Apocalypse now...

>> Thursday, 17 January 2008

Panic at Restaurant Chez Potty ce soir. Well, to be honest, mayhem set in somewhat earlier than that. After a stupidly busy day ('stupidly busy' in so far as I'm not sure what I actually achieved, but I didn't stop moving from getting out of bed to - well, around now), at nursery pick-up time I also collected a friend of Boy #1's to bring him home for a play-date. (Cue deep-felt shudder from any Mums reading this post).

After marching away from the nursery - Boy #1 and Friend had clearly been reading military history in their Quiet Time, given the rate at which they were issuing orders to each other, Boy #2, and me - we stopped to cross the busy road.

Me: OK, stop, everyone. Wait here until I say go.

Friend: I am the Captain, I am in charge. I say when to go.

Boy #1: No, I am in charge. It's my turn.

Me (picking up Boy #2 and firmly wedging his considerable weight under one arm whilst doing a balancing act with their school-bags, a couple of cards - please, no more party invites! - and a flimsy plastic freezer bag containing Boy #2's baked offering of the day, chocolate rice crispy cakes, yum): No, you're both wrong. I am the general, and I am in charge.

Friend: No, no, I am the general.

Note: we had missed at least one opportunity to cross during this exchange, so I decided to take control.

Me: I am the Brigadier General (having no real idea who outranked who here, but banking on the fact I was dealing with a four year old, for chrissake), because I am the Mummy and we are going to cross the road when I say. Now let's go!

Eventually we got home after more arguing from the back seat of the car about army ranks and whose Daddy goes to the bigger school, and then things started to get interesting.

Demands were made by the Friend for bread with jam on (thankyou MIL, for providing home-made bramble jelly that sits waiting forlornly at the back of the fridge for a hungry visiting child to demand a snack that doesn't involve ham, cheese or chocolate), by Boy #1 for me to time how long each of them wore the knight's outfit to avoid outright hostilities, and by Boy #2 for me to carry him round on my hip in the kitchen whilst he wrapped his legs around me like a monkey and tried to reach the contents of the knife block, the recently boiled kettle, and the controls for the oven.

When Husband arrived for brief visit on his way to the airport (don't ask me where he was off to because I'm too envious to talk about it, but it involves ski-boots, dammit), he stood there blinking whilst the maelstrom whirled around him. The air of chaos was not helped by the fact that for some insane reason I had chosen this afternoon to make some curried parsnip soup (to cap it all the new veg box arrived this afternoon, and I couldn't face throwing yet more food away without making some attempt at being a home-maker), so it smelt somewhat more fragrant than I would have liked.

Husband left again (only to return somewhat later when his flight was cancelled due to recent events at Heathrow), and in the meantime the Friend was picked up by his mum and left, restoring relative calm to the flat.

But then disaster struck.

The menu this evening? Sausages (done to rather more than a turn, must fix that timer), potatoes (what's this stuff, mummy? The skin, darling. Needless to say, not eaten), carrots, and (in an effort to kid myself my children have a varied diet), purple sprouting broccoli. With the exception of the broccoli, fairly bulk-standard pre-schooler food, one would think. But wait. Something is missing - apparantly. Some vital food group. Something necessary to complete any meal with sausages. I was sent post-haste to the kitchen to rectify the oversight.

Imagine the horror then, when I opened the fridge door to find out...

...we had run out of ketchup.


rilly super 17 January 2008 at 22:35  

well,with all the top brass in your family potty mummy I certainly know where to go if I ever have an urgent gold braid requirement

I'm off to watch an officer and a gentlemen so now look what you made me do, sigh

Tracey 18 January 2008 at 02:47  

And a VC for resisting the urge to smack The Friend for being a cheeky brat. I have a lot of trouble dealing with that sort of stuff from the occasional Friend.

And another medal for being the one who was Staying while the Spouse was heading off with ski boots - even if he didn't get away after all.

And yet another one for coping when they DON'T EAT THE DINNER YOU HAVE COOKED AND SERVED THEM!

You are a very highly decorated Brigadier General, I have to say.

Kaycie 18 January 2008 at 03:33  

Running out of ketchup is a downright emergency at my house.

