#4: Postman Crisp and the Doorstep Dance

#4: Postman Crisp and the Doorstep Dance
5 minutes to read

“What are you doing, Mouse? Why are all the cushions on the coffee table?”

I’m one of those interior over-achievers where everything is aimed towards an aesthetic symmetry, rather than communal enjoyment. Throws are certainly not to be thrown. Cushions are designed to be lightly held atop your lap, or placed on the carpet next to the sofa when you’re in situ. I get very twitchy if someone leans against a cushion. Sit on it, and you won’t be invited back. This makes me sound like a bit of a stern host, but I do rustle up copious amounts of cake – don’t mess with my cushions, and you shall be rewarded. 

“Sorry mummy. I’m looking outside for crisp.”

“What, like a packet of crisps?”

“No, silly bum bum! Crisp. The postman.”

Aaaah, got it. Chris. Chris is our lovely postie and is a bona fide friend of our family, because my husband sometimes races with him and he works with my brother-in-law, also a postman. I think I gave him some homemade mince pies a couple of Christmases ago – if I didn’t, I definitely meant to, and it’s the thought that counts (I jest).

“I don’t think he’s coming today my peach, it’s a bit late now.” Actually, shitting hell, it’s gone 3pm and we only finished lunch five minutes ago. I’ll do better with time management tomorrow, I’ll make something even less labour intensive than crumpets and marmite. I’ll just get up earlier to give us more of a contingency buffer. Up at 6am, breakfast at 8am, out by 9am for a bit, lunch at noon. Easy. Everything tomorrow will just be better. “How about I feed your sister and then we’ll do something fun?”

It’s a frustrating week in Moo’s world. When she’s having a growth spurt or needs a poo, her table manners are bloody awful. She thrashes about, whacking every part of her face against my nipple because she’s incredibly cross and it’s all my fault. She’s like one of those bizarre ocean floor dwellers you get on David Attenborough, a sort of pink sea cucumber with no eyes and a mouth like a hoover. I opt for a bit of skin to skin and take most of my clothes off – Mouse doesn’t bat an eyelid, she’s used to me being weird – and I move a cushion to one side so I can sit down.

A few minutes later, I hear the shuffle of paper being pushed through the letterbox. “Crisp! It’s Crisp!” Mouse shrieks, scrambling over the sofas to look out of the window. I play a quick, silent game of takeaway menu bingo – I bet it’s pizza. “Nah, wasn’t Crisp.” Mouse is disappointed. “I’ll see what it was. Oh, oh, there’s MAN AT THE DOOR! MAN IS THERE!” I hear a soft knocking – we had to disable our doorbell because it got stuck on “Rottweilers barking” which wasn’t good for the cat’s heart murmur. I hook a finger in Moo’s mouth to unlatch her, like releasing a fishing line from a trout. She protests, a hell of a lot louder than a trout. I whoosh her onto her shellsuit-fabric playmat and hope she doesn’t shunt off the other end like a curling stone, while wrestling my top back on and praying it’s not cold out. Opening the door, it’s clear there’s no-one there. I start to close it, when a guy from Yodel comes into view from nextdoor’s driveway. “Hello?” he says. “Um, hello” I reply. “Sorry, I thought you were knocking my door.”

“No, I’m knocking this door”. He gestures to my neighbour’s house. “Yes, sorry. Our walls are quite thin and it sounded like you were outside my door.” Quite thin = waffer thin. Our bedrooms back on to each other. Our beds are on either side of the party wall. It’s all rather intimate.

Nextdoor open up. What ensues is a bizarre three-way tango of everyone explaining whose door they thought was being knocked, and me saying sorry, like a parrot. I notice I have Moo sick in my hair. I move to close the door.

“Your child…” says Mr Yodel. “Yes?” I reply. “Your child is at window.” I take one step outside and crane my head around the wall to see that yes, indeed, my child is at window, trampling over the bloody sofa again. “It’s alright, I’ll go and sort her out. Sorry.” This is now intensely awkward. Sort her out how?! And stop saying sorry! I offer Mr Yodel some effusive thanks, kind of salute at the man from nextdoor, and retreat indoors. “Come on then, child at window. Do you fancy going to the co-op?”

Ten minutes later, we’ve just about got one shoe on Mouse, when there’s another knock at the door. Oh dear god, it’s Mr Yodel again. “Hello!”

“Hi…” I reply. I urge every membrane in my tongue not to say sorry.

“I have parcel for your neighbour.”

“Ah, right, OK. Which neighbour? Not that one?” I cock my head in the direction of nextdoor. He in turn leans back and looks at their house. “No, I deliver their parcel before.”

“Yes, sorry, I know.”

“Will you sign…and I let neighbour know you’re here?”

“Yes, yes of course. Sorry.”

