Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Boxing Clever

OK, so in order to tell you all about this I'm going to have to mention Unmentionables, those things that perhaps one might perchance enjoy as a way of keeping a relationship alive (a married respectable one you understand). Things that, once children come along are removed hastily from convenient bedside drawer to The Box At The Back Of The Cupboard and dusted off on anniversaries and Christmas, ok then, just anniversaries, sorry anniversary. So if you're easily offended move your eyes downward to the *.
So my friend, we'll call her Claire, and her Husband has such a box of Unmentionables, and it was an anniversary recently to boot, so you could imagine the scene here to be set the morning after the night before. As indeed it was. Sunday morning, bleary eyed, Husband and Claire woke from a slightly drunken sleep grunting and aiming kicks at each other to see who would cave first and go and get the children. Rubbing his shin and mentioning something about her going down to get the tea he lolloped off in her dressing gown to allow the children to get out of bed. And here is where the fatal error was made. He brought the children into the bedroom, failed to reawaken her to demand tea and set off downstairs himself to make it. I mean how selfish? How long would it have taken him to scan the bedroom floor for a hint of Unmentionable action left out from last night before heading down to make her tea? As Her Mother says, staff these days aren't what they used to be.
Anyway, cut to ten minutes later and the family are sitting in bed enjoying Sunday morning, tea in bed, a bit of play before getting up and starting the day. A scene you could have taken from the Waltons had they shown everyone saying good morning to each other rather than goodnight. Except of course I doubt within that scene, Ma and Pa had a live box of Unmentionables on the bedroom floor (now Grandpa on the other hand...). Just as they're finishing the last gulp of tea Five year old daughter decides that Now is a good time to get up and leaps off the bed straight into the path of The Box. Oooh she said, who got this down (Husband, she swears) it's the box from the back of your cupboard isn't it mummy? She paused and stretched her little hand out to open the lid of the box.
Husband and Claire turned almost imperceptibly towards each other, the world stopped for a brief, agonising second, birds muffled silence in the trees, a startled dear lifted her head, curious. The air stayed solid around the scene, no movement allowed in or out as they waited, waited for the Earth to intake a breath, and as she did ravens cawed around the roof, ominous in their calling. It was Parent verses Child: Parent's ability to think quickly and concisely verses a five year old's dexterity fuelled by curiosity. They had milliseconds to act, to formulate a thought, form it into a sentence, wait for it to travel across time and space, enter the ear of a five year old and (here comes the tricky bit) register strongly enough to stop said five year old opening the box and beginning what they could only imagine would be their toughest question and answer session to date. This, unfortunately would probably climax (sorry) at five year old choosing a choice item from the box behind their backs and taking it to school for show and tell.
Claire was just about to yell No! in an authoritative I'm The Mummy And You Do As I Say kind of voice which rarely ceases to fail, when in one second of pure unadulterated panic Husband yelled out No! don't open it, it's got your birthday presents in!
Five year old's hand quivered, then stopped, she turned to them, eyes shining, mouth grinning: really? she squealed, is this where Santa keeps my Christmas presents too? Husband turned to look at Claire, the realisation dawning (slowly) upon him as to what he'd done. The sense of pride and acheivement he had been wearing for the briefest of seconds sloughing off his face like a hot wax mask, only to show the horror and confusion underneath. Claire sat there, unswallowed mouthful of tea sitting on her tongue and began a slow hand clap at the effort. Five year old's eyes were positively dancing with delight as she considered what she thought she had unearthed. Not only was this the Mysterious Box At The Back Of The Cupboard, the one where even on a chair and on tiptoe she could only tickle with her fingers, but this was also a Magical Box, a Mysterious Box, the box which held her presents, the box that Santa Himself used to store her Christmas presents.
They could see her thoughts sparking out of her head, cue circus music: de de de de di di di as laughing, dancing clowns came out juggling Barbies, elephants wearing frilly skirts snorted sweets all around, dancing bears and trapeze artistes whirled about the room, the marvellous, the magical, the invincible Box bore witness to all fantasies a five year old treasures. A Box of Delights.
Claire told me this story behind her hand (knowing full well that I was taking mental notes for this blog). So, dutifully I have blogged it, I hope her Husband recognises himself. Well done Husband, you have just managed the unmanageable; made an innocuous and pretty much invisible cardboard box into The Most Exciting Box In The World. Hurrah. To be fair though, he's right whatever he shouted, it did do the job. Though there'll be a fair fewer of those on offer around there for a while.

