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Fairy balls, Star City and apologising to kids

Posted by Dawn Isaac on 25 Jun 2010 at 10:59 AM


I have not been a particularly good mother recently.  I may not have whipped my kids, or sent them up to clean the chimney, but I have had to apologise to them on a daily basis which is never a good sign.

I'm not entirely sure if you're supposed to apologise to children.  Parenting is basically a form of benevolent dictatorship, but it also holds true that kids learn from example and, if someone has been particularly rude, unfair or just plain hysterical, I think they should say sorry.  Unfortunately, that someone has been me. 

I shall put this down to sub-conscious stress over Gardeners' World Live.  As it turns out, this went OK.  I base this on the fact that no child was injured in the making of garden night lights, people didn't actually leave the demo garden when they realised I was not Alys Fowler or Carol Klein and I was able to answer all the questions people asked me afterwards (which was quite a surprise seeing as 90% were about sweetcorn).  I even got to go bowling in Star City - Birmingham's answer to Las Vegas (well, it might be the answer if you weren't expecting to do particularly well on the test) with the delightful James Alexander-Sinclair, Toby Buckland and Joe Swift. Let's just not dwell on the result, OK.

So I came back from the NEC determined to be a model parent.  Unfortunately, I also arrived home a little weary and not necessarily on top of my game.  This might explain why the fairy letters my children wrote on Friday had apparently still not been picked up by Monday morning.  Thankfully, I can be creative when necessary.

"Well... um... it's... er, oh, yes, it's June 21st!"

"June 21st?"

"Yes, you know, the longest day of the year... and... yes, silly me, of course it's the night of the midsummer fairy ball."


"Yes, you know, I'm sure we've talked about this before.  Haven't we? Well anyway, it's a bit like their Christmas so they'll have been so busy getting everything ready they'll just not have had time to pick up your letters."

Now, go on.  Tell me you're not impressed.  I would also like to point out that I had this conversation before I'd even imbibed my morning caffeine.

So after school yesterday afternoon, Ava, Oscar and I went around the garden gathering gifts to leave for the fairies in time for the ball.  To be honest, I'm not too practised at this.  I should have asked advise from Debs at Carrots and Kids - I suspect she has a Phd in the subject.  Still they did get a Lambs' ear sleeping bag and pillow each, three choices of Petunia skirts for Cherry Blossom and a rather prickly football for Brambles.

In fact Brambles had several footballs picked for him as Oscar kept losing them - as such, my display of Echinops ritro 'Veitch's Blue' will not be as good as it should be. But hey, that's what parenting is about - sacrifice.  Well that and humiliating apologies.


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