Dulwich Mum's column for the Telegraph is a must-read for any mother with rugrats at a competitive school. This one made me think of when Firstborn had to bring her Reception class toy, the insanely-named Beat Baby Blue, home for the weekend and then write about their thrilling exploits together.
I looked through Beat Baby Blue's record book with horror. By that point Beat Baby Blue had been to Grandmere's chateau in France, a holiday pad in the Algarve, the Louvre and skiing in Courchevel, not to mention kiddy yoga, Kumon, a Japanese lesson and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Did I mention that Firstborn is five years old? Yup, Kensington kids sure get around.
All we had planned for that weekend was the supermarket, a trip to the hairdresser and our usual Sunday genuflections. Although Beat Baby Blue would certainly have benefited from Alain's supreme blowdrying skills (all that travelling and worthy learning having left him somewhat matted) I wasn't sure I could face the playground walk of shame on Monday morning. I wracked my brains but came up with a big fat zero; unless I shamelessly fabricated a dash to the Congo to save the mountain gorillas or a family skydiving adventure, we were screwed for sure.
Inspiration struck on our way to Church. Could I play the smug religious card? As the girls attend Catholic school, something told me that this would give us great big Brownie points indeed (of which we were in dire need, not having given a million quid for the Save The Roof Fund or devoted 95% of our time to the Flower Arranging Committee roster). Firstborn embraced Beat Baby Blue's religious experience with all her fervent little five-year-old heart; he was given a prominent aisle-side position in the pew, made to do the sign of the cross with his little plastic paws at every opportunity and had his fur slightly singed while lighting a candle for Classroom Furry Creatures everywhere.
At home afterwards, Firstborn laboured manfully, writing all about Beat Baby Blue's attendance at Mass. All was going well until I foolishly left her alone to illustrate her story. Firstborn, carried away by a flight of fancy, drew a detailed picture of the interior of the church, complete with stained glass, statues of the Virgin and the saints... and Beat Baby Blue up there on the cross right next to Jesus.
One-upmanship? I think not. Next time Beat Baby Blue will just have to slum it at Sainsbury's. I've given up.