Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Catalogue of Misery

The thud of slippery plastic bags onto my doormat this morning heralded the arrival of (yet another) clutch of catalogues. Or should the collective noun be ‘an envy’ of catalogues, or ‘an over-spend.’
In catalogue-land there are no longer only four seasons – more like eight. They include such periods as ‘early Spring,’ ‘late Spring’ and ‘deep mid-Winter.’ The inference being that I need to reassess the state of my plastic bowls, doormats and towels according to the weather conditions.
Sadly, I am incapable of throwing these catalogues away without at least a cursory flick through. Perhaps subconsciously, I think I am about to discover the one item that will deliver the Holy Grail of a well-ordered home. Instead, I am just left with the vague awareness that nothing in my house either matches or co-ordinates with anything else. Unless you include the contents of the wine rack.
Therefore, I really should have known better than to look inside the latest offering from “The Sleepover Company” which sells everything you supposedly need in order to have another child stay at your house for the night. If ever there was a publication designed to up the ante on competitive parenting, this is it. My eldest is only just dipping her toe into the sleepless world of the sleepover, yet it’s easy to see the inevitable slide into full body immersion. On the rare occasions that I had a friend over to stay when I was young, it merely involved pulling a mouldy sleeping bag out of the loft, and going to sleep on the floor. According to “The Sleepover Company” not only should you completely re-decorate your child’s room with a stowaway bed and matching furniture, but you will need to install a trampoline and outdoor activity centre in your garden. They even sell stripy ‘Popcorn bags’ for the little emperors and empresses to hold (or maybe hook over their ears), while they sit in front of your 40 inch wall-mounted home cinema system.
I am drinking a soft, vanilla-like Patache M├ędoc Cabernet Sauvignon (£5.99 down from £7.99 until 6/05 at Ocado) and realising that, if I’m being honest, I am against sleepovers for two reasons. Firstly, the ‘away fixture’ requires me to stay off the vino in case I am needed to pick up my blubbing child at 2am. Secondly, the ‘home fixture’ requires me to stay off the vino in case I have to console someone else’s blubbing child at 2am. That looks like a Lose-Lose situation to me.


rilly super said...

I don't envy you drunk mummy. surely there are sleepover mangagement companies which operate along the lines of party organisers, leasing out for the night the fashionable bedroom furniture, large TV, DVDs and all you need to keep up with the barrington-joness whilst providing a minibus and counselling service thus saving you from the desperate situation of being awake at 2am without recourse to alcohol. Up here things are rather less competitive and if you sit them down with a bag of pork scratchings then the flickering of a black and white TV showing the testcard, or early episodes of last of the summer wine for the older ones, will generally be enough to keep the local children transfixed for several days.

dulwichmum said...

Dear Drunkmummy,

I have a special secret to share with you regarding the successful sleepover! It is called 'Medised'. Oh the joys of a sleepover where the darlings actually sleep. Pass the corkscrew.

debio said...

The 'Lose-Lose' situation extends to the following day too - as, whether the fixture was home or away, the little darlings are sooooo foul through lack of sleep that our house becomes a war-zone.

A soothing glass of 'red' required as bedtime approaches - and that's just for the troops!

Drunk Mummy said...

In the unlikely event that your autobiographical screenplay doesn't make it to Hollywood, you have a great idea for a business there.

Dulwich Mum and Debio, I can see you have already been driven to desperate measures by the horrors of the sleepover - I think a support group is called for.