Sorry I had to go, Jim.
Sorry I always have to go.
Thursdays aren’t a good day for me to chat. I’m always a bit stressed on a Thursday. Well, a bit more than the rest of the week, anyway. As a mundane weekday goes, they’re pretty full-on. I work in the morning and then I have to run and collect the children as soon as I’ve finished so I can’t really think properly, if at all. It’s the ‘changing heads’ thing I struggle with. One minute I’m an actual, sensible, employed and salaried grown-up and the next I’m an accompanied-at-toilet-time-shit-bat-crazy-loonibob. Funkdafied. Nucking Futs. Madder than a shit-house rat…I don’t know where I am or what I’m doing. Looking after the children plays havoc with my sanity. Very quickly.
Anyway, when you called I’d just been playing mummy-negotiator with the threenager and the woddler. He wanted the scissors, she had the scissors (even though scissors aren’t really an appropriate toy for small people that can’t be trusted to use the toilet unsupervised, even if it does buy a minute to load the dishwasher) and I was losing. Badly.
I wanted to chat. I really did. For a bit of escapism. For a minute of normality. To catch up on normal life. I wanted to hear all about your latest visit to the hot hairdresser and your mid-week Prosecco hangover, but they weren’t in the mood for facilitating chit-chat. I just couldn’t concentrate on anything you were saying. Livvy was hell-bent on downing buckets of Parma Violets despite my warnings of the impending mealtime and George was still craving an emotional reunion with the blades. You know how it goes: Blades, P.Violets, maintaining baby blood-sugars.
Well, I know you don’t know, exactly, because you don’t. You don’t have children. You still live with whole thoughts and hot tea and chilled wine and sleep. And we don’t have any other family with children, so this is all new to both of us. More so to you, obviously.
But that is in no way a criticism. It’s really not. I’m so grateful for you for taking the time to understand how my life has changed and that your niece and nephew have their funny ways and demands and mealtimes and routine so I’m not often free and available. It’s so lovely that you call me every other day in the hope that they’ll be asleep or with the Tumble-Sitter so we can speak properly. It’s not a frequent occurrence, but it’s all worth it when it goes to plan.
I’m sorry I’m not always here, even when I am. I know that even if I am physically present, I’m not exactly with you. My mind will usually be elsewhere: watching the children, transfixed – ready to spring into action to stop the fall, the fight, or the fifth bag of Pom-bears.
I wasn’t as considerate as you B.C (Before Children). I used to think that friends with children were a bit, well, rude. Because whenever we were talking about something sensitive or important or the best gossip in the world ever EVER, I could tell that they weren’t listening. It was obvious. Because they’d interrupt me mid sentence, shouting, “YOU NEED A POO. You do. I can tell. You’ve not been yet, today. Come on. Pants down.”
Not to me, obviously. They weren’t quite that rude. But to the dancing toddler scratching their bum behind me.
I get it now. I do. Conversations are tricky. I can’t concentrate for more than a second. Children aren’t great at entertaining themselves and they want their mummy. All the time. It’s just what happens.
It was good to catch up on Christmas Eve morning, though. Ant looked after the children for a bit so we could just sit and chat. You were absolutely shit-faced from the night before – you’d been on the festive fizz until baby-wake-up o’clock so the hangover hadn’t kicked in yet. It was nice to have a minute to talk about normal stuff; the children (me), Nicki Minaj (you). It was only for a couple of hours, but the nice thing about having so little time is that it makes any time you do have so precious.
It seems like so long ago now, but it was only last month. Time flies! Not bastard January though. Miserable fucking bastard month. Anyway, I haven’t spoken to Ant since October ’11 so you and I aren’t doing too bad in the old catch-up stakes.
Anyway, we’ll speak again soon, I promise.
Preferably with shit a loads of fizz and sleeping babies.