Has anyone else been to the loo, then accidentally wiped themselves with a face mask? No? Just me then. In my defence, I had noticed it sticking out of the back pocket of my jeans as I sat down, so I grabbed it and sat there holding it for reasons which I still don’t understand. And since I usually get the loo roll ready in advance, and sit there holding it until required, you can see where I got confused. It could have been worse though, at least it was a number one. It could also have been far worse, since it’s often my phone I have to rescue from my back pocket.
The only other witness to this horror was Bungle, our Labrador. He follows me everywhere, even into the bathroom. I think he might believe that since he likes to stare at people while he does his business, that he is simply returning the favour. Either that, or he hasn’t yet worked out that it’s an unlikely place for a handful of treats to be forthcoming.
Unpleasant experiences aside, the week has begun pretty well. My twelve year old was back at school yesterday for the first time since having Covid over the last couple of weeks. She didn’t have a particularly easy time of it, and is still exhausted now, but thankfully she got through it ok.
Her brief illness has shown me once again what a very determined person she is. For instance, she refused to let her complete inability to taste anything except salt, get in the way of demanding chocolate every twenty minutes. She was resolute in her refusal to get into the shower until we pointed out that even the dog would no longer sit beside her, and she realised that loss of smell is indeed a symptom. And she remained utterly convinced that the best way to concentrate on the schoolwork set for her, was to have both the tv and her Spotify playlist fighting it out for attention in the background.
So far, the rest of us have managed to escape the virus. I suspect my teenager has kept it at bay by using the same techniques she does with us – rolling her eyes, refusing to go near it, and telling it she wishes it would just leave her alone for god’s sake.
Speaking of teenagers, another reason why yesterday was a good day, is that my older daughter turned 15. Someone please tell me that 15 is the year they start to turn back to your normal, affectionate, enthusiastic pre-hormonal child? And if you can’t, just lie to me.
Birthdays are different though. She does at least still get excited about the day, and genuinely wants her family around. I even witnessed sibling kindness. On more than one occasion. I looked around wildly for my camera, but it was too far away and, just like David Attenborough himself, I didn’t want to disturb the wildlife and make them flee.
She is seeing her friends this weekend, so last night was a family gathering. It all went very well, although we nearly had a disaster at cake time. Unfortunately, Bungle thinks that the ‘Happy Birthday’ song is dedicated to him. It all started one August. My husband’s birthday is on 20th, mine is the day after and my mum’s is a few days after that. We were all together on holiday for that birthday week, and had brought the dog with us.
By the end of the week, Bungle had learned that every time someone sings happy birthday, there is laughter, hugging and of course, food. Basically all of his favourite things, minus sticks and tennis balls.
It’s now his favourite song and he gets hugely excited whenever he hears it on tv, and zooms around the room in circles, regardless of what might be in his way. If he could access a jukebox, he would definitely play it on a loop. But we refuse to give him the cash.
Last night, I carefully lit the candles on my daughter’s cake, carried it into the room and got as far as ‘hap…’ before I was set upon by a hulking black Labrador eager to assist. He jumped up, nearly knocking me for six. It was only thanks to some serious acrobatics on my part (which I learned one winter when I unintentionally did the splits after slipping on some ice) that I escaped without injury, and more importantly, saved the cake.
So a good day was had by all, especially Bungle, and I thoroughly earned my wine that evening.
Bring on Bedtime!