Monday 24 August 2015

Week 202- kitchens, beige children and washing up in the bath...

Having your kitchen replaced is really straightforward and even a bit of a laugh, said NO-ONE EVER. 

The children are turning beige from the amount of microwave crap they are eating.

I've put on the best part of half a stone in seven days from mainlining Tesco own brand macaroni cheese.

And the plug hole in the bath is blocked up with old bits of food as we have to do the washing up in there.

Thank God for wine. 

It's so low maintenance.

It only needs a corkscrew at best if it's posh, but mainly just a glass. 

Or a mug if all the glasses are in the bath.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Week 201- childfree, drinking and the impending sense of doom...

I've been childfree for a week.

And I thought it was going to be the business.

Yep, of course I expected I was going to miss the children. 

But six whole nights having an entire double bed to myself with the potential of going to bed past midnight and not panicking my face off about whether my day was going to start the next morning before 6am. Are you shitting me? This was going to be boss.

But, the best laid plans...

Day one was fine. I've had the odd night solo so no big deal. And it meant that I could watch The Good Wife back-to-back.

Day two and I'd cleaned the house from top to bottom when I got in from work, a job I'd been meaning to do pretty much since we moved in.

By day three I was starting to feel a bit jumpy. Like something was missing, that feeling you get when you might have left your card behind the bar of the pub and gone home. Or cced someone into an e-mail you didn't mean to. 

Just a bit nervous. A tad wobbly.

Day four and I was going a bit crackers.

I'd watched all the rest of series five of The Good Wife. There's nearly 20 episodes and it was gone 2am when I'd finished. And Will dies! Seriously?! How am I meant to feel about that at 1am when I'm 3/4 of the way through a bottle of Merlot and no one to talk to about it?

Day five and I meet some friends in the pub who are also all mums. 

Thank god. 

Too much wine and a minor celebratory spot (Dave Glover from Emmerdale in case you're wondering) and I'm starting to feel more human again.

Day six and it's there again but about a hundred times worse. 

That impending sense of doom. 

So far I've eaten all the chocolate in the house, including some cooking chocolate that's been welded to the back of the fridge for over a year and worked my way through most of the red wine we'd brought back from France. 

I go to my sister's and give my niece a big sniff. 

What the fuck has happened to me? 

I'm a mess. 

I miss my children with an ache I hadn't experienced before and it's totally shit. 

I've got a kind of nervous energy that makes me feel like I'm about to get bollocked on a major level at any given moment.

Day seven.

They're home.

Nancy invites me to accompany her for a poo and Thomas pulls up my t shirt and jabs his finger right into my belly button. 

Normality is restores. 

The feeling in my chest immediately disappears.

I'm going to have to man up. 

Because I can't be feeling like I'm having a faux heart attack if I'm away from them for more than ten seconds. 

Sunday 9 August 2015

Week 200- camping, drinking and puking on ferries...

We’ve done it! 

We’ve survived two weeks in France with small children without killing one another!

I’d like to say that we braved the full fourteen days in a tent, but I had a major panic about three minutes before we set off for the ferry and booked the last two nights in an Air B and B in Brittany.

Turns out I shouldn’t have bothered because:

a) we’ve totally got this camping thing nailed*

b) the photos on the Air B and B site were taken using an estate agent’s wide-angle-lens and we were actually staying in a converted shipping container in the owner’s back garden, who was OBSESSED with making sure we closed our car door quietly as to not disturb anyone who lived within a two-mile-radius of the most boring village in the whole of France.

The faces of enthusiasm in a packed car. (We were still parked outside the house at this point.)

I’ve drunk so much red wine over the last two weeks that my teeth have gone permanently grey, the children are covered in spots from living on a diet of pastries and, although the weather was so hot you collected pools of sweat in the crease of your arm by just standing still for 10 seconds; I’ve still managed to put on a stone from the amount of soft cheese I’ve consumed. (Who gets fatter in a heat wave? That’s worth a Brownie badge in itself.)

There are things I need to record from this holiday so I don’t forget them for next time-

1. Always take more than three spare sets of clothes on the ferry for everyone. Because we get seasick. All of us. And although it’s a ball-ache to drag a massive back of clothes around the ferry, it’s more inconvenient to all be covered in puke and have nothing to change into when you’re staring down the barrel of a five-hour drive. The smell of sick doesn’t improve in the heat.

2. Don’t kid myself that I’m not going to be mainlining red wine and small bottled beers from the moment we pitch the tent. Go to the hypermarche as a matter of urgency, as the campsite shop thrives off that kind of faux self-control and charges four times as much for a bottle of Cotes de Rhone.

3. Always bring a child who’s old enough to speak along when I may be confronted with having to attempt French. And then instruct them to do it instead. It’s far more endearing for a shop assistant to have a three-year-old attempting to ask for four croissants and a bottle of UHT milk than a 36 year old woman who can’t remember anything past Tricolore 1.

4. If the children are happy then we can have a decent holiday. It might not be glamorous, or even remotely cultural hanging around a campsite all day, messing about in the swimming pool but if the kids are knackered, the chances are they’ll nod off in the pram and then we can enjoy an ENTIRE meal without having to chase one of them around the restaurant. And that means wine. A whole bottle if they’re really worn out.

5. Hanging out with your own children is ace when you don’t have an agenda. When you can get to know them, when you have full days to just bugger about, kick a ball around and have a chat with one of your daughter’s seven toys who are all called Rosie. To spend two weeks without having to say ‘HURRY UP, WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE!’ is bliss.

And that now is the sign of the best holiday.

*totally haven’t nailed it.