Today we had a cooking lesson for La Serpiente. A friend of ours took us down to the Tekka Market in Little India, where she got to pick out a selection of peppers, ginger and vegetables, and look at the massed ranks of squid waiting to be bought, and then went back to cook them up.
I was a little concerned about providing a child under the age of three with access to sharp knives, but as we had everything in close control, it wasn’t so scary. We chopped up some tomatoes and the peppers, and then as our daughter’s attention waned, we adults took over with the frying and stirring. We ended up with a perfectly serviceable curry, and a bunch of vegetable skewers as well, which I snaffled up most of, before taking the kids home and putting them to bed for their naps.
Yesterday we’d bought a bottle of wine and had a glass each, so while I was keeping Magnaminous Cataclysm copacetic, I poured myself a second glass. I think it’s a mark of a good father that you can jiggle your child up and down, slice up a strawberry for them to eat, and neck a glass of Wolf Blass simultaneously. Once I’d done all of that, I took a taxi over to the British Club for lunch with some friends from work.
This was not quite the social occasion we’d hoped for, because it was in the middle of an auction of Persian rugs. Nothing really contributes to a successful social gathering than a man with a microphone hectoring you to purchase carpet, while two blokes behind him rearrange a series of handwoven monstrosities, available for ‘well below the retail value’. I wanted to get up and heckle, and point out that price and value aren’t the same thing, but I assumed that wasn’t the done thing. Instead, I drank a pint of Heineken and then had to leave quickly, as I hadn’t managed to avoid my duties vis a vis La Serpiente’s music lesson this afternoon.
My wife was concerned that I’d vanish into a booze-flavoured black hole at the British Club and never been seen again, so I was on strict orders to leave by 3:20 in the afternoon. However, a speedy taxi driver and close proximity to the mall where the music lesson is conducted meant I beat my wife there. Which wasn’t such a great thing, as it cut into the time I had to eat Guinness-flavoured potato crisps (an adequate lunch, when combined with the wine and the beer) before taking La Serpiente into her class.
I didn’t feel like I was going to pull a whitey in the class (unlike two weeks ago, hungover and surrounded by mentalist children giving it full welly on the drums) but I was still flagging, especially when we seemed to get an extra 5 bonus minutes at the end of the class, but I didn’t fall over the kids or do anything untoward, so my wife rewarded me by taking me to the Regent Hotel for a doughnut. The Regent Hotel is fairly grand, and has glass elevators which fascinated La Serpiente. We were lucky enough to get in one at the same time as a guest going to the top floor, so we enjoyed a full ascent, and then a descent, and then my eldest demanding that we went to the second floor “because it’s more fun” when it was quite clear she wanted to go in the cocktail bar. No booze for baby.
After that, we went home again, and I don’t think I had any more alcohol for a while. We had preparations to make for La Serpiente’s first day of holiday school – tomorrow she has to take a bus to Bukit Timah on her own, laden down with paraphernalia like a sleeping mat, a pillow with dinosaurs on it, a thermos flask of milk, and sundry other nonsense. It’s lucky she’s strong like bull, otherwise she might collapse under the weight of all this. Although joking aside, it’s going to be a right pain for us to bring it back in three weeks’ time. It took me an hour to get La Serpiente to sleep, which was a little aggravating, but given how well behaved (ish) she was last night, I couldn’t begrudge her.
I went for another little run then we came back and finished off the wine, and I did the washing up. This is of course completely shameful; one should only do the washing up while half-cut on gin, and at 3am, rather than 10pm. What can I be thinking?
Last thing I did was try to book flights for me and La Serpiente to visit Taiwan in September. On a Hello Kitty-themed plane. I’m not sure if that makes me the best, or the worst, or the stupidest, father in the world.