And Breathe. All is silent from up above, I have had a calming glass of red wine and some even more calming chocolate biscuits (dark chocolate so that is almost healthy)(and you'd be surprised how well red wine and choccie biscuits go together - wine snobs can go stick it) and K is out. I realised tonight that it is totally amazing that so few mothers are alcoholics. I don't think it's particularly 'cool' to drink and get drunk, I don't do it as a 'badge of honour' or because I can't have fun without it - at the moment it is imbibed solely in order to stop me screaming. I remember learning about scream therapy at university and obviously at the time it seemed an odd and fairly remote idea but I am telling you, I could probably manage a daily session right now. The children have their very own versions of scream therapy, which is either starting a fight with a sibling, starting a fight with me or K or just actual screaming. As adults we use booze, food, fags or exercise (I am told some people do it - quite CLEARLY it is not something I have tried - first three are way easier) to de-stress and it struck me as I walked down the stairs tonight, that in the evenings the children go through their therapy after school and before bed and then once they are in bed, K and I come down and light up/pour out/serve up ours.
This week has been more trying than most. Ted has been ill and therefore off nursery all week. Whilst my heart breaks for him in his hour of need it also is entirely impossible to stay calm in the direct line of fire from an angry, ill, tired, irascible, fevered 3 year old for more than a short period of time. This illness was a sort of semi-flu, so nothing that could be cured with the magic of penicillin, just time and patience. I ran out of the later quite early on Monday morning. He refused to take any pain relief but was hot enough to cook eggs on and constantly whining and snotting and crying. In the end I had to do the 'medicine wrestle' where you have to hold down flailing limbs and secure the head in place, open the mouth and somehow offload a dose of medicine in to a moving target and then keep it inside the mouth by any means possible. It is obviously horrid and a sort of twisted 'mother knows best' tactic where the anger and upset in the short term is worth the long term gains, but only you know that at the time you are holding them down. To the three year old you are just a bullying arsehole determined to make them feel worse when they are feeling pretty shitty anyway. A child who enjoys having medicine is a wonderful thing - should you be fortunate enough to posses such a thing then high five yourself. I don't believe they are that common. My sister resorted to putting meds in diet coke to try and get them in to her youngest. Although I remember when cupcake sister had to have a course of eye drops when we were quite young - Mum would call the rest of us in to sit on her so that the drops could be administered. Obviously as a small child that seemed immense fun. And as an adult who has to put in and take out contact lenses every day, I think she was being a bit 'wet'. Although I cannot imagine she sees it that way.
So. Last Friday night was a refreshing change and turned out to be fab. A stress free night at the end of the road drinking a bit of Cava with my lovely local ladies was just what I needed. No disaster occurred and all children slept which meant that I came back to a relaxed K as well. Tomorrow night I shall be back at mums with a selection of children in anticipation of a lovely night out with my school chums in Cambridge, our place of education and where our friendships were formed. I get quite nostalgic about such things and really cannot wait. I worry about mother being left with the unreliable sleeper that is Cybs but I also think they will both live through the experience whatever happens so sod it. I am leaving K here with any leftover children and to deal with the school fete and man the 'stocks' stall which is a little mean but it also won't do him any harm. I have had enough school involvement for the moment as I have had to watch two sports days on consecutive days. The first one - G's - was vaguely enjoyable. G was in exceptionally high spirits and enjoyed every part of it, Cybs slept and Ted was ill so he just sat in the double buggy watching so it was stress free from my end. I also successfully dodged the mums race by jiggling the buggy as if Cybs was in need of jiggling and I even managed to right the wrong of last year's sports day disaster by winning the mums v dads tug of war (K lost the tug of war - along with all the other dads - to the mums and G was unable to cope with the humiliation last year, so had a bit of a breakdown and refused to take part in any further races which K found quite tricky to deal with). Bea's sports extravaganza was in the afternoon and didn't end that well - for the third year in a row now she ended up in tears. I think she gets so over excited about the whole thing that she uses all her energy up in the first hour and by the second half she just wilts. Visibly. By the time she finished the 100 metres today she literally curled up in a sobbing ball and I had to scoop her up and push her in the buggy. She sustained some sort of injury to her leg in the final part of the race and was beside herself with it all. Such a shame as she was so full of energy for her first event, the Tug of War. Sadly they had to fill in time on that section so I think she ended up doing about 6 or 7 turns on it and as I know from my two days doing the mums tug of war, it is actually very draining if you aren't used to it. In three years time I will have to watch all four compete in their respective sports days. That is four turns on the battle-of-the-sexes-tug-of-war with about three goes a pop so I am going to have to do some serious muscle building before then.
