The kids have a deep, inappropriate love for Lady Gaga. There is a whole lot wrong with little two year old boys waking up from their nap, sitting themselves down by the MacBook and asking for “Lady Gaga, Ra Ra Ra”, I think. Who can I blame though? Who said, in a desperate bid to stop them doing hurty things to each other/taking apart the couch/stabbing the bananas in the fruit bowl “Let’s all watch some Lady Gaga on YouTube!”. That high-pitched plea would have been me. It worked, they liked, we all now have Gaga songs living inside our minds. They have begun to ask for Lady Gaga during the day and so there we all are, sitting inside round the kitchen table in a basement flat, silently staring open-mouthed at her armadillo McQueen clogs and smoking sunglasses. As you know, she swears, and she is a bit lesbiany and a bit wrapped-in-police-tape-doing-suggestive-hip-movements, and she mostly wears just sparkly knickers and a bra. Which is all very well, but I am left wondering at which point I try to turn them to some Bon Jovi or something else suitably soft rock and manly, or at least to a female singer who puts clothes on. I am aware, as mother of 4 boys, that I am in a unique position to teach them to love women, to respect them, to clean up after themselves and to cook more than just mashed potato and steak. So is Gaga-Encouragement a bad thing? Should I shield their eyes from the bonkersness and the near-nipple sightings? I quite fancy that we bond over a bit of Family-Gaga-Appreciation. Any thoughts?
Anyway, yesterday we went to the Connaught Village Festival. “What is that?” you ask. Well, I am not entirely sure, and I have been attending for the last three years running. It seems that the Village (a.k.a two small streets with a large amount of real estate agencies) likes to close itself off, put some live music on a bandstand in the middle of the road, plonk two food stalls and one face-painting tent on the tarmac and lets the punters go mad. The ‘punters’ in this case are really just some mothers with kids tearing around on scooters. Everyone else is at work. Which is just as well, because yesterday there was a fair bit of alcohol going around. I spied glasses of Pimms at estate agency no. 1, and sidled up quick smart to get one for me and helium balloons for the kids.
REAL ESTATE AGENCY FESTIVAL STALL LESSONS FOR LIFE:
1. Tie string to helium balloons SECURELY. Otherwise, the balloon will come off, float high into the air, and kids will be left with tight string cutting off wrist circulation, a loud annoying wail and a life-long wariness of estate agents.
2. Only give the woman with the multiple kids ONE glass of Pimms/Prosecco. Any more, and she will stop paying attention to her offspring. The woman will start dancing to the B52’s on the stereo system. It will not be stylish.
3. Do not bother with competitions where you ask people to guess how many blow-up footballs can fit into a taxi. It will not increase sales. It is not much fun, either.
But OH! how that Pimms glass and then the two sneaky prosecco glasses cheered my entire afternoon. It was a beautiful thing, really, that the more I sipped, the less I cared about the boys racing off on their scooters and the shoving and the crying and the extra-balloon-retrieval. It was as if I was immunised from stress. It was awesome. Until I grinningly gave Barnaby our house keys to ‘hold’ on the way home. They were not still being held by the time we got to the top of our stairs. Apparently, he had dropped them but did not think to pick them up. As you do, when you are 5 and strung out on free estate agency lollipops. Custard also lost a shoe on the way home. I was totally cool about all of it, thanks to the estate agents and their free-flowing ways. WIN.