Tuesday, 16 October 2007


We have a French lesson today. And it's our turn to set up the tables. The lesson starts at 11.45 so I plan to leave the house at 11. That way we have time to get stuck behind the slow moving tractor and still arrive in time to set up the tables and arrange some chairs.

At 9.30 I tell everyone that we are going to French today and it's our turn to set up the tables, so stop mucking about with unicorns and get your leggings on.

At 9.45 I say have got your leggings on yet? It is our turn to put out the tables today and if we do not, then Madame Marthe will complain because she has a bad back and anyway she is aged 58 and shouldn't have to set the tables out.

At 9.55 I say Shark, put Blutina down and put on your leggings. Squirrel, put Whitehorn down and put on your leggings. Tiger, put Crystal down and put on your leggings.

At 10.10 I hand some blue leggings to Shark who says she is not wearing them because they are not the nice blue ones and these have a hole in the gusset that she does not like. I say I could sew that up, and Shark said I promised to do that last time. I then say the hole is too big. Wear knickers and do not lie about on the floor when you have a squeal and do not climb up any slides the wrong way.

At 10.15 I hand some pink leggings to Tiger who says she's not wearing them because they are the leggings that always fall down. I say we've only just bought them. Tiger says they are rubbish and she will only wear the ones from M&S. I look at the label on the rejected pink legs sprawling over the floor and say I'll jolly well take them back to John Lewis. These leggings are clearly never going to stay up. After one wash the bum bit is a funny bucket shape. Then I consider they are so huge I might try wearing them myself if I can stretch the legs a bit.

At 10.20 I hand some red leggings to Squirrel who says she will put them on in a minute because Blutina is meeting Crystal and they have to discuss Whitehorn's party. I say put the leggings on now because we are going to French and it's our turn to set up the tables.

At 10.30 I am to be found grovelling about in the laundry looking for the other pair of pink leggings that Tiger says she will wear so long as they are clean.

At 10.40 I am waving about a pair of pink leggings in the yard that I have made vaguely damp with a wet flannel. Shark tells me Blutina would like to fly like that and I say do not copy me. Put Blutina down and put on your leggings now because we are going to French and it's our turn to set up the tables.

At 10.50 I say we are leaving in 10 minutes. If you do not put on your leggings everybody I will become cross. I hold Squirrel's leggings out for her like a fishing net in front of an eel in the hope that somehow she will fall into them and they will magically rise up around her bum without her being aware. Squirrel tells me to stop treating her like a baby and she can do it herself. She adds that she would do it herself but I never give her chance.

At 10.55 I say Shark if you do not put on your leggings I will confiscate Blutina. Shark says that's not fair because she is still waiting for me to get the nice blue leggings. I say you are old enough to get your own leggings. Now look on the radiator because I am sure I saw them there yesterday.

At 11.00 I say Tiger would you like to wear socks? Socks will go very beautifully with your outfit. Tiger says she wants to wear pink leggings and now I am stopping her wearing pink leggings. She adds for good measure that I always stop her from wearing leggings because I do not want her to wear leggings and I want her to be cold. I ignore her.

At 11.10 I say we are going to French now and it's our turn to set up the tables and we are late and Madame Marthe will be very upset with me because she is aged 58 and has a bad back. I say I am going to sit in the car and count to 20 and put the key in the ignition and confiscate all the unicorns in the entire world and cut off their horns if everyone does not hurry up and put on their leggings and get in the car.

At 11.15 I am standing at the front door holding Blutina by the hoof. Shark is putting on leggings quickly in case I turn nasty and trap Blutina's head in the door. Tiger is growling, but putting on socks. Tiger shouts at me that I have stopped her from wearing leggings and she has wanted to wear leggings since she has got up this morning and why am I stopping her now? Squirrel is sitting in the car with her leggings on. I bet £50 she is trawling the hole in one side with her fingers to make it extra big.

At 11.20 We have 20 minutes to get to French and set the tables up. It is a 30 minute drive with a delay behind the tractor. Shark is wearing the nice blue leggings. Squirrel is wearing red leggings with a big hole in and Tiger is scowling and wearing socks but clutching a pair of pink leggings which remind me vaguely of a strangled naked chicken. I think I won't go for pink leggings myself.

When we get to French we are late. And the tables are already set up. Madame Marthe reminds me that she has a bad back. I tell her that it's taken nearly two hours to exit the house, but on the plus side, this time we are all wearing shoes.


Anonymous said...

Today it took my DH an excruciating two hours to get our two younger kids out for a forest walk they had suggested! Meanwhile, I was on a mother-daughter date with our eldest and came back, two hours later, thinking ... "Wow they managed to get back before us! Some walking huh?"
I was secretly quite pleased because that meant I got a quiet house for about the next two hours too!
They had great fun!

I have taken to some rather low tactics to try to prise them from the house!

Mostly I've taken to avoiding going out, and I also have a serious reputation for being late everywhere I go! I protest "it's not me! I'm very punctual", but people just laugh. One day I'll show 'em!

Skeptical family members are always quick to point out that we wouldn't have this problem if they went to school every day. In fact I know people who have this problem every day around about 8.30am ... and I know LOTS of them!

Allie said...

Aaaargh! That sounds like a hellish situation. Now both of ours are 100% reliable with telling the time I have taken to repeating, mantra-like, "we are leaving the house at 20 past 10..." as soon as everyone is vertical.

Oh, and it is great now that our elder goes places alone. I watch her getting later and later and it's not my problem. Horrid, eh?

Elizabeth said...

My mother, and it really was her, had us late for everything--we once arrived for dinner at a friends house almost two hours after they'd eaten the dinner! She's the only mom I knew who couldn't blame it on the 5 kids in tow! On her first visit here to see the kids, she showed up two hours late--she got on the wrong plane--at least it got to the right country! And she is normally a very intelligent woman who has been travelling for over 40 years! Funny part was-she had no clue she was even late! I could have hit her with the flowers! :)