I had a lovely day yesterday so I’d just like to put it on record – I’ve read through my last couple of entries and I realised with a start that I’ve been a bit, well, gloomy of late. August has not been my month – so far. You see, I'm looking on the positive side. I woke up with the intention of making a cake for tea (Rosie and Ben were coming over before spiriting Mac off for a sleep over – Ben is spending the day with us tomorrow but as yet, I have nothing planned). Mac is puzzled by the fact that Ben rarely stays over at our house. Over time this has become My Fault but Rosie is at great pains to assure Mac (me) that Ben has a “thing” about staying in any other place than his own house. “Why do you think we never go anywhere?” she said as she crammed cake into her mouth.
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. Mac woke up and requested a boiled egg and soldiers for breakfast. While he was splattering egg yolk all over the place I apologised for my bad mood over the weekend and asked if I were forgiven, explaining that sometimes mummies get in bad moods. He put on his thoughtful expression before saying “yes mummy, I do give you” and giving me an eggy kiss. As I don’t like egg yolk at all it was all I could do to stop myself from wiping my cheek but Mac finds this to be the height of rudeness. He once burst into tears because Charlie “wiped my kiss away mummy”. He finished his breakfast while I flicked through an uber glossy magazine that Bea insists on passing onto me. There was a house pictured that was full of plants, they were literally everywhere and it looked so calming and fresh that I began to lust after my own foliage.
I don’t “do” houseplants – they die. Mum could take a half dead spider plant, re-pot it and go onto successfully take cuttings from it for years to come. Plants arrive in my house and just give up the will to live. Still. The shops beckoned.
B&Q in the Old Kent Road is not the height of glamour but it served its purpose. Mac was keen to push the trolley but unfortunately pushed it into a display of buckets and sent the whole lot flying. I did what any sensible mother would do: I blamed the trolley and made a big show of changing it “for one that has wheels that do what they’re told”. Mac gazed up at me in wonder but didn’t ask to take control of the next one but ran on ahead to look at the lampshades.
I bought a peace lily, a Devil’s Ivy, an umbrella plant, a yukka, four gorgeous pots in colours to match my décor and a dolphin watering can for Mac. On the way to B&Q I had decided to make this so we popped into Asda to get the Maltesers, horlicks and butter and came home to unload the plants, fall over dogs and resist the temptation to rip into the Malteser box (I can’t buy bags of Maltesers, I’m not sure why). The Devil’s Ivy went on the upstairs landing, the peace lily into the bathroom, the umbrella plant in the living room and the yukka in the kitchen. Feeling all “Anthea” I whizzed round with the hoover while Mac helped me to dust and we talked about our few days away. With remarkable insight for a four year old Mac assured me that “Granny doesn’t mean to be hobbible Mummy, she just is” which stunned me into silence. I’d assumed that the bitching and the back stabbing between myself and my mother in law goes over Mac’s head – obviously not. I made a promise to try not to mind (or batter her) if she annoyed or upset me. Kindly place your bets now as to how long that will last but I promise I’ll try.
We made the cake together and, while it was cooking, Mac went upstairs to pack for his night away and I took a call from David who suggested a takeaway, bottle of wine and an early night in that order. I was still leaping around like an invigorated teenager when Rosie and Ben arrived at quarter past three. The boys went off to play dragons while Rosie sat down and burst into tears – it seems she’s even more in a state about Ben starting primary school than I am. The boys aren’t going to the same school and, where Mac has got a few of his nursery pals starting at the same school, Ben hasn’t. This knowledge, Rosie informed me, is causing her to eat chocolate at an alarming rate, take corks out of bottles with her teeth in desperation, shout at her husband and generally become a Grumpy Old Woman.
Feeling remarkably cheered by the sight of my together-and-sane friend on the verge of collapse (I know, I’m awful) I produced my masterpiece and, rather shamefully, we demolished the lot between the four of us. As Rosie bore both boys off, all three groaning and clutching their stomachs I glanced at the clock and realised I had twenty minutes to turn myself into a sex goddess. Needless to say I didn’t manage it.
Still, who cares that David had to eat an entire Indian meal for two because I was so full up with cake? We drank the wine, hedonistically, in bed when any thought of romance was thrown out of the window when Junior Dog, mistaking the bark of the yukka as an interesting stick, dragged the whole lot upstairs before depositing it joyfully in the middle of the (beige) carpet.
Still. At least he hadn’t broken the pot.