There are times when our planets don’t align, when there’s a restlessness in the ether, when things confound us. Mary-Jane Duncan had a few moments like that.
I did that really endearing thing of ordering a book case and shelf for the living room without measuring them OR discussing it with the mister.
It has NOT made me the most popular person in the house today, even if he has reluctantly admitted that they look “nice”.
That’s quite a strong statement coming from my handsome but silent better half who, until recently, loathed DIY. This new found enthusiasm will be shortlived at this rate.
Naturally the arrival of these items coincided with several mitigating factors.
1. The requirement to paint the new fence before the rain ruins it.
2. The end of my current cycle of chemo, meaning I’m knackered and nap a lot. And I mean the kind of naps where you wake up in a panic thinking you’ve missed the school bus but it’s actually 6pm on a Sunday and you’re 44 years old.
3. Both of us being exceptionally tired due to a bedroom visitor last night. Please don’t think our recent foray into gardening included the addition of some Pampas Grass. Instead it was the 4am arrival of youngest child due to nightmares and believing there was a “demon” in her room.
Goodness knows where this has come from. Our kids are all great sleepers, granted mainly between 3am-1pm. We ask them to help out with housework or walk the dogs only to be met with a Kevin-like response citing “utter exhaustion”. I’ve learned to pick my battles. Wait – that’s not true. That would be too many battles. I’ve put some back and I now pick fewer battles.
I remind myself our older kids need just as much attention as when they were little. A wee hair tussle, squeezy hug, arm round the shoulder etc. I try to convince myself this means the world to my big kids even if they forget to say it out loud. So, when she rocked into our bed looking for safety and comfort, I let her in, even at the grand old age of almost 12. Sometimes you just need your Mum and Dad. I had stupidly believed this stage of our lives was over. Once we stopped stressing about colouring outside the lines or mixing play-doh colours together and they stopped coming through during the night, the second part of our parenting life began. I’m desperately hoping I wasn’t wrong.
Even in this current strange global situation I remind myself it won’t be like this all the time. That hidden anxiety will no longer manifest as bad dreams. I’d like to believe I’m an optimist. Am fairly certain I currently wouldn’t even flinch if MY dream included a giant gaggle of rabid, vampire donkeys trotting along our top landing. I’d probably even feed them. “Here you are braying devil donkeys, come and get it”. BUT I can no longer cope with a child, as tall as me, in my bed wriggling like an electric eel on speed when her bed is literally 10 steps away across the hall.
We are both rather large units, snoring ones at that. She was absolutely sound, lying like a starfish. One of us could have gone through to her bed. Did we? No. We remained, on our respective sides, balancing on the two inches remaining to each of us on our king size bed. Naturally we have awarded ourselves a massive amount of parenting points for this feat of endurance. She has skipped about in a lovely mood all day, excited about her high school transition visit later this week. We’ve spent today in one of those moods where we don’t really know what’s wrong but we’re irritated with everyone and everything and we can’t even blame it on the poor happy wee soul that caused it. Biggest kid tried to chat to us about something. I quickly lost patience.
Himself didn’t. I told him to pipe down because I was trying to rant and didn’t need him interrupting me with facts and reason. They very definitely have a favourite parent today. I believe someone isn’t daft and is upping his game for Father’s Day approaching. I’ve decided I’m going to put an Out Of Order post-it on my forehead and call it a day.
I’ll start again tomorrow.