Angel and Delight have started ballet.
Whilst Angel listens intently to everything Miss Ballet, their patient teacher, says and executes it with desperate precision, Delight thinks nothing of sitting on the floor in the middle of the lesson roaring at me because her plait is too fat.
I shall begin with the morning of ballet day. It had been a standard rainy, thundery, sizzling sunshine September day. I dropped Angel and Delight to their respective lines in the playground resplendent in their freshly pressed and boiled uniforms, ballet after all is on a Monday so we look particularly smart and have even managed to get there before the bell rings. Star for my clever mummy chart.
Poppet is hanging off me drooling teethy grins and waving weetabix encrusted hands at anyone who shows her attention. Delight joins her friends and swiftly swaps to an American accent, they all stand there pretending to chew gum with one hand on their hip. The pride I feel.
Delight is less easily persuaded to join her friends as she must stand practically on top of me, but at the same time I am to 'go awaaaaaay'. I settle this by planting a loud and dramatic kiss on her cheek and pushing her into line. The new mothers are horrified, the ones who have done this before smirk and give me the ( it was me last week) look.
Five minutes later it seems and I am back at the school gate to collect my charming children, having accomplished I'm not quite sure what other than coating Poppet in yet more layers of crusty food. I am no longer embarrassed by this. I lock eyes with Angel who is waiting patiently for me to collect Delight but as I scan the playground I cannot see her. At this moment a bedraggled little thing with hair sticking up everywhere, face splattered in mud wearing a dress three sizes too big wanders into view, She sees me and grins " I got so muddy I even had to change my knickers" she says lifting up her dress for the whole playground to see, she is clearly very proud of this accomplishment. Her teacher looks at me apologetically and hands me a bag with clothes that are now only fit for the bin. " she found some muddy puddles, she's quite energetic isn't she!" Ah the tireless diplomacy of teachers. I smile at her and hope that she reads this as " it's ok, the very fact that you have managed to persuade her to get dressed into some clean clothes and not to wander out in just her pants wins my vote"
So off we go, I manage to remove the mud from Delights face and get her changed but she has decided that she likes the grey socks that she had to borrow from lost property and informs me that she will be keeping them on for ballet. "Fine" I say
"I need to do your hair again though" I get the scowl. I continue anyway. I manage to neaten her up to the best of my ability and send her into ballet only to be summoned ten minutes later by Miss Ballet who has motioned for me to come to the door and watch my children.
I peek in, pride and despair merge as I witness Angel leaping gracefully about whilst Delight in pink tutu and long grey socks sits in the middle of the hall floor yelling "my plait is too fat, I can't do it with a fat plait"
On our way I home I put some music on for the girls, a little bit of frozen, more stars for my fabulous mummy chart. I loose myself in the music and start belting out 'let it go' I am just working up to the key change when Angel taps me on the shoulder. Looking very serious she says " mumeeee, I don't mind you joining in but could you please lip sync!"