Tag Archives: Tiredness

Revolutionary mother-lucker


I think that I have stumbled upon a miracle.

In fact, I know I have.

A miracle parenting key.

I am so excited.

It’s revolutionary. It happened like this:

The New Year had come and gone. As it does. With its fireworks and its clouded sky; that no matter how much you squinted your eyes towards or how often you staggered backwards and forwards, forwards and backwards, or even sidey ways; you couldn’t see those damned far-reaching rockets in. The bottles had clinked their last whole clink into the recycling bank and complete meals had been ungratefully by some, regurgitated into the once-white water closet.

I stood in the kitchen. Alone. Bleary-eyed. Waiting for the notifying beep of the oven. Ready to drag out, another, exhaustedly yet still, lovingly cooked meal.

The table wasn’t laid.

Drinks were not prepared.

Despite mouth-watering smells meandering the halls.

The beep beeped its rapturous beep. But no feet thumped heavily on the stairs.

I sighed.

And then…

I had an epiphany.

I shouted, loud and clear, “The dinner has made itself!”

Doors miraculously opened. Steps thundered. But as they entered the room, eyes widened curiously.

Suddenly, the table was laid and we all sat down and ate dinner.

The following day, I stood in the kitchen. Alone. Bleary-eyed. I jabbed at vegetables in a pan.

“Dinner has made itself!” I yelled. Perhaps, I admit, slightly less graciously than the day before.

This time, the race on the stairs seemed somewhat slower, and those eyes that met mine were somewhat less curious, and somewhat more sceptical.

Mum!” I heard a slightly indignant voice say.

I asked, calmly and rather sweetly, “Should the dinner eat itself too?”

The table suddenly found itself laid. And after dinner, the  dirty dishes were magically gone.

I continued with my new catchphrase throughout the week in varying circumstances. I occasionally saw the odd eye roll and I smiled, sweetly, of course. As is my nature.

Then, last week, I got sick. Yet again. The dog was the first to notice. She kept standing on two feet instead of four and peering at me intently. She wouldn’t leave my side.

If I’m honest, my pooch did manage to freak me out slightly with her intense bobbing in my face.

Though, I could also lay fault on my fever. My husband said to me the next day, that I kept complaining, “Everything was too 3D!”

Apparently, I’m quite entertaining with a fever!

Anyway, the following day, I didn’t just have a fever, but also a very unhappy stomach and the first sparks of a sinus headache.

I won’t lie. I did feel a little bit sorry for myself.

There was none of that ‘stand up and soldier on’ routine. Because, if I stood up, I was in serious danger of falling right back down again.

So I lolled around. Arguing with the telly. Or sat on the loo, with a bowl in my lap as a precaution.

The dog left my side at that point. She lay sullenly in the hall, trying to cover her nose with her ears.

Children brought me water. Children brought me peppermint tea. One child made me a delicious lunch. Which I very ungraciously, quite soon after, dumped again. But I swear, it was so tasty I really, really, really did not want to let go of it…

My husband returned home early and gave me much needed pain relief in the form of a hot water bottle. Unfortunately for him though, there was no more in-house entertainment of the 3D variety, despite his valiant efforts of keeping me warm and cosy.

The whole weekend the dinner didn’t make itself. Reini cooked on Saturday and on Sunday Aden slipped on his dashing new pinny and rustled up a jolly lovely cottage pie.

I ate and I retained it.

It was a proud moment for both of us.

On the Monday, I discovered the washing had indeed been washing itself. There were nicely folded towels in the bathroom and clean underwear on my shelf. Which all things considered, was more than an added bonus.

Akasha returned home from school and despite being only eight years old, insisted on making lunch.

Aden arrived home with a bunch of flowers. Then Akasha went shopping with her daddy. She’s not one to miss out on some competition: she returned with flourishing tulips.

Dinner appeared on the table thanks to my man. Who’d already done a full days work, been shopping and forked out for blooms.

I “oohed” and I “aahed” a lot and I do admit, the odd tear did attempt to escape.

On Tuesday, I thought, things will be back to normal, but a present arrived in the post.

From my man.

And Joni cooked her very first, and coincidently, very tasty, roast dinner. True, we didn’t eat until half past nine but it was delicious.

As dessert my husband informed me that several parcels would be arriving in his name and that they were all for me and I was allowed to open each one of them as they arrived.

A little tear did escape at that moment.

True to his word, one parcel after another has arrived. Generally, they’re Eastern ingredients for a cake he’s keen for me to attempt to bake for him to try. It’s very exciting.

Today another little parcel arrived. It’s a lovely yellow notebook.

I am thankful for many things.

I am thankful for chicken dinners and freshly washed washing, that I didn’t have to freeze my butt off in the washroom doing.

I am thankful for flowers and email.

