The Headless Chicken

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Mike lived the life of a headless chicken in Colorado from 1945-1947. An actual headless chicken. After a botched slaughter attempt he ended up bringing in more than just dinner for his owners, touring as a sideshow attraction taking in both fame and cash.

I’m in awe of Mike. I shan’t be raking in either fame or wealth from my own headless chicken impression. But then I’ve only been doing it for 2 days now and I’m not very good at it.

I’m sure I’ve been making the same distressed gargled noises as Headless Mike though.

Boo being back at school should have made things easier. As soon as one child – or indeed any family member – is out of the house, generally speaking, things get easier. It’s why, in a way, I can’t wait for Husband to bugger off to the World Cup for a fortnight. It will possibly be the most relaxed fortnight of the year (even if I resent him for getting to go to places like Brazil and Japan just because there’s a football thing happening there…but more of that another time).

Anyway, it should have been easier. But then, really, I should have looked in her school bag before the morning she went back to school. The phonics worksheet in preparation for a universal Year 2 test was scare enough (although Boo knows her phonics well enough, so that just got discarded on the sofa – maybe we’ll have a look at them before the test date). But worst was an envelope. A party invitation. Only then did I remember Boo mentioning it on her way home from school just before they broke up.

I texted the mum straight away, apologising for not replying sooner and hoping I wasn’t too late. Boo was really excited – a pamper party. With Belle from Beauty and the Beast! I’d messed up with the party for the same child last year too, getting the wrong date – a day late! Boo hadn’t forgotten. If I’d made her miss this one too there was going to be hell to pay.

Luckily it was all ok. Although now I had to sort out a present.

I worked all day on Monday. With Eve in charge of both Noodles and Teddy I went home during my lunch break. Plus Indy was home and I needed to nag her chat to her about organising some viewings of rooms to rent on Sunday. It wasn’t the most confidence-inspiring of chats. Besides which Eve didn’t help.

Indy (looking at a picture of a room online): What’s that?

Ed (Indy’s boyfriend): It’s a rug. The picture is sideways.

All of us: Ahhh. That makes sense.

Me: I thought it was a weird wall hanging. But then it also looked as though they’d tipped the bed up against the wall. That way up’s far more normal.

Eve: It’s still an ugly rug though.

Me: Or what about this one? Victorian property, close to the university, female only. And a lot less than you’re paying now, all bills included. There’s no photo though.

Sophie: They’ll be lying then. It’ll be a dump.

Gah! I can see her living in a tent in the park at this rate!

Getting nowhere with Indy meant that I also got nowhere with the present.

Husband arrived home halfway through my lunch break. Even though he’d finished for the day it’d be no good asking him to get a gift for a 7-year-old girl. I’d have to do it the next day. Hopefully though I could rely on him to get something in for dinner. After all, he had the afternoon off.

No such luck. A text as the afternoon drew on:

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That’s nice – for him. Because it’s obviously vital for him to see Godzilla. *Rolls eyes in despair.* I guessed there’d be nothing in for dinner. A pit stop at Sainsbury’s on the way home from work.

But when I got in Boo wanted tuna. We had none. Everyone had disappeared. I bundled Noodles into the buggy and promised Boo some treats if she came too (like she had a choice). I spent more on my second visit on tinned tuna and sweets than I did on dinner for seven.

And then Noodles wasn’t happy just to go home. As we got to the door he started to squeal to go to the train station. I bundled Boo in the house as Grandy had re-emerged, lured back down by the quiet. And so it was, with stiletto heels burning my feet with every step, I wheeled Noodles to the train station…and then through the park, down the road and to the bus stop so he could ride the bus. The things I do to prevent a tantrum.

Dinner still wasn’t ready by the time Husband got back from his shameful trip to the cinema. He tried to justify it on ‘I just wanted to check out the CGI’ grounds, but for someone usually so up his own backside when it comes to independent cinema he should hang his head.

Husband was clearly on ‘me time’, as he had been from midday. I still had to get the kids to bed. I contemplated ditching my jazz class, but a) I’d already paid for it, b) I need all the exercise I can get, c) I’d ditched out of a rehearsal for the sake of the horse racing on Sunday and we’re doing a show at the weekend and d) I love going. Boo got put to bed in record-breaking time and Husband looked more distraught than Noodles at me going out for fun (hypocrite) as I legged it out the door.

Never run on a) a full stomach and b) without stretching first. Still, I got there on time. And I’m so glad I did.

But Noodles was still up and full of beans when I got in. Which is how I came to be watching Curious George at 10.30pm, wiped out myself.

The next day wasn’t going to be any easier either. I still had to get that sodding birthday present for a start.

But more of that in the morning…

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