Wednesday, 26 December 2007

A Real Christmas Cracker

I'd love to actually tell you that Christmas in the Mildew Household, with the addition of Charles Parnsip, was a total disaster, but, actually, it went fairly well.

Mr Parsnip is more excitable about Christmas than a bag full of monkeys on Ecstasy and so went around jumping out on me and daughters #1 and #2 shouting maniacally, 'It's Christmas Eve!!' until #1 turned to him with such disdain that he visibly withered. #2 entered into the general theme of things, though, and carried on where Mr P had left off. It became a bit of white noise to me in the end...

Christmas Eve was a family oriented evening. Mr P had devised a game of charades for us which included such beauties as 'The Muppets' Christmas Carol' [mine]; 'The Nine O'Clock News' [#2's, who suffers with mild dyslexia] and 'If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body (Would You Hold it Against Me)', [put back in the hat by #1 who was suddenly stricken with an abnormal attack of embarrassment).

We then sat down to a game of Buzz. Buzz is a family quiz game for the PS2 which has hand held buzzers, coloured option buttons and it's a game of knowledge and speed. I suffer with an excellent general knowledge of trivial facts which is a sign of a mis-spent youth in pub quizzes, playing strip Trivial Pursuit, and devising Rugby Club Charity Quizzes in my capacity as Social Secretary during my Muscat days. So, no matter how hard I try to NOT win, in order to let aforesaid daughters win, my natural instinct to get it right takes over, and +300 points comes my way...

Unfortunately, this is where the fun ends...#2 is the most competitive creature I have ever come across and takes the hump immediately, berating us vehemently if we press the right answer one millisecond before her and thus get awarded the points. It got to the point where she was so angry with me (in the lead by a long chalk, even after the other contestants were allowed to take pot-shots at me and take my hard-eared winnings) that she stalked off to her bedroom with her thumb in her mouth and hid behind my old skanky double mattress which is waiting for the Local Council to take it away...

It took cajoling and then threats from #1 for her to remove herself. And believe me, when #1 starts threatening, you don't want to be around for the fall-out.

We debated whether to walk to church for Midnight Mass, but we were all dropping, and added to this, it was heaving down with rain outside, so we decided to hit the sack fairly early...

After repeated warnings to the girls NOT to wake us before 6am, as there was NO SANTA CLAUS, I woke up at 6.30am to a quiet household. OK, I thought, I shall go and have a cuppa, see if Sir Matt Chingduvé is online and shoot the breeze with him - after all, I had prepared everything for the day: all the veggies were sorted out; the chicken was oiled and stuffed; the crap had been cleared from the dining table and the plethora of presents I had received from work had been opened so as not to cause presentism between the daughters.

Sir Matt was not around. I sat there, staring at the fairy lights around the French doors, the lights on the tree and the presents under it.

Nothing was happening.

So, I decided to clatter about a bit and turned the radio on - low, mind you - in the hope that the murmering, dulcit tones of Aled Jones would rouse somebody.

Nothing. Still.

I was starting to feel a bit like a brass knocker on a lavatory door. Where was everyone? Where was the excitement of Christmas Day?

At 8.30am, #2 daughter sleepily roused herself and plodded downstairs, thumb still in mouth, wondering what on earth was going on. 'Happy Christmas!!' I exclaimed, excitedly...'Mphmphm Harumphem,' she replied...

After ten minutes, Mr P surfaced, also bleary-eyed and tousled. #2 yelled, 'Guess What?' 'What?' we both chorused. 'It's Christmas Day!!' She had woken up, and with that yell, so did Mr P.

Well, we had to wait and wait and wait for almost teenage #1 daughter to surface from her pit. By ten o'clock, #2 was like a cat on a hot tin roof, desperate to open her presents. At this point, to stop her brains exploding from her ears and her head spinning round reminiscent of The Exorcist, I allowed her to disturb #1. This was probably a very bad move, in retrospect, as #2 returned, limping and in the wars. #1 was not a happy person being woken up from her reverie, Christmas Day or no.

And so the present unwrapping ensued. #2, who can be quite anal like my good self, put all the presents into individual piles and enforced the rule that we had to open a present in turn. It was taking forever. #1 suggested that we just get stuck in and open our gifts there and then. We agreed and a flurry of torn wrapping paper, bows, tags and ribbons quickly filled my once clean carpet.

The rest of the daylight hours were spent mainly in the kitchen for me, preparing an enormous roast dinner. I am not an especial dab hand at this meal, much preferring to do something exotic to a dead fish (as opposed to a live one), but I feel I excelled myself, particularly as #2 actually had seconds.

There was only one interlude where it all felt a bit too much for me. Whirling and dancing my way around the kitchen, bumping drawers shut, sharpening knives, regulating heat settings, I heard #1 shout me from the bathroom. 'Muuuuuum!' I heard. 'Can you come here please?' Oh flippin' 'eck, I thought, What does she want now?

She had the grace to look very sheepish...She had blocked the upstairs lavatory. With something not very pleasant, and not something one wished to see or smell prior to eating. The water was up to the rim of the bowl, and I stared in dismay, wondering how on earth I was going to sort this out, not possessing a plunger of any description. After repeatedly leaving it to settle and having another flush, and noticing an enormous lack of Mr P who had hidden in a neighbour's outhouse, I attacked the S-bend with the loo brush and plunged. My beautiful velvet dress suddenly felt wet as a sloosh of icky water shot up my arm and between my fingers. I retched uncontrollably as #1 got a fit of the giggles in between profuse apologies...