Akasha finally has email and keeps emailing me words such as: “I love you so much more than enything [anything] in the world mum” and “I like your haere [hair] you look very nice you are looking beautiful today I hope you have a lovely day” (actually, this seems to be a running theme: “Hi mum you look beautiful today and all the time you awis [always] look beautiful” or “Hi mom you are looking beautiful today I hope you are having a good time a proper good time”) and “Hi mum it is my pleger [pleasure] to help you”.

Though to be honest I’m still pretty sceptical about this one: “mum i’m really love you very much if you knew who much i love you eerie indiana knew how much i love you properly love you important thing to me i love you very much more than anything”. One could think her English is getting worse, but I err on the side of optimism, I’m pleased that she finally spelt ‘anything’ correctly.

I am thankful for sugar and spice and puppy dog tails.

But above all: I am well and truly thankful that there’s one less month ’til Christmas, because, to be frank: I’m getting used to this.

I wish I was a Duracell Bunny with a lithium battery between my bum cheeks


The thing that I have already learned this morning (I know, already at this early hour on a Saturday) is: the way to wake up energised is to fall asleep the night before in your dinner.

That’s what our seven year old Akasha did last night while we were all chatting the evening away and putting the world to rights, as you do.

Now, I know that she had saved energy by being carried up the winding stairs to her bed, and therefore not having had to haul her small body from step to step. But I never could have guessed that that little iota of conservation could have resulted in the energetic outpourings that would, well, pour out of her this morning.

Before I even had chance to wake my sleepy head she’d got up and dressed, admittedly in yesterday’s dirty clothes, gulped down a bowl of Honey Loops and answered an incoming call.

Which is what woke me, incidentally.

I entered the living room to find her chirpily tormenting brain training the dog. For those of you who don’t have a dog and thus have no idea what on earth I am talking about: you can buy intelligence toys for your dog, whereby you hide treats under cups and in drawers and beneath sliders. There are holes in each of the plastic pieces so that the dog can smell the goodies inside/underneath and is therefore motivated to figure out whether he or she should slide or pull or tip or push the object to obtain to the treat. Akasha had decided, in her wisdom, that the dog should not receive her treats but instead her dried breakfast in the toy which meant several rounds of ‘earn your brekkie dog’ one after another.

She then proceeded on to brush her hair and her teeth all the while talking her into submission.

I saw Lexi’s tail wag happily for a brief moment when Akasha revealed the flexi lead and she sat very nicely while it was being attached to her collar, I must say.

I, on the other hand was quite surprised, after all, being only seven Akasha is not permitted to take Lexi out on her own. But all was soon to be revealed: Akasha was hell bent on walking Lexi on the flexi through the house.

After repeated instalments of ‘stop, sit, stay and heel’ and more constant chatter in her floppy ear Lexi was finally released from her flexi and sloped, I interpreted: somewhat disappointed at not actually going outside, off to her cushion.

Akasha, in an effort to finally bring mummy into the land of the fully awake made me two espressos.

Well, that’s not technically true. She prepared me one ‘rinse clean the machine water’ with added sugar but I refused, point blank, to fall for that trick again. It might contain a sugar hit, but there’s not a single hint of caffeine in the mix.

So she zoomed off again and returned with the proper black stuff.

Simultaneously she informed me that she’d discovered why women have two boobs. “It’s for if they have twins and both babies are thirsty at the same time.”

I declared that despite already being dressed she’d have to get undressed again and have a shower. And wash that hair! It was still full of the sunblock she’d liberally covered herself in the day before (and quite probably half of her dinner too).

We entered the bathroom, which just so happens to be right next to the bedroom where poor Papa was still attempting to catch up on some sleep, despite all of the commotion.

She stepped under the running water and insisted, yet again, that she was quite capable of washing her hair, all by herself.

She was apparently also quite capable of waking up exhausted Papa with her entertaining and rather loud ‘shower song’.

Just to give you a little insight into my life: Akasha may be the youngest of my four children but she is not one of the two who have ADHD. They were both off with the youth fire service this morning at some ungodly hour. Erecting and decorating the village May tree. Quite incredible really when you consider that they’re both teenagers and that one of them recently broke two bones in his arm. I’m not quite sure how he’s managing to haul around a tree and branches when he’s wearing a once pristine white, now mostly black and grey plaster cast from his shoulder to his wrist.

I probably shouldn’t worry though. Last weekend he managed to raise quite a lot of money for the same fire service, packing bags for customers at the local supermarket for ten hours!

And on Tuesday he had no problem at all building up that camp fire.

Anyway, I couldn’t say no. He once told me that fire service is his life.

That and climbing and abseiling and potholing and archery and gardening and as soon as his arm is better he’s about to branch out into canoeing.

I’m still in shock that he managed to break his arm by nipping out to the shop for me and falling off his bike.

Although to be fair, he has conceded that he was driving down the hill at a zillion miles an hour.

