Tuesday, 19 July 2011

"All The Live Long Day..." (Groan)

I am not a happy puppy.  Nor am I a happy camper - or anything with the prefix 'Happy' attached to it.

You remember that movie 'Groundhog Day' wherein Bill Murray gets stuck for days on end, filming in some hick town in winter?  Well at least he had the very pretty Andy McDowell to provide entertainment of the carnal/fantasy kind, and eventually worked out how to make life bend to his wishes.

With me, it's that but without any of the chance for redemption that getting to truly live each day identically over and over would afford.  You see the days are still tick-tick-ticking by, the calendar is progressing through July, and the state of my unwaxed legs would attest to the fact that yes, indeed a touch too much time has passed since I properly turned a much needed critical eye toward my personal grooming habits....but I digress.

What I mean to say is that every morning I wake up to either Egg or Dumpie jumping on me (more on that later, and why this is the absolute worst possible wake up I could endure under present circumstances) and whooshing open our balcony door to declare either 'It looks like it might rain Mama" or the more usual, "Look Mama, it's raining...what are we going to doooooo today?" (Insert random bored whines, sighs, and rustling through bedside drawers for treats or neat things to break.)

Like the husband said the other day, it feels like we're on some sort of really bad reality tv show, only there are no cameras here to film our descent into madness and squalor.  Mores the pity I guess.  But taking that theme to heart....

"Week Seven in the Non-Big-Brother House and the contestants have all now resigned themselves to getting on each others nerves 24/7.  The Father of the bunch wears a look of perpetual weariness and defeat, choosing to harness himself to his laptop at the dining room table most of the time, doing all manner of who knows what all daylong - only breaking occasionally for killer bike rides across Britain - (which may or may not have been fabricated in a desperate attempt to escape his family for a time.....the jury is out on that one).

Approximately twelve days ago the Mother figure awoke in the middle of the night to such piercing neck pain that it made her pause briefly and shuffle the 'Pain-o-Meter' in her head such that giving birth (previously the most pain she had ever experienced) reluctantly took second place to this new and excruciating neck spasm-y thing.

Since then, despite being bedridden on and off, feeling utterly claustrophobic (never mind the danger that crossing roads take on when one cannot subtly glance over ones shoulder to ascertain whether there is indeed advancing traffic coming quickly up one side) and a total grouch (chronic pain will do that to you - you betcha), there are still beds to make, food to be procured and meals to be made, and two lively little boys to entertain all day every day.  Oh joy oh bliss.

The little boys have long since given up the daily battle for power in this household.  There is no need.  They won fair and square a long time ago.  This is their world and we are merely living in it...at least as concerns the various four walls of this domestic purgatory the four find themselves cohabitating within.  

The little one has taken to carrying around a tiny polished teaspoon in his shorts pocket, the better with which to randomly help himself to the Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough Ice Cream he rather favours, dipping into the freezer whenever he fancies himself a little treat.  

The elder boy has taken ownership of a gigantic cardboard box which has the remnants of five or so rolls of tape decorating it's outer layer, and inside hosts an assortment of expensive leather pillows, cotton throws and all manner of kiddie bric-a-brac.  He insists on carrying it up and down the stairs and when it's in situ in a hallway there is no way around it, it is so large.  If anyone so much as threatens to do away with it, inconsolable tears are wept and brows are beaten and it's just too much to take, so the little guy is allowed to further cramp up our home with a structure large enough to house a small family in the Indian slums."

"Get a cleaner!"I hear you roar.  Well we would, if only a cleaner could as much as step over all the clutter threatening to bury us alive in here (like the people on that BBC Documentary about hoarders a long time ago).  We are at least a week away (maybe more if this neck thing don't sort itself out pronto) from even beginning the dialogue about hiring a cleaner to come and help us out once a week.

In fact, it's laughable.  I forgot how cleaners usually visit weekly, for a mere three hours a time.  Ha!  I do three hours of senseless ceaseless (PAYLESS) domestic labour each morning - and that's just in order to imbibe my breakfast Kellog's Special K in a room that doesn't make me want to a) scream  b) throttle my husband and children with rage  c) off myself with an overdose of vitamins.

Who are we kidding.  I need (in this order):

1. Live-in Osteopath (to daily sort out my messed up neck until I no longer sob upon awakening)
2. Live-in Pembantu/Nanny/Au-Pair (must be fat, ugly and hairy)
3. Live-in Cleaner/Cook (so I can spend my time actually DOING something with my life besides    ageing my hands with cleaning products and breaking my back mopping all the live long day)
4. A bigger house (to accommodate the above-mentioned staff)

In my dreams right?  (That's what the husband more or less intimated when I brought this up earlier, bent over the dishwasher having a right old moan about the current state of things).

Well in that case I'm off to bed...perchance to dream...

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

"Oh Life...Where Art Thou?"

Well you'll be pleased to know that the husband eventually DID come back from Glastonbury...but not until precisely five days and nine hours later.  I won't get into the state of him, for it would be unkind, but you do the maths:  almost six days with no shower, a mud-fest followed by a heatwave, too many ales, a diet of 100% fried and processed food, and next to no sleep.  Ummm...yeah.  Sexy.

Anyway, once he unceremoniously deposited his giant filthy backpack full of mud-encrusted filthy clothing onto our clean dining room floor, he promptly fell asleep and the monsters and I stood looking at this patriarch of ours with a mixture of incredulity and mild aversion (well the newly grown comedy beard wasn't helping).

At any rate, he's been home for a week now and things have settled into...into chaos if I'm being honest.  What momentum we had for settling back into our lives has been exchanged for two giant helpings of apathy and frustration.

For one, we simply cannot imagine how the contents of all these packing boxes once fit into our home...I mean honestly!  Having used up every available inch of storage space, those possessions of ours not lucky enough to find a home during the over-zealous, caffeine fuelled first few weeks (when we actually gave a toss) ..now sit forlornly in uncomfortable corners, staring miserably at us each time we pass, knowing that they have either found their permanent resting place out in full view of the monsters who will no doubt trash n' destroy OR they'll be given to the local charity shop in a moment of uncontrollable madness.

But that's not the biggest problem.  The reason for our ever increasing facial stress lines and poor sleeping patterns, are the monsters.  They are B.O.R.E.D.  They tell us this several times a day, every day.  They let us know that we are not living up to our roles of 'Super Duper Adventure Happy Clappy Play Makers' and are failing them miserably.

After 16 months of frolicking in sand, monkey forests and swimming in warm tropical waters, a couple of Commons, CBeebies, and our outdoor terrace just ain't cutting it.  It doesn't matter how many ice lollies or salt n' vinegar crisps you throw in.  Unless the 'Aunties' are involved, London life just isn't doing it for them.

Of course every other four and seven year old in the country are currently sat in stuffy classrooms learning their sums and singing silly songs about strings and so forth.  But ours are following the husband and I around the house little determined little shadows, moaning, complaining and admonishing the husband and I for not being entertaining enough.  They have unlearned independence.  They think that we are here to amuse them and that the four of us should remain an inseparable, tight, family unit of four every hour of every day.  (Even as I write this they are squeezed onto the master bed beside me, having ignored my pleas not to turn on the telly, and are engrossed in a loud episode of Scooby Doo, their small little feet curled into my thighs...)

Well think again little ones.  If you haven't quite caught the looks of panic, fear, despondency and downright frustration on your Mama and Dada's faces as of late, look again.  We are on the pathway to 'Lost'...having stopped for a brief time in 'Losing It', and a heck of a long way from Paradise.