Birthday Shopping

October 24, 2009


The Mushroom, The Baby and my Dad are planning a ‘city break’ next weekend. To Saskatoon. I love that for a city name – ‘Sasktatoon’. Canadian town names have an entirely different feel to British ones, in my opinion. Canadian town name: Saskatoon. British town name: Grimsby. Different vibe, I feel. ‘Saskatoon’ conjures up images of happy, skippy people. ‘Grimsby’, less so. It’s not my favourite, though; that used to be ‘Wawa’, but currently, it’s ‘Medicine Hat’. ‘Saskatoon’ actually sounds a bit like the name of a biscuit. ‘Ooh, did you bake those Saskatoons? Lovely!’. So, anyway, that’s where they’re off. Without me.

In all the years I have been with my Dad, he has never taken me on holiday, not even a City Break. I always get left behind and people have to come round to feed me. This is not always a winning situation. For example, when we lived with That Bastard Dave, That Bastard Dave was supposed to feed me when my Dad was away. That Bastard Dave, however, is a bastard and he hates me. He has no reason to hate me. There may have been a small issue with mice when I lived there. There might have been a couple of occasions when I left a gift at the bottom of the stairs. Or in the kitchen. Maybe once by his bedroom door. On those occasions, That Bastard Dave might have stood on aforementioned gift. In his bare feet. They were, however, GIFTS. Just cos That Bastard Dave chose not to eat mice doesn’t make the giving of the gift any less generous. He had no call to be so snooty about it, I’ve seen what’s in the kebabs he eats and it’s not too distant a relation of the mouse, I would wager. It’s certainly no reason to not give me my Iams when my Dad’s away. Bastard. I have to admit, I went on a mice catching frenzy after that, and left them everywhere. I thought maybe he would see the funny side. He did not.

 I do not miss That Bastard Dave. I heard my Dad the other morning on the phone to him. My Dad really likes him. So does The Mushroom. They have no idea. They’d better not invite him here. I did not suffer those hours on planes to be back at the mercy of that cat-hating shite.

Anyhoo…

The Mushroom, my Dad and The Baby are going on this City Break to celebrate The Baby’s first birthday. Let me reitterate this point. For her first birthday, The Baby gets to go on a City Break. What kind of ridiculous precedent is this setting? Now, I know nothing about child-rearing, clearly, and have never had any of my own kittens due to the neutering thingy I had to go through as a young cat, but surely, if she gets to go to on holiday for her first birthday, what in the name of all types of Kitty Crunchy Whiskas Temptations are they going to do for, say, her 10th? The most I have ever got for my birthday is a Dentabye. It gets better, though.

“So”, mumbles The Mushroom, sitting at the desk with a pen and paper and trying to look like she hasn’t forgotten how to write, “I work out we can spend $500 on presents, then.”

My Dad stops, mid slug of tea.

“What?”

“Presents. For The Baby. For her birthday. $500.”

My Dad looks pale.

“How much do you reckon we’ve spent on toys for The Baby so far? In total?”, he asks, whilst observing The Baby playing with a pair of rolled up socks.

“Bootathuzndpnds…mumble…mumble”, said The Mushroom.

“Sorry?”, he asks, watching The Baby move on from the pair of rolled up socks to play with an empty tupperware dish.

“Bootathusznpnds maybe.”

“Love, seriously, what are you saying?”, he asks, as The Baby crawls towards him and starts to play with his feet.

“ABOUTATHOUSANDPOUNDS.”, The Mushroom shouts.

There is a pause.

“What does she play with the most, do you think?”, my Dad asks.

The Mushroom looks down at her calucations and sighs. “The cupboards, love.”, she replies.

The Baby was, at this point, demonstrating the truth of this statement by happily crawling into a cupboard and sitting in it.

“So, do we really need to spend loads on toys when she spends her time in the cupboards or trying to walk?”, reasons my Dad.

The Mushroom looked icily at my Dad. “She isn’t trying to walk, love”, she hissed, “She is walking.”

Now that is an interesting statement. The Baby can take a maximum of ten steps (I know this, cos The Mushroom counts them. Out loud. Then claps.) before she either, a) falls on her bottom or b) grabs hold of something (a table, The Mushroom, my head) to stop herself from falling. Does this equate to being able to walk? If I jump, I can stay airborne for about the same amount of time that The Baby can stand on two feet. Does this mean I can fly? No. No it doesn’t, although it would be frigging brilliant if I could. It would make bird catching a whole lot easier. In any case, it was clear that my Dad was in a losing battle, and $500 would, indeed, again, get spent on stuff The Baby will use for about a week then get bored of, and then they will go and spend more money and do it all again. Personally, I reckon they could stretch to buying me a bit of catnip. It can’t cost much. I love a bit of catnip, me. Maybe they’ll get me some as a present from Saskatoon.

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