Monday, 2 March 2009

Juggling (tarantulas, perhaps)

Back to the corridor of ennui today (when did this blog get so RUBBISH? It's just a soul-deadening litany of 'what I did in my holidays'. Shall I tell you what I had for my lunch too? Roger Federer branded yoghurt and cake offcuts, actually. We need toys! Or vegetable action. Or, you know, something. Suggestions on a speculoos please). Horrible day of chaos, but at least one with cleanish clothes and shiny red shoes. It helps, really it does. Until you are knee deep in dog shit in the Parc du Caca and your eldest child has just inadvertently peed on the dog, that is. (I could not make that up. I wish I had.)

Part of me revels in the contrasts of my life but most of me wants to crawl away and die. I won't though, because I am idiotically fond of the image I like to think I project. One minute I can be talking about antitrust fining policy (not that I give a shit about that, let's be clear, but I like posing as a coherent and incisive legal brain. I can't do it for long because my facial expression sags with boredom and my short term memory is decimated by meals based on M&Ms and crumbs) and clicking purposefully down the corridor of ennui holding pieces of paper, feeling all businesslike and professional. Then the next I am juggling a cake on a tray, two school bags, a sock and some bone shaped tripe flavoured dog treats. Gosh, how do I do it! The hilarious contrasts between my two lives! The finely balanced chaos! Allison Pearson has nothing on me. I like to think of myself as some advert superwoman, tossing my shiny shiny hair, kissing each child tenderly and rushing off to do something complex with divestment undertakings or full function joint ventures.

IT IS NOT LIKE THAT EMMA. Get a grip. Take today.

6h00 - Take dog to parc du caca before CFO leaves country. Up until midnight night before finalising parrot and playing on internets. Wait around until crying with frustration as giant hound tries to squash pathetic trembly weepette, who is so traumatised thereby it gets instant faecal retention problem. No caca.

6h30 - CFO leaves country, fire up internet, sit hunched like malevolent goblin tippy tappy typing until spawn appear, refusing all suggestions of clothes, breakfast, etc. Prepare "collation". Sharpen numerous essential crayons. Spend 20 minutes searching house for pencil sharpener. Put in school bags. Refuse to assist in putting 800 Pokémon cards in order by colour.

7h30 Offer sweets to anyone dressed by time I come down from getting dressed. Very effective.

Come back down feeling smug and well dressed. Poster paint on sleeve, but barely noticeable. Children dressed, yay, dog has eaten 2 rice crispie bars and slice of cake out of school bags, not so good.

7h50 Fuck around looking for more snacks. Children are eating lollipops and behaving like spawn of devil. Decide 'incentivising' getting dressed in this manner unwise.

7h55 Lose keys. Shout at children. Perpare dog prison room for day with chew toys, food, water, try to remove all valuables. Dog starts crying uncontrollably.

8h05 Find keys. Children still no shoes. Shout more. Discover dog has hidden shoes in secret place.

8h10 Leave house. Forget cake. Go back to house. Get cake. Children disappear. Find children down bottom of street punching each other in general direction of busy main road.

8h15 Dump children and cake unceremoniously. Run for tram.

8h30 Still waiting for tram.

8h45 Get tram. No time to stop for coffee but stop anyway. Coffee. Teeny tiny croissant. Guardian. Best part of day, lasts about 3 minutes chrono.

9h15 Arrive at work (late). Exhausted. Sit in stupour nodding at (hopefully) appropriate moments as euroboss gives extensive instructions for Important Conference I am apparently organising tomorrow. Forget them all instantly.

.... [Day continues in this fashion. Too much Twitter. Too much swearing. Terrible short term memory problem creating armfuls of disasters. Failure to leave desk for straight 8 hours, eat some horrible assembly of chocolate and pencil sharpenings, EU Directives for pudding. Will draw a veil over the details, since it's not called the Corridor of Ennui for nothing]

17h00 Run for tram. Watch it disappearing round the corner as distracted by GIANT BLUE BRAIN that has appeared in sky over Brussels. Wonder if hallucinating. Have plenty of time to wonder as no tram for 20 minutes.

17h40 After pondering eternal "who first, dog/children/cake" question, pick 'dog' and take it to collect children in stark defiance of gulag rules. End up dragging dog, cake tray (too big for a tin), two bags, several chocolate wrappers, children, to parc du caca again, just in case. Oscar still traumatised, made even worse when he accidentally wanders into Lashes' line of fire as he wees, Mannekin Pis style, into hedge. Wet, smelly freaked out dog. Hysterically laughing small boys. "Moi aussi!" clamours Fingers whipping his zizi out. Shiny red shoes sinking into mud/shit combo. Weepette hares off, neck muscles bulging. Drags me behind, tottering hopelessly. Leave tray in parc du caca. Have to go back for it.

