Friday, 18 December 2009

'Tis the Season to....

....deliver your child to school stinking of booze.

The child that is, not you (although if I didn't have to drive it would be a distinct possibility).

Oh. Dear. God.

Let me start at the beginning (I think).

Last night was my eldest's Nativity Play.

Now Nativity Plays are (sadly) not what they used to be (a few old tea towels and a 15 minute slot on a damp Thursday afternoon).


They are now full on 'stage-productions' involving ticket allocations, lighting, stage-school like theatricals (and that's just the parents), evening shows that go on for HOURS and DVD sales.

This is all very well if you've got, for example, a 7 year old who loves to sing and dance and you want to have a 'night out'. It's not so good if you've got a very tired 5 year old who thinks the very concept of 'dressing up' belongs only in Japan (along with earthquakes, ball lightening, deadly jelly fish invasions and anything else which could signpost the end of the world - like choirs......and Nativity Plays).

He had to be the world's saddest looking cow sat beside that manger (mind you I'd be pretty sad if I had to wear a costume made out of an Asda Smartprice Black towel.......).

Anyway - it was a late night and I also had to drag the toddler along.....

Now the toddler was actually very very good. With the help of copious crisps he did no crying or running around but he did talk a little bit. He kept saying 'my brudder! MY BRUDDER! HE GOT EARS! HE GOT HEAD!' and at the end when Santa came on he yelled YEEE HAAA! - which made everyone laugh.

Everyone that is except perhaps the world's snootiest mother who was (of course) sat right in front of me. With a flick of her glossy bob and a pout of her red shiny mouth she shot me a look of pure evil, put her finger to her lips and went 'SSSSSHHHHHH' in a really rather aggressive manner. She then tutted, rolled her eyes and went back to watching a load of 5 year olds in bits of tinsel and a 'donkey' that was actually dressed as a bear sing words nobody could understand.....

I was, to be frank, rather annoyed by this - it was a children's show, siblings were INVITED (it said so on the letter) and there were plenty of other kids there, including older ones fighting with each other. The lad behind me was playing with a beeping games console and a mad old bloke at the back was going 'get on then, I've a pint a cider waiting back 'ome' while one of his relatives kept yelling at him to 'get in Jim! GET IN!' (as if he was actually some form of stray sheep wandering too close to a busy road).

If the toddler had done anything heinous like thrown a tantrum I would have carried him out of there before you could say 'pass me the gin' - but he didn't.

Much as I wanted to put her in a headlock and give her a good kicking I just sat there and seethed.

Anyway roll forward several hours and we all over-slept so this morning was even more chaos than usual.

Today is the last day of school and I realised I hadn't taken the presents in for the teacher and her assistant so I (very) hastily wrapped them and off we sped.

'Mummy what are those presents?' inquired my eldest (clearly hoping they are actually for him).

'They are for your teachers'.

'But why?'

'Erm, because all the other mothers take gifts in and if I don't it marks you down as the kid from the cheapskate family who never say thank you and what with your brother as well I've got 9 more years of dealing with that school. You need all the help you can get.....'.


'Sorry darling, it's to say thank you and have a Happy Christmas'.

'But what IS IT?'.


'But MUMMY, teachers don't drink WINE!!'.

'I can assure, they do' (well all the ones in my family do......copiously).

'Mummy you don't drink wine do you?'.

'Erm, yes' (surprised he hasn't noticed this....).

'But mummy you shouldn't'

'WHO told you that!?'

'At school'

'Let me get this straight - school told you, specifically, that mummies shouldn't drink wine!?' (I'm already penning an angry letter about indoctrination of small minds and the nanny state to the Headmaster).

'No Matthew told me. He said mummies mustn't drink wine because of his mummy and the bad things'
(Mental note: work out who Matthew his and, more importantly, who his mother is).

'Riiiiiggggght, do you have any more details on this situation?'.


Somewhere around this point a car shot round the bend of the narrow country lane doing about twice the speed it should have been doing.

There was a screech of brakes, a scrunching of hedgerow and a loud 'TING' noise shortly followed by an overpowering scent of summer berries, mellow spice and...........oh sh1t......alcohol.

The 2 bottles of red wine that were sitting on the passenger seat were now sitting in the footwell and bleeding heavily into the carpet.

