Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Sasha is a disaster

Sasha has excelled herself today. After moping about the house doing not much, I ask her if she could do a project on Germany with the children.

Sasha puts on a startled expression, like when she saw the vacuum cleaner. Raised eyebrows, sidesweeping eyes, head tilt to one shoulder, mouth open to speak but no words come out. That expression says, 'That's the weirdest thing! No-one's ever asked me to do anything like this before!'

Well Sasha, doing a project on Germany with the children basically means find Germany on a map, get the kids to say 'Bitte', cook the recipe from the Usborne Round the World Cook Book and do a spot of colouring in. Hey, don't expect us to do it in one day, either Sasha, try this lot for the week!

After the 'That's weird!' look, Sasha sweeps her hair forward to cover her face and mumbles a slow and hesitant 'OK', like it might all be a disaster. How right she is.

Shark, who wants to be a chef, jumps up to grab the recipe book and we all find a recipe for potato cakes and apple sauce. Sasha says she's never heard of it. I say well it's for kids, and most importantly, it's for Shark, so cook it anyway. We'll photograph it, eat it, and stick the picture in the German project book with a coloured in German flag. Quite frankly, I think, I don't want a philosophical argument about European cuisine right now, basically I want a bit of interaction between you and the children. So I say, Could you help Shark organise it and cook it. Go down to Tesco with the purse, a shopping bag and Shark, and buy some cooking apples. That mumbled 'OK' should have warned me.

Forty minutes later, Shark buzzes on the front door to be let in. Squirrel opens the door and in comes Shark, looking a bit bedraggled with drizzle and clutching a bag of eating apples.

'Where's Sasha?' I ask.
'Dunno', says Shark.
'How do you mean you don't know?' I say.
'She disappeared', says Shark, slapping the apples down on the table.
'What? Where did she go? Taken up by aliens?'
'Well did she say anything to you?'
'Hurry up.'

Clearly there's something a bit amiss here. Interrogating Shark is the only way we're going to get a lead, so I continue, and ask, 'Where did you last see her?'
'On the corner', says Shark, waving her arms. 'She went round by the cars and I didn't see her again.'
'What corner?'
'The corner out there.' Shark points vaguely at the wall.
'Did she come to the front door?'
'Well where's Sasha gone?'
'I don't know!' wails Shark. 'She was there and then she wasn't and last time I saw her was at the cars.'

We wait fifteen minutes. No Sasha. And while we're waiting, I quiz Shark some more.
'Did she say anything else to you?'
'She said she wasn't making potatoes with me'.

Now I know what a nuisance a foot-dragging Shark can be. But where cooking's concerned, there's usually no problem. Quite the opposite. We have to curb the enthusiasm otherwise it'll be 54 fruit cakes all over again. So I try a different approach and say, gently, 'Do you think you have anything to apologise to Sasha about?'
'No', says Shark. And this time she adds, 'I think Sasha should say sorry to me. She was going too fast and I couldn't keep up and it's my normal pace!'

Well Sasha, between you and Shark, I think I'll believe Shark. So later, when you declare that you abandoned my 7-year old to make her own way home because she 'started to scream' I don't believe you.

And Grit's had enough. Quite frankly I do not care if Sasha has been abducted by aliens. The meaner the better. In fact, I hope they suck out her brain and use her intestines as shoelaces.

'Well I'm bloody well cooking potato cakes and apple sauce' says Grit to Shark, slapping the apples on the table again. 'That's our tea.'

Sasha makes it back some half hour later and heads straight off to her bedroom. She tells Squirrel on the way that she went for a walk. She doesn't come up for potato cakes and apple sauce. Squirrel's stuck a home-made German flag in them so they can be properly photographed. When Shark, Squirrel and Tiger have gone to bed I drag Sasha out of her room to explain and ask her if she'd like to go home.

We're all giving it 24 hours.

1 comment:

HelenHaricot said...

hmm, i might have killed her [sacha]