The Chaos of Motherhood: Another blissful 24 hours!
12.45am Gloriously asleep, it’s a hot night, I’m tired and then, really like a dream, two figures appear on the threshold of my room: daughter and boyfriend, who stays with us. They’re in their ‘jamas holding hands and requesting Raid, the noxious insect killer spray. I stir, attempting to get my head round this. For what I ask, aware that spiders of all sizes and large flies have always been my domain, even in the family home. He, with whom we no longer live, didn’t do insects, I did. Come look they say, so like the leaden lump I am, I trot off to inspect the teenage room, sidestepping obstacles such as mixing desks, Louboutin killer heels and endless detritus. And yes, a small swarm of greenfly-like flies have invaded their room. My message is clear, back to bed, no harm will come, sleep. And I hiss loudly, I have to be up at 6.15am.
1am Back in bed, more than a tad grumpy. Whispering is heard on the stairs. Growing in grumpiness, I enquire as to what’s going on. They’re off to the 24/7 Asda to buy Raid, the miniscule flies could lay eggs and then what? I voice my opinion as to the obvious ridiculous nature of this plan, forcefully it must be said, and turn over, humphing.
1.15am I hear the car starting and departing. I am now so irritated I cannot sleep.
1.45am The sound of loud spraying can be heard throughout the house and indeed possibly a couple of streets away. With a call to leave the bedroom door open, Raid being poisonous and so on, I humph again and sleep evades me. For a long time. Grumpy is not close to the emotion I’m feeling.
6.15am The alarm goes and I do not leap as a gazelle from my bed. Dragging myself down two flights for the essential cup of tea, oh for something stronger, but even I figure it’s an hour or so too early. The smell of Raid wafts uncharmingly through the house. Insects of all descriptions litter the place, dead as dodos. Well, I ruminate, Henry the hoover will be much at work later.
7.57am I pop myself on the train to London and am delighted to get a seat, which is an unusual turn of events. And I have a moderately productive day at the office, putting together our monthly newsletter, packing crates for the office move (how much cutlery can there be in my desk drawers) then stopping in to Oxford Street M&S on the way home. This is never a smart idea on a warm Friday evening but there we are. Just how many people are there in London?
7.40pm I pull up outside home, noting that middle daughter is here. Lovely, she nearly always lifts my spirits, which, unsurprisingly, are flagging. Actually, let’s be honest, they’re scraping the proverbial barrel and then some. However, a pot of tea is waiting along with Suzie and her friend. The electricity I’m told is on the blink again, so the kettle has taken up residence at the outside plug, which I didn’t know worked. So a silver lining there and another nod of gratitude for warm weather.
7.55pm First cuppa down and I head for the shiny new fusebox, in the nether reaches of the garage, torch clamped between my teeth as I mount the Wembley Arena sized speakers that block the narrow space that might allow me to reach the fusebox. The boyfriend who’s staying comes with a lot of kit, most electrical, with assorted wires. Anyhow, the fuses are sorted and we drink tea and chat, which is lovely. There is simply nothing nicer on a fine evening than listening to these hilarious young women gossiping about their day at the hair salon where they work. A TV series beckons.
9.30pm Off the girls go, unfed as I simply cannot rise to this simple task and they’re happy to get a take-away. We do in fact, unofficially, have shares in most restaurants within a three mile radius. I am now shattered, officially.
9.40pm Mobile rings and I actually do consider not answering it! But it’s youngest daughter, who’s working at our local regatta. Perhaps it’s just a call to let me know when she’ll be home, I think, ever hopeful! And so I, foolishly, answer.
9.45pm I’m off in the car to collect daughter, who’s quit her job and the boyfriend who is, as they say, tired and emotional. Extremely so from what I gather. She’s not pleased, not one jot, and he sounds tricky. I pack the emergency party pick up kit: bucket, kitchen roll, binbags and bottles of water. Been there, done that just a few times before.
10.10pm Arrive at the regatta, the place is awash with Sloanes of all ages and little dignity swaying about in blazers, summer frocks and loudly coloured trousers. Taxis are reversing, moving fast, moving slow and I’m trying to spot a short girl and a large boy in the chaos. Ah there they are! I inch forward, pick the young folk up and reverse slowly but firmly, straight into a very solid, very immoveable and non-flexible short, metal post. A good crunching sound follows and the security guard sucks in his breathe, saying cheerfully, ‘Ooh, that’ll be expensive’. I am beyond caring and just want to get home, into bed. I drive relatively slowly, the large boy slides from side to side in the back, clutching the bucket.
10.30pm Home! We all stagger in, exhausted. As every teen knows, toast is the answer late at night, so the bread’s popped in and poof, every single light goes out! Serious darkness surrounds us. Up two flights to get the torch, calming the kids on the way. Down again, garage door open, obstacle course to the fusebox, switches up again, and lo, there is light. Toaster is unplugged, now to be consigned to the bin. Eat bread I say and crawl off to bed.
12.45am I glance at the clock, all is quiet and I turn over, sleep follows. A respite from the chaos of motherhood.