*you can start reading from here


Nota Bene said...

oh dear I can think of lots of unmentionables...so I'm now pretty confused. Amused. But confused

Maternal Tales said...

Ha ha ha ha ha. And there I was scanning the whole passage for the star....just so I wouldn't be shocked. Claire must have told you the story in such great detail - you tell it so well!!! Very funny x

Clare Wassermann said...

Right that's it, our unmentionables will have to go in the loft. The step ladder can be kept in its usual inconvenient place. xx Loved the world standing still part! xx

nappy valley girl said...

My husband and his brothers, as children, were fully aware that their parents had a box of unmentionables at home. I think they even used to get them out and show them to friends. No doubt the parents were in blissful ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness what a heartstopping moment! It doesn't bear thinking about
I thought I was having trouble with my 6 year old nudging ever closer to the 'how do babies actually get in your tummy in the first place' question, but that pales into insignificance now!

Anonymous said...

Ouch! And how perfect a friend Claire is, knowing that you'll blog all about it and still telling you!

Anonymous said...

Lovely. That 5 year old isn't going to forget about the 'magic box' in a hurry either!

Jinksy said...

Might be problem questions when, come next Christms, kid asks Santa for a new Bike...Fold up variety, no doubt? (To fit in the box!)

cheshire wife said...

Lucky that the five year old had not just had a birthday.

ADDY said...

But what if she has a sneaky look when the parents aren't in the room. What will she make of her next Christmas presents??!!

auntiegwen said...

When babysitting my friends 3 boys, we played Star Wars, as I didn't bring my own light sabre I was presented with a Rampant rabbit (bright blue in colour) and told I could borrow Mummy's !!

and because I am a good friend I never told her and got the boys to put it back before they went to bed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this prompt to find a new hiding place for my own unmentionable. To be fair, it's been pretty well hidden to date, just in case Husband should be reminded of its presence and start exercising martial rights again. Which would never do.

Frog in the Field said...

just excellent!
My children are asking to read what I'm laughing very loudly at!!

Unknown said...

Bill Wilson Clone said...
You know, I still marvel at the fact that I get to be part of this world that I once scorned (and the feeling was mutual). Whenever I get to have a positive impact on a person or an organization, it is a revelation to me.

Dear Mary,
John 5:31-47
Jesus said to the Jews:
"If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.

But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.

You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.

He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.

But I have testimony greater than John's. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish, these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.

Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.

But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form, and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.

You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf.

But you do not want to come to me to have life.

"I do not accept human praise;
Moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.

I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him.

How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?

Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.

For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"

Unknown said...

One Sober Lunatic said...
On July 24, 1984, I walked through the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous, and my life changed.

Dear Mary,
You walked through the doors of HELL!

Many of the true believers in Alcoholics Anonymous actually believe that Bill Wilson's writings were inspired by God, just like the Bible.

They say that Wilson wrote the Twelve Steps while receiving guidance from God.

The faithful reverently pore over books like The Big Book, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, and As Bill Sees It as if they were holy scriptures, rather than the ravings of a LUNATIC.

Bill's writings in the Big Book — "the first 164 pages" — are considered to be so sacred that they cannot ever be updated, fixed, or changed.

The 4th edition of the Big Book was just released, and the first 164 pages are still unchanged. Not a single lie or error was corrected.

Are you a lunatic, Mary?

Unknown said...

Migraine Mary said...
I woke up yesterday morning with a migraine. I get sick of writing " I have a migraine today." I ordered the refill for my migraine medication yesterday. It was last refilled in November. So, I have used 10 of the pills since November. That doesn't sound like so many migraines. But I feel like I am a perpetual migraine when I have one.

Dear Mary,
AA has turned you into a raging, emotionally shutdown & shape shifting reptile!

Suppressed rage becomes compressed. The energy charge builds and builds. There is no way to hold this energy charge unmoving without something being damaged.

