It is Friday night and NW has invited the President of NG and NC’s swimming group, ‘Across the Pond’, to supper. I am panicking.
WHICH President? I’d asked him in shock the previous night, because of the uncanny parallel with the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge hosting the US one at Kensington Palace the same evening. And then, when he told me, I said, “Oh. Bummer”. Because NW is the chef in our house and he will be home too late to cook … and my cuisine is Michelin-t(i)red, not starred.
Consequently, I am trying to simultaneously tag my blog, make spag bog and watch NG and NC, both of whom are wearing Blade & Rose outfits and are in a united state of ominous angelicism. NC looks princely doing frog kicks in his ‘HRH’ leggings’ and they have both been practising their swimming moves on the floor; NG helping NC with his front crawl and giving him a back stroke.
“Mbloggers, pbloggers, Duchess … Sorry, what did you say?” I call to NG who, I now realize, is shouting my name.
“My horse is in its hole.”
I only stop stirring for a millisecond.
“Which hole?” Though I am not sure I want the answer.
“And my arm is all …” (NG’s voice cracks with emotion) “squishy.”
I cross over to my daughter and look down. NG tilts her head coquettishly and sticks out her tongue.
“Not really, Mummy. I was only JOKERing’.”
I get a bit ratty. “Darling, a very important man is coming for supper tonight with Daddy and me so you both have to eat yours quite quickly. Hurry up and sit down.”
NG springs up and does a couple of toe points, which she’s been doing ever since her bouncy, Queen’s Guard leggings arrived. “Mummy, I can swim in these if I want to ‘cos when I sit down, I can’t see my bottom but when I swim, then I can. And my bottom is beautiful in these beautiful leggings.”
I want to argue this point but time is pressing and I know what she means. And to be fair, her bum does look even prettier than Pippa’s.
I plant NC deep in the pile of tea towels that serves as high chair padding since the inflatable cushion insert succumbed to NL’s ‘Labrador Does Jaws’ impression.
I plonk some hasty pasta in front of NG, who looks at the plate, then at me sadly.
“What is is?”
“OHHH. I wanted to see him.”
“Who? Your bottom?”
She looks at me blanky. “No, Mummy. The important bummer man. You told Daddy ‘Obummer’ when he said the important man is coming to our house for supper.
I am in the middle of arranging our last tea towel across NL’s paws as he lies, drooling beneath the table. I stop to think how to respond; blobs of saliva pool on my wrist.
“He’s an important swimming man, darling. From Across the Pond, the group you and your brother go to for lessons. You know, where you sing that Puddleduck song? Well, it’s the man in charge. The President, he’s called.
NG sucks slowly on a spaghetti string. Thought bubbles swirl until one surfaces and pops. “I know, I know, Mummy. I CAN SING THE BUMMER MAN MY SONG.”
Rather than tell her she’ll be fast asleep in bed, having drifted off like Iglepiggle in his boat, I nod indulgently. “That’s right, darling. And how does it go?”
I hum along with her as she goes through the numbers: “One Puddleduck went swimming one day …” and synchronise slurping wine impressively in time to the beat. By the time we get to the end, I’m ready to dive in with some free-styling.
“The President said, ‘quack, quack, quack, quack and only one President came BARACK”.
“No, Mummy.” says NG after a pause. “Next time, if you don’t know the words, just say ‘oh, bum’ and I will rescue you.”
I was provided with two sets of Blade & Rose leggings and socks: HRH and Queen’s Guard in return for a Right Royal review. Leggings retail at £10 each; socks at £5.50 for a pack of two.
KEY TO CHARACTERS
Characters are abbreviated as follows:
NW – not William (husband and father)
NG – not George (daughter, sister and two and three quarter year old)
NC – not Charlotte (son, brother and seven month old)
NL – not Lupo (a Labrador)