Friday, 3 April 2009

Sometimes, I need help

Because Dig spends half the year wandering about in other countries, probably to flee the hideous sight of sexy wife Grit, I am forced to do many things without help.

But there are some things I cannot do alone.

Last night I drive the gritlets home from the kiddie RSPB group to be reminded at 9pm that Friday morning is forest school and there will be a catapult competition. Hang on gritlets! First let me make hot milky drinks for the weary socialites, load the dishwasher, unload the laundry, sweep the kitchen floor and finish that bath and bedtime routine!

But mummy! squeals Tiger. And then all her desires, sorrows and fears pour out. I want to do the competition. I couldn't understand the instructions. I won't have my catapult. Daddy said he would help me. He won't be home in time.

Don't worry soothes mama Grit. I will see what I can do.

Thus 11 pm finds me poring over these instructions.

And again at 7 am.

By 9 am I am going to kill myself. I have failed and betrayed my little girl. Slumped opposite me in a chair is Tiger, desperately wanting to enter the catapult competition, sobbing out her heart. The catapult is in the same mangled wooden stick arrangement that I had yesterday, except I have snapped one of the sticks when it flew off the rubber band and hit me in the face.

I must declare defeat. I give in. I need a professional. I drive Tiger, Shark, Squirrel and the pieces of wood to Forest School where there is a man who can do these things. Mr W, home educating parent and engineer.

Twenty minutes later, we have this:

Then I need to break the news to Tiger. I say, Let this be its own reward. Only one catapult made it here today, and that is yours. And the organiser, probably wisely, has called off the competition.

Tiger looks at me, dispirited, forlorn, feeling all alone. And I know how she feels.