Friday, August 8, 2008

Tea and Sympathy please

A recent post from Potty Mummy about having time to oneself without any kids prompted this blatant plea for tea and sympathy. Now while Potty Mummy was able to throw off the shackles of the dreaded to-do list and treat herself to a well-deserved spa day, (which I fully but enviously support), I just wish I could have a day without kids, full stop/period. I am knackered.* It doesn't seem to be on the horizon - at least this calendar year.

Yes, I've just had a month in England, but most of that was without the Ball & Chain, making me the round-the-clock entertainment director for three kids. On top of that the 'holiday' also involved having the five year old in my room every single night. Not being used to the ungodly hour the sun rises in England (when it's around, that is) the little one typically woke around 5.30am and just started talking. Fortunately it was about nothing in particular so a response wasn't usually required, although every so often he would sit up and say "You're not even listening are you?". "No", I would respond between sobs, "I'm trying to go back to sleep."

We've been back in the US a week now but Ball & Chain disappeared on Sunday to take oldest son to sleepover baseball camp and hasn't been seen since. That means that I was here on my own to deal with the jet lag. I say 'on my own' even though the queenager is here; since she makes an appearance five hours after everyone else and promptly lies down on the sofa to watch re-runs of "The Golden Girls", we won't count her in on this. As you'll know if you've travelled westwards to the US, the jet lag means that you can't stay awake past about 8pm and wake at 3am on the first morning, 4am the next day etc. Wednesday we had breakfast at about 5.30am and this morning little man didn't wake up till 6.30am. He didn't actually come into my room, (is he finally learning something?) but could be heard sitting on the floor right outside. The monologue went like this:

"All is lost. I am bloody starving. No, seriously, my stomach is rumbling. My stomach is really rumbling". (He's five remember!)

The he went in for the jugular:

"I'm so hungry I will just have to go downstairs and make my own breakfast. Mommy won't mind. I wonder where the toaster is."

The thought of him either sticking a knife into a live toaster, or pouring cereal all over the kitchen floor was more effective than a cattle prod in hurtling me out of bed and across the bedroom.

"Nooooo," I wailed, as if in slow motion. "I'm up, I'll get you breakfast".

"About time" was his brazen response. Far too cheeky for his own good that one.

As I say, I am sorely in need of a day off.

* "Knackered" - (British English). Knackered people are extremely tired. Knackered things are broken. I am both.


  1. I completely get it. And I am sending buckets of tea and sympathy your way.

    My hubs is deployed, but the ship comes home in less than two weeks. I can't wait! I just want a day without the kids or the dog whining at me. Is that too much to ask?

  2. I feel for you, I do. I only have one. Three would put me in a mental hospital. Pity you can't bribe your daughter to babysit for a couple of hours before you end up in the Knackers yard.

  3. Thankfully, nearly two years of travelling to the States on a Friday night, and back on the redeye on the Sunday or Monday (and going straight into work) has largely taken away my ability to be jetlagged. It wasn't without pain though, so I feel your anguish.

    Earplugs and an's the only way forward!

  4. It funny you know they go from one extreme to the other. Dd never slept in no mater how late we let her stay up. She was always up at the crack of dawn. Fast forward 20 years later and she's painful, she hates getting up, so there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    I too use the word knackered, the only thing is half the time folk don't know what you mean!!!

    Gill from Canada

  5. Speaking as one whose very soul is knackered, I soooo know what you mean! Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a thoughtful comment. I'm very happy to have found yours!
    All best

  6. Welcome back! I think holidays with kids are over-rated. A new word should be invented. How can it be a holiday when you have to get up everyday at 6am and provide entertainment all day long and not even be able to drink a quiet cup of coffee in your favourite cafe? That was my 'holiday' - we could maybe invent a new word like '24/7kidsplusparentstime' maybe? Anyone got any better ideas? I am relaxing now that we are back home and daycare has kicked in again...

  7. I empathise wholeheartedly!! My 7 month old is teething and chooses Not Sleeping as his past time of choice at the moment! Children are a full time job and holidays are not included in the package. In fact the job description goes something like this: 24/7 shifts, night duty, day duty, no pay (in fact the job costs you) very little gratitude and no time off!! Thank heavens for unconditional love or there'd be no applicants whatsoever.

    Thanks for the visit, I am glad to have found you and will be back soon to see if you have had any R 'n R.

  8. Oh that had me shivering with horrific memories. I am grateful with every pore of my being that my son is now of an age when I can let him go forage on his own...
    total complete and utter sympathy....jxxx

  9. I am now reconnected to the internet! Phew! After about 3 weeks!
    Glad you had a good holiday. Yes, the dawn is early in England! I found my grandchildren were always wakened up by the light, in spite of a blackout blind.

  10. Poor you. Worth it, though, for a trip home...

  11. Completely sympathise. I think someone has said this before - bribery and corruption might work with your daughter as regards "child sitting". I nearly got committed when husband was working last year and my son wouldn't sleep, my daughter was ill and couldn't sleep. need some "ME" time for sure. I'd try and wangle it if you can. Best of luck. H.

  12. Old horses go to the knackers' yard. Did you know that? (Did you ever read James Herriot? - then you would.)

    Am I allowed 2 comments on one post?


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