Coupling

Not That Kind.

Filthy Reader 😛

No, I mean the kind of just being a couple. Hub and I don’t get to do it that often. We had a frenetic existence prior to Jasmine, anarchy during the 18 months thereafter wherein Red came along and even then I can still be quite highly strung!

No French-European style parenting for us! (As much as I try with all my might- my sister, Puff, Lindt and Chess, who lives in Holland with a penchant for felines, strike me as the most capable of pulling this parenting style off)

No we are 95% committed to parenting involvement. That 5% misses out because of lacklustre dinners on nights of exhaustion and possibly a little too much TV time… shh..

So this week, with absentee tear-aways, Hub and I did couply things. Well, we’d consider them couply. Not spa and golf kind of things… Yes, we had Bear, but one kid is seriously nothing compared to 3 and yes the French-Euro thing was way easier with one, but I like my little gang. So we’ve walked around 40k in the 3 or 4 days the girls have been away. Not to anywhere particular, just around. But my feet seriously hurt and they don’t normally do that, even with the amount of walking I normally do, so I know we’ve done a lot.

We went shopping. Not just food shopping (my highlight of the week) but THING shopping! This gorgeous store near me is having their end of season sale and lots of stuff I’ve been ogling since March or so is now down to my wallet limits! We are trying to prettify our (old in the not cool way)house. So for 20e, that should really have gone toward a utility or something, we got a lovely dangling candle thing, with the main arm-support thing shaped like a key (I initially thought it was just a crown). It’s sweet in a very forced shabbily chic way but Hub chose it so is not allowed complain! I wangled this kinda awesome looking wall mount branch with birds and leaves on and 3 frames hanging down (dangle season!), as well as a few sweet little candy or ice cream dishes and a porcelain pink jug with embossed heart designs that I think Lindt might ‘squeee’ over. (She likes her pale pinks), some spotty doilies and strawberry printed cupcake cases. Happy me!

Then Hub carried it all home and dropped into a thrift store and picked me up a small reproduction of a French Revolution painting whose title and painter have slipped my mind… bollox. Semi-naked, flag clad ‘Muse de Liberté leading a bunch of rebels..

We also went sea-bathing… at like 8pm… it was icicles, but I successfully dunked my head! Hub went and swam ages around but not me! Bear didn’t go in, he sat in the stroller, ‘gaaaahing’ at us and generally being quite noisy.

It was interesting. We kept being mistaken for a first time baby couple. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I do tend to turf Bear around just because I’m not as much of a hazard-phobe this time and we do get reproachful look and comment and the odd ‘Biddy’ coming up telling us, ‘He needs a swaddle, will I do it?’ or ‘Put his hat on, he’s red from the cold’ (this particular day was like 20 degrees (C) and we just say ‘No, you’re good, cheers’ and bop on our way.

We took turns having lie ins! Crazy mofos!!! Inevitably, I do wake up regardless, but Hub got up twice this week- UNPROMPTED!!!- achievement unlocked!!$$

The girls are, however, back today. I’m so thrilled. I spoke to Red on the phone this morning and she sounds like such a baby. I forget she is still 3, turning 4 tomorrow. She’s very eloquent and it’s like having Aristotle or Kate Winslet or something speaking from a toddler’s body. Jasmine is the same. It’s only when they’re not beside me 24-7 that I realise I might just be a bit of a grammatical taskmaster.

And all today I’m a-baking and a-caking for tomorrow’s mini-Red birthday. Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink and a little bit of Pirate thrown in too- Be proud Puff! They both love their skulls!!!

We didn’t get any coupling done though. Through all the long, relatively empty days and nights, we genuinely just didn’t find the time!

HandHolding is the new thing, y’know.

😀

Out and About

Town. The Schmoke. Átha Cliath mhór. Dublin. 

Cripes, how I hate you today. Most days. The city.. centre-city. The area encompassing Grand Canal/ Ballsbridge through to the Phoenix Park, the O2 to Heuston. Ich hesse du/dich. 

Most every time I venture into thee, your framing skies open up and I am so soaked that I am beyond soaking. I’m more drenched than a sea-sponge. And I only ever journey into thy winding streets and bull-dozing pedestrians when I need to.

Today, sigh, I needed to. So Hub, Bear and I decided, against the threatening rain clouds, severely delayed train service and a teething Bear, ‘Sure why not! Sure let’s go on and get the birthday prezzies!’ “SHURE!!”

