Sunday, 26 April 2009

Home Alone

The CFO is going away tomorrow for the week, sweeping back on Thursday evening to take us all straight to OCD brother in law's bleach scented palace in Dijon. (Burglars of Belgium, please not that I am not at ALL a defenceless, feeble-limbed female who usually forgets to lock the door, AND I have a weepette féroce. Si si si. He will rip you limb from limb, if you happen to be a slice of ham)

He goes away a lot, so I know how it goes.

Day 1

I wake the children up with a song on my lips and a tender kiss to their adorably sweet smelling foreheads. I make pancakes, sort out school bags with nourishing snacks, shower and dress in something elegant with a twist and we all troop off to school in plenty of time. After more tender kisses, I waft off to work in a cloud of Camélia Chinois.

When I get home from work we laugh and joke together as I prepare dinner, Lashes does his homework diligently, we watch a little tv and both boys are tucked up in bed in plenty of time with more tender kisses. I clean the kitchen beautifully, tidy up all the stray socks, then spend the evening and much of the night on the internets talking about how hard my life is. I eventually get to bed dreadfully late and take the dog with me. The dog fidgets for the remainder of the night keeping me awake.

Day 2

I sleep in until 7:55 after the stupidly late night, then have to offer the children cash money to get dressed and to school on time. I wear yesterday's clothes without washing. Waving €5 notes in front of their noses and thrusting small bags of dried cereal into their hands, we get out of the house at 8:15. I am euphoric. "Well done boys!" I trill, gaily. I am Bohemian, delightful, spontaneous. We are not bound by timetables! We can overcome! There are more tender kisses, though a little quicker this time. I sprint for the tram in a cloud of Sure for Men.

I get home, slightly foxed and weary and collect them, to the sound of lengthy recriminations about forgotten books, snacks and sports kit, which I drown out with artery furring snacks from the machine. I plonk everyone down in front of the tv, pausing to kick the dog, by now insane with loneliness, and tread in dog shit. I turn on the internet and when I next look up it is nearly bedtime. I hastily microwave something and shove a stick of cucumber next to it for good conscience. By the time it has been eaten and we have located pyjamas (hidden in the neurotic dog's house), it is way past bedtime. I race through a story and give increasingly perfunctory and harried kisses. I note that the children smell of hamster bedding. If anyone calls me back for water, or lights, or to correct the alignment of the alarm clock, I may snap.

I spend the rest of the evening telling the internet I am having a nervous breakdown. I forget to eat. When I get to bed around 2am, the dog is wide awake from lack of exercise and keen to PLAY.

Day 3

Once more I miss the alarm and we sleep until 8:00. The children demand €10 each this time per item of clothing put on independently. I make lavish promises of live ponies and trips to Disneyland if we arrive in time. I go upstairs to unearth something to wear from the floor. When I return noone has done anything except locate a packet of Haribo Starmix in the kitchen. I SHOUT. A lot. The dog cowers. I dress everyone, fulminating and swearing about how I have to do EVERYTHING AROUND HERE JESUS CHRIST PUT THE DAMN DOG DOWN WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES. We get as far as the front door and I realise I have lost my keys. By the time I have found the keys both children have disappeared and lost their shoes. We get out of the house, ten minutes late, run full pelt down the road and have to wheedle our way into school. There is no time for kisses. I dash for the tram in a cloud of stale sweat.

I return home collecting some filthy, pissed off children who may or may not be mine (I no longer care) and realise I have left the front door open and all the lights on. In a variation on this theme, sometimes I have put the burglar alarm on and let the weepette out, meaning the alarm has been ringing since 8:30 that morning and the neighbours are gathering around the door with pitchforks. Or perhaps I realise I have lost my keys. When we get in, I hand everyone a packet of crisps and a juice and tell them if they want anything else they can find it themselves. I do Lashes' homework myself in despair, while he sticks skewers into the DVD player and practises kickboxing on the dog.

Usually the third evening is the point at which I find myself either lying crying on the bathroom floor, or flouncing off into my bedroom and slamming the door. Either way, it's a special moment. I shut the children in their rooms to a chorus of "who is that horrible woman, she smells bad" around 9. I wonder who I can call and complain at for a while, then give up and lay my head on the sticky, unwiped kitchen countertop to weep for a few minutes. I have radiation sickness from spending so long on the internet. The only food left in the house is cornichons. I usually go to bed to lie in a foetal position moaning gently around 9:30. I have probably lost or killed the dog by this point.

Day 4

By this point all bets are off and it's Lord of the Flies. Anyone who comes out alive is going to need a whole shedload of counselling.

You will be able to watch my decline live and in colour here. Perhaps we should have some kind of code word I use when I really really need you to call social services?


justme said...

Ummmm. So you do actually LIKE the CFO being around??? Hang on in there hun.....he will be back.

Helen Brocklebank said...

You have absolutely killed me: I can't remember when I last laughed so hard. You are genius. Would like to say something witty and apposite; no point. You've said all there is to say.

Titian red said...

