First of all, apologies for not having written much lately. I intend to remedy this, but all week I've been running to stand still...quite literally. It's been a craaaaazy week. One day in particular stands out as being a total and utter shambles. It was Wednesday....
Basically, I had a 1:30 pm appointment at the doctors for wee Olly Dumpie to get his third set of baby injections (he's just turned 6 months). Being a life-long confirmed needle-phobic, to say that i was dreading this would be an understatement. In fact, if I weren't breastfeeding I would have been mightily tempted to pop a little valium (ur...ummm...not that i have any of course or would know where to procure some...um...yeah).
Anyway, the morning began with its usual dose of chaotic unravelling. Egg did a poo poo on our kitchen chair (apologies in advance to those guests of ours who will in future come and visit us and inadvertantly end up on the now christened 'poo chair') then ran through the flat giggling about his 'poo leg' and smearing it on every available surface (sigh), then Olly Dumpie almost electrocuted himself with the power cord by the telly. Let's just say that I wasn't having the greatest of days.
So when the three of us set off for the doctors in the early afternoon sunshine a little bit later, the last thing on my mind was work. Being a voiceover artist I am very well paid but also very infrequently paid! When my mobile rang and it was my agent asking if i could do a last minute promo for channel five that afternoon, my heart sank. Auntie Ba (who usually bails me out and stands in for emergency babysitting) was still in Ireland and Auntie Mo and Auntie Ba were both at work so I knew I was basically screwed...but yet I couldn't bring myself to turn the job down, and so begged for 15 minutes to get back with an answer.
Frantically I rang AND texted my heavily pregnant Polish cleaning lady Dorothy (who I've mentioned in earlier blogs) in the hopes that she might just happen to be in the neighbourhood and free and amenable to babysitting the two monkeys for a few hours. Nevermind that she barely speaks a word of English and has only her dusting to recommend her. I don't know what I was thinking. Of course she never got back to me and so I rang Jay as I walked into the doctors surgury and explained the situation in the off-chance that his high-powered job might merely be a farce and he might actually be lazing about at his desk playing Pacman and therefor able to take the kiddies off me for a few hours. No such luck. He had a meeting booked at four, his office was frantic with the launch of a new website and he barely had time to tell me no.
By this time we were in the doctors waiting room, I'd spotted the huge sign saying 'NO MOBILES' and it had been almost half an hour since I had gotten the call from my agent and I STILL hadn't rung him back with my answer. Stressed out, we were just then called in, and the nurse who first pronounced me pregnant with Egg (when I had thought I might have a brain tumour and not simply rapidly dividing pre-Egg cells) and also unfortunately happened to be the worst administrator of needles in the whole world - no skill whatsoever - ushered us in. Egg insisted on watching the whole proceedings up close in horror whilst Noah was jabbed brutally three times in both legs and began screaming his head off, and my phone started vibrating and we scurried out of there with Egg munching two biscuits the nurse had given him in pity, chewing slowly with a shell-shocked expression as Noah carried on sobbing dejectedly.
Outside in the hot sun I reluctantly rang my agent back and somehow what with the distressed Dumpie, a careening white van, low blood sugar and the effects of no food and a hot sun, a miscommunication occured. Basically I meant to convey the fact that I sadly had to turn the job down because I couldn't get a babysitter and my husband couldn't get off work early. My agent took this to mean that if the job was moved an hour later than I COULD do it. So upon arriving home I recieved a gleeful voicemail from my agent saying that channel five really wanted me and would happily move the job to 5:30 so that my husband could watch the kids...and the job was confirmed and good luck.
It was with severe trepidation that I texted Jay (the better with which not to be screamed at) and hesitantly put forward my dilemma. Immediately he rang me and although flustered and annoyed, agreed to bail me out this one time if - and only if - i could bring the kiddies to his office at the last possible moment. Well wouldn't you know...my mom rang a little while before we were to leave and of course i lost track of the time and suddenly it was time to go and I had two dirty nappies to change, a sleeping toddler to wake up, and hadn't even washed my face or brushed my teeth! (Yes, yes, i realise I had gone to the doctors like that earlier, but if you saw the sight of the average patient at that place you'd realise that I looked perfectly presentable compared to some of them.)
By the time I was running for the bus, Noah bouncing up and down in the 'Baby Bjorn' which I was waering, and Egg passed out comatose in the reclining pushchair, I was sweating like a maniac. It wasn't till the doors shut that I looked down in horror to see that Egg was still in his sock feet and so was Noah! I had totally forgotten to put their shoes on!
On the bus ride into town I had to give Noah an emergency arrowroot biscuit which immediately morphed into cement-like mush, turning his angelic little face into a paper-mache mask and ruining my top. I consoled myself with the fact that even though the children were filthy and looked like street urchins, it didn't matter too much as Jay was simply going to climb back on the number 12 bus and come straight back home anyway. I'm not even sure I had extra nappies come to think of it.
After jumping off the bus at Piccadilly Circus and racing up Piccadilly Street on foot to meet Jay I was panicking as I knew I'd almost certainly be late for my job. The streets were crowded and I was ducking and diving with the pushchair, stubbing strangers ankles and careening across streets through red lights like a crazed lunatic and pouring with perspiration. I realised I was in danger of having a heart attack, so i finally ground to a halt outside the Pret sandwich shop and unstrapped Dumpie - ready to make the switch with Jay amidst the heaving crowds as soon as i caught sight of him. And then he appeared. My knight in pinstriped armour. He stopped cold and looked disgustedly down at the children.
"Nis, what's going on? Egg's not wearing shoes...(slight pause)....And neither is Dumpie" (Jay looked over at me with both a distressed and confused expression....)
This was indeed true. What could I say?
"And Nis, look how grubby they look! I can't take them into the office like this!"
Um office? "What do you mean office?", I asked Jay.
"I thought you were going to take them home now?" I said while handing Dumpie over and checking my watch furatively.
Jay uttered an expletive-heavy explanation about servers and office chaos and an interrupted meeting - none of which I really heard because I was already backing away and apologising as I ran off, planning my return trip back the way I came and into Soho....now definately late for my session.
As It turns out the job was a breeze, and they loved me. As I headed out in the crowded post-work streets of Soho half an hour later I was smiling and pleased that i'd managed to pull it off - even if I had been a bit late. I briefly thought of Jay and gave him a quick ring to see what he was up to.
I was curtly told to come and pick up the children. Immediately. It wasn't until that evening when Jay came home that I heard the full story. Apparently Jay had been forced to attend an emergency meeting with four other people in a boardroom with Dumpie strapped facing outwards from his chest in the Baby Bjorn - darting his attentive infant head back and forth, following conversation and staring interestedly at the various speakers...quite taken with proceedings. Meanwhile, shoe-less Egg had entertained himself (and a few others I reckon) by quietly singing to himself in a chair in the corner of the room, drawing not a little attention as Jay was trying rather hard to conduct his rather important meeting.
Once he had gotten over the embarrassment of presenting his beloved little darlings (in their grubby states) to his relatively new work colleagues, it had been a case of his crowded office turning into a creche (nursery) and all manner of chaos ensuing. I don't have to tell you that I was simultaneously horrified, amused and utterly indebted.
Later that night as we watched a dvd in bed, I expressed my gratitude by giving Jay a massage throughout almost the whole two hour movie. I was THAT grateful.
Who says a woman can't have it all?