Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Pancakes and crawly creatures

So the day has finally arrived - for Renée it's almost as thrilling as Christmas - or at least that's how it sounded when she woke up in a frenzied state of excitement. Her first words, before 'morning Mummy' or 'quick I need a pee pee' (which are amongst the usuals) were 'It's Shrove Tuesday today isn't it Mummy?' Er, yes it is I thought, but I don't remember mentioning it yesterday. Of course, I know it's Shrove Tuesday, but that's because I'm an adult and I just know these things. Renée, on the other hand, is still only 4 (although she has just started saying she's 4 and a half as though that's a different age altogether). 'How do you know it's Shrove Tuesday then?' I asked. 'Did Mummy mention it yesterday?' 'No I don't think so', she replied. 'Miss Anscombe told me at school'. Aaaah...I see. So that's what you get from sending your child to a church school. I thought I'd see how far I could take it...'So, er, what does Shrove Tuesday mean then Renée?'. 'It means we eat lots of Pancakes, silly. Don't tell me you didn't know that Mummy.' Now that's more like it.

Anyway, of course I knew it was Pancake Day. Our French au pair has been dying to make pancakes, or 'crepes' since the day she arrived. Apparently they're Marion's speciality, so we've had today's date marked out for her to do her stuff since early January. Even I'm excited. Having said that, back at the beginning of the year I didn't forsee that I would be on a diet this week. Darn it. I might have to sacrifice the diet just for one night. Besides, what are diets for, if not for breaking? I'm just imagining cheese and ham and eggs and nutella and maple syrup and lemon and sugar and lots and lots of them...yum....told you I was weak when it came to food!

At the school gates this morning, just as I was in the middle of silently salivating over pancakes (please bear with me - I had just eaten half a grapefruit), I was stopped by another Mother. 'Does Renée want to come round and play this afternoon? I'll do some pancakes for them'. There and then my cheese, ham and egg bubble burst. I had to think fast. 'Well we've kind of got this French thing going on - Marion's going to make pancakes round at ours. Why don't you come to us instead?' 'Yeah, no problem', she replied, 'sounds good'. Phew I thought... 'Although there is one slight problem', she said. 'Yes?' I said. 'Well...' she hesitated... 'Yes?' I repeated. I was on tenterhooks. I could feel my voice getting higher. 'Well, I just have to warn you, my daughter's got nits.' 'Nits?' I said...And my mind was cast back to 6 years old, head over the bath, shaking out all these funny crawly creatures with my Mother looking on, hysterically (actually she probably wasn't in hysterics at all because she was good with those sorts of things but sometimes your memory is suited to what you want to remember). And a hysterical Mother makes for a funnier memory.

So it was nits and pancakes or nits and no pancakes. 'Never mind', I said, they're all bound to get it one day. Come over anyway.' My stomach had won of course. The other Mother then went on to assure me that she'd spent over an hour with the nit comb the night before and that little A was bound to be clear after all. But as I stood there, speaking with her, I suddenly felt the urge to scratch. And so I did. But the more I scratched, the more I wanted to. What is it about psychological itching? Anyway, I'm sure the pancakes will be delicious. The nits I'm not so sure about. I'll keep you posted on that one.


  1. As soon as anyone mentions them I start itching too... Stock up on HEDRIN, it's the only thing for it! Trouble is, you probably spent most of the evening watching her kid's head making sure it didn't come within nit crawling/jumping (actually nits can't jump!) distance of your kids' heads! ... how were the crepes by the way. Ours were Mmmmmmmmmmm.

  2. No crawly creatures yet!! Pancakes were amazing...thanks!!