Sunday, 8 November 2009

In bed with Mrs. Bricket

Sunday morning. I am dozing fitfully in bed, numb with sleep. It is my day of the weekend for a lie-in, having been up early doing 'Daddy Duty' yesterday, and I am determined to wring every last precious second of rest out of the morning. Sadly, others in my household have decided that my allotted time is up.
The door crashes open. A diminutive figure, all curly hair and determined jawline, struts into the room as if she owns the place. It is the Youngest, and she has the 'There will be no nonsense from you' demeanour of a nineteenth century land baron dealing with a tenant who has fallen behind with the rent.
"Wake up Daddy,"she announces."It is time for you to go to school."
This seems unlikely: I have not been to school for well over twenty years. I turn my head to the bedside clock, which reveals that the time is exactly 9.30 a.m, almost to the second. This is significant, as it the time my wife and I have agreed is the earliest point we will let the children disturb the slumber of whichever parent has a lie-in. My wife often generously lets me sleep longer, and the fact that she has allowed Youngest to wake me at the first possible opportunity is not a good sign: it suggests that the children have already worn down her defences this morning and she can no longer cope without reinforcements. This suggests that what is about to follow is likely to be trying...
It is. Youngest drags open the curtains, and pale November daylight limps lazily into the room. I notice that the the air is full of soft drizzle and on the horizon are dark ominous clouds: it looks as if the sky is made of old bruises and fresh tears.

"Ugh" I say.
"Yes," says Youngest, as if agreeing, then adds: "Daddy, this is Mrs. Bricket."
I gaze blearily at 'Mrs. Bricket'. She looks familiar.
"That is your rag doll." I say. "I thought it was called 'Lollopy'."
"No," she says firmly. "It is Mrs. Bricket. She is your teacher."
"Oh. I see."
"It is time for school now."
"OK..."
She sits 'Mrs. Bricket' in the bed next to me. This seems somewhat inappropriate behaviour for most teaching staff. At this point I can't help but notice that 'Mrs. Bricket' appears to have come to school this morning dressed only in pair of knickers and a vest. Perhaps she is a P.E teacher.
"And this," Youngest continues, "is Peppa Pig. She is the school nurse."
I look at the object that has been thrust into my face. It is a plush toy pig doll, dressed in medical gear. It looks uncannily like something I once had a nightmare about. She squeezes it, and it makes two short muffled 'oinks', like a quick succession of partially-stifled farts.
"And what is she for?" I ask.
"She is for when you fall down," she explains, in a tone of voice that somehow intimates that me 'falling down' at some point is an iron-clad certainty. In fact, she make it sound like when I 'fall down' it will not be an accident. With its scantily-clad teachers, porcine medical staff and the ever-present threat of violence, it sounds like Mrs. Bricket's educational establishment would keep the Daily Mail in headlines for months.
"School is starting in a minute," she says, "but we need to check you first."
This sounds ominous. I instinctively flinch as she reaches up and rubs the pig doll on my head.
There is a short pause while I work out what to say next.
"What is she doing?" I ask.
"Checking for nits."
I look back at the clock. It is 9.31. It is clearly going to be a very long day.

3 comments:

Mark said...

.... as if the sky is made of old bruises and fresh tears

Liked that.

Misterimpatient said...

I second Mark's comment.

I cannot remember when I have slept as late as 9:30am. Honestly. College perhaps? I would have to have been up until 3 in the morning and then, locked in a room with excellent window shades.

That said, I would love to experience this some time. I wonder what it's like to wake with the sun already well on it's journey, and so close to lunch!

Carol said...

hehehe, very funny!!

C x