Thursday, 12 June 2008

Juggling it

Yesterday was Wednesday. Hence the lack of a blog post. As I might have mentioned before, Wednesdays are not good days. It is the one day in the week that I have no childcare. It's my day for spending with my children. It's my day for going to toddler groups and seeing friends, playing snakes and ladders and bouncing on the trampoline. It should be a good thing. But it also just happens to be the busiest day of the working week.

I'm in PR. For some reason, Wednesday is the day that media decide that they need stuff. Now. This minute. Immediately. That's what I love about the press. They can hang onto a story for months and months doing nothing with it while clients want to know where their coverage is. And then, bam. They decide that they have to run it and need a whole bunch of supporting information nano-seconds before going to print.

So here's a summary of yesterday:

We started out with the normal fights about toast, had a reasonably successful track record of keeping underpants dry until mid morning and managed to get laundry folded. We then headed off to the post office to return the unsuccessful anniversary present I'd bought for lovely husband (see Sunday's post).

The post office one village over has shut (village gossip says it's because the post master was crooking the lotto machine or something - how I love twitchy curtain syndrome). So we drove several villages over to the next closest PO. Except they had a technical fault and were shut too. So we drove half way across Britain and finally found a post office that was open. Sadly it was run by someone who'd obviously never worked in a post office before and who wasn't quite sure what a stamp was, much less a large package.

All of this incredible lack of speed left me feeling a little fraught as I had left the children in the car outside. I know it's not a clever thing to do but I had a choice - leave them in the car where they are highly unlikely to be abducted in teeny tiny local village OR bring them into the shop where they could destroy every display, scream for sweets/comics/other and have a tantrum when we left with nothing. So I opted for the former. But I would have preferred to get in and out with a dash of speed.

Anyway, after finally managing to get rid of the obnoxious clock gift, we trundled back across the country to toddler group. For anyone who has never been to a toddler group, let me explain what it is. Take one dusty village hall. Add about 20 children who all seem to have been injected with red bull. Put in an array of fairly tired plastic toys which become of the objects of greatest desire so that a lot of fighting ensues about who's going to carry the cow with no head. Scatter a handful of knackered looking mothers who sip on cups of tea but would far rather be drinking neat gin. Throw in some nursery rhyme singing to the ear-splitting sounds of musical instruments being 'played' and you start to realise the relaxing atmosphere.

And through all of this, I am tapping away on my handheld palm thingy responding to emails from a range of journalists wanting things NOW and clients asking where things are. And because I can never get the shift or control key to work on the blasted thing, my replies always look like this: iLll respond soon>

I'm sure all the other mothers think I'm an unfriendly cow who ignores her children and them while tapping away.

We then raced to a friend's house for lunch and an afternoon of play. Which might have been fun had my email inbox not kept filling up with ultra urgent requests.

We finally got home and I resorted to the tried and trusted bad mother's buying-some-time-technique of video and chocolate. I estimated I had about 30 minutes to catch up on a full day's work before the video got boring and the sugar had kicked in fuelling violent fights.

I then had to race downstairs to feed the starving beasties, raced back up to complete more work, raced back down to frog march beasties off into the bath, raced around their bedroom remaking peed on bed from night before, tidying up toy explosion and piles of dirty clothes, all the while child number 2 emptied the bath of its contents by pouring cupful after cupful of water on the floor. He was instructed to either wipe it up, say sorry or not get a bedtime story. Obviously he chose the latter which meant a full blown tantrum come story time - which resulted in a stint in the spare bedroom while I read story to child number 1. When I retrieved screaming beastie, I was so busy trying to avoid getting my ear drum burst that I failed to notice the low hanging beam in the passage and smacked my head. Hard.

The rest of bedtime wasn't particularly pleasant.

Then had to rush to finish last bits of work before planting a quick kiss on husband's cheek as he walked in the door, before rushing off to the pre-school committee meeting. Which meant I missed the final episode of The Apprentice.

And that was Wednesday. Am hoping Thursday is slightly less fraught.


katyboo1 said...

You know.
We really are the same person. It's quite scary.
K :)

Home Office Mum said...


jeff zbar said...

Hey, when I was the Father of Toddlers, I could very well have been you (horrible visual, I know...). My wife worked outside the home, and I was left to (occasionally) work and oversee one, then two, then three kids. I survived (the youngest is 10 now, the oldest 16). But I'm sure I'll have PTSD when little Zoe goes off to college in eight years or so. Good to know we're not alone out there...

markinreading said...

Glad to see the reference to Red Bull (see "I hate Birds") was taken up in description of playgroup.