Monday, 24 September 2007


As Hubby continues to improve his mind on his MSc residential and is thus non-contactable, I came downstairs a few days ago to find a pool of water on my kitchen floor suitable for wading in. My reaction to such disasters is high drama along the lines of a Greek tragedy. This is how my son found me, the back of one hand against my forehead as though swooning, the other beating my chest.
“What is it now?” he asked in a rather bored voice that suggested this was an everyday occurrence.
“What is it now?” I repeated, “Look, look” I wailed pointing to the floor.
“Mum, there is a small amount of water underneath the tumble dryer. As water rarely pours out of tumble dryers may I suggest that perhaps we move it away from the wall to see if the washing machine is leaking?”
“Good idea, good idea”. I kept repeating myself but it was soothing, like a devotional mantra.
We heaved and jiggled and pulled and jostled and eventually the two machines were away from the wall. My son, proudly wielding his brand new, ultra bright, LED torch, shone it behind.
“Bloody hell there’s a lot of crap behind here”.
“Please don’t say bloody and crap darling”, I replied.
“Gosh mummy, I say, there is an awful lot of detritus behind here”.
“And don’t be facetious. Let me look” and taking the torch I squinted into the damp and dirty space. The cold tap feeding the washing machine was dripping.
“Aha, eureka!”
By now my son had lost all interest and was laying bacon on the grill pan.
“Do you want a bagel?”, he asked me.
“No. I do not want a bloody bagel. I need to stem the flow and tighten this tap, pass me a bucket and a towel.” I duly place a large orange bucket under the leak and twisted but my efforts did not have the desired effect and far from stopping the water I seemed to have increased its flow and the slow drip-drip turned into a constant splosh. I swore.
“And you tell me off”, reprimanded my son who was plastering HP sauce onto his bagel.
“I’m going to have to ring a plumber. That’s another 40 quid just for the privilege of calling him out”.
I went into the sitting room to find my address book when I heard an almighty scream and running into the kitchen I found the Red-Head wallowing in the water, her brother almost on top of her, the bagel and the bacon afloat around them both.
“What the hell happened?” I asked, picking my son up before lifting a soggy child onto my hip.
“She ran into the kitchen, slipped and collided into my leg, I lost my balance and dropped my plate.”
I hadn’t noticed the plate in smithereens in amongst the water. Luckily no-one was cut but it was a heck of a job to pick out the larger pieces and mop up the tiny shards, resolutely sticking to the wet floor.
“Right you”, I said, plonking the Red-Head onto a kitchen stool, “Don’t move, I’ve got to ring a plumber”.
My son, now truly fed up with not having enough time to cook more bacon, sat glumly opposite her, chewing miserably on a bowl of muesli. “Keep an eye on her”, I instructed, “I won’t be a minute”.
The plumber was extremely amenable and, as it was so early, could fit me in on his way to work. Within minutes he arrived with all the correct tools.
“Now then what’s the problem?” I showed him.
“No worries” he said lying down on my damp kitchen floor. Within seconds not only had he tightened the washer but the Red-Head had clambered down off the stool and was watching him intently. You’d think in such circumstances she might have uttered,
“It’s dark in there”, or “You mend it?” or even, “It’s very wet” but her off the wall, “Me not wear knickers”, surprised us all.
I gave an embarrassed giggle and explained, “Sorry, she’s rather proud that she’s out of nappies”.
“Me wear nappies in bed. Me do poo in nappies”. This was far too much information. My son, through a series of elaborate hand signals was silently imploring me to strangle her and the plumber was more than happy to leave which he did immediately, a fat cheque in his hand.
“You sure you want to study history and politics?” I asked my son as I saw the plumber out, “This job seems far more lucrative”.
“I’m not putting my hand up anyone’s u-bend”.
“Yeah? Well just you keep it like that”, I added euphemistically, before handing him his lunch which I had thankfully prepared the night before.
He kissed the top of my head before leaving for school but not before telling his youngest sister that she was a freak.
“Me not freak, you farty.”
Eventually all four children were at various learning establishments and I was free to tackle the mess in the kitchen. I cleaned, mopped and swept. I filled the washing machine with all the wet bath sheets that I’d used before finally putting them in the tumble dryer as I went to get the Red-Head from nursery school.
On our return we carried the dry towels upstairs, where, because the door bell rang, I dumped them on the bathroom floor. I received a parcel then ran back up the stairs where all the towels were now at the bottom of a full bath of cold water. The eldest daughter had forgotten to empty it the night before.
“Me help mummy do washing”, beamed the Red-Head proudly.
When Hubby rang during his lunch break, his vocabulary peppered with long corporate words that made little sense, he sensed my lack of comprehension.“Sorry love, boring stuff. So how is it in Mummyland?” Mummyland??! Excuse me while I kill myself.


Sally Lomax said...


I would be......shall we say, just a little 'cross' at that one......

As for the wet twels in the bath.......


Mary Alice said...

Mummyland my domestically engineered ass.....but wait, more importantly, your son cooks his own bacon?

Alice Band said...

Ah yes my son cooks his own bacon and can, from time to time make chicken quesadillas! No shit!

Mary Alice said...

I am in awe. The last time my son cooked he made mac and cheese and failing to read the instructions with any diligence, he neglected to drain the water before adding the lovely powdered cheese. UUmmm yuuummy. Weak Cheesy-Mac Soup. I especially enjoyed it when summoned to the kitchen..."Mom something doesn't look right about this mac and cheese, how come it's not getting thick?" How can anyone so unobservant still get good grades in school? This is what I don't understand.

Alice Band said...

Mary ALice - I read your blog. What on earth are your kids practising that they need to up at 5am?!!

Sally Lomax said...

My son will cook bacon for himself, and pasta in tomato sauce. There the menu ends. Eldest daughter on the other hand cooks well.. And I did bring them up the same. Honest!

Alice's Husband said...


Dear readers of my wife's BRILLIANT weekly column, please note that she deploys artistic license throughout her writings with gay abandon!! Were I to use the term 'Mummyland' I swear I would have fallen on my own sword, however, Alice knows someone who did say it.........

Keep blogging her, she's fantastic!

Lisa said...

Mummyland?! Even if hubby didn't say it, someone should be told to f*** off!
I've heard so many stories about laundry in the tub, how did I get so lucky I never put any in the bathroom? Good for you your son can cook for himself! His future spouse will thank you. I plan to teach mine to cook, hopefully it won't be just hot dogs and peanut butter sandwiches, ugg!

Mopsa said...

I laughed and laughed when I read this in the Saturday papers and declaimed bits out loud to OH for him to enjoy too.

And Mary Alice, if I may ask - what is powdered cheese?

Mary Alice said...

For Mopsa - powdered cheese is this disgusting dehydrated cheese product that, when mixed with milk and butter, makes a sauce for the macaroni. Kraft makes it. Toddlers love it and it's cheap and quick, so those with less refined tastebuds often make it in the US.

Planetbedlam said...

Personally I am thinking of taking a vacation in 'Daddyland', where I shall avail myself of the services of loo-roll fairy, lunch-box elf and bed-making imp . . . amongst others. What a delightful rest that would be - no angst about parenting decisions, clothes choices or future plans. . . and easy access to total joy and contentment (assuming the little men manage to get the ball in the net). Bliss.

Alice band's son said...

well yes i cook my own bacon, it takes several hundred mornings of creating sub-standard slabs of blackened meat that look like the skin from the foot of an over-worken rickshaw driver to finally make the bacon I do know, i thank my mothers training.

and as for my sisters, i love them i really do, but they can be such little sh.....

mum you should be proud, i censored it