Mother's Day in the USA is on a different day than in the UK. That is confusing. Here, they call their mothers "mom" and in the UK, "mum".
There are many differences in the way mothers are celebrated all over the world.
Some people go to the horse races, wearing fruit laden hats. Others go out for a fancy family picnic; some go to an exclusive restaurant for brunch, or they send mother to a spa for a massage.
So on Saturday (the day before Mother's Day), Jimmy decided that he was going to prepare a special treat for me. I would take the kids to the beach whilst he spent some quality man cave time, delving in fossilized turds and marker pens which had been maturing in the caverns of the old toilet since before we moved into our "new" house ten years ago.
Our "new" toilet had been sitting patiently in its box for four years, next to the every time you flush you play "Overflow on your feet Russian Roulette" model. Now, the "new" toilet was to reach the pinnacle of its career as it was finally being plumbed in.
"What is so special about Jesus?" Henry asked at breakfast before I took him and Emily to the beach.
"Oh God, the nuns at my convent are turning in their graves now," I thought.
I did try taking the kids to church for a while, but not a Catholic one, shame on me. But as I told the pastor in the pet store, when he commented that he had not seen me at church for over a year, I did not think that dragging Henry across the hall at home and into the car, whilst swearing at him, was a very healthy way to start our Sunday. Henry also told the pastor that he thought that God was a bearded dragon.
Jimmy walked past the breakfast table, hands full of shards of porcelain, fingers shredded, dripping blood, another offending marker pen, and other festering toilet debris.
"Eww, what's that terrible smell?" screeched Emily, nose up in the air like a sniffer dog.
"The back of the cooker looks like the back of the toilet. The common denominator is you," commented Jimmy as he stomped through the kitchen, complaining that my spicy curry has kept him awake all night.
In preparation for Mother's Day, when he knew he would have to be nice to me, he was venting all of his pent up gripes. In true red neck fashion, he had thrown the smashed up, retired toilet out of the upstairs bathroom window, narrowly missing the cat, who was sitting in his special hunting spot down below.
So Mother's Day arrived and I was given a guided tour of my new toilet, which was dressed in a pink ribbon. It looked like a royal throne, amidst the grunge of the rest of the bathroom.
"Maybe next year I will get a shower or a new sink," I thought, optimistically.
The bathroom had been devoid of a shower or bath for four years. In fact, calling it a "bathroom" is a bit of an untruth. It should be called, the "cat litter and mouse shit room" or the equally appropriate, "discarded and hidden irritating toy room."
Henry and Emily gave me some beautiful crafts that they had made at school and preschool. My, the teachers must have been busy.
Jimmy took us for lunch at my favourite restaurant and the manager gave me a free large glass of wine. I had already had one and was feeling a little tipsy by the time we left for the garden centre. I had my chauffeur so it did not matter. The children wanted to buy me some new plants for our deck.
We drove past the church and Emily asked, as usual, "When can we go to the church again?"
"Maybe we will try a different church sometime," I replied, remembering how I had not been very welcome last time. See "Praise the Lard" http://laughinthefaceofpms.blogspot.com/2010/09/praise-lard.html and "Sunday Morning Worship" http://laughinthefaceofpms.blogspot.com/2010/08/sunday-morning-worship.html
By the time we arrived, I was feeling a bit wobbly. Emily grabbed a garden trolley (cart) and climbed in and I pulled it. Jimmy and Henry had already disappeared into the plants. I proceeded up a small hill on the path between the newly planted bonsais and the marigolds. We had just reached the Bougainvilleas, when Emily screeched suddenly and fell backwards out of the trolley, in which we had already put a few pink potted plants. The handle of the trolley whipped around under my legs and I fell back in the opposite direction into some particularly prickly bushes. I felt a patch of freshly watered soil creeping into my pink shorts and underwear. At least it numbed the pain, caused by the large thorns, that were piercing my behind. As I staggered up, I saw a member of staff appearing, shaking her head.
Emily was screaming and was covered in soil from the pink pot plants that had been covering the sticker which read, "Children should not ride in cart."
Jimmy was peering over the top of the tomato plants at me, also shaking his head. Henry came rushing round the corner to see if he was missing out on any excitement.
We loaded up the trolley with some new plants - I did not wish to pay for broken ones. Emily finally stopped screaming and we paid and then went to the potting soil area to get something to plant the new flowers in. Emily and Henry were clambering about in the bags of soil whilst Jimmy huffed and puffed and lifted a few bags onto the flower-laden trolley. I lifted one bag on and then decided to have a rest. After all, it was Mother's Day and I had a very dirty brown patch on the back of my pink shorts. Jimmy mumbled something about me thinking I was the queen, but lacking the required decorum.
Suddenly, Henry started a kerfuffle (commotion). He was stuck between some bags of potting soil. Emily was squealing at Jimmy to help.
Whilst Jimmy helped Henry to extricate himself from the "castle", I tried to load one more bag of soil onto the already full trolley. I am not going back to that garden centre again. The whole cart tipped over once more, squashing the plants which we had already paid for.
Jimmy was in a real rage by now and he flung bags of soil and plants into the van like provoked Popeye.
On the way home, Emily said again, "Eww, what's that terrible smell?"
I glanced into the back of the van and realized that one of the bags of potting soil had burst open and was liberally scattering its "real fish heads and organically raised chicken manure" onto the floor.
"How can a simple trip to the garden centre be so awful?" was Jimmy's response.