So, I’ve been AWOL. Only not really, because I actually gave myself leave to be absent from social media.
Them’s the perks of having your own website. You get to make your own rules.
I arrived home on Saturday morning (1:30amish) after being away in Sydney for three days.
And immediately I was hit with the reality of it all. In a big way.
After only 3 hours sleep (broken by Roo waking and climbing into bed with me), I woke to find my husband had gone to work, my children were all crying and one of them was really not well.
I spent Saturday trying my best to clean the house, wash all the clothes and reconnect with my children after missing them so much while I was away.
Which, especially in Fraser’s case, was not difficult. Seeing as it became clear that he was rather unwell. And that his default position in illness is to snuggle.
And then Pal turned to me and said: “Daisy! Don’t. Look.”
And because I’m an idiot, I didn’t listen to him. And I looked. And I saw this:
And slightly miffed at how she managed to bypass my state of the art security system that ensures she cannot enter our bedroom through the adjoining door.
Which may or may not have consisted of a heavily laden washing basket placed strategically between the door and the bed that made it difficult, but apparently not impossible, for her to open her door far enough to get through to our bedroom.
Right to my open suitcase, with the make up case sitting right on top.
And as I made her throw out the destroyed lipstick cases (as there was no lipstick left in them), make up brushes, lip liners and mascara, I cried. And she said to me:
“Mama, I give you hug you no be sad anymore?”
And I didn’t have it in me to yell. She didn’t even realize at the time she was being naughty.
She knows now. At random intervals throughout the week, little Roo has sweetly and kindly said:
“Mama, I not touch your makeup again. Makes you so sad.”
Sunday morning I woke and remembered all that had happened the night before. And then was confronted with a much worse, much unhappier, and ultimately much clingier version of Fraser.
And spent my entire day pinned to the couch (which turned into an entire week), while he alternated screaming and sleeping at one hour intervals. And I felt I was coping. I felt that despite being highly stressed and needing a time out, I was doing fine.
Right up until 5pm. When all of a sudden I was convinced that the best thing I could do for all of us was to burn the house down.
And that’s when I called my mother, asked her to take the children for an hour, and then headed out to do some groceries.
And as I walked around the aisles, randomly throwing items into my trolley (coat hangers and dish drainers, soft cheese and bananas) I had to keep reminding myself:
“Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry.”
My chest was tight, my shoulders tense. My eyes sore and my feet heavy. And all I could hope was that no one would stop me and ask me how I was doing, how were the children, and was I going to reorganize the cupboards with all those coat hangers.
And when Paul finally arrived to pick me up, I didn’t let him ask. I saw it in his face. So I said it:
“I’m not coping. I’m not alright.”
I felt relieved. And I felt heard.
But I also felt wrong. So wrong and so bad.
Here is this man, my husband, my best friend and my savior from the Toddler Gods of Awful on a daily basis. And he has been working and looking after our children alone at night, while I have swanned about Sydney, socialising and eating and laughing and drinking. And I am finally home, to both our relief.
And within 36 hours I am already at my limit.
But he did not resent my feelings. My break down. My very clear: “I just don’t wanna!”
He accepted it.
And I guess ultimately that’s all someone can ask from their partner.
And so this week has been about just getting by. Doctors appointments – for a sick baby boy and myself.
It’s been about pinning him down while he screams and jerks away, just so he will take the medicine to make him better.
And if I was feeling funny about it, I’d describe a scene in which a child, with his ten times his weight mother sitting on top of him, actually manages to throw her off onto the floor. Onto her ass.
I’ve been home for a week. A hard, confronting, ultimately normal week of parenting three kids three and under.
And it’s been tough. And I’ve had to find the calm. And I’ve had to strive to stay sane.
And I’ve had to wonder – am I really cut out for this? This mundane life of vacuuming and sick kids and the systematic destruction of all the things I own, all the special bits and pieces that make me, me?
I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I can survive.
But I know I can try.
Now, does anyone need any coat hangers? Especially child ones? I have a few…