Up down turn it around

I wish I had some erudite post for you all but I am as unpredictable as a skittish kitten at the moment. Up one minute, weeping the next. It’s boring even for me. My SIL came over today and the poor thing simply got me blathering about all the woes. I’m constantly apologising to Jasper for my snapping and snaps as this is probably the first real low I’ve had that he has realised/experienced. Poor mite.

It’s just very difficult to blog when one of the main aspects of your life is under such huge strain. Now I understand why Joke just went to ground. Sooner shut-up than try and blind everyone with jazz hands that all is fine.

Grover has turned me into the storm chaser of turds. Seriously, I’m just circling the house and watching that kid wherever he goes. The minute he goes out the back door with no obvious agenda I’m all over him like a rash. Yeah I know, forget toilet training I’m just going to give the kid a complete hang-up about taking a dump in the toilet. There have been a handful of successes with getting him to do a wee on the toilet and one poo victory but that was followed with two more deposits on the back verandah that he kindly smooshed inbetween the wooden slats for me. Skewer and baby wipes anyone? Oh, let’s not forget the massive one he took today over the drain grate in the backyard today when I took my eye off turdwatch for about three minutes during my SIL’s visit. Awesome.

I did the grocery shopping (all $60 of it) at Aldi today. I was impressed with how much I managed to get. Kind of. But man, shopping at that place doesn’t make you feel thrifty, just dirty and down-trodden.

The guinea pigs are still alive so I guess that is a bonus.

I mentioned to Mum today that it was 15 days until the boys went back to school. I think I might have punched the air when saying it. She told me I should just enjoy having them at home as the holidays are just lovely. Why is it that mothers are the gold medalists of making you feel like absolute shit when you didn’t actually think you could feel anymore like absolute shit? Don’t get me wrong, we actually had a conversation about it in which I pointed out that I do love spending time with them and hanging out with them but I am – plain and simple – exhausted and Grover’s shitting is truly killing my soul and it’s just been incredibly draining. She gets it totally and she didn’t say it to make me feel bad, but man, I hear her getting short with the boys each and every day too.

I don’t know, I just think six weeks of holidays with four children and absolutely no disposable income (no boys, we can’t get an ice cream today, no boys, we can’t go to the movies today, no boys we can’t go on a train ride this week, no no NO) is pretty darn fucked.

Oh, don’t worry, I watched this doco last week about these men hiking along some partially frozen river in Nepal last week for three months hauling timber for three euros a week so I totally get where I should shove my whinging arse.

I had a nibble of some potential work this week so that’s encouraging. Darn it, exciting even.

Other things that have lifted my spirit this week:

Have you guys heard of Mimi Kirchner’s blog Doll? Exquisite.

Eleanor is gallivanting around in snow buying adorable shoes and physically touching people I dream of hugging. Like that sentiment isn’t creepy at all.But the place she got her adorable shoes had THESE adorable shoes:

Ms CommentBox bought a pair of these so let’s just say she better a) not be my size and b) keep them under lock and key as I may well steal them off.her.feet. Ladybirds are this family’s favourite insect. I’d even go out on a limb and say animal except the Guineeh Pigs might get a bit miffed.

I had to take Mum’s sewing machine in for a service and I’m a bit bereft. I KNOW – here I am, the novice crafter and four months in no sewing machine is making me all tetchy. So desperate was I for something crafty to do I pulled out a cross-stitch I started when on bedrest during Oscar’s pregnancy t.w.e.l.v.e. years ago. I remember I stopped because I’d made a mistake (some whole section was one stitch out or some such) but now have no idea where that mistake was so figure what the hell I might as well keep going.

This of course means the making of the dress for the wedding AND something else I needed by then is going to be pushed into the challenge-against-the-clock category. As opposed to just a challenge. Fun times.

Onward!

The power of the ocean

So three days ago I snuck out of the house and walked down the beach to the flags and went for a swim out beyond the breakers. I have not done this in at least four years and really, maybe only twice since having children. Dudes, that’s twice in 11 years.

I don’t know, for about six months I have had this total compunction to swim in the ocean and well, that is just not my style. But people, I am here to say that three days ago, that swim restored my spirit more than you can possibly imagine.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, we are still totally skint but that panic, that fear, that stress about it has subsided.

The water was crystal clear and the most perfect temperature – enough to make you inhale on first touch but that was it, then it was just straight out. And there I floated, duck dived, swam and laughed out loud at my childlike joy of being where I was.

I then hot-footed it home and hussled all the surly complaining lard arses out of the house and dragged them over to the beach to.

And there we have been every day since. Twice today. Felix has discovered the joy that is hanging out beyond the breakers. Jasper has discovered the joy of a boogy board and has absolutely no fear. Grover is in that land of chasing the waves and wanting more but then hating it when he’s in it. And Oscar, well, Chef and I had to drag him in on that first swim and man was he dirty about it. Then yesterday and today? That kid was in.the.surf. It was just stunning to watch.

So nothing has changed and everything has changed. Your kind words and support have done so much to bolster my spirit so between the blogosphere and the ocean I feel like a new woman.
   

When good mummies go bad

Many of you very kindly leave me comments along the lines of ‘I don’t know how you do it’ and I’m fairly good at the retort ‘drugs, lots of drugs’.

I’ve been deliberating for a few days about writing a post about my current state of mind which is not the best. I know many of you will offer kind words and advice and others won’t say anything which I then interpret as a judgement confirming my worst fears. Paranoid much?

