This week's sentence gives me SO much scope to work with - I did something really stupid once, I...
Oh my word, there are many, many stories I could share.
The time I pulled a school toilet door off and got in a heap of trouble; the time I fell into a pond; the time I got stuck in a swamp; the time my friend and I got blind drunk once I was 18, just so I'd done it once; most of the fights I had with my Sister; the time I thought I could disobey an implied rule by getting my ears pierced a second time. I've already told you about the stupid time I tried to be a superhero and utterly failed...
I think I'll go with the time I completely humiliated my parents in church.
I was probably somewhere in the region of 7 years old at the time and this particular sunday, the vicar was giving a sermon on *something* which I wasn't listening to, but he had a prop and a challenge for the kids.
My friends and I went up to the front and he plopped a lovely chocolate mousse out of its pot and onto a plate. The challenge he offered each child was to eat it without using their hands (goodness ONLY knows what the point of the sermon must've been for this to be a relevant analogy, but he was an awesome vicar, so I can only presume it was pertinent).
One by one, my formerly excited friends' faces fell as they realised the enormity of the challenge and their young minds were forced to concede that there was no way they were getting a mouthful of that chocolate.
[I add at this point that I don't remember watching and particularly formulating any kind of plan...sometimes these things just come to me in a stroke of pure
When offering me the plate, the vicar had begun to develop the kind of look which I interpreted as smug, but now know to be the look of an adult who took a gamble that none of the kids could out-wile him. Fie on him - he thunk too soon - the plate was in front of me; the delicious, chocolatey smell was wafting up my quivering nostrils and I didn't wait nor hesitate - I plonked my face, mouth first, onto the plate and took a MASSIVE bite of pudding.
Now here, I must report from what I've gleaned from observers - I was too busy with my mouthful.
The plate was rapidly whisked away as the point of the vicar's exercise fell in tatters to the floor. There was a synchronised intake of breath from the adults in the congregation, most of whom turned around to where my parents were sat and gave them deep looks imbued variously with shock, outrage, hilarity, and (uniformly) pity.
Meanwhile, I ambled back to my seat, using my fingers to push chocolate into my mouth from where it had ended up around my cheeks, nose and chin, utterly unaware and completely, totally smug.
I didn't live that one down for a looooooooong time. Still haven't, in fact.
The fug has descended. I must be tired!
I wish you could see inside my head at the moment - there is near-perfect peace. There are echoes of things I should be doing, faint tremors of things which are imminently going to occur and somewhere, in the distance, the alarm which says that it's getting later and later and I've to be up in the morning and I still haven't showered yet!
Other than that, there's perfect peace. There's that kind of slight headachey feel you get when you've been up for too long, and the wash and swoosh of blood slowly ebbing and flowing like a tide in the sea of my brain on which floats a flotilla of small, empty boats (see end of post).
Today she was over-tired, too, which helped her not one jot, though as we neared the shops and I talked about what I might get her as a treat (she decided on a biscuit) she discovered a wayward sweet in her coat pocket and got me to unwrap it for her.
We walked in silence for a moment as she chewed, then I said, breezily "I guess we don't need to get you that biscuit now, seeing as you've had your sweet."
She stopped, dead in her tracks, and gave me a look such as should have been photographed and placed in the dictionary next to the entry for 'aghast'.
She said nothing and carried on, then a tiny little voice piped up "Me are just having the sweet to keep me going..."
(She did get her biscuit)
In nearly 10 years of working with children, I am unable to recall such a wrestling match as I had this afternoon (though there must surely be some?).
She was over-tired and hadn't eaten much lunch (my mistake was feeding her on the way back from the shops. Absolute rookie mistake) and had decided she was too warm in her t-shirt, so had removed it, and it was still too early for her nap, so we played. And what she wanted to play most was 'bouncing on the bed' with Husby and I trying to catch her and tickle her. Which was ok (she's still tiny enough to not damage the bed whilst bouncing) until I told her we had 15 minutes left before we needed to go.
