Monday, May 12, 2008

Do you have an appointment?

Am feeling so stressed, I think I might cry. Maybe it is just the contrast with the weekend. Had rather a lovely weekend - fog flooded the shoreline then the hawthorn hedged fields till even the sound of the lambs disappeared but I like the fog. It was my tenth wedding anniversary on Friday and my husband arrived back from London at 11pm with louche pink peonies and tiny orange throated narcissi, the smell so sweet it ate up all the air. And champagne of course. He said: "Remember our wedding?" And I did remember - how could I forget? Then yesterday we went for a walk with the children into the round green hills, to the last English village before Scotland and no one said: "Do we have to?" and "Can we go back now?" Not even me.

But Monday came around as Mondays will, and I am suddenly pancake flat under a Post-it mountain of appointments, deadlines and expectations. And it is all my fault because I made the appointments and agreed to the deadlines and the expectations too, are all mine. Why though? Why do that to yourself? Why not say "Y'know, I don't think I can manage that, so guess what - I'm not doing it?" Is it because I am Thatcher's child? Or a working mother? Or is it a case of "Look at me and marvel as I drive myself entirely insane". If nothing untoward happens, I stagger on, but life itself is untoward - stuff does happen.

The only downside to the weekend was Saturday morning when the printer was not in when I went to pick up invitations to my book launch party. Did I laugh ruefully and say: "Golly, that's a bit inconvenient." I did not. I wrote a petulant note and pushed it through the letter box, wittering on that I had come three times and where exactly was he when he promised to be in. I then sulked for an hour about the fact I would miss the weekend slot which I had alloted to filling them out. My seven-year-old boy ran a crazy temperature last night and was too ill to go to school this morning. Did I think: "Ah well, a few snatched and precious hours with my beloved boy child"? I did not. Usually on a Monday morning, I go shopping with my daughter. I dropped off my other son at school then agonised about whether to do the right thing and go home and put the sick moppet to bed or whether I could drag him round the shops. I am Catholic - guilt fills up my soul. I calculated that if I took him shopping with me I might be stopped by a policeman or a truant officer and made to explain myself. That is to say - if he was well enough to take shopping he was well enough to go to school surely. Then again, I had no food in the fridge. What happens? I decide he is after all "not that ill" and drive to the local supermarket rather than trail round the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker. I run into, not one mother from school, but two. I then have to explain why my child is filling up my trolley with groceries rather than his head with facts.

20 comments:

Expatmum said...

Hmmm. Don't think the huge Tesco in Kingston Park, (near the airport) delivers as far out as you. Would come in handy at times like these.
I spent the morning having a wisdom tooth extracted and being told to "take it easy" for the rest of the week. I'm afraid there's no room in my diary for taking it easy.

Working mum said...

Catholic and a working mother; sorry there's no hope, stress and guilt are your lot in life!

GoneBackSouth said...

I think shopping for food with a sickly child is acceptable; shopping for shoes (for yourself) probably isn't. Anyway I hope your stress levels have subsided a bit.

Pam said...

Happy Anniversary!
Your weekend sounded lovely (bar the rude printer) and I'm sorry you feel stressed today. Mindless computer activity helps me....

Sarah said...

Yes, Happy Anniversary!
Asda delivers, if you want to shop online.
It is a shame there's not a way of channelling guilt- some process of osmosis and then, say, concentration. I believe a highly potent substance like that would change hands, on the open market, for ££££'s

Stay at home dad said...

Mondays come around... but then again so do Saturdays. In times of strain just repeat the words 'book launch party' to yourself ...

Pig in the Kitchen said...

yes Sahd has a point. but actually, when we get what we wished for (did you?!), will we be happy. That's quite cryptic isn't it?
Do you sometimes wish you could suddenly be struck down with a relatively non-painful illness (that will leave no lasting damage, cause you to lose 5 kilos and become more beautiful), but one which necessitates a few weeks in a hushed clinic with beautiful grounds? Everyone else would have to pitch in at home, and visiting hours would be gloriously limited to a couple of hours a day.

Yeh, me too.

No go buy your lovely outfit for your thrilling book lauch party. Or maybe you should wait till after the illness, then you'll be 5 kilos lighter...
Pigx

mutleythedog said...

You should relax, put your feet up and take it easy for the rest of the week - you probably need some demotivational exercises or something... I would suggest some sites but I am too lazy -just google slacking off.

mutleythedog said...

I have a literary theme on my latest post by the way - I am sure you will be interested...

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's always the case when you have your child off sick that it has inconveniently fallen on shopping day. I took Amy on a spree recently when she was off with a mild infection that of course prevented her from going to school. Hope your son picks up soon.

CJ xx

dum mum said...

Get the printer to deliver the invitations... he owes you. Good luck with the book launch - looking forward to checking out whether your experience in Northumberland mirrors my two post-London years spent there.

Iota said...

You need to get some exotic medical terminology. It comes for free here in the US, so that when pottering round my local supermarket with ailing child with handheld electronic toy sitting in trolley, I am able to gain sympathy by saying sadly to people "he's got walking pneumonia" (which I think is what you or I would call a chest infection, or a chesty cough). Everyone tuts sympathetically.

occasional northerner said...

Asda better not, given the comments we've had for not (and then only very occassionly not) shopping in the Co-op!

wife in the north said...

re pig in the kitchen: you just revealed my dirtiest and most shameful fantasy (apart from that one about mutley) to the cyberspace universe. How could you do that to me?

re iota: I am using that. Have you got one for puke-athons which are a house speciality round here?

re occasional northerner: You've misread me if you think I'm complaining about the Co-op. I like everything about the Co-op apart from the fact it stopped ordering its newspapers from the village newsagent and its wine buyer does not realise white wine comes in any variety but Chardonnay.

Swearing Mother said...

A friend of mine says she doesn't do guilt, it's a wasted emotion.

I am full of wasted emotion, all the time, and the only space left sometimes is for stress.

I always overbook myself because I tend to agree to stuff when I'm feeling totally in charge of things, then when I realise I can't do it all I wonder why I ever said I could in the first place.

Iota said...

WITN - Funnnily enough, only this afternoon someone described their ailment to me as "some sort of GI thing". I didn't like to confess total ignorance, and luckily, she gave me a clue by indicating her abdomen. I concluded it must be gastro-intestinal. The thing is, her name (honestly) was Jane.

There you are now. You can wander around Northumberland with post-vomiting children, saying "they've had some sort of GI thing". Do you think that would get you sympathy?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Coz I'm a mean bitch. Should I tell them the one about Mutley too?
Pigx

wife in the north said...

re Pig: Actually I am planning to sell the movie rights for it to a man in Lithuania.

Mopsa said...

Never explain.

Class 1 said...

Don't feel guilty - as a teacher of little ones, I would much rather children stayed at home if they are not feeling well - even slightly - symptoms of bugs get passed on quickly in school, and children who are a little ill go down hill very fast!

Keep the bug at home and don't spread it. And bugs cure quicker at home. Good things to bear in mind!