Hook A Turd

I have this mate C. Whenever we get together, ridiculous things happen- I’ve come to expect it as a universal law of physics. If you put us into a formula we’d look something like this: L+C=chaos squared + tears of laughter. She is the only other person I know whose children are genuinely as crazy as mine, and who isn’t afraid to embrace the madness.

C came to visit in the summer with her two lovely girlies. Her girls and my girls get on like a house on fire and we were treated to a spectacular array of theatrical talent throughout the morning, mostly based around a very original version of the Harlem Shake. One which I add, I had to pull from all public social network forums since my eight year old decided rubbing her bare chested nipples while gyrating her hips wearing pants on her head constituted a decent dance move.  Even worse, when C asked where she learned such groovy moves her response pointed straight at me. “That’s how mummy dances.” For the record, I don’t think I gyrate quite as ferociously as she did, and the occasions I have she would definitely NOT have been there to witness it.

Onwards and upwards; our picnic under the apple tree proved to be more than civilised, except when it came to eating the chocolate cake D had so lovingly crafted that morning in honour of our guests. The effort did not equal the payout. As she presented us with her dry cocoa brick we exchanged glances while struggling to hold it down like some insane rival cream cracker challenge. You know the one- how many cream crackers can you eat in one minute? Sounds easy, but is very difficult my friends. This was the chocolate version. Which made it in no way any less disgusting. The other kids didn’t seem to mind though and three cups of tea later we were almost back to normality.

C lives in a London suburb so the beach (unless you count the small lake near her house) doesn’t feature frequently on her agenda. As such, whenever she visits we try and get down to the seaside to build sandcastles, paddle in the sea, eat sandy ice-creams and engage in other jolly British escapades. One small problem- C had forgotten her swimming costume. Ever the helpful friend I offered her one of mine. I did warn her it was an M and S special- one of those suck-you-in-and-make-you-look-three-stone-lighter jobbies; that and it was also a size 16. Offering your size 10-12 friend a size 16 swimsuit with no explanation would have seemed rude, so I did re-iterate on a number of occasions before loanage that it was indeed a very tiny size 16. C looked at me with disdain before disappearing into the bathroom to assume the aforementioned attire. A few grunts later and she emerged, agreeing wholeheartedly that this was actually a stealth size 10 costume which had obviously evaded the tight quality control procedure before leaving the shop. She did however point out one advantage- she definitely wouldn’t be peeing in my swimsuit in the sea because there was no way on earth anything was escaping the squeeze of that suit.
Leaving the boys at home we bundled children into the fun bus and drove down to Durley where a thoroughly British time was had by all. Waves were jumped, ice cream was dropped, tears were shed, and incredibly no small children were drowned. As we settled down on the sand to eat our chips the phone rang. I picked up to a distressed and slightly drowsy sounding S; apparently he’d sliced his finger pretty much off, needed to go to A and E and wasn’t sure whether he’d be able to look after B safely for the next ten minutes in case he blacked out (seemingly a regular feature of S-trauma).
Chips, children and a good proportion of the beach packed in the car, we sped off 999 style to come to the aid of Broken Husband. On arrival home we were greeted by our doctor friend who was at the house in case of faintage and who offered to take S to the hospital. Brilliant.

Thankfully the kids had been fed at the beach, so that was one less thing to think about, but a chaotic scramble ensued as everyone entered the house and evidently became desperate for the loo all at the same time. Myself included. C hopped around trying to hold it in while I verified the specific nature of the kids’ toilet needs. As soon as C knew they all needed to drop the boys off rather than spend a penny she shamelessly queue jumped and barged in the bathroom first, leaving several small people clenching uncomfortably outside. She’s learned firsthand that my kids take an insanely long time in the bathroom, and she just wasn’t prepared to wait it out. I took her lead and rushed outside- four kids later and my bladder is not what it used to be- expertly squatting under the apple tree while trying my hardest not to pee on my trousers. Guys, you do not know how easy you have it with your instant access mini hosepipe attachments. I think there is something called a She-Wee for ladies, although I’m not convinced. Anyway, I digress…. C made appropriate apologies to O on discovery she was in fact telling the truth when she reported ‘Mummy is weeing under the apple tree,’ and shortly after that all hell broke loose.

“The toilet won’t flush mum,” came the shout from the bathroom. I rushed in to see the mother of all messes sat right there in the toilet bowl- you’d be surprised how much poo four relatively small children can produce. They’d seemingly tag teamed with no interim courtesy flushing, resulting in a foul smelling blockage. If at first you don’t succeed, try again right? Wrong. If the toilet won’t flush, DO NOT under any circumstances attempt a second flush. The result? A rising sense of panic accompanied the rising poo soup in the toilet. ‘C!’ I shouted through to the kitchen, ‘We have a definite SHITuation.’  Dutifully C came running and immediately took firm control of the foul-smelling farce. Eyes glinting she yelled for a coat hangar, but I was too busy with my retching hysteria to comply. She took matters into her own hands and ran upstairs, rooting through wardrobes until she appeared triumphantly back in the bathroom waving her weapon. Her deft fingers worked quickly to transform the hangar into something resembling those hook-a-duck tools you get at school fairs. Except this was hook a turd. ‘You flush, I’ll poke,’ came the instruction, and we both cried with nervous laughter as we watched the brown sludge reach the tide mark of the bowl and time slowed down as we contemplated a breach. Thankfully though, C’s plan worked, and apart from the one stray floater still whirling around the pan, the crap crisis was narrowly averted.

S returned home shortly after with his finger properly stitched, and we settled down with a well deserved Chinese (which definitely did no favours for C’s size-16-swimsuit complex). But it tasted great. Everything except the sticky brown crispy beef that is……


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