So there I was at the church Christmas fayre, queuing for younger son’s chance to meet the parish’s answer to Santa Claus, when elder son appeared at my side, blonde hair shining with a beatific glow.
“Look,” he beamed, and held up a tatty coloured box containing a carved crystal glass stallion prancing on its hind legs.
“Darling, that’s hideous,” I clucked, smoothing his hair. And, assuming he’d won it on the tombola, I said “why don’t you go and give it back to Mr. Robinson (the aged type in charge of the tombola)?” I opened my purse. “I’ll give you a pound for another go. You might win something nice this time.” I had my eye on the litre of Scotch.
Elder son looked a bit crestfallen, so I guessed he didn’t relish telling Mr. Robinson that he didn’t want the horrid horse.
“Well, you could always give it to Daddy,” I said, liking the thought of the husband-known-as-X receiving such tat. “Or Grandma might like it?” You have to admit, I am the queen of thinking on my feet.
Elder son stuck out his bottom lip. His eyes had turned dark and stormy.
“I didn’t win it,” he hissed. “I bought it. For you.”
I wanted to say “what the bloody hell made you think I’d want that?” But I decided I’d done enough.
So I am the world’s worst mother – again. But elder son most certainly did not inherit his lack of taste from me. And I now have a carved crystal glass stallion prancing in my kitchen window. It’s lovely – really.