14 August 2008

Flap flap flap

This is how I feel.

Imagine it. While your husband is away on conference, you attack some HUGE cleaning jobs around the house. Clean out under the deck, wash a thousand loads of 'half-used' clothes from the clothes piles in each person's room, and keep everyone's head above water during the week.

Good job! Or was it? Because the dirty clothes hamper in the bathroom has overflowed while you were catching up on all the other washing. Smells like domestic failure, really.

Then your husband comes home from conference and you have not only his clothes to wash (clean ones cannot go back in the cupboard due to the fact that a bed bug reinfestation would tip me over the edge) but also bedding. Funny, that's the same bedding I cleaned a week or so before conference. Nevermind, cleaning it again is not as bad as the horror of bed bugs, so I'll do it.

Then you head off on a three-night stay at the beach (okay, so that bit is pretty good.) It's the most expensive holiday you have EVER had bar none (the brochure says 'heavily discounted' - I guess it's all in how you define 'heavily' and 'discounted') but it's good to be away at the beach for a few nights.

Eeek! What to do? Pack the remaining clothes PLUS dirty ones and dash to the beach, forgetting many things usually important when one is on holidays.

Like shoes. But hey.

Then you spend your three-night stay feeling a little jibbed because you find yourself doing exactly what you'd be doing at home (washing, folding, getting up early to children who can't sleep, agonising about breakfast, lunch and dinner) except it's costing you so much money.

You get back home. There's nothing to wear except fat clothes for you, dirty clothes for Sonny Ma-Jiminy and pyjamas for Smoochy Girl. (I'd managed to keep Mister de Elba in decent clothes and for that, I deserve mountains of praise, a block of chocolate and a large golden medal.)

So now you have to wash:
1. clothes from your holiday
2. clothes from your husband's conference
3. bedding from your husband's conference
4. everything in the packed-down, overflowing clothes hamper
5. pile after pile of dirty dishes, because while all this is happening, you still have to EAT.

Could I have gone to kindy today to be the Mum On Duty? Hardly. There are times when a woman has to look after herself, because nobody else will. I called and said I wouldn't be able to make it. I didn't lie, I didn't make up an excuse, I just said I wouldn't be able to make it. They said that was fine.

My own mother who cares for me like nobody else came down today and helped me. She deserves mountains of praise, a block of chocolate and a large golden medal.

Me, SMJ & Smooch: Bye, Grandma!
SMJ: We love our Grandma!
Me: We do. We love her very much.
SMJ: We wouldn't like to ... loss our Grandma.
Me: No, we wouldn't. Let's make sure we always know where she is.
SMJ: Okay.

My mother, for her part, is scared I might write something ghastly about her in the blog. But you know yourselves that I keep away from things that might make others look bad. So I won't be telling you all about the green onions, oh no siree, I won't.

I am heaps behind in every aspect of my work, and it's Work Day again tomorrow! It came around very quickly this week. I'll blog now and chase my tail in the morning. That's the way it usually goes; why change the formula?

So how was the holiday? I remember washing, I remember swims in the spa (everything else was freezing because it's winter) and I remember crying. Lots and lots of crying. Mostly Smoochy Girl, who moaned from morning til night, taking breaks during her naptime and when she was swimming in the warm spa.

One morning, Sonny Ma-Jiminy was sucking his sheet when Smoochy Girl poked her finger in his mouth along with the fabric. I still believe he was unaware of this, and while he sucked the fabric he decided to chomp down on the object he found between his molars. He crunched that thing hard and watched in alarm as Smoochy Girl's voice rose to a wail, and then turned to inconsolable screaming.

Her tiny finger was purple and a little bit mashed. She screamed for ages. She screamed while I held her, screamed when I tried to distract her, screamed when I put her hand in a glass of water, screamed through the wrap that she likes to suck, screamed while I undressed her, screamed when I put her swimmers on her and screamed at the side of the spa before she got in (which resulted in a brief reprieve from the screaming).

I looked up and saw seven stories of people disdainfully frowning down from their balconies (what were they doing at the beach in the middle of winter anyway?!) trying to find the screaming child and the mother who couldn't make the noise stop.

