Diary of a demented mum: Wolverine whimpers in shame as dad decides to bare all
So, it's a wonderful, wonderful day! The sun is shining, the birds are singing and summer is on the way!
At breakfast your husband announces that it's time to dust off the old canoe and take it out on the river for the first run of the season.
"Yaaay!" the little ones cheer. They scamper off with Dad to pack the paddles and load the canoe on to the roof-rack.
You trudge upstairs to inform your (snoozing) eldest.
"Noooooo," she wails, covering her face with a pillow. "It's not fair! I'm not going anywhere with the bloody banana."
The Wolverine bluntly refuses to travel in the family banger when it's got the big yellow canoe on the roof. Especially when Dad insists on driving down the main street of the local town.
How could you let him do this to her?
There's no way out, you tell her firmly.
She moans and pulls the duvet over her head.
But, you say, everyone's getting fish and chips afterwards. And Coke.
The duvet suddenly twitches and two large green eyes regard you thoughtfully from beneath the bedclothes.
The day goes much as predicted. Everyone canoes up and down the river in the balmy sunshine, while the Wolverine sits in the car, windows and doors closed, a book on her lap and her iPod in her ears.
At lunchtime she eats a sandwich alone, still in the car, still plugged into her iPod.
At 6pm she finally consents to join the rest of the family in the queue at the chipper.
Her father declares that you won't be eating in the car. He has a cunning plan.
"Yaaay!" cheer the little ones. The Wolverine scowls.
You drive to the local pier.
The Wolverine slouches alone on a bench, sulkily gobbling her chips but stiffens when she clocks your husband removing two large blue deckchairs, a dinner plate, a steel flask and a bottle of milk from the boot of the car.
As he opens out the deckchairs, sits down and carefully arranges his fish and chips on the plate before pouring two large mugs of tea, one of which he hands to you, your daughter starts to hyperventilate.
She can't believe he's doing this in public, she hisses.
She moans as he takes out his special all-in-one travelling knife-fork-and-spoon set.
"Stop it," she mutters. "You're making a show of yourself. Ma, make him stop," she whines.
You laze in your deckchair enjoying your chips.
Your husband ponders aloud whether he should remove his t-shirt and take in a few rays.
The Wolverine whimpers.
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