Our little lady has a lovely fascination with The Nutcracker story, and she was lucky enough to see a very good production of the ballet a few years ago.  So, in the spirit of Christmas, and finding a festive activity to do, we thought today could be based around The Nutcracker.  However, sometimes, all the best laid plans go wrong!  I had imagined, when plotting this the night before, all four of us cuddling up on the sofa with the log fire burning, watching a movie version, followed by the story read from the book, and then topped off with some painting.  However, I was having a major glitch with the technical equipment (our TV is not plugged into any service of any description, so if we want to watch something that we don’t own on DVD, we rely on YouTube via the laptop, plugged into the TV).  Today, the HMDI lead was under no circumstances going to slot into the laptop.  Having taken a while already, I sent the children off to play nicely while I tried to fix the problem…but the mini men were set on causing chaos (which gets a little testing when trying to sort something out at the same time!).  However, yesterday while I blew a fuse in the house fuse box three times in as many minutes (trying to get to grips with foreign fuse boxes!!), the same request was asked of them, and all three were little monkeys and ended up in the dog house.  So when the boys misbehaved today, it seemed I had no option but to say that they couldn’t watch the movie….the result was one little lady shut in her room watching it on her own, 2 distraught little boys sobbing their hearts out, and one heartbroken mother!!!  The idyllic afternoon I had planned was rather scuppered!  Eventually, after cuddles and promises that they really had learnt that when I needed them to play because I was doing something they would (and not act as a real double trouble team), and the little lady had finished the movie, we did have a little snuggle for the story book, before trying to squeeze in the painting as well, as by now time was running out.  They did all enjoy the painting, and the afternoon was salvaged a little.  The little lady painted the sugar plum fairy and the nutcracker, and one mini man did the fairy also, whilst the other one did the Christmas tree.  Here’s now to a big glass of wine, hope that they have a learnt a difficult lesson, and facing tomorrow as a new challenge….eerrmmm…..day!!