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Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Set up!

Two Christmas' ago, great aunt Alice gave the children some little gifts that they accepted in a less than gracious manner.

The darlings had been forced to leave their precious gifts from Santa behind at Grandma Elizabeth's house in order to make the arduous 90 minute car journey from Wales to Bath. They had received all manner of sweets, treats and presents on the long Christmas day before and were exhausted, over tired and short tempered.

Great Aunt Alice is robust for her age, but was then in her 89th year and profoundly deaf. She had personally made a special shopping trip to buy the gifts, but the gracious lady had made the fatal mistake of wrapping both munchkin's gifts in 'My Little Pony' paper.

Max was not pleased, threw a tantrum of epic proportions and refused to accept the token. Alice was never blessed with children of her own, and appeared to be more than horrified by his behaviour, as was I.

My tiny man was just four years old then, so really, what else should we have expected?

This year, in an effort to avoid embarrassment, and alleviate any anxiety for Great Aunt Alice, I asked James' mother if I could select and provide the gifts for her - already wrapped. Small tokens that I knew the lambs would be overjoyed to receive.

Grandma Elizabeth assured me that Great Aunt Alice would be more than pleased with the arrangement and promised to discuss it with her. On Boxing day as per tradition, we prized the tiny poppets from their newly acquired treasures and drove to visit dear Great Aunt Alice who greeted us at the door of her enormous home on her zimmer frame.

Once again I clarified with Grandma Elizabeth that Great Aunt Alice was not offended at the idea of my providing her with gifts for the children. She assured me that Alice was relieved to escape the burden of a shopping trip.

I discretly presented Alice with two small appropriately wrapped gifts which she accepted with a puzzled smile. Alice's deafness meant that I could not even begin to try to elaborate or describe the contents of the small parcels.

Great Aunt Alice kissed me on each cheek and promptly ripped the Monsters Inc. wrapping paper open... I was bemused to say the least, but not nearly as confused as Great Aunt Alice.

Grandma Elizabeth had clearly not discussed the plan with our sweet octogenarian relative at all, or if she had, Alice had not understood. Nevertheless, she graciously accepted a pair of silver handcuffs and some loud green eye shadow and powder pink lip stick - which would doubtless have offended the sensibilities of even the late Dame Barbara Cartland.

I am sure that Great Aunt Alice has been given the impression that I am incredibly odd. I don't trust my mother in law at all. She appeared to find the calamity rather entertaining.

I am convinced that she planned the whole thing...


antarctichousehusband said...

Grandma Elizabeth is surely an evil mastermind. Perhaps you should befriend her and together take over the world. Mwah ha ha.

AntiScam said...

Your MIL sounds like Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter from Dynasty. Remember her?

dulwichmum said...

She hates me, I just know it!