We had a bit of a Sad Day on Sunday, making it officially a bit of a Sad Weekend. It was another bank holiday weekend here and weekends, especially bank holiday ones, should really be full of joy and instagrammable FUN – we should be day tripping and eating out and all getting along. But weekends are actually pretty horrible round these parts, mostly because our children should be run like dogs but I’m the only one who believes this to be true.
Every weekend my role is reprised as the principal old crone who shrieks and whispers and cajoles and pleads and threatens and demands that people get up off the couch and into some shoes and out the door, but they all just fight me right back with collective inertia and a steadfast refusal to move. I get all furious and mutter to myself about how lazy and gross my whole family is as they lie around in stained pyjamas with unwashed teeth and breath of the devil, either glued to devices or wrestling each other to the ground with the pent-up energy of little cave-boys who really should be out hunting mammoths with their cave-dads. The wrestling often escalates to object-throwing which always ends up with glasses or picture frames getting smashed but never adequately swept up, so there is always someone in the family with a little bit of the glass-in-foot hobble. Finally we go out but by then it is lunchtime and I am sick of them all and the dog has farty guts.
If you add baby-related sleep deprivation to this normal weekend bad mood, it’s a recipe for serious familial disharmony.
Sad Weekend RunDown
1. It started off badly on Friday when I let some scammers convince me to have remote access to my laptop so they could “run a router scan to check for efficiency”. I was a bit sceptical and was clearly not that into it when they asked me to download all sorts of scammer-enabling programmes, and I expressed my vague distrust of it all by emitting annoyed-sounding sighs and pulling cranky faces throughout the 40 minutes that I allowed them full reign of my laptop. This demonstrative skepticism was, in hindsight, very ineffective because I bloody well LET THEM FIDDLE WITH MY LAPTOP FOR 40 MINUTES. In my defence, the router had been a bit slow so I figured they were probably legit, until they mentioned refunding me money. Then I remembered I wasn’t a tech-shy sweet-yet-naive pensioner but in fact a savvy first generation digital native and so I hung up and spent quite a while trying to uninstall the software that was helping them to potentially rob me of the £62 I have in my First Direct account. I then had to call the bank and my internet provider, change passwords and finally fess up to the family that I was a total liability.
2. Saturday morning someone let the dog out and I thundered up and down the streets of W2 in no bra calling out “MAGIC!” like a nutter but then we found him (after he had eaten something chickeny and rotten, according to his subsequent poo). Then the day got better because we walked to Portobello Road for food and managed to spend £100 on various crepes, afghan wraps, pulled pork sandwiches, brownie, olives, san pellegrino and coffee. It was cold and rainy and it hailed on us and I spilled pulled pork fat down the front of my new/secondhand Mulberry Alexa bag in the most ugly shade of glittery khaki that I accidentally bought at an online live auction in a fit of clicking-frenzy. After that, Saturday is all blur owing to the sleep deprivation playing tricks with my mind.
3. On Sunday morning Barnaby and I ran to Portobello together and stopped midway for a pastel de nata and a latte at the Lisboa Cafe, which was fun but a bit sloshy as we ran back – and I did worry a little about the custard tart calories negating the run.
I then escaped the stinking sweaty flat full of my inert little boys and their dad to go see the Martin Parr exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. I had an inkling that the day wasn’t going to go well – when I left, Mark was deep into the dark, dirty wormhole of America’s Got Talent audition tapes which is impossible to get him out of and the others were silently staring at assorted screens. When I got home four hours later, Mark was simmering with resentment and Casper had a bitemark from Noah, there was glass all over the floor, no one had gone out to buy food, there was no dinner organised, no Sunday papers, no washing hung out, bread and bits of tomato were smeared everywhere and the dog had barely been walked. The big family outing was to walk across the road to the garden – a total of about 100 steps. Of course, I was incensed.
4. But then the actual bad thing happened. Magic was sitting at the top of our stairs as he usually does with his nose out between the gate bars, watching people and barking at them a little bit. I was passive aggressively tidying up, trying to shame everyone by my exaggerated poncing about, and then we heard a scream which I ignored because I was on a self-righteous roll. Mark went to investigate and discovered that Magic had bitten a small kid who had wandered over to him and stuck her hand near his nose. Her skin wasn’t punctured but there was a mark and the poor kid (and her mother) was terrified. Mark was horrified and told us all that Magic has to go. I don’t think that he does – I think we should just keep Magic down here in the flat and not let him up near the pavement, but we’ve yet to have a proper discussion about it. We are all very sad.
5. Noah was squirting his gecko tank on Sunday night and he let out a yelp and discovered that one of the geckos had died. It’s the first time we have lost a family pet (actually, we lost some fish once but they were boring and we didn’t really mind) and Noah was very upset. He howled and wailed so much that I asked him to sleep in the living room near the tank so he wouldn’t wake the others. On Monday he painted a perfume box with a cross for a casket, took the gecko over to the garden with his brothers and one neighbour (all of them were wearing my black jumpers over their teeshirts as Noah requested, while Noah himself wore his school blazer with a dark blue t-shirt, dark blue jeans and his school shoes), said a few words and dug a hole for the gecko with our ice-cream scoop. It was a very sad day in the pet department, I tell you.
Enough of the sadness. Here’s a photo of Ned’s massive strawberry and below that, a photo of the baby draped in Mark’s clothes to make him look like a big man: