Being a single mum to 3 is hard… throw in my own mental health issues and Miss K’s autism as well and it’s basically bedlam 24/7. I have people say to me ‘but you’re a single mum the government basically pays for you to live… then throw in child support and you never have to work again… you should be raking it in!’. Alas, if only life was that simple right? it’s not!
I’m basically too poor to acknowledge my anxiety and depression, although I can get a mental health plan to see a psychologist finding one that will bulk bill the whole amount is impossible and the $100+ gap is far beyond my financial capacity at the moment. My GP medicates me and asks me the usual questions knowing my DASS or GAD-7 are going to be high… Extreme anxiety… Extreme depression… She inquires as to if I’m ok but knowing there is nothing that can be done I answer that I’m completely fine and coping. Community ‘early intervention’ is exhausted, they have been told to refer me to the NDIS… then the NDIS says I can’t prove ‘permanency’ because 10 plus years of mental health condition should be able to be magically fixed by my GP giving me medication and psychology I can’t afford.
Then Miss K saw the developmental Pediatrician today… after 5 years of waiting, I just expected more! we get a diagnosis letter and a 40-page document to submit to the NDIS. Before when we were trying to get the diagnosis we were passed through the system… CAMHS-DCP-Community program-DCP-CAMHS-Parenting programs-CAMHS-School Chaplin-DCP-Intensive family support-DCP-Family counseling-GP-Child Development Service.. now I’m told to fill another document in and they will help us. No direction of what I should be asking for to help her just ‘fill this in, NDIS are involved now not us’. It’s such a vicious cycle no wonder nothing is ever achieved!
Centrelink or ‘services Australia’ as they like to call themselves isn’t much better. I called them to fix one problem which opened a can of worms on another issue I thought I solved 2 years ago. Now they want me to define my relationship with Mr. R… ummm… yeah we live 600KM apart kinda in a relationship… but now they are saying even though we have never lived together, only see each other maybe every other month if we are lucky we should be classed as a ‘defacto’ relationship… which is completely confusing as their defacto relationship entails ‘co-habitation’. Another 2 hrs on the phone I really don’t have time for with a screaming toddler in the background and not a single thing resolved.
So teetering on the edge of a complete breakdown telling everyone ‘I’m ok’ because if I don’t there isn’t anything they can do anyway… my ‘ Parents’ next’ lady is talking to me about my future plans… I’m thinking about finishing the day without ending up sporting forest green and she’s querying my self-esteem, ability to apply for jobs, and education prospects. I know she’s doing her job… it’s a fantastic program… but I need advice on how not to have this breakdown I’m hurtling toward… I finish that appointment questioning my life choices.
Driving home face staining with tears I pull myself together so my kids don’t realize how inadequate I am… I check the bank balance… relived a good friend dropped off a loaf of bread this morning as I can’t afford to buy one and I don’t have the energy to go through a crowded shopping center with 3 kids in toe… We make it through another evening pretending everything is ok… Miss K is still up 11pm saying she can’t sleep with some ridiculous excuse preventing her sleep… followed by outbursts of aggression towards me for not being able to help her in any way… Welcome to a long night… 6.45am start for 8am lecture in the city… Roll on insanity!
There is always one child in the family that is a bit more difficult than the other… Something doesn’t quite add up… they seem a little more of a drama queen or extreme compared to other kids. The second child seems a bit further behind than the first but then you kinda think ‘it’s ok, Mr. J speaks for her, she will catch up by school’. Instead of all the interventions and effort I would have put in for Mr. J when he was that age I backed off, when I did seek help I was told it’s ‘normal’ for a second child so close in age… maybe it’s because she’s a girl… they have different interests… She’s always on the go, swinging, jumping, and pushing… a bit of a bulldozer… Her fussy eating is just a ‘phase’ Mr. J did that too.
It gets to a point where you realize it’s not ‘normal’. That 3-hour tantrum over nothing happens too often and is too exhausting to deal with… the next level of defiance starts to come out and you’re walking through the streets with a 4-year old that has a style that resembles a homeless cat lady… school is hard but when she gets home it’s even harder!… ‘Yes Miss K is a perfect student, everyone likes her, she ‘floats’ between friendship groups’… We get home from school and it’s a total Jeckle and Hyde scenario. Screaming 4-year-old as I asked her not to leave her bag in the middle of the floor, eat dinner or do homework (read a book together count to 10). Stuff is getting thrown at me… I’m getting screamed at by this devil I created… there is no reasoning or logic… she cannot calm down and cannot understand why she has to…
It continues on we survived Kindy in a fashion up to Pre-Primary even though we barely scraped through with passes. It continues… but just for fun we now refuse to eat ANYTHING mum has cooked because ‘You are trying to poison me!’… She still doesn’t make very many friends and her behavior at home deteriorates… I start referring to her as ‘Devil Child’. Things get harder and I reach out for more help from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, this time we get an actual appointment with an actual person! not the phone call service from last year with basic parenting advice. They take all our history and from that moment the system puts us in a ‘box’. Single mum, domestic/family violence background and mum has mental health issues is medicated. From that point on I was the problem, not Miss K, all her issues stemmed from me and my lack of attachment to her. We go through the motions… circle of security again… 1-2-3 magic and PPP parenting program over the course of the year. Discharged and then re-admitted to CAMHS over and over with the same outcomes… talk about flogging a dead horse!
She makes it through Pre-Primary and I move her school to a private school in the hope she can be a good student but actually come close to passing. She was in a Pre-Primary/Year 1 class but there were only 4 of them… Fantastic there is no way she can fail she should catch up! Halfway through 1st term, I’m alerted to how far behind she is, she’s maybe close to Kindy level if we’re lucky and it’s suggested I get hearing and eyesight checked… Ok, I will humor the school… eyes are fine but her left ear is congested she probably can’t hear much make sure she sits with her right ear to you see you in 6 months… Great Answers!
Reading and comprehension slightly improve she can finally read level 1 phonics books… everything else is getting worse. Another aptly named ‘choice’ appointment with CAMHS… her behavior could be becase you moved house last year and now you moved her school too… they diagnose Miss K with Opposistional Defiance Disorder hand me a brochure and call it a day. Frustrations reins for both of us at home… things get thrown… we frequently scream at each other. Then one day I had her sitting at the table trying to get homework done and she threw the reading book at me and ripped up her homework book… yep I lost it and smacked her… I hurt my hand… I looked at her… no crying but a look of utter discust… a look of ‘how fucking dare you’… she then laughed and walked off.
Sitting on the floor in a state… ashamed that I lost my cool… she comes out… ‘I’m sorry mummy but you can’t tell me what to do’… she grabs her homework puts it in her bag and places the bag in its spot and walks off… Just poke the bear! She Tells her teacher what happened, which in turn alerts child protection and the fun that goes along with that. Finally, off the child protection’s radar, fresh from another ‘choice’ appointment and parenting program life continues on its upward trajectory. Things get worse and the useful comments from family and friends regarding punishments for Miss K, smacking, and what they would have got away with continue. I can see her struggling at school with friends and Mr. J hates playing with her too… everything has to be her way or she has a meltdown. Just when I thought we could handle it Miss K gets out of bed saying ‘I drank funny water and I can stop throwing up.’ Thinking it’s her usual delaying tactic I send her back to bed… She comes out again and throws up on me… I go investigate… She drank peroxide… Dam it! Yep, I sitting there covered in vomit… trying to think of what to do I call mum… I get the lecture… where did she get it from ect, but mum said to call health direct as ‘none of us kids were that stupid.’ Health direct call an ambulance and she was taken to the hospital sipping on a cup of milk. An hour later she back with a sore throat, a child protection referral, and excitement as she got to ride in the ambulance.
3 times Mstr R covered his hair with Sudocrem! if you’ve ever had the privilege of using this stuff it’s great for nappy rash and eczema… not so much furniture and hair. It happened 3 times in the last 2 days! Toddlers are so quick… turn your back and that’s it drawing on something, touching something, or into something they really shouldn’t. You can hide shit from them but they always find it… put it up high… they can climb to reach it.
The first time he grabbed it both Mr. J and Miss K were ‘watching’ him… well they were in the same vicinity so to speak… kinda like the butter ‘hulk’ hands and vegemite incidents. I left to use the bathroom and put the kettle on and he somehow got hold of the tube… Luckily I manage to intervene before he got too much on him so easy clean. The second time was a moderate distribution of cream in the hair… Miss K was ‘watching’ as I put 1 loaf of bread on… let’s say 5 minutes. The third time it was the entire tube smudged into his eyes and hair… I was doing the dishes and I kept yelling to Miss K asking if he was ok and behaving… ‘yes mum’… ‘we are watching Boss Baby mum’. Obviously, Mstr R was climbing on his toy box to grab the tube and smudging it EVERYWHERE!
I walk into a room with toys littered all over the floor… George hiding in his crate looking guilty… Miss K is mesmerized by the crap on the TV… Mstr R looking up at me grinning like a Cheshire cat… his hair is coated in a thick paste of zinc oxide cream… parts of the sofa are also covered… I just about lose my shit but walk off to do my ‘5 things’ calm down technique… no it didn’t work!
Feeling more ungrounded and stressed than when I started the morning… I slowly walk back into the house before anything else could go wrong. ‘Thanks for watching him for me’ i say in a facetious tone… ‘You’re welcome’ Miss K replied… ‘You’re not actually watching him are you?’… ‘Totally’ Miss K replies as she slowly looks at Mstr R. She screams at him and ushers him to the bathroom while telling him how naughty he really is… yep she was ‘watching him’
Panicking about how to get the cream out of his hair I snap at Miss K and she goes running off. I enter the bathroom forgetting both kids ‘Cleaned’ their rooms and Mt washmore was occupying the best part of the bathroom floor and the bath had succumbed to being the only useful place to house unwanted toys… I usher Mstr R to the laundry sink again stepping through the SAS obstacle course the older 2 had set up with more washing and homeless crap we have collected. I managed to get him in the sink but he hates his hair being washed… 4 washes and this shit is still in there… GRRRRRR… 20 minutes later I give up… dry him off and threaten to shave his head… dry him off and put him down for a nap… I was defeated!
By 5pm I’d mowed the lawn as I didn’t want to be near Miss K… Mstr R finished his nap but was content to come in and out while I weeded the garden. I call my mum and ask for help… She had no clue… she did however suggest I watch the kids more and put the Sudocrem away… helpful as always. Google was my friend here… ‘How to remove zinc oxide from baby’s hair?’… Over 300 results! yep I’m not alone… not a bad parent… ‘swaddle toddler, wash hair with dishwashing liquid until removed, wash baby hair with adult shampoo’… Cool instructions… Now to find a willing participant to help… call mum and tell her the plan… I will be there soon. We swaddle said toddler… wash hair as suggested… the whole time he grins once again like a Cheshire cat enjoying the whole experience.
Did we get it all out? No, but it’s better than it was. On the bright side, I didn’t have to cook dinner or do the dishes as mum did… Mr. J and Miss K invited themselves for dinner… Bonus I guess?
I started day 6 with a start… I could hear Mstr 2 choking on mucous and gasping for air… I grabbed him and helped him… 2am… urgh… he fidgeted the rest of the morning until one of the others came in at 5.30am to ask for the tv, I said yes but they had to entertain Mstr 2 as well… HUGE mistake! About 7 Mr 10 came running in, ‘I think you better get up I think Mstr 2 got hold of the vegemite’. Still tired I assumed it was just the usual hands covered when the other 2 idiots leave things on the edge of the bench… Boy was I wrong! I eventually get up as Mr 10 got slightly more dramatic, in hindsight it probably wasn’t. I walked into the best part of 1Kg of vegemite covering Mstr 2, the cupboards, floor, table, highchair, and the dog. It’s that moment when you look at something and think ‘I’m too old for this shit’. A smug Mr 10 walks in and announces ‘that ain’t my problem’. Where the FUCK do I start… Mstr 2 is sooooooooo proud of himself… Miss 8 is oblivious to the situation… Mr 10 is probably flipping the bird behind my back… George is having the time of his life licking EVERYWHERE!
Time to put on my Big girl pants and deal with this! I wrestle Mstr 2 who is behaving like an inebriated octopus into the bathroom as he leaves handprints all over the walls… George is in toe not knowing what to lick next!… I manage to occupy Mstr 2 with something shiny while I throw George out… I yell at Mr 10 to sort the kitchen… I’m assuming his monotone mumble meant no as I still had to clean the kitchen… I try to remove Mstr 2 clothing trying not to spread more vegemite around the already covered bathroom, hose him down trying to remove this thick congealed paste from his hair, hands, and face… finally, with the bathroom covered in both vegemite and water I’m done… Mstr 2 is still proud of himself and heads straight to the remnants of the mess in the kitchen for round 2! Not this time! I dump him in the front room close the baby gate behind me and clean up the kitchen listening to the other 2 complaining they now have to find a more appropriate tv show and Mstr 2 saying ‘bluey’ as loud as he possibly can… The day can’t get any worse right?
Miss 8 is 9 tomorrow so she needed to make sure she went out with a BANG! On the daily washup session, she decided that it was too much to ask of her to actually help. I’m not sure if it’s the autism that gives her these extreme bursts of anger when she has to do simple tasks, but today it was beyond extreme! she was throwing plates and threatening to break other things… I sent her to her room and it continued there… trashing her room… I felt so responsible and helpless all at once. 6 hours later she calmed down like nothing had happened and she had some form of amnesia. Acting like that sweet little girl I know is in there somewhere.
After the vegemite and Miss 8’s outburst, I was done… Mr 10 Joked we should dump her at the fire station and if I wasn’t so exhausted I probably would have said something.
ONLY ONE MORE DAY OF ISO TO GO!!!!
How did I start the 39th year of my life? tired with a cup of tea because I was too sleepy to find the coffee… I wasn’t the scary mamma mouse that kept me up. It was the need for ‘me’ time… time without a kid hanging off me… touching me… looking at me… incisively talking at me about Minecraft for the 1000th time that day. Did I enjoy my ‘me’ time the night before? NOPE! I was too exhausted to care.
Miss 8 was kind enough to wake me at 6am to remind me of my aging and discuss the technicalities of being so OLD! She wanted to know what it was like in the so-called ‘olden days’ and if we got bored without the internet and Ipads… handing her the remote seemed to solve that problem. Mr 10 rises when he realizes the TV is on and he can start an argument with her over channels. I dragged my ass out of bed at 7.30am with Mstr 2 feeling like death warmed up and Mr 10 with his pre-teen disposition mumbled ‘happy birthday… what’s for breakfast?’. I should be honored he remembered!
I scrounged together what little cereal we had left and served it with the HiLo milk my Dad delivered the previous day… Mr 10 gave his usual lecture on watered-down milk and questioned who actually buys it? ignoring him and his attitude I decided to watch a movie and get on with the gloomy day.
I never finished the first movie or the second one I started. Kids tend to gravitate towards a mum sitting quietly watching something. I had to listen to them screaming and fighting as I attempted to turn the TV up louder than them… this was no use… as if turning the tv up automatically turned them up. I gave up and spent the rest of my day cleaning and looking busy so they wouldn’t bother me… if I clean they are scared to go near me in case they get handed a cleaning implement.
My sister popped past with flowers and cake! She has already had the ‘spicy cough’ so she apparently can’t get it for a few more months so she visited for 5 minutes… I got a lovely jumper too! I made dinner nobody wanted… It was apparently supposed to be extravagant since it was my birthday. I offered the kids cake only to realize they didn’t bother getting me a plate… the fight after the cake was nearly the start of the next world war… Miss 8 did not like the way Mr 10 breathed on her while they were pretending to do the dishes… I screamed at them… they went to bed… I did the dishes… Kids 6523251… mum 0… Yep Kids are JERKS!
So as I finish the first day of my 39th year I’m hoping things can only get better… ISO birthdays suck!
So I spent the night and early hours obsessing over the Mumma mouse… I could hear something scurrying around my room but every time I turned the light on out of fear I couldn’t see it and Mstr 2 would wake up.
Exhausted I drag my ass out of bed to start the 4th day of isolation… All three kids were up glued to the tv like it was some sort of drug feeding their addiction… the monotonous tones blaring as if each of them were deaf or the neighbors needed to hear the shows too.
I decided to tackle the remainder of washing mountain and suggested the kids go find something more productive to do with their time… midway through trying to decide if it’s worth sorting the socks or just lighting them up in flames, I heard an odd noise. I waddle off to the kitchen clean pile of tea towels in hand so it didn’t look like I was hovering… Mr 10 and Miss 8 are locked in a knife battle. It’s about here I consider my choices?
- Tell them off, yell scream and think of some arbitrary punishment neither of us will follow through with
- Count to 3 and hope by some miracle we work out what happens if we get to 3
- Walk away, let them deal with it… one less child at this stage would be handy, I could use the space, not necessarily the consequences of this option
- Call someone else to deal with this shit
While all these options are great I did go with number 1… I yelled… I threatened… carried on about how it’s not safe. They argued back, typical she/he started it if you didn’t make us help you this wouldn’t have happened, Miss 8 didn’t understand what she was doing wrong and Mr 10 argued that he shouldn’t have to put up with this and I should get a slave. I could feel my left eye twitching and the feeling of complete rage forming as I questioned both if I should start smacking or just dump them at the local fire station. ‘Go to you’re Fucking room’ was all I could muster… when they told me they needed lunch I snapped back ‘You should have thought about that before you had the bright idea to fight with knives’
Slowly finishing the rest of the washing mounting and questioning my parenting ability I wondered how much longer we can survive isolation… will I be pulled out of this house by the men in white coats or the boys in blue?… Will Forrest green suit me?… Where would the kids live?…. SHIT! kids were punished in their rooms for 2 hours… I go check they are mad with me so I decide to leave them there to stew!
I could hear the mouse again… All night scurrying around my bedroom. I let George sleep on the floor in my room in the hopes he would scare the mouse away… I mean when I sit outside with my coffee he loves to chase the reflection of my watch on the walls… he could be part cat right? At the first squeak that was it, he jumped on the bed nearly pushing me off the bed… He was obviously so much help in this situation… Plan B… Let’s set some traps!
Woken up this morning by a dummy lobbed at my head… Master 2 has a decent aim I just wish he would sleep until 8am! I get him in bed with me with the disillusion he would feed then go back to sleep. Instead, he wipes his snotty nose over my bedding, feeds, and proceeds to his sibling’s rooms to wake them up… I guess if he’s up they should be too! Miss 8 runs to my room so she can grab the tv remote in the hopes of being couch commando for the day… luckily Mst 2 follows her to the front room and I can grab some more short-lived rest.
Covid homecare lady called shortly after 8.30am and my lovely nap was over. Her quick 15 minute phone call with numerous questions regarding how shit i was feeling seemed to go on forever! We discussed the fact that Covid booster vaccination was 3 days overdue so she believes this is why I currently have covid. I mean the tiny army i created are hardly petri dishes of germs are they? they wont share chocolate or sweets with me… but hey have this covid I’ve been carring around! My O2 stats were down to 91% when i measured them for her but with all the coughing and shortness of breath I was hardly surprised… She then enquired about my mental health and welbeing. As a person that battles with depression and anixety daily this was a pointless enquiry! being trapped at home with these monsters is hardly a bucket of fun… then she asks ‘Are the kids safe with you?’. What a loaded question!… i mean i wanna slap some common sense into them… throw something at them too get there attention so i don’t have to constantly yell at them… I also wanna lock them out the house on the best of days… kinda like a survival tv show… only the bravest will survive! But in fear of having the deparment breathing down my neck again I told her everything was ‘fine’. As soon as I hung up it was like magic! kids fighting and asking for food as if they hadn’t had breakfastt 20 mintutes ago.
Kids pretty much took up position in the front room and camped there for the rest of the day taking over the tv… still unable to find something remotely interesting to watch. Mstr 2 woke from his nap early after hearing the other two trying to kill each other… much to there discust he decided he wanted to play in the front room too. Apart from the relentless requests for food they pretty much stayed camped out there hogging all the bandwidth!
I had this idea that since they were all ocupied watching crap I would get out the sewing machine and get on with some birthday presents I had in the making. First job was to untangle the cones Mstr 2 tangled last time i had it out… 2 hrs later done! just need to thread the needles. I thought I’d be pretty safe leaving it out on the table while I visited the bathroom… boy was I wrong! A child that shall not be named handed me the needle clamp from sewing machine… Cleanly snapped off… Yep what’s a five minute bathroom break when you have kids. Apparently it just ‘fell off’ when the machine was ‘lightly’ bumped. YEAH RIGHT!
so now feeling deflated, trying to find a part for my dream sewing machine I saved up for months to buy after I overcame my fear of overlockers… secondhand Elna 945 computer coverstitch, managed to score it for $300! which is huge for a single mum, full time uni student. Mr 10 tries his luck for homecooked meal… not in the mood dude! His delightful pre-teen attitude seapes through when I remin him hes the only one in this house that isn’t sick and it wouldn’t hurt him to help me. Anyway he eventually storms off and decides he is not hungry enough to cook really.