18h00 Get home, all tied in knots with weepette, tray, bags, pieces of paper. Wash weepette. No time to change, Philip Lim top must do dog grooming service. Have time to observe that weepette has eaten two pan scourers and the Yellow Pages today. AND laptop not working. Tight knot of panic forms in chest.

18h15 C'est l'heure de la dictée! Youpi! Ineffectually clear a corner of kitchen table of Weetabix crumbs and assist profoundly unenthused Lashes in writing "Il est petit et moche" (He is small and ugly) three times. Difference between est and et. Neither of us cares much. Scree scree delicious torture as Lashes laboriously sharpens eighteen pencils and writes something vaguely approximating 'he is small and ugly' in strange looping French cursive script. [HURRY UP DAMMIT! Thinks my brain, loudly MUST CHECK LAPTOP]

18h30 Ten minutes of crazed junkie panic as try to work out what is wrong with laptop as spawn sit in front of Manny and his fucking outils. Ouf. Just damage from when Oscar pulled it onto floor. Junkie twittering. Look at prospects for dinner with no enthusiasm at all. Settle on reliable bagel, saucisson, cucumber, Pringles combo.

19h00 Eat the now cold and hard bagel noone will eat. Discover why spawn not hungry when find empty packet of shortbread hidden in sofa. Remove third pan scourer from Oscar's jaws. And is that..? Oh yes. It is. No need to go back to parc du caca then. I am supposed to be at a drinks reception now, but babysitters flee the house like a leper colony.

19h40 Give up on the endless, mind-numbing 'two more bites' etc etc thing and send children upstairs to get pyjamas on. Share remaining leftovers with dog, not keen after filling lunch of Yellow Pages, Rice Crispie bars and pan scourers.

20h00 Wrestle children into pyjamas. Pokémon cards fly everywhere. Turn blind eye to inadequate toothbrushing. Story. Refuse to make one up. Heartily sick of the endless adventures of Fleecy the Lizard, the exuberant Brazilian adventurer, and his posse of helpers whose names I always forget. Wailing.

20h15 Go downstairs and play on internets, ignoring fact house looks like nineteenth century slum tenement. Horror everywhere. Cannot cope. Soothing welcome of internet. Mmm. Twitter twitter, type type.

23h00 (I am guessing, could be later) Start to clear up house. Horrible. Kitchen especially. Oh, look, have had no dinner. Too late.

0h00 (or later) Go to bed. Or maybe clean cupboards (because obviously they, and not the overflowing bin, shredded pan scourer coating all over all surfaces, emptying dishwasher, are priority). Possibilities are endless. Why sleep?

I don't know how she does it? BADLY. VERY VERY BADLY.


justme said...

Oh Jaywalker.......would you like to come and visit? You can play on the internets all day while i work and then I will cook you delicious meals and ply you with wine. in the evening.......probaly Pochyemu will come and visit too. And any other stray bloggers who are around. And there will be chocolate.
Probably you need to bring own drugs tho/
I dont know what else to suggest....but I think you need a break!

Iheartfashion said...

You are like the brilliant spawn of Alison Pearson and David Sedaris.

Marie said...

There's Roger Federer branded yoghurt?

Anonymous said...

Today my daughter had a snow day. I think you can imagine the huge discrepancy between how excited she was and how excited I was at the news. A giant blue brain made have eased the pain somewhat though...

3limes said...

iheartfashion said it right. It just shows, a great writer can write anything, and make it funny. I know, having been there, that it was not as amusing at the time! Thanks for letting us laugh at your expense. Oh, and go any buy another pair of red shoes, you deserve them.

GingerB said...

Your boys, lovely though they are, will likley only whiz on everything in sight for the next few years. Then, they'll put thoses zizis away, and leave the weepette wee free, while those of us who got girls will only be beginning with hormonal teenage angst. Just doing my bit to help you see the bright spot amongst the caca.

Wife in Hong Kong said...

If it's any consolation, Jaywalker dear, I sit up far too late most nights reading your hilarious tales. Am also quite envious that you get to put on shiny red shoes and designer clothes while I bum around in washables. There's an awful lot of ennui when you're stuck at home, too, despite having more time for internets. Never quite sure if you are waving or drowning, but hope you're OK.

Jools said...

Whoa. That day was EPIC. Was thinking "yes!" to bribes and threats (a hallmark of good parenting). So sorry they didn't work out. And of course you must get Oscar first. Don't even think about it. Have you tried cereal for dinner? It's a great meal when CFO/husband types are out of town. Really, I love your blog so much I wish I could come and clean your kitchen or least bring you some packaged treats from Marks & Spencers (or Gelson's if you were in L.A.)