Sonny Ma-Jiminy, for his part, was very upset. He ran to his bedroom and dived under his covers, his face streaked with tears. He hadn't known that it was her finger he was absently crushing with his Mandible Of Death, and he was very upset that he had hurt the sister he loves so much.

Then there were the nighttime wakings which reminded me that no matter how far from home you might be, or how much sand you might have in your bed, a mother is never completely "on holiday."

Mr de Elba had left a light on all night to help me in case I had to get up to the children. But I can usually see okay at nighttime, and I find it hard to get a proper sleep when my eyes are constantly sore from sleeping in light. Still I'm not sure why, when Smoochy Girl started crying one night, I turned the light off first, and went to Smoochy Girl after that. Now that I'm awake, it seems obvious that those things were done in the wrong order.

My eyes immediately felt better in the darkness, but as I groped towards Smoochy Girl's room, I realised that my eyes had become accustomed to the light and things were now blacker than black.

The first indication I got that I'd turned the corner to her room too early was when I violently smacked my face hard into a wall and I heard the cartilage in my nose crunch a little. Good Times.

I picked Smoochy up and took her to bed with me, placating the poor girl while the sound of the crunching cartilage repeated again and again in my memory and my nose seemed to drift in and out of its own consciousness.

So leaving the light on was a good idea despite the sore eyes. Humph.


tinsenpup said...

You know, I'm feeling a little on the frayed side myself at the moment, right down to the mountains of washing and dishes. I think, for me, it's just been a really long cold winter. I hear you on the holiday thing too. It's not really a rest, is it? Just the same work in a fresh locale.

Jen said...

I don't know whether to laugh at you, cry with you or just shake my head. What an adventure. I am sure that you are back. I missed all your stories.
I hope all gets back to normal soon and you concur your laundry mountain.

Mrs. Tantrum said...

I think that I will get in my kayak now, I can be there in 42 days to lend a hand. Certainly that doesn't help right now in the middle of all of this craziness, but when I get there it will be better!

Adelaine said...

You sure have had a time of it lately - haven't you??? :(

It is rare here to have a bed bug issue so I don't know if this well help you. But when there have been times that laundry has gotten out of control here - some things just get fluffed in the dryer with a wet washcloth and a fabric softener sheet. Like khakis that aren't visibly dirty (The Coach's that is), anyone's jeans or The Coach's athletic clothing (unless it stinks). You see, The Coach thinks that if an item of clothing touches his body, it has to be washed. Somehow this belief has been passed on to Uno. I, on the other hand, will wear a pair of jeans up to 3 or more times! So, that is my advice for conquering the laundry monster!! But don't tell the Coach - he doesn't know!!

Swift Jan said...

YOu DO deserve a big block of chocolate! ((hugs))

Hippomanic Jen said...

I'm sorry that you didn't actually get a break for yourself. I'm sorry that it caused the laundry to pile up like a poorly constructed dam and I hope it doesn't break and flood you out. I'm sorry that you crunched your face on the wall.

I'm glad your Mum could come to help. Where would we be without our Mums?

Tracy P. said...

My favorite: "Like shoes. But hey." Hilarious.

Wouldn't it be great if you could flip a magical "vacation" switch on your kids, which would make them as truly appreciative and grateful for the luxury as we would be if they would just pull themselves together?

Heather said...

Oh man, this is probably not the post I ought to be reading when we are just over a week away from taking our lengthiest (a whole week!) and most expensive (staying in a hotel for a whole week!) vacation ever, including our honeymoon.

Then again, we probably won't forget shoes, as my hubby is already packing for the trip. Seriously. I cannot stretch out in my bed with a book and the Olympics on TV right now because he has things in specifically organized piles which correspond to various checklists printed out from the Excel spreadsheets he has on his computer, along with I swear every single piece of luggage we own. He's just practicing getting things to fit, supposedly, but I don't see him taking things back out and putting them away...

So, Kiddo and I will likely be wearing the same outfit or our jammies all week, as Hubby has packed our remaining wardrobes already.

Hope the nose is okay - crunching cartilage is never a sound one wants to hear........