After finally reaching the previously described precincts, we got out, turned right onto Pearse and started trucking along toward… *shivers*…. O’Connell Bridge. I’m being awful here. It’s not that bad.. ish. Their Ink studios are good and there’s a Shuh and Arnotts and Smyths Toys etc. And it began to POUR. I don’t mean like normal Irish summer style, I mean some w*nker was standing up there on a perpetual cloud for a good hour just pouring a whopper cauldon of wet down upon us undeserving citizens of the Capital. Not cool, man.

In true fashion, sans umbrellas, because mine ALWAYS break, (I am serious, umbrellas do themselves injuries to get away from me) we soldiered on, got to Smyths.

I will say now, I hate shopping in Dublin in the rain in 16 degree heat. You know what I hate more? Shopping for birthday gifts in muggy Dublin with the official Grump mascot of the century. Grumpy old man? Pah. Loathe might be a better word.

Today we talked! Oh yes! And argued and philosophised and articulated and gesticulated and threw dripping arms up in the air over the kind of HELMET to bestow upon our independent ladies. (Destiny’s Child, begone from my sight.)

One hour and 15 minutes later- THAT IS A FULL DISNEY MOVIE IN LENGTH-  we HAD to settle for ‘decal-covered shit-fuckery of excuses for safety’, that there would be Hub’s eloquence. Not mine.

I agree though. Kids over 6 are smart enough not to let their heads hit the ground if they can help it. And yet the neck protector helmets only come in age over 6. Go Figure.

Anyhoo! Purchases made and 2 scooters, 2 helmets, 2 Chelsea dolls (Barbie’s baby sister, for ye uninitiated), one Batman Lego Xbox game for Jasmine and one box o’ many LalaLoopsy Mini dolls (which are very cute) for Red as well as cake decorating supplies for both Later, we realise it is 5.45 and bang on rush hour. SIGH.

If there’s little worse than Grumpy Old Man syndrome, it  most definitely is crowned by Laden Down Southsider with Hunger Issues and Sore feet-itis.

Decamp to Costa, Jervis. Cue very bad coffee stop and heavier rain. I actually like Costa, normally. The one I tend to frequent, (ie. wasting money on way overpriced caramel lattes and high chemical retro cookies) is local, we know everyone in there and they recognise us.

It was so bad, I am actually going to email Costa and complain. 3 day old carrot cake (at full price, no less) and a coffee order so utterly skewed, Bear could have done better.

Whinge over.

Aahahahahahahahahaha no it’s not!!!!!!

Anyhoo, eventually got home. I am still in my Jedi-robe that I put on after de-clothing myself of sopping garment collection. I also just had a Stupid Size Dominos order that I shall see upon my hips tomorrow but I feel better!

Prezzies purchased, giggles had, hair inadvertently washed and 2-read it TWO magazines of many expensive advertisement quality, (so they contain good-articled and highly priced clothes) and a new pair of shades in time for France.

Vive la Soleil!Image

I swear to… whatever I can without being

Aside

I swear to… whatever I can without being Offensive, I will try not moan too much tonight.

 

This afternoon, Grandma came with Aunt and took Red and Jasmine off our hands for a few days. The fews days are limited because Red’s birthday is on Saturday and the Other Side have circus tickets booked for them. By the time Grandma and Aunt eventually turned up and were on their way (a considerably long 10 minutes later), the walk Hub and I had planned on taking to a Mermaid Mascot Coffee House was a bit redundant because if we didn’t haul booty, it’d be closed. Anyhoo, haul booty we did and got there on time for me to purchase my Mocha Cookie Super Massive Black Hole style Unhealthy Frappuccino WITH WHIP and Crumbs!!! Hub, embarking on his health kick (I’m not being condescending) again, opted for OJ and almonds. It was only while in there, on my own as Hub and Bear went for a stroll in the last of the actual sun, that I realised; apart from the occasional call out to have me slow down to let him catch up with me (because I do beat a wicked pace) that we didn’t talk, like at all.

This seriously startled me because it’s alienating to not to talk to a spouse on what is essentially a date. Tag-Along is only 9 months old and so not really ‘in the way’. It also got me thinking; debating; mulling over..

I am a stay at home Momma. It’s what I do. For a long time, most probably discussed in previous posts (I don’t really remember), I had a very hard time reconciling myself with that. The constant frenzied, media fueled pressure to live up to Uber Mom appearances did absolutely nothing to help my serious issues and I did plunge into a desperate bollox-pit of dense fug and hate and shame and all sorts of stuff. Post Natal Depression. Very common, Very Ignored.