Lisa said...

MathMan is turning into the CFO. Apparently my guffawing at this post was disturbing his lesson planning. Did you or I know that he's being observed by some fascist administrator tomorrow? Well, I didn't, though he claims he told me last week.

I think you showed incredible restraint in not shouting at your children before 7:55.

Jaywalker said...

Justme - what a lovely idea. But I am tied to this house/children/dog with tiny moth strangling strings.

Iheart - What a thought. I cannot imagine David Sedaris would be very keen on mating with AP. Some kind of artificial conception perhaps.

Marie - yes! There he is in his headband looking sweaty and trying to make us believe that he eats purple yoghurt with bits in.

Anon - that's cruel. really really cruel. You needed the brain. I'll take a better picture for you today and you can imagine it exploding when you need to.

3limes - net à porter sent me some very pretty pictures of shoes today, damn them. I had to shut down the little window very very quickly.

Ginger - thank you. Indeed, in 6 years Lashes will no longer speak to me. I tell myself this when my brain is draining out of my ears at Pokémon nonsense...

Jools - oh, I wish you could to, though you would instantly regret it once you got here. There is never any milk, but I suppose dry cereal might be worth a try?

Lisa - onoes. Maybe you could show him a calming spreadsheet? That sometimes works. I am a model of restraint until I lose my keys each morning, without fail.

Ali said...

The blue brain thing would have been quite strange.... At least it was something to ease the boredom. Poor you. I don't deal well with bodily fluids, I'm not sure how I would cope if they were applied to the dog.

mothership said...

my heart froze with terror over the possibility of laptop failure. A truly awful moment.
I had no internets connection for two hours this afternoon and after phoning the company and being promised a visit from the cable guy, Bagpurrito and I sat at the window, pathetically staring out, paralysed by inertia and self pity until he came.
Also, completely understand the logic of cleaning cupboards before revolting countertops. It's just too boring and demoralising to do something so repetitive. Cupboards offer some kind of creative and semi-permanent satisfaction and the added attraction of being able to throw away old cans of stuff. plus may find secret chocolate stash or similar.
PS i am having an illicit affair with your word verification engine . It would not accept my comment when i entered the last one - the very boring atloe, it is now insisting I tryst with
do you think it means me, personally or my comments?

screamish said...

that was EXHAUSTING and all im doing is reading about it...dont forget to take a berocca or two tomorrow at this rate you'll need a boost...dont get sick....(can you tell Im full of mummy hormones at the moment?)

Kitschen Pink said...

Oh good grief. When the CFO returns hand him house cleaning implements, hop on a plane and get over here. I will wrap you in an eiderdown and feed you soft boiled eggs, toast soldiers, soup, cake and cups of hot tea.
I have no idea how you survive a day let alone a week!

nappy valley girl said...

I think we can all do with a bit of giant blue brain sometimes.....but for my money, Roger Federer yoghurts are far more surreal.

Mrs C said...

I understand this completely. This is my life. Except I'm not expected to say anything intelligent about antitrust or JVs.

So you win.

Welsh Girl said...

These are the days when you wonder why you bother? But then there are the lovely days, when the sky is blue (with no brains in it), the sun shines, the children are occupied in not destroying anything and the dog is not being chased by his own neuroses. You deserve a lot of these days in rapid succession.

Completely Alienne said...

I think the cervelle bleue is amazing - it should tour the world. I suspect mine looks like that, but much much smaller. It certainly doesn't retain any information worth knowing.

I think many days are like that when you have small children, though at least mine didn't wee on dogs - though I did have a rabbit which weed on the cat many years ago (it was bigger than then cat and clearly despised it).

Just keep eating the chocolate, it will get better eventually - as you say, in a few years they will be teenagers and will no longer talk to you or wish to be seen in public with you, unless of course you are accompanied by a credit card.

Elsie said...

Blog continues to supply entertainment and practical knowledge. Purchased a hot water bottle in your honor yesterday – it’s sloshing around in my briefcase (I guess you don’t take yours to work, but I thought why not – will build “look” around it.) Husband put off by its appearance in marital bed last night, but he will learn to love it. Foreshadowing of teenage nastiness accurate, but survivable.

Pochyemu said...

You do realize, don't you, that you never have to pay for accommodation on holiday ever again? Because we're all fighting for the chance to have Jaywalker stay over so that we can wrap you up in warm blankets and feed you cake and tea. It might sound creepy, and it IS creepy, but anyway, we all love you and that's just HOW IT IS!

So where do you want to come first? Mine? Justme's? Kitschen Pink's?

Also! Give me your bloody address so I can send you bloody crystal lite's because getting things in the post makes everything better.