Though really, he shouldn’t have been injured at all apart from that scrape on his right shoulder…

After all, he was wearing his helmet and he did instinctively do a ninjutsu roll off the bike as he flew over the handlebars.

Supposedly, it’s just that, he ‘made a slight mistake in how he landed…’

 

 

 

So…


I’m on the mend.

Tortoisely slowly, I’m on the mend.

And, to be honest with you, that’s not been easy.

You see, I’m more of a hare than a tortoise: busily running through life. (What kind of analogy is that for children anyway? Slowly and methodically wins the race? Shouldn’t it be: speed, practice and focus is what’ll make you a champion?)

Apparently, I’ve been the victim of some unwanted role reversal. I’ve switched from being a hare to being a tortoise and it’s been excruciating.

Because, quite frankly, I have very little patience.

I tried to learn patience: it is a virtue, after all. But I failed miserably.

However, I’m finally, irrevocably, for once and for all on the mend.

Thank bloody fuck for that.

People ask me how I manage it, but evidently, I don’t…


Yesterday, I sat at the table and I cried through lunch.

Not one of those snotty, bellowing, heart-wrenching cries. No. Silent tears dribbled down my face and plopped into my lap – I was tissue-less.

Yesterday, one child after another tried to console me at the dinner table and one child after another faced me with a just a little despair in their eyes. When is Mama finally going to get better?

I recognized their despair – had they have been able to see through my water-logged eyes it would have been mirrored right back at them.

Five weeks ago today, I awoke, as usual,  but it took me 45 whole minutes to be able to force my body from the bed.

I had run into a wall.

Again.

This is my third burnout in five years.

It took me every drop of willpower I’ve ever owned to throw off my quilt, push myself up and place my feet, slowly and continuously, one in front of the other and whisper, “It’s time to get up…” to an unsuspecting six-year-old who was due to go to Kindergarten.

Time was running past me and if I couldn’t motivate myself enough, she’d have to stay at home, and that would mean that I’d have to look after her.

If I could just get her out of the door, drive the short distance in the car, then I could return to my bed and sleep…

She was so good. So obedient. She dressed herself without much fuss and got her shoes on.

Which was more than I could do.

I managed to drag a scruffy pair of joggers over my nightie and shove my arms inside my winter jacket. Looking back, I think I tramped through the snow in my slippers.

No one gave my shamed, exhausted face a second look as I accompanied her from the car to the door. And I was truly grateful for that.

I have spent the last five weeks sleeping and crying and struggling to chew the food my husband cooked for me because, quite simply, it felt like so much effort. I’ve almost drowned in daytime telly. I’ve battled headaches and dizzy turns and stuffed myself with caffeine so I could keep a bleary eye on where an ADHD child and a six-year-old were bouncing to.

I’ve complained.

I’ve scolded.

And I’ve felt very, very sorry for myself.

I’ve dodged dentists. Avoided the drip, drip, drip of the anaesthetists drugs because I feared that if they put me chemically to sleep for my yearly procedure, my body might not actually bother to wake up. I’ve bypassed blood tests. And just generally avoided my usual multiple monthly visits to doctors’ waiting rooms because I couldn’t get there and anyway,  I had no intention of adding various other ailments to my wrecked body.

Except, that is, when my youngest succumbed to gastroenteritis and couldn’t even keep a splash of water down, leading to “blurry vision”. My husband raced home and I rallied myself for a brief moment, as he drove and I held a blue bucket under her nose.

Luckily, she was classed as ‘probably infectious’; so we sneakily side-stepped the germy waiting room.

I’m not a patient ill person. I hate lazing around. I am a person who constantly needs to do something.

It is starting to dawn on me that that is probably one of the reasons I landed in this situation in the first place.

It’s been five weeks, but today, at last, I felt a little different. A little less tired than yesterday. It was a little bit easier to climb out of bed this morning. I laughed instead of cried. I hope, I really, really hope that I’ve finally reached a turning point. That when the children head back to school next week and it’s all ‘action stations’ once again, I’m still laughing, still getting out of bed and not going to the Kindergarten in my bloody nightie and slippers.

Things aren’t going swimmingly at the moment…


Things aren’t going swimmingly at the moment.

The house looks like a bomb went off in it.

Yesterday, I was away the whole day. Doctors in the morning. Pick up the littlest kid from Kindergarten and then take said kid, as promised, for a bit of one-to-one-time back into town for lunch and then a trip to a local museum, that apparently, has been there for four years, but we had yet to discover. I couldn’t believe that I’d missed it. Being a museum lover and all that.

And to top it all, the best bit of it is: it’s a children’s museum. So having four of the things, I found that rather disturbing – that I’d managed to miss it.

In my defence, I was probably too busy being confused by the one way system in that part of town to notice a great big building with Museum written on it, beside me.

We returned home after a long and tiring day (it started very early, Joni having to catch a bus at 6.45 for a school trip to Strasbourg and, of course, she required a mammoth packed lunch for the journey, as you do when you’re sitting there, not using up any calories) followed by chucking a couple of kids out of the door and wishing them a nice day at school.

