Thursday, 26 February 2009

Untitled due to lack of imagination

Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” was once described by a critic as a play where “nothing happens. Twice”. Sounds rather like my life at the moment, except nothing seems to happen. Perpetually. I have resigned myself to a life of tedium and futility, at least for the time being. That doesn’t stop me dancing around the house like a mad woman with my earphones in. Like a silent disco, but in the privacy of my own home. I don’t think the world is quite ready for my special dance moves just yet. Small children might well be afraid.

That reminds me. Good Friend and Barely Planned Child are coming around for lunch next week. Barely Planned Child (BPC) was a surprise, but much too loved to be called a mistake. He very recently turned one and is walking. Which means that I best make sure my floors are clean so that he doesn’t go home with blacked socks. Or whatever it is that small children wear on their feet in other people’s houses. Surely they don’t wear shoes at that age? My feet have suffered enough during my adult life. I don’t think we should inflict the same on children who have no choice but to acquiesce to Mother’s choice of footwear. I think going barefooted as a youngster can only stand you in good stead. It cultivates a nice hard foot pad. Useful in later life when you need to walk barefoot over glass, hot sand or coals. During “Big Brother – Shipwrecked” for example. Imagine how you would thank your mother if you won a million pounds by demonstrating your hardy feet. Also, barefooted children take the pressure off their hosts. You can always explain away dirty floors by suggesting the small human frolics in the garden for a bit. No one will be any the wiser as the cause of the dirty feet and you save yourself the back breaking job of mopping and sanitising your floors. Mind you, given the microscopic square footage of the average London flat; it hardly counts as one of the twelve labours of Hercules. I am convinced that if Hercules had been a woman, mothering BPC (or any other child for that matter) would count as the thirteenth.

In other child related news, my Best Friend from School has recently started her eldest daughter at pre-primary school. Since she lives on the other side of the world, said institution is known as Kindergarten or “Kinder”. Not at all like those tasty chocolate eggs with a toy inside I’m sure, but I suppose this stage in education might be more important than collecting Kinder Surprises. Anyway, I digress (again). Apparently in order for the Kinder to guarantee happy, healthy participants; mothers are forced to work as indentured labour at a variety of tasks like: tea lady, sand pit monitor and the ubiquitous fruit lady who exists simply to ensure that you get at least one of your five-a-day shoved down your throat during the course of the day. I suppose this indentured labour idea works for all parties – the school gets free labour and so frees up some of their budget for either lavish staff parties or replenishing wax crayon supplies (dependant on whether the head teacher has a moral conscience and real interest in education or if they prefer booze, cocktail sausages and feeling up Miss Perkins from Admin). Mothers get to spy on their children. Ensure they are not mixing with unsavoury individuals (although I am not entirely sure that one can be unsavoury aged 4 ½). The child earns some kudos from having a nice/cool/generous/well dressed/ pretty mother. Woe betides you if you are none of those things. Your child will be tormented with your glaring inadequacies. At 4½ you might not have it in you to be unsavoury, but by god you can be honest. To the point of cruelty. I have no fear for BFfS however. She will be an exemplary Fruit Lady. As a qualified (and superb) chef I have no doubt that she will be able to carve appetising gargoyles, My Little Ponies, Buzz Lightyears et al out of apples, melons and whatever other hard fruit she can take a paring knife to. No apple quarters for this Kinder class. They will have fully jointed Paddington Bear replicas lovingly carved from Cantelope melon and served with a Raspberry coulis. She will be mobbed by hungry children and her child (who I have to admit is a delightful little person) will be forever heralded as the saviour of Tea Time for bringing her mother in to save the fruit table. Fibre has never been so much fun.

Meanwhile, whilst I am surrounded by people who persist in producing wonderful children, Husband and I continue to argue about having our own. Time is ticking on. There is a limit to how long I will be enthusiastic about the idea of carrying a child (who, lets face it, with my genes is never going to be small boned) in my womb for nine months and then ejecting it into the world with the limited support of the national health care trust. Furthermore, I’m not getting any younger and the body doesn’t bounce back quite like it used to. I have ascertained this by conducing rigorous and thorough experiments involving vodka. I’m not 21 anymore. Husband fails to see this. The man is governed by his Spreadsheet of Life. This contains the formulas which are set to inform him when it might be the appropriate time to purchase a house, get married, play golf, invest in a new jumper and have children. I am sure it’s all very logical and rational. And I could never dare declaim* against logic. I admire most things that I have very little of. But for all I know there is a flaw in the formula and the “right time” might never come up. Where would I be then? Oh I know….dancing around my house cackling like Cruella DeVille and extolling the virtues of vodka over fruit. At last! Something to look forward to!

* Word of the Day! Ha! My work here is done.

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