Unmoving rage can turn inward and act on the self as a self-hate pattern in disguise. It can cause illnesses and problems in the body, such as skin eruptions and rashes, or ulcers, headaches and migraines, and possibly even cancers.

Unknown said...

dAAve's boyfriend said...
Any AA member can begin to change his life by finding better ways to serve others.

Too many people in this world try to lay some other foundation for salvation — for example, the doing of good works; living a decent, honorable life; going to church, etc. These are certainly good things to do, but they are not the foundation for salvation.

I wondered if you & Steveroni, would like to improve on your "suntan" - here!

Unknown said...

Andrew's mother said...
I came to AlAnon looking for the definitive solution to my son's addiction If you have been dealing with a loved ones substance abuse on your own, you most likely no longer trust your own instincts.

Dear Lou,
You won't find a solution to your son's addiction bt attending AlAnon.

A Prayer to Redeem Lost Time, by St. Teresa of Avila
O my God! Source of all mercy! I acknowledge Your sovereign power. While recalling the wasted years that are past, I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant turn this loss to gain.

Miserable as I am, yet I firmly believe that You can do all things. Please restore to me the time lost, giving me Your grace, both now and in the future, that I may appear before You in "wedding garments." Amen.

Repent, Lou!

Unknown said...

Fat Satanic Pig said...
I have been reunited with my precious Big Book.

Hey Pammie!
AA ~ The Broad Road of AA

"To us, the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive, or forbidding...." Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 46.

Bible ~ The Narrow Road of Christ

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt 7:13-14).

Unknown said...

Steve, The Coward said...
About 80 people attended the Big Book meeting at 7. And when they asked for any "annuals" (meaning sober anniversaries) I got to tell them, "Yeah, ME! 35 years"


You never once mentioned JESUS CHRIST in your ravings!

Your "babblings," were all about Steve! Steve! Steve!

Unknown said...

Mark W's boyfriend said...
todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful
for all the people who keep showing up at the meetings I attend; without them, I'd be alone...

Dear dAAve,
Do you have AAids?

Unknown said...

Steve, The Psychopath, said...
"Do with me what you will, just tell me what to do." These were my words to the gang at my second meeting. "Tell me what to do"...and they did. And I did.

Dearest Stephen,
One "unofficial" A.A. booklet, Conscious Contact, Partnership With a Higher Power, more graphically portrays this hatred of God.

In Twelve Step programs, we see the word "God" all over the place, hear the phrase "Higher Power" until many of us feel like we're going to throw up, and are sure "those people" are trying to force something down our throats.

Even if we have a sinking feeling that we do need to take a drastic measure like believing in a Power greater than ourselves, we continue to resist the idea. (p. 4)

But, when you qualify this "God" with "as we understand Him" or "as you understand Him" then they often find they can stomach the idea.

Why? Because in this they can still hate and reject the true God, and replace Him with a demon.

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"Moaning Mum" said...

Apparently when I was a toddler and my mother was being visited by the Head of the PTA and and some ladies from the local church welcoming her to the area...I crawled by, dragging a giant metal contraption and clutching great white pieces of what would many years later become the horridly named 'Maxi Pads' and my mother died. I had discovered her metal contraption which ladies used once a month to take care of their feminine problems. It wasn't much later that another church get-together at ours (when would my mother learn?) was temporarily brought to a standstill when my little sister came toddling in clutching emtpy beer bottles. We never did fit in that small (conservative) town. Go figure...

Millennium Housewife said...

NB, imagination running wild eh? Fab.

MT I hope your senses weren't offended

CW quite a picture!

NVG, I may put them in the loft

Tip of the iceberg tara!

Vic, quite!

Mud, nope, a new box is needed i fear

Jinksy, hopefully it will all be forgotten by then...

CW, every cloud.

Rosiero, one word, padlock

AG, hilarious!

MJM, it's not just for him...

Froggy, what did you tell them?!

Mickey, not sure how I came to be the recipient of so many comments but cheers!

MN, on my way over

MM, perhaps you should move here

MikeH said...

MH: That was hilarious! Now I will spend the rest of my life wondering what was in the box ;)

Micky: Get a hobby; a different one.

GingerB said...

Ohh not fair, you made mem choke on my coffee. I'll get you back, I hope.