*GUEST POST KLAXON*
The brilliant Fran who blogs sadly less regularly at http://motherventing.wordpress.com/ has done me a guest post. A GUEST POST! FOR ME!
On the one hand I’m buggered as it’s funnier than anything I’ve ever written. On the other hand it may attract more of you lovely people here *points at blog* for just a few mins. All comments are for Fran. I won’t* be reading them
*will, every day.
Aka The Day We Had No TV
It started out like any other day. Cold, dark and damp. And that was just the contents of Moo’s overnight nappy. But I dealt with that. I can do that. That was OK considering the SHEER HELL that was to follow.
See, we came downstairs and instantly I knew something was wrong. There was no tiny electric hum. There were no red lights. The TV screen, and indeed, the Sky+ box, were eerily silent and blank. Doom. DOOM. ‘Don’t worry, Moo,’ I muttered, though it was more to reassure my racing heart, ‘I’ll fix it. It can be fixed. IT CAN BE FIXED.’
I couldn’t fix it. I didn’t even know what the fark was wrong with the farking thing, the buttons were all unresponsive, and my usual method of switching off the plug and then switching it on again, while offering up silent pleas to the technology gods, didn’t bloody work. DOOOOOM.
THERE WAS NO TV.
We were LITERALLY going to have to get through the day without Cbeebies.
WHY ME? WHY? WHY DO BAD THINGS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE? WHY??
So it was a bit like going cold turkey. Here’s how the day panned out:
Moo says ‘Cbeebies?’ and then says ‘Cbeebies’ and then says ‘CBEEBIES’. A shiver runs down my spine.
I am frantically singing Numtums tunes at her. It is the NOT the same, and she knows it. She throws a maraca at my head in protest.
The whole getting washed/dressed thing distracts Moo for a while, but once we come downstairs and it becomes obvious once more that the TV will not be going on, I get THE LOOK. ‘Cbeebies,’ Moo demands.
‘It’s not working. The TV is broken,’ I reply, sweat pouring down my brow.
‘Mummy do it,’ Moo says obstinately.
‘I’m TRYING, I’m TRYING, I don’t know HOW to fix it!’ I wail, flicking the switch on the plug again and gazing in terror at the blank screen.
We eat some biscuits in silence. A weird silence.
I keep thinking I hear Sid and Alex’s voices. It’s like being haunted by impossibly chirpy ghosts.
I’m in absolute dread of lunchtime. I can’t remember all the words to the Lunchtime Song. What if Moo doesn’t eat anything unless I can sing the entire song? I make a cup of tea while Moo does some colouring. I’m trying to recall the lyrics: ‘You’ve been playing so hard… and it’s something something… So… what’s on your plate? Der der dum de der der…’ Suddenly I look round. Moo is standing in the doorway. ‘Lunch,’ she says solemnly.
‘Not yet, baby,’ I mutter nervously.
She stares at me. And frowns. ‘Cbeebies,’ she intones.
‘Maybe later!’ I squeak. She walks away.
I sip my scalding hot tea in the kitchen, where I can’t see the TV.
Lunchtime is OK in the end. I give Moo cake for lunch so she is intent on eating that. She doesn’t notice the gaping blackness of the dead TV screen. Whereas it follows me around the room. I hate it. I hate the TV. Why is it doing this to me? I take out all the wires and fiddly bits at the back of the TV and Sky+ box and then put them all back in again carefully. I briefly get excited when I think I hear a mechanical whirr but it’s just one of Moo’s toy cars revving mockingly under my feet. I start to cry.
Moo is in bed for a nap. I come back downstairs even though I hate being in the same deadly quiet space as the TV. I stare at it. ‘What’s wrong with you?’ I whisper. ‘Just tell me how to fix you. I want this to work. I want us to have happiness together. Will you please help us achieve that?’
The TV is silent.
‘Oh for god’s sake!’ I scream. ‘So I don’t dust you that often! Is that such a crime? Huh? Other TVs put up with a lot more, and THEY work just fine! You bastard! I hate you!’
I wake up in a heap on the floor in front of the TV. It is still quiet and still. My cheeks are sticky with dried tears.
I had to take Moo out, even though it was cold and raining. Admittedly, we had a good time in the café and the soft play centre, but all the while I was anticipating our arrival home, where there was no TV.
‘Cbeebies,’ Moo says as she takes her coat off.
‘No Cbeebies,’ I say sadly. ‘Remember? Cbeebies has died.’
Moo looks at me distrustfully.
Moo’s daddy rings to talk to her. ‘How’s it going?’ he asks me when I speak to him.
‘Oh god, the TV’s broken,’ I sob into the phone.
‘What? How?’ he says.
‘I don’t know, it’s just NOT WORKING, nothing works,’ my voice trembles with suppressed emotion.
‘Is it the plug socket? Has the fuse gone?’
‘Erm. I… yes, probably. How do I fix that?’
He talks me through it. It sounds kind of simple. We hang up and I face the TV. It stares at me blankly. ‘Fuck you,’ I say quietly. ‘This is over.’
The TV is working. I may have got a mild electric shock while changing the fuse, but the TV is working. ‘Cbeebies,’ Moo says contentedly, and settles down on the sofa to watch Abney and Teal.
‘Yes,’ I say, ‘Cbeebies.’
I feel so tired.
I’ll admit, I don’t think I coped with the situation well. But Moo and I need Cbeebies like we need ACTUAL OXYGEN.
What would YOU do without TV for a day?