Brunch Bap

11.30am Sat. 

Ollie isn’t sure what he is. Everyone’s at the table and I’m cooking brunch. We want to know if he’s vegetarian or not. The chorizo incident has confused us. Daisy pontificates that Ollie might be a pescetarian. Everyone’s talking at once. Suddenly he stands on his chair. He’s had enough: “I’m not a vegetarian! I’m a Christian!” He bellows. 

Well that’s that then. At least we’re clear on something. Bringing religion into the debate seems to have shut everyone up. 

Ollie’s request for a sauce sandwich is turned done on account of him not being a veggie: he needs to have sausages in it. 

We have got into an unhealthy habit of having brunch baps every Saturday. Unhealthy but utterly delicious. While Daisy is at the Maddermarket theatre we go to the market and buy a loaf of the most amazing ciabatta (Providore, Norwich people) plus chipolatas, smoked bacon, and huge field mushrooms. 

Tom puts the works, plus a fried egg into his sandwich and the kids just have sausages in theirs. A big pot of tea is made. 

The kids need a hearty meal for the cycle ride down to the church hall. I’m helping do games at a friend’s child’s party. 

The party has all the hallmarks of a classic boys’ party: they run round getting hot and sweaty; there’s a punch up over balloons; and then we all calm down with the chocolate bar game (classic from the ’80s – chocolate bar, knife & fork, hat, scarf & gloves).

Towards the end of the party I go into the kitchen to cool off, on the pretence of washing up. I have a chat with the birthday-boy’s grandma and uncle. Suddenly Daisy comes stumbling in clutching her stomach. She’s put a balloon up her top. 

“Help me! Help me! I’m having contractions! The baby’s coming!”

I look down and wipe the work surface, pretending she didn’t come with me. The adults all laugh heartily. This only encourages her. Five minutes later she’s back claiming it’s a breach birth.

 This isn’t the first time she’s done ‘the birth routine’. She pulled it out of the bag on my birthday in June. It was a child-free party. Friends were sitting round a fire in the garden. Daisy was supposed to be in bed, but her waters had broken and she was staggering around the fire ‘worrying about staining the carpet’. I looked on in horror. Tom came to his senses before I did and wrestled her back up to bed. Call The Midwife’s got a lot to answer for. 

The light’s fading as we leave the party. The kids attach their party bag glow sticks to their bikes to guide them home. Ollie chats away to me as he peddles up St.Clements Hill. He seems completely oblivious to the fact that he’s only getting somewhere because I am pushing him. My rucksack is weighed down with a kilo glass jar of sweets which Daisy correctly guessed the number of. 

Back at the ranch, I’m starving and raid the fridge for something immediate: yesterday’s lentil soup with half an avocado. The kids have warm milk with hunks of buttered ciabatta and cheese. They are sitting in cow boy outfits. 

Tom is out tonight so it’ll be a tray of tea and chocolate in front of last week’s episode of…..Call The Midwife. Just got to get the cowboys to bed first…… X


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