I have no idea how Akasha (who’s presently in her last year at Kindergarten) will ever get ready for school on time. She starts in September. I’m dreading September. It’s not so much that she goes along at a snails pace in the mornings. No. It’s more that she’s ‘busy’ doing more important things than eating breakfast or getting dressed or brushing her teeth. Like singing or drawing or putting yellow (her favourite colour at the moment) nail polish on the table her nails. I admit, I have indulged her. Taking her to feed the ducks before Kindergarten or reading her a story. The pattern has stuck and I have no idea how we will shake ourselves out of it.

As I said, we had an early start, but we were still running late for my doctors appointment. So much so that I had to drive to Kindergarten and abandon the car there – then race to the bus stop. I’m sure that confirmed, for many of the parents, that I am, as they suspected: a right loony.

I abandoned the car and ran for the bus and just made it by the skin of my teeth (that’s an odd saying isn’t it, enamel could have been more appropriate?) but there is method in my madness. Parking is expensive in town and so it’s much cheaper for me to buy a day ticket and go from one bus to another and, of course, it’s environmentally friendly too.

But yesterday it was freezing. And freezing at bus stop after bus stop is not really my idea of great fun.

I completed all of my patiently duties in town, missed the bus and went for a nice warm coffee and a bun. I decided that I had earned it. Having walked past several empty bus stops along the way in an effort to keep warm. Besides, as I’m the only person I know who actually lost weight over Christmas (thanks there to the delightful Mr Crohn) I can absolutely shovel a bun or two into my rashed face (yep, also a Crohn gift) and I headed into a nearby warm and welcoming looking coffee shop.

I ordered myself a Latte Macchiato, yum, and a piece of ‘homemade’ banana loaf. As I was admiring the loaf through the glass though, I noticed it contained nuts. They looked like walnuts, which I also put in my own banana loaf, but I knew I had to check, because of my peanut allergy.

“There could be peanuts in it, ” the assistant answered, aloof.

Bitterly disappointed I eyed up the other cakes on display. The fruit tarts. The doughnuts. The cheesecakes. The brownies. The muffins.

She watched me, then injected, “There could be peanuts in any of them. You should have something savoury. A bagel. You could have one of these bagels.”

She waved her arm at the bagels menu behind her as if she was on commission.

I almost fell into her trap. But right then, as I was about to take the plunge, I held myself back. I wanted something sweet. Not savoury. Without peanuts. Why would there be peanuts in doughnuts? Did they have such a sloppy kitchen? Why did she have no idea what her ‘homemade’ banana loaf contained? Did she just fire in any old ingredients?

I rejected her sales pitch and opted for ‘just coffee’ and stretched into my bag to pull out a tissue to wipe away my little tear of sadness. Except, when I looked down I noticed some-bloody-body had already been there and had only left me the snotty ones.

I arrived back at Kindergarten ten minutes before the door would open. I stood there, shivering. Chilled to my very core. I knew I didn’t have time to drive the car home and then walk back to the Kindergarten, get my child ready and sit us both on the 12:15 bus which, I’d arranged, as an extra treat, to meet my husband on. We’d agreed to lunch together with the small one.

Yep. The weather page read at that moment ‘feels like -10°C’ and we’d agreed to do the clever thing, and take our daughter for her favourite food: sushi.

Few people had the same idea, it has to be said. There were only three full tables in the restaurant including ours but we managed to keep them busy. Akasha dropped and smashed an almost full glass of apple juice mixed with lemonade upon their once un-sticky floor.

I think they noticed my shattered nerves, or perhaps it was actually my frostbitten body that did it, whatever, they came over – bearing free coffee.

We apologized with intensity and left a large tip along with the shards of glass behind us.

We waited around for a few minutes then waved the man of the house off as he boarded his bus.

Upward and onward to the museum.

I thought it would be small and over briefly but I had to drag a six year old out at closing time. She could only be persuaded to leave the building by promises of returning soon and being smacked by the realization that the workers had themselves homes to go to and children to see. Although, I suspect in all honesty, that most of their children would have already left home by now. But the children thing still works for Akasha, so I still use it. She hasn’t progressed much in the guessing age abilities yet. I know this because I played a game with her recently in which I asked her if she thought the OAP along our street was older or younger than Mummy she clearly and excitedly yelled out “younger”. I know my rash has taken over my face, but please?!?

As the museum trip had taken longer than expected I had taken a slight panic attack about the older children, who had late school, and so I called my husband to take responsibility on that front. The charge on my mobile was yet again running out and so I couldn’t phone backwards and forwards. He also had to get home to prepare himself for the one-in-Strasbourg’s parent evening.

Sitting on the bus on the way home finally, my mobile rang, but refused to let me answer since I didn’t have enough juice. I could see my husband had called. That he had left a message. But I couldn’t get into it or call him back.

