Wednesday, November 07, 2007

A Day in the life...

I’m a single mum this week. Mr Allan has decamped to England to spend time with his sick father so myself and the J-man have been spending some quality mother and son time.

It all worked well for the first day or so, but then, you see it got to be hard work. You see I don’t know how you single parents do it. It’s not that himself is particularly useful around the house - but it’s nice to have someone else do the dishes or lug the bin out for a change. It’s even nicer to have someone else help teach Joseph how to wipe his ass... but perhaps I’ll leave that for another day.

So in the interests of anyone wanting to know what it is like to be a glam author and journalist, I decided to compile a typical day Chez Allan for your perusal.

3am: I am woke by the cries of “Muuuuumeee! Muuuuumeeee!”. This continues until I wake up enough to stumble into the boy’s room and tell him it’s just fine for him to come into mummy’s bed. He stumbles in. I follow. He snuggles up so close I struggle to breathe. He eventually gets the hint and budges onto the other pillow. I start to drift off. "Ruuuusssteeeee!” he cries out, making me jump and awake before stumbling back into his room and lifting the raggedy stuffed dog that must go everywhere and bringing it back to him.
He snuggles up so close that I struggle to breathe again. I push him away (gently but with meaning) and start to fall back asleep until my bladder lets me know it has woken up and I stumble to the loo.

7.00 am:Ten minutes before the alarm is set to go off I wake up. It’s still dark so I think I must have hours left of sleep. Glance at the alarm clock and lose will to live. Lie there trying to get energy to get up until annoying beep of clock makes me get out of bed.

7.25: Dress and put make up on while Joseph jumps around the bed pretending to be Roary the Racing Car while I have to be Big Chris. I’m offended at being Big Chris. I am not remotely like Peter Kaye. Have to hide my annoyance to shout “One more lap” in time with brain numbing theme song and shout out “Dunk my Donuts” at regular intervals.

7.35: Make way for fecking Noddy. I hate Noddy. Really, really, really hate Noddy. The boy eats his breakfast while I try to batter GI friendly Bran Flakes into me along with 3 million grapes. (One of your five a day portions is 3 million grapes apparantly).

7.55: Fifi and her Flowertots. Persuade the boy to get dressed, brush his teeth and wear a coat as it is November. Answer 101 questions regarding what day of the week it is.

8.10am: Leave house for 7 mile trip to work. I start at 9... that gives you an indication of the traffic hell I face. Pick niece up to drop her at the childminders. Have to listen to mind-numbing C-beebies CD while travelling for 50 minutes in the car. Although I do quite enjoy the Tikkabilla Jive, especially the “Do a Little Wiggle” bit.

8.50: Arrive at the boy’s nursery school. Spend ten minutes playing with him til his classroom door opens and I’m dropped like a cold snotter in favour of the teachers who are much more fun that boring old mummy.

9.10am: Arrive in work and thank God for family friend employers. Feel as if I have done a day’s work already. Sit down and read the BBC website, my email, the Daily Mail (it helps me release my anger) and plan my day. Try to find interesting features to do - end up doing uninteresting features about uninteresting things.

11am: Have my daily mini breakdown - this is where the chocolate should come into the fray, but sadly doesn’t. Find one interesting feature to do - wonder how long I can stretch it out for.

1pm: Lunchtime - guilt free blogging, beboing and other web surfing. Eat lunch at desk while fielding phone calls about missing graduation pictures and other general rants. (Note to public: We like most of the population take a lunch break. Please do not phone us during our lunch break. It is not easy trying to talk through a mouthful of turkey and tomato)

4pm: The office giggles set it. A combination on my part of tiredness at long day and fear of what is to come with over tired child.

6.30pm: (Yes, 6.30pm) Leave work, drive the seven miles (only takes 10 minutes) to my mother’s house. Am greeted by both niece and son both now in exceptionally hyper stage. Allow them to play for “just five four minutes”

6.55pm: Let battle commence.
Me: “Joseph time to go home”
Joseph: “No, I’m plaaaaaying. Just five more minutes.”
Me: “No Joseph. Mammy is tired I need to go home. We have lots to do.” (You see this is where i think I’m going wrong - admitting weakness to a three year old is never going to end well”
Joseph: “No, I’m plaaaaying. Just five more minutes”
Cue hysteria. Me pretending to go with out him. Him clambering snottery and over tired into the back of the car telling me I’m naughty and I’m going on the naughty step and them calming down when the fecking C-Beebies CD starts to play.
(Bob the Builder. Can he fix it? I very much fecking doubt it!)

7.05pm: Arrive home. Would it be cruel to put child to bed now? Decide don’t have the strength for argument so do the dishes while he plays with random toys on the floor and insists he isn’t tired.
Pull washing which has been in the machine for two days out and smell it to check it’s not too bad. Generally sigh and wash it again - saves sorting it and drying it. Better still, saves ironing it.

7.30pm: Change boy into pyjamas. Have repeat of “five more minutes” scenario until I storm on up the stairs with the precious Russssteeeee. Encourage him to have a pre-bed pee and brush his teeth. He is rather annoyed mammy doesn’t have a winky so I can’t do peeing races with him. Agree appropriate amount of times for him to drink water direct from tap and then go to his bedroom. Hide fecking Ruuuussssteeee (for the craic) and pretend to be surprised when Joseph finds him. Read a story (if I’m lucky it’s a short one) then turn off the light, say our prayers, have a little snuggle and go downstairs.

It’s now
8.10pm: Start to prepare my evening meal. Brush floors (broom up arse optional) and put away toys from the floor. Get the boy’s clothes etc ready for the morning.

9pm: Eat my dinner.

9.15pm: Start writing. One thousand words a night - minimum.

9.20pm: Change mind about one thousand words minimum. Congratulate myself on 150 words of quality reading.

9.45pm: Feel guilty at dinner dishes so wash up, then stare at the washing machine. Should I hang the washing out now? Decide to leave it as it is a fire risk to put tumbledryer on while we are in bed.

10.15pjm: Fall into comatose sleep.

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