Â ITâS HALF-TERM. NO more stupid, boring, silly old school for a whole week! Oh-oh. Maybe thatâs not tactful seeing as this is a school project. Weâve all got to keep a holiday diary. Iâve got to hand this in next Monday. I canât rub it out because itâs written with my mumâs biro and it would just make great blue smears all over the page. My baby sister Sara chewed my own pen up yesterday. My special red felt-tip pen which also doubles as a lipstick if Iâm dressing up. Saraâs notgot all her teeth yet but she canât half chew. She looked like Dracula with all this red ink dripping down her chin. I felt really cross with her but thatâs babies for you. I get more than a bit fed up with babies sometimes. I am surrounded by them right this minute. Three-year-old Gemmakeeps pulling at my arm, wanting me to draw for her. Two-year-old Vincent is drawing himself, making horrible scribbles on the back of a paper bag. Baby Clive is having a yell because Mumâs put him down for a nap and he doesnât feel like it. And Saraâs sitting on my foot, bouncing up and down, wanting a ride.
Â Theyâre not all my brothers and sisters. No fear. My sister Saraâs quite enough to be going on with. No, my mumâs a childminder. She doesnât have to mind me. Iâm Sadie and Iâm nearly nine. I can mind myself, easy-peasy. I can look after Sara too. I sometimes get up in the night and give her a bottle. And I play with her and I take her out for a walk in her pushchair. I do a lot of things for my mum and all. I make her a cup of tea when sheâs tired and Iâve got this knack of massaging her feet which she loves. âI donât know what Iâd do without you, Sadie,â she says. We donât see much of my dad nowadays, but it doesnât matter. âUs girls will stick together, eh?â says Mum, and sometimes I climb up on her lap as well as Sara and we all have a big hug together.
Â I quite like my mum being a childminder because sheâs always there when I get home from school. The only trouble is in the holidays. Babies donât have holidays. They donât have half-terms either. Mum gets lumbered with them all the time. If it was just Mum and me then this half-term would be great. We could go down to the shops and look round at all the clothes and the toys and choose what weâd buy if we had all the money in the world. Or we could go to the Leisure Centre and have a swim in the pool. Theyâve got a big wave machine and all my friends say itâs smashing. Or we could play that Iâm a lady too and we could go and have a pot of tea and a Danish pastry each and have a good gossip in a proper restaurant. But you canât go shopping or swimming or eating when youâve got four babies. My sister Sara would be bad enough. But if weâve got Gemma andVincent and little Clive as well then itâs impossible. Nan usually helps. She acts as Mumâs assistant. Sheâs got another job working in a pub at nights but she doesnât mind giving Mum a hand too. You need lots and lots of hands with all those babies. But Nan phoned up this morning and said she couldnât make it. Grandadâs off work with the flu. My grandadâs like a great big baby himself. Nanâs going to be busy looking after him for a few days. âNever mind, Mum. Iâll be your assistant,â I said. âGood job Iâm off school, eh?â So Iâve done my best. It hasnât been easy. Especially when we went out for a walk and called in at the corner shop. Mum uses a double buggy and I carried Sara but it was still a job carting them around. And then Sara started shrieking in the shop because she wanted Smarties, and Gemma picked a packet of jelly off the shelf and wouldnât let go, and Vincent went rushing round the corner and barged straight into a pile of toilet rolls and