05:17



Emerging from the Hurricane

Seven weeks has passed already since the birth of little Apolline. Hence my being blissfully quiet all this time. Time? What time? I have been smoothly thrust (yes, the birth was “gentle”, as gentle as the worst, debilitating contractions can be, that is) into the hurricane which has hit my life for the past 2 months. What was I thinking!!!! Sure, next year or the year after may prove my efforts not to have been in vain as I’ll no doubt watch my two loving girls entertain each other quietly and gently, alone in their room, playing with their pretty little dolls…But in the meantime… I can’t even start my story with a “my day starts when…” as actually, my day NEVER starts, or never ends? The egg or the chicken??? The day started the moment I left the clinic where I was looked after, fed, cared for, and RESTED – picked up by my 20 month old toddler who’d never been away from me for more than a few hours. I expected tears of joy, a slow motion run down the corridor, her flinging herself into my longing arms. But no. This one just gave me one glance and decided on the cold treatment. Oh but it was all “OOOhs” and “BABA’s!!!” upon meeting her sister, while poor old mum, who’d done all the work, let me remind you, had to suck up to Mathilde a solid 2 hours before even  being  acknowledged.

From then on, my life has been one whirlwind, scratch that, one “EL NINO has arrived in Barrydale” style storm. Inevitably the 2 girls wake up at the same time in the morning…05:53 to be precise. Just as I’d put my head down after 7hours of rocking, changing, burping, all that squared. So I dive into my super hero suit, split myself into two identical moms, stick one on the boob and get the other out of bed, pin her down while I attempt to change her  nappy while getting kicked in the stomach. My toddler has become some sort of monster. My little Princess has turned into Chucky. If there is something naughty to do, she will do it, from 05:53 AM to the blessed hour of 19:00. Is it attention seeking because I spend too much time with Apolline? Or is it the terrible twos… or that darned Mediterranean blood I stupidly inflicted upon her? Whatever it is, it’s driving me nuts. She’ll start by trying her luck with the finger in plug trick, and if that doesn’t get me going she’ll immediately start banging all the doors, empty every draw in the kitchen (that has been shut with child proof latches: well, she took one look at those and untied them, so the only thing that they achieved was a very frustrated me fighting to open an  adult tamper proof draw with my left hand while balancing a screaming baby in the other.). She usually waits for me to be pinned down with her sister feeding to do something stupid like climb onto the very top of her buggy until it starts to tilt dangerously, making me jump up (with Apolline clutching on in baby baboon fashion) and pull her off just in time. And then there’s laundry. How much laundry can two children produce?? It’s now about 07:00 am, I’m exhausted, still in my PJ’s, hair like the sea witch in the little Mermaid (I’ve become well versed in kiddy references), and I attempt to hang the washing on the line. This takes about 45 mins. I manage to hang six ridiculously small socks, run back inside to check on the baby, run back out, hang another three ridiculously small items, run down to the bottom of the garden to check that Mathilde isn’t eating dog poop (it’s happened ). I find her waiting there like Clint Eastwood, stone in hand, ready to fling it in her mouth if I make a move to come any closer; I manage to leap through the foliage and tackle her, saving her life for sure.… then run back to the line and finish up. Oh how I dared ever tell my mother as a teen that she didn’t really “work”, that doing laundry is “easy, the machine does it for you, duh”.

And so my day goes, running, running, running, I switch between Patience Personified, and Dame Dragon , schizo is my middle name. But now I know. Give me a year and all this will be forgotten; only the memory of my 2 girls quietly playing with their pretty little dolls will remain. Hold on to that thought…

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