I felt nervous as my daughter quizzed me about her future school days, “What should I do Mummy, if someone accidentally punches me in the eye at school?”

To be clear, I wasn’t worrying about someone accidentally punching her in the eye. As I told her, I don’t think, statistically, that that is very likely to happen. But if it should, she could just go and tell the teacher. (Although, Lori did once get a crutch in the mouth when she was just walking along, minding her own business, down the school corridor. She did require medical treatment. I didn’t have the car as my husband had needed it for work, and because I live approximately 2km from school, the poor teacher had to take her to the doctor. I say poor because when they finally arrived at my door, Lori stood there, face covered in blood and with a thick lip and the teacher stood there, chalk white repeating the words, “She can scream really loudly…” over and over in some kind of shocked trance.) I was worried why my husband had called. Had something happened? Was he at home? Were the children home alone? Had he missed the bus?

We descended from the bus and shivered all the way to Kindergarten, where Akasha had a sudden burst of energy and started racing towards the car.

That’s when I heard the screams. And wails.

“The car’s been stolen!”

I ran after her and panic engulfed me.

Why had I abandoned the car at Kindergarten?

Had I locked the car?

How would we manage without the car?

How do I get in touch with the insurance?

Why do I always forget to charge my mobile phone?

How would Reini get to the parent evening?

Then my brain clicked a little.

I took the hand of the despairing one and dragged her in the direction of home. “Perhaps Daddy’s taken the car,” I proposed, “Perhaps he’s already off to the parent evening. I told him where I left the car at lunch, do you remember? And that would explain his call.”

I chatted as she whined most of the way home. We approached the house. The lights blazed but no car could be seen outside.

We entered the house to two cheery children. Papa had just left the building and the merry ones were about to set off to Fire Service Training.

Importantly: he had the car.

I’d forgotten about Fire Service. More one-to-one-time spotted an ever-enthusiastic-fourth-child.

I abandoned the idea of a bone-warming-bath and settled down next to her on the sofa to watch house programmes. (I’ve carefully nurtured the nosey instinct in her, so much so, she actually once opened the cupboards in someone’s house we were invited to – for a birthday party – needless to say, we weren’t invited back.)

◊◊◊

Things aren’t going swimmingly at the moment.

I think, perhaps, I spend too much time in the company of children.

I looked at the bomb site and told the young ones that there would be no lunch unless they cleared the mess from the table. (Joni being in Strasbourg and Lori being at her drama class.)

Their tummies rumblingly persuaded them and we finally sat down to lunch.

The conversation went something like this:

“Would you like to try some of this, Akasha?” I pointed to a pot of fig mustard on the table.

“OK… Yuck it’s too spicy!!”

“Of course it is, it’s mustard. You don’t like mustard. Ooh it’s really spicy, I think I just got a bit of chili!” responded her brother.

My head was slightly furrowed at that point, “It’s fig mustard. There’s not any chili in it.”

“Have I tried mustard before?” wondered the smallest person in the house.

I changed the subject slightly, “Can you guess which country this mustard was made in?”

Aden blurted, “Germany?”

Me, “No…”

“Afghanistan???” Keenly.

“No. Could you sit properly on your chair please.”

Aden was swinging his chair to the side, thus hovering diagonally across from his plate.

Unsurprisingly, the ADHD one was incredibly surprised to learn that the mustard was made in our neighbouring country: Switzerland.

The cheese, the butter, the drinks were all analyzed to see where they originated. Then he turned to his full glass.

I had a little flashback to yesterday’s lunch and stretched out my hand quickly.

“Yesterday Akasha smashed a glass, didn’t you Akasha?”

“I smashed a light bulb at Fire Service. It was really cool. It exploded (inclusive exploding noises). It wasn’t a good idea to wash the fire engine outside though. The water froze up and we had to scrape it off (accompanied by noises and rigorous scraping gestures).” Aden revealed with much excitement.

“Could you sit nicely on your chair please, Aden?” The chair was swinging quite vigorously and I could see him landing, quite possibly with half the table contents, on the floor.

“What’s a cubic millimetre?” Aden suddenly quizzed.

“It’s a three dimensional measurement.”

???

“A one dimensional measurement would be…” I glanced around the table, then picked up a tub of soya margarine (made in Germany), “this side of the carton. A two dimensional measurement, like centimetre squared would be this side times this side to calculate how big this area is. And a three dimensional measurement, like cubic millimetre would be this side times this side times this side and that calculation would tell you the space in the whole carton.”

“Like the size of a room?”

“Yes!” I enthused.

“Can I go to bed? I feel tired now.”

“Yes.” I knock back another swig of cola, my last attempt at staying awake. I know he’s off to his room to do something. But I’m genuinely too tired to ask what.

He leaves the room.

