the things I would probably be doing if my pregnancies had ended differently.
- Baking. When there are just two of you, there is no excuse to bake biscuits (cookies for the Americans reading), or scones (biscuits) or pikelets or muffins, the things I grew up eating after school, or on the weekend. It’s impossible to make a recipe just for one scone each, or one pikelet, one muffin or one biscuit. I don’t bake cakes, unless we have visitors, because there’d always be half a cake left the day after the dinner party, and then we’d eat it all. If I had kids, I could feed it to them and the hordes of neighbourhood kids who visited after school. But I don't. So I don't bake. And I love baking. I really do. There’s something therapeutic about creaming the butter and sugar, sifting the dry ingredients, or icing a cake. At this stage, I’d be teaching little S or D the first steps of baking – making pink and white coconut ice, or my favourite chocolate fudge cake (as we called it) which turns out to be the same as the Chocolate Biscuit Cake that Prince William insisted on having at his wedding. I miss that I can’t do that.
- Sport. I was very sporty as a child and teenager, and even as a young adult, but once I started working and travelling internationally, there was no space for it. I’d be at the stage where I would be teach little S or D how to play netball, or kick a soccer ball, or how to swim. Or we’d play hopscotch on our concrete driveway. I’d be more active, I wouldn’t have to force myself to a gym to get exercise.
- Music. I grew up playing the piano, and would now be teaching little S or D the joys of pressing keys, making sounds, and turning squiggly signs on a piece of paper into music. I don’t play very much these days, but if there were children around, I imagine playing and singing together.
- Art and Craft. I’m not very arty, although (and I might write about this separately) did take up painting at one stage. But think of the fun we could have with paint and pastels and crayons and glue and sparkly things at this age!
- Knitting and sewing. It was a case of necessity, but I grew up making my own clothes and knitting our own jerseys and scarves. These days it isn't as necessary - import tariffs have been dropped, and we can buy clothes more cheaply than we can make them. But I can imagine sewing clothes and knitting woolly jerseys for the little ones – especially now the cats are gone and there wouldn’t be a battle for the balls of wool.