The new hair do (formerly that of Myra Hindley, but since the professionally imposed bouffant has flattened, it’s now less Myra H, more Jimmy Saville – both having the effect of sending children scurrying to the other side of the road) came into its own this week. As such, I am hopeful for its prognosis. It is long and thick enough to act as a pair of facial curtains – basically I can shut my face off from the world at will. Which, given what’s ahead (SIX-DAYS-HOLYSHIT) can only be a good thing.
The necessity to draw said curtains came about because I pissed off the parenting gods – again - with a very passing thought I entertained last week. It crossed my mind (momentarily - because as you may be aware I don’t believe in positive parenting whatsoever) that in many ways we’re very lucky with our kids; sure, they might behave like feral cave-dwelling bandits most of the time (competing bandits, I should add), but we’ve struck gold on two important aspects: they’re not (too) fussy about their food; and – and this is where the Gods pricked up their ears – you know that once you put them to bed, you won’t see or hear them again for 12 hours.
Later that night the Boy woke up shouting and roaring and wailing at midnight, and continued in this vein for over an hour. Nothing would settle him: he was cold, he had cramps in his legs, he’d had a nightmare... Two hours later, he repeated the exercise. GAH. The next night – after I had fallen asleep sitting bolt upright at the kitchen table at 8.30pm, and so forced self to bed before 9 – the Girl started to cry and call for me. It was about 9.20. “Just leave her,” the Man instructed. Hmmm - it was an unusual enough occurrence to arouse my curiosity. Talk about killing the cat; the stench hit me as soon as I opened the door. She was caked in cold, hard vomit – in her ears, her eyes, her hair – everywhere (leading me to wonder how anyone sober can vomit on themselves so comprehensively and remain asleep?) So she had a bath (nothing nicer than scooping handfuls of puke out of the drain) and came to our bed, whereupon she continued to vomit and retch the night away.
The Boy woke up shouting the next two nights, and then – timed perfectly to coincide with the Man going away for a few days – decided to have his own all-night puke fest. Unlike the Girl, however (but rather like his mother) he doesn’t believe in quiet, somniacal vomiting; half an hour of screaming and roaring, pains all over his body (apparently), head spins, leg-ache, back-ache – I was beginning to think maybe he was in labour - before the blessed release of projectile vomiting. By the time the cursed cursing birds had started their fuckofffuckoff dawn chorus, I’d been hit with so much back-splash that it was inevitable that I was going to be next in the bug line. And there I was thinking that the worst thing was to be 39 weeks’ pregnant (HOLYSHIT) and having to look after a sick toddler and his, frankly, wilder sister. Add to the mix your own stomach bug, and an increasing fear that actually you’re going into labour and have NO BACKUP PLAN. (I admit I got a bit worried at one point; thankfully, I’m back to denial and an absolute belief that it’llbefineit’llbefine...)
And so the ghoul who greeted me in the mirror this morning was somewhat more haunted looking that usual. But with one simple flick of the forehead – she was gone! Banished back to the graveyard. (Albeit replaced by Jimmy Kiddy-Fiddler Saville. On a side-note: aren’t you all glad now that your letters to the BBC in the early 80s went ignored? I can’t tell you how many times I pleaded with him to Fix It for me to meet Adam Ant. I escaped on so many levels...)
Mind you, I can’t see a damn thing – not that there’s that much to see when you’ve got your head stuck in the sand anyway. Thankfully, it isn’t long enough to obstruct my mouth, and so now that I’m back in rude health, I’ve taken to drinking red wine like it’s already next week (it’s winter. The kid is cooked. I need the iron. Or something.)
I even managed to cook something new last night – which I somewhat boringly pinched from Angela Hartnett’s Guardian column. I had planned on making aubergine parmagiana – the Man loves it, and I wanted to welcome him home with something warm and nourishing; but then I got the hump because how dare he go away and leave me to deal with the kids alone, and frankly, AP is a bit of a pain the tits to make. Her little number from yesterday’s paper – aubergine gratin - promised all the taste, with a fraction of the work, of its grander, layered cousin. So I bought the ingredients, cooked it, took some photos, wrote out the recipe... But alas it was crap. Awful. Don’t even bother looking it up – unless you have a yearning for raw aubergine in an undercooked tomato and vinegar sauce (mmmmmmmmmm). Do what I did and pour yourself a large glass of wine and have a bar of chocolate instead. AND if you keep your hair down over your eyes, you can’t see what you’re eating, so technically (and nutritionally) it doesn’t count...