I am hoping that Cybs might be quite sporty. She is already up and walking - I bought her her first proper shoes last weekend which was pretty exciting. I know it doesn't sound much but it really is. She is my earliest walker - not yet 11 months. I swear she actually ran this evening. It does make life easier as she has happily bypassed the back breaking stage where they will only walk when you are hunched over, holding their hands for hours on end. I am most grateful to her for that. If only she could sleep past 5 am and go down without a fuss at 7pm then she would almost definitely be my favourite. Although she would have stiff competition from G who has recently been ridiculously good. After his bad behaviour came to something of a head a few weeks ago (me ranting and raving around the house about how I was most definitely getting someone else to take him in as I refused to live with his hideous mood swings ANY LONGER) I put him on a simple 'tick' or 'cross' chart and he has been so desperate to receive his 'tick' at the end of each day, he has been unrecognisable. He even let me put sun cream on his face - and agree to wear shorts for sports day (he has a deep rooted hatred of shorts and sun cream application). The only downside to both G and Bea at the moment is something I could never have foreseen. I returned from half term to discover that K had had my ipad fixed which seemed fabulously exciting at the time. Now his kind act seems to have backfired magnificently as I made the unwise decision to treat Bea to the Minecraft App. This was a mistake on a mammoth scale. The fighting over whose turn it is on the flipping ipad to build various important buildings in their respective 'worlds' is enough to make me start drinking at 7am. That is when it starts - the 'can I have a turn', 'It's my turn', 'their turn is taking too long', 'he/she went on my world' etc etc and it dominates the time I spend with them which I hate. I have tried putting an end to it, by throwing hissy fits and banning the the flipping thing but it never lasts long. They stop the harassment for a short time after the screaming subsides but then they start again as soon as they think the coast is clear. Every now and again I will look at their Minecraft world - you create buildings and communities and 'worlds' out of single blocks - it's a bit like online lego (it really is that basic but I can see the appeal - but not the addiction to it) and I am slightly impressed - the farm with animals in, the vast hotel Bea created, the underground caves G created - they are so proud of their developments I find it difficult to stop them going back on to it to finish what they started. But I am worried about it - I truly think they are totally addicted. If I took it away permanently I think they would start rocking back and forth and humming to themselves. Anyway, do not allow your children to even view this game - it is like child heroine. I may smash the bloody ipad myself just to get them watching TV again if it carries on for too much longer. I live in hope that eventually the novelty just has to wear thin and some new thrill will take their fancy and Minecraft will become old news.
Right. I am too tired. And the bed still needs sheets. I got half way through changing the sheets and had to rush off. I can't actually be arsed. My arms are still hurting from the tug of war and the rest of my body seems to want to give up in sympathy. I would happily sleep on the sofa if I had the choice. Oh, I forgot to say that K has started his jury service. That is actually a tad more exciting than new baby shoes in the scheme of things. I perhaps should have mentioned it earlier. His first day was yesterday and having turned up at 9am I was eagerly awaiting a text to find out what was going on and whether he had been told what case he was on etc etc and so by 11am when I had heard nothing I sent a text, 'Any news?' To which I received the enlightening reply, 'No fag break until 1pm'. Now that is an addict.
I shall away. Bonne Nuit mis amigos. xx