Monday, March 12, 2012

Glad That's Over!

Last week is a blur. I was barely able to keep my eyes open half the time. First, Fen took off on Tuesday for six days - to Birmingham to cover a sporting event. He's gearing up for the Olympics so he's working a lot these days.

The first night, I had a friend over for dinner - very laid back, lovely time. She's pregnant and I've given up alcohol for Lent so we just relaxed, ate and had a good conversation. She left and I tidied up and then went off to bed. After she left I received a call on our house phone (which we rarely use). I said hello three times before they hung up. Weird.

At 12 midnight X was up crying his head off. He's cutting not one, not two, but three teeth right now. Both were just under the gums and working their way up. I was up with him, rocking and soothing him, giving him bonejel and Calpol until he could fall asleep deeply. He did - at 2:30 am.

Then three and a half hours later - Cate was up. So was I. It was Wednesday so that meant homework to be handed in,  the nanny was coming at 2:30 so I didn't have to do pick up. I was so tired, but I had work to do. Had a meeting in the morning which was short and productive then a friend and I went to look at venues for our daughter's joint 5 birthday party. We found one! Hooray. After that I was tied to my desk until a play date/dinner that night.

Again, X did not sleep. I was up with him from 11-2 soothing him as he wriggled and slept fitfully. This time I took him into my bed so I could at least lay down. Cate slept until 6:30 which was a blessing! But it was Thursday, PE day - the inevitable fight to get her to wear her PE sweat pants and to pull her hair back just about did me in. We tromped up the hill with X begging to be let down to walk the entire way. I had coffee with a few other mums and then dropped X at his nursery (that tale is coming soon). For the two glorious hours he was at nursery I shopped, had coffee on my own, read a manuscript and gaped out the window for some uninterrupted people watching on the Hamptead High Street. The week before I spied Ricky Gervais twice.

The nanny was out for the rest of the week so it was me and only me with the kids. I picked up Cate and we all walked down the hill with X leading the way. It took 40 minutes. It's a 12 minute walk if I do it on my own or if I'm pushing both kids in a pram. Then the real fun began. I had a conference call with a new client. With both kids at home and no help. I waited until 5 minutes before the call then gave them bowls of fruit, drinks and ice-lollies. I put The Princess and the Frog on the telly and bolted down the hall to my office, shutting the door. the call went well but I had to put the mute button on twice to break up arguments and once, I shut the office/bedroom door and went into our walk in closet, shut that door and sat in the window because the kids were making so much noise I didn't want them to be heard. It was nerve wracking!

That night I received another hang up mystery caller. Which irritated me. I had a meeting at a pub near my house followed by an all girls drinks night at another pub for International Women's Day. So I asked the sitter, the 17-year-old French kid from upstairs to answer if the phone rang. He has a relatively deep voice and I wanted a man to answer if the hang-up person called again. They did not. Had a great time out.

But that night X was up AGAIN only until 2 this time and Cate managed to sleep until 7 so I got a whole five hours sleep. But we were up, fighting over what to wear, wrangling X into the stroller, packing up reading books and deciding on show and tell items before we managed to make it out the door and stomp up the hill. After dropping Cate I piled in the car with PTA members and went shopping for supplies for the International Food Fair which was the next day. Then after the school run - I had yet another conference call, but a friend was over for a playdate/dinner and she wrangled the kids for half an hour as I sat in my walk in closet window conducting business.

Working from home is hard enough but when your nanny is out and your husband is away - it's virtually impossible. I got very little work done last week. But I did manage to close a deal Monday and go out with a project on Wednesday. Every time I'd sit at the computer one of the kids would be on me immediately. Right now X is pulling on my arm asking for another snack while Fen is in the lounge, snacks in hand. Maddening. (I should be working anyway)

That night after the playdate went home I got the kids ready for bed. Cate was jumping up and down on her toddler bed when we heard a loud crack. She broke two of the support beams so the bed was sagging. Armed with duct tape, I mended them well enough to last until Fen can get to Homebase and replace them. We've ordered bunk beds but they won't get here for another two weeks!

