Almost daily diary!

Monday, February 20, 2012

From bad to worse!

I am woken, just before the alarm goes off; there is a male 'member' in the bathroom. I can hear him in there, I am lying in bed with my eyes still shut. That's not all going into the pan I think to myself!

The light dawns...Monday morning, no more school holidays...bum!

I pad to the toilet myself, carefully avoiding a puddle the size of The Great Lakes, and sit down. Dilemma. Do I get him to clear it up and risk it spreading about the whole of the bathroom floor (I mean it could get seriously out of control if you don't look what you're doing!) or do I sort it out? I go for the multi tasking option of wiping while I am sitting. Holding copious mounts of tissue in my hand I make a grab for the detox, the handle of the squirter bit is dripping. Ewww.

20 minutes and a shower later I go down to the kitchen. The cat is hungry. He cries incessantly like a hungry newborn, even though there is still food in both his bowls. He has the noise off to a fine art. He goes off like an alarm as soon as you make eye contact. I try to fill the kettle and put it on but only get as far as the tap. The noise is too bad, if I don't feed him the whole street will wake. I empty last nights supper into the bin, wash his dish and refill.

Last time I did an internet shop I didn't have my glasses on, the cat food I'd bought was slightly different. Into the bowl it went like a slimy slippery bogey. I put it on his mat.

Now Mr A Cat can be quite fussy and knows every trick in the book to get a decent meal but today he must have thought it was his birthday. Surprisingly the new food was a hit. He gulped it down in one...Then threw it up on the landing seconds later. That's what happens when you bolt your food, I tell him as he looks a bit sheepish. I gather up the warm mass in some thick tissue. 30 minutes out of bed, I muse, and I've already cleared up a massive pool of pee and some slightly warmed through cat puke. Nice.

He runs back downstairs, ever hopeful for a second breakfast.

How was your Monday morning?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mothers love (A Valentine for My Daughter)

We walk together, the february sun feeling warmer on our backs than it should for the time of year, the birds singing like its the middle of spring, and not for the first time, I wonder at how life takes the most amazing twists and turns.

The warm air prompts me to open a picture in my memory, one of a very small girl. It was the early promise of spring that reminded me, and indeed it was probably 15 years ago to the day; a warm february day, on a different walk with a different man and a one year old, who had changed my life beyond all expectations.

Before being a mother I was a different person, though I am closer now to what I once was, than I have been since but Motherhood was a massive shock. Post-natal depression didn't help, all at once I was ricochet from a promising design career to a full time mother who couldn't understand why she was still in pyjamas at 3pm and had spent most of the day trying to look after a small bundle with no instruction manual.

Our lowest point on this massive journey that she has joined me on (or perhaps I have joined her?)was one dark December day, after trying to get her to feed for what seemed hours, just sitting on the sofa with tears rolling down my face, and as I cried, she cried, we were both in despair and there seemed little respite in the lonely days of early motherhood. And there we were for most of the daylight hours; November is not a great month to give birth, it felt very cold and dark and lonely. I was overwhelmed by the feeling (for the first time in my life)of responsibility and it gave me a sick feeling in my stomach. I wanted my old life back, at that moment I don't think I had ever wanted anything more.

Yet a year and a bit later I remember walking in a beautiful park on a day just like this one, unusually hot for the time of year, and a little girl, once so small, now looking like a proper person. I have a photograph of this day, she is smiling an insane smile, full of cheekiness, she has on a long sleeved t-shirt with flowers on the front and she is brandishing a pair of sun glasses at the camera. My baby girl, the two of us together on this long and dangerous journey of life, discovering what makes us both tick, what hurts us and how to carry on.

In what seems like an instant, all of a sudden, she is 15 and we are living a life so far away from the one back then, further away than I had ever expected, that it is hard to imaging the other walk with the other man and the hotter than it should be sun on our backs all that time ago.

We have come a long way, baby girl and I. I never realised what it was to love a child until I became a mother, it grows and as far as I know, it has no end. I can't imagine my world without her. She has so much further to go now than I do; I do hope her route is not too hard, for I don't think I could bear that.

Monday, February 13, 2012

It never rains...

Meeting a friend for lunch last week, she launched into her current list of problems. I really didn't mind, I've done it myself to her several times and sometimes it's reassuring to know someone else has more problems than you!

When she drew breath she apologised and asked how my line up of current woes were. 'Oh I'm fine' I trill triumphantly ' all well my end'! I should have known, I guess I did know as I said it, one should never invite trouble.

So that weekend, just as I was relaxing into a happy state of Saturday-night-ness, I checked my emails and there it was, the trouble I had invited. A cheery email from Ex. We've been divorced a year this month, it stated happily, so (this bit was matter of fact and with no preamble) I'm going to dock your maintenance to the bare minimum allowed by law. Those weren't the exact words, but that was the intention. I froze. We manage now, just. Sleep was hard to come by that night.

Initially I am angry, I am in rant mode here, it is not 'my' maintenance it is money to support the children, he pays nothing to support me, and I would not want him too. However, I do expect him to support his children, especially as he has recently come into an inheritance.

Then I am shocked. How can he do this? So I do my sums. Luckily I can meet the mortgage and regular standing orders, but there's not much left over, not enough at all. Bugger!

So we have a family conference, 3 heads are better than 1 and I want the children to understand I am doing all I can but there is a limit. They rise to the occasion admirably, they even suggest not having a TV, just for a nano second! In the end we realise there's not much more we can shave off our domestic needs, the food bill has already been shaved substantially.

I email Ex telling him that if he chooses not to support his children through me then he needs to support them directly. I list all the things that I have been paying for that I can no longer pay for and ask him to continue to support them by paying these bills instead; guitar lessons, dyslexic tutor, school trips... This was over a week ago. I am still waiting for him to acknowledge the email and agree payments. Nothing so far. I am edgy, I'm not sure if I can fill in the gaps, actually, I'm pretty sure I can't.

Today I picked up my ageing car from its MOT. £362 later I can drive it legally. The credit card flexes well.

I am hunkering down, waiting for the third thing. I know I'm not alone here, times are hard. What's your current solution?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Guest post

An email from my mother:

Having sneakily drunk (he doesn't know how many glasses of wine)while he was cooking fish and chips for tonights meal, he ate his dinner and then sat with his head on his arms while I washed up (which is his job too on a Friday night!)Then I had to struggle to get him to his feet and walk him to the bedroom (thank goodness we live in a bungalow) where, on the way, he would have fallen over three times if I hadn't got hold of him!

He is spark out now, lying on his bed flat on his stomach. I have put towels on the floor each side of the bed, a glass of cold water on the bedside table and a plastic bucket for him to vomit into! All he said as he collapsed into the bed was 'I'd like you to sing to me now'!Blow that for a game of soldiers!if he's like that when I go to bed I shall just cover him up with a blanket, don't know what kind of night I shall have though, I've never known him quite so sloshed...oh, he did mutter that he'd never have another drink though.

This guest post copied from an email from my mother last night made me laugh until tears rolled down my face. I emailed back saying that I hope she had a quiet night and that I didn't envy her in the morning.

Her morning reply:

Slept (he) like a baby, woke up full of beans, apologies and swearing he'd never drink another drop!

You've got to hand it to him, at almost 81 he's doing very well!