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There are just some things that one cannot be late with, sending gifts for festive occasions such as Mother’s Day is one of them. So, when I was out wandering around town MONTHS ago, whilst The Mom was in Australia, I saw a top that I thought she might like. I took a picture and sent it to L’il Sis for a second opinion – it was a pretty wild print – of cockatoos – on quite a bright blue background – and I wasn’t sure if it was one of those things that’s funny and great, or just a bit funny.

I awaited her reply. Which arrived a few days later, and since it was still March, I didn’t get worked up about it.

L’il Sis said the top was great and agreed that The Mom would love it, so off I went on my lunch break at work one day and snapped it up in the smallest size they had.

I took it back to my flat and waited to send it because I thought if I sent it too early it might get lost in the shuffle. And that wasn’t doing anybody any good.

I moved house in the intervening weeks, but I knew exactly where the top was and I had not only Mother’s Day marked on my calendar in my laptop (so it will shout at me when I have to remember to do something) I also had marked the date by which I had to post it.

I went out and got some incredibly loud bird print wrapping paper. I got a card and wrote The Mom a nice little love letter. I took everything into my office (where they have tape and scissors), wrapped it up and shuffled off to the Post Office on another lunch break.

All told, this gift sending business had lasted for nearly six weeks. I am nothing if not dedicated.

I had even emailed The Mom, telling her how excited she ought to be about the gift that was soon to be winging its way towards her.

I posted the gift with about ten days to arrive. Then I waited. The Mom waited.

After about five days (which is normally the time it takes for a package to arrive even though both Royal Mail and Canada Post tell you it could take longer) I emailed asking if it had arrived.

It hadn’t.

Eery day, I emailed. Did you get my package yet?

To which The Mom would reply with some variation of: No, not yet, but the mail comes in the afternoon now.

Which is after I’ve stopped checking emails for the day. So I’d get up in the morning expecting an email filled with a ridiculous number of exclamation marks, proclaiming how lovely the gift was and how much she liked it.

But each morning, nothing.

I became forlorn quite quickly.

What if it’s lost? What if you never get it?

The Friday before Mother’s Day, I sent a flurry of emails hoping that my gift had arrived. The Mom duly replied, gutted, that there was no sign of it.

Meanwhile, Crazy D was Somewhere In The World, deeply embedded in work, and wouldn’t you know it, somehow managed to arrange for flowers to be sent to The Mom in honour of the big day.

L’il Sis helped out with the gardening and served drinks and procured pizza.

I sputtered on Skype, proffering receipts to prove I had sent the gift in good time and that it was in no way my fault that it had yet to turn up.

Finally, on the Monday following Mother’s Day, my package arrived. It went down a storm, as I had hoped. But the excellence of the gift in no way redeemed me for the tardy presentation, which means I now have to find something suitably outstanding to bring back over my summer holidays to ensure I am once again at the top of the Golden Child pecking order. It’s a point of pride, really. I mean, as the first-born child, it’s my duty to set a good and proper example, and if I can be outdone by my brother who is probably – maybe – sleeping in his boots on an airplane en route from Here to There, then I fear my moniker of first-born child is perhaps even in jeopardy.

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