It quite put me off my dinner...

There were further, minor incidents, such as #1 troughing out on chocolate cake which, due to its ingredient of palm oil, caused her to blow up and her face to resemble a Red Snapper, and the vintage port whose cork had rotted and which had to be seived through my brand new stockings in order to remove the sediment and cork bits which were simply not palatable. A somewhat pointed question regarding my sex life which left me gasping for breath and which I refuse to divulge here, and there was also the visit from the ex who was graciously allowed into the living room to see the girls and who resembled, on Christmas Day, a tramp going to a funeral. Nice to see him make the effort for a change. Normally he just looks like a tramp in every day garb.

So, a success all round I would say! I am quite looking forward to New Year's Eve when it will all start again and by Wednesday, when I return to work proper, I shall, no doubt, be glad of the rest.

I hope your Christmasses were as uneventful as mine...

PS. I have been told to inform you all that Mr P's Yorkshire Puddings were fantastic.

"CHARLES' YORKSHIRES WERE FANTASTIC..."

Happy?

18 comments:

Keli said...

I too asked the children not to wake me up Christmas morning, but yours truly was up by 6 am. Meanwhile, the rest of the household had the audacity to sleep in. I had to slam doors, turn on the garbage disposal and play a rousing medley of holiday tunes before they shuffled out of bed. I'm afraid I was hit with a bout of hyperactivity on Christmas Day. Consequently, our day, too, was quite uneventful.
PS Lovely to hear the puddings were fantastic!

Agnes Mildew said...

Keli: I wouldn't dream of rattling around in the mornings, Christmas or not. I would receive a barrage of abuse from my girls, unfortunately, and NOTHING seems to rouse Mr P when he is slumbering in the mornings. But yes, the puddings were excellent - even #2 ate one. And as it looked somewhat 'foreign' to her, that was a true result!

Charles Parsnip said...

::takes a bow::

Well... I can't complain at being roused early by Ms. Mildew - especially when she brings me a cuppa.

I am a lucky fellow.

deathsweep said...

Sounds like you all had a ball! So, a couple of things went awry, not a major problem. What mattered was that you were all together! Glad you all had a good Christmas eve and day. Besides, didn't you really want purple stockings anyway?

Agnes Mildew said...

Charles: There is no answer to that, really. It goes without saying...

DS: Yes, it was a lovely day, simply perfect, really. And yes, purple stockings do now match my purple Christmas present shoes. I look like a large damson...

thewishfulwriter said...

um, your children have a whole hell of a lot of restraint. my brother and I were up at the ass crack of dawn on Christmas morning...just a few days ago...

so glad to see mr. p is fitting into your family so perfectly. pudding and all!

Matt Chingduvé said...

Hello Agnes, Charles, #1 and #2.

Glad you had a good xmas. Mine, as you know, has been fraught with ill health. However, things are indeed looking up and Matt (that's me) has decided to have christmas morning NOW! I have found the missing Mario Lanza christmas LP (it was in the car.. where else?!) and I'm going to sup some of that wine I told you about!! Woo hoo!! Better late than never, is what I say!! If you get a call from the police station later, I would appreciate your help :D

Happy new year in advance, while I'm at it!

alcoment said...

Sounds like you all had a great time! Glad to hear about Charles's puddings too.

Happy New Year as well.

Linda and her Surroundings said...

Blocked toilet - man's job Agnes. You have a man around, you need to delegate those nasty jobs and keep your special clothes free of toilet wash.

Palm oil is put into milk and fruit juice and marketed as "fibre filled" product to entice customers to buy. Soooo, I want to know if that is why it is added to the cake???

Your day sounded great and I personally think you deserved a such a good day (despite the few small hiccups).

Agnes Mildew said...

Matt: it is heart-warming to hear that you are celebrating in style. Raise a vat of wine to us and we shall do the same!

Linda: Yes, a blocked lavvy is definitely a man's job. Charles' excuse was that #1 had most definitely called, Mummy and nothing else...What a cop out?

Alcoment: Yes, we had a marvellous time. Thanks!

A Happy New Year to you all!

Linda and her Surroundings said...

Happy New Year to you and may 2008 bring lots of fun things for you to blog about.

MedStudentWife said...

*lol*

Anyways, Agnes... happy 2008 :D

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Sounds like the perfect Christmas, well...except for the bit with the toilet. Eugh!! Happy New Year to you and yours. Fish x

Barbara Doduk said...

Sounds like it was a full time. Happy New Year.

Agnes Mildew said...

Wishful, Fish and Barbara: Thanks for your visits and a Happy New Year to you all, too!

Hope said...

Agnes dear if ever you are in Texas you must come stay at my house...happy New Year!!

Agnes Mildew said...

Medstudentwife and Hope: Happy New Year to you both. And Hope, your invitation sounds most enticing. A warm Christmas...no dinner to cook...no lurking Mother ready to jump out on me and ruin my best laid plans...What time are the flights?

Stealth said...

I always have to wake my kids up on Christmas morning. They're the only children on the planet who've always wanted to sleep in more than open presents.