Missing in action: One Fairy Godmother

>> Thursday, 13 December 2007

I think my Fairy Godmother has been abducted by aliens. Or something. So far this week:

The Boys babysitter, who comes once a week, every week, on a Tuesday afternoon to give me a whole 4 hours off, quit. Well, when I say quit, it was kind of a pre-emptive strike on her part. I had told her last week that after Christmas, when Boy #2 starts nursery, we won't be needing her any more since I will have a whole lot of time freed up. But of course we would still love her to babysit for us regularly in the evenings (on average, once every week or so). Oh yes, she nodded, that would be great.

Why, why, why, do I insist on taking people at face value?

On Monday morning I got a text telling me that she now has another job, so won't be able to cover the two Tuesday afternoons remaining before Christmas. And by the way, the agreement that she made to babysit two more evenings in the next 10 days? She can still do it, but has to start an hour later. Because of the new job. If I hadn't effectively already done it, I would have fired her. Like she would have cared...

Next up, a text on Wednesday morning, saying the cleaner was sick and wouldn't be coming this week. Now, I am as handy with a hoover as the next woman, and just as capable of giving the place a quick once-over so it stays presentable until she gets back. But what worries me is the ironing. Not my ironing, you understand - knowingly buy something that needs ironing? Are you crazy? - but the ironing that flows in a steady stream from the washing machine when Husband gets back from one of his trips. I have no intention of doing it. No sirree. Especially when I know perfectly well that, unlike sewing on a button, ironing his shirts is something he does frequently whilst travelling. But I'm not sure he's realised that yet... I just can't wait for that conversation...

Simultaneously, there were great plans afoot at Boy #1's nursery between various Mums about what to get a little girl who is leaving the class due to the family relocating from the UK, and for whom there was a party this afternoon. Lovely French Mum volunteered to buy joint presents from all the kids. Great, one less thing to add to my list.

But then Efficient and Slightly Scary in a Glenn Close styley German Mum jumped on board and issued instructions to each of us to supply an A4 piece of paper with suitable artwork from our children on it by Wednesday morning 9am, so that she could bind them into a suitable folder for the child leaving to take away as a 'lovely memento'. Warning bells started to ring. Shortly followed by tantrums on Monday night from Boy #1 because the crocodile he was trying to draw didn't have the correct legs (one was a foot, the other a paw. He said). We retired and decided to try again later.

At 9.30am on Wednesday morning, a text was sent round naming and shaming all the non-contributory children. Obviously, Boy #1's name was on the list. So this morning at 7.30am he and I were industriously sticking and pasting a suitable offering, having begged an extension until today. (Reminds me of being back at uni). We made it - just. Laid-back Danish Mum told me this afternoon that her daughter also had help - thank god. Control-freak Dutch Mum admitted that she more or less did it herself. And Manic Colombian Mum had forgotten all about it - but her son wasn't going to the party this afternoon anyway.

And so, to the party itself...

I've written about kid's parties on this blog before. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly. But I have to say, this had to be the worst party I have ever (EVER) taken the boys to. Where to start?

  • 30 (yes, I counted them) kids in a flat of less than 60sq meters (the same size, basically, as most people's kitchens, sitting and dining rooms combined. In an all-pervading gloom due to the fact that most of the light fittings had been removed prior to the family's move. And BTW - before you start feeling sorry for them, this was not the flat where the family holding the party actually lived. They lived on the 2 floors above, but hadn't wanted the mess of the party in their own home.)
  • In addition the kid's mums and /or nannies (so, around 30+ adults. Just in case you hadn't worked that one out for yourself).
  • One bathroom. Let me say that again. One Bathroom.
  • An entertainer who was great but somewhat subservise and quite messy (the children ended up with balloon animals that they loved, and many of which also resembled - well, you can guess).
  • A grandmother who was on door duty - but not, being too busy taking photos of her darling grandchildren to trouble herself letting people in.
  • Ditzy Spanish Mum (the hostess), 5 months pregnant, in the midst of packing up her home and wondering how she got herself into this mess, trying to handle her 2 kids and 28 other people's children screaming like banshees and hyped up on tiredness and day-glo crisps.
  • Yet another cake with nuts in it. So one upset Boy #1.
  • Shortly followed by an almost concussed Boy #2 as he tripped over somebody's feet and banged his head on a door frame. If this post seems disjointed, it's because I am switching rapidly between my on-screen persona of Potty Mummy and my current off-screen manifestation as Panicky English Mum, and sneaking into his room to check his breathing every - oh - 10 minutes or so...

I should have listened to my gut and made our excuses at the beginning of the week. Oh, the sweet benefit of hindsight.

So, I'm asking again. Where did my Fairy Godmother get to? She's got my Christmas cards to finish writing, for starters...

Note: next post I am going to stop feeling so sorry for myself and tell you the stuff I love about Christmas. (But it probably won't anything like as appealing...)


Tracey 13 December 2007 at 22:56  

oh god, what a nightmare. I hope everything sorts itself out (potential concussion included) before the high stress of Christmas Day... (I suppose that's being presumptuous.. but isn't it mostly always stressful?)

Guineapigmum 13 December 2007 at 23:20  

Aaagh.... that's all I can say, really.

aims 14 December 2007 at 01:25  

I say it again - you do have all the fun over there...

What happened to just letting little friends move away with a sad wave - instead of all this stuff that they won't remember when they are older?

Potty Mummy 14 December 2007 at 14:10  

Hi Tracey, latest update is that Boy #2 is fine, not even a bruise to show for the impressive crack I heard when he hit the door-frame. He obviously inherited his dad's thick skin... I'm hoping we'll all be fine for Christmas day but as we'll be at mother-in-law's, who knows...

GP Mum - you read my mind. In fact, that was actually all was going to post when I first sat down yesterday evening... AAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! But then I figured some kind of explanation was in order.

Aims, so true. As you point out, the girl in question is only 4 - she'll have forgotten all about this within 3 months. If the counselling works, that is.

dulwichmum 15 December 2007 at 12:29  

Perfect Potty Mummy,

I agree with Aims! What ever happened to a fond wave with a tear in the eye? Really sweetie, are you sure you don't live in Dulwich?

Frog in the Field 15 December 2007 at 16:03  

Potty Mummy, you are my favourite Blogger.
You paint the clostrophobic (have I spelled that correctly?)gloom so well, I had to open the window.
The flat is 2sq meters smaller than kitchen, that's scary.
I hate to break it to you, but there's no Easter Bunny or tooth fairy either!
If you do catch up with the fairy Godmother, send her over here...please!! And tell her to bring a bottle!

Potty Mummy 15 December 2007 at 21:15  

DM, perhaps I do (live in Dulwich), but just haven't realised it yet. Although I think there are far too many ex-pats here even for Dulwich. Or, to put it another way, far too few Brits...(she said wistfully).

Frot, you say the nicest things, thankyou. But stop with the showing off! You country folk with your big houses, it's just not fair. You'll be telling me next you have a garden...

Nunhead Mum of One 20 December 2007 at 10:23  

My Fairy godmother tends to disappear whenever I need her the selfish cow.....she was last seen heading off into the wild blue yonder, laughing hysterically and taking the last of the christmas wrapping paper.

Potty Mummy 20 December 2007 at 15:04  

Frog? Am so not talking to you.

Nunhead Mum, thanks for the visit and our Fairy Godmothers are clearly sisters. Mine not only took the wrapping paper, but she blunted my scissors and finished the sellotape as well...

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