Wednesday 4 March 2009

Another time, another place

When MasterM was 5 he woke up one morning
and got ready for school.
He put on his little grey shorts
and his little brown sandals
and then he had his breakfast.
It seemed like a normal day.
After breakfast he got his little blue satchel ready
and was just about to brush his teeth
when he clutched his stomach and doubled up in pain.
MrsM was aghast.
Her precious son was in agony.
She made him lie down on the sofa
and phoned the surgery for an emergency appointment.
She whispered the word 'Appendicitis' into the phone
and then bundled MasterM into the car.
MissM and Grandma looked shocked on the doorstep
and MrsM explained hurriedly what to do
if she had to drive straight to the hospital.
MrsM drove quickly but carefully to the surgery
and screeched to a halt outside.

A tiny little voice came from the back seat:

"Mummy, I am not really ill"

"You are being a very brave boy"

"No - I am really NOT ill
I just didn't want to go to school"

"Goodness me...why not?"

"Because I know we are going to have
beetroot for lunch"


pauses to collect thoughts

"I am very proud of you
for being brave enough to tell me the truth
even though you knew I might be cross."

(yes!! I really did say that!!
It was the high point of my career
as the mother of a 5 year old boy.)

I was reminded of this on Sunday
when we took two of MasterM's friends out to lunch.
One is South African and one is Australian,
now unexpectedly working together in Dorset.
We spoke of MasterM over this beautiful risotto
of roast beetroot and sugar snap peas
and wondered what he was eating in Argentina.

Probably not beetroot.


Lina said...

How precious! And I'm impressed with your parenting skills too!

Duyvken said...

Just divine! I can just picture 5yo feet in little brown sandals.

Allison said...

Oh I can so totally relate to that right now. Plus, I wanted to say that I love that you used the word "cross." James likes to furrow his brow and tell me he is cross. And what is beetroot? Is it just a beet?

Lynn said...

I must admit that my heart sank when I saw that photo. "Sheesh!" I thought. "Alice works at her high-powered job all day and then comes home and cooks stuff that looks like THAT?" It was a severe blow to my self-esteem. And then it was a relief to discover that somebody ELSE created that culinary masterpiece.

I will, however, be forced to worship you as a parenting goddess after that demonstration of calm and compassion...

Ali said...

I love the Master M tales. So much.

Gina said...

What a lovely tale and such perfect parenting! I had beetroot rissoto on Friday. I love the flavour but I'm always slightly put off by the lurid pink colour.

Anonymous said...

Such a naughty boy, but then I would probably walk barefoot across pointy gravel rather than eat beetroot so I secretly approve of his avoidance tactics.

Mary said...

Hmm - I like beetroot.

And I imagine that boy of yours is indulging in more protein than is arguably good for him!

dragonfly said...

I've found that boys will generally tolerate eating beetroot just for the fact that it turns their pee pink! Oh yes, I speak from experience, having rushed mine to the doctors with suspected internal bleeding...

Anonymous said...

That is the funniest story! I just love it. I am surprised that it took him so long to fess up though. How do you remember all of your stories?

I do not know what beet root is but I would not eat it at school either!

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing MasterM did when I was about ten years old...only I didn't have the nerve to admit my lie as we drove to the hospital.

How was I to know the rare talent I had for faking sudden organ failure would suddenly backfire-- with a vengeance?

Let me assure you, he was a wise five year old to call off the hospital visit.

I've never forgotten the exams I had to endure before the doctors gave my parents the green light. The best form of punishment, probably. Lesson learned. Loud and clear.

PS-Lunch looked yummy.

Anonymous said...

Oh I love that - you are the most fabulous parent for knowing exactly what to say and Master M is very cheeky!

dottycookie said...

Oh, how impressed am I? I am 95 - no, 99 percent certain my first reaction would not have been so calm. I like to think I'd have managed a 'Thank you for being honest' later in the conversation, but not first thing!

I love beetroot, but I'm not sure I could face it in risotto either ...

Unknown said...

What a pretty shade of pink that beetroot turns the risotto

A time to dance said...

what a wonderful stoy...I was trying to link the picture to it all the way down to the last really should publish these...your observations are really really entertaining..I would certainly buy them....

Unknown said...

This made me shriek with laughter, as I scrolled down the post this is not at all what I was expecting. Fabulous.

blackbird said...

Truly a fine moment in motherhood history.

I adore beetroot.

Ruthie Redden said...

Children are so funny aren't they! and you handled it beautifully. I remember my lass painted tiny red spots over her face once, when she was small! She wanted to be at home to see Granny was coming to visit the very next day!

Fairlie - said...

Too funny!

I love beetroot now, but as a child I was pedantic about it not leaving a mark on my plate. My long-suffering mother would squeeze beetroot between pieces of paper towel until there was no juice left that could offend.