Brown tape and gingerbread men.

<This is an actual mid deployment email I just sent Popeye, my thoughts are added in italics.>

Hi Popeye, the kids are finally quiet in in the living room (eating ice cream and watching something American and squeaky voiced) and I thought now would be a good time to email you about how everything is here on the home front.

We have had a day full of good intentions , but, have been thwarted at every stage. We had planned to get your parcel posted today, then realised I had run out of brown tape.

Strong Packaging Tape, 50 mm x 66 m, PP, Brown (package 6 x 66 metres) |  Staples®
(If you live under a rock or something, this is the elusive brown parcel tape)

“There is a simple solution to this problem” I thought, “lets go to the local supermarket and purchase some, excellent, splendid”. So we decided to go to <Insert generic supermarket name here> for tape, jolly ranchers (Note that Popeye had specifically requested these for his parcel, as he had decided only american candy will do, and I of course have all the time and resources in the world to acquire said item, and do so with a quiet sense of matrimonial pride, obvs) and some new pjs and trousers for Sweetpea (who is growing taller at an alarming rate).

(These are jolly ranchers)
(If you dont know what this is, then theres nothing much I can do for you. Plus this blog post wont make much sense)

We also needed a gingerbread man cutter for making gingerbread (no shit). I was attempting to be a wholesome autumnal earth mother doing Nice Things At The Weekend.

I had a quick google and <generic supermarket> apparently dont sell gingerbread men cutters. So I thought:

“We can quickly nip/pop/dash to <large chain craft store> then go to <generic supermarket>. Simple”.

All before the post office shut at 12.30. Easy. So we get up and leave at about 10.30 (#achievement) and proceed in the torrential rain to <large chain craft store>. Sweetpea and Sproglet (now aged 6 and 4.5 dear readers) especially enjoyed it when mummy drove through the big puddles/floods making huuuuge splashes over the car. We get to <large chain craft store>.

The queue is along the whole front of the store, and around the corner. I suggest fucking it all off seeing if <generic supermarket> have any sodding gingerbread men cutters. This was met with severe disapproval from the board. SO at circa 10.50am we are found waiting in the sheeting rain, huddled in our 2m square boxes, limping towards the entrance.

WE GET IN.

Upon reaching the doorway and the member of staff (guarding) the entry way I feel the same rush of exhilaration I used to get upon entering a nightclub. Ignoring the feeling of dismay at my lost youth, I battled around the shop whilst the kids informed me they DESPERATELY NEED everything in sight because they miss daddy. I do not fall for their ploys. I tell them they can have something from here or a magazine from generic supermarket. The magazine offer wins. Then we round a corner and find the cooking section! (I also lost Sproglet for a minute or so at one point but thats another story, all was fine.)

They have sodding gingerbread sodding effing cookie cutters!

“Fuck yeah! I am a good Mum! Holy shit I CAN DO THIS!!! I ROCK!” I think.

However they are quite small, actually, they are teeny tiny. Sweetpea provides excellent verbal feedback that this will not do and is UNACCEPTABLE in a cookie cutter. She had much higher expectations and this pathetic excuse for a biscuit cutter does not meet her creative vision.

Undeterred ignoring her whinging, we venture forthwith to the tills. Only to be met with a queue to rival the one outside, albeit slightly drier. Then, right on time, Sweetpea needs the toilet, now, this very second. “No mummy I cant hold it in. We need to go noooooow.” Then bladder synchronicity occurs, as so often does with small children in public spaces, a strange phenomenon as now Sproglet too, needs the toilet and is jumping around declaring it to all customers and staff in the large chain craft store.

I admit defeat. We leave the full basket and the premises. I realise the garden centre next door has loos AND theres no queue.

Feeling that my luck may have FINALLY changed, we venture in. Only to suffer immediate auditory, visual and olfactory assault. There is Christmas shit EVERYWHERE. Bear in mind it is early October. I do love Christmas, but this looked like some kind of weird festive acid trip. The girls ran off, shrieking (again) about how we needed EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW. My calls of social distancing and not to touch stuff falls on deaf ears, their bladders mysteriously reinvigorated at the sight of so much sparkly plastic tat. 

A K Haart: Where does the unsold Christmas tat go?
(This is a toned down version of the shop we went to, subtle, classy and understated in comparison.)

We ended up spending over £20 on, well, nothing much really, we got something for your parcel (still unwrapped and unposted, sitting in the dining room) and left. 

Upon securing the children ready for the drive, Sweetpea suddenly realised, she in fact felt very car sick. She felt car sick if I drove slowly, if the window was open or shut, if she closed her eyes. She did the puppy dog eyes and moaned quietly. She made fake retching noises. She stated her complete and utter inability to visit generic supermarket for essential parcel sending items and the hunt for the fucking cunting gingerbread cookie cutter.

I gave up. We came home and they had lunch, the mystery nausea disappearing as she realised we had pickled onion monster munch in the cupboard. 

vintage-exhausted-woman-photo | My OBT
(I have so much empathy with this woman.)


And so, my love I decided to buy everything on Amazon Prime. Fuck it all. Fuck it all to buggery. Jolly ranchers, brown tape and gingerbread paraphernalia will be here on Monday and I will get everything posted then, if I can, between work and the school run (which is at ridiculous 2.30pm now, basically just when my morning coffee has kicked in and im about to be fabulously productive working from home). And Popeye, when you reallllly think about it, by getting lots of stuff from amazon, im actually saving us money on boxes. So its win win. Sorry about the jolly ranchers.

We miss you loads and I hope youre doing OK. 
Loads of love, Olive


p.s I may make this into a blog post, its alright isnt it? Love you!!!!
p.s2- from Sweetpea- “Write I love you daddy and I hope you come back soon love from Sweetpea then do a full stop”.
p.s 3 from Sproglet- “love Sproglet.”

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