Once again fortune has smiled on Madmummy and the Hulk has decided to have a surprise early nap. This was Jabbermonkey’s first week at school and the mornings have been rushed and the days quiet. Having been to town, Madmummy had a few battles with a very stroppy Hulk. When it was time to return to the car he had been particularly contrary.
For reasons best known to himself he decided he needed to go into HSBC. When Madmummy had disagreed he had collapsed on the wet pavement. Madmummy’s back and joins have become increasingly creaky of late. So she decided to try the old trick of walking off (or pretending too). Predictably the Hulk was too smart for this, and continued to scream and bring attention to himself, and his villain of a mother. An elderly lady had inquired what he was “doing down there?” As if by magic, he was up and tottering to Madmummy’s open hand. Madmummy had uttered a thank you to the lady, and some lighthearted comment about how “he won’t listen to me, but anyone else…”. The Hulk had walked angelically back to the car. As soon as the lady was out of eye-shot, however, the “naughty” possessed him once more. He refused to come to the car. Having finally coaxed him to climb in (as he has recently stopped allowing Madmummy to assist him in this) he lay on the floor, and refused to go in his seat. With stern words and physical force he was strapped in, and they returned home. Madmummy was all set to carry out the usual list of duties, while the Hulk had lunch.
However when she returned with his cream cheese crackers, she found him comatose on the sofa. Having not had a shower in 2 days, and at least 2 weeks since a bath, she decided to seize this opportunity and get the taps running. She now lays in the bath enjoying a cup of tea and listening to the wind and rain. She feels Autumn coming. Her addled brain happens upon a memory of a particularly stressful day in the winter of last year.The luxury of a bath features in this tale, which she hopes readers will find amusing. So now that she has finished the rather long preamble, she can go on to explain what the photo above is about. It is a tale of the perils of multitasking and the virtues of perseverance.
Once upon a time, on the morning of of 4th December 2015, Madmummy had been busily making her bolognese sauce to create a lasagna for dinner. She was full of he joys and anticipation of early December, and had decided to treat her darling Hubbykin’s to his favorite dinner. During the process she had been interrupted by Jabbermonkey several times, as he required her assistance in making a crown. Whilst she had returned to the pot to stir in stock, he had been so good as to help himself to the paints and even washed them up afterwards. Her heart full of warmth and a proud smile on her face, she had continued to created the white sauce, with the competency and poise a 1950s housewife. She then constructed the lasagna with the grace of Nigela Lawson.
Having tidied up the kitchen she had gone to the living room to check on the Hulk. She glanced at the clock. In an instant the magic was broken. The morning! Where had it ruddy gone! The rhythm changed and her world shot into warp speed. Her brain processed that she had less than 1 hour to get the boys fed and dressed and to nursery school.
Having finished getting the last little shoe on the final little foot she had glanced at the clock and breathed a sigh. At quarter to twelve she had ample time to get to school if they left straight away. She opened the back door to let the dog in. Sensing that Madmummy was not feeling nearly challenged enough the husky proceeded to pee all over the kitchen floor. Madmummy allowed herself 3 seconds stare in disbelief and shout at the “damn mut”, before she got to work with mopping it up. The Hulk was adamant that he would help, so the process was not particularly swift. Before she left she decided to put the lasagna in the oven to cook- after all she would be back in 20 minutes.
She now knows that was foolish and dangerous choice. Having popped into a shop to pick up some milk she had returned to find the lasagna was burned to a crisp on the top. She decided that, rather than waste the perfectly good bottom half, she would peel off the burnt top layer and feed it to the dog (not that he deserved it). The Hulk was happily playing in the living room. Madmummy cleverly decided to par-cook the new lasagna sheets in boiling water. Unfortunately she did not ensure the sheets were spaced far enough apart and they fused together. Through gritted teeth she breathed “Never mind, try again”. She carefully lifted the floppy sheets out of the water, scalding her fingers a little, and laid them on top of the brown meat sauce.
Full of enthusiasm and pride for her calm and logical actions, she began to make the white sauce for the second time. Having added the butter and flour the Hulk had come to her with an urgent requested. As the Hulk is non-verbal, a game of guessing and charades had ensued. Having finally guessed that the Hulk wanted some juice she grabbed the cordial and made some up. Unfortunately, having been distracted, her butter-flour mixture had burnt. To this day Madmummy doesn’t know what madness came over her next. She went ahead and added the milk that she had carefully measured. Of course the bitty-mixture was not suitable for the purpose, and ended up poured down the sink. On automatic pilot now, Madmummy made the white sauce again. She mused that it was both lucky that she had purchased more milk and unfortunate. Had she not, she would not now be making the sauce for the third time. Having made the lasagna and cleaned up the dogs poo (he had courteously done in the garden) she returned to find the Hulk had fallen asleep.
Like today (ie 16 September 2016) Madmummy had decided to utilise the opportunity and reward herself for her efforts. After the morning she’d had she deserved a quick bath. She only had 30 minutes and then would need to start getting the Hulk up to get Jabbermonkey from nursery. She did not want to risk the lasagne getting overcooked again, while she went to the school. So, having placed her lasagna in the oven and turned it on, she had set a timer on her phone. She would be alerted after 20 minutes and would return from her bath to find a golden brown delicious dish good enough for her king (ie: hubbykins). But when she returned to the oven after just 20 minutes, hair still wet, she found that the top was even blacker than the first time! Surely she was imagining this, this must be da ya vu. Her disbelief continued until she glanced at the oven dial. It was set to grill!
With less enthusiasm she removed the blackened top layer once again. She boiled the kettle, laid the lasagna sheets in the dish, poured on the water. She got herself dressed for work and fought a very grumpy Hulk in to the pushchair. She had no time to manhandle him into his coat, so she grabbed it on the way out and hung it on the push chair. She then jetted of to the school, collected Jabbermonkey and took the boys to their nanny’s house. During the journey, however, Jabbermonkey had grown too tired to walk. Madmummy decided that he would have a turn in the pushchair and the Hulk could walk the last part of he journey. She also decided to use the opportunity to get the Hulk’s coat on. He was in total disagreement and collapsed on the pavement in protest. She glanced around and caught a few smirking faces. Madmummy’s back throbbed as she lifted the muddy, flailing child from the ground. Seeing that he was in full-sway rage and would not be co-operative Jabbermonkey was made to get up from the push chair. Letting out audible grunts, and with her last ounce of strength, she lifted the Hulk back into the push chair and strapped him in. The screams of the Hulk carried across the streets as they continued the journey, but Madmummy was deep in stressful thoughts which muffled the sound.
Having dropped the boys off she sprinted home. With 20 minutes before she had to leave for work she gazed hopelessly at her topless lasagne. Her heart ached at the thought of throwing it in the bin. She had spent a big chunk of her day making the damn thing and the waste of food went against her deep set morals. No! She would not be beaten. As God was her witness there would be lasagna for her Hubbykins! She melted butter, added flour, stirred in milk, sprinkled cheese and the fourth white sauce was made. Having added the soaked lasagne sheets, she added the sauce and grated the last morsel of cheese on top. She placed he dish on the oven shelf. She did NOT put the oven on. She did her makeup and walked swiftly to work. Yes indeed, after all that, she now needed to focus on her paid job. She decided to send a text to instruct hubbykins to cook the lasagne for no more than 15 minutes, lest the meat become too dry. At this point she realised that he had sent her a message earlier. The message read “Take out tonight?”.
And this was her response………….