Oh, Day of DARKNESS! Day of Creeping Despair and Vague Feelings of Crankiness! Day of Reasons To Feel a Bit Sad For Oneself! Day of Dramatic Sighings and Head Cupped in Hand Hoping Someone Would Notice!
Why this sudden departure from usual larkings and family funtime frolics and dressing up as woodland creatures along the Edgeware Road? Well. Here are nine perfectly reasonable reasons why:
1. I locked myself out of the flat twice today. Two times. The first time, I got the turbanned tiler to come and let me back in, which was all very handy as he was working on someone else’s tiles a few doors down. But whaddya know? I did it again, like a sick attention-seeking locked-out recidivist. And I was too ashamed to go and hassle the tiler, so I waited in the garden for Mark to come home while I put my head in my hands in a Very Dramatic Way. No one noticed, though, which brings me neatly to number 2:
2. My friends don’t want to come out for dinner with me on my birthday. The less said about this one the better. But, like, I sent a little email out, suggesting a restaurant and a date and other such helpful details, and NO ONE REPLIED. Not one. Is it me? Is it the restaurant? The recession? It must be me. Ah well. Could it possibly be related to number 3?
3. I have an ugly coldsore of leper-esque crowd-thinning proportions adorning my top lip as a weepy scabby Monument To Filth. It makes wearing Tom Ford redundant, and very wrong, so I am reduced to Zovirax and hiding in the flat. Sort of. Not really, because life must go on, and someone has to drop the kids off at school. Which I did, this morning, and Tom the Dad chatted at me for about three minutes just GAWPING at my coldsore in the way that men may gawp at your boobs if you wear the right top, and then he said “Jeez, that is one hell of a coldsore, girl.”
I KNOW, Tom. I did not confuse it with leftover muesli-bits. I KNOW.
4. I am wearing moccasins. I found them in my wardrobe. They look a bit funny. It shames me.
5. Ok, this one is making me a most angry lady. Strangers keep tut-tutting me about the children. I get glances/reprimands/”helpful” suggestions from complete strangers about those pesky kids doing ordinary stuff, like using their scooters, climbing up stuff, falling asleep in the pushchair and having their heads loll to one side. In an effort to make my feelings clear on this emotive issue, I have penned a letter to the world. It goes like this:
Dear The World:
My children are not made of glass. I am not a bad parent. The kids are fine, I am sure of it. Please keep your glances and tut-tutting to people who really want your advice and help. It is not me. You make me very cross. Parenting is hard enough anyway, without it being a public sport.
And seriously, relax. Children are tough and need to learn and sometimes they go down the hill a bit fast and they fall off and they LEARN. And sometimes (I am speaking to the Italians among us) the kids can be out at 6pm without shoes and without a jacket. They are hardy, and they neither freeze, nor get hypodermic needles stuck in their feet.
A Non-Hovering Parent
6. The babysitters have fled. There are none to be found. This could be related to the whole filthy coldsore thing. Anyone of you free on October 2?
7. Everything in our bathroom cupboard is growing fur. It is damp in there. You open the cupboard, there is a smell, there is mould. It is making my essential oils and posh unguents look positively manky.
8. The teacher’s aide keeps insinuating that Noah’s packed lunch is annoying (his lunchbox is made of tin and is constantly breaking with a very loud clang throughout the lunchhall) and that I fill it incorrectly. This is LunchBox Harrassment. Apparently, he cannot have any more yoghurt because he eats it messily, he has too much in his lunchbox, and he eats too slowly. I get some variation of this theme every day. My dear little Noah has just turned FOUR. I say, leave the poor fella (and his mother) ALONE.
9. My hair has grown into the lampshade shape again, but there are no babysitters to be found in Londontown for me to go to Aveda and get it fixed. See #6. Yellow lampshade hair is very, very far from stylish.
I feel better now. Thank you for the opportunity to vent. Anyone else want to have a turn?
If I was there I would baby sit your children while you went out and got variously glamourised and out-to-dinnered. And I would most certainally come to your birthday.
You are right about EVERYTHING. Every one else is WRONG. Apparently there is new cold sore magic plaster stuff nowadays? Have you tried it? And perhaps you need a multivitamin or two. Sending all love, and wishing the planet was smaller (or you lived here, whichev’s) C. x x x x
I adore your blog and have been reading (lurking?!) for months! I used to suffer from massive coldsores (for YEARS) – then I discovered Solgar L-Lysine! Take 500mg daily for 3 months – and voila – gone! I haven’t had one in over a year (typing that will probably bring on the tingling….) Hope it goes away soon!
