I have hinted, in recent weeks, at events which were unfolding in the background. Sinister events. Events I was not at liberty to discuss on my blog, just yet.
In the meantime I stuck to the safest anecdotes, seething with frustation at not being able to write about that One Single Horrible Thing which was preying on my mind, night and day, causing dramatic (and not entirely unwelcome) weight loss, panic attacks and sleepless nights, in the beginning.
The waiting is over, and I will begin by turning back the clock to my unexplained two week hiatus at the end of April this year. Starting with a post originally written on Wednesday 26 April 2006.
I step into the lift, inspecting my face in the mirror for tell-tale streaks. As I make my way across the park, I wonder whether the nanny will notice that I have arrived from the direction of home, wearing jeans.
I take a few deep breaths as I approach, hoping that my facial expression does not betray my inner turmoil. I very much want to hold things together, for Tadpole’s sake.
Tadpole greets me with indifference, which is not unusual. She is far more engrossed in trying to wrestle a very large Noddy doll off one of her playmates. Her own – a more pocket sized version – lies abandoned on the floor, a grass stain across his cheek.
It would appear to be high time for us to have a mother-daughter conversation about how size isn’t (always) everything.
“Come on sweetie,” I begin, brightly, “you can’t take the big Noddy. It’s not yours. Yours is much better, because he fits in your bag, and you can take him everywhere.”
“NOOOO! I want the big Noddy!” Tadpole rages, face set in a stubborn expression which reminds me, suddenly, of her father.
“Well, that’s a shame,” I continue, with a sudden flash of inspiration, “because it’s little Noddy’s birthday today, and he wanted to invite you to his birthday party… but if you don’t want to come…”
“Can we get a birthday cake?” Tadpole enquires, playing into my hands as I knew she would. “And some candles?”
On the way home we discuss how old Noddy is today (definitely 3) and what kind of cake he would prefer. I realise the boulangerie is closed, and we settle for a chocolate swiss roll from Franprix, the only thing which looks remotely festive.
Once the candles are lit, Tadpole looks at me, suddenly anxious. She points at Noddy’s embroidered smile.
“Noddy can’t blow the candles. Look, he hasn’t got any mouth, mummy,” she says, sounding genuinely sorry for her little doll.
“Well, maybe you can do it?” I venture, trying not to dwell on the parallels between Noddy’s mouth and my self-enforced silence in the days to come. Tadpole obliges, with great enthusiasm.
I look at my daughter, her beautiful chocolate-icing coated cheeks, and wonder how on earth I have managed to make such a mess of things. Here I am, holding a fantasy birthday party, while our whole world is literally crashing down around our ears.
I was “dooced” today.
Suspended without pay, pending a dismissal meeting in ten day’s time.
Asked to collect my belongings together and leave the building immediately.
The words “faute grave” were used. Translated into English: gross misconduct.
Petite Anglaise: the blog that got me fired. Call me naïve, but I really didn’t see that coming.
Please note that due to the rather unexpected levels of traffic (most doocelike) today my host has had to redirect the blog address, create static entry page and all sorts of other tomfoolery, so we don’t bring down the shared server and disrupt other people’s service. In the meantime you may not be able to leave a comment. Hopefully things will calm down shortly, and I will still be able to post in the meantime.