We are under intense financial stress and strain here at the moment and if there is a more dominant trigger to undoing my mental wellbeing than being fat, having four kids and living with my mother it is financial stress and strain.

That’s all I’m going to say on it because a) it makes me uncomfortable, b) it’s embarrassing, c) it makes you uncomfortable, d) some of you might want to offer advice, reassurance, ideas and while some of those will be perfect some will not and those will just tip me over the edge even more and well, let’s just say I don’t need to be any further on the edge.

SO – bearing in mind that state-of-mind then factor in having the four boys at home on holidays. Then factor in having a newly retired mother living upstairs who, bless her to the core of her soul, has the henny penny reflex of panic and disaster to any new situation whatsoever. And dudes, her whole life is a new situation at the moment. Then, with all that in mind and knowing that I’m already feeling particularly fragile her tendency to offer comments and raise concerns about the boys like ‘you’re really going to have to watch Felix’s weight’ and ‘Oscar uses almost a half a roll of toilet paper and it’s just so wasteful and …’ or ‘we really need to talk to Grover more’. To cut her some slack she also throws in the positives like this gem about Grover the other day ‘I think he’s the brightest of the bright over there, he just said x and that’s showing abstract thought at a very young age’.

Yeah, that’d be right, the kid who dances in his own shit and tonight cut one up with a pair of scissors is Einstein.

Anyway, so I’m guessing you’re all getting the picture that at this point in time I am severely on edge. Very teary, not sleeping well, snapping at everyone, a higher level of paranoia than normal, a constant state of restlessness coupled bizarrely with an almost catatonic air.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still laughter and happiness but my general state of mind is grim. My mantras are working overtime and last night I even took the wrapper off a meditation CD for dealing with anxiety which I bought over a year ago.

One of the worst parts of all this is that it is holidays and sure, we live metres from the beach, the biggest free entertainment zone in the world, but I h.a.t.e. having to constantly tell the boys we can’t do this that or the other because we don’t have the money.

So today we went to a park near our place and had a lovely time. On the way home I had to stop at the supermarket to get some milk and some salad stuff for dinner. Of course there was the chorus of ‘can we get a treat’. I pointed out the budgetary constraints so yes, there could be a treat but there was only one treat and it had to be for everyone. They took a vote and chocolate won 3-1. Jasper lost. Jasper does not lose. So the ‘I want chips’ started and basically continued unabated through the shops. Grover was grabbing some watermelon (fine) and a six-pack of ‘Up’nGo’s (those things are like 8 bucks people) and the putting back of that triggered his round to the whinging song. Then I noticed Felix was muttering under his breath – and when pressed it was about the sort of chocolate we had. It was white, he wanted milk.

I know you all know what’s coming.

I just said, ‘That’s it. No one is getting any treats’. Cue the choir of angels.

We’re out at the car, I’m virtually throwing the milk literage into the vehicle. Jasper runs away from me when I got to fling him into the car, tears streaming down his now red and snotty face as he screams at me, ‘I want chips’.

I get in the car and well, hell hath no fury. Everything that I’d been trying to shield them from came forth all the ‘we have no money,’  ‘you just don’t get it’ (why on earth would they!@%^$!^%$!@), ‘all I get from you ungrateful self-centred boys is ‘I want I want I want’, ‘no one ever thinks what Mummy would want or even to ask me what I would want’, ‘you should be so grateful for there being food on the table and a family that loves you, that there is always someone there for you but instead all I get is ‘I want chips’, ‘I want a new toy’, ‘I want want want whinge whinge whinge’, there was a few choicely placed swear words and it was all done on full volume in that primal gutteral screaming only women seem capable of.

We got home, I undid car seats, came inside, put away the milk, hacked up the watermelon for them all, dished out some crackers and dip and went and locked myself in my room to try and regroup.

You all know that every human emotion lasts 20 minutes don’t you?   So I’m sitting up there around 15 minutes later feeling a little less like my head is going to explode and that my heart may well survive another day when Jasper comes up and forces open the door (there was a towel hanging over the top of it so when it’s shut it needs a good push to get it open) he comes up and very softly says,

‘Mum,’ as he climbs onto the bed. He leans over and puts his head on my tummy, drapes his arms over me in a hug and says,

‘when we go to the shops tomorrow can we get some chips?’

Onward!

School Holidays – when everyone else is away so noone hears you scream

Oh dudes, the last week has been kicking my arse from here to kingdom come. Seriously.You’re going to have to excuse me while I just bitch about my kids.

Oscar – the.most.specTACular meltdown today because Grover turned off some basketball game on the xbox and put in a Thomas the Effing Engine DVD instead. It went for over 20 minutes and if you haven’t already seen this YouTube treat then take a peak and you’re getting somewhat close to what Oscar delivered to us today. On a platter. With garnish!

Felix – oscillating between being just lovely and the biggest boil on the butt of humanity. With bad hair.

Jasper – do.not.get.me.started.

Grover – sitting somewhere between the fall guy for Jasper, Jasper’s right hand man and the most fiercely independent two year old to ever walk the planet. Oh, and adorable. But this week has seen the start of me putting him in his room for ‘some quiet time’. Which is funny because when I’m putting him in there the screaming can be heard in space.

Things have been broken, painted, drawn on, WRECKED.

And it’s making me sigh. A LOT.

Phew

sorry about that abrupt interruption to the tales that were our camping adventure, I took the boys to my Dad and stepmother’s for a few days.

Am back.

Story shall resume shortly.

How are you all anyway?