I’m normally a very happy person. The kind of girl you’d want around if you were having a rubbish day. But today I’m feeling grumpy and having a bad day of my own. Before I wake up tomorrow and get cheerful again (and I always do, it’s almost a curse!), I’m going to capture the things that have turned me into a bear with a sore head.
1. Sleep (lack of)
I haven’t slept more than 4 hours for the past 3 nights. On Tuesday night I had a rare night out and didn’t get to bed until midnight. Then my son woke up at 3am. To start the day. Wowzers. That was my punishment for being a “dirty stop-out” as my 95 year old Nan would say. The fact that there was no alcohol involved and I was just out chatting with friends is neither here nor there. Dirty stop-outs will always get their come-uppance. Especially if they have a 2 year old.
2. Ill child
Turns out that the reason Blake was up at such a horrid hour was a viral infection making him feel grim and sleepless. And misery loves company so I haven’t been allowed to sleep either. He just wanders around making sad mewing noises and asking for a “duddle” (cuddle). He hasn’t mastered the ‘c’ sound yet so he pronounces his own name as “Blair”. People must assume we are great admirers of either Lionel or Tony depending on their generation.
The increase in cuddles has meant that I’m behind on everything – housework, writing, winning a Nobel prize. I know people say that you must treasure cuddles while they’re young. And I do. Honestly! But seeing the tidal wave of mundane tasks gathering to a crest is another reason that I’m grumpy.
3. Gross stuff
See reason 2. Ill children mean gross tasks for Mums. If they’re sick, you get to clean it up. If it comes out the other end, you get an equally joyful disposal operation. When their nose runs, you have to wipe up the sticky mess. Even if you don’t have a tissue, only a sleeve. Urgh.
With this current illness, our doctor asked me to bring in a urine sample for Blake. Have you ever tried getting a sample from a toddler in a nappy? It’s like the bloody Krypton Factor. After trying various ‘genius’ solutions from the internet (plastic in the nappy does not work. Trust me.), I struck gold by putting cotton wool in there. And then wringing it out by hand. This was definitely not in the job description.
OK, I don’t have scurvy. But I’m going to get it if I don’t get out further than the Co-op pretty soon. Today is Friday. Friday is the day we reserve for family time. When we moved to Devon for our new life, my husband chose not to work on Fridays so we can make the most of the time we have with Elysia before she goes to primary school in September.
Tourist attractions are quieter on a Friday than at the weekend, you get better deals in restaurants and it feels like we’re actually doing something different from the norm. It’s the day of the week that I most look forward to because it’s a day for fun. A day without domestic drudgery. Yet here I am, hanging the washing out, making lunch and squeezing pee out of nappies (see reason 3).
5. Irrational resentment
My husband and daughter went out on their own anyway. Of course there’s no reason for all of us to stay in. But I found it hard to wave them off with a Stepford Wives smile.
He gets to go to work everyday and play games for a living. Elysia goes to preschool 3 days a week and has a wonderful time. I don’t resent being at home with the children everyday – I worked hard to make that a reality. But I do struggle when I don’t get a break. So I feel irrationally resentful that other people are having fun when I’m not. Sue me.
6. It’s raining. Again
When I pictured moving to Devon, I imagined beautiful beaches and jagged coastline. Picnics in the country park. Apple picking in the local orchard. And all of that became a reality last summer. Blissful. But it’s winter now. And none of those things are particularly appealing because it never stops bloody raining.
It’s now Feb 12 and it’s rained everyday except one since New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t matter if London has bright, crisp sunshine. In Devon, it will be hammering it down. We have a quaint little stream in the country park at the front of our house. This is what it looks like currently:
Pass me the dinghy.
I love rain more than your average person. I think there’s nothing better than a lovely April shower but my children don’t agree. When I make them go outside in the rain, they cry. And that makes me grumpy.
We’ve run out of bananas.
We don’t do sweets or junk food in this house so we get through more bananas than the monkey house at Paignton zoo. Our family doesn’t function without them. But I can’t be arsed to drag a poorly toddler to the shops.
That’s it. I’m clutching at straws now. Running out of bananas has no place in the public arena. I’m signing off before I turn into my Victor Meldrew-alike father and start moaning about the price of a cup of tea and the youth of today. Although, saying that, the youth of today actually do have a lot to answer for.
They made One Direction popular…