The Game, and Peanut Butter Propositions

Dominique (Aisling’s 10-year-old cousin): “It’s my turn, it’s my turn”

Aisling: “Again?  Really?” [dies inside at thought of playing The Game in the car ALL THE WAY HOME]   

Dominique: “Yes!”

Me: “Just one more game then.”  [Softy].  “Okay.  Have you thought of something?”

Dominique: “Yes.  Remember, it can be Anything In The Whole World”

Me: “Right.  Erm…is it alive?”

Dominique: “No”

Me: “Can you wear it?”

Dominique: “No”

[…game continues…]


One of the best things about having Clare back in the UK is that she is now in GMT, which means full participation in ALL THE LUDICROUS CONVERSATIONS that we have throughout the day without the excuse of being asleep. 

I had a meeting at work, one for which I was stressed and nervous.  I normally like presenting, but not this one.  I called up my emergency cheerleading squad.

Me: “Cannot sleep.  Presentation at 11.30am.  Words of wisdom, please”

Clare: What is the presentation on?  If it’s on geometric nails, I’m out”

Me: It’s on the EU Commission and EU Member States and their respective rights.  People are going to throw eggs at me.”

Clare: Right.  Not my area of expertise.  I was hoping it would be on persuading toddlers to eat their lunch.

Me:  Perhaps I can draw parallels

Clare: Is it like when Emmi wants to be in charge but I have to take control?

Me: Exactly.  For example if Emmi makes agreements in multilateral fora, such as the UN, without your consent.

Clare: Emmi is ALWAYS making agreements in multilateral fora, such as the UN, without my consent.  It’s a habit I’m trying to break.  I get down to her level, keep my voice normal, and explain why she can’t put grapes in the laptop.


Me: I don’t know where this presentation would be without you two. 


[…game continues…]

Aisling: “Can you eat it?”

Dominique: “No”.

Me: “Can you hug it?”

Dominique: [Sigh.]  “No”

Mr K: “Can you talk to it?”

Dominique: D’uh.  “No.”

[…game continues…]


Mr K was going through our (extensive) ice cream selection, trying to feed Aisling.  “You can have Oh My Apple Pie, Cookie Dough, The Vermonster, Karamel Sutra…there’s so many”

“No, thanks”

Mr K was undeterred.  “Aisling…Peanut Butter Me Up?”

We collapsed laughing.  I’m still not sure he appreciates just what a proposition that was. 


I love Stella.  She’s the wisest baby I know.  You talk with her, not at her, and even though she doesn’t talk, you sort of know she’s listening, and giving her considered opinion.  A tilt of the head is “no, no Anna.  Don’t go down that road.  You’ve been there  before and it’s a dark place where you end up with your face in chocolate ice cream and the GUILT” and a nod is “yes!  Jump!  You only live once!”   A gurgle is “you’re better than this.  Don’t settle”.  And there’s nothing more humbling than have her fall asleep on your lap because your story is just not as interesting as you think it is.     


Mr K: Aisling, why have you left this pepper, yet eaten everything else on your plate?

Aisling: The pepper gave me attitude.

Mr K remained bothered about the pepper for much of the day.  Leaving a piece of pepper wasn’t logical


I have a terrible habit of speaking before I think.  I get it from my dad.     

I met a friend for lunch.  He’d just been to the dentist.  I asked how the dentist had been.  Because that’s what considerate people do.

“Teeth are perfectly healthy.  But I grind them”, he said.

“Oh I grind!”  I exclaimed in response.

And because, well…why stop there?  “I grind in bed, too!” I added, helpfully. 

As the words left my mouth, my former Head of Unit, my work idol, my mentor, the man I would follow  for the rest of my career, walked past me.

I have never, ever, been as mortified as I was at that moment. 


[…game continues.  We are all losing the will to live…]

Dominique, world-weary:  “It’s something you are, not a thing.”

Me/Aisling shrieking, in desperation:  “Happy!  Sad!  Hungry!  Angry!  Exhausted!”

Dominique: “No.”

Me: “British”?

Dominque: “No.” 

Aisling: “Dominique, we have to go.  We give up.  You win.  What is it?”

Dominique: “Age”.

Me: “Your thing was the concept of age?”

Dominique: “Yes.  I can’t believe you didn’t guess” 


Categories: Life Experience, Written By Anna
23 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted April 23, 2013 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Please hurry up and write a book K! You have a deadline of 3 weeks, but I’ll stretch to 4 if it’s downloadable. Thankyouplease

    • Posted April 23, 2013 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      The only thing stopping me is not having thought of the right story yet! (oh, and the enormous self -discipline it takes to pen, edit and promote the thing)

      • Chirsty
        Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Everything Amy F&F said! You reeeeally don’t need to have a story. It’s entirely possible that a storyline may in fact be a distraction from from the general wonderfulness and perfection of the drivel.

        Many of my favourite books have no storyline at all beyond a vague concept. Ladies (and any gentlemen strolling by) if you haven’t read it already, I give you:

        • Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

          Am adding this to my reading list thanks Chirsty.

          • Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

            Ooh, me too! Also yes, write a book Mrs K. Quickly. You don’t need a story when your drivel is by turns hilarious, life-affirming and tear-inducing.

            K x

            • Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

              What KL said!

              • Posted April 23, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

                I agree with all the above! Anna your posts are sublime. x

                • Rach M
                  Posted April 23, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

                  Agree agree agree! I would read this all day. And possibly all night too.

  2. Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I just snorted tea everywhere reading this – excellent start to a (so far) sunny morning :-)

    Also, Anna can I come round to yours for ice-cream please?

    • Posted April 23, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      All AOW-ers welcome at the K Ice-Cream Bar! Mr K gets a bit excited when ice-cream is on offer at Tesco’s. Aisling actually gets text messages from him when there’s a particularly good deal on.

      • Posted April 23, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        \ :-) /

      • Rach M
        Posted April 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        *invites self round for ice cream and booze-soaked-delish-brunch-dish as soon as back in country*

        • Posted April 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          one booze-soaked brunch. coming up! Come back earlier!

  3. Kate G
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Hilarious! *I grind in bed* oh pure gold Anna! Sorry for laughing, but…so funny. Reminds me of a similar situation – words before THINKING – that to this day remains my most mortifying moment.

    Beautiful, prescise writing. :)

  4. Kate G
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Oh and Ben and Jerry how I miss you …..Karamel Sutra sounds like a 15/10….

  5. Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    May never stop laughing at “I grind in bed…”

    K x

  6. Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    I want to be in your gang! Also, can no longer read about Emmi or Stella without sobbing.


  7. Yanthé
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    This is exactly what I needed this morning. Thank you Anna. I second, third, fourth etc. etc. all motions for a book

  8. Kandra
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Brilliant, so funny. Thank you :-)

  9. Posted April 23, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Read this whilst sweating like a disgusting person on an evil machine at the gym. And it suddenly made everything better!
    You can’t undo gym work by fantasising about copius amounts of icecream can you?!


  10. Fran M
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    I blame Mr K for any ice cream multibuys that may occur this week.

    Also, I nominate Aisiling for MEP status.

  11. Posted April 25, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Wow, the wisdom of Dominique! I don’t think I was really aware of age as a concept when I was 10 (just birthday parties, which is not the same thing….) Also Anna, Mr K sounds perfect- a man who keeps the freezer that well stocked is the stuff dreams are made of for me.

  12. Posted May 4, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I was grinning from ear to ear when I read this and loved it. Loved the game and the ice cream and the grinding in bed (I accidentally say stuff like that far too often) and everything. I love this place and you guys.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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