Sunday, 27 July 2008

Send in the clowns - now, please......

So. Wondering where I have been? Why I have so heartlessly abandoned you for two whole days? Did you even notice? I have been in HELL! My sister and her nephews are staying for a fortnight with the grandparents. As they (the doting grandparents who were my fairly disinterested parents) live only a mile away I am therefore considered free entertainment at all hours of the day and night.

Now, let's get a couple of things straight. I like my nephews. They are the only ones I have got and due to the fact that they live five hours away for the majority of the year I am able to feel a yearning fondness for them that I rarely have to translate into action. The problem is that they are what could be termed over indulged. They don't have miniaturised ferraris with real engines and personalised numberplates, they go one better. They have nervous dispositions.

This makes them sound like regency heroines and it isn't so far off the mark. If they knew about swooning they would take it up with a vengeance. Swoon when their mother is not in the room, swoon, when they see a dog, swoon when it turns out that you aren't going to land a jet helicopter on the lawn on Sunday (an idea they gained from what???). There is no end to the swooning possibilities. And I sort of wish they would swoon. It would be quieter. Instead they scrunch their faces up into a fleshy piece of origami that turns them from mildly cute children into candidates for 'Chucky - the plastic surgery leftovers' and they scream in unison at a pitch that kills all wildlife within a 50 yard radius. Once or twice a day this could be useful. Stand them in a patch of weeds riddled with rabbits and let them loose. The ultimate in organic control. But every 30 minutes all day and for a great deal of the night? Seriously?

Now obviously, they dote on me. Who wouldn't? OK - lots of people. But they are small and they have never actually been allowed out to meet anyone else (the nervous dispositions - remember?). Consequently yours truly exerts a fascination on them that means I have a constant set of stalkers who scream if I go out of sight, look too tall, look fractionally bored, or just look. It's exhausting. Why does anybody have children if this is what it involves? I have played every game possible. Finger Wars at breakfast, Hungry Hippos at lunch (and am I bad at that game. I think I had a hippo with ADT), tractors, Bob the Builder's phone games (oddly addictive whilst being wildly irritating), more tractors, building dens, knocking down dens, cricket, the list goes on.

There is a brief glow of satisfaction at being adored by small children which is rapidly replaced by a feeling of being hunted down by wild animals. This is the point where I am considering getting my pitiful life savings and blowing the lot on hired entertainers. Bring me your clowns, your au pairs, your balloon artists. Bring me anything to distract attention from me.

The life savings option is a real one but not accessible until Monday, so until then, I am reduced to hiding. Quite literally. This is shaming when I get discovered cowering behind curtains by my sister who has come to find out how the nervous ones are. Shaming for two reasons. One - because I am hiding from a four year old and a two year old, and two, because she gives me this really irritating look that says ' I do this all year, and you can't even manage a weekend'.

Oh god, I can hear them coming. This could be the end - help. Please, somebody. Send in the clowns, before it's too late.................

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