Apparently this week is Maths Week at school. I was told this through the medium of earnest, enthusiastic newsletters and even more earnest and enthusiastic teachers who persuaded me to come to a Maths Week meeting this morning. There were about three of us parents in total, who had been rounded up before we had a chance to scurry off to our real lives, looking around kind of nervously. It still feels new, being on the teacher/parent side. Anyway, I have to confess that maths and I are not friends. So the prospect of Maths Week is about as enticing as Fish And All Seafood Week. Both topics leave me both a bit sweaty and sick-feeling. Anyway, Maths Weeks is going to involve lots of raffles and counting marbles in jars and workshops for parents and sponsored walk-a-thons around the football field. I reckon reception class will manage about 100 meters before they start crying. Which is going to be a cost-effective sponsorship, if nothing else.
One of the activities the kids are doing involves a matchbox. They have to fill it up with as many little things as they can. They could do this, if their brothers had not ripped the naked little unfilled matchbox on Friday afternoon. In the meeting this morning I had to raise my hand and ask the teacher what I should do now that there was no matchbox. She frowned and said there were no more. I felt like I should try to control those little hooligans a little better. Meanwhile, Noah and Custard were rampaging the library and running into the hall with books to shove onto my lap. They were really enjoying the acoustics in the hall and ran with deafening stomps. Everyone was wincing. I was sinking lower into my chair. Then the leaflet went round for Good Parents to sign up for the workshops. Maths workshops, mind. One of the tough parents who runs the committee and who smokes outside with his gang of punk parents asked me if I would like to sign up. I said, in a weak voice, that I couldn’t. Because (and I quote)
“I have too many dependants” (pointing to the Bad Kids with the clomping and the books and the baby). He was wearing denim cutoffs and had a blond quiff. He was not impressed.
Anyway, I got a meme today from Belgian Waffling. I am a little bit excited. I decided to wait until those children were properly asleep (not just screaming in their bedroom and taking their nappies off and using Noah’s mattress as a slide) until I could concentrate on the answers properly. Here goes.
What experience has most shaped you and why?
As much as I do not want to say this, because it makes me seem a bit dumbass and twee and sad and erm, inexperienced, it has to be the birth of all those pesky kids. I really, really like the job, and it suits me, and I find it mostly fun and actually a bit of a privilege. I have become much less wimpy. I have a much stronger sense of myself, and have figured out all sorts of Humble Human Truths, like those girls at school who were groomed and thin – they would always be that way. You do not grow into that – you are made like that. And that your perspective on life is the difference between a fun one and one that is a bit of a drag. I also think birth order is crucial (sorry, Middle Children – I get it now), and that Gina Ford speaks the truth. Being a mother has been a very liberating experience – and I think I can still say I am me first, then their mother second. Which maybe makes me less cranky about it all. I am not completely lost in the chaos and the filth, I am in there somewhere, admittedly swearing and squeezing little upper arms a bit too tightly. But there, you know?
If you had a whole day with no commitments what would you do?
Do my makeup properly, in the LIGHT.
Have breakfast with Mark in Harlem with some sort of alcoholic drink.
I would then ditch Mark and go looking in the second hand shops on the Kings Road and Kensington.
Lunch at the River Cafe
(I would in real life get all tired now but let us continue this complete and utter fantasy of freetime)
Home, for coffee with the La Pavoni and some online scrabble with my mother. Then off to Beach Blanket Babylon for drinks, via SCP and Coverture then to The Ledbury for the tasting menu. Home at 10:30 for some reading.
I would be really fat and tired but so, so, so happy.
What food or drink could you never give up?
Bacon and eggs. I love bacon and eggs and would be happy to have them every day for the rest of my (shortened) life. But of course it must all be posh – Poilane toast and Abel & Cole’s farmhouse butter and well-looked after eggs and proper expensive organic bacon. HOW uncouth is THAT?!? Should have said sushi or something.
If you could travel anywhere, where would that be and why?
Unequivocally NOT New Zealand because I am flying there in 2 weeks for a Mysterious Reason (something to do with the Secret Genius Project) for one week. That is a topic for another blog post. If I could travel anywhere, it would be New York. I am entirely unoriginal in this. But New York has an energy unlike anywhere else I have been before. I would like to go find some salt beef and pickle place and listen to the customers and drink some bad coffee and do all the touristy stuff and then do the non-touristy stuff. I have been there once, for six days and was (of course) pregnant. How lovely to not be, and swan about.
Who do you have a crush on?
Mary Portas. But I wish she didn’t ruin the charity shops. I shall never forgive her for that.
Mark Ronson. Oh, I LOVE that man and his hair and his suits.
Unfortunately, all men, in some form. Witness me with the husbands of friends/Mark’s workmates/the waiter at The Commander/fathers at nursery. I can be a bit minxy and it can be embarrassing.
If you were the leader of your country, what would you do?
Make us all bi-lingual – the Maori language would have equal standing with English. Kids would grow up, go travelling, and would meet europeans with the command of three or four languages, and we would have our own, and not feel like language dunces.
Do something about violence towards children.
Then I would cry in a corner, whimpering “This is too hard. Just let me be a TV presenter instead”.
Give me one easy savoury recipe that does not include cheese.
Bacon and eggs. Toast the poilane, butter it, cook the bacon, cook the eggs.
And my question:
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
I am going to tag Foxymoron, Art By Anya, Halfway Down The Stairs and Paisley Jade.
IF ONLY I KNEW HOW TO HYPERLINK AND STUFF. But I don’t. Sorry.