As the late great M.J once sang “Just leave me alone.”
This is my current theme tune. Boy one (two and a half) is abnormally ecstatic to exist and on the cusp of full on language but not coherent sentences which renders him similar to a mini french shouty man who follows me about the house precisely 1mm away from my heel enquiring:
“ah, yes, mamma, big park? Grandma? Blue car? Cocolat cake? mamma? yes? or….appwel juice. Ah ok I know, I know.”
Sacre Bleu! Boy two is now three months old and communicates with less finesse. He cries – a lot – all the time. It’s the bastard teeth see. Fucking, bastard teeth. The two boys are in cahoots. They are in some sort of relay and as soon as one stops shouting / screaming / yelling and the house falls silent – they wallop the other with the baton and the other one starts.
The main difference between one kid and two, I have found – is the noise. It’s just noise, all, day, long. My toddler day starts at five and my baby day is a bit like a 24 hour rave that the organisers forgot about so no one ever goes home or stops blowing their friggin whistles.
I was quite antisocial pre kids. If the ‘social’ didn’t involve wine and a Wetherspoons I wasn’t too fussed. After the first baby I was basically a hermit crab. Then I got my mojo back, made friends and was back on the scene. But after my second baby I’m back to having no desire to go out.
But grandma had a surprise up her sleeve – a holiday! I hoped it would be more relaxing than the last one – and that’s the main thing after having two children – how does one ‘relax’? What is this word? ‘Relax?’ Je ne sais pas? I feel like I have not unclenched since my epidural.
After a week long holiday I discovered that ‘relaxing’ after two kids is being as antisocial as possible, being anywhere ‘silent’ and involves Gin.
Look – I love my children, obviously, but I needed a bloody break.
“What would you like to do on this holiday sweetheart?” My mother asked.
“I would just like for an hour a day to … not have the kids.”
And so my highlights of the week long holiday were as follows:
- An hour on my own outside the pub with a G&T
- An hour on my own as I walked down the beach
- An hour on my own at the swimming pool
- An hour on my own watching The Good Wife
Look there were highlights WITH the kids! Don’t get me wrong… like the toddler having a meltdown in the arcades that were so noisy they perforated all our eardrums, or grandma nearly passing out having to frantically blow cold air on the bastard ‘hotter than the sun’ chips that the toddler was screaming into because he couldn’t eat them straight away, or the baby projectile vomiting on me (whilst he was in a sling facing my face) on a stroll to the beach making a poor man walking his dog gag (the man, not the dog).
‘Peace and quiet’ is now the most sought after thing in my life, just after Gin. No! I don’t want to hear the specials. Just get me a gin and sssh. No! I don’t want to be chatted up! I have enough sticky paws on me though the day thanks very much! (Not that I am ever chatted up…but just in case). No!! I don’t want to talk at the bus stop about the price of carrier bags – I am soaking up the silence. Silence is gold dust.
The penultimate day of my holiday I had my ‘hour alone’. I skipped off to the swimming pool and thought I would take my chances in the steam room. I sat in the steam room ALONE and sweating in silence. It was divine. In pops a jolly Yorkshire man (we are all jolly in Yorkshire, apart from me) and he wants to chat about how his girlfriend always needs the heating on, but he doesn’t.
I move to the sauna. Another jolly Yorkshire man wants to tell me about a local cafe that does great bacon sarnies. I nod and hope silence will come again soon, but am also appreciative that the bacon sandwich chat is more scintillating than my toddler’s current stories about poo. We try and ignore the awkward fact that we are basically in our underwear. “Bacon you say?” I say, sucking in my C section overhang and crossing my thunderous thighs.
In pops a woman. She starts trying to talk to me… oh no. Not another one! What does a mum of two have to do nowadays just for some peace?
She tells me she saw me on the beach earlier with my baby…she had noticed because she too was with child.
My ears prick up. I lock eyes with her, over the condensation. Now you’re talking.
“You have a child?” I pant. “How old? What is her name? Oh that is adorable! Oh I see… You’re from Leeds? No way!” I want to be best friends with this woman, this semi nude perfect stranger. Bacon man is now the third wheel; Baby talk trumps pork talk.
Half an hour into our conversation I realise how long I have been in the sauna and realise I am about to die. I exclaim that I may faint and have to go. I burst out of the door and walk like a drugged up crab around the swimming pool to the changing room where I sit hyperventilating for a good ten minutes.
That’s the paradox – two kids has rendered me a Victor Meldrew antisocial cow… but also just as lonely as when I was originally a new mum – with an ingrained affinity for all other mums.
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