Another rookie mistake.
Usually I'm all for letting children know what's going to be coming up, but tired ones? They should just be left alone until something is actually going to happen.
Next I knew, socks had come off.
As I was trying to encourage the socks back on, the trousers came off.
Shortly after that, the underpants nearly went, but were rapidly replaced by an increasingly bemused Aunty.
Then I suggested she get dressed so we could go and all hell broke loose.
The thing I forgot about 3 year old girls, is that when they Do Not Want a trouser or a sock on, there are four limbs to thrash around, and any one of these can remove clothing from whichever extremity the adult is trying to place it on.
In the end it took Husby and I about 10 minutes to catch, pin down and re-clothe her. In the end she began yelling "I. Want. Mummy!", to which my prompt reply was "Well I'm trying to get you dressed so we can GO and see Mummy, and you're not doing it!" She stopped, looked at me and then compliantly got dressed.
Niece 1 - 0 Aunty.
In the car, half an hour late, she asked for her 'baba' (pacifier) and I passed it back and watched in the mirror as she placed it in her mouth and immediately her eyes rolled upwards, her head fell forwards and that was it. Sound asleep.
Niece 1 - 1 Aunty.
It's a truce for now.
Comic Relief - it's 'mad hair day' at school tomorrow, so Sis decided that what we could do is shave patterns in his hair.
How cool is that!?
He wasn't too keen on the electric shaver, but by the end of 40 minutes (most of that time being us waiting while he checked his reflection in the mirror down the hallway) he had a reverse mohican, three stripes on each side dissected by one vertical stripe, and about 5 circular spots shaved in various points of the scalp.
If he's not the maddest haired kid tomorrow, I'll eat my hat!
They're not quite as fabulous as a recent(ish) new kitchen I had the pleasure of reading about, but in their own quiet way, they bring a frisson of excitement.
There's a front door which doesn't look like a back door. Where we are now, there's a UPVC back door, which is in the back of the building and to all intents and purposes, is a back door, but because the 'front door' of the building goes to the upstairs flat and we're downstairs, we get the non-front-door one. It's a small thing, but it's SO nice to think it will be over. I know, I'm a door snob. So sue me!
There's a larder (or pantry). We had a larder when I was a kid. I strongly remember fiercely private moments in that larder, standing in silence and darkness, surrounded by good things to eat and trying things like raw spaghetti, raisins, currants and trying not to knock into the tins and get caught. This larder (sadly) won't be big enough for me to shut myself in, but it IS a larder and I am thrilled. It's been one of the features of the Grand Tour as I've shown friends round.
An open fireplace. Again, something I loved growing up, and though the jury's out on this one as to whether or not (once swept) we can actually *have* a fire there, I live in hope. That will make winter much more pleasurable. And nice-smelling. And toasty warm. And I can make toast on it.
The cooker. I am ridiculously excited about this. Gas hob, electric oven. Perfection. (I've been cooking on nasty, solid metal, electrically heated lump plate hob horribleness for the best part of three years now. You cannot just 'turn it down' because it takes about half an hour to lose heat. Cooking on this monster is a whole nother ballgame from the gas I grew up with and LOVE to cook with.)
The table. Admittedly we don't have this yet, as we only found and secured it today, but it's from a local 'selling your old stuff' website and fits ALL our criteria: it's extendable (thrice, so it does normal size, big and huge, which will be great for family Christmas dinners and games evenings); it has a built-in drawer for whatevers and it is WELL within our budget at a miniscule £20.
The only downside? It's pre-loved and came a cropper one year at a family Christmas, when someone dropped the pudding halfway through its 'flambe' cycle. There is a significantly large scorch mark on one end. The solution - a beautiful new tablecloth. It's gonna be awesome.
An enclosed balcony - FINALLY - an inside/outside where I can hang washing to dry when it's raining but keep it out of the house. Whoot!
Really? There's still a seventh take? Refer to #2 and begin an infinite loop.
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