My ongoing campaign to win “Worst Mother Alive” continues to gather pace.
This morning, I was rushing around trying to find the permanent marker to write the name in Flea’s new school coat, purchased on Friday at enormous expense to replace the school coat she’s already lost.
In case you’re wondering, I’m using a permanent marker because I’ve lost the name labels I bought sometime over the summer holidays. Like mother, like daughter, I guess.
Anyway, Flea is pouring her cereal and spills it on her jumper. “Go upstairs and get another one,” I tell her.
Flea’s at that funny age when sometimes four seems awfully grown up and she can do everything herself, then suddenly, she is too little to do anything without Mummy’s help. “But I don’t know where my jumpers are, I need you to help me,” she says, bottom lip already quivering.
“Oh, for goodness sake,” I say, as I realise I should have given my child a shorter name that would actually fit on a bloody label. “In your wardrobe. Go.”
She trudges upstairs, giving me a black glare as she passes. Two minutes later, she comes back down – no jumper. “I can’t find it Mummy.”
I adopt my best stern voice. “Go upstairs and put a jumper on. Right now.”
She trudges back upstairs, now crying quietly to herself. “And why on EARTH are you crying? ” I shout after her. “Just get the jumper, or you’ll go to school without one, and you'll be cold.”
Two minutes later she returns. She’s wearing her raincoat. “What is THAT, you weirdo?” (I know this isn’t textbook positive parenting, but it'll give her something to talk about in therapy, later on.)
She looks up at me, eyes brimming with tears. “It’s a jumper?”
Right. I march upstairs, trailing small child behind me, into her bedroom. With a theatrical flourish, I open the wardrobe. No jumpers. That’s the moment I remember that I moved all her jumpers to her chest of drawers on Friday. Ah. I sense I may have lost whatever small thread of parental authority I ever had.
Flea sang her new composition: "My Mummy is a silly sausage" all the way to school.