We all have dilemmas in life, often daily, some bigger than others. What shall I wear…jumper and leggings, or jumper and jeans..shall I marry him…should I resign from work….do I really have to vote Lib Dem? But I experienced a momentary dilemma yesterday that left me amused by its uniquness…something that can only be experienced by the mother of a 4 year old and the owner of a springer spaniel.
It had been at trying day. Day 3 of a hot and puking child had seen her diagnosed with scarlet fever. The day had been spent battling with the mule-like stubborness of my daughter, intent on taking no medication of whatever flavour at any cost, despite threats of hospital, withdrawal of ‘Ella telly’, bribes of various items of confectionary and its surreptitious inclusion in a variety of liquid temptations. So by the time I got her to the bedtime stage of proceedings, my body and soul ached with weariness.
As we rounded the business of end of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, my thoughts turned to my stomach, the fact that it was empty and rumbling and that I was starving. As Ella drifted off to sleep in quick smart time given her state of fevered delerium, my mind perused the contents of my larder and I realised that carbohydrate mixed with one of the 57 tins of tuna therein were what I craved. Tuna pasta! My absolute favourite.
Despite my exhaustion, I decided it was worth investing the time and effort into boiling up a few of the pasta twirls in my extensive pasta collection, and mixing up that exquisite combination of tuna, pasta, mayonnaise and sweetcorn. Relieved to find that the vital egg based component was still present and safelyish consumable in my fridge, I proceeded to combine aforementioned ingredients to create a warm, soggy, starchy bowl of comfort. Pleased with my efforts, I cracked open one of Gordon’s finest ready mixed, and headed for my sofa.
Two mouthfuls in, I heard an agonised cry. Without a moment’s hesitation I leapt from my sofa and headed up to Ella, who had had a bit of a sweaty nightmare and was craving mummy’s presence to get her back to sleep. As I sat there stroking her face, and hushing her back to slumberland, I heard a sound. It was unmistakable. It was the chink chink of a spaniel’s collar. A collar that had been snoring contentedly on my bed for the past hour or so, but now felt the urge to move..move toward the stairs, the living room, my dinner! My heart leapt with alarm at the image of the unattended bowl sitting on the sofa, and my mind focussed on the unenviable decision I had to make in that split second moment. If I didn’t act fast, that pasta was gone…gone down the throat of a greedy spaniel faster than you can say Jack Robinson, and all my efforts would be wasted. But if I were to move right now, that crucial moment where child drifts peacefully off to sleep would be lost, and I might be up there battling with her for another hour at least.
I have no recollection of the actual decision being made, but I do remember flying with lightening speed towards the stairs, with a sinking feeling in my stomach that I had acted too late. Leaping with Ninja like agility towards the lounge I focussed on two big brown and contented spaniel ears buried in the coveted bowl of pasta. I screamed like a banshee, a cry often heard in this house….Duncan….piss offfff, which to be fair he duly did, licking his lips! I managed to salvage about a third of the portion, and that third of a portion was undoubtedly well licked to boot. But having got Ella off to sleep, and having retrieved it from the shelf above spaniel height where I had more sensiblly left it a few minutes earlier, I tucked into my pasta delight with renewed gratitude and gusto! And as for Duncan. Well as per, he sat at my feet waiting for me to finish, and then licked the plate greedily as if he hadn’t been fed for a fortnight.