Super Duper

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

There are some children who are destined for lives of certificate receiving, public good behaviour accolades, and school assembly name mentioning.

Mine is not one of those children.

The Boy’s Mother, Maggie, and I take Miss Rose and Z to a song and dance playgroup every week called Happy Feet. At the end of each session, a child who has behaved well for the whole session is awarded the “Super Duper Of The Week” certificate. It’s a charming little tradition and the celebrated child gets a round of applause and a big smile.

Here’s why Miss Rose will never recieve the “Super Duper Of The Week” certificate, a little run down of today’s Happy Feet session events…

Please note… Maggie was helping in the kitchens or the day would have been far more successful as nobody messes with Maggie. Children included.

0930 – Arrive

Miss Rose begins running around in circles with Z whilst they screech and shout. Miss Rose steals the “Super Duper Of The Week” certificate from the front desk whilst Z pilfers the pile of Happy Feet stickers, sticking them liberally to the floor and his own legs.


One of the organisers children is carrying around a large inflatable shark. Miss Rose wants said shark and attempts to wrestle it from his grip. Unusually she loses this battle in moments and proceeds to howl as though she has been smacked. She has not.

0950 – Curtains and Climbing

At the side of the room are long curtains and a small step ladder on wheels. Between the two of them, Miss Rose and Z are able to tag team me by winding themselves in curtains or mounting these stairs whilst I try and prevent the other one from doing the other thing.

1000 – Session starts

By this points Miss Rose’s fetching multi layered pink tutu is hanging down to her skull and cross bone trainers due to her insistence on letting her belly pop over the top, a little pink patch of skin showing between her stripey top and her tights. She agrees to wind her bobbin up for several seconds before insisting she needs feeding.

1005 – Feed The Baby

A neighbouring woman’s young boy spots the snacks that are now spread across the chair beside us and gets excited. Miss Rose begins feeding them to him whilst Z starts placing pieces of cheese and crackers at his feet. Soon the boy is filled with joy and food, the children laying offerings of food before him as though asking him to spare their crops. The food is soon stomped into the floor.

1010 – Shoes off

Miss Rose decides her favourite skull and cross bones trainers are the most offensive thing in the world and screeches whilst running away from me until she manages to get them off her feet and throw them at a passing child.

1015 – Lap Fight

Z decides he needs cuddles and climbs onto my lap. Miss Rose protests. Loudly. “IS MY MUMMY GET DOWN!” Explanations that she has to share do nothing to improve her rapidly deteriorating mood. She refuses to let her hickory dickory dock mouse anywhere near a clock, stamps her feet angrily during happy and you know it, and point blank refuses to row her boat anywhere near a crocodile.

1025 – Parachute

The sight of the parachute improves the mood of the stroppy Miss Rose who with glee grips the edge and wafts it enthusiastically. Hurrah! Until Z spots that we can go for the coffee break and makes his way to the table for biscuits, so Miss Rose abandons her involvement and chases after us. Z and Miss Rose are sat munching their way through the biscuits well before the other children have finished their song.

1032 – Soaked

Moments after the other children begin to position themselves around the tables, Miss Rose manages to tip orange squash down her whole outfit, howling as a result. Z is abanoned to his chocolate bourbon whilst I pull Miss Rose’s soaking clothes from her body.

1035 – Second soaking

I take Miss Rose and Z back to the chairs, put my coffee cup on the floor by the chair leg, and pull Miss Rose’s cardigan on her, much to her horror as running around in just a nappy was quite possibly the highlight of her entire week. I then fetch her coat from the back of the chair to keep her warm. Z spots this and attempts to retrieve his own coat, not wanting to be left out of the unusual fashion choices for the day. This effort involved tipping my coffee cup over so the legs of his jeans, Miss Rose’s feet, my feet, and the floor got a liberal coating of the coffee I had barely had a chance to have two sips of.

1036 – Cleaning Up

Fellow mothers, kind hearted souls, fetch me paper towel whilst I disrobe Z who is now down to a nappy. Fortunately his socks, shoes and top manage to avoid a drenching so whilst Miss Rose is sporting the rather fetching nappy and cardigan look, Z just has his little legs poking out of his rugby shirt. I mop up the coffee from the floor whilst my delightful children watch. And laugh.

1045 – Singing restarts

The singing starts again but by this point both Miss Rose and Z are feeling fragile. A battle rages over who gets to sit on my lap, but eventually both agree to share. Begrudgingly.

1055 – The Hokey Kokey

For a short period of time they both do the hokey kokey dance, holding one of my hand’s each, and with smiles and happiness. It doesn’t last. The both want to be carried, and both are angry that the other wants to ride on the other hip to them.

1100 – Finish

As we finish, and my two bare legged children are rewarded with stickers, and the “Super Duper Of The Week” certificate is handed to a little girl, and a second to a little girl who was traumatised by not receiving the first certificate, I sit down, text The Boy, and gratefully accept the reassuring “it’s okay” smiles from the mothers who walk by.

Miss Rose is a spectacular human being and I love her very much… but she’s no “Super Duper Of The Week”.

You can check out all my contact info an links on, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!


One response to “Super Duper

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