If you read my previous entry you’ll know that the last few months have been somewhat challenging for me. Having overcome lots of hurdles with the help of The Bearded One I am back to my usual sarcastic, inappropriate self and so returns the blog.
One of the suggestions to help me in my quest to be “super mum” was that perhaps I could do with some more sleep. The phrase “no shit Sherlock” sprang to mind initially but I persevered with the conversation.
Let me set the scene.
It is now the summer holidays, a time of joy and excitement for children and teachers across the country. For parents, not so much. As I mentioned before The Baby is in a brilliant routine and sleeps through until 5am. He has however decided to sprout 8 teeth, crawl, stand up and drop all day time naps in the space of what felt like a week. Add three bored children into that equation and I was dreading the holidays. The Bearded One needed to work so the responsibility of looking after them all fell to me. THANKFULLY they too are settled in their routine and are happy, contented kids. Please note at the time of this entry we are entering week 2 of the holidays – this is subject to change.
I have always said I want the children to enjoy The Baby and not feel the responsibility of him. I genuinely feel like we have the right balance and can hand on heart say I could not be without their help at times. Other times I threaten to send them to Venezuela in a box and will think about providing air holes if they’re good.
Sunday morning arrives and The Bearded One has a rare day off, The Baby must have sensed this and in his excitement woke up at 4am wanting to play. I quietly leave the room to the sound of The Bearded One snoring like a wildebeest as The Baby uses my hair as a swing. Downstairs awaits The Dog and his dirty protest. The best investment we’ve made recently is the playpen. We’ve relocated the dining table into the kitchen which makes dinner time a nightmare because the children aren’t as visible and therefore manners go out the window along with various bits of food. In its place is the playpen, safe from dirty dog paws, fire-place, candles and other shiny paraphernalia and about as sturdy as a piece of toilet paper. The Baby as already worked out if he stands up and leans he can move the whole thing closer to the tv. In addition the lock on the gate is now redundant and acts as a teething aid.
That aside I persevere with the play pen, dumping The Baby in so I can deal with The Dog. Yes he is still alive and that’s all I’d like to say on the matter at 4am. Everyone clean, changed and fed I sit down to enjoy my lukewarm coffee when The Oldest One comes in, check phone 5.55am. And so it begins. As usual no kisses for cuddles for me, straight into the pen with The Baby, I am old news. Shortly after The Small One comes in which is unheard of as she can sleep for England. She wants to know whats for breakfast because the bowl I’ve laid out on the table is still empty. I offer an array of cereals. She’s disgusted and wants cake.
The Middle One gets up, it’s now 6.30am – practically lunchtime for me. He is completely wired and I have a horrible feeling he’s attacked the sweets from the party bag left in his room. He’s bouncing off the chairs, disrupting my sofa cushions, farting and taking selfies. The girls get bored of the pen and want to watch a movie, they suggest Legally Blonde, I’m too tired to remember if there’s anything inappropriate so agree to put it on. The Baby wants feeding, again. The Middle One is now upside down on the armchair trying to “boo” The Dog. Snoring echoes through the baby monitor. The girls “helpfully” suggest I look for it on Sky, “what about Netflix?” “Have you found it?”, “Is that it?”, “Can you put it on now?”. Thankfully I have hoarded all DVD’s since the dawn of time and locate at the back of a cupboard. Girls settled I suggest playing a game with The Middle One hoping I can get The Baby down for a nap soon. After 10 minutes and him only winning once he’s had enough and it’s back to bouncing around.
The Baby finally tires and so I take him upstairs for “nap time” which is an event in itself. I leave the room having explained in my best Blue Peter voice that it’s nap time, to have sweet dreams and Mummy will see you soon. As I close the door he’s screaming and thrashing around, by the time I’m at the bottom of the stairs he’s asleep. The Bearded one is undisturbed.
At this point you might suggest I nap myself but would you leave the gate open for the animals at a zoo? I know better, the kids will need supervising for the safety of themselves and the house! I continue with the summer holiday project which includes, sewing, painting and paper mache (more on that later) when I hear yawning, coughing and spluttering from upstairs. The Bearded One is awake! Only a few more minutes and I can hand over. I can almost feel the pillow on my cheek.
A dishevelled figure appears at the door. “Morning babe, I’m off to bed” I sing as I practically dance my way up the stairs. He’s looking at me trying to work out if he’s in trouble. I sink down into bed, close my eyes and The Baby wakes up. Luckily The Bearded One is hot on his trail and comes upstairs to collect, with a kiss to the forehead he says he’s taking the kids out to give me some time to myself and will come back around lunchtime. BLISS.
I’m trying to sleep but all I can do is focus on the chaos emanating from downstairs. The growing energy levels leading to arguments, the request for “shoes and coats on” is repeatedly ignored, The Baby is screaming – must be a nappy change. Deciding if I help I can get them out the door quicker I come downstairs. The Bearded One is horrified as to him my appearance is relative to his ability to look after everyone. I explained I’m just trying to help and promise to go back to bed when they leave. I pack the change bag, make sure everyone has been to the toilet and they’re off. The house is silent.
