A word from the Wise

The baby sitter [translation = Respite Care] arrives promptly at 6:00 p.m. [translation = always] I resist the temptation to kiss her feet and greet her cordially. She attends to the herd whilst I attend to other outstanding matters. [translation = laundry of course] 95 minutes later she seeks me out. [translation = extracts me from seven hampers of laundry]
“Aren't you goin yet?”
“Er nearly. I've only got this last lot to fold.”
“I thought you said you were going Christmas shopping?” [translation = holiday shopping] I pull a face. [translation = “allergic to shopping” of any kind]
“I am. I just don't know where to go and I don't know what to buy?”
“Well yur not gonna find anything much if you stay here!” I concede the wisdom of her words, bid farewell to small people and skuttle out of the house on an aimless mission. [translation = doomed to failure]
I return home 90 minutes later with long trousers for the boys and one gift for senior daughter which she probably doesn't need or want. [translation = a person who has taken minimalism to an extreme, even for a Brit] The sitter glances at my carriers. [translation = bags]

“Spose ya didn't have that long after all that time ya wasted.” She gives me a look that tells me that I am a failure in the shopping department. She updates me of occurrences during my absence. [translation = none, they all fell fast asleep as soon as the garage door closed.] We sign forms and I bid her farewell.

I plop onto the sofa and examine the list of some 600 programmes of entertainment waiting for me on the TIVO since my last visit. [translation = oh lucky woman] I determine which murder I wish to be party to, and how much dismemberment I can cope with? [translation = whodunits] I crack open another tub of peanuts. [translation = 1lb {sub translation = short 4 ounces as a pound is only 16 ounces out here. I blame the illiterate Pilgrim fathers] I can't believe I've managed to munch my way through all 'four packs for the price of one' purchase, already. [translation = rats to the braces]
I am in mid munch when I hear foot falls on high. [translation = rats, I thought it was too good to be true] It's not the skippy one or the bumpy one. I leap from my seat to turn the power off the telly. [translation = just in time to avoid vision of fatal stabbing with a pen]
“Hi mom,” she sidles.
“Hello dear, I thought you were asleep?”
“I was, but then I heard you come home.” [translation = her bedroom is above the garage door = no chance of a secret life style] She smiles at me, sweetly before asking
“Is the sofa stinky?” [translation = she's seen the towels that I'm sitting on, post senior son's stomach eruption.]
“It's a bit steamy, but otherwise quite fresh.” She steps onto it gingerly and snuggles in to my body, arranging my arms just so.
“So,” she adds casually, “did yah get any presents for me?” [translation = rats, I forgot she has her birthday before Christmas{sub translation = failed motherhood 101 again]

“Er not exactly,” I haver. She bounced off the couch and pounces on the bags. [translation = the 'typical sibs' are always short changed {sub translation = the normal brothers and sisters are neglected}]
“What! Clothes! Trousers for the boys! What about my presents?”
“Tomorrow, definitely tomorrow, if he's well enough to go to school that is.” She slumps back beside me and we listen to the tumble drier tumbling and the washing machine washing as I try and find an excuse.
“Y'know you shouldn't be eating peanuts,” she scowls helping herself to a couple with dextrous finger tips.
“You're getting me muddled with Daddy, he's the one on the diet.”
“You're the one with the wonky teeth.” [translation = no flies on her {sub translation = rumbled by the perceptive child}]
“Isnit quiet,” she half whispers.
“You're right, that's what it's like when you're all asleep.”
“I like it!”
“Me too. Would you like me to read you a story?” I reach over to the teetering stack of books on the trunk, but she doesn't answer immediately. I wait, my thumbnail riffling the corners. I stroke her matted hair as she nestles.
“Nope. I'm o.k. jus like this.”

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