Oooh yes please.
Firstly though, Paris was unbeliiiieeevably bad for the unsolicited “parentin, ur doin it rong” comments. I cried my way through a year of them. Big empathy. And what kind of friends won’t come to your birthday?? Kick them in the shins and invite me instead.
In terms of whining, oooh where do I start. I can’t do this on my own blog any more. That’s practically a whine, right there.
1. Redundancy sucks like a mofo and makes you feel worthless.
2. Limited desire to find a new job, but necessity of paying rent.
3. The Eurostar has screwed with its pricing structure and I hate them.
4. House smells of drains.
5. Tax. Sssshhhhh I can’t even believe I managed to type the word. I am in denial.
6. I just agreed to look after a dog because I fancy its owner. FOR A WEEK. Another dog?? I can barely look after my own.
7. My inconsiderate best friend is moving to Singapore. HOW DARE SHE.
Thank you, that was therapeutic.
Oh I feel your pain!
I so hate tutt-tutting – it really irks me and I feel for you with your cold sore! I remember hiding in my bedroom with a giant blind pimple (and I am not exaggerating about it being giant) in the middle of my eyebrows that looks like a third eye. It was sooo big and I was meant to be at a family function that day and stayed home. Symon thought I was crazy but it was just too big to even dare to go in public!
I would so baby sit for you – and go to your party… you are such a fun person to be around (even on your bad days).
Take care – better days are ahead (coldsore free days too).
As someone who shares the same birthday as you, I am in a unique position to tell you that, yes, something HAS happened to all the babysitters! It’s not just you – we can’t get one either! Hence we are staying home on my birthday. Also staying home on Husband’s birthday – which is today. Getting Thai takeaways and watching Boy on DVD, and wistfully remembering back to that glowy distant past when we had a Life.
Definitely try those tiny little stick-on clear plaster thingys that you can buy from the chemist. Expensive but so well worth it. I’m not sure how, but they make cold sores practically invisible AND heal them quickly. Seriously awesome.
And one last thing – I am with you on the unsolicited parenting advice from random strangers. Ridiculously annoying. I don’t dare start venting about that one because I may never stop.
I would be there in a heart beat! It sounds like you’re in the mood for a talk-talk session of slightly mean proportions. Yes. That would do the trick. A glass of something-something, fatty/salty/sugary food and the simple task of indulging in the enjoyable recollection of past events. Before you know it there will be laughter. And maybe a little snorting with the laughter.
Have you seen the movie “Boy” yet? Surely Barnaby is of the age to care for the Whanau whilst mummy and daddy pop out for a bit? Bit of bread pudding? Sweet.
Tutting other people’s children is a national SPORT. But you can only do it if your own child is nowhere to be seen (ie left home/prison etc) and cannot SHAME the tutter by then picking bogies out of nose and eating them. Personally, I can’t WAIT to be a tutter !!!!!
Birthday – perhaps friends have something planned for you? I perhaps ought not say that….not because it might ruin the surprise…but just incase they ARE actually avoiding you because of a) the packed-lunch-eating Ghengis Kahn b) massive cold sore.
Cold sores are hellish. Zovirax is a gift from heaven, but it does tend to lift off ALL the skin that it is applied to, so don’t go bonkers with it or you will look like you need healed by Christ.
Hope your day picks up! (((hug))) and have a happy birdy when it comes 🙂
I am currently worrying (poinlessly/fruitlessly/needlessly) about the hundreds of pounds we frittered away in Manhattan on semi-delicious food which I was too bilious to enjoy. Thankfully, we managed some takeaway bedbugs to amuse me while I lie under the duvet in the fetal position fretting about exterminators and whether or not my suitcase will ever move from the front porch. That’s not exactly a ventable thing I guess and maybe makes me sound a bit spoiled and hysterical. Oh well.
On childcare and friend issues I am of no advice-giving use because I have neither. As far as the locking out is concerned, we got one of those magnetic car key boxes. The other resident required some convincing, but after breaking the window in the front door *twice* (luckily the second time the putty had not yet hardened and it kind of levered out), voila! – consider him convinced!
Ohhhh COMMENTS! how I love comments. I do not always reply to them because my blog etiquette is not always tiptop. Soz.
Cath – I wish wish wish you could come to my birthday dinner. You would be fun, and you would probably reply to my invite. Or at least acknowledge receipt. And yes, I should try the coldsore stuff but there was none in Boots today and I got sodden in the attempt and so I have given up and given over my face to festering. Because that is what it wants to do, apparently. Ugh.
