15 June 2009

Minimum Standards

Today was a real Minimum Standards Day at my place. Mr de Elba left at 6:30am for three days away with work, and I've just kept my few small children alive since then. Alive, whinging and bickering.

My few attempts at Mothering Beyond The Minimum Standard included:

  • • making a healthy breakfast of oats with no cane sugar, but with grated apple, sultanas and cinnamon instead
  • • washing the backlog of dishes on the sink (but leaving all of today's. To rot, presumably)
  • • taking the little cherubs to the shops (only to come home as soon as the photos were developed, leaving most of the things on my list ignored.)
  • • watering the plants with Smoochy Girl in the afternoon.

That's not a lot. But I think that finally, this:

has turned into this:

and it hurts - a lot - to do things like stand, walk, sit still, and move. So you can imagine that shopping (with an impossibly GIANT crampy tummy, an armful of things to buy, one stroller and two small children who change their desire to sit in a stroller or NOT sit in a stroller according to whether or not there is a stroller to sit in) is pretty much out of the question for now.

The current problem for the de Elbas is that we need to EAT. And without my ability to buy -you know- FOOD, the de Elbas will not EAT. And they will waste away. This would provide a welcome reprieve from the whinging, but I am setting myself a goal of minimising the whinging while keeping small children alive.

As it is, if Sonny Ma-Jiminy suffers so much as 45 minutes of not-eating he begins to crawl around the house moaning that he is getting "so weak!" and that I need to feed him immediately. I of course recognise that as a symptom of boredom rather than of starvation, but I am physically incapable of becoming Mrs PlaySchool and setting up many exciting and messy activities for the children, and clean up after them.

(Aside: I can hardly bend down to pick up things off the floor at this stage. Putting my socks on and taking them off is a painful and difficult procedure, and I can no longer see my undies. If I don't feel my own bottom, I cannot be fully sure I have them on. I only discovered the lower half of my tummy has stretch marks by looking in a mirror one day. Hence I don't look in mirrors anymore.)

I plan to do better tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will Mother Beyond The Minimum Standard by doing the following:

  • • getting good sleep tonight
  • • taking the little cherubs to get some groceries early in the morning (though how I will clean my teeth without toothpaste tonight, I do not know. And don't come all bi-carb of soda with me, I'm a pregnant mother on the edge. Go suck a bar of soap.)
  • • being very pleasant and good-natured all day
  • • providing a variety of activities to small stir-crazy children who are largely caged-in by Winter
  • • not sleeping during their rest times, working on the realisation that getting more rest is not helping the 17-day-long odyssey of sore/swollen throat and glands. Instead I shall be startlingly productive around the house
  • • start writing that long-promised blog post on Smoochy's Otoscope Phobia. Which will be a let-down now, because you're expecting something hilarious.

That sounds so exhausting, I may just fall off the chair into a doze right here.

I fell short of promising to take my little cherubs to the town library to get books, because that sounds like it's way beyond me right now.


Heather said...

Oh, how I wish that I lived closer by, so I could pop over with a load of groceries and then take SMJ and SG off your hands for a while, tire them out thoroughly and return them in time for bed.

Okay, so I also kind of wish I lived closer by because that would greatly increase my potential proximity to Hugh Jackman. I mean, he lives on *your* continent.

But mostly, I wish I could be there so I could help you. Really.

Hang in there! There's nothing wrong with having a Kiddie Movie Festival (via DVDs) and eating take-out once or twice or twelve times!!

tinsenpup said...

We have a special name for those "minimum standards" days in our house. We call them "week days", but I usually cut myself some slack and take it easy over the weekend. :)

Femina said...

I feel that saying, "If I lived closer I'd fill your freezer with meals and take the kids out" is about as useful as saying, "If I had a squillion dollars I'd buy you an island", but nonetheless I sincerely wish I lived closer and could be of some practical help to you.

However, I also believe prayer is practical so I'll pray for some neighbours or new friends to offer meals, shopping and/or kiddy play dates at THEIR house, not yours.

Joy said...

Oh Girl, I hate your having to endure so much pain. There is nothing they can do for you.

They will survive on this minimalist lifestyle for a while. Don't beat yourself up.

Wish I were closer to help out. I have a 13 year old daughter who would love to entertain your two little cherubs.


Tracy P. said...

You surely have pizza delivery there, right? Because I don't think they limit the number of times they will deliver to the same house in one day.

Hairline Fracture said...

I wish I could offer something more than sympathy. Oh wait--I can say a prayer for you and I definitely will do that.

♥ bfs~"Mimi" ♥ said...

So sorry. Oooph! I know it's gotta hurt. And motherhood continues on, paying no attention to your pain!

Jen said...

I so know what you are going through. I did not have this issue with my pregnancies but I watched a friend suffer through this and it is not fun. I feel you for you I totally do.
Hold on, let me find my boat and I will be right over with a load of groceries. Of course they may be rotten by the time I get there but its the thought, right!?!

Givinya De Elba said...

Seriously Jen? I hit "Publish" and instantly felt bad, because people just like you have carried three little ones simultaneously and I've only got one, and how could I possibly whinge so much about it? (Except I usually don't say anything and it still hurts, so I felt it was about time to let it all out!)

Sassy Britches said...

Don't fall off the chair! I think Thingamababy might not take too kindly to that! :P

However, I do think that Thingamababy needs to get a stern talking to about the stretch marks.

Swift Jan said...

It sux!! I wish I could help! You know you can do the groceries online?! They deliver right to your door :)