Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I had another one of those weeks.
You think it is only possible to have ‘one of those days’?
Well I’m here to tell you it is possible to have ‘one of those weeks.” Oh sure there have been little moments of sunshine, mostly when I’ve had my head stuck under the pillow, groaning, “Thank God the day is over.”
Do you ever have those days when you silently wish you could go back to the days before you foolishly, with little regard for life or limb, decided to have children? Well I’ve I had one of those weeks, wondering what it would be like listening to an orchestral symphony at 6PM after a lovely dinner out. I can see myself sitting down with Mr Husband, over candlit dinner, discussing the string section. I see that image drifting somewhere overhead as I stand surrounded by three little people all crying and yelling and demanding that Mummy-Cinderella, cook, clean and mend clothes for them.
And it’s not just that I had to endure two weeks of school holidays. Actually, and I can say this, without worrying about jinxing myself, that I handled the school holidays extraordinarily well. I was how you say, mother of the moment. I played with my urchins, I read stories, made cupcakes and visited friends. My vodka intake was at a level one might associate with a recovering addict as opposed to a woman in crisis. All in all, a very good start, middle and end to the holidays. It was only, and damn myself for being so brazen to have even thought to have muttered these words to Mr Husband, “It’s my last Friday before school goes back on Monday, and look! I’ve survived! The kids are still alive! I’m still alive! We made it! Ha! I think I’m really getting a handle on this mothering gig!”
Because I should have known better.
I should know better than to tempt the Gods with such blatant display of humility or lack thereof.
For they do enjoy a good smiting. I bloody well know they love a good smiting.
I think it was when I heard the 'waterfall' noise coming from behind me that I felt the first longing to be anywhere else but here. Here that is, in my life.
I turned around from the table to look at Cuba in his highchair, sitting happily eating his avocado and pasta. By happily, I do of course mean he had smeared it with some degree of aptitude across his plastic high chair, in his hair and all over his body. I wondered not for the first time, why I even bothered with the pretence of using a bib at all.
And there was the waterfall sound again.
Had he dropped his drink of water on the floor?
No, there sat his little Thomas mug, filled with water.
So where was the waterfall...
And then I saw it, mustard coloured liquid pouring from out of the highchair.
It's funny how your brain tries to interpret information.
"Mustard liquid," I mused? "Mustard? But avocado is green"
I sat there dumfounded as more mustard liquid poured forth, splashing on the floor, on the kitchen wall, and neatly on my shoes.
I had, might I briefly mention just finished cleaning vomit off the carpet. Lola’s vomit. Miss I have been throwing up for three days was looking rather forlorn, sitting as she was, in a pile of puke. I took Lola in my arms, pulled her stained clothes up over her head and cleaned her up. Dressed her in her fifth outfit that morning, yes fifth, she had puked five times in a row since six o'clock that morning and then went to sort out the mess on the carpet.
I put Lola back on the couch, put cartoons on the television and set about doing the hundredth pile of washing for the week. Since Lola had started vomiting the washing machine had been on a twenty four hour cycle.
It's not that I mind getting up in the night to Lola, to strip her bedsheets, put on clean bedsheets, put her back into a clean nightdress and then get up and do it all over again two hours later. And then two hours after that. And then two hours later again. And it's not that I necessarily keep count of how many times I did it the night before last (four times) as I yell in frustrated manner at Mr Husband, “I am not COPING!”.
No, it's not that.
And it's not even that I'm so tired by morning that all I want to do is take large bowl of coffee and stick my head in it. Although it is that.
It's not that.
I looked at the mustard liquid running like river from the highchair and realised, this was no avocado puree. This was chronic diarrhea. Cuba, he was sick now too. Hard to know where to start when the diarrhea is on your shoes, on the wall, on the kitchen floor, all over the seat of the highchair, all over Cuba and all over his clothes. I indulged, in that millisecond of recognition that the mustard liquid poo was going to require yours truly to clean it up; I indulge in a very, very, long millisecond moment of why oh why did I pick motherhood instead of say, going back to uni and studying political science?
I indulged in the fantasy of not going to the chemist that day to buy folic acid, of not reading about ovulation and best times to have sex. I indulged in that moment of what if Richard and I had said instead of let's reproduce our own DNA, that we had pondered, why not Paris?
