The Crunch

A few days ago I was making my daughter a sandwich for school. It was very early in the morning so I still felt a bit bleary headed. I asked her what she wanted in the sandwich.

“Cream cheese and cucumber?”

“Yes that’s fine” she answers “no no uum I won’t have cucumber”

I find this puzzling since cream cheese and cucumber has always been a winner.

“Why don’t you want cucumber?”

“Because when you’re at school and it’s time to eat the juffie turns this thingy round and it plays a tune on the music box and then you all have to be quiet.”

(Juffie is the generic term for female teacher)

Listening to this I suddenly feel a lot more awake and attentive.

“Ooh” I say  “so you mean cucumber is too crunchy and it makes a noise?!”

“Yep”

“I’m sure the juffie doesn’t mind if you crunch a little bit when you’re eating”

“Yeah, but I just don’t want to anyway” she says

I am thinking to myself that this is ridiculous. How did I ever produce such a law-abiding goody-two-shoes? How could a bit of cucumber ever be rebellious?

I make a vow to myself to try to encourage a bit more wild disobedience.

I did recently fail to read the note pinned up on the classroom door so I baked jam tarts for a school trip instead of pancakes as all the other mums had done. I was the only one that did something different but this was more an act of disorganisation than of rebellion. A jam tart is not really a symbol of living life on the edge so I needed a new plan.

I bumped into a friend and her two kids at the farm and while our brood were stepping on the goat poo and stroking the rabbits we managed to have a short conversation about our music tastes. This was a good start, just to talk about something other than the kids. It turned out that she was a reggae DJ and I am a big reggae fan. Talking to her was bringing back memories of wilder days at festivals, being young, dancing all night. She was going to be Dj-ing at the weekend.

Here was the perfect opportunity to liven up an old passion with a few “Irie vibrations.”

So I turn up very keenly at 8pm on the dot. Maybe a bit too keen, the place hasn’t even opened it’s door yet! My friend is the first to play at a whole evening of reggae. I have really built this ‘going out’ thing in my head since it happens so seldom. Things start off very slowly and the place is empty for the first hour apart from us two mums and then a few friends of the DJ start to arrive, one of whom is heavily pregnant. We swap birthing stories and talk about pregnancy yoga. Wait! This is not the wild evening I had planned. Then my friend, the DJ needs to go to the loo and quickly shows me what to do in her absence. I’m standing in the DJ hotspot and I’m switching the faders! My heart beats a bit faster and I feel like I’m very cool…I look up from my brief moment of triumph and remember that I’m playing to an empty dancefloor!

By the time the second band of the night plays and it’s really filling up with the proper late night party crowd, ie. the young people I start nervously looking at the time and I sensibly head back home. I have to retrieve my coat from the backstage area though and typically enough the band members are in there taking a breather – smoking up a cloud of marijuana. The smell from outside is enough to almost knock me off my feet and I’m getting a bit nervy about the idea of going in, but I just hold my breath and make a dash for it. OK so my really reckless days are in the past, but I did get close to the ‘rebel music’, at least I danced to some tunes about the ‘uprising’.  And I had four beers! And was home at midnight!

My rebellion might be on the back burner, but I hope my daughter’s is still to come. On Monday I’m planning on slipping carrot sticks into her lunch box.

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