Becca – thank you for the blog love – I love a lurker so please feel free. I will remember to keep a stash of the Solgar stuff to avoid this HIDEOUS DISFIGUREMENT from recurring. It is quite frankly the opposite of stylish.
Jaywalker – You can whine on here anytime you like. There is some satisfaction in knowing that other people hate stuff too.
The tax thing I completely understand. We keep getting frightening letters that are printed on scary yellow paper from HRMC. A sick-making yellow. Sweaty-making. With big numbers that keep getting bigger. My penchant for spending is not helping, but how else do you cheer yourself up? Not with applying lipstick anymore, owing to said hideous disfigurement.
And what a mean friend moving to Singapore. Couldn’t she have been happy with Sidcup?
PaisleyJade – thank you for understanding those terrible tutterers. It happens to all parents I guess. I have to restrain myself from swearing/assaulting them. Not such a fun person to be around when that happens. Must. Control. Anger
Foxy – Happy Mutual Birthday on the 3rd. I hope you get something excellent. I will be thinking of you, as I tuck into my Tesco reduced cake and open my terrible blush lace blouse that has already ripped at the neckline. SIGH. I wish you better gift luck.
Crocheted Fedora – You do not even KNOW how much I would like to have a cackle with you. Although, cackling at the moment would make my wound bleed. But the desire is still there nonetheless.
Ali – There is no birthday surprise, believe me. Other than, ah, that there IS no surprise. Damn HRMC and the VAT bill, I may have to take matters into my own hands and buy stuff. To compensate for the loneliness. SOB.
Punctured Bicycle – Ohhh Manhattan! That is an excellent middle-class whine. Too much money spent in NYC. Jealous.
Glad you are back x
I would come to your birthday dinner for sure! either that or babysit. And what’s with cold sores anyway, they are definitely up there with annoying pimples, like I’ve had for the past month! I though when you grew up these pesky things would leave you alone.
Hoping for speedy cold sore recovery, responses from friends lucky to have been invited in the first place and Mary Poppins to pass by your place. xx
are you still in need of delightful babysitter this sat? seem to have Saturday night free (must be some mistake done by my pa… must get round to firing her!) Promise to not drink all your booze (some but not all), invite boys over and try on ALL your clothes (ditto – some but not all, more a case of what would fit me…) and if you are lucky wont permanently damage your children’s!
Having now perused your recent twitter posts via your sidebar, I want to extend my sympathy for your recent big ball of guilt. In retrospect I’m sure it seems like you should have known, but that kind of hearing stuff is practically the textbook case (indeed no doubt there are textbooks out there in which it is the textbook case) of hard to notice until it’s caught by a professional.
On the subject of the post, I would like to whine right at the moment about an extra first-world guilty experience of my own: I was sitting on the front porch with the infant in her bouncy seat (me browsing the internet on my laptop for maximum overprivileged effect) when, sniff sniff, I wonder “what’s that smell?” and look up to see the gardener (employed by the landlord) spraying the roses with something. After awkwardly chatting with him a little, as he sprays all the while, just as he is leaving, I see that the spray is coming from a canister marked “Roundup“. Sorry to poison you, baby! It was only a little endocrine disrupting.
I spent the next half hour wiping her off with wet cloths and since then feeling periodic pangs of guilt, and (this I think is the best/stupidest part) contemplating how I am too much of a wimp to catch the gardener next time I see him to ask him not to spray anymore. Parenting FAIL.
You are a New Zealander, where it’s perfectly acceptable to not wear shoes.
I remember my first visit to NZ and being perfectly horrified by the fact that normal people walked around with no shoes on.
People in England simply do not go bare foot. It is something that a “gypo” would do but not a normal run of the mill Brit.
To sum up my point I will tell a true story. My cousin once took her socks and shoes off and sat on a wall bare footed. She told passers by that her parents were too poor to buy her shoes so they gave her money. She went and purchased sweeties with the funds. She was the chaviest person that I have ever met, other than her parents who though her act of deception was really clever.
Don’t take offense it’s just a local custom, it’s not British to be without shoes. It’s like how blowing your nose in public in Japan is a total no-no.
Once you realise this you may have a little more sympathy for those poor brits who have never known “foot freedom”.
Sorry about the random stranger parenting; I never had this problem as my twins being girls were always such little angels….but they say that daughters turn evil once they hit 12……then it’s “Princess Bitch face” in double dosage…argh!