“Leetle girl not at window now!”

“Ah, no, she’s getting her shoes on.” From somewhere behind me I hear Mouse. “What you said mummy? Wellies are boots not shoes.”

More profuse thanks and handing over of parcel, which must from musclemaximo.com (or something) as it weighs about 8kg.

“Sorry, for disturb your day.” Now he’s at it, he’s caught my sorry bug.

I bid Mr Yodel farewell, and after a second round of wees and this-jacket-not-that-cardi, we’re finally walking down the road. I clock the red Royal Mail van parked just inside the cul-de-sac that joins our street. 5…4…3…2…”Mummy, it’s Crisp!” It’s not, it’s someone else, emptying the post box.

“Mummy? Talk to me about….(this is her latest thing. Asking us to recount events literally five minutes after they’ve finished, so we can really blast out the finer points and consider things from all angles) Talk to me about that man with the parcel?”

Like I said, tomorrow will just be better.

-SJW May 2016



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Petite Pudding

Leave a comment

  1. May 31, 2016 / 6:13 pm

    I remember answering the door to the window cleaner with my boob out once when I fell asleep feeding the Child. I try not to make eye contact now. And YES to the story thing – if I have to repeat how the cat scratched my beautiful brown leather coat one more time….

    • May 31, 2016 / 6:50 pm

      Boob flashing to a door knocker will def happen one of these days! Oh god the stories…I’m still recounting a failed weigh-in for her sister at the health visitor centre and that was a month ago!

  2. rightroyalmother
    June 9, 2016 / 6:23 am

    Oh god, YES to the story thing. Yesterday it was ‘let’s talk about giraffes. Why can’t giraffes talk?’ Do you know how good this post is? This is f***ing hilarious and you have just made me snort my 6.15am tea (only time I can drink it and it’ll be hot. And I only, realistically, have 15 minutes). I want to meet Moo. And you. We could combine shellsuit playmats and play (is that what you do?) curling together. #puddinglove

    • June 9, 2016 / 6:39 am

      Sorry that your 15 minutes of hot tea fame is now over…I’m sat next to a farty baby with last night’s stale water. THANK YOU for the comment, this post is my least popular in terms of views but I thought I had all the lol’s ???? I think the term is just to curl, rather than play at curling, but yeah let’s do it #puddinglove

      • rightroyalmother
        June 9, 2016 / 9:18 am

        It is fabulous – truly, really great writing. My tea stayed warm until the last drop – it’s going to be a good day 🙂 #puddinglove

        • June 9, 2016 / 11:57 am

          Thank you. May your tea always be at optimum drinking temperature and may only chatty giraffes cross your path ???? #puddinglove x

    • June 9, 2016 / 6:41 am

      PS BECAUSE THEY JUST CAN’T TALK OK!!! Followed 2 minutes later by “I’m sorry darling. Come on, let’s have it again. Giraffes can probably talk to their giraffe friends in their special language.”

      • rightroyalmother
        June 9, 2016 / 9:18 am

        Yes. Yes, of course they can. x

  3. June 10, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    Fabulously written – very funny and also poignant. I hope you’re not really that hard on yourself, it doesn’t matter if lunch was a bit late! I fought the cushion/throw things for many years and now am at one with them being chucked around the place as I will never win that battle for a few years. Am pleased I am following you now so I won’t miss any more tales of your adventures. x #PuddingLove

    • June 10, 2016 / 4:18 pm

      Thank you for reading and for the lovely feedback! I’m normally quite OCD until about this time on a Friday afternoon when caution goes out of the window and I start plotting which of all the alcohols I can start first ????

  4. June 11, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    ???? what a fab light hearted post, I felt like I was right there with you, though I was waiting for Crisp to turn up. Thank you for linking up to the #DreamTeam

    • June 11, 2016 / 10:11 pm

      Thank you for reading and commenting ???? I’m sure there’ll be a sequel one day as I’ve recently discovered that the other postman on our round is also called Crisp, haha. #DreamTeam

  5. June 14, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    Ah I was so sucked in I totally thought Crisp would turn up eventually! Love the pink sea cucumber phase, why must they thrash about whilst trying to poop?? Thanks for linking #PuddingLove

    • June 14, 2016 / 9:32 pm

      If it was fiction I’d have absolutely flashed a boob at Crisp ???? he thinks he’s famous now, haha. #puddinglove

  6. July 5, 2016 / 9:12 am

    Crisp not turning up has really put a dark cloud over my entire day. After all that build up too!! It’s made me quite fancy a bag of salt and vinegar though…

    • July 5, 2016 / 9:55 am

      Sorry to disappoint, had you predicted a boob flash?! There may well be a sequel one day! Enjoy your crisps (hands down the best flavour choice btw) ????

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