Cool bag’s are ‘anti-bac’d’, dusty ice blocks cleansed and firming up nicely, M & S bargain bin now devoid of summery salads and bags of mango. The Mummy’s using just their licked finger as a barometer, and ‘that’ feeling in their ‘water’ make outfits choices accordingly and select the appropriate level of sunscreen. With the car stacked high and kids tossed in at the last minute they make their way to…SPORT’S DAY.
I arrive a little late as I’ve had the most marvellous idea of offloading the smallest child to Granma. A child as cute as a button but as slippery as a fish; completely unable to sit still for longer than her morning ablutions therefore not ensuring any ‘Mummy time’ at all. In fact last Sport’s Day I was on the track more than any other child; in fact I was there before and after every, single, frigging, race. Retrieving my whirling dervish as she broke into a sprint, I was too buggered to bother with the Mother’s Race at the end of the day. Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Besides I feel it my duty to offload the small offspring onto Granma as regularly as I can as being an active grandparent has been medically proven to prevent Alzheimers and I’m thoughtful like that.
So on this occasion I arrive cool and carefree in a white, ‘floaty’ blouse; the size of a 4-man tent (truly it could easily save me should I decide to jump out of a tree) and dark glasses creating a film-star look not unlike Audrey Hepburn in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’! Minus the cheekbones, poise and grace but still rocking a strong brow; possibly too strong. Anyhow, bottom line was the glasses were purely there to hide my weeping eyes and frame a snot-filled nose on account of the high pollen count. Either way I was free…free to make small talk, stop without notice and pass the time of day with various lovely Mummy’s gathered. I did not need to check for wet pants, chase a bolting toddler or repeatedly put a sun hat on a sweaty child’s head.
At this point I was signalled by my ‘crew’. With pride I note the veritable picnic island they’ve created with a selection of plastic-backed blankets, walled with hamper’s and handbags. They’d stopped short of bunting which was a shame but either way I took up my prime position in the centre like a dog with two…erm; tails. With one Mummy on look out; i.e. keeping an eye on the start line in case any one of our offspring might be about to lollop past with a fake egg on a spoon. We were free to indulge our femininity with talk of skin care, bunions and other such juicy, girl talk. Passing round our choices of sunscreen we test, sniff and whoop our approval whilst balancing bacon baps on bare legs and in the case of a couple of the younger one’s comparing bikini lines. We were privy on this occasion to an Elder. Who whilst joining in showed us decorum and restraint; ‘how wot to be a proper lady init’. We all hoped that just a little of her class and sophistication might rub off on us; but there were but three chances of that; fat, no and ‘not a cat in hell’s’!
Whilst showing adequate interest in proceedings; including whipping ourselves in to a respective frenzy when one of our darling’s passed, sometimes in a sack or cutting the grass with a skipping rope, we also manage to nibble strawberries like we are centre court at Wimbledon. At the point when steam appeared to be coming off one of the Mummy’s pre-school child we decide to move our ‘picnic island’ into the shade. Here despite being besieged by flying spiders (or a variant of) the more elderly of the group; myself included gave a sigh of relief. The bikini-line comparing sex-pots in their buttock-skimming hot pants with untarnished, bronzed legs that seemingly went on forever were insistent on remaining in the sun. They’d glance back at us on occasion in much the same way you’d look at a woman of a certain age waiting for a bus, wearing a tabard. But I for one was perfectly content to be under the trees; even with the insect infestation just to be able to breath air not tinged with hell’s fires.
Lunch time fell and it became apparent that I hadn’t got any. In my haste to rid myself of cares and be free I also neglected my duty to provide nourishment for myself. Balls. No matter as my ‘bestest’ Mummy friend came to my aid and welcomed me into the veritable feast of middle-class goodness courtesy of M & S. What a treat! I dined like a queen; noshing down on exotic salads bearing beans I can’t pronounce, crunching ‘scratching’s’ crisps (yes, they’re a thing and jolly good too), almonds and fresh fruit. Oh Mummy you did the event proud; your catering was top-notch, Queen Elizabeth would have been happy to chow down sat upon your blanket, even with the questionable stain! At this point our red-faced lovelies came to join us and it was general carnage; with dropped chips trodden into rugs, pizza’s overturned and inhabited trainers repeatedly landing upon cartons of juice. But still…awwwww, didn’t they do well?!!
Sitting back on my chair, full to the brim and happy as a pig in…erm custard I reflect upon this wonderful band of Mummy’s, the other lovely Mummy’s further across the field, the well-mannered children, teacher’s and generally fabulous event and take stock of just how lucky I am. It is at this point I also realise I can have an ice-pop for 50p…so skipping over I collect a stick of frozen e-numbers and revel in the relief of it’s coldness. With children buzzing around; like the flies around our designated plastic bag bin, I eat my ‘pop’ like an 5-year old suddenly quite forgetting that I am cool and grown-up and shit. Still the moment passes and gathering up mine and the children’s discarded plastic tubes I then drench myself quite liberally in the leftover juice of the amateur ice-pop eaters who frankly have a lot to learn. With my aforementioned floaty white blouse now stained beyond comprehension it is time for me to take my leave.
That and my bean salad is winging it’s way through my intestines…either way I’m already looking forward to next year!