Anyhoo, I have lost a lot of myself in the last 5 years, like, a lot a lot. I used to be… I’m not sure how to describe pre-children Me. I was insatiably nerdy but got only really slightly above average grades. A serious commitment- phobe in terms of holding down a university job or completing university academic work that fell outside my prime interest zone, which is why I failed my first year. I loved/ love my friends though. Through my own fault, that circle has whittled down a tonne to only a very few and I do envy my extant few who are still talking to the whole, extended gang that I would sit drinking with and being generally rowdy with until half past Stupid on weekday mornings. God I sound awful! 

I love books. It’s a large factor of attraction between myself and Hub and I don’t even get to read them anymore. From January to May this year, I audiobooked all the Harry Potters, chronologically and it was fantastic! The housework, morning walk, pretty much any spare time that I didn’t have to listen for the kids time to have Stephen Fry’s dulcet tones in my ears. I might spend between 2 and 20 euro on books per month. They are stacking higher and higher on my bookshelves, only a few chapters read from each. This devastates me. 

I feel stupid. Like not embarrassed- stupid; I mean genuinely thick, less intelligent, dropping IQ points stupid. It’s why I started doing Harvard’s free online courses, to feel like Me again. I was going great, for 10 lectures and then something shifted and my time that I had previously allocated  is not free for Harvard anymore and I haven’t gone near it in 2 weeks.

I was doing Philosophy of Justice, intense, madly interesting stuff but now I’ve fallen out of it, I’m not even sure I’ll be able to successfully get back into it when I have the time in the morning (reallocated, finally).

Hub and I didn’t talk a whole lot on the way back either. Just the same stuff, tired conversation wherein we each know what the other is going to say and we give the same opinions and exclaim the same ways… We’ll roll out of it soon enough, Hub is (please gods) going to University this September to finally get where he wants and we need him to be. Once we’re independent of each other again (he’s off for the summer and isn’t allowed work) we’ll have new conversation! I look forward to that.

I don’t know how other Stay at Homes handle it. I want to be out and useful but at the same time, my mom wasn’t at home for me and my sister for a long time. There was a brief period but neither of us really remember it. I was a latch key kid though by the time my sister went to school, we had a neighbour-babysitter so she went there. 

I want to be home for my kids and yet educate myself and be social again.

I haven’t seen my best friend, Puff, in a year (or thereabouts) We don’t even talk that much, which is pretty crap but she is young (6 months younger than me!!!) and completed her education and despite some hiccups, has got her awesome career and is living the SaTC high life (without HBO amounts of ‘S’) and I am beyond happy for her. In a lot of ways it is hard for us (and others) to relate to each other anymore. Different worlds.

Ducky came home after 18 months in Korea and she’s practically got a private jet, she’s all over the place, travelling a tonne. She was teaching kids and exploring almost all of Asia and I do hate myself for being so jealous so much. Likewise, Lindt spent a lot of time in the land of watches and chocolate, teaching and exploring, and like Ducky, is making her way around, temping and working and adventuring and making me writhe with envy.(As I stalk the ‘thumbs up social network) All our circle are measurably successful and are or are getting where they want to be.

This is not as benign as I’d like my envy to be!!

I don’t resent my life, far from it. Despite the tedium, the very frequent monotony of up, cook, clean, cook, clean, cook, clean, bed, I love what I am doing right now. I’d love to be able to supplement it with something else but for the moment, after such a disgracefully long time, I actually love being a mom, being the centre of 3 universes and answering the multitudes of Mom!Mommy!Momma and Mumumum(Bear) being thrown at me everyday.

This was especially hammered home when we got in from walking and the phone was already ringing. I answered and heard a very upset Jasmine on the other end, very blubbery and upset.

She missed me, wanted to hear my voice and isn’t sure if she wants to have a mini-vacation (Tears For Me as I write this) Red is already asleep and Grandma is asking her to shush so as not to wake her and to say goodnight to Mommy but Jasmine starts crying all over again at this and so we spend a few more minutes on the phone just repeating the same stuff again and again to her, to relax her. That she can hold Red’s hand while she does to sleep if she wants, that she can come home first thing in the morning if still not happy. The sniffly sob-replies are so wrenching that I am half tempted to offer to come get her but Grandma cuts in and forces a goodnight and I am left with a dead line, a resentful bubble and bursting soul, reinforcing the fact that, though I don’t feel it usually, I am wanted. Past the popsicle requests and shouts for a mediator for domestic battles, I am needed outside all that. 

Only now, in the last 18 months am I finally realising how good it is to stay home.