I really ought to check the calendar before agreeing to stuff. Especially when it is stuff I can’t get out of later.
And that is how I ended up driving to Earls Court for Discover Dogs, armed with a pile of Miniature Smooths and a lone Miniature Long on Zak’s eighth birthday.
Cue the *Bad Mother Alert*
Actually it worked out okay because Nanny Barbara had booked Zak a birthday party, which meant that he was going to be out for most of the day. I figured that this enabled me to mutter moodily that I had intended to take Zak with me for a treat, thus blatantly denying that I had forgotten when I was invited.
Cue the *Disappointed Mother Alert*, which sounds better.
Michael decided that playing 18 rated games at a friends house and then fibbing about it later was going to be more fun than lugging dogs, bedding and bowls through London and declined my offer of a day out. Which adds to the alert above. I was on a roll.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that I adore Christmas cake. I mean seriously Adore. If it came down to banning wine or Christmas cake I would be unable to choose. So on the way, Poor Lisa and Joy had to wait in the car with Poxy Roxy while I loaded up with boxes of Christmas cake slices. My friend Sue who I was meeting there is the only person on earth who loves Christmas cake more than me. One box was never going to cut it. We eat Christmas cake all year round. In the car, at shows, in the lounge, down the kennels, on the ferry – you get the idea.
Back to the point, which is the abandonment off my offspring on the birthday of Number Two son. The ruse outlined above, aligned with the old “I-figured-it-would-do-you-good to-have-some-quality-time-with-your-little-sons-seeing-as-you-miss-out-on-them having-to-work-such-long-hours” to my husband clinched it, and by the time I got to the M25 I wasn’t feeling guilty at all.
I was feeling quite liberated and giggly in fact. And smug.
Now, if the idea of doing this was subconsciously to escape from small children for the day, I played it all wrong. Sue loves small children too, and while our Lord may have said “Suffer the little children to come unto me” we took it to a new level today. We arrived, Sue put her five in the middle display area, I took Cindy and Adam into one end and Joy took her Truffle and Poxy Roxy to the other. By 9 am, the fact that our booth was dismally underdecorated didn’t matter as you couldn’t get in for people wanting to fuss the dogs. Joy swears that people were dropping off small children and collecting them later. Those fabulous dogs from 8.30am until 5pm were ruthlessly, fussed, pulled about, cuddled, posed for pictures and overloved by many children. In the end I had to limit entry to four at a time and we had a queue waiting to come in. Sue seemed to be able to take about eight at a time, but she did have more dogs to cuddle.
Joy had more sense. She locked her gate and passed Poxy Roxy and Truffle over the top.
Now, at about the time all this was going on, somewhere within those eight and a half hours, about 60 miles away in a Stevenage soft play area…
- Zak had a wonderful time partying with his friends
- Chris supervised small brothers Alfie and Joe at said party
- A staff member discovered a little boy who had liberally shat himself in the toilet
- Alfie told Chris that Joe was in the toilet
- Chris didn’t believe Alfie
- Staff member asked Joe what his name was
- Joe apparently punched the air and yelled “I’m the Messiah”…
Cue that call over the tannoy we all dread…
If you are the staff member who encountered three year old Joe semi naked in the loos – I apologise unreservedly, and yes he truly believes it.
If you are the wonderful lady who came to my husband’s rescue and provided him with a clean pair of underpants and a packet of babywipes, I owe you big time, as without your kind intervention, I would have had even more grief to listen to when I got home. Contact me, there is a bottle of wine here with your name on it. And a slightly used but washed pair of underpants.
But more importantly, if you are that lovely Polish lady with the lovely autistic daughter who hustled her out of the dog pen when she began to flap and spin – big hugs and I wish I spoke Polish, or had better sign language to explain, you could have left her in with my dogs and had a cup of tea with us. My lovely dogs are well used to autism and all the ups and downs that go with it. Sending you a virtual cup of tea, piece of Christmas cake and ten minutes peace.
If there was a lesson to be learned today for me as a dog breeder it was that temperament is everything. And checking the calendar is good.
Hiding the last slice of Christmas cake however, is priceless.