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One Day of Peter's life
(Story by Peter and Heidi Elliott)
I usually manage to be first at waking up — my brother Daniel (he's six) would stay in bed until seven o'clock. Mum can't understand it but it seems obvious to me that this is when the day starts, so why miss the beginning? After a quick warm-up and a chat we creep downstairs to see what's been left around from the night before, although Mum is wise to this and has usually put away anything really interesting.
The refrigerator is always a fairly good place to start, and cold rice pudding tastes much better for breakfast than it does for pudding.1 In fact I've tried most things at this hour, from cold stuffed marrow to raw sausages; some of it isn't recommendable and some of it can get you into a lot of trouble. Anyway, I can always make my own breakfast of cereals with plenty of sugar and not much milk. We made Mum's2 the other day but she didn't like the chopped peppercorns and Oxos3 that we added to it. Mind you, it didn't look too good.
Well, just when we get into a good game, Mum comes down and says that we have to put all the furniture back and get dressed. I always have the last say in what I'm going to wear, which is always jeans and a tee-shirt. I'm just not relaxed if I'm wearing smart trousers. I like a loose jacket and a hat; my old cowboy hat is a bit misshapen but I do not mind that, it seems to put me in the right mood for the day.
It's time to take Daniel to school. I really enjoy this trip at the moment because I've got a super little bike which I ride there and back. Well, I don't exactly ride it because both pedals have fallen off and the chain has snapped, so now it's more like a hobby-bike. I use my feet for brakes and propulsion.4 It works very well and my balance is now so good that I can ride my brother's big bike if someone helps me to get on and off.
When we get to Daniel's school I have a race around the playground and annoy a few of Dan's friends before the whistle goes, and then, as the trip home is up-hill and rather boring. Mum usually has to give me a push. I generally play then, or visit a friend down the lane whose brother has some super toys, which compensates for the fact that she's a girl.5
Lunch can vary from day to day because I'm quite fussy about my food. I find it hard to sit still long enough to eat a whole dinner, so sometimes Mum reads a book to me which makes it much more enjoyable, and if the story is very good, I've even been known to eat things that I didn't think I liked.
I suppose that the way I spend my day must seem fairly routine to some people, but I like to use it to the full no matter what I'm doing. I do everything with enthusiasm — whether constructing a rocket with bricks or practising gymnastics on the bed or just sliding down the banisters, and I've noticed that people who are older than me don't seem to have half as much fun, so I say that I'm going to enjoy myself for as long as possible.
The afternoons are unpredictable. On a fine day I may go swimming or visit a park or the shops. Personally, I think the shops are best, especially the ones with toys in. My mother just doesn't seem to understand that I need them all, anyway I have a good try with as many as I can before getting into trouble with the assistant. Then I move on to the sweets, which I generally get one of. Friends' houses can be a good source of entertainment, although if they haven't got any children it can be a bit frustrating not being allowed to touch anything. Luckily most of mother's friends have got children.
The best treat of all, though, is visiting Nanny.6 She's got much more time to spend on you than parents have and I do all sorts of things there. I have made some very tasty cakes in Nanny's kitchen and she doesn't mind how much mess goes on the floor.7
I also enjoy gardening with her. She is extremely patient with my pruning efforts.8 So my afternoons vary until we collect my brother from school at 3.30. He's not so much fun in the afternoons, but I do a bit of insect searching on the way home and collect any interesting sticks and stones that I think I could use in our small garden.
My bedtime is fixed at 7.30 and to be honest I'm just about ready for it by then. After doing my duty — by eating some tea — I play for a while or watch television. I'm not a TV addict but cartoons I do enjoy9 and my favourite programme is Tarzan. When this is on I strip off to my underpants and really get into the part. (I'm fantastically brave.) I then have a trip down a shark-infested river10 at bathtime or practise swimming in the bath, but my room is rather restricted and Mum doesn't appreciate how far I get the water up the wall.11 So, when the water has got fairly cold, I reluctantly agree to get out and put my pyjamas on. I don't like cleaning my teeth but I do.
Mum has to read a book at bedtime: it gives me a few minutes to have a last play and select my favourite toys before the light goes out. After all, even in my dreams I've had to fight some pretty fierce tigers.
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