My delightful small obsessive compulsive turns six and for the first time in either of my children's lives, I am not there to wish him a happy birthday in the morning, which is exceptionally odd and frankly, not very nice. To cheer me up, M and I go to the fleamarket and laugh at tat. We are particularly excited by this. After school, we have a sedate celebration, with green iced cake and plastic tat. My boy is as collected, understated as ever. I love him so much, strange little creature. M babysits while I go to a gig. They are pretty good AND it's warm enough to stand outside for a while afterwards without perishing like the little match girl. This will not be repeated all week, as Belgium sinks into a freakish nuclear winter.
Work. Painful exhaustion starting to build up already by this point, due to my inability to go to sleep without watching 3 very fuzzy, low definition episodes of 30 Rock and twitching compulsively for several hours.
I hate Wednesdays. This one is no different. In the evening, at least there is NOUVELLE STAR, my one French tv obsession. Wednesdays are looking up slightly, for the next couple of months.
I have a cunning idea for a story. No, not a fiction story. Reportage. It is about Charleroi and I will be executing my cunning plan next weekend. Sssssh. I fail to make any progress on anything more concrete.
We get caught in a police hold up on our way out of a toy shop, where some lunatics have decided to hold up possibly the crappiest jewellers in Belgium, then carjack and kill some poor woman. We scurry home through the police barriers and hole up at home, glad not to be dead. The CFO comes round in the evening and we drink wine and I fail to have any dinner and watch 30 Rock into the early hours, thereby setting myself up for a shitty morning the next day.
Much hideosity, shouting, squabbling, after an impressive opening sally by Fingers, who arrives in my bed, cruelly awaking me by announcing it is 8 am. I drag myself out of a deep sleep filled with anxiety dreams about my iphone snapping in half. When I finally drag my carcass to a clock, I see, that it is in fact 6:20. The day continues in the vein, punctuated by the unedifying sound of me shrieking like a harpy. We make our harried progress across Brussels to several dull appointments, hindered at every turn by Taxis Bleus. We play several bad tempered board games. The dog is terrified by the giant Mikado sticks, and with good reason.
The nadir comes when I am removing fighting children forcibly from the bath - what had, intially been MY bath - in full harpy-shriek mode. I swing around to grab a towel and knock a bottle of perfume to the floor, shattering into a thousand deadly and widely spread shards. Lashes gets a cut on his foot which bleeds like bastard, provoking polyphonic wailing from all household members. The scent of Fresh Pink Jasmine overpowers us all. None of it is really their fault. It's me - I am out of practice, after nearly three weeks without them. I never want to get to this point again, and vow to make sure it doesn't happen.
Into this scene of carnage walks the poor babysitter, as I make my brief escape to the Brussels late night museum opening event. The museum I am in has a Mexican theme. At one point I find myself watching small children in spandex tights and masks making some kind of vague attempt at Mexican wrestling. I think, fleetingly, that if I had wanted to watch children fight I could have done that in my own home, but I drown the thought in that most Mexican of drinks, vodka and Red Bull (eh? Where is my margarita, bastards?). There is nothing to eat. On arrival home I fall asleep slumped over on the dog with a camomile tea spilling in my lap, because I know how to party.
Immune to repeated assurances it is really, truly morning, I snarl all comers away until a more respectable 7:45. We spend most of the day in a windowless soft play park in a converted ice rink. It's ok, really, if very cold. I can at least sit in a corner desultorily chatting. Later, Lashes and I wrestle with verb conjugation and spelling. I am very impatient. He is very stubborn. Someone should knock our heads together, but Fingers is busy playing Uno against a stick. I spend some time trying to convince the boys they can't sleep in the giant box, which I have gifted them. Earlier in the day I found both Lashes and the dog holed up in there, in a pile of duvets. They looked very cosy. As I put him to bed, Lashes recoils and tells me I smell of 'produits laitiers' (dairy products). I have not eaten any all day. Maybe I am turning into a Bonne Maman crème caramel? It's long overdue.
I am going to try and break the no dinner pattern now. I am not hopeful. There is still a series and a half of 30 Rock left.
Go on, tell me about your week.