This story was inspired by my daughter’s obsession with the things I stash in my top drawer. While mostly true, I must confess to a little ‘creative license’ with one character. At the time of writing, my husband was on a 10-day business trip, so the fictional character will be obvious (can you blame a girl for fantasizing?).
It’s a rain soaked Sunday and after exhausting the ‘rainy-day-checklist-for-desperate-mothers-stuck-at-home-while-husband-travels-for-work’, Boy-Who-Asks-Questions announces his desire to plant some seeds to ‘make’ flowers.
Thankful for a chance to get out (there’s only so much play-doh and finger painting a girl can take) I sanction a trip to the garden centre.
Nearly out the door, Boy-Who-Asks-Questions quickly backtracks to get his ‘money’ (the $1.50 in his now opened money box) to pay for the seeds.
Little Fairy follows him to get her ‘money’, although I haven’t a clue what this could be as I know she has no coins. Too exhausted to care, I wait for them to retrieve their loot.
At the garden centre we go through the usual rigmarole:
Boy-Who-Asks-Questions: “I want seeds that make red flowers.”
Little Fairy: “I want to make red flowers too”
Boy-Who-Asks-Questions: “No, only I can make red flowers.”
Little Fairy: “No! I want to make red flowers too!”
Me to Little Fairy: “Sweetheart, how about purple flowers?”
Little Fairy: “Oooohh, yes! Purple flowers!”
Boy-Who-Asks-Questions: “I want to make purple flowers!”
Little Fairy: “No! Only I can make purple flowers!”
Just as I’m about to throw my arms up in the air and collapse into a gibbering heap on the floor, enter the Handsome Young Man.
Barry White starts singing in my head as the Handsome Young Man saunters towards us in slow motion, gumboots galloshing. He lifts my children up so they can see the different coloured packets at the very top of the shelf. The sound of bickering is replaced by giggling as my eyes move along his strong tanned arms to his weather beaten hands.
Suddenly Little Fairy cries: “Mummy, I need to wee” and Barry White scratches to a halt. It’s at this point I realise the giggling I hear is my own hysterical guffawing. I stop, clear my throat, and ask for the nearest bathroom.
When it’s time to pay, our gardening project amounts to a grand total of $80.00 (I only notice this the next day after the numbing affects of both exhaustion and the Handsome Young Man have worn off).
With a subtle wink to the Handsome Young Man, I ask Boy-Who-Asks-Questions if he would like to ‘pay’ with his pocket money. He proudly slams his $1.50 on the counter.
“Don’t forget my money,” cries Little Fairy rising up on her tippy toes to nudge a little piece of paper across the counter to the Handsome Young Man.
It takes a few minutes to register what she’s sliding across the counter, and when it does sink in, I want to run to the nearest pot plant and bury my head.
Little Fairy’s cash is that annoying leaflet that comes with every box of tampons, helpfully unfolded to the ‘insertion’ diagram (note to tampon manufacturers: I’m 39 years old. I think I get it by now).
Thankfully the Handsome Young Man proved to be as polite as he was good looking. Either he didn’t notice the illustration of the vagina, or he has bad eyesight from pruning too many bushes in the sunshine.
Needless to say I encourage a hasty retreat home, grateful that no other contents from my top drawer made an appearance that day.