Friday, 22 April 2011

So Many Children She Didn't Know What To Do..

Our house, the first thing in the morning, is not for the faint hearted or for anyone of any nervous disposition. It was rather disconcerting then to discover that my 9 year old fits the former description to a tee. I’m surprised as I have always maintained that is the 6’ 5”, loping, long haired brother who is the most delicate of all my children. As a reminder, he is the one with fire-pants by the side of his bed, just in case the house goes up in flames one night and he finds himself on the pavement, modestly cupping his credentials. He is also the one who is quite literally terrified of wax mannequins, the type found in any tourist attraction where there are tableaux illustrating days of yore. Generally speaking these mannequins have by this time been there almost as long as the historical period they are depicting, their glass eyes glassier, the moustaches lopsided and years of dust having gathered in every crevice and fold of their fake skin, hair and costumes. To say these tableaux give my son the hee-bee-gee-bees would be an understatement. The thought of Flambards Victorian Village still has the capacity, 12 years on, to bring him out in a cold sweat.
And so the other morning, whilst he lay in his bed, his pants carefully by his side, Hubby and my eldest daughter having left for work and school respectively, all hell broke loose. Nick, our latest lost boy, who is a lot less lost of late, was running up and down the stairs as I prompted him with things to remember – books? Damn. He ran to his room before remerging from the basement.
“Glasses?” He looked at me before slapping his forehead.
By the time he’d found them I was making his packed lunch.
“Right then Nick”, I said handing him his lunch and his breakfast bagel, “Are you sure you have everything?”
He nodded, chomping .
“You’ve got your money, your books, your glasses and your phone?”
He looked stricken and once more ran to the basement. Up he came again. At this point other events had taken over. The younger girls had got up and were sitting at the dining table duly awaiting their breakfast. The 9 year old was excited. It has been exactly six weeks since she had her ears pierced and therefore this was the day that she could officially change them for another pair. She had been crossing off the days on her Dog Breeds calendar and now handed me a bottle of Claire’s ear care disinfectant and some pretty dragonfly studs.
At this juncture Jacob, who has just returned from checking out various universities, also emerged form the basement, in a fury.
“Flaming hell Alice”, he said, running his fingers through his hair, “I am going to be blind and uncontactable for the next few weeks”.
“Why?”, I asked simultaneously pulling at my daughter’s stubborn earring back.
“Because I bloody well left my glasses and charger at a friend’s house and now he’s gone back-packing until the end of May.”
Nick ran back up the stairs, waving his phone at me.
“I really am off this time”, he smiled.
“Really?”, I replied pointing at his feet.
“Daaarh”. I think he may just have had the micky taken out of him if he’d turned up at assembly with black, towelling slip on slippers adorning his feet. And this kid was expected to live alone in hostel?
Whilst all this toing and froing was occurring and Jacob was grabbing himself a hot cross bun, the 9 year old had gone a distinct pea-green colour.
“Oh mummy, I don’t like this sensation in my ears. I feel dizzy”, she said, before flopping onto the sofa and without any warning, vomited. Holy hell, I didn’t anticipate that one coming, neither did I anticipate that at that precise moment, the doorbell would ring. Nick, having now once again re-emerged from the basement, really was going to school and opened the door to our visitor. The first thing the man saw was a peculiarly coloured child throwing up onto a rug at the foot of a sofa, two hot and flustered teenage boys and a middle aged woman in a scarlet dressing gown and little else, bent over the aforementioned, puking child.
“Um, hello, Mrs Band”, he said, clearly terrified, “The Commander sent me. My ship deploys tomorrow and he said that it was ok to borrow a pair of tartan trousers?”.
It was the most random if not surreal comment to make and it stopped us in our tracks. Why on earth would he need tartan trousers was only one of the questions I could have asked him, but this really wasn’t the time nor more specifically, the place.
Nick, shrugged his shoulders and I’m sure that, albeit fleetingly, his expression seemed to imply the thought that, a hostel could be quite comfortable after all. Jacob took over the role of nurse, before I finally recovered my manners and said “Tartan trews? Of course, of course”. I hurried to Hubby’s wardrobe, dragged the trousers from the hanger and ran back and handed them over. The 9 year old was still heaving. Our visitor was shifting nervously from foot to foot, before the Red-Head, in her own inimitable fashion, offered her unique, view on the world,
“Do you think the Queen likes chavs?”
I motioned to the tormented trouser borrower that he did not need to answer this question and with one had on the door handle and the other thrusting the tartan into his chest, showed him out.
“Will there be chavs at the wedding mummy?”
“I don’t think so sweetie”. Lily Langtry, who had recovered from her fainting fit, elaborated.
“Dad shouted at the telly that Wayne Rooney was an effing chav”.
“Yes, well the Roonies aren’t going to the Royal wedding whereas the Beckhams are”.
“Is that because she’s Posh?”

1 comment:

DL said...

Once again, echoes of our own life. Except first thing in the morning isn't the scariest time here. People get up, migrate through the kitchen and leave the house in the morning in dribs and drabs. It's the evening meal which is pandemonium. And that's on a quiet day. The headcount for the home team is currently twelve, but that can rise by two, three or four, often at no notice.

So do feel free to drop by some time, when en route to or from South Wales. We'd find a seat at the table for you. It may not be a relaxing experience, but it would probably be one you'd never forget.

Best wishes,
D. x