Caffeine intake today: 3 Coffees (This counts as no caffeine at all for me, I’m trying to be healthyish and it hurts)
We have recently returned from a wonderful family holiday in Devon. It really was lovely, we stayed in a beautiful cottage, had a great time visiting beautiful beaches dressed up in wet weather gear (very British) digging holes in the sand, exploring rock pools and enjoying nearly being blown away by gusty winds. Wonderful memories were made by all. However one memory that stands out to me that isn’t so wonderful is a little moment of what have come to be known as “Beaisms”, which in our house is a polite way of saying I’ve fucked up without Daniel or myself having to say “fucked up” in front of the children. This particular “Beaism” was the washing of a TV remote control. By this, I don’t mean that I thought “Gosh! That remote control looks dirty, I know! I’ll give it a good scrub!” or “That remote control looks far too unholy, I’m taking it to the local church to get it baptised” it was of course an accident. A Beaism.
We were staying in a holiday cottage which supplied a washing machine, so in order to reduce the amount of stuff we usually squeeze in the boot of the car we chose to bring minimal outfits and wash them when we were there. Smart right? I thought I was spanking the ass of frugality in the race to be a minimalist martyr; we were self-catering, taking very few clothes and I even took fewer bottles wine than usual (we could buy more down there). I recall boasting to friends about how little we were taking away with us, which of course set me up for a fall and unfortunately my smug economising smacked me in the face the day I washed the remote control.
What happened was… we were nearly out of clean clothes, so as part of my minimalist plan I gathered up the dirty laundry from the bed along with the unsuspecting remote control for the TV, which was also on the bed hidden underneath all the dirty pants and jeans (I don’t know why it was there but it was probably left there by me) because some idiot had thrown the dirty laundry on top of the remote control without checking what was on there first (that definitely was me). Anyhow, in it went with the washing into the washing machine and was put on a 30 degree, one and a half hour wash. Off I walked unsuspecting and smug.
It was only after the wash was complete and I started to pull the clean clothes out of the machine and a battery fell out that I began to suspect something was up. “Ay?” said I examining the double A battery with knitted eyebrows. Then my eyebrows shot up in my forehead as I realised what had happened.
I gave Ben the bollocking of a lifetime for playing with batteries and ranted at him about how he shouldn’t keep them in his trouser pockets but that he really shouldn’t be playing with them in the first place to even be in a position to put them in his trouser pockets (yes, I know I should check the pockets before washing, but I never do. Yes, I know…). Despite Ben’s confused denials, tears and a minor tantrum that would have passed an Eastenders audition, I persisted in being disappointed in him and yet at the same time knowledgably about playing with batteries. The mini drama ended with cuddles and my repeating the moral of the story until I was satisfied that I had drummed the point home to him. I then returned to the clean laundry spilling out of the washing machine onto the floor.
As I continued to heave out endless denim I found yet another battery “tut, tut” I said to myself shaking my head at my child’s stupidity “I thought he knew not to play with batteries, how disappointing that he had ignored my previous wonderful parental lessons, hopefully he won’t do it again after the telling off I’ve just given him. It’s a shame, I was so sure he knew better.” He did. I am a nob.
What I then pulled out of the machine along with a Chaz and Dave T-shirt was the lifeless shell of the remote control and as it clattered on the floor it sounded out its dying words to me “It was you, you fuckwit!”.
“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaan!” My husband came a-running to find my crime led bare before me and I explained what had happened and how I must have gathered the thing up with the clothes on the bed.
“Shit Bea! If we can’t get it working again we might be charged for a new TV”
“Can’t we just buy a new remote control?” I responded desperately. We carried on the debate about whether we could or could not “just get a new remote control” when Dan broke off the frantic debate with the annoyingly correct statement “hang on, didn’t you just give Ben a bollocking for playing with batteries?”
After the fiftieth apology to my son and giving him lots of chocolate to prove that I really was sorry, I then had to give Edi chocolate because she told me in her best scream that if Ben was having chocolate then she was too. Then Ben got upset again because Edi had been given chocolate even though she hadn’t been unjustly dragged through the Crown Court of Mum, so I had to sneak him some sweets without Edi seeing. After mopping up that part of the mess Dan and I then returned to mop up the rest of the latest Beaism and attempted our best remote control CPR by putting it on the radiator. This did not work. Neither did putting in new batteries. Neither did smacking it repeatedly in the palm of our hands. The thing was dead. Death my washing machine, what a way to go.
This incident was not a surprising act on my behalf. I have always been like this and the words “Ummmmmmmm, I’m telling on you” were said to me more times at Junior School by other children than any other phrase. It appears that I am one of these people that unintentionally blunders about breaking, ruining and getting ‘it’ wrong all the time. This is not self-bashing, it is a fact, and I have accepted that social and physical bloopering is so deeply engrained within my personality that to remove it would leave me akin to the sad plastic husk that no longer remotely controlled anything.
And so, in an effort to maintain the frugality I had originally set out to uphold we put new batteries in the dead remote control knowing it wouldn’t work and quietly shut the door behind us. We justified our deceit by deciding that the owners of the holiday cottage probably wouldn’t need to buy a new telly because they probably could “just buy a new remote control” and after looking at the cost of the holiday for the week (not cheap) and the cottage itself (beautiful) we created a back-story about the owners which turned them into wealthy, slightly callous people (this was based on nothing more than our assumption that they had more money than us) who would laugh at the broken remote control and would probably throw it away whilst smiling at how much money they had made out of us that week.
Bad mum. Bad person. Beaism no.245.