After a truly terrible morning with Midi Minx (one thing after another from 6.30am – 9am), I tried to restore my “I’m really not a terrible mother, honestly” balance by doing some messy craft with Mini. Oh come on, if you’ve been following my blog for even a few days, you’ll already know fine that it didn’t go smoothly!
I was trying to replicate this cute little Easter egg thing But of course, me being me, I’d scan-read the basic instructions weeks ago, didn’t refresh my memory, and hadn’t read the detail. So I got out the big tub of yarn off-cuts, the huge bottle of extra-strong PVA glue, newspaper, and little chocolate mini eggs. Mini and I shared the eggs into 3 piles and, giggling, shared the extra one between us. We got into our aprons. We chose our paintbrushes. I squirted some glue into a bowl. I had a big wibble when I discovered how bloody difficult it was shoving the stupid eggs into the opening of a tight, rubber balloon. I thought about abandoning the idea, but being made of stern stuff, roped Mini into helping. She’d seen Show Me Show Me earlier, whose word of the day was ‘squeeeeeeeeze’, so I got her to squeeze in the eggs while I held open the balloon necks. Well, I opened up 7 big bleeding hacks in my poor fingers. Jeepers, they stung! Never mind, on with the fun…. I demonstrated how to cover a strand in glue and stick it to the balloon. Mini giggled. I may or may not have smiled.
My mobile chose that moment to ring. My fingers were covered in glue. I didn’t fancy washing extra-strong PVA glue off my mobile / newly-dyed hair, so I ignored it. Probably a bit smugly – I’d seen that it was a ‘no number’ call, so suspected yet another spam call. If it was important, they’d phone back. They did. Then the house phone went off. Oh-oh… probably really important then. I ran to the phone and gingerly picked it up with my least glue-y hand and started wiping the other hand on a damp cloth.
The caller launched into a huge long spiel. We had a wee accent problem right from the start: she struggled with Glaswegian overlaid with shrieking background Minx and I really struggled with hers. It was something about my credit card. Oh crap. I’d finally twisted The Boss’s arm into buying the cheapest desktop PC we could find anywhere last night. I might have known that it would have set off bells and whistles everywhere: “Red alert! Red alert! The Grumpy Old Trout has made a major purchase! A-ROOOO-ga! HOOOOONK! Implement Plan Maximum Hassle! Red alert!”
So I turned my attention to the phone for 3 minutes. OK, 3 minutes 23 seconds. Seriously, Call Centres, if you’re going to get your staff to stick to scripted spiels, can you at least get them to speak slowly enough for me to understand? I hung up, relieved that the card was sorted out. Well, I think it was. The lovely lady on the other end had said brightly: “I’m delighted to inform you that your card is now fzzle-wzzle-frked”.
“Eh?” I said, with the full impact of my mighty intellect (!). “So it’s unstopped and I can use it now?”
“Oh yes”, she said. Then paused. Then: “I am delighted to inform you that your card is now fzzle-wzzle-frked”.
“I’m sorry”, I apologised, “I didn’t catch that. Can I use my card now?”
“I’m delighted to inform you that your card is now …”
“OK, thanks, ” I interrupted. “So the declined transaction: will I have to put it through again?”
Oh no, here we go again: take cover..!
“I’m delighted to inform you…”
I don’t think I really wanted to do that, Dave.
So, phone safely turned off, I unpeeled myself from the handset to see that Mini had happily upended the entire bottle of glue into the little bowl I’d been dispensing it into. Oh hell… And she was covered in fluff, cotton balls and wool. And the balloon wasn’t. She was ominously waggling a fully-laden paintbrush beside her fuzzy head. Noooooo! I tried to re-engage her with sticking, but she’d had enough. I struggled to stick long bits of yarn onto my balloon, so I quickly had enough, too. The stupid stuff stuck to the balloon ok. But it preferred to stick to my fingers AND the newspaper (then peel off the dumb balloon and back onto my fingers).
I grumpily led Mini to the freshly-cleaned bathroom to clean up. Freshly-cleaned? Oh, don’t you know that I’m having to get busy with the bleach at least once a day right now, and the cloth and cleaner at least twice? You don’t want to know what the sink looks like after Midi has been in… I was traumatised last week by the *things* lurking in the nailbrush and plughole as it was.
Well, we scrubbed and rinsed and dried. I managed to get most of the glue off Mini. I thought about cleaning the kitchen, the phone, the sinks, the floor, but abandoned it as a bad job and just shut the door on it. The rest of the afternoon I was peeling the bloody stuff off my arms. I’m not saying that I’m hirsute, but it was pulling hair off with it. My right arm looks like it has the mange!
Hometime, and I had the girls in the garden for 5 minutes while I took some action shots of a beanie I’d knitted as a test project for a knitting class I’m about to teach at Varis Crafts in Forres next month. Midi posed happily for me while Maxi busied herself turning the entire step to the back door bright blue with chalk. She’s been hit more than a glancing blow with the OCD stick, so every single square cm was covered. I blew (blue) my stack. I managed to explain why I was so angry (2 x cats, 3 x kids, 2 x adults walking back and forth over chalk all day long = hell of a mess in the house). Right on cue, Midi and Mini raced across it with a synchronised snigger and trailed chalky footprints through the kitchen, through the hall, then forked: one branch upstairs, the other into the living room. I was more than a tad angry…
Fast-forward through 30 minutes nagging to get Maxi and Midi out of their uniforms into swimming costumes and tracksuits; shrieking matches in the changing rooms; constant tormenting of 2 sisters apiece: usual Monday evening, really. When I picked up The Boss from work, I think he knew not to argue when I suddenly hung a right into McDonald’s instead of driving straight home. “The kitchen isn’t habitable, dear”. Super-speed over Mini upending her entire carton of milk over everyone’s dinner, Midi stropping about having a ketchup-bottle’s worth of slop down her school jacket (sod it – she can smell like vinegar tomorrow), Maxi tantrumming about not being able to find her chips… I think I need an early night to just get today over and done with!
PS If you’re going to try the string Easter eggs, use a sugar-water mix rather than thick glue. i.e. read the bloody instructions, unlike me!