We screeched to a halt in the school car park (which ironically enough is also the pub car park....) and I leapt out, grabbed the fractured bottles (still clad in their jolly snowman wrapping paper) and started to leg it (to where I don't actually know, I was heading for some flower beds).

My path was interrupted by a bemused looking mother and her rather alarmed looking daughter.

'Are you OK? Oh my word! What a mess! Is it the children's drink bottles?' (sorry but WHAT!? You think I send my kids to school with MERLOT in their lunch boxes!? My budget doesn't run that high).

'Errr no - it's wine'.


'It's for the teachers, well it was for the teachers.........'

'Oh how awful. You'll have to have a valet done'.

'Errrr yeah, I guess I will' (my first thought was actually I'd need to buy some more bloody wine and what a bloody waste but clearly she values her car interior more than I do).

'Or have you got a dog?'

'No' (sorry but is she suggesting that a DOG will do the same job as a professional valet!? Do dogs have a reputation for being incredibly good at sucking wine out of carpets!? I must investigate this further.....).

'Well we (smiles across at smug looking daughter) made the teachers biscuits they can hang on their Christmas trees! Much safer! Teee heeee'

'Well f'ck you' (no I didn't really say that, but it would have been fun.....).

And it was at that point, as she and her daughter trotted off across the gravel with her glossy hair swinging in the winter sunshine, and I stood there with red wine running down my wrists and wine soaked sweet wrappers stuck to my feet, that I realised it was 'her'. The 'sssshhhhhhhhh'er from the Nativity Play.


Anyway it wasn't just the carpet that got soaked in wine, it was also my son's book bag..... Biff, Chip and Kipper certainly are having 'Fun at the Beach' - they're absolutely sozzled.

So I delivered my wine-scented, presentless, rather late son to his class, got back in the car and wondered just how much merit there would be in sucking the carpets dry myself?

I then went to Asda and bought two Christmas Cactuses in jaunty wicker baskets.

Let's see if I can actually get them there.....


  1. another fab read, you should write a book lol
    Have a good one when it comes
    Anne x

  2. suggestion... snooty woman... cactus...

  3. What a hoot! I can vouch for the fact that teachers do drink wine. Am intrigued by Matthew, his Mummy and the bad things - the mind boggles!
    Sue xx
    p.s. love P's suggestion for the cactus and the snooty woman.

  4. Write the book...write the book!! x

  5. I'm not wasting a perfectly good cactus on that nasty piece of work. Did you know I used to cultivate cacti as a teenager? I mean WHAT kind of hobby is that for a teenage girl!!?!? 'Yes I spend my weekend mainly trying to procure alcohol illegally, get into nightclubs underage and, erm, repot my Mamillaria Compressa.... Weird.

    Anyway thanks everyone - hope you are all having a good start to the festive season and it's a great one all round. I've had some bad ones over the years but I'm hoping this one brings peace, joy and that jazz!

  6. Hey. I've been reading your blog surreptitiously for a while now and it's always made me laugh. Thanks for the giggles, and I hope you and your family have a fantastic Christmas (although I'm hoping you get some good tales to tell us out of it!).

    I third the 'write the book' vote!

  7. LMAO - I should have been parked in the same carpark at the time, I could have "accidentally" knocked said snotty woman over in a Serial Mom type fashion, then hunted round in my Off Licence on wheels, AKA Car, which also is known as a bin, wardrobe, drawer and general tip on wheels to find presents for the teachers! Winner all round!

    Also, feeling awfully nostalgic, I remember Biff, Chip and Kipper from school, didn't they have a sister at one point too? Wonder where she is these days... hmm...

    Have a very merry christmas, with all the luck of Ireland... SB xoxo

  8. Nice to see you Mooneybeams! Thanks for the nice comments!

    SB - the even crazier thing about Biff, Chip et all is that (from what I can work out) Biff is a GIRL. I think. Or mabye it's Kipper. Either way - WTF!? And the dog is called Floppy.

    Oh and your car sounds very much like mine! There are things in there that I'd forgot I ever owned..... (or didn't want to remember!).

  9. LOL - I knew it went some way like that, it's been an awfully long time since I read those books... surprised that memory managed to escape the repressed section of my mind lol

    The meer rubbish tip on wheels is due it's yearly read out, luckily in just enough time for going home for Christmas, so I'll have to endure the regular lecture from the paretal figure on keeping in clean, then he'll grunt about enough and go and do it for me while I get sozzled with dear female parental figure... excellent!

    SB xoxo