I mean really, surrounded by all that poo, what would you do?
Other than of course, start an action plan as to either 1. How to deal with it. Or 2. How most effectively to run away.
Don’t ask me why, but in that moment of playing with concept of just getting up, opening back door and walking out, I stared at the yellow splashes of diarrhea on my sneakers. It occurred to me, I should at the very least, clean this first. So I delicately took to the mustard crap on my converse trainer. It was a bit, I surmised, like dabbing with a linen napkin a stray spot of gravy under your lip when someone has thrown an entire lemon meringue pie in your face.
I am, I confess an industrial spray and wipe girl.
It's not that I am much of a cleaner by nature. I leave that task to Mr Husband. But when I am in the mood, or when I am required to clean, as in the case of mustard liquid poo, which I might note, seemed to have spread quicker across the kitchen floor than the Ebola virus. But during such times that disinfecting and sanitation is required, well then and only then do I like to indulge in a bit of spray action.
I was I think, perhaps that day, I was the domestic version of Lara Croft circa Angelina Jolie.
Instead of gun, I had spray and wipe sprayer.
Instead of sexy leather pant suit outfit I had industrial vomit protector tee-shirt and jeans.
Instead of trying not to gag over dead terrorist slaughtered by assassin, I had to try not to gag over liquid poo stench.
I was woman of action.
And as this woman of action sprayed and wiped and cleaned, I could hear the dulcet tones of Lola throwing up again, this time all over the couch. I wiped the last splash of poo off the skirting board and sat back on my knees.
Lara Croft, honestly her job was easy.
The nice thing about sick children, as opposed to say just whinging annoying children, is that you are called to action. And when you are in Laura Croft action mode, you don’t have time or the inclination to yell at your children to stop crying and whinging. No, a room covered in poo, and a child drenched in it, is enough for you to move past initial feelings of desertion and stimulate the Mother-gland. The gland that says, “Stay, help the little people out. Give them a hand.” And the other gland, the getmethefuckoutofhere gland, is suppressed which means the accompanying feeling of wanting to strangle the little people is momentarily suppressed also.
And so, poor Cuba, I picked his poo soaked bum out of the highchair and contemplated taking him outside in the rain and applying the garden hose to him. And perhaps if the Mother-gland where not in full chemical response mode, I might have. I just might have. Instead, Mummy-cinderella moped, cleaned, washed, wiped, sat in a corner and tearfully wished she had another life, stripped, changed, washed, detergented, sprayed and wiped, cleaned, moped, cried for so long she had red eyes, cleaned, washed, collapsed in heap, wiped, stripped more sheets, moped, cleaned, cried some more, wished for fairy godmother, wished not to be Mummy-cinderella, cleaned, moped and washed.
For six days.
And then the sun came out. And the house stopped smelling like a sanatorium in World War I. And finally, Mummy-Cinderella put down her broom, stopped texted messaging her Husband about living in the Ebola Ward of Hollywood film script. Mummy-Cinderella dusted off her glass slippers. It meant that she was going to be able to go to the ball afterall. So she called the babysitter and let her know that the kids were well enough to be looked after and could she still come and babysit? So while she waited for the fairygomother to arrive she put on her best frock, and blew the dust off her make up bag and got about the serious business of disguising the bags under her eyes and applying eye drops to her red tear stained eyeballs.
The babysitter fairygodmother arrived and Mummy-Cinderella and her Prince Charming went to the local ball (read: pub) to meet all the other people in the kingdom who hadn’t been contaminated by the Ebola virus. And Mummy-Cinderella so excited to be free of the shackles and demands of the drudgery of her life and so intoxicated by the freedom and wearing a bit of lippy, she accidently drank her body weight in champagne.
Which meant the next morning when she woke up and realised she had turned into a pumpkin, she had the worst hangover in the history of Mummy-Cinderella’s life. Whilst her kids had finally stopped vomitting, she had just started.
But fortunately, little Lola, who was by that stage, well versed in throwing up, brought Mummy a puke bowl, and told her, “It’s alright Mummy. You’ll feel better soon.”
And with that, she stroked Mummy-Cinderella’s forehead and gave her a kiss to feel better.
And Mummy-Cinderella realised, hangovers were probably never quite so sweet as when your three year old is there to offer kisses and a her dolls tea set, to puke into.