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Sunday, 29 April 2007

School Trip

Just over a week ago I was feeling particularly hard done by, James was about to leave town for one of his routine business trips and the nursery school had sent home a letter in the darlings book bags asking for parents to volunteer to accompany the children on a special day trip to the zoo.

I had volunteered James' name, knowing full well that he would not be pleased by the prospect of a day at the zoo with lots of unfamiliar women and children. He would much rather play golf with a spare annual leave day, actually, he would much rather go to work...

The day came and as I was loading the munchkins into the car, James was standing just inside the front door in the manner of a sulking teenager. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders, and I was wearing that scowl that James says I have had for the past six years. I was arguing with my dear husband from the drive - oh how I love to lower the tone. I had been up since the crack of dawn, home baking organic picnic food.

The poor little children, listening to me:

"Why should it be me James? Why me instead? They are your children too. I went last year, this is your turn, give me a break," etc, etc, etc.

Freya was repeating the same sentence over and over, quietly, each time the same words in the same rhythmic pattern. Eventually while securing her seat belt I listened to the words she said;

"I have a special present for you mummy, do you want to see what it is?"

"Yes darling, what is it?" I snapped crisply.

Freya gently insisted I closed my eyes, and delicately placed a tiny thing in my open hand, when I saw what she gave me, it just melted my heart. She had placed a tiny daisy head in my hand, and she kissed me.

"I love you mummy and I wish you were coming too," she said.

I cried all that day in work. I really should listen and be more careful of what I say in front of these poor impressionable little ones. It is not their fault that I have been in a bad mood for almost six years. I am not even sure that I have been in a bad mood all of that time, I think I have just been frantically, chaotically busy. Too busy to see what I have in front of me.

Now where is that corkscrew?


Anonymous said...

Oh my God, thanks to you I now have a 'blogs I follow' section and yours heads the list. Well, more accurately, it's the only one on the list. No longer a Blog virgin, but raddled old hag as in life. Hurrah! Don't waste all your tears on a daisy. It's when you ignore a whole chain that you need to worry, and probably not even then. Make life too happy now and they'll be shocked at its casual brutality later on.

Omega Mum

Stevo said...

A daisy? A chain of daisies? Pah! I was presented with 2 bouquets (yes, bouquets) by numbers 1 and 2 on Saturday, both hand crafted and wrapped with grass, one of daisies, one of danlelions. And what did I do? Let then shrivel on the bedside table, that's what.

Now, that's what I call parenting.

rilly super said...

I do believe you are bringing up angels rather than mere mortal children dulwichmum. My young ones brought me flowers too this weekend. They each said it was the other one's idea but I suspect the nanny was involved somewhere down the line as it was she who was sniggering the loudest when my hay fever symptoms came on, sigh

Drunk Mummy said...

Dear Dulwich Mum,
Do not feel bad about your ranting in front of the children. A friend of mine was in full Top C rant mode in front of her kids a few weeks ago - told them she had had enough, would be getting on a plane and clearing off somewhere, then they and Daddy might appreciate her, etc, etc. She realised that she had gone way over the top when her daughter's school called her to discuss how upset her daughter had been at school, following their recent separation. (Gulp!)
There....Don't you feel better now?

Babysteps said...

Just imagine how you'll weep when the darlings bring you your corkscrew!

dulwichmum said...

Dear Omega Mum,

Wow, what a privilege! Thank you.

Sweet Stevo,

Surely in your immobilised state you were unable to get a vase! I blame the nursing staff.

Darling Drunk Mummy,

I have been saying that type of stuff to the children for an age. They don't believe me any more. Perhaps they are already so sensitised by the trauma they are no longer shockable?

Babysteps dear heart,

Now the child getting me the corkscrew at 8.20 am would be cause for weeping!

eastdulwichmum said...

Just being a parent is such a guilt trip! You are a super mum. Don't doubt yourself.

beta mum said...

I have a note from my daughter I keep on the mantelpiece in our bedroom.
It says -
"I hate you Mummy" written very carefully in alternating colours.
She was very cross at the time.

dulwichmum said...

Dear Eastdulwichmum,

Thanks very much for your kind support, but I am really the pits to be fair.

Lovely Beta mum,

You must be so proud of her! I would frame it if I was you, and use it to make her feel guilty when she is older. My mother did that to me...