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Friday, 2 November 2007

Mother Superior

This afternoon Annabelle (a work colleague of my husband’s) and her son arrived for a play date with my munchkins. Annabelle lives in Chiswick, and cannot usually be convinced to visit us as we live in South East London. Annabelle’s son Hugo (a pale boy with a constantly runny nose) is the same age as Max, and the two boys have forged a firm friendship, meeting regularly at birthday parties.

Annabelle always seems to vying for supremacy with me regarding parenting, showing off about the organic/free range fare that she succeeds in convincing her poppet to consume. Hugo hasn’t yet had a single immunisation (so I naturally consider him to be an infection hazard) and he is constantly popping homeopathic tablets into his mouth (e.g. for shock, runny nose, general exuberance, bad manners, an allergy to camels fur etc).

Max had described the delights of Telegraph Hill Park to Hugo, and so we set out to spend the afternoon there in my Audi Q7. I happily volunteered to drive for 20 minutes to reach our chosen location, tunes from the sing the times tables CD providing entertainment for the journey.

Telegraph Hill Park really is a super play area, with an amazing slide set into a hill – the children are not required to negotiate any precarious steps to reach the top. The swings and play frames are all imaginatively built, and it really is super special.

When we parked on a side road, I suddenly noticed Annabelle’s mouth was hanging open.

Whatever is the matter Annabelle,” I enquired innocently (I feared she had suffered a stroke).

OHMYGOD!” She shrieked, “tell me you have not taken us to the London borough of Lewisham … please, please tell me, we are not in ...New Cross, OHMYGOD” she howled clutching her chest.

Well I really don’t know which borough we are in, it is next to Peckham I think, but I have kept the doors locked the whole time, I was being careful,” I soothed.

You have gone too far,” she bellowed. “You are quite simply too blasĂ© with regard to your children’s welfare,” she said. “Living in South London is one thing, but this, this is the front line!”

This is a conservation area Annabelle, I am sure that some perfectly lovely people live around here” (although I must admit, I do know a real minx that lives just up the road…).

You will be holding your children’s birthday parties in MacDonald’s next, and wearing imitation Ugg boots” – she accused. “The presence of crumbling Victorian housing stock, the odd blue plaque and the absence of net curtains does not a respectable area make!”

At this point I suddenly became aware of the dialogue between our six year old boys in the back of the car.

I have, yes I have,” shouted Hugo, “I have seen a grown up horror film. I have a TV in my bedroom, and the nasty man made a dress out of ladies skin. The film is called something to do with sheep…” asserted Hugo enthusiastically.

Indeed, I shall take you home immediately,” I conceded. “I am so sorry for exposing you to such horrors. The film is called Silence of the Lambs Hugo, and yes Max, Hugo has evidently seen it, and no you may not as you are only just six years old…”

I would imagine that Annabelle was ashamed and embarrassed; she didn’t say another thing all the way home. It is terribly difficult to evaluate her non verbal communication; her face rarely moves after all, it is choc full of toxins!


NumberOneScumMum said...

I personally have never set foot in Essex.

Rebecca said...

tut tut.

(I'm not quite sure who or what I'm tutting but it's the only response I could think of - I'm glad I don't have to compete with those scary mums, but)

Rebecca said...

Is that YOUR book up there on the right?? if so, big fat ginormous CONGRATS!! When did this happen???

Silvana said...

We're very big fans of Telegraph Hill. In fact me and Scrap are getting our running shoes on and heading there right now for a go on that great big slide.

debio said...

I am speechless, absolutely speechless.

Presumably you will not be taking Max to the hallowed portals of Chiswick for a private horror viewing - and that's just the mother.....

mgma said...

Thanks for your kind words and the link to my blog.

And best of luck with your book. A good number of copies will certainly sell in Stoke Newington!


Frog in the Field said...

Ha HA!
You've made me laugh out loud, as usual.
You're just slumming it, DM, I mean, honestly, you'll be allowing your children to eat (God forbid) crisps, or, or, eat chocolate next!
How could you!
Lucky Hugo, having such a terrific Mummy, I do think tough, that Silence may be a tad more damaging than the MMR jab at such a young age...

Frog in the Field said...

So sorry, I left a 'h' out of tough!

Nunhead Mum of One said...

And the Minx loves Telegraph Hill!!!!

@themill said...

Annabelle sounds a very good reason never to consider buying a house in Chiswick - even if I could afford it.
However, more than likely, darling Hugo will be the first one snorting coke in his teens.

dulwichmum said...

Please dear Numberonescummum,

Don't tantalise me - do tell. I know you have a story...

Lovely Rebecca,

I get sucked into competition sooo often, I really make a conscious effort to resist, and yes indeed that is my book cover! Thank you.

Sweet Silvana,

Isn't it just the best park in town? If only it wasn't for that minx from Nunhead and her pack of hounds! All of this torture because of a minor mistake I made in a previous life!

Darling Debio!

You nearly made me inhale a hot cup of Assam tea! You really are a scream!

Dear MGMA,

My pleasure, welcome to my blog! I will be happy simply to see my book in print, but if a couple of people actually bought it - that would indeed be a bonus!

Lovely Frog,

He will probably grow up to be a vegan axe murderer!

Perfect Nunheadmumofone!

I know she does!

Dear @themill,

Well he is adicted to popping pills already, whatever next!

lady macleod said...

It is difficult to willow out the bad sorts at times... You must keep your standards up dear.

Potty Mummy said...

Does Annabelle not realise that in some quarters Chiswick is regarded as the baddest of badlands? Just ask her which borough it falls within. Somehow I doubt that she will be able to bring herself to say that dreaded word - so you may have to do it for her. H O U N L O W....

Potty Mummy said...

Sorry - left out the S... (Hounslow - for those of you lucky enough not to know...)

IngeniousRose said...

Excellent stuff Dulwich Mum, I hope you dropped them off outside Burger King.