So where do the baby mice fit in you ask?… Not as pets thats for sure! Anyway in my moody existance in this moment I decide I might as well get the 4 loads of washing off the line as it was predicited to rain tomorrow. I decide I could probably use my Ugg boots for this job as its quite cold out there. I get them out the wardrobe one foot in all ok… i suddenly have a coughing fit and drop the second boot… baby mice go flying!…. I jump up on my bed screaming and crying… I can see 2 baby mice shocked and hardly moving on the floor… probably a few days old… Mr 10 comes running in laughing and inspecting the mice… Mstr 2 and miss 8 follow… in the chaos that is Mstr 2 tries to grab one… I’m still having a coughing fit…
Mr 10 does the most useful thing hes done all week and grabs two bowls to put over them so they can’t get away, not that they were moving much. I ring my mum hysterical asking for help… Yep I call another person who is sick with covid to help… still perched on the bed nearly in tears… she doesn’t know what to do so she sends dad and my brother… No they don’t have covid. Dad and my brother come in and remove the mice, demonstrate to set a mouse trap and dad further lectures me about the shit in my house. Mice gone… traps set they ride off into the darkness and Mr 10 looks at me as if he’s lost any respect he ever had left for me.
Now the Ugg boot we assume is mouse free… Im not game to put my foot or hand in it so i put socks on to get washing in. Mr 10 resides to the fact he is not getting a cooked meal tonight and makes the kids beans on toats… I get the washing in just before it rains. I slept that night with the lights on with a crazy notion that the mother mouse I could hear squeaking in the darkness was going to attack me! I send a message to BF of my fears and get asked if its Pinky or the Brain in my house… Real smart ass there… I must have fallen asleep at some ungodly hour. I wake up to the screams of Mstr 2 welcoming me to Day 4 of isolation.
It basically is a bad cold… mixed with a chest infection and the feeling of someone pounding you in the head every 5 minutes. The morning started badly as usual… Mr 10 wanted to go to school but is unhappy with the government’s decision to make him isolate for 7 days after he tested positive or had his first symptoms. He doesn’t realize this is a complete inconvenience for me too! I mean he’s feeling better and his pre-teen attitude is back to fine form… at 9:15am he questioned me ‘you know this is your third coffee right?’. Apparently, there is some caveat on how many coffees I can have in the morning… With Master 2 getting COVID too I had a rough night, I told him it’s his funeral if I stop with the coffee.
Roll on 9:30 and the psychologist doing Miss 8’s autism assessment rang to start the process, she has been waiting 6 months for this appointment so it was one I couldn’t afford to cancel or it would be another 12 months before she could be assessed. As I sat on the bed with the door closed, so she couldn’t hear me, feeling like death warmed up I slowly answer the familiar 62 questions the previous psychologist asked me but refused to diagnose her as her ‘masking’ is exceptional. what was she like at this age, did she walk on tiptoes, how was her speech as a toddler, was she a fussy baby… it just went on and on. By 10:30am I could hear the 3 of them starting to get restless arguing over what crappy kids’ show would be next. I wrap up the last few questions and get a preliminary diagnosis of Austims with the pathological demand avoidance subset, passive ADHD, AFRID, and binge eating disorder, YAY more labels, and acronyms for our developmental pediatrician to dispute as girls don’t get autism. I hurry her off the phone as I can hear the circus happening in the background and the tv progressively getting louder… 11am is the day over yet!
The front room is in utter chaos! Master 2 has pulled everything out… poured water on the floor… Mr 10 is arguing with Miss 8 because he doesn’t appreciate being told to move. I decide I can’t deal with it tell them to sort it out and walk out the room… secretly hoping they will knock each other out so I can have so peace as my head is throbbing! No such luck! Miss 8 finds me out under the patio and demands Master 2 is put to bed so she can ‘have 5 minutes and popcorn’. I tell her to assist in cleaning the front room… she mumbles something as she walks off, I hear her demanding Master 2 ‘find Mummy for a nap’ and start to bark orders at Mr 10 to clean or he gets nothing!
I manage to hide for a further 5 minutes before Master 2 finds me, I then proceed to wrestle him until he falls asleep. While this is happening Miss 8 decided that she would make the popcorn I said she had to wait for… queue screaming… burnt microwave popcorn… Miss 8 and Mr 10 yet again arguing… they finally decide on a movie and watch it together.
Mr 10 rears his head at 4.30 yet again complaining he’s bored, hungry, and lonely. I’ve been slowly working through the leaning tower of laundry, folding and sorting all while wondering how many people actually live here, have I met them all, and why so many odd socks. I make suggestions on what he could do, clean walls… tidy his room… do the dishes amongst other tasks. He declares he’s ‘not that bored’ but I should contemplate what I’m cooking for dinner. I go find miss 8, asleep on the floor, cool one less person to please! I decided to take her temp as she looks flushed… 40 degrees… FUCK!