The scariest thing is that this is an exact mirror of my life with young when Silent One was in Libya/Norfolk/Saudi or silly arse nowhere - HAS NO ONE LEARNT ANYTHING ? Fortunately I had no internet or dog in those days. I wish you luck and pray to HT for your sanity

Marinka said...

This is absolutely hysterical and a scream (which is somehow different from hysterical). The only part that seemed amiss is where you forget to eat. Perhaps that was a typo?

westendmum said...

Can't wait for the week to unfold. The internet loves you, and should be lavished with the attention it deserves. You could try pre-planning wednesday's clothes and meals before, and hiding them somewhere with a clue in the fridge, that way it'd be like coming up for air in the pool. Who am I trying to kid - cornichon is a vegetable and they get rescued in the end don't they? Bon chance!

kathycastro said...

Not to mention that you have five dead torts because you haven't fed them, sprayed their shells or catalogued their activities...

Perhaps a nice convo with the headmaster or the mexicanito will brighten things up out of the blue.

kristin said...

t, but was there no reference to alcohol?

kristin said...

okay, I don;t know what happened, but the first part of my comment is missing, it was meant to read:

Marinka - so true about the forgetting to eat, and maybe I missed it, but was there no mention of alcohol?

expateek said...

Code word = Haribo Starmix.

We'll be listening. Especially if you offer a Starmix ring to the cute Mexican boy.

K.Line said...

This is truly hilarious. You are my kind of woman.

M. said...

This is why you need a capybara. He would look at you so disapprovingly you would have to go to bed the first night at a reasonable hour and none of the rest would unfold.

Pochyemu said...


Anonymous said...

Nice to know that you have your days all planned out already ...

River said...

Oh, I'm shuddering. I'm so insanely organised, I can't even imagine sleeping past rising time, never mind the rest of it. Still, at least you are getting up and out.

Waffle said...

Justme - He keeps me from going totally feral with his disapproval. It works after a fashion..

Mrs Trefusis - It's all entirely true, except that this morning wasn't anything like Day 1. I let them have jelly for breakfast and it degenerated from then on.

Titian - Well I certainly haven't learnt anything. Except to abandon all hope.

Marinka - it should really read forgot to eat proper food and made do with 3 creme caramels and a value bag of M&Ms. Better? Scream indeed. Primal scream.

Westendmum - ugh, I might be reduced to dandelions from the garden. Will certainly be reduced to rescuing socks out of the dog's bed.

kathycastro - conversations with headmaster are always, without exception, bollockings. I live in faint, dwindling hope of Mexicanito who I am beginning to think I hallucinated.

kwr221 - I can never get the damn corkscrew to work. I sit there flapping at it pathetically and it just makes me cry harder. If there's vodka, that sometimes helps a litle.

K.Line - thank you! It's disastrous but at least I am not giving them unreasonably high expectations of life, I feel.

Expateek - I have to hunt him down first. Pff. Does that sound alarming? It should.

M - perhaps you could send me pictures of capybaras late at night?

Pochyemu - that could totally work. Yes.

Pinklea - forward planning is key!

River - do you come here to give yourself nightmares? I'm like your horror film, aren't I?

Pochyemu said...

Day 4 is basically my whole life so don't worry. You're totally normal. Or else we're both hopeless. You decide!

Lucy Fishwife said...

Do they do kennels for children? Actually I take that back - it would be an inflated case of "But HER mum lets us stay up later than you do". You'd be constantly nagged for antibiotic shots and exciting, fun, flea baths. Maybe not.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post - hilarious! Had me in fits of giggles, remembering my own torturing of my parents as a kid!

Jenny said...

You obviously just HAVE to ensnare the monkey from the previous post.You could train it to retrieve keys,ride the weepette to the park like a miniature jockey,and,given time,patience and prodding,it could also produce delicious and nutritional meals.How could the CFO refuse?

The Spicers said...

This all sounds frighteningly similar to my own routine when left to my own devices, substitute one obese cat for the Weepette and with the addition of Haagen Daaz for dinner.

lisahgolden said...

My sides hurt and I think I just leaked (three kids passing through the birth canal have a way of disrupting normal clenching).

But thank you all the same. I love a good laugh.

snorestore said...

I am weeping (weepetting?) with laughter. But these are not tears of joy but tears of E M P T H Y (note I missed the a out. I am rebelling against insane English spelling rules).

You see, your experiences/anticipations mirror mine. Minus the dog (although I do borrow one from time to time because, well, it's the thing to do to keep in with the parish priest - don't ask), but plus one boy. And an equivalent CFO (who nearly became a close bracket as I am tired and pissed and typing is not a forte in this state) who actually I quite like, mostly.

When the man is away, I usually end up driving at least one boy to the police station in an attempt to make him see the error of his ways. I'll also have left home (to drive round the block) at least twice. And I'll have looked longingly at the knives in the knife block (for self-inflicted wounds you understand, I'm not so mad to use them on the children) many times daily.

But the best thing, is making the CFO (equivalent) SUFFER when he returns. This is standard practice. Once I didn't speak to him for two weeks. It made me feel so much better.

So, Ms Waffle, you are not alone. You are normal :-)

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