There was a ‘gown up’ in Mummy’s bed, Lola had been awake for just about long enough to remember she had school today and was looking forward to playing ‘tag’ with Laura and Marie at playtime. She liked playing with the twins and the thought of which had made her feel really excited as she’d clambered out of her bed and padded across the corridor, she’d peeked round mummy’s bedroom door and saw the two of them still asleep. She didn’t know who the man in there was, but she did know it wasn’t her daddy, it was never her daddy. As she crept back towards her own room to play with ‘Dollybird’ her favourite toy, her bottom lip jutted out, a tear slid from her eye, she trembled softly then started to cry. She remembered that mummy had been dancing on the tables again last, she hated the noise that had come up from downstairs, while she’d waited for hours to hear mummy come up. Dollybird never went to sleep until after she had, that’s why she was her favourite. That and the fact she’d been a present from Martin, her bestest grown up in the whole wide world except for mummy of course.
It was the cheering from all the men she hated the most, they sounded like they were laughing at her mummy when she danced on the table with her skirt above her knees, even though her skirts were actually small now like those worn by most of the other mummy’s Lola saw taking their children to school in the morning and didn’t actually need pulling up above her knees. She’s wondered if they all danced on tables at night time too. Maybe you were only allowed to do it if you lived in a house like the Coach and Horses? Lola got herself dressed and went into the kitchen to get some cornflakes and milk, the radio was playing a song about a man, who wanted to paint a red door black,
“Grown-ups are really silly sometimes”
She muttered to herself as she sat and listened to the song while eating her breakfast with Dollybird and Muswell the cat, she decided to stop crying in case it upset the others, not that they’d mind they were her best friends after all.
As the song on the radio changed to one about a dirty man with a paper back, Lola heard a loud coughing coming from mummy’s bedroom, followed by the sound of someone saying bad words she wasn’t allowed to say then heavy footsteps on the wooden stairs that led down into the pub, seconds later her mother came into the kitchen still in her dressing gown. She looked like she’d been crying as well because there was makeup smudged all over her cheeks and her eyes were all red and puffy.
“Oh darling, sweetheart, mummy’s so sorry, I slept through my alarm again, what time is it? Ah look at you, you’ve got yourself ready for school, you’re such a clever girl, come here and give mama a hug, did you give Muswell some milk already?”
Lola got down from her chair and ‘hop-scotched’ across the kitchen and into her mummy’s embrace as she knelt down, arms outstretched, smiling at her.
“Mummy loves you so much….I’m sorry, I’m sorry”
They both started crying again as her mummy scooped her into her arms, turned the radio up, then twirled her round and round until they were both dizzy, crying and laughing uncontrollably and singing along together until her mummy put her back down on the floor and ran into the bathroom to be sick.
“Paper back writer……….