Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any worse…
Right now, I’m eating an entire bowl of cherries. Not because I want to, but because I’m trying to avoid thinking about the Christmas pudding in the cupboard.
It’s hard going anywhere with children. They absorb everything. Which is fine, and how they are supposed to learn things. But they seem to be little walking stores of honesty, and then they pick the worst moments to let it out. Sometimes it’s perfectly harmless, and even really cute.
Or it’s unpleasant but only in a mild way, and only manages to upset one person.
Other times, it’s loud and in a public place and contains so much embarrassing information it’s hard to know how to react.
Oh yeah, and after yelling that, she yelled out that she wanted me to rub her bum so it would be warm again. I was too busy at the time wondering why she sat on the butter at all, and if anyone else was disturbed by that.
Sometimes they stealth it on you. They start off being adorable and cute, and you let your guard down, and then they throw a whopping curve ball.
And you’re left lost and bewildered wondering what just happened. Hoping nobody else heard it.
But my favourite would be the cheerful logical conclusions they draw based on a premise that is unflattering to start with, and they usually save this type up for the end of the day, when you’re worn out and have no remaining energy or self-esteem left to cope with it.
Those moments are precious.
No, in fact, those moments are difficult.
Change that. Those moments are annoying. And draining and embarrassing and occasionally frightening.
However in hindsight (say, much later when the sting has worn off) those moments are also hilarious.
Exhausted this past week, having spent many hours cleaning up the old house after moving out, and cleaning up the new after moving in. Can’t use many chemicals due to the pregnancy. Also refuse to use some due to environmental concerns. As such, have had to resort mostly to elbow grease. This has led me to a new resolution. I will no longer own anything that I cannot clean with a steel scouring pad.
Today is husband’s birthday. Since we’ve just moved and everything is everywhere and I am still a stranger to my kitchen, I thought it best to buy a cake from a patisserie. That’s the safest option. I took our youngest daughter with me.
She was thrilled to be inside the cake shop, kept pointing at all the cakes and gushing at them, bouncing around with joy. The sales lady was delighted by this, and started to talk to her.
“Are you buying a cake today?” she asked my daughter.
“Yes!” gushed my daughter. “A BIG one! For my dad!” She declared.
Cake lady smiled at her, and asked “Oh! Is it your dad’s birthday? Or just a nice day to have cake?”
My daughter said “Well, it’s his birthday. And we are buying a cake. And we are going to put A FIRE ON IT!!! In a circle!” She made a circle with her hands.
The lady’s smile began to fade, as my tiny daughter danced around growling “fire! fire!” in a deep voice.
I panicked and tried to leave as quickly as possible, but then remembered we hadn’t bought a cake yet. I pointed to the cake nearest to the service counter, and threw money at the poor woman, grabbed my cake box, my daughter, and marched out of the shop, daughter still growling “FIRE!” as we bolted out the door.
Put daughter in car, cake safely in box beside me, and drove home, in a numb, red embarrassed silence. My daughter eventually stopped growling “FIRE” and started naming the colours of the cars we passed on the way home. I had all but forgotten the event until after dinner, when it was time to sing happy birthday.
I put the box upon the table with a big smile, and removed the lid with a flourish.
And that is how my husband ended up with a Dolly Varden cake for his birthday.
The other day I visited an arts and crafts market. I got chatting with a ceramicist. She asked me if I was an artistic sort of person. I was going to say “yes” when I thought of these pictures…
And I changed my answer to a quiet little “not really”.
We’ve just moved house, and so now I find myself frequently “lost” standing in the kitchen, wondering where the saucepans are. It now occurs to me that this is how my husband and children must feel, ALL THE TIME.