We are on day 8 of the endless summer “holidays”, and I am becoming increasingly forgetful, distracted, tardy and moronic (not to mention BORED WITH BOTH MYSELF AND THIS PARENTING SHIT) with each passing day. Although truth be told, I raised the moronic bar fairly high the day before the holidays even started, by turning up for the Boy’s dance recital (I know - the great big poofter) half-way through. I fell into some sort of time-warp in a card shop, and before I knew it, it was 20 minutes past the time I was meant to be leaving, and no amount of effing and blinding and roaring at the cars in front of me to HURRYTHEFUCKUP would get me to the school any quicker. In I huffed and puffed, waved madly at the Boy, stuck my tongue out, smiled, mouthed “I’m sorry” and... Nothing. Not a thing. No acknowledgment of my presence, no spark of recognition in his eyes... Nada. He looked right through me. So much so that I assumed he hadn’t seen me so repeated my moronic performance. Again, nada. Third time around I started to wonder if perhaps he was...blanking me?
He was TOTALLY blanking me.
And continued to do so long throughout the entire show, ostentatiously narrowing his eyes and turning his head away from me every time he caught my eye. There was only one thing for it.
“I’m sorry,” I sniffed, literally kneeling at his feet. “You won’t believe what happened to me!”
Without turning his averted head, he glanced at me from under almost-closed lids. I took this as permission to continue.
Shit. What DID happen to me, that wasn't too far fetched?
“I... got a clamp! On the car!”
“WHAT?” Wide-eyed, and bushy-tailed.
“A clamp! On the wheel! I parked on a double-yellow line and the policeman came and put a triangle on my car, like we saw on that car last week, and you asked me fifty thousand questions about it.”
“Which wheel?” Suddenly suspicious.
“The one at the side. [I actually said that. And it actually sufficed.] It’s all scratched from it. I was very upset. I had to call the police, then call a truck, and just stand around and wait... I was there for hours. THAT is why I’m late. [Pause. Sniff.] I’m sorry.”
Pause, while he contemplates his reaction. Then:
“It’s alright. I forgive you.”
Then he bent down and, beatifically, kissed my head.
Whatever about the Boy, may God forgive me. Imagine lying to your own child. And then to your own child’s teacher (sorry about that, C. I didn’t want to lie to you, but he was standing right there, so I had no choice but to cast the wicked web I’d weaved – woven? – far and wide).
I wish I could tell you that I got my karmic comeuppance thereafter – a puncture, or an actual clamp – but thankfully I did not. In fact just two days later I got a weekend away WITHOUT CHILDREN. I ruined it all by drinking way too much gin and generally acting the eejit, but man alive it was fun. Then I came back to my parenting hell-hole, where it has been non-stop holiday-filling-ghastliness ever since. There have been camps and ballet recitals and play dates and even a day-trip to the sea-side, where I queued for OVER AN HOUR for the most disgusting fish and chips you’ve ever set your tongue upon, and which the children immediately covered in sand.
To top it all, 17 toddlers descended upon the house today for a sugar-fuelled screamathon, complete with REAL PRINCESS. The Girl – whose forthcoming birthday we were celebrating - has literally been pissing herself with excitement for the past week at the thought of it. Thankfully I had the Pimms and Gin (mixed, for extra wallop) at the ready, which helped take the edge off things.
In fact, now that I think of it, I probably should have started drinking this 8 days ago.
(Tangental man-fact: there used to be a whole host of different types of Pimms, Numbers 1 through to 6, depending on the spirit on which the recipe was based. No. 1 – the most common – is gin based. The rest have all been abandoned (probably just as well - who wants Pimms made with whiskey?) except for No. 6, which is vodka based. If you’re using No 6 for this, add a shot of vodka instead of gin.
You need: for 2 (or 1, surrounded by a sea of pre-schoolers)
- 2 measures of Pimms No.1
- 1 measure of Gin
- 6 measures of Lemonade, Sprite or Ginger Ale
Mix, pour into a tumbler over ice, and garnish with mint and cucumber. None of your fruit salad nonsense here, please.
Guaranteed to take the edge off... well, anything really. (Even a fortnight of this.)