“Why don’t you whistle?” demands a sweet, but, well, demanding Akasha.

I should have said:

I’m too busy.

I’m too busy dragging children from museums and being friendly to the environment.

I’m too busy sitting on the loo and telling people to do their homework and to sit on their chair properly and thinking up cool ideas for English lessons.

I’m too busy listening to the storyteller in my head.

I’m too busy being refused buns in coffee shops and washing mud splattered fire suits and driving back and forth to ballet classes and applauding completed puzzles and baking homemade banana loaf and avoiding mirrors revealing face rashes and it may just be, that lately, I got a little bit too stressed to whistle.

I’m sorry baby.

But I was always crap at whistling, how about I try singing a little more instead?

I must have wished upon a star


“Please, can you budge a bit?

I roll the words of a five-year old around in my head for a few seconds. It takes me a while to make sense of them.

Then it clicks.

“Ah. Can you budge a bit?”

I force my approaching middle age (sob) body a few more centimeters across the bed.

The wide awake one corrects me, “I also said please!”

She climbs into my side of the bed and squeezes me with all her might.

I wouldn’t be exaggerating by saying she seems to possess a lot more might than I do these days.

Perhaps that is why the generous one did what he did.

He had read my fantasy full article I keep thinking and said, “Why not?”

It took me until yesterday to take him seriously. Then I surfed the net and found a couple of local, appealing hotels.

Still unsure, I quizzed him again. So he took the phone and booked me in!!!

My mini-break starts next Saturday at 4pm and he’ll pick me up on Monday morning.

Dear lovely, thoughtful, generous husband: did you realize that means you have to be up at 6am on Monday to organize the hyperactive one for school?

Sorry. You can’t take it back now! But at least you can look forward to your little daughter snuggling up to you at some ridiculous time bright and early on Sunday morning as compensation.

Thank you, lover. From the bottom of my heart.

Just to recap:

  • I’m off on Saturday afternoon
  • To a swanky hotel
  • All on my tod
  • That reads: NO CHILDREN
  • Peace
  • Quiet
  • Tranquility
  • SLEEP
  • Someone else will be cooking breakfast, lunch and DINNER!!!
  • I might go for a massage
  • I could go for a walk
  • I will go in the sauna
  • I will officially be chillin’

😀

Wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow WOW!!!

I keep thinking…


I keep thinking that I should check myself into a hotel for the weekend. That way I would finally be able to read that book I wanted to, without interruption. I would try really hard not to fall asleep on the big comfy bed…

I keep thinking if I checked into a hotel, I could, at last, put together my stories in the form of a book, because I would have peace, perfect peace, to sprinkle my bits of paper all over the mattress and tap away on my netbook.
I wouldn’t have to dash off to the nursery and pick up a little person. Or break up a fight. Or taxi anyone to the doctors/party/shops/rehearsals. I wouldn’t have to make lunch. In fact, I could laze around work hard on my paper strewn bed, and intermittently dial ‘0’ for reception and request the delivery of lunch. Or a hot chocolate. Or a piece of cake. Or a glass of prosecco…

I keep thinking how nice it would be to have a whole weekend, in a hotel, to get some solid work done. I could spend hours writing without interruption. I wouldn’t need to join in a game or load the dishwasher or answer the telephone or take in a parcel for the neighbour or run to the chemist or debate the weather with the clouds and try not to get caught out at the last minute, by a downpour soaking my almost bone dry washing.

I keep wondering: what kind of hotel?

One with a pool, perhaps. So I could swim each morning and feel refreshed.

Naturally, I could also swim in the afternoon. And in the evening too. Just to make the most of it…

One with snuggly bath robes, perhaps. So I wouldn’t have to waste time dressing. I could just work in comfort on the bed. And have a little snooze every time I felt the need…

One with a great chef, would be a plus. So I could feed my tired body and exhausted mind.

Maybe it could have a sauna to sweat away my worries, oh and a masseuse to relieve my aches and pains…

I am starting to think, it would be beneficial to stay there for a long weekend…

After all, then I’d get a lot more work done.

And more use of the pool.

And perhaps, I could catch up on some sleep.

And do that book review I promised.

And catch up on a few blogs.

And swim.

And order hot chocolate.

With whipped cream.

And a flake.

And banana slices.

And marshmallows.

The chef would be so highly talented, he would be able to balance all of the toppings on the surface, without any of them running down the side.

The porter would be so highly balanced, he would deliver the entire artwork to my room, without spilling a single drop.

All, while I cuddled my pillow, in my extraordinarily comfy bathrobe…

I’d take my hot chocolate – into my jacuzzi – in my en suite bathroom.

A perfumed smell would permeate the room…

After a long soak, and three more hot chocolates, I could consider going to the in-hotel beauty consultant and having my hair done.

That would, of course, include a head massage.

And a complimentary facial.

Then, looking my best, I’d head down to dinner.

