I am a bad Brownie. I know, shocking. Last Thursday was a proud Mummy moment. Picture the scene, I was stood in a cold freezing church hall. There were a lack of seats and, therefore, I was kneeling on the floor as Youngest clambered over me. My knees and bottom were gradually losing all feeling. In front of me, Oldest was stood in the middle of a circle surrounded by girls all wearing identical clothing. Oldest made the secret signal and promised allegiance. No, she wasn’t joining a cult and I wasn’t watching the Blair Witch Project. It was Oldest being sworn in at Brownies. However, something struck a chord as she recited her Brownie promise
” I promise that I will do my best, to be true to myself and develop my beliefs, to serve the Queen and my community, to help other people and to keep the Brownie Guide Law.”
In that instant I was transported back to a cold and dusty Myland Village Hall and I was a lanky 7 year-old, wearing a scratchy uniform, making the same promise. However, it suddenly dawned on me that I am now a bad Brownie. I am a truly rubbish Brownie who surely should be handing her badges back.
10 reasons why I am a bad brownie
- I promise that I will do my best is part of the promise. I have been known for throwing a strop when things aren’t going my way. Forget trying to do my best, I want to be the best and if I’m not then I’m not very happy about it. That is a disgusting trait. I have failed at being a true Brownie.
- I promise to be true to myself. Hmmmmm. I am still struggling to work out who I actually am, hence this blog having no perceivable niche. I flit to and fro. I couldn’t be true to myself if I tried. Brownie failure.
- I promise to serve the Queen. Hmm, again a bit of a failure. Although I did love the Queen in the Netflix series, The Crown. Yes, I realise that wasn’t the actual Queen. Actually, I am a bit of a royalist. I love the two princes. I am also heavily invested in Prince Harry’s relationship with the lovely Meghan. Yes, they may have been only going out ten minutes but I need them to get married NOW. I need something positive to focus on.
- I promise to keep the Brownie Guide Law. They have their own law!? I am clearly breaking all of the laws as I didn’t even know that they had one. Did they have one when I was a Brownie because I am pretty sure I didn’t follow them then either?
- Sewing badge. When Oldest was sworn in badges were brought up and the Brownie leader (she actually has an animal name, again I am sure this did not occur when I was a kid) asked Oldest if she sewed. My initial reaction was
“Are you nuts!? She is a 7 year-old who has an uncanny knack of hurting herself and breaking things so there is no way on earth that I am going to willingly let my child loose with a needle.”
Oldest replied in the way which clearly demonstrated that she also thought her Brownie leader was nuts. Then the Brownie leader asked her if Mummy sewed. Now, Oldest is very loyal to me and appreciates that my talents don’t extend to sewing. I can’t even sew a button on a jacket. I was told not to take Textiles GCSE as even my teacher could not fathom what I was doing wrong when it came to sewing a button on. It would look amazing and then just fall off. Mr C on the other hand is amazing at sewing. He is number one when it comes to sewing on buttons and badges in our house. Well, when I explained this to Brownie leader it clearly blew her mind and it was another black mark against my good Brownie chart. I have since looked on the Brownie website and I can’t actually see a Brownie sewing badge. Was the leader testing me? Perhaps it was a secret test and I just went and failed. Conclusion: Brownie failure.
- Out and About badge. A good Brownie reads a map, as in a paper map. Erm, why would I do that? We have left paper behind people! I have Google maps and it gives me step by step directions. There is no need for me to read a map. Brownie Failure. I am very relieved that Oldest will be able to read maps though! She can be my map reader.
- Out and About badge also includes camping. NO THANK YOU! I have not been camping for 13 years when that fateful camping trip saw Mr C and me camping in the New Forest. Pre-camping I was extolling the beauties of camping.
“It will be amazing, we can get close to nature”
Turns out I hate nature, especially when it rains all the sodding time! It was torrential rain non-stop. We couldn’t get warm, we couldn’t get dry. Our tent flooded, trench foot started to set in and mould started growing on the duvet. Yes, we bought a duvet but it was the middle of summer and I was not expecting monsoon season to hit. The final straw was actually not a laughing matter. One day we returned from having huddled in the only dry place we could find, the local village pub, naturally. On returning to the campsite we found that we were behind an ambulance. We then followed that ambulance all the way through the campsite until the ambulance ended up parking between our tent and the one next to us. 30 minutes later as we munched on cold baked-beans the paramedics emerged with a body bag. Mr C freaked out, we packed up and booked into a hotel. Camping is not for me. Conclusion: I am a bad Brownie.
- Number Fun badge. Well that has to be an oxymoron, surely? Everyone knows that numbers are not fun, unless you are Mr C who loves nothing better than a number. He is crazy like that. Engineers’ nights out are party central. Nope I am a Brownie failure. Conclusion: I am a bad Brownie.
- Swimmer badge. Ahahahahahahahahaha. I can now swim as I had lessons a while ago. I thought that as I am living on a tiny island surrounded by sea that it might be a good idea to learn so that I can swim in the sea. Have I swum in the sea since I’ve had my lessons? NO WAY. *Shudders*. I hate it. The Jaws theme tune will start playing in my head and then I feel something brush against my leg and I am a hysterical mess. I am only happy in water when it is in a bath, or if I can stand-up in it and see the bottom! Conclusion: I am a bad Brownie.
- Home Skills badge. The feminist in me is quite outraged by this badge! Although if Oldest wants to work towards it then I will happily hand over some cleaning duties to her. For this badge you have to clean two things from the list. On the list is car, inside and out. My car is a tip, literally. When I drop Oldest off at the school gates, I have to try and stop a wave of rubbish crashing out of the car after her. Brownies are also expected to wash, dry and iron clothes! She’s 7 years-old. I am not putting a hot iron in her hand and also I don’t know where the iron lives in our house, awkward. That is Mr C’s job too. Now I come to think of it I have realised that Mr C is actually the perfect Brownie. When it comes to washing, I had to wash some clothes three times this week because I kept forgetting they were in the washing machine until the next day! Brownie failure and quite possibly destroying the environment in the process. I am ashamed! Conclusion: I am a bad Brownie.
As you can see, I am a bad Brownie. I feel like I need to make amends for the terrible and awful way that I have forgotten my Brownie ways. I know just the thing or person. I am going to recommend Mr C as a Brownie. He is an excellent Brownie. However, I am big fan of Brownies and now that my daughter is a Brownie I must make amends for my poor Brownie ways. What I love about Brownies is that it teaches children about kindness and respect. Now that is the essence of Brownies. From now on “I promise to do my best”.