Sunday, 25 January 2009

How very different from the home life of our own dear Queen

Trailer-trashy day. Seemingly endless hours of terrible glaringly bright and loud children's tv. Lashes hunched in front of the laptop cruising YouTube for Pokémon novelties, and wailing in frustration when he ended up with Japanese cookery demonstrations. CFO necking cough syrup straight from the bottle and sighing deeply. Taking Oscar to the dog shit strewn park of despair in my pyjamas and watching him eat cigarette butts. When we get back, he bites me hard on the nose. Suggesting, unheeded, that licking the dog's TONGUE might not be entirely a good idea. Lashes eating supermarket cream horns for breakfast.

Ill-humoured trip to Waterloo "Kids Fun Factory" ("I don't WANT to go!" "Moi non plus!" "Well NEITHER DO WE but we're going so shut up and enjoy it"). I imagine them squeezing the fun into children with a giant industrial sausage filling machine. Soft play is supposed to wear your children out. It certainly wears something out, but I think it was my patience this time as the CFO twitched around on his laptop and I did his proof reading ("Er, this thing here 'Freshhole'. Do you perhaps mean 'threshold'?") and the children begged for coins and feigned death and lay, wilting on the floor. Look! See the fun! It's almost palpable, no?

Inevitable trip to Macdo on an industrial estate on the outskirts of Waterloo ("Noooon! Pas Macdonald! We want Queeeck!" "Don't like it!" "Well NEITHER DO WE .. "etc etc). Several terrible close encounters with my arch-nemesis, ketchup, leave me a shuddering heap of neurosis. In an impressive, but ill-advised economy drive, the man on the next table orders fifteen special offer €1 cheeseburgers and sits contemplatively working his way through them. The CFO toys with his Filet-O-Fish and looks pained as children crash into his chair. The spawn flick pieces of plastic crap and straw wrappers at each other until one of us cracks and buys ice cream. It's the wrong kind. I eat it.

Trip to the pet shop with Zoe. Half of Brussels is out there on its Sunday outing, buying diamanté collars and rhinestone studded skull and crossbones neckerchiefs for their rattes. The pet shop smells bad. It is full of liver flavoured cat treats, bird shit, smelly sad puppy dogs and DOG NAPPIES; punters eating burgers. We weigh up shoplifting Zoe's birthday tortoise to avoid the queues, but decide it probably has a security tag secreted somewhere about it. Stare in wonder at the garden gnome in a decorative glass cage.

Remove assorted reptiles from Lashes' pockets. Find Fingers who has mistaken another woman for me and is hanging on to her leg grimly. Go home. Clear up dog shit in the yard with a children's trowel. Lashes goes back to watching You Tube Japanese cookery demonstrations. Fingers hits his friend over the head with a length of wooden train track. I shout. It makes everyone cry. We watch more tv. The dog craps in the corridor and bites a hole in my jeans. I call him a shithead. The CFO sits in the kitchen with Oscar on his knee looking simultaneously wretched and censorious. His attempts to elicit sympathy from the children ("Je suis TRES malade! Taisez vous!" I am very sick, shut up) are greeted with blank stares and renewed squabbling. Bagels for dinner again. Remove dog's muzzle from Lashes' mouth. Wrestle shrieking children into pyjamas. Wipe bottoms. Locate toothbrushes under pile of dirty laundry. Consider wisdom of vodka. Decide in favour. Spot dank, algae ridden fishtank on way downstairs. Am I imagining pleading glances of pontypines? Shudder. Shut door.

It isn't supposed to be like this, right? There should be board games, and roast dinners, and bracing walks, and bike rides and cake baking and tousle headed children around the crackling fire poring over their stamp collections. Somewhere, something has gone horribly wrong. Send in the crack squad from Easy Living! I need a women's magazine life makeover.


Zed said...

Look, you have it easy. I have a mental tortoise. It burrows under the 'wellee' and can only get into it if I help it.

Oh,and it was listed as divers on my ticket thing.

Iheartfashion said...

Sounds a lot like the delightful weekend we've just had!

Lisa said...

You give me an enormous amount of comfort. There's something sadly nice knowing it's not just our house.

ptooie said...

I'm sorry.... I had the exact thought Lisa did.
Though I had the additional thought- 'thank goodness my children are small and my dog is large so they cannot attempt to put his nose in their mouths'

Vic said...

I laughed out loud at the "palpable fun" in the picture. We have the same weekend every weekend, without the colorful details.
Ours are like this:
"Stop kicking me."
"Stop kicking ME."
Dad: Whaaa?

katyboo1 said...