Sounds like a draining day. Have a glass of wine and a bit of chocolate. That should make you feel all better.

ped crossing 18 January 2008 at 05:43  

Ketchup is its own food group with my boys. We practically buy it in restaurant quantities.

I hope tomorrow is calm and you manage to restock the ketchup.

Potty Mummy 18 January 2008 at 11:43  

Rilly, by the leeeeeeeft, quiiick march! Hope you enjoyed the movie. I have to say that although Richard Gere never really did it for me, in that one I did think 'not so bad'... Must be the uniform. Got to go now to try and put the gold braid back onto Husband's army uniform before he notices it's missing.

Thanks Tracey. Husband finally left 5.30am this morning and is probably on the slopes as we speak. Grrrr... I would say more but am having trouble staying upright with all these medals on my chest...

Kaycie - but that was the real kicker. We had run out of chocolate too! Probably no bad thing in actual fact or I would have been forced to eat a 100g bar in one sitting.

Hi Ped - thanks for the reminder. Am off to the cash & carry now to buy a couple of pallet loads.

She's like the wind 18 January 2008 at 14:22  

How could you let this happen, no ketchup, the sin of all sins! LOL

Frog in the Field 18 January 2008 at 16:37  

Wicked Mother! How COULD YOU??
I shall be phoning childline on the boys' behalf immediately if not sooner.
Oh those poor poppets...

aims 18 January 2008 at 17:02  

chaos (noun) 1.the disorder of formless matter and infinite space, supposed to have existed before the ordered universe. 2. extreme confusion or disorder 3. an abyss;chasm

reprieve (noun) 1. to postpone the punishment of; to postpone the execution of (a person condemned to death) 2. to give temporary relief to, as from trouble or pain

holiday (noun) !. a religious festival 2. a day of freedom from labor; day set aside for leisure and recreation 3. a period of leisure or recreation; vacation

Which one doesn't fit here?

Pig in the Kitchen 18 January 2008 at 18:38  

Don't you make your own ketchup?

Potty Mummy 18 January 2008 at 19:51  

SLTW - I know. I could barely bring myself to set foot outside my front door today, I was so shamed. Oh well - they'll get over it. Eventually.

Frog, it will be known as the Great Ketchup Scandal of South Kensington - at least in Boy #1's class, I'm sure. Thank god they don't have mobile phones yet or I'm sure Esther Rantzen would have been knocking on our front door already.

Aims, is that a trick question? Surely you know that EVERY day is a holiday with my two little rays of sunshine... At least they are right now for Husband who is currently enjoying apres ski beer in the French Alps. However, rest assured - I will have my revenge. Not sure how, exactly, but it will feature lie-ins in some shape or form.

Pig - funny you should say that. Believe it or not, yesterday evening I did make a paltry attempt to do just that, using mayo and tomato chutney, but they weren't fooled and it was spurned. Typical as it then of course made it's way onto my plate - and since it actually tasted pretty good (although, admittedly not much like ketchup), I ate it instead. I can't win.

Am sure that of course you DO make your own ketchup. Don't tell me if you don't - let me keep my illusions...

Iota 18 January 2008 at 20:53  

They'd used it all hadn't they? For the blood in their battle enactments.

You need to watch this (link below - if it doesn't work, email me), and then when desperate, you can just start singing the last line or two (the bit where she sings "because because because I'm the Mum, the Mum, the Mum, ta-da"). I find I resort to it increasingly often, but at least now my eldest is of an age where he can (just about)understand the humour of the video, so we can laugh together about it. I think.


Potty Mummy 18 January 2008 at 21:01  

Iota, you are inspired! Not just for working out where the ketchup went, but for finding and sending me that link, it is FABULOUS!!!!

Am off now to e-mail it to all my non-blogging buddies...

nobody 19 January 2008 at 12:55  

the horror better watch out they may throw you in the brig!

Potty Mummy 19 January 2008 at 13:12  

Hi Nobody, thanks for the visit, and it's worse than the brig. I have been condemned to a weekend alone with my boys. Not a problem in itself, I agree - but it's really like doing the day job 7 days a week. Husband better be grateful when he gets back...

nobody 20 January 2008 at 17:14  

how funny I told my hubby I never really thought he did much of anything around here till he went away for a week :)
hang in there!

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