Pikelets for dinner, apparently it’s the only thing I could find that uses self-raising flour. Obviously, Mr 10 was displeased with my lack of effort when deciding and preparing this meal but as he was hungry he suffered through it! Miss 8 was upset we had no ice cream… which happens frequently as a midnight raid on the freezer is her usual game! Alas, they finished all except the burnt ones… even George the dog turned his nose up at them.
Finally, day 2 of isolation ends with me screaming with what little voice I have left trying to get the kids to bed. In the end, I told them to go to their rooms and do what they want… I fell asleep on the sofa waking up at midnight unable to breathe wondering if this was the end?
We finally got it! Someone asked me the other day what do you do when COVID hits and you’re a single mum? Great question… let me know when you find out as I thought we had dodged that bullet and were by some miracle immune.
Alas, we arent… Miss 8 is the worst, or at least she thinks she is. Complaining she is too sick to do anything of meaning and is only capable of being ‘couch commando’ ruling the tv while the rest of us suffer another episode of ‘Total Dramarama’. With 8 streaming channels, this is where she landed and has stayed for the past 8 looooong hours!
Master 2 has explored the Butter container, a person that shall not be named, AKA Mr 10 left on the edge of the bench… ‘Hulk’ butter fists all over the kitchen surfaces and stainless steel fridge I only just cleaned. once I cleaned him up it was another opportunity for him to rearrange the furniture to gain access to the fridge to explore the yogurt container I purchased yesterday… there’s 1kg of delicious yogurt the dog enjoyed! Luckily his 2-hour nap gave me an opportunity to sit outside and question my life choices before my 2pm lecture started.
Mr 10 and his pre-teen attitude is a delight as always… now he wants the yogurt that’s obviously in the dog and is expecting a 3-course meal due to my lack of productivity throughout the day. When asked if he had school work to do the usual grunting and undistinguishable murmurs were expressed so I’m assuming that’s a job the day before or the morning he goes back to school. When he told me he was bored I suggested he do the dishes, clean a wall or put some washing out… apparently he’s ‘not that bored’
Now at 6pm, kids are carrying on because they are hungry, the full force of covid is overwhelming me while I contemplate how much panadol is safe and how I can incorporate it into dinner for me when I am clearly not hungry!
I ended up serving the kids a bowl of 2-minute noodles… this was not met with enthusiasm! Mr 10 searching franticly on the cookidoo app informing me there ‘has to be a better option’. You know what there probably is… just not tonight! Anyway if they haven’t had noodles this week it is something different… I mean tomorrow I can offer eggs or beans on toast…
Kids finally went to bed at 9ish when I decided I was hungry which was definitely solved with a cuppa and a hand full of Maltesers from the dark crevices of the freezer as I had no plans to share them with anyone!
I dragged my sorry ass to bed at 12am after having a nap on the sofa while watching the final episodes of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ so I could get another 1/2 finished series off my watching list… covid life is fan-friggin-tastic! can’t wait for day 2 tomorrow!
So I didn’t want this life… far from it. I wanted to have my children parented by both loving parents and live that fairy-tale life we are all told about, the one we should aspire to according to our loving parents. But here I sit nearly 10 years down the track alone asking the question ‘why?’ Did I settle when I should have run?… Was the fear of becoming a ‘crazy cat lady’ so overwhelming that I decided I’d rather not risk it, the fact I hate cats was totally irrelevant!
The fact I chose abuse over happiness because it was a way to reach the ruse I was looking for. Even as I walked down the aisle my father asked ‘Are you sure you wanna do this?’ I was screaming ‘NO’ inside but yes came out as I thought it was what I was supposed to do… what he expected me to do… what EVERYONE is supposed to do… Maybe that’s the problem with the world… convention is in… the prince is going to save you!
Anyway… as my daughter’s 9th birthday approaches it marks 9 years of being a single mum of 2… leaving when 3 months pregnant with her 17-month-old in the toe… knowing I HAD to survive this… I HAD to make it work.
Come on my journey as I try to make sense of this… As I ask what happened to me to satisfy some sort of psychological road of discovery my social worker has sent me on as obviously kids and full-time uni isn’t enough to do…