Most of you will have noticed a dearth in blog postings in general over the past few weeks; this is NOT because we are all off on some fantastic bloggers’ holiday, where we sit around and swop stories such as The Day Norovirus Came to Visit (And Outstayed Its Welcome), or The Time I Found Him With a Tampax up His Nose (“And the best thing is, Mummy, I can just pull it out so easily!”). Rather, we are each working hard on an essay called Surviving the Kids’ Never-Ending Summer Holidays. (Some of us, also, have chosen to spend our holidays off the beaten World-Wide-Superhighway, in the land which internet [and sunshine] forgot.)
Most of these essays follow a similar theme: a few days / weeks of highly stressful home play / highly expensive day trips; a long-awaited family holiday; a sudden and severe drop in expectation such as to actually threaten one’s health; a fortnight of musical-beds, chips at every meal, and hideously behaved off-spring; the sheer JOY of returning home, followed by 48 hours of laundry; more day trips; visits to family / the Auld Country; more tea than you could ever imagine a human being was capable of drinking in one sitting; more laundry; panic-shopping of school uniforms and classroom accessories; an all-night name-tag-sewing marathon; then finally, thankfully, it’s September...
To this general theme, I’m adding the following:
Or – to give it its local name – La Varicelle. That is what dumping the Baby in holiday crèche for 8 hours a day got me. “WHAT?” I shrieked, when Monsieur le Medicine proposed chickenpox as an (obvious, in retrospect) explanation for the large blisters covering her body, the temperature, and the general malaise; he shrugged, unconcerned. “But... how contagious is she?” He shrugged again. “Uh... veree?” “But... what do I do?” (I’m ridiculously helpless in the face of childhood illnesses). By now I could see I was clearly wasting his – and my - time. “There is nuffin’ you can do. It will pass.” He was right of course - but still; at the very least I expected him to give me some sort of assurance: she’s fine, she’ll be fine, she’s past the worst, the other kids won’t get it... Pas de tout. So now I’m on chickenpox alert, although 3 weeks has since passed and other than continuous disgusting behaviour, non-stop whinging, and a desire to superglue themselves to me, the older kids are showing no outward signs of infection. (And in so saying, I’ve completely jinxed that of course.)
I went to Singapore! WITHOUT CHILDREN! Apart from the horrific jetlag – we only went for 5 days – it was wonderful. The flight alone was a holiday: I got on a plane, watched Girls (I totally wasted my 20s, btw), had some free drink, had some more, then closed my eyes and slept for NINE HOURS. And the same again on the way back. In between I hung out while the Man worked, wondered if my children had chickenpox yet (and whether I should have warned my mother), drank gin, and sniggered at a clothes shop called “Wanko”. (I also found great hilarity in a t-shirt which said “I LOVE THE BRONK, NYC”, and am seriously considering writing to Bloomberg to enquire about getting it renamed, because I think “The Bronk” it would suit it tremendously.)
I went to Ireland! In fact I am in Ireland! With children, so not quite so exciting. And I drove here, which was really not exciting AT ALL (not least because I couldn’t sleep for 9 minutes, let alone 9 hours). We had the obligatory puke 20 minutes in, which missed the cleverly located plastic bag by enough to make the cleverly located plastic bag entirely redundant. It was, of course, the hottest day of the year and so, two weeks on, the car still smells of fermented cheese & onion crisps, apple-juice and tic-tacs. Notwithstanding the puke and the squabbling and the baby-who-wouldn’t-sleep and the ENDLESSNESS of it all, by far the absolute worst part of the entire day was driving off the ferry and realising I wasn’t where I was meant to be... (Who knew there were two ferry ports in Dublin?)
Random Other Stuff
The End, people - It Is Nigh. The shuffling, and pulling down of hithertofore stationary objects, by a hithertofore stationary baby, has begun. Shitbags. It started yesterday. One minute she was sitting there – all babyish, gurgling, eating fluff, gagging – the next minute (“minute” meaning the time it takes to open Facebook, live vicariously for a brief period, then look up again) she was gone. GONE. Shuffled off out the kitchen door into the hallway. She drooled and clapped hands when I caught her, and gave me a look of steely determination – worrying, the sort I usually only see on the Boy – when she was put back in original situ. Then she dragged the tablecloth off the table, chucked some toys around, and tried to escape again. AND she has a tooth. She is a baby no more. Sigh. (And, simultaneously – YES!!!)
The Boy had his first ever puke (well, first since he was a baby) which caught him - and all the other airplane passengers - entirely by surprise.
The Girl turned three. Someone once told me that three-year-old girls are the devil himself; someone was right. Christ alive - talk about Princess Bitchface Syndrome. It is like living with a certain character played by Linda Blair, only less reasonable. Yesterday, when sent to the naughty step - for throwing a remote-control car INTO THE BABY’S FACE - she flounced out, yelled at me to SHUT UP, and slammed the door. Perhaps (please God) it’s the brewing chickenpox?
So. Only 15 more days until school starts. LOADS of time to gather more fodder for my essay .