The Short Straw

Landscapes365 is a family business, it has a mummy photographer and a daddy photographer and two reasons (one almost 2 and one almost 5 at the time of writing) why only one of us goes out to get the daily images. Tonight it’s the mummy photographer’s turn. We shall call her the Boss from now on. It came to me recently that she can talk the business lingo while I just put my foot in my mouth.  A lot. It is obvious when it is time for a joke and time to be serious. I, however, always come up with my “best stuff” during the least appropriate moments (or as we call them “just shut up while I am talking, shut up when someone else is talking, shut up when no-one else is talking. If I look at you – shut up, if I don’t look at you – shut up. If you think of something to say – don’t, moments). We had an interview with the local paper last Friday, at the Luckenbooth Gallery. I lasted about 5 minutes sitting still, looking attentive, nodding in agreement but keeping quiet till I exploded into life with what I thought was a brilliant piece about how, in a previous interview, with the Scotsman, the writer had ignored all my witty erudite comments and just put in the facts. Two pages of accurate information and only one joke, and even that was re-written, knocking all the fun out of it!

There were small polite laughs and the skin fell off one side of my face as the Boss looked at me. Nevertheless I carried on. Wasn’t it funny that the interviewer had the same type of scarf as the Boss, wasn’t it? I was on fire. If it hadn’t been for the legislation prohibiting smoking in the workplace the Boss would have made sure of that.

Anyway, it was the boss’s turn to go out and mine to put the children to bed. What‘s the problem?

Youngest first, oldest put in front of TV, wait one minute until breathing slows, eyes stop blinking, mentioning sweets gets no reaction. Perfect, one almost 5 year old in cartoon watching mode. Tap on eyeball to check still alive…big flinch. Good. Scoop up almost 2 year old and head for the bath. In, soap, rinse and out again. Piece of cake. It’s a girl so must dry hair. I stand in front of her and point the hairdryer at her for a while (till she complains). Have to stop now, who does she look like? David Cassidy? One of the Nolans? Limal? Must remember, blasting with the hairdryer just creates a mullet. Never-mind, if I can get her into bed before the boss comes home then I can get away with it.


Back down stairs to get older one. Switch off telly and watch him spring back into life with an instant tantrum as Ben 10 hadn’t finished yet. Pick up thrashy, whiney, moany, shouty, crabby child and cart him off to the bath too. Mollify him by letting him take a toy or two into the bath. It begins to resemble to trash compactor in Star Wars (I know it’s now called A New Hope or some such but to we who saw it in the cinema first time round it is just Star Wars), a bobbing mat of broken and sinking toys, with a small boy making waves in amongst it all. Now that he is happy I shall spoil it by washing him, sparking off another one boy riot of protest. Let that calm down before setting off another by pulling the plug out and telling him it is time to clean his teeth.

Someone ought to invent a harness you strap children into to clean their teeth.

So to bed. The battle of the pyjamas kicks off with me suggesting the nice ones that we got in John Lewis, the ones with the pirate theme, you like pirates don’t you? We end up with 3 t-shirts, a Ben 10 hoody and jogging pants, back to front as he is dressing himself…oh and his new trainers, but no socks, nice.

Next, the stories. Tonight I see if I can get away with reading Lars the Polar Bear in a Scandinavian accent. Result!  Then 10 minutes of negotiation and stalling before I get out and head downstairs to greet the returning Boss.    Sit her down with a nice cup of tea and listen to her tell of a stupid dog that lost its ball right in shot.


                          Idiot Senior Assistant searches for her lost ball

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