I never thought my first country dancing experience as an adult would end like this!
I remember doing country dancing at school when I was a kid. I’ve got fond memories of do-si-doe-ing around the playground and practicing my promenade with my best friend, but it’s not an activity I’ve participated in for a very long time.
So when my five-year-old daughter came home excited to tell me they were having a country dancing show at their little village school I was looking forward to it. It all sounded so idyllic and when the day came round the sun was shining and all the children looked adorable in their spotty skirts, bells and big smiles.
But by the time we got to school it all began to unravel. Perhaps the first indication that it wasn’t going to go quite as planned was when my daughter’s school were all encouraged to remove the neat little scarves they had tied round their necks and told to put them on their heads. I tried to gently express my dismay at them looking like a bunch of pirates but my efforts were thwarted. It was the way they had always done it and as I’ve learned they don’t like change in these parts.
The dancing itself was sweet, although after I joined in with the parent child dancing, I was confronted by the concerned headmistress over my “scarily high” footwear. Fortunately I didn’t blurt out that I’d walked the lengths of Hollywood Boulevard in way higher than that. She may perhaps have got the wrong idea as scenes from ‘Pretty Woman’ flashed before her.
Anyway, lets totter into the half time activities shall we.
In an attempt to involve ourselves in the village and school I help out with the PTA when I can.
On this occasion though it was my hubby who somehow got the raw end of the deal and as I ran inside to help serve the refreshments he was already stood there wearing a pair of blue catering gloves and serving for the 50 person queue, by desperately trying to ram sausages in buns at a pace quicker than you’d see in the Playboy Mansion.
Like a lunchtime rush at McDonalds orders were being shouted as other parents poured teas, coffees, made ice creams and kept all the country dancing kids and their parents refreshed.
While this was all going on I was also trying to keep an eye on both my children one of whom, at the grand age of three, believes he is an experienced rock climber and who I could just about see over the crowds scaling a climbing frame which to him might have looked like Everest.
He’d have to wait, because at that moment one poor child grabbed my arm crying, begging me to follow him to the bathroom. As I did so, watching the tiny tyke waddle his way to the door he informed me he had pooped himself “just a little”.
He bravely disappeared inside the loo before coming out one minute later with his soiled pants in his hand. “I’d hold them by the elastic waistband if I were you” he ever so politely informed me before running off into the playground commando underneath his shorts.
What was I going to do with these now? The school is tiny, so the toilet was a stones throw from the chaos of the school hall where the closest bin just so happened to be. But could I really throw a pair of kid’s pants in with the paper plates and empty cans which I knew some poor devil was going to have to sort out for the recycling? The answer is no, I could not.
So instead I make a beeline for my husband who saw the look of panic in my eyes and mouthed “what’s wrong?” I couldn’t yell out what I was holding or launch them his way, so I summoned for him to leave his station, blue gloves still on. I whispered quickly what had happened and then told him to quickly take off his glove and open it as wide as he could.
I think he wondered why on earth I was telling him to take the glove OFF! Surely dealing with a situation like this you’d want as much protection as you could get. But he did as I asked and quick as I could I threw the mucky undergarments into the glove. The problem was they were still sticking out the top and people were beginning to stare. I didn’t want to use my hands to prod them down into the empty finger pockets, so without thinking (clearly) I take off my new Ray Ban sunglasses and use the arm to poke the pants down until we could tie the top shut.
We said nothing. He just looked at me, shook his head, looked at my glasses, looked at me and put on a fresh pair of gloves to go sell off the remaining hot dogs.
We’ve said nothing more about it. I cleaned my glasses but still feel a little dirty wearing them, I returned the pants – still in the blue glove – in hindsight without enough of an explanation to the parent to be honest.
I’ve literally wiped my hands of country dancing for a while which is a shame because I’m sure there are so many lovely and wholesome festivals in and around Somerset for us to attend. I’m just not quite sure I can stomach another one just yet!