There are days when you would quite like to tie your children to a lamp post and run away, days when you just cry a lot because you wonder if they will ever actually be nice to each other ever, days when you think about how you might have been better off breeding miniature Schnausers.
Then there are days like these. Days when they delight your heart and make you proud, and make you howl with laughter and make you wonder why you wasted your time with all that other pointless stuff when you could have just been filling the entire world with tribes of your brilliant, beautiful, talented children.
It seems fitting that this day, this glorious day was the last day of our summer holidays. It will sustain me in the morning when I realise that despite all her protestations, Tallulah has failed yet again to pack an adequate PE kit and will come home moaning about how she got ten minutes detention for only having one trainer, and why didn’t I tell her? Blah, blah, blah…
Before we get to that, let me tell you about our day.
The best thing was that it was entirely ordinary. It was a Bank Holiday Monday, which meant that it chucked it down with rain all day without ceasing. The weather was cold, the sky was grey and there were a lot of unnecessary craft fairs to be avoided. I had made no plans whatsoever, and after getting up late we decided to drift into town and noodle about aimlessly.
We tried on stupid hats in charity shops. We found some particularly excellent felt ones that we think were meant to be pixie hats, but ended up in the charity shop because they made everyone look like deranged medieval turnip farmers. We, of course, tried them all on and pranced about the shop. We were tempted to buy them, because who would not want to look like a deranged medieval turnip farmer at home and abroad? In the end we decided to save our money, given that we had only just started our odyssey.
We went to T.K. Maxx where we spent a happy hour trying on ridiculous shoes, laughing at terrible ornaments and filling a trolley with all the things in the world we did not know we needed until we found them waiting for us in that shop. We put most of them back on the way out, and proceeded on our way.
I had been wanting to get the second holes in my ears re-pierced for ages, and the tattoo parlour/piercing shop was open, so we popped in and got them done. It was quite a long wait and I was stuck behind two teenage girls who looked about twelve. One of them was regaling the other with tales of how her aunty had pierced her ear using Bonjela and a hot needle…in a caravan. This was impressive for all the wrong reasons. It made me glad that my children had never thought of this.
Then, because we were exhausted from our consumer therapy and watching me being punctured, and helping Oscar pick which earrings he might have when he’s old enough to be punctured too, we went for lunch.
We went to a very nice French bistro where everyone on the staff went into raptures about Tilly’s Morrissey earrings and her Steampunk goggles, which are currently being worn over her bowler hat. She got so much Steampunk love that we suspect the restaurant is a front for underground Steampunk activities. We were very impressed.
Over lunch, Tallulah practised seductive eyebrow waggling, which had us all in fits. It turns out that she has incredibly mobile eyebrows and can do a kind of eyebrow based Mexican wave, which would look rather come hither were she not twelve, and practised it with a load of frites sticking out her mouth. Oscar tried it. He looked like he had had a stroke. Tilly tried to steal tiny pats of butter, because they were ‘teeny weeny.’ I pointed out that she is notoriously forgetful, and that she would probably sit on them by accident and end up wondering why she had a shiny arse. We agreed she would leave the tiny butter where it was.
While we were having this discussion, Oscar and Tallulah had gone to find the toilet, which was, it transpires, up some stairs with open treads. We looked up from our butter discussion, because we could hear giggling from above.
Oscar and Tallulah were creeping up the stairs on all fours, poking their heads through the treads in the stairs and pulling faces at everyone below. It was very, very silly indeed. It was so silly in fact it was impossible not to laugh at them, and I could not muster a stern voiced reprimand about not playing on the stairs or getting your head caught in the treads and having to call an ambulance, because I was helpless with laughter.
When we left the restaurant, Oscar and Tallulah started fumbling in their pockets, whereupon they pulled out some frites they had stolen, which they then proceeded to brandish at Tilly who was oofing on about being too full. They kept poking them at her face and shouting: ‘Eat the frites! Eat the frites!’ in a Bill and Ted manner. We eventually got them to put them in the nearest litter bin and stop being so disgusting.
Tallulah: ‘But mama! We weren’t disgusting. We were resourceful. We arranged to steal the frites when were in the toilets at the restaurant, and we stole them without you noticing. It was a brilliant plan.’
Oscar: ‘Yeah! And we knew it would be a brilliant plan, and that’s why we sang Morrissey together while we were on the toilet in the restaurant because we knew how awesome we were going to be.’
Me: ‘But it was disgusting.’
Tallulah: ‘Yeah! Well. It was funny and you laughed, so we WIN.’
There is not really a lot to argue with there.
When we got home they spent the entire afternoon making films. I filmed two of Oscar and Tallulah’s original songs, complete with actions, then all three of them went upstairs and made a video of their version of Morrissey’s Suedehead. It is incredibly stupid and I love it very much indeed.
I am so grateful for them. It doesn’t sound like much when I write it out here, but I wanted to capture this day because really they are so brilliant. They are funny and clever and entertaining. I love talking with them, and watching them interact with each other. I love the fact that they are enterprising and smart and witty and engaged with the world.
I will not be saying this at eight o’clock tomorrow morning when I am reminding them that they can’t leave the house without brushing their teeth, and toothpaste actually has to go on the brush, and did they flush the toilet, and no they can’t go to school wearing four inch heels and a tiara, so I’m saying it now.