My Saturdays used to be selfish.
My Saturdays used to consist of a lie in (when my body clock wasn’t being an absolute b*stard), some reading in bed, watching a programme that didn’t contain a bossy pig called Peppa or the ‘Pup Pup Boogie’ and eating food that wasn’t someone else’s left overs.
My Saturdays used to contain netball. A huge heap of it in fact as I would both play and umpire and get paid for it! After netball, and before the Other Half came along, I might even go out into town and feign enjoyment in ‘Reflex’ whenever the theme from Baywatch would come on and people would be dancing around with ‘Hoff’ pants on their head. I have a vivid memory of a friend grabbing a nearby red clutch bag and using it as a float as I stood there longing for either the ground to swallow me whole or for the DJ to accidently play some Grunge song from the 90s.
My Saturdays used to be mine.
My Saturdays are now ‘ours’.
Who am I kidding? My Saturdays belong to the Dude and the Princess.
Yesterday, I was kicked awake at 5.54am and there was no way on God’s earth that I was getting up at that time so I did what I do best and fed the Dude back to sleep. YES, I am still doing THAT even though he has teeth. But, I’m lazy and wanted an extra hour in bed.
At 7.24am I was head butted and it was time to get up. We ventured into the Princess’ room to find her already awake and playing on Daddy’s phone.
“You coming downstairs?” I asked.
Bugger. I wanted to watch Tuesday’s ‘American Horror Story’. Too bad. I ironed instead. While the two were mesmerised by Nick Jr for half an hour, I ticked off one of my jobs for the day.
“Right, time to get you dressed for ballet.” I said after finishing the ironing.
“I’m bored of you.” My Girl said before racing back upstairs. Glancing down at the ironing board and iron, I agreed. Yes, I would be bored of me too.
The Girl had to be at ballet class for 9am. At 8.20 and still in my dressing gown, she informed me that I would be taking her to ballet today. Brilliant.
At 9.35am I stood waiting in a little waiting room at our local Parish Centre for the ballet lesson to finish at 9.45am. I arrived early because I have learnt that the Ballet Mums are brutal.
I once arrived on time one rainy morning to one Mum guarding door outside the building.
“Has the class finished?” I asked, balancing the Dude on my hip.
She shook her head.
“Can I just squeeze past?” I asked, gesturing to my son.
She shook her head. Like I said. Brutal.
So now I arrive early because as well as picking up children, some mums are there to drop off their little dancers for the next lesson that starts at 9.45. For a few horrible minutes, a sea of tutued girls, with perfect buns, descend upon the Parish Hall and picking up your child becomes a game of Where’s Wally. On more than one occasion, my heart has leapt into my mouth when I haven’t been able to see my Girl and wondered if she has been accidently taken by a near sighted Mum.
Yesterday, I arrived at 9.35 and I was the third mum waiting in the tiny waiting area. Slowly, a queue started to form. I was standing next to the most gorgeous Asian woman who was wearing a short skater skirt, black tights, killer heels and hooped earrings. She had a full face of makeup and was holding onto the hand of her equally gorgeous daughter. Me? I had Weetbix in my fringe and pyjama bottoms on under my jogging bottoms. Thankfully, another mother took my attention away from Hot Mum. This was Rebel Mum. She ignored all the rules of the queue and marched up to the door and glanced through the little window to see if the class had finished. It hadn’t. Not to be outdone, her equally rebellious little ballerina daughters marched up behind her and opened the door to see if class had finished. It still hadn’t.
Once class had finished, I stood back and let all the other parents enter before me (even though I arrived third). Once in the room, I spotted my little ballerina, scooped her up, told her we had a party to get ready for and went home.
But first, I had to wash my hair. After all, it had Weetabix in it.
The current problem with ‘the house that eats all our money’ is the shower: it is blocked, dingy, dark, cold and resembles a blue tiled torture chamber. I started to run a bath. Pouring in my some relaxing bath salts, my Girl thought she would assist by throwing in a jug, a pirate ship, a speed boat being ridden by a crocodile, a water pistol and various Johnson’s Baby bottles. With the Other Half out doing the big shop, I would have an audience. So between shampooing and and conditioning my hair I had to persuade the girl not to put bubbles on her brother’s head (I failed) and convince her not to strip because she got water on her ballet leotard. (I failed.)After the bath, I realised that if we didn’t crack on and get ready, we would be late to meet JC in the pub before the soft play party. We have an unwritten rule: Party at a soft play = pub first.
With the Other Half still out, we dressed for the party while simultaneously destroying the already untidy house. I had a fleeting thought back to Hot Mum from 9.35am that morning and wondered if she had superpowers because after an hour of getting ready, my un- straightened, but dry hair meant I resembled Garth from Wayne’s World, the Girl had been wrestled back into her PJs to keep warm and the Boy still had some bubbles on his head.
Where was the Other Half?
Just then, the door opened and in he came laden with Tesco carrier bags – about £3.50 worth. He then proceeded to put the shopping away, clean and vacuum the living room as he too had his own little party planned that afternoon. One that involved him having the house to himself and watching the football sprawled out on the sofa.
We were eventually party ready and off we went to the pub and then to soft play for one of my best friend’s daughter’s third birthday.
It was a Frozen party and it was going great. My only qualm was that somebody had put the mini party sausages and cold sausage rolls way out of my reach and when JC offered me a chicken nugget instead, I sulked and went in search of the party sausages myself. I eventually found them being guarded by a group of mums who were gathering to help feed their own children while my child had been left to forage for her own party food while I hunted for sausage.
Then Elsa arrived.
Excitement reached its pinnacle point.
I had to settle for a chicken nugget.
Elsa sat with the birthday girl and the children speaking eloquently in a soft American accent.
“Do you think that’s her real accent?” One of my friends asked.
On cue, Elsa walked past and reprimanded JC for eating her daughter’s jelly and ice-cream in a low broad Yorkshire accent all while I looked on concerned about Elsa’s lack of a vest and wondered if she had central heating up in her ice castle.After I had gotten my fill of party sausages, I went to take the Dude into the soft play. While we were in there, I noticed Elsa being backed into a corner by a group of pre-school age children with my Girl as the ring leader. The poor woman. There was a hysterical moment when Elsa made her getaway while singing ‘Let me Go, Let me Go, followed by a herd of children.
Once she had escaped, both Elsa and the children gathered for some glitter tattoos. Now the proud owner of a ‘Hello Kitty’ tat, my Girl proceeded to tattoo Elsa. I think I had better teach her the difference between being a fan and being a stalker.
As the party was drawing to an end, Elsa gathered the children for a final Frozen sing-a-long with a snow machine that blasted out fake snow at bullet like speed.
The Birthday Girl was in absolute heaven and I have never seen a child look so happy with her lot.This is what my Saturdays are about now and they are awesome.