Thursday – “The Stripper Who Came to Tea”
The doorbell rings, and Tadpole shrieks with delight, always ridiculously pleased to welcome a new visitor. At the door, an elfin slip of a girl with a rucksack twice her own body weight. And a laptop bag. Definitely a blogger. Hot, slightly flustered: it’s Mimi in Paris!
We eat. We drink. We wait impatiently for another blogging friend to arrive bearing multiple bottles of champagne. The conversation veers from the banal, to the satisfyingly crude, and back again, with many shades in between. Utterly fascinating.
Afterwards, I was thoroughly pleased with myself for having thrown caution and convention to the wind, by welcoming yet another online acquaintance into my offline life, letting my gut feeling guide me, poo pooing my mother’s objections on the telephone.
Mum: “A stripper? Will Tadpole be with you?”
Me: “Mum, she’s an Oxbridge graduate stripper, and anyway, she’s hardly going to teach Tadople how to hang upside down on a pole while my back is turned for five minutes, is she? And even if she did,” I add mischievously, “I’ve always thought children should be made to earn their keep…”
Because no party is complete without a stripper…
Friday – “proceed to checkout”
Mr Frog calls from the airport to say that he has landed on time, and will be able to take Tadpole for the evening after all. It is Friday night, and due to his previous uncertainty, I have made no firm plans for the evening. I resign myself to a night in, catching up on “Grey’s Anatomy”, my latest addiction, and trying not to think about the boy who wants to be friends without the addition of inverted commas.
A friendly little message arrives on meetic chat, out of the blue. In English, which is very refreshing indeed, as participating in chat, in French, on meetic, is comparable to having your fingernails slowly pulled one by one.
A little light-hearted banter ensues and before I know it, I have agreed to go out for a drink that very same evening. I will draw a veil of mystery over what happened next, but suffice to say that there were mojitos. Many mojitos. And a hasty “walk of shame” come Saturday morning, just in time to attend a fête with Mr Frog and Tadpole at her future playschool.
Just what the doctor ordered.
Saturday – “throwing quails’ eggs at parked cars” or “does my bum look big in this age 3-4 fairy outfit”
It is 3pm. I am immersed in a cool bath, having just taken 2 nurofen tablets, and am massaging my throbbing temples to no avail. In my kitchen there is a forest of mint, a dozen or so limes, and a large bottle of rum. Because, of course, the plan had been to make a vat of mojitos for my party. And now, quite frankly, I wouldn’t be sorry if I never have to smell another mojito as long as I shall live.
Thankfully, by 9pm, when the guests begin to arrive, I have perked up considerably. The apartment is however like a furnace, on account of the rather too clement weather we have been having, so we all repair to the balcony at regular intervals to admire the view and cool off.
“Look at my gorgeous view – it’s my masthead image!” I cry.
This elicits blank looks from most people, bloggers included, and I realise that the mojitos are causing me to speak in tongues. And apparently no-one else present speaks xhtml or css.
5.30 am. Only the hardcore remain, including nardac and steve, elmer and chris. I don’t remember clearly what possessed us to fetch all of Tadpole’s headgear from her toybox, but everyone seems to share my enthusiasm for donning reindeer antlers, bunny ears, elephant and monkey masks and sparkly tiaras. Elmer in particular looks very fetching in Tadpole’s fairy outfit, complete with wand.
We throw quails eggs – which no-one seemed to want to eat, and why would they? – at parked cars, and pose for a series of deeply unflattering photographs.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Monday: still tired. Wondering if I will be able to afford rehab if things get too much. Slightly apprehensive about the prospect of a sweltering day at Disneyland Parc tomorrow for Tadpole’s belated birthday celebration.
But every time I think of my weekend, I have to stifle a delighted giggle.
Thank god for the internet.