What this post is not: A recipe of some kind. A review of some hipster tea shop.
What it is is a post about pizza. Perfect pizza. The perfect slice. The slice that, if someone else were to eat it, would break your heart.
Don’t know what I am talking about? Has your life been a baron perfectpizzaless desert? Perhaps it doesn’t happen to everyone. Not everyone is that lucky. Perhaps it is just an incredibly subjective thing. One man’s perfect pizza, a Hawaiian perhaps *heaves*, is another man’s hell on a plate.
We had the perfect slice in our house yesterday. And we didn’t even know it. Bibsey did though. She knew. But the tragedy was that DADDY ATE IT! Had I known, I might have bobbed a curtsey. But I WOULDN’T HAVE EATEN IT!
I don’t think that he knew either. Perhaps if he had he wouldn’t have eaten it. We’ll never know now. But we will never EVER forget the day that…
“DADDY ATE THE PERFECT SLICE!”
Her words. Her exact words. Wailed over and over again from her ‘sad place’ under the stairs. THE perfect slice. I needed a mop and bucket to deal with the ensuing inundation of tears. Upside: the floor got an unscheduled once-over *joking as if a once-over was a scheduled thing, even an ever-thing here at Bibsey Towers*
This was by no means the first pizza-related tantrum in our house but it was certainly the most dramatic. Move over all you Divas of Oscars-past. There is a new girl on the block and she is going to wipe the set floor with you.
Do you know what though? I get it . I totally get it. You get home from a hard day at school and you are hungry and tired. Truth be told you just want slob out on the sofa watching Charlie Brown and Snoopy reruns and have your mum bring you snacks on the minute, every minute. When someone snaffles the perfect slice it’s going to hurt, right?
It’s a bit like making the coffee in the morning only to slip and throw the whole pot everywhere, on every surface. Not only do you have to make a new pot, but you have to clean up as well. Insult. Injury. Much like being hit in the face with a hockey stick when you weren’t ready for it. What? It happens.
When she finally calmed down I told her to save the story and tell it to her aunt, my sister. She will understand because this is a woman who has been known to cry great big grown-up tears over a badly turned out pizza (Pizza Express, Bromley Christmas 2009).
I have also seen a grown man cry over a pie crust, or lack of to be precise, but that is another story…
All is well now. Bibsey has a story to tell and we have been visited by greatness in the form of the Perfect Slice. Which was nice.
So tell me, what will send you over the top and into an irrational tear-streaked collapse? A corked bottle of wine? Burnt toast? Pee on the loo seat? Queue jumpers when there is only one piece of carrot cake left on the counter? Tell me and then I can tell Bibsey and then she will know that she is not alone and that freaking out is just what we do every once in a while.
So, we are only a few weeks into term and Bibs is off on her first school trip. All the kids are to be bussed out to a neighbouring town to visit a honey factory.
Could there be anything closer to heaven on earth for bears and Bibsey’s than a honey factory? Not really.
She came home with her consent form today, bursting with news about going on a bus. We are hope-hope-hoping that it is going to be the regular school bus driver. He passes us every day on our walk to school and beeps his horn. Bibsey shouts “¡Adios mi amigo!”.
It suffices to say that it will be a great day up the mountain when she finally gets to ride shotgun on his bus.
Anyway, while I was tussling quietly in my head about giving consent for someone else to take my three year old off on these winding roads in a bus, she was concerning herself with other questions:
- Does the bus have seat belts?
- What if I need to go to the loo?
Can I just say at this point that I very much suspect that my work here as a mother is pretty much done. When personal safety and hygiene are hitting the number one and two spots in a child’s list of priorities regarding an up-coming trip to a honey factory you know that she is ready go out into the world. Worry no more!
Ha ha. I know that you know that I know that you know that I will worry every minute she is away. And will she bring back any honey? That’s the really big question.
Do you worry when they go off for school trips? Does three seem a bit young? Perhaps I should just think about the honey and my rumbly tummy.
As I am sure I have already mentioned Bibsey started school this September and, barring a few scuffles, she has pretty much being going great guns from the get-go. She is happy there.
She attends to the local village school colegio where I think there are about 30 kids in total. In her class, which is a mixed aged group of three, four and five year olds, there are only nine children. No need to worry about her getting enough one-on-one attention from the teacher there.
Given the size and very local nature of our little school I am aware that I face fewer school gate challenges than some of my contemporaries back in England or even down in town where the school is much bigger. However, I am still running the gauntlet daily.
I pass the other parents at the gate or in the corridor that leads to the classroom and various paranoid little niggles pop up in my morning addled brain:
- I should have brushed my teeth.
- When did I last have a shower?
- Yup, that’s yesterday’s mascara.
