Woke up to freezing cold bedroom and David looking puzzled draped in a towel, his face covered in shaving foam. "We've got no hot water" he said, tentatively touching the radiator in the bedroom. The boiler had decided to choose that particular time to break down, stop working, give up the ghost or, as the boilerman put it "refuse to power up". Suffice to say it took three phone calls to secure the boilerman's attendance. Mac was not happy as he wanted to go to "the park and chase leaves and things". At the mention of the word "park" all three dogs started running round the house excitedly knocking over a pile of newly ironed clothes and my yukka plant. Charlie rang and, on hearing my tale of woe, offered to take all four off my hands. She returned an hour later looking like she'd been dragged through a hedge backwards and as if she couldn't wait to get back to work the following day. I was on the Baileys (purely to keep warm you understand) at 4pm. Three separate lots of trick or treaters tonight: I told them they were early. I wanted to tell them to bugger off out of it.
Amelia rang to ask if Mac was invited to any Halloween parties this year. I lied and said no: she is convinced that he will become a Master of the Black Arts if he so much as touches a pumpkin. "Good, I'm pleased you've seen sense" she said. "Yes, he definitely isn't going to any Halloween parties this year!" I chortled. I should have realised that this comment would bite me on the bum. Which it did. Twice. Mac was distraught because I had cancelled his attendance at Queen Bee Mummy's party. It took me half an hour to convince him that I had only said that for "Granny as she doesn't like you going to parties like that so please don't tell her". He gazed at me mournfully and sulkily for the rest of the day. Ye Gods. Two separate lots of trick or treaters (one gaggle from last night) - I didn't open the door, just peered through the window.
David has a cold. No, scratch that. He has flu and if he's not careful it could turn into pleurisy. This latter comment was because I asked him to get the washing out of the machine. Naturally he's at home on the sofa, demanding Lemsips, tissues and chicken soup. His office keeps ringing up with queries and he put on a "sick" voice each time. I hope to God no-one from his company read this blog. Amelia rang to double check I hadn't relented on the Halloween front and I was able to lie comprehensively as Mac was out at his friends for the day. David looked puzzled but was distracted by Loose Women. Amelia rang back while I was basting the chicken for dinner and David informed her that Mac was looking forward to his party on Friday night. She has denounced me as a liar and someone who is happy for her child to consort with evil. Four batches of trick or treaters, including one "child" who was six foot tall and had a deep baritone voice. Bea rang: So Thin Now You Can See Bones Au Pair has informed the family that she's returning to Argentina for "zee wintair months". "She's booked a flight for Saturday" Bea shrieked.
Lydia was due to give birth on the 28th. Two days on and Matt is worried for her sanity. "She's talking about suing the midwife who worked out her dates" he said in a worried tone of voice after he'd deposited her on the sofa. David hadn't wanted to move from his supine position but she gave him A Look. "Is that normal, this aggression?" he went on as we made tea. I assured it him was: I threatened to punch the stick thin nurse who told me that I was only four inches dilated when I'd been huffing and puffing for six hours. Charlie rang to see if Mac wanted any blood for the party: "I can get hold of loads". As she works in a hospital, this worried me slightly but she assured me that Fat Reg, one of the porters, could get me some at cost from a theatrical costumier. I declined. No trick or treaters tonight but I had to clean eggs and flour off of the front door.
Mac in a state of hyper excitement. He requested a mobile phone for Christmas so he can talk to his friends. I laughed, he refused to eat breakfast. I refused to give in and he went hungry. David, rallying from his sick bed, offered to take him out for a McDonalds lunch. Queen Bee Mummy rang (how did she get my number) and requested a prompt arrival at 4pm and a prompt pick up at 7pm. "Three hours of the little darlings is more than enough!" she tinkled down the phone. Dawn rang to check if it was still okay for Jonathan to stay over, swiftly followed by Red Haired Mummy who rang to check if was still okay for James to stay over. Had forgotten my rash promise of the week before but couldn't back down. Went out for child friendly food and witnessed a mass frenzy in the Seasonal aisle of Sainsburys, one child was so weighed down with Halloween props she could barely walk. David deposited Mac at the party and returned to find me with my hands in the Roses tin. "You promised you'd save them for trick or treaters!" he said. "I lied" I replied. I did in fact run out and resorted to giving the late trick or treaters apples, grapes and satsumas. This did not go down too well, as you can imagine.
David returned with a hyper Jonathan, a shy James and a subdued Mac. After polishing off cheese, beans and jacket potatoes we sat down to watch Eastenders, Mac still dressed as Frankenstein (somewhere along the line he'd lost his green face paint but his checked shirt looked so sweet), James in his dusty black suit and Jonathan in his Scream mask and hooded cape. I attempted to draw conversation out of my unusually quiet son but all he would say is "don't like it". Subtle attempts at getting Jonathan to tell all were met with "sssh, am watching this!". He is addicted to Coronation Street. James bobbed his head down every time I spoke to him.
Bedtime at 9pm and the boys wanted the bedroom light left on, and the one on the landing and "you won't go out and leave us mummy will you" was uttered about fifteen times between teeth brushing, bath and bed. I found Queen Bee Mummy's number on my mobile and asked her how Mac was at the party. "Oh fine, he had a whale of a time, they all did!" she breezed "Must dash, just going out with hubby!". Found three small boys in the marital bed at ten past one. I rearranged them neatly and David ended up squashed in Mac's bed and said he "scared himself shitless" when he woke up at half past five and came face to face with the giant Scooby Doo stuffed animal that Mac sleeps with.
Mac brighter but still clingy. Rang Queen Bee Mummy again and got Malinka the au pair from Romania. "All went good, lots of fun and scream and spooked things in dark" she informed me. Dawn arrived to collect Jonathan and the previously self assured four year old threw himself into the arms of his step mother (he usually treats her with disdain) and pleaded with her not to leave him again. When Red Haired Mummy arrived James burst into tears and asked if the ghosts had gone home yet. It doesn't take a genius to work it out, does it? Queen Bee Mummy had buggered off and left thirty children enjoying a Halloween party in the care of Malinka from Romania who was dressed as "a red witch" and her boyfriend named, we think, Vlad who was dressed as "Drackleear" and there was "all dark and no lights on and Billy was crying and Erica was eating all the food". We all three resolved to tackle Queen Bee Mummy about this on Monday. Amelia rang. David was told, on pain of death, not to reveal what had happened.
Bea is interviewing a new au pair tomorrow "Flavia from Milan, she sounds excellent" who used to au pair for a "titled family". Bea has recruited a team of cleaners to do the house from top to bottom. Lydia's waters broke just as the Eastenders omnibus started and, as I type, she's puffing and panting in a hospital bed and threatening Matt's "dangly bits" with some violence. The Grandfather To Be keeps checking his mobile phone every two minutes, the Uncle To Be (it took me a while to work it out too) is asking what it's like to have a baby, does it hurt and Granny Joanna?
Well, I'm eating a Roses orange creme and plotting my revenge against the woman who has, just possibly, made Amelia right for once.