Be poured wine by a good-looking, friendly waiter.

I’d eat, drink and be giggly.

Then I’d wander to my massive water-bed all alone. Put on the provided over-sized plasma and settle down and watch a romantic comedy.

I keep wondering, would it be too presumptuous to book my hotel for a week?

Beware of the bath


Last night, after a hard day of tapping the keys fantastic and dropping a child at a birthday party and stuffing my face with pizza, I decided to plough on with my film challenge and snuggled into my husbands shoulder and settled down to watch a movie.

Except, it seems, he’s just too darn snuggly, and after only 25 minutes, he noticed I’d already nodded off.

That’s funny in itself, he exasperated, I started snoring precisely 25 minutes in last time we tried to watch exactly the same movie.

He gave up on me and decided he’d watch a film he knows I wouldn’t like. I didn’t feel like going to bed. The children had only just gone quiet so I lay my head against his shoulder and tried to block out the sci-fi sounds blasting out of the TV.

It didn’t work. I suddenly felt half awake. And cold. So I decided I’d have a bath with some relaxing bath salts. Mmmm

I climbed into the tub before it had even finished running. So alluring was the water.

I felt the heat and I lay and I thought. And it soothed.

No wonder I was so tired! The five-year old had woken me at 7am (after I’d been writing until 2am) to remind me: today was the day of the birthday party.

One of the things you can guarantee in life, is that young children will always wake you up early at weekends and in the holidays, even though you have to raise them from the dead on a school or nursery morning.

And if you’re an optimist like me, you’ll convince yourself every Friday and Saturday night, that it’s the weekend, and that that means a long lie.

Tired, I arose from my bath, swathed myself in a soft towel and opened the window slightly to aid the room to return to its former bathroom look. Rather than remain as the steam room it had become.

I thought I’d just sit on the bed for a minute, but I felt dozy, so I tossed the quilt over me even though I was still in my towel…

“Mum, Mum! You left the bathroom light on and the window open!” A teenager awoke me.

You’re waking me up from my lovely and much-needed sleep to tell me that, I thought, but I couldn’t say as sleepiness engulfed me…

“Sarah, Sarah, wake up! You left the light on in the bathroom and the window open. Are you alright?” My teenager, worried, had disturbed her father from his film.

You, too, are waking me up from this lovely and much-needed sleep to tell me that, I thought, but I couldn’t say as sleepiness engulfed me…

I awoke this morning with a cheery five-year old in my face wishing me a “Good morning!” And I thought: what was all that about? OK, I left the window ajar, but the heating isn’t on and the mosquitoes aren’t here yet. And, actually, the normal bulb in the bathroom has blown, so I probably just switched the wrong switch off. The bulb over the mirror, is one I rarely use, being a person who generally avoids mirrors…

I trudged off to the bathroom for my morning pee, opened the door and saw…

… Trousers and socks and underwear and shoes thrown around the bathroom like a mini tornado had briefly entered the room and had a field day with cloth stuff.

What the hell happened here? I wondered.

I have an image of myself in my head now.

Undressing and swirling individual clothing garments around my head and then flinging them off into the yonder.

It’s not a pretty image.

It’s not a true image.

But I have no other idea as to how my clothes and shoes scattered themselves so freely.

On the bright side, at least I’m not the only one wondering: what’s going on? 😉

Teenage Woes to Totsy Toes


The last few weeks have been particularly tough on me. I seem to have run into a wall of exhaustion, no doubt brought on by the emotional and physical demands of looking after four children and in particular, one with problems.

Having four whole children is not easy. I don’t have four hands to deal with four problems at the same time. (Any plastic surgeons reading this, I could perhaps be persuaded into the experimental ‘extra arms for fraught adventurous mothers’ program). I don’t have the ability to switch between four conversations. At least, not effectively. Try as I may. And I only have two sides meaning only two children can cling to me at any one time. Although, apparently, four want to.

My son has problems and needs a lot of attention. He needs to be driven back and forth to doctors. Medicated. Observed for impulsive behaviour. He must be constantly encouraged to achieve every little goal from dressing himself (imagine prompting required to put on/off every single article of clothing) to being sat with for the entirety of his homework.

My four-year-old is four and needs a lot of attention. She requires the milk to be poured into her cereal. Her teeth to be brushed. The scissors from that high shelf. The peel to be peeled from her orange. An audience to watch her puppet show. Although she has recently learned to tie her own shoelaces. Phew.

My thirteen-year-old is a fresh teenager and that means she needs a lot of attention. Her hormones literally bounce out of her, yelling, “What about my period? Do I really need to go to bed? Get out of my room!! Sob, sob.Wail, bawl. Giggle, giggle. Guffaw, convulse. Give me food! And lots of it! Preferably chocolate.”
She also has dyslexia which necessitates extra support when revising for tests and exams. Which we she luckily has every week.