- Ach devils, no I have not brought the modelling clay that we were all asked to buy.
- Nor have I mended that cuddly rabbit from the class toy box that has been sitting in the corner of my bedroom menacing me for the last couple of weeks.
- Yes, I know, my child looks like she dressed herself today. Guess what, she did.
- No, I picked my own clothes. Why, does it look like a child dressed me?
- Oh my, am I going to have to produce cakes like that when it is Bibsey’s birthday?
… and on and on.
I guess that biggest challenge for me at the school gate is to crack the conversation barrier. As we pass each other in the corridor the other parents and I have the chance to say ¡Hola! and not much more.
I sometimes get the feeling that there is a reticence about starting a conversation with me because perhaps they fear where it might lead (down a rabbit hole perhaps?) and of course the risk is that I might not have a word of Spanish at my disposal at that time in the morning. This of course is not beyond the realms of possibility. Funnily enough, my command of the language is astonishing as I walk down the hill muttering to myself after these brief encounters.
I can’t blame the other parents really. Are any of us at our best and most chatty first thing in the morning after the unrivaled joy of getting kids fed, dressed and out of the house in them morning? And perhaps I am a little bit guilty of scuttling off at high speed as soon as my child is safely in her classroom.
I found myself behind one of the Dads in the bank the other day. We both tried very hard to go about our business without noticing each other, but it was no good, and when I said hello the poor man nearly jumped out of this skin. He looked desperate for an escape, but there was none until we reached the front of the queue.
I do actually know three of the mums reasonably well, but one of these is actually from the village. And as the birthdays come around I am sure that I will get the opportunity crack this barrier.
I just need to be a bit braver.
Now I would love it if you could tell me your school gate traumas. Who’s the Queen Bee? Is it cliquey? Are pajamas acceptable attire or is that just something I read in a magazine?
Bibsey: Tell me a story from your head Mummy. About unicorns.
Bibsey Mama: OK erm, once upon a time there was a unicorn who… lived… up a mountain in Spain?
(all our stories start up a mountain in Spain)
BM: No? Where then?
B: In the foocha.
BM: Really? Wait a minute, who told you about the future?
BM: And what’s this future place like?
B: It’s got unicorns in it.
BM: Let’s hope eh? *shuffles off to skype mother to check veracity of claims regarding a future filled with unicorns and godknowswhatelse*
It would appear that I accidentally took the summer off blogging… back to school now though, right.
The headline for September was that, at the tender age of three and a half, Bibsey, my darling chic, started school up in the village. Yes, they start them early here in Spain. And so far so good. She loves it and she loves her teacher who is lovely and soft and curvy with a big smile. Just the sort of lady that you would want to comfort your child when she scrapes her knee in your absence. I also noticed a couple of tats on her this morning that I hadn’t clocked before. We like her. And she has them all eating out of her hand.
Bibs has grown so much over the summer. You won’t recognise her. And her imagination seems to have exploded and the way she expresses herself sometimes is quite surprising and endearing. We have moved on from the obsession with fairies and dinosaurs to horses and unicorns. I am put to unpaid work everyday drawing horses, for colouring-in and cutting-out, which of course is hell for me as drawing lovely horses is almost impossible.
I also now do a great line in horse wings made out of sheets of coloured foam. One day I will do a crafty post about it, you know, in a footcha filled with unicorns and flying pigs.
Anyway, last week she was playing some horsey game and asked for “a string, a ladder and a thingabobba”. Yup, one of those. When I inquired about the general plan, so I could perhaps identify the “thingabobba”, she answered “I want a carriage to my botbot tied”. What? Could it be that this child some distant relation of Yoda is?
Booyah! a Yedi in the family. I knew it!
Here she is modelling a selection of hats and other accessories from summer 2013…
Now, can anyone tell what a Thingabobba is? Answers in the comments please.
My blog feels a bit broken and down on its luck at the moment. Can you tell?
We had to move hosting. We did. And in the process, a process that IS NOT OVER YET PEOPLE, some holes have appeared in my blog. About 3,500 of them. Images. Images that, it is entirely possible, I will have to restore individually. This thought makes me want to grind my teeth to dust.
And my old theme had to go too. Bye bye curly swirly Bibsey blog. Hello clean new theme, but don’t get too comfy, I never said we were exclusive.
Thing is I have other work on my plate at the moment. So my bleeding blog is going to have to wait.
That, or the blog elves are going to have to come in the dead of night and restore my poor beleaguered blog poppet to its former glory, for which I, in the age old tradition of shoe makers and wizards, will reward each of them with a teeny tiny smart new outfit, so that they never have to pimp themselves out again.
Until then I need to get my nose back to the grind stone. Thanks for reading. The new and improved Bibsey will be back soon. xxx