Anyway, I am working on it, and the kids are helping. They have been making little friends at school so we Mummies have been thrown together to arrange the play dates. And even the dog is chipping in – she has grown very attached to Oscar, a Labrador–cross and it turns out his owner knows where I live because the previous tenant is a friend of hers. While we were chatting on our last walk she mentioned that there are wild boars in the woods and that they have made a wallow quite near to the car park. We went to have a look and sure enough there it was – a huge muddy hole, filled with sticky, slimy goo… and my dog. Great. You never saw such a mess, and she was grinning all over her face as she came bounding over to try and cover me in it too. Never mind, I said, she’s due a shampoo anyway, I’ll just get the hose out when we get home. However, when I got home there was a piercing squealing coming from the boiler room. It’s the alarm to say that the pressure has plummeted – there was s a burst water main down the road and our water was off all day. Mr Sod has followed me to
I might have known there would be some shenanigans to round off the roller coaster week. Monday dawned with Pickle absolutely full of the joys of spring. He was bursting with Positive Mental Attitude all the way to school as he told us he needed to get all his French homework done straight away and couldn’t wait for Jerome to come back for another lesson. He was totally in love with the world and announced which of his classmates he plans to marry. However by Friday the homework wasn’t done and Pickle didn’t even want to get dressed let alone go to school. Oh how quickly it all changes. Now he knows how Mummy felt on the Monday school run, still trying to peel back her eyelids and keep the car going in a straight line after an hour of running round getting the school bags and the PE bags and the swimming bags and the coats and the wellies and the shoes ready and into the car along with the kids and the husband and the dog.
But I have to say, we did find Little Boy Paradise the previous Sunday which may have spawned the good humour – the
In fact Poppet was on great form on Monday too – she learned to swim! They’ve been taking lessons twice a week with their new school. Pickle was terribly proud – at first. He bounded over yelling ‘did you see her?! Did you see her?!’ then promptly burst into tears sobbing ‘I want to swim too, but I can’t!’ You just can’t win, huh.
So the rest of the week was a similar minefield of minge. I finally made it back to the furniture shop lugging the extra bedstead we somehow ended up with to customer service to ask for a refund. Not one of the four people in the little office spoke a word of English (fair enough, you know, I am the stranger here; I am not expecting everyone to be bilingual, before anyone points that out). My phrase book had the basics covered with ‘ I would like to return this’ and ‘I would like a refund’ which I read out as best I could while they all looked on cringing as I murdered their mother tongue. Sadly it was missing the translation for ‘Sorry you can’t return that bit without the mattress because it’s part of a set’ so I had to phone a friend to bail me out.
Then as I am lugging the thing back to the car the school calls and puts Poppet on the line. ‘Mummy I have a tummy ache and my throat hurts, can you come and get me?’ Knowing that she is rarely ill (she lets Pickle have all the colds and just breaks the odd limb here and there) I abandoned the rest of my shopping plan – Tescos was right next door, it was quite a wrench – I dashed off to school where she was lying down in the medical room with a glass of water and a tissue looking very sorry for herself. So I brought her home, made a bed up on the couch, stuck Mulan in the DVD player and prepared to play nurse for the next few days. Then this little voice pipes up with ‘Mummy, I’m hungry.’ And the little monkey proceeded to eat 4 rounds of toast and 3 chocolate cookies and declared herself all better.
Have I just been taken for a mug?
Things perked up this last weekend though with a free trip to the zoo with Nobbys company. It felt great waltzing past all the queues to the hospitality desk for our VIP wristbands and competition forms – we had to visit 10 tables in various locations round the zoo and complete an activity to get a stamp on the form. The first couple were nice and easy - naming shells, touching snake skins, and drawing elephants - but the children came over all shy when asked to ‘walk like a polar bear’ in the middle of the path so Mummy had to make an a*se of herself instead while people wandered past wondering why on earth eight people were lumbering round in a circle with their hands on their knees. I had my revenge though when we came to the ‘holding a cockroach’ table. No way. Luckily Pickle would rather let a nasty creepy crawly scuttle up his arm than feel a fool in front of total strangers so we were OK.
So my goal this week is to cut out the phone calls and get out and meet some people, and I am already making progress with the latter: having recently held my hand up to possibly helping out with an upcoming ‘International Day’ event at the school and I just got an email to say I am now on the organising committee and the first meeting is tomorrow morning. Oh god, what have I done? Here’s hoping this is a good thing and not the road to being stuck with some power hungry, bossy mega-mummies who will try and turn it into some major gala event so they have something new to put on their CVs. I’ll keep you posted.