As I now have so many blog hits each day, I’d be daft not to exploit the opportunity to whet your appetite with the first 1200 words of my novel “DIARY OF A MUMMY MISFIT”. If it leaves you craving for more, check it out in the Amazon Store!
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin …
Letter due today!
So excited I almost forgot to pick up Max from nursery. Spent the morning pottering about, anxiously listening out for the postman and imagining his arrival, complete with red carpet and fanfare, as he announced himself the bearer of our awaited good tidings.
Managed to get to ‘Tiny Terrors’ in the nick of time and didn’t hang around for the usual goss with Ruth and Beckie - just had to get home to see if he’d been yet. Dashed up the garden path, even ignoring old Mrs Sengupta next door, who was happily brandishing another Barry Manilow VHS ‘bideo’. Felt a bit mean but promised myself I’d make it up to her later with a good ‘Mandy’ singalong.
Couldn’t believe it when all I found was the usual assortment of bills and blurb. What should I interpret from that? Did no news mean good news or were we doomed?
Called Ned at work and he did his usual, “Don’t panic, Lib. Why do you always think the worst? There could be any number of reasons the letter’s not arrived.”
Doesn’t he appreciate today’s significance? This is the first step towards sealing the educational future of our child. Or, as Ned keeps reminding me, possibly crippling us financially for the next fourteen years plus.
Managed to make it through lunch and a few episodes of ‘SpongeBob’ with Max before I decided that I really couldn’t wait another day and I’d take matters into my own hands and call the school immediately.
Of course ‘immediately’ meant after I’d finally plucked up enough courage at 3.40 when it occurred to me that the school office would be closing and time was rapidly running out. Kicked myself for being such a coward when it comes to dealing with ‘people in authority’.
A few minutes later I realised the reason I’m such a wimp is because, invariably, those people make me feel like a truculent ten year old - as indeed did the snotty secretary who answered my call.
“Oh, no Mrs Marchant. The letters aren’t actually going out until today and we couldn’t possibly divulge confirmation of acceptance over the telephone. It wouldn’t be fair on the other parents.”
Why did she make it sound like bloody MI5? All I want is a decent education for my son. Surely that’s not too much to ask?
Oh well, I guess another sleepless night won’t hurt.
Ned wasn’t too keen to discuss having to wait another day for the news. In fact he simply said, “At least I can sleep soundly for one more night before I start shitting it.”
His yin to my yang.
Tuesday 6th May AM
Just re-read last night’s entry and realise that I sound like a really pushy mother. Which is SO not true. We just want the best for Max.
For as long as we can remember, Ned and I have said we’d sacrifice luxuries and holidays to pay for his education. The schools are so crappy in our catchment area, we didn’t feel we were left with a choice.
Ned just shows his panic more than I do, probably because he’s the one who’s got to come up with the readies. But I’ve said that I’ll return to some sort of work once Max starts school - unless, by some miracle, I get pregnant again.
Ned always goes a bit pale when I say that - as much as he wants another one, I guess two at private school is too much to consider at the moment.
Well, it’s official!
Max has been accepted at Manor House Prep School - the most sought after private school in our area. He bloody did it and I’m so proud of him. He clearly has his father’s brain.
Popped next door to tell Mrs Sengupta the good news and see if she needed any shopping. She asked if I could get a box of seed for Bazzer-the-Budgie (Manilow inspired, of course) and also if I could check the local charity shops for some more Juicy Couture trackies - “To keep bootie warm, under sari.” Her ‘arteritis’ was the bane of her life until I introduced her to the joys of ‘leisure panties’ as she insists on calling them. She also insists on designer only or ones with messages across the buttocks - her favourites so far being, ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘Blingin’’.
Splashed out on 3 for 2 wine at Sainsbury’s and settled down with a glass to ring Mum before Ned came home for a celebratory dinner.
Mum was her usual cautious self, “Oh darling, I was so hoping they’d turn him down!” Thanks Mum! “It’s such a huge burden to take on. He’s a bright lad and he’d have been perfectly happy at the local primary. None of my children went private and most of them did OK.”
By which she meant my two sisters, both in high-powered jobs - certainly not me, the ‘one who chose to be a home-maker and mother’, as she likes to describe me to her bridge class buddies.
Realised there was no point in pursuing the conversation - Mum will always have the last word. (Oh yes, she will!)
Decided to call best friend Lou in Scotland.
“Och, yeh daft cow, Lib! You’ve bitten off more than you can chew there, I’m tellin’ yeh. S’ppose you’ll end up being one of those stuck-up bints on the bloody ‘school run.’ God I hate that term. What happened to ‘dropping the kids off at school?’ Before yeh know it he’ll be at soddin’ ‘play dates’ and you’ll be booking in him for Basic Mandarin or Sushi for Beginners.”
It’s nice to know that two of the people I love most in the world are so supportive of my decisions.
At least Ned was in a buoyant mood when he got home and he’d bought me flowers - even though they were presented with a “Make the most of these, they could be your last for a while once we start paying the school fees.”
I’d made a lovely Nigella recipe for dinner - even though I hate the woman. She may be the Domestic Goddess, but she’s just called ‘My God’ in our house because every time her mug comes on TV, one of us will instantly say “My God, Nigella’s on again.” Even so, I’m still doing well with my new year’s resolution to be more like her. Ned questions why I would want to be like someone I hate but I know what I mean! Not a pre-packed meal in sight in our house and regular afternoons of baking. He’s still struggling with the concept and often asks, with something bordering on trepidation, “What’s for dinner tonight then, Nige?”
I’d cooked ‘Luscious Liver’ for dinner - which sounded great in ‘Nigella speak’ but is definitely not one to repeat or pass on to friends.
We enjoyed the 3 for 2 a little too much and Ned got a bit maudlin.
“Yep,” he said (or actually slurred, now I look back) “Our Max will have the best possible start in life. Who needs holidays abroad anyway?”
I seem to remember he paused then and I could almost see the pound signs in his eyes as he continued, “Mind you, four grand a term over, say fourteen years, plus inflation works out at nearly 200 grand. Phew … could buy us an awful lot of sun!”
Ouch, when you put it like that, what have we committed ourselves to?
* * * *
Now head off to the Amazon store and, if you don’t have a Kindle, download a free app to your PC or compatible mobile. If you’ve ever felt like you don’t belong, join Libby as she takes on the evil Meemies, with faithful Fenella by her side, and navigates her way through her new world of bitching, Botox and designer handbags - with a little bit of Eastern promise on the side.
Now also available in paperback at Lulu.
Now also available in paperback at Lulu.