Thursday, 30 October 2008

Wonderwoman without the costume. Or indeed any costume

I was sitting in my bedroom this morning, not long out of the shower, dressed only in underwear and combing my hair. The news was on in the background and I was getting my brain in gear for the day ahead. Suddenly the bedroom door flew open and two slightly unkempt peanut butter smeared boys appeared. First Born got in first. "It's Halloween tomorrow so you need to get us a pumpkin. And sweets for the guisers."

I looked down at my unclad self. "Now? This minute?"

FB rolled his eyes. "No, but you could go out in your lunch hour and get them."

Second Born sensed his opening and launched his bid. "I've got a school trip today and I need a hat, scarf and gloves."

I looked at the clock. It was 7.12am. "Where do you expect me to get you a hat and gloves at 7.12am, when I am not even dressed yet and you have to be in school in about an hour?"

Second Born was not disheartened. "Oh and yesterday when I was out, I needed my cagoule and it wasn't in my schoolbag."

Red rag to semi-naked bull. The packing of schoolbags (other than the daily lunches) is a boy task. It is their responsibility, not mine. They know this.

I rallied a bit. "Well, you are supposed to pack your own bag, aren't you?"

Reluctant nod.

"Right then. So where have you looked for your cagoule?"

Puzzled stare. What is this "looked" of which you speak?

I sigh. "You mean you haven't looked for it. You discovered yesterday that you did not have your cagoule. You spent a couple of hours last night watching TV, playing with Lego and fighting with your brother. You sat with me for half an hour while I read to you. And yet you never once mentioned the missing cagoule. Or the hat, scarf and gloves for that matter. You decided to keep that information for this morning?"

Second Born is starting to back away now. But I am on a roll: "Go and look for your cagoule. You can whistle for the hat and gloves because you have lost every hat and pair of gloves I have ever bought. You have a scarf somewhere. Look for it while you are looking for your cagoule." I am quite loud and emphatic by this point. Second Born is halfway down the stairs wishing he'd never mentioned it.

I turn to First Born who is already reversing out the door saying "You don't have to get the pumpkin just now, Mum!" Well gee, thanks. And here was me about to hit Sainsbury's in my mis-matched and well worn undies to hunt for a pumpkin and half a ton of chocolate. I suppose I can get dressed now instead.

If I was more gullible naive , I might be flattered that my children seem to believe I am some sort of Wonderwoman, capable of producing clothing, chocolate and root vegetables from thin air. But 10 years of parenting have taught me that they don't worship me as some omnipotent being (at least not any more). They just can't be bothered doing stuff and finding stuff themselves. After all, as Second Born said "You're so much better at looking than I am". Chancers.

EDITED TO ADD: For the benefit of transatlantic readers (Hi Daysgoby!), a cagoule is one of those thin waterproof jackets that you can squash up into a bundle about the size of a tennis ball.


  1. Oh thank God it isn't just my children....

    'But Mom! My shoes aren't in the closet!'

    'Where did you take them off?'
    (a beat)
    'The bathroom'

    'So have you looked IN THE BATHROOM?'

    'Noooo. But YOU could.....'

    AUGH! Oh, and what's a cagoule?

  2. Apparently I am not only Mrs B's husband but it sounds like I can double as a small Child. "Where are my keys?", "Have you seen the remote?" etc etc.

    I count myself lucky though, one of my friends (I assume he is still alive, one can never tell from day to day with the relationship he is in) asked his wife where the whisk was. She threatened him with a knife (I believe this was hormonal as it was a couple of days after the birth of her second child. I do however keep myself at arms length plus about 12", of her, in case it was not....)

  3. Sounds like you have things right under control over there in the Loth household!

    Oh, and I have worn a cagoule before, when I have been backpacking. But ours were knee length and rubber.

  4. But you are a super hero. You're a mom. I think that I need to be less successful at finding things and then maybe they will quit asking me. But I can't stand to have anything lost, and it becomes my obsessive mission. Thanks for the explanation of cagoule. Now I don't have to look it up.

  5. Oh man that is so familiar! When oh when oh WHEN do they learn to take responsibility for their own possessions? When I read that about SB demanding his cagoule I could feel my blood pressure rocket - D does that to me all the time too. When do they grow out of it!?

    On the gloves front, tie his gloves on a bit of string and thread them through his coat sleeves. He'll maybe feel like a baby and be more careful not to lose them?

  6. Thanks for the translation - I thought it was some kind of stick!

  7. Do you really still say people in costumes are wearing "guisers." I was reading about the History of Halloween and they used that word and I thought! How fun!!