My sixteen-year-old is, gulp, sixteen which means she needs a lot of attention. Imprisoning Protecting her from those male predators young boys demands, it must be said, most of my concentration. And she doesn’t appreciate my efforts. No. Instead she woos them with her genuine smile and her real blond hair. Then has the cheek to brag to me about it and furthermore quiz me over safe sex, spot creams and the highs and lows of alcohol consumption.

Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, that poor woman, no wonder she’s exhausted. Knackered. Worn out. Overfatigued. Sucked dry. Just generally pooped.

Or perhaps you’re gloating gleefully, “You should have kept your legs together!”

Either way… My weariness, once I finally found the time and energy to think for a few minutes, has forced me into decision-making mode.

And these are the decisions I have made:

  • From now on in, I’m only going to do a once monthly 101 challenges update.
  • I’m stopping going to the gym, I don’t have time. Each time I go, I lose a whole morning. And they say I need to go twice a week at least! Eek!! Unlike in British schools, afternoon school here is not standard, meaning afternoons are filled with children and thus with homework and studying, shopping, cooking, doctors appointments, therapy, taxiing, orthodontists… The list goes on. And on!  Therefore, I have to do all my ‘stuff’ and other necessities in the mornings. I’ve realised that includes time to think and to rest. So the gym is out – relaxing is in.
    That means I will be removing two of my challenges: Go to gym 101 times and Try 3 different classes at the gym. Sob.
  • But I still need to keep fit or even get fit so I will have to think up another, less time-consuming activity. Something that’s nearer to home. And doesn’t encroach on my mornings. (The gym is open all day, but because there’s no childcare afternoon/evenings I couldn’t workout then). So, I need to find two more tasks. Preferably two fit-keeping ones.
  • It’s the right decision. But it was hard for me to make. Commiserating chocolate/cake or even chocolate cake donations will be received with extreme levels of gratitude.
  • I’ve also decided to add a ‘Related articles’ section to my updates. So other 101ers who have recently written updates can highlight their posts on my blog. If you have an article you would like to be included please contact me with a link (either personally or through Twitter). I do read your blogs but unfortunately, time is not my friend, so I am sadly unable to read every post.

Despite my frazzled state I have managed to continue with some of the tasks on my list.

I’ve relaxed with a few films :-): Bridesmaids (hilarious), Rio (funny, nice for the kids), Horrible Bosses (Brilliant, really funny), Green Lantern (rubbish) and Ödipussi (not a porno, but another visit to my husbands German childhood. Review: Hmm… Well I did laugh at some of the slapstick scenes. I never need to watch it again though).

I’ve been experimenting on the family repeatedly with new recipes: focaccia, sesame rolls and roasted pumpkin seeds. We managed to eat the breads, but I won’t be winning any baking talent contests in the near future, let’s just say that.

And the seeds were really a lot of work and to be honest, it wasn’t worth it.

However, what was worth its weight in Euros was our Murder Mystery Dinner. I loved it. And I will write about it. It deserves its own post. As I was there, stuffing my face with Italian food, I had a sudden realisation: It’s a two for oner, Mystery Dinner and trying a new restaurant.

I’m good.

Or perhaps not. According to the murder mystery, I am actually quite bad. 😉

We have some more new challengers joining us, please show them your support:

Just Another Housewife

The Mccaskie Clan

The Wonders and Scary Thoughts of a Crazy Mummy!!

Mum Of One

Inspiration to Dream

Related Articles:

101 Things I Love (Part of the Day Zero Project)

Three in the bed (and the middle one said…)


I have spent the night trapped in-between two lovely men.

I am exhausted.

NO! Not like that!

I’m married.

One of them was my husband.

And the other my had-a-nightmare thus need-a-cuddle son.

I lay there. All night. Sandwiched in the middle.

Mostly awake.

Because I really, really, really, really needed to pee.

But couldn’t work out a way to remove the filling from the sandwich without waking up one of the slices.

I did attempt a slithering-in-a-snake-like-fashion-out-of-the-bottom-of-the-quilt manoeuvre. But any slight movement apparently initiated the exact same movement from my seemingly sleeping son.

If, say, you’d been a fly on the ceiling, I’m sure you could have mistaken us for synchronized bed-movers/shakers.

And any slight brush against my light sleeping husband and he’s awake in an instant. I know that from experience. I’ve even managed to wake him from my dreams at times. The slightest waving… OK slapping arm and he’s sitting bolt upright in bed snorting, “What?!?”

So I lay still and contemplated the effects on my kidneys.

And admired the power of my bladder after having had four children.

There’s something to be said for four Caesareans.

Though trampolining is still out of the question…

I digress.

Again.

Finally the youngest of us awoke. Refreshed.

And I have visited the Water Closet.

What really needs to happen now, is that I go back to bed and am intoxicated by that lovely thing called sleep on this beautiful (but cold?!?) October Sunday morning.

Good Morning! Goodnight!