Actors say 'Never work with children or animals.'
Here is a newsflash: children are animals.
I should know, I have become the zookeeper at my own private wild beast reserve and the inmates are pretty savage.
No sooner did I boast on Facebook that my adorable offspring had mastered the idea of letting Mummy and Daddy sleep in on a Sunday morning - possibly something to do with Mummy growing horns and a tail if she is rowsed before 9am on an official 'day off' - than Small Person number two takes it upon himself to get up at 5.30am on a Friday morning and require the rest of the household to do the same.
He also decided to whisper in my ear for permission to play on the DS, knowing full well he was banned from it yesterday. When I answered in the negative he decided to ask again, in case the previous answer was some aberration, possibly due to the fact that I had been deeply asleep the second before he opened his mouth. It's understandable logic, I should think: small brat demanding attention at some ungodly hour or delightful dreamworld most probably featuring a fit bloke serving me margueritas under a palm tree beside a sun drenched ocean? Hmm.
I mumbled the second 'No!' a little clearer and louder, yet still he persisted. A third 'NO!' prompted a slightly longer 'Pleeeeease' out of him for the next round until I was compelled to sit up and order him back to bed and to sleep for at least another hour, to which he gave me his own 'NO!' Aaaargh! By this point Nobby was grinding his teeth in frustration as the time remaining for us to shake off the savage beast, relax enough to drop back off and get in some reasonable sleep before the alarm sounded at 7am got shorter and shorter.
Eventually, as Pickle decided that shouting and throwing a pillow across the room might help me change my mind and relent, I dragged myself out of my pit to chase him back to his room. As I pursued him out onto the landing what did I see? A vision in pink PJs standing sleepily outside her room with a big frown on her face, and then asking 'Can we go swimming now?'
You know, I blame whoever's clever idea it was to keep Hungary in a time-zone such that the sun comes up at 5am and sets at 8pm. Clearly whoever it was did not have much of a social life and could not appreciate the beauty of sitting on your (or someone else's) terrace until ten o'clock at night without having to resort to floodlighting to see your glass of wine or fifteen litres of mosquito repellent to retain the ability pick up your glass of wine without needing to promptly drop it to slap fruitlessly at your arms and legs. Jeez I wish I could spend five minutes with that person... wielding a wet kipper.
In case you think I have been having any better luck with animals, Ha! think again. The dog is perpetually on the boil at the moment, fairly inevitable really when you're covered in black fur in 95 degree temperatures. She does love a good swim though, so since the nearest body of dog-swimming water is a good drive away I invested in a plastic paddling pool for her. But do you think I can persuade her to take a dip in it? She's deigned to dip her paws in, drink some of, then exit across the barren, dusty lawn to accumulate a good amount of mud on her feet then leave a trail of prints into the house before flopping in her favourite cool place - the downstairs loo. I've tried getting in with her, dragging, pushing, persuading, ordering her in but no. For now we are stuck with a hot dog.
And the children are after MORE pets when we get back from our holiday. We did agree that Pickle could have a hamster for his birthday but of course that didn't sit well with Poppet's Fairness Gauge and she now wants a rabbit. Not just any rabbit: a dwarf ginger-coloured rabbit. Because all pet stores have them don't they? Well, let me tell you about rabbits. Whilst we were in France we visited some friends who own rabbits and I generously rescued one of them from the clutches of my daughter and her friend after watching them push it round the garden in a pram, bounce it on the trampoline and dress it up in ribbons all afternoon. Coming over all Mother Earth I popped the poor creature on my lap for some respite and let it curl up for a nap while I chatted to my friend.
Half an hour went by before I decided we ought to be making tracks and I finally allowed Poppet to take the rabbit back. As she picked it up off my lap I felt a kind of damp sensation on my knees, then a trickling down my leg. Meanwhile Poppet shrieked with surprise as she realised there was something trickling down her leg too - and coming from the rabbit - so she quickly dropped it. Back into my lap. I had not realised until that moment just how much a rabbit can pee.
One other revelation, whilst at the same house, was that Nobby's lament that dogs only ever do 'silent-but-violent' farts is not entirely true. As I was reaching for a cloth to wipe up the rabbit pee, a very rude trumping noise echoed round the kitchen. The only other person in the room was a golden labrador called Nelson, who looked at me with that dumb expression that only dogs can muster which said 'So?' It's the same look I get from Tiggy each evening when she's let out a huge belch after wolfing down her dinner.
Yup, I am definitely gonna need a zoo license before long. Either that or become an actor.
Xmas Letter of Apology
1 day ago