After that, I settled down to do some reading. First chance to sit alone and just relax. Got the mystery hang up call again. This time I googled how to get your last caller info (we don't have caller ID on the phone). It's 1471, by the way. I called back from my mobile and a man answered. I didn't say anything, and he said hello twice. Then I hung up. The caller hasn't called back since.

Anyway, that night I made a point of going to bed early but I could hear Cate starting to cough. X's three teeth managed to break through on Friday morning so he was finally well. He slept all night. But Cate was up coughing, hacking until 3am I had her in my bed with me as she coughed, snored, smacked her lips, rolled all over for hours. Her meds finally kicked in and she passed out cold. I put her back in her bed and did the same. Until X woke up at 6!

Ballet, playdate, lunch out with friends and then home to nap. I put on a movie for Cate and then took an hour nap on the sofa myself. When X got up we went to a park, did a few errands and came home. We missed the International Food Fair because I was too tired to think and Cate was still hacking and coughing terribly. I didn't want her running around with her friends since that just exacerbates her condition. I promised the kids they could 'camp' out that night. I pitched the small tent in their bedroom, put sleeping bags down, pillows, a small lantern, etc. After bathtime we sat in the tent reading stories until bed time. I let them stay up until 8:30 figuring they'd sleep until 7 at least. (they did not). At 9:30 I finally put both into their own beds, broke down the tent and put the sleeping bags away. Called my mom for a catch up chat and then thought I should tidy up.

When I got up to go do the dishes, the kitchen lights wouldn't turn on. Neither would the lounge. What? I called the neighbor upstairs, she came to take a look, we couldn't figure out what was going on. So I dragged a lamp into the kitchen, did the dishes, tidied and then picked up all the toys, dusted, wiped finger prints off the television before watching an hour of mindless television - American Idol and was annoyed they booted off Jeremy Rosado. I like him.

Of course Cate did not sleep. She was up until 3 coughing - in my bed again. X got up at 6. I had three hours sleep again. Keeping my eyes open was a mighty feat yesterday. Still, I took the kids to a park, out for lunch at McDonalds, bought them new art supplies for the afternoon, and new big boy forks and spoons for X (who refuses to use the plastic kids forks anymore), balloons, you name it. We came home around 12  - X went down for a three hour nap. Then I sat and waited for the repair guy to come and take a look at the fuse box. he showed up, changed the fuse (it's an antique this thing) and we had light in the lounge and kitchen again! Hooray.

Immediately, I put a Barbie DVD on for Cate, set the small table up in front of the TV with her paints and new books and passed out for an hour on the sofa. I could NOT stay awake.

When I woke, to Cate standing over me demanding I look at her painting which was dripping red paint on my chest, I had sore throat and a massive headache.

Still, I got up, took the kids for a run in the cemetery - sounds weird but it's huge and it's a big favorite for runners, dog walkers, people with kids - especially mums with buggies. People picnic there - that I won't do but the kids absolutely love it there so we go.

After bath and bed I called Fen to see if the final match was over. He had just sat down on the train back from Birmingham. Hooray. He'd be back in about two hours. I thought about doing work but my brain was on vacation. I turned on the TV.

When Fen walked in I was so happy I could have burst. And then I said, "Tag - you're it. I'm going to bed." That was at 10pm. Of course, both kids slept through the night until 6:30. Fen said, "I don't know why you complain - they're fine."



  1. great post thanks 4 sharing this post with us

    1. Oh my gosh. I'm exhausted just reading it!

  2. It's amazing people have more than one when reading this! I have my son well trained to be quiet when I'm on the phone...the rest is always a crapshoot! Sounds like you need a holiday...alone!

  3. You really really need some sleep don't you?

    It's always the way that kids sleep for their dads, behave nicely for their dads, etc etc. Mums were put on this earth to suffer!

  4. I'm worn out just reading that! I hope things start running more smoothly for you now.

    1471 is very useful - also I sometimes Google the number on the off-chance it's referenced online.

  5. I am just going to go and have a've exhausted me. Sometimes when the kids were small I thought: climbing Mt Everest? spending six months finding the source of the Nile? Easy compared to this chaos!


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