I am so excited I don’t know what to do with myself. If I sleep I’ll miss the peace and quiet! Oooh I could deep clean the floors as noone is here to mess it up. I decide to take tea and biscuits up to bed and watch tv – something I NEVER get to do. I wake up at 12pm.
Slightly panicked as I obviously fell asleep sitting up Im trying to adjust to whats going on. The house is still silent. I better get up and prepare myself for their lunchtime return so head to the shower. Up and dressed I send a whataspp to The Bearded One saying I miss them all and could they come home now please. It doesn’t deliver and I remember his phone has died and has problems charging.
By 1pm I’m starting to look out the window, The Baby will be due a nap soon and the kids will need feeding. The Bearded One said he was going to his Mum’s so I assume he’ll be back soon unless The Baby falls asleep there. I decide to make myself some lunch and catch up on crap tv.
By 2pm The Bearded One’s phone still isn’t charged so I decide to phone his Mum just to “check” that everything is ok. She answers and is in the car – maybe they’ve all gone out somewhere. Can’t hear children in the background, car is never that quiet. No she’s on her way back from hospital having had a suspected panic attack. Making sure she’s alright (which she is) I ask if she got to see The Bearded One and kids before she left.
My stomach falls out my arse. They left at 10.30am, it’s now 2pm. Where the fuck are they? Trying to remain calm I hang up the phone and try The Bearded One’s mobile. Voicemail. Ok so where would they have gone? If they went to the park they would have been back by now. They can’t have gone to his brothers as he’s on holiday. The Baby will need to sleep. The kids will be hungry and I don’t know if he has cash on him for lunch.
Oh my god they’re all dead. Im pacing like a caged animal staring out the window every 15 seconds. Im walking up and down telling myself out loud “you are not freaking out, everything is fine”. The more I think about “the routine” the more it starts to panic me. He’d have to come back because of The Baby. That was it, I was in meltdown mode, tears are pouring down my face. I’m imaging everyone in some horrific accident, I’m googling “accidents on the M1” (that’s as specific as I got). What if the car has broken down and they’re stranded? There’s a charger in the car, why hasn’t his phoned charged? I try not to panic, I call my best friend to get her to calm me down. She doesn’t answer – I decide I’m in a scene from 28 days later. Ok this is ridiculous, just calm down.
The control freak in me has completely lost the plot. I write a note explaining it’s 2.30pm and I’m “getting a bit worried” so have gone for a little drive to find them. Grabbing The Bearded One’s van keys I burst out the front door and up the road only to find the most minuscule amount of fuel. FOR FUCKS SAKE. I decide not to risk taking it to a garage to fill up. Namely because I forgot my purse but secondly I don’t drive it enough to trust the gauge. Maybe this was the universes way of telling me I’m behaving like an absolute twat.
Thoughts interrupted as I realise I didn’t leave my number on the note and if his phone has died how will he call me? I run back into the house and scribble the number as a footnote vowing to make him remember my number by heart.
I try to facetime The Middle One, if they’re anywhere with wifi they’ll be online! It rings out. Maybe I could borrow my friends car? I can’t knock on a neighbours door. Can’t ring his already panicked mum and freak out. As I’m in the midst of arguing with myself my phone rings, it’s him. Hands shaking I fumble to answer. “Hiya bubba, sorry my phone has only just charged”.
I cannot explain my emotions at that point. Relief, happiness, rage, vowing never to sleep again. I try my best “I’m ok” voice realising I’m on speaker and the kids can hear. The Bearded One knows instantly as my voice cracks and I try not to scream “WHERE THE FUCK HAVE YOU BEEN?”. He explains the lovely time they had, that The Baby slept well, they’ve had a lovely lunch, played in the park and didn’t want to come back too early so I could rest. He’s very apologetic and says they’ll be home shortly.
I sit down on the sofa, not caring about my cushions and uncontrollably sob. Then I pour myself a very large glass of wine which barely touches the side. 2 big glugs and I hear the car beep, running out the house I nearly rip the car door off to get The Baby out, force all the kids to kiss and cuddle me before saying none of them are to leave my sight again. They think it’s hilarious and fall about laughing.
The Bearded One clocks the wine and reassures me they will always be safe with him and hands me the change bag. As if to signify that all is well, The Baby takes a ginormous shit and normality is restored.
As I watched my family happily playing together with The Bearded One mowing the lawn I realise just how much of a dickhead I’d been. The overwhelming fear of losing them all actually left me breathless and turned me into an irrational nutcase. When my best friend finally phoned me back she reassured me it was a side effect of becoming a mother and I shouldn’t worry, I was only that insane when I was drunk.
I vowed I was going to treasure each and every moment, never say a bad word about any of them, never be without them again. I’d embrace every 4am wake up, every tantrum, I’d celebrate every time we reached 100 questions in the space of 5 minutes. I was going to be an earth mother.
It lasted for about an hour until The Baby sneezed cauliflower cheese in my mouth and the kids tried to use the expensive (no-one is allowed to put feet on it) footstool as a gym horse!
As I said – normality had been restored. Can’t wait for the next “rest”!