INTERIOR: Kitchen strewn with fishfingers, damp washing, playdoh and paperwork. A (still) 30-something mother is attempting to persuade her 6 year old to tell her about the day’s events…
MOTHER: So did you enjoy today then? Did you like Daddy looking after you all day?
DAUGHTER: Yes. Sort of. (Shrugs). It was a bit weird though.
MOTHER: How do you mean weird? Didn’t Daddy take you to the park and the carnival? Or the pottery workshop? All of that stuff I wrote out on the list for him last night?
DAUGHTER: Nah. I told him about the list and he said he had lost it. I was a bit cross about that actually. But he said we would have fun just doing Our Own Thing, without Being Organised Like Mummy.
MOTHER: Hmm. I can believe that. So. What did you do?
DAUGHTER: Well. First of all we got on the train to Leeds and that was good as we went down the spooky old tunnels on the way there. And not everyone on the train was grumpy this time. They’re always cross when they have a little child on the train and they are going to work as it reminds them that life for everyone else outside in the nice world is fun. When they just have to be in work and they can’t ever see a day it will ever, ever all end.
MOTHER: Oh? Did your father tell you that?
DAUGHTER: Well yes, that’s what he said in a loud voice when I was singing The Runaway Train Came Down the Track over and over and this man, just kept shuffling his newspaper and sighing.
MOTHER: Well, maybe some of the people on the commuter train just don’t like children?
DAUGHTER: Don’t be ridiculous. We’re much nicer than grown-ups! Anyway. What we did then was get off the train and run for the bus as we were late. But Daddy left me behind as he ran too fast.
MOTHER: Oh yes? He left you behind? In the middle of Leeds?!
DAUGHTER: Well, he had to run back when he remembered I only have little legs. But the bus driver let us on in the end. And then we went to the hospital and I helped the nurse give Daddy his injections and it really hurt him, as he was all sort of WINCING and I could tell that it stung him badly. He looked like he was going to have a poo.
MOTHER: (Interrupting). Yes – well. It sounds like you have had a lovely day. Did you eat your lunch?
DAUGHTER: Er no. Daddy forgot it and left it in the fridge. He said it didnt matter though as I could have a snack at the hospital. So I had some Monster Munch and some loveheart sweets and 3 lollipops from the cafe there.
MOTHER: (Shaking her head) Very healthy. And then you got the train back again?
DAUGHTER: Yes and on the train these two people were driving me MAD with their stupid music Pie Pods in their ears. One of them was this lad who was all stuck full of pin things in his face and he had this rubbish music on SO LOUD so we could all hear it.
MOTHER: Yeah – I hate people who do that too. So rude.
DAUGHTER: I know! That’s what I said! ‘SO RUDE’! Very loudly – about TEN TIMES. Daddy was saying it too. But he was more annoyed with this woman near him as he said he couldn’t believe that an old person who is probably collecting their Ben-Churn could be so stupid as to be listening to Beyonce. Anyway. It was rubbish and it annoyed me so I sat with my hands on my ears all of the way back.
MOTHER: Collecting their what?
DAUGHTER: Their Ben-Churn! It’s what the Guvvermen give to old people when they decide they might fall over too much at work so they let them have some money and they just lie in bed all day.
MOTHER: It’s pension sweetie. And did Daddy say that?
DAUGHTER: Yes. He says its funny when I sleep over at Grandad’s as he has to get up before 11 when I am about!
MOTHER: Hmmm (Shaking her head). And didn’t you do anything else when you came back from Leeds?
DAUGHTER: Yes. We went to the special massage place for the rest of the time.
MOTHER: (Shocked) The WHAT?
DAUGHTER: You know. The massage place. Where you get a special massage?
MOTHER: (Incredulous). No I don’t know. Tell me all about that then…
DAUGHTER: Well, we got there and there was this really pretty lady who said hello to us and then Daddy had to go and take his clothes off and they said I had to sit and wait nicely outside.
MOTHER: (Sounding suspicious) Oh yes?
DAUGHTER: But there were no children’s toys to play with like when you go anywhere else. So I asked her for something to do – you know to draw or make things and all of that? And she gave me this magazine. It just had women prancing around in clothes in it or pulling faces like a gawpy goldfish, thinking that they’re dead sexy. But they looked like weird scarecrow trees in tinfoil. I was bored. It was boring at that bit.
DAUGHTER: So when she was on the phone to her friends and talking all squeaky and giggly, I sneaked past her and went into the room where Daddy was. And you’ll never guess what I saw?
MOTHER: Go on….
DAUGHTER: Daddy was lying on this bed with most of his bum showing, and as I got into the room – this bloke just LEAPT on him!
DAUGHTER: Yes! This man just JUMPED on his back! It was so funny! It was a sort of special massage.
MOTHER: Ah. I think I know the place that you went to with Daddy.
DAUGHTER: Yes I remember now. It was called The GYRO-CHAPTER. Anyway. Daddy said not to call it a ‘Special Massage Place’ or you might get a bit crabby.