“Why do we have to go? We’re not even English, we’re Scottish”
We’re not Scottish, we have Scottish roots and we love Scotland but we only say we’re Scottish to annoy my Dad. The Eldest coming out with this, when my dad wasn’t even about, made me roar. Clearly he was clutching at straws when thinking this would get him out of going to a St George’s Day do when we all know he just doesn’t want to leave the house, ever, for anything, under any circumstances.
I ignored him and continued to make jam sandwiches. Never take your children anywhere without a picnic, you don’t have to eat it, you can always hit the cafe if the mood takes you but I guarantee you if you leave the house foodless there will be no cafe or, like today, it’s queue will be longer than its menu.
We left. Jam and ham sandwiches at the ready. Only two out of the three of us were happy about this. Not the sandwiches you understand, no, it was the leaving that screwed up the third face. We pretended we hadn’t noticed, we were oblivious to the fact that we were soon to join him in his screwed upness.
Oh hell, it was freezing out, I’ve never eaten a picnic in such horrific conditions. We joked that the jam was freezing as we ate but it was us, we were freezing as we ate. We marched, it was the only thing to do. We marched and we giggled and we ate below minus degree jam butties and we decided we were getting the heck out of there, who needed to see St George slay the dragon anyway? Once you’ve seen one hearty dragon slaying you’ve seen them all.
We started to run.
“Go faster” shouted The Youngest.
But it was too late, The Eldest had seen some poo and had started to gag. Now, like most folk when a gag has occurred, it is tricky for The Eldest to prevent the ensuing chain reaction, the snowball effect if you will. The sighting of a poo on a full belly whilst running was a recipe for disaster but it was ok because we were already leaving, our trip out already pants could not become more ruined. We continued at a less vomit inducing pace.
“Oh look, fighting” squeals my four year old, who is now wearing a crown and wielding a plastic sword.
She’d spotted the gladiators and she loved them on sight.
“Go. Go get him. Oooh, good shot. Mum the red one is dead!”
She seemed rather too pleased about this. The Eldest was getting desperate by now.
“Can we go? He’s not really dead, it’s pretend for goodness sake!”
He had the right hump and was determined to spoil his sisters fun. She wellied him with her sword.
“Yes he is, he’s dead!”
It was more of a question than anything else. I nodded. Does a nod count as I lie?
Back at the car we turned up the heating. I’ve never been that cold. We were 15 minutes away from the arrival of the dragon but not one of us gave a damn. We go home and crank the heating up there too, eventually we thaw and I throw The Youngest in the bath.
The Youngest is the tougher of the two, she’s had some corking mishaps, the sort that make you go all unnecessary at the thought of them however long ago they happened. Thing is, she has a grazed knee, she cannot look at it, if she sees it she starts to limp. Not one of those limps that kids only have when they know you’re watching but one that is there even when you are not, you know, a not real but real limp. An intermittent limpette.
Anyhoo, the plaster hiding the graze came off in the bath and she came face to face with the week old scuff. We had real tears. Real tears from a lass who once ran so fast into the corner of an open car door that her feet left the floor and she landed on her bottom. For this she complained a tad but this smudge on her knee, just by being in plain sight, had weakened her. My mum told her a fairy would come to kiss the knee as she slept and make it better.
“Mum, the mermaid will kiss it and it will be better” The Youngest sobbed.
I looked at my mum who mouthed the words
“Sorry, I said fairy”
Yes, that’s why I looked at her, to confirm which made up creature would be visiting us tonight.
What a bunch we are, can’t cope with the cold, a poo or a graze. Thank goodness we didn’t meet our patron saint today, he who takes down fire breathing beasties, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves. Knee fairies indeed.