Friday, June 17, 2011

Motherhood: Example - Thursday 16th June 2011

Hello Readers,

I thought I'd start to add a little to my blog. Break up the book posts (though they'll still be coming).

I've just got my two children settled into a new daycare for a few days a week.  The idea being that I can, at last, focus on my writing.  Ah, the best laid plans.  Here's how Thursday (supposedly a work day for me) went... 

Thursday 16th June

3 ½ has a bad cough/cold.  17-months has it too.  They should be going to daycare so that I, mother, can get stuck into my new, soon-to-be-burgeoning, writing career. They are going nowhere.

Cat 1, the girl cat, pees on 3 ½’s bed.  Again. We moved a month ago and this delicate-natured feline is having issues.  I shouldn’t risk washing the sheets since the washing machine is on the blink and last night flooded the laundry.  No option – I stick it on a short cold wash and cross my fingers. I ‘Google’ the cat pee issue and discover she might be ill, so I should ring the vet.

I wonder what I should feed the girls for lunch? Quick rummage in the ‘fridge comes up trumps with some wraps and various things I can put inside.

After breakfast (washing machine not leaking so far) I stick the girls in their playroom (it feels damp, mental note to buy another oil heater and a dehumidifier) while I sort out the house.

In the girl’s bedroom Cat 2 is coming through window I’ve opened to let the cat pee smell out.  Something disgusting is running out of his rear end.  I think.  It's hard to tell since it’s all over his lower back, tail and what not and is dripping everywhere.  Oh GOD. I grab paper towels and mop him – he yowls.  There’s a nasty wound on his back. Oh GOD.

Girls are whining.  I find a DVD and some crackers and ensconce them in the living room while I ring the vet.  Washing machine looking good.

I wonder what we could have for dinner.  And are there any muffins or anything about for afternoon teas later on?  The fruit bowl is quite full – good.

I can take the cats to the vet in a couple of hours. Make an instant coffee. Grab children and dress them.  3 ½ thinks every moment of the day is a game and is currently refusing to dress herself.  Take a deep breath.  Not working.  Take another deep breath.  Wonder whether to take up smoking again.  Banish the thought.  Tell 3 ½ I don’t believe she’s able to put her top on.  Bingo.  In about 6 minutes she has most of her clothes on (provided I watch her prove she can do it) while I manage to dress 17 months.  Get teeth and hair done.  17-months has a tantrum (she’s good at these). 3 ½ cottons on and whines for cuddles.  Phone rings. I take deep breaths.  Shit – I should have locked the cat flap.

Oozing cat is in the garden – I go out slowly and gently and manage to get him in before he scarpers.  Actually he feels rather limp and un-scarperish. He’s a lot lighter than usual.  Think.  Hmmm.  Been sleeping a lot these past few days…. Off his food… I put the guilt on a shelf somewhere and concentrate of finding sticky tape to keep the cat flap shut (yes, it has a lock – and the cats know how to use it!).

Washing machine is on spin and no signs of flooding.  Phew.

Right – get myself ready; brush through hair, basic 5-minute makeup job, find shoes.  I guess I should cook some muffins or a cake sometime soon.  I wonder what we could have for dinner today, and then have leftovers for tomorrow. Is husband in or out for dinner tomorrow?  Must check diary. 17-month is crawling around saying ‘poo poo’ (not yet walking, but the child can TALK). Damn it, now I am in a rush to make the vets on time.  Speedy nappy change, 3 ½ quickly on the loo, everyone’s hands washed, grab bags, Argh – shoes for children.  3 ½ wants gumboots, I am not about to argue.  17-months screams and kicks when I try to put her soft little shoes on.  I ‘d skip it but it’s a chilly day.  I pull different shoes out of a box and hold one of each up.  She emphatically points to the new pair – tantrum over.  Shoe preoccupation at 17 months?  God help me.  Right, dump everyone in the car.  Back in for the cats.  He’s really, really limp.  More guilt to shelve.  She’s not - little minx, I have to tip her travelling cage upright to get her into it. Phone rings, I ignore it.

Speed to the vet (well, actually I stick fastidiously within the speed limit in built-up areas, today I am at 50ks on the nose the whole way).  Cats in cages times two up the steps and dumped. Run back to the car and children times two up the steps and in.  When WILL this child learn to walk?  Oh yes, the vet door is a ‘pull’ and not a ‘push’, damnit.

While 3 ½  fiddles with all the things in the vet’s surgery and 17-months crawls around the floor picking up germs, the vet informs me that Cat1 may have a urinary tract infection or may be suffering from anxiety – cures for which can include dosing with Prozac. I’m wondering whether she might like to share her prescription…  The vet needs a urine sample (from the cat, not me) but Cat1 has just recently emptied her bladder onto 3 ½ ’s bed, so will need to stay at the vets until she produces.

Cat 2 has an infected cat bite that’s apparently about a week old, if not more, and all that goo flooding out of him this morning was a burst abcess. The guilt falls off the shelf and I explain to the vet how much we love our cats, that I only de-flead them yesterday, a process that included combing them and paying them not inconsiderable attention, that the children love them, that I feel terrible for not noticing a fetid wound on my darling moggy’s back.  After listening to my complaints for a while he assures me that under all his fur the abcess was easy to miss and states that he thinks none the worse of me.  Bless him.  Then he shows me the hole in my cat’s back, that is still oozing, and gives it a squeeze for my benefit.  He recoils slightly when a bubble of yellow pus squoozes up through the flesh.  My stomach relocates to my throat.

One cat down we meander home through the gloomy streets.  Find old cloth for oozing cat to sleep on.  Find lunch for two children and me.  Nothing yellow.  Field an unfeasible number of phone calls.  I go DAYS without a call - why today? Then it’s back into the car to run some errands I’d promised to run that I can’t get out of. I’m trusting that the two small ones will sleep in the car and thus do some getting better, which was the idea when I kept them out of daycare.  17-months has about a 30-minute nap. 3 ½ doesn’t so much as doze. Them’s the breaks. 

In the interests of not banging on more than is pertinent, I’ll sign off for right here. I think you get the picture. Yes, I did succumb to yelling at at least one child at least one. Yes, that did result in more guilt – and cuddles, and apologies, and everyone agreeing that we are all human and mummy sometimes gets a bit stressed.

My tip for the day?  (This is not a cheese-free zone):  Don’t even try to pretend to your children that life is a bed of thornless roses – just help them to understand that prickles mend, that you can learn better ways to lie down, and that the smell of the roses makes it all worthwhile.

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