Ah yes! But at least your child didn't pee its pants in protest at only getting £4 instead of £5 as a TREAT. Then go home and shut its finger in the hinge of the toybox, wet the bed on purpose and destroy the whole world.
And we had much the same kind of weekend. I blame January. Thank God it's nearly over.

Mrs C said...

Weekends are worse than the week sometimes. I swear.

Welsh Girl said...

I'm pretty sure that this is exactly the kind of weekend that the Queen has.....

justme said...

I blame January. Its a crap month.

Jaywalker said...

Zed - that doesn't sound terribly high maintenance to me. Have you found it a name yet? I still like Google Scissorhands.

Iheart, Lisa, Ptooie - this reassures me immensely. Though poor you, all of you.

Vic - Oh yeah. There was one point where they were fighting over an old catalogue where I nearly threw myself out of the car window.

Katyboo - no, that would give me hope it will end. It won't. It's always like this.

Mrs C - Yes. At least during the week I can go to the loo uninterrupted sometimes.

Welsh Girl - you think? I do hope there's more gin for her. Poor Liz.

Justme - See above. It's always like this. February will be much the same I fear..

Lynne W said...

there's something seriously sadistic about enjoying anothers pain enough to laugh loud enough to bring people running from all around the house to see whats wrong! Ok, I admit it, I'm a sadist!
Chin up, its monday.
and nearly february! (and I'm sorry for laughing, well almost.)


Lynne W said...

oh dear, then in that case being nearly february wom't be much of a comfort will it. Think I was posting at the same time!

A Woman Of No Importance said...

JW, you illustrate just so poignantly, how life really is for so many of us, while when growing up we expected it to be just like The Waltons, non?

Your pictures and writing are magnifique!

Word verif. is 'ilite', a new word to describe elite?

nappy valley girl said...

Oh I have board games and bike rides and cake making every weekend at my house....

In my dreams.

Juci said...

Haha. My WV is 'cater'. The slap on the face, it burns.
Anyway, sounds like a thoroughly horrid weekend. Sorry about that. But there is one thing that keeps me intrigued. Will you ask Cils for me what a dog's face tastes like? Not that I'd want to try, mind, I'm just interested in a first-hand account.

Jaywalker said...

Lynne - ah, at least February has pancake day in it. And it's short. I'm glad it made you laugh. My suffering in your service. Ahem.

Woman - we were misinformed. My vision of adulthood involved living alone in a mansard flat in Paris with a scottish terrier. Hmm.

NVG - yes. Indeed. I have restraining orders preventing me from riding a bike OR baking anyway.

Juci - I will ask. He is a strange child. Cater indeed. WV, you can bite us.

quarsan said...

Here's the Belgium News I told you about

Tortoise has hidden under a welly and refuses to come out. I would have picked a much less boring tortoise.

Jaywalker said...

Q: What They Don't Tell You About Tortoises: they're all boring.

Belgium news is getting me into trouble at work. I keep snorting. Genius.

Kate said...

me too. what's wrong here? why do we NEVER eat dinner as a family? why do i never even cook dinner? why is it rare for the 3 of us to even be awake and in the same room simultaneously on a weekend? why was this morning so horrible? i think i need a cupcake with booze inside it.

Red Shoes said...

Child eating dog snout = disgusting! Boys are so weird.

Alice said...

I don't mean to alarm you, but the CFO is entirely handsome.

xx Alice

Jaywalker said...

Kate - I have no answers to these questions. But we are in it together, sister. Though sadly without cupcakes or booze.

RedShoes - I know. Sigh. I asked him what the dog tasted of and he looked at me like I was the weird one and said "NOTHING".

Alice - I'll tell him. He could do with a boost. Zoe tells me he's also thinner in real life than in the photos.

Grit said...

but this is a good weekend, jaywalker, let it all hang out.

on the downside, dig now knows for sure i am not working on typesetting law book. this does not cause screeching laughter, unlike child with dog's nose in mouth.

Completely Alienne said...

Oooh - how that brought it all back. I used to have weekends like that when my two were younger. They always complained about wherever we went and never wanted to do anything - and we didn't either but felt we had to - and they always bickered and fought endlessly at home (the advantage of taking them out was that they didn't do it in public - they saved it up for the car journey home).

They bicker and fight louder now, and they take advantage of my failing memory, stamina and intellect. BUT, on the plus side, if they say 'I don't want to go' I can now rush out of the door quick before they change their minds as they are old enough to abandon for hours at a time now!