Hagar looked lovingly across the table and sighed, “I was going to say ‘I love you’ but what came out was ‘you bitch, you’ve ruined my life’. This is a constant joke between us – ha ha ha! How we laugh! The children are revolting. Life is demanding and somehow, the tempo and pressure of life has gone off the scale and we are like hamsters on a wheel just trying to keep up with it.
It reminds me of Basil Fawlty:
Basil: “Oh, it’s my fault is it? I thought it was your fault for falling asleep or Manuel’s fault for not waking you, and all the while it was * my* fault. Oh, it’s so obvious now I’ve seen the light! Well, I must be punished then, mustn’t I?(slaps his bottom) You’re a naughty boy Fawlty, don’t do it again!”
I remember a male friend of mine, who had just been dumped calling all women, ‘snakes with tits.’
The Grenade had a summer fete at school where he had to enter an Egg Cresshead. We very diligently grew our cresshead egghead and then knowing that The Grenade is not a detail kind of kid, we racked our brains to try and find a concept that he could actually deliver himself. I am not one of those parents who does their child’s homework for them. I get really annoyed when I get homework from school that is very clearly for me and not for my child, and also knowing that we could get potentially sucked in to a massive, parent homework bully off. My little Johnny is not going to be made to look as educationally challenged child he is in real life – step in competitive parents. I am afraid my little fella is left to battle out his weaknesses, with our support, of course, but I have done my homework year’s ago and that was plenty thanks.
I chose the theme Garden of Eden. He is loving his clay modelling at the moment so I instructed him to rustle up a tree of life, a serpent (actually based on an anaconda, The Grenade’s favourite serpent) and an apple. We did art direct the apple a little. Hagar took the bite. I suggested the white clay on the inside. Hagar and I had two egg cups that we had painted for each other at a ceramics shop. It was our valentine’s gift to each other one year. It was childish but also, we thought it was funny and again, it was before children, when I hadn’t ‘ruined his life’!
(To be honest, these are the only egg cups we have in the house so it was our best option to somehow incorporate them into the theme. *Lightbulb moment* Garden of Eden. Perfect. )
In order to cover the rude bits, I bought some baby spinach leaves and stuck them over the offending genitalia, with non-toxic, glue.
Having created the Garden of Eden – see top pic – we instructed him to draw on the eggs by some miracle, some could say it was divine intervention, he drew the faces he did, which accurately reflected the mood in the garden, post Eve’s bite of the apple. Hurrah! Egg head fete entry, tick! So just in case, I decided that I would explain the theme to the Grenade so that he could, at least, if interrogated, demonstrate some working knowledge of what was going down on that ill fated day.
Right here goes – so God created man in his own form, then from his rib, he creates a women called Eve, but says, ‘whatever, you do don’t eat any apples from the Tree of Life.’ While Adam is not looking a serpent comes along and says, ‘eat the apple, you know you want to, apples are yummy.’ Eve eats apple. God is angry – I said, ‘don’t eat the apple!’ and sentences ‘Adam to hard labour and Eve gets childbirth.’ Oh I see, so it’s all our fault is it! Adam looks at Eve and says, ” I meant to say I love you but what came out was, you bitch, you’ve ruined my life!’
Clare Macnaughton; a modern military mother; a feminist, British military spouse, and lifestyle journalist, writing about real life adventures.
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