AKA Christmas Time, Farley's Rusks and Wine
I’m at home watching an octopus fight a shark on the tele box, which as we all know is the only TV worth watching, when I hear a key in the lock.
I instantly recognise that key sound. It’s the sound of my beloved, pygmy wife, arriving home. She’s been away for the last couple of hours at our first parent's evening. I say ‘our’ but this one solely belonged to Zsuzsa. Being the kind hearted soul that I am I’d ‘gifted’ it to her, leaving me to ‘take one for the team’ by staying home with Her Tiny Majesty to watch as much shark octopus fighting as our beady eyes can handle. Mila has just gone to bed as things were getting a little bloody.
“Hi honey.” I say. The octopus now has the shark in a head lock, it’s tentacles forced into the toothy fish's gills, so obviously my eye ball direction does not veer from the TV.
Zsuzsa simply sighs and heads straight for the kitchen. A minute or so later, she plonks herself down next to me and sighs again. The shark and octopus are taking a breather and so I take this opportunity to make eye contact with my wife. In one hand she has a glass of red wine, in the other a Farley’s rusk, a food and wine pairing of champions. Her eyes are sorrowful as she takes a bite of rusk and then washes it away with vino.
“What’s up honey?” I ask.
Zsuzsa takes a big gulp and then looks me straight in the eye.
“They made me sing.”
Her bottom lip nearly wobbles.
“The nursery people. They made me sing.”
Seeing my wife so distraught immediately makes me sad. What have these barbarians done to her? I won’t have it! Nobody is allowed to make my wife sad except for me! I’ve half a mind to hunt down these nursery people and vanquish them. All I can say is that it’s a good job for them that we are not living in medieval times and that vanquishing is now frowned upon. They're also lucky that I'm too busy watching a shark fight an octopus.
“All of the parents had to sit on the floor in a circle and sing a song about bonfires.”
This is getting worse by the minute. Not only was my poor wife made to sing, but others were subjected to her singing!
“Why did they do that?”
“To help us understand why the song was good for our children. We sung for an hour!”
“Yes. And then we had to make up a story and do the hand actions to tell the story.”
“What was your story about?”
“Fireworks. About a big yellow firework that went all the way up to the moon.”
Zsuzsa makes an elaborate hand gesture as she says this, swinging her hand all the way up to the ceiling. She then sighs again and visibly deflates as her hand falls back to earth.
The octopus has now legged it and is in hiding, disguised as a bunch of shells. Pussy.
“But I thought parents evenings are about chatting about how things are going with your child?” I say.
“Me to.” replies Zsuzsa. “But it turns out its mostly about singing about bonfires. Must be a UK thing.”
“I don’t think it used to be like that.”
We sit in reflective silence for a moment.
“Bloody Brexit!” I eventually add.
On TV the shark octopus fight has ended in a score draw. We’re now watching a different shark eating a rotting whale carcass. Zsuzsa watches, perplexed.
“Can they eat this stuff without catching diarrhoea?” she asks.
I get up and head to the kitchen to grab a glass of wine and a rusk.