I am proud to announce that mini Popeye, (or as it’s a girl, should that be mini olive?, we’ll call her Sweet Pea) arrived five weeks ago. Which is why there has been such a gap in posts. It’s amazing how sleep deprivation, leaking body parts and feelings of abandonment can cramp your writing flow.
So yes my years of wild partying have been temporarily suspended, instead of Chanel I now smell mostly of non bio detergent and stale milk. A main component of my daily beauty routine involves rubbing sections of my body at a time frantically with johnsons baby wipes whilst singing bootylicious at the top of my lungs (she will not settle to nursery rhymes or other age appropriate music. Instead she drifts off to Duffy, destinys child, Beyoncé, Aretha franklin and/or Tori Amos, God help us we have spawned a diva).
And of course, I am alone raising our first born child, as Popeye has gone back on deployment. I am living each day in survival mode, drifting from one adrenaline filled crying session to the next (and that can be me or the baby, FYI).
My deployment countdown is no longer in weeks and days, or even months, but in hours. As in, I survived the first 24 hours without Popeye, then 36, 48 etc. the phrase “living on a wish and a prayer” has never been more fervently understood than by moi, right now.
I have developed major anger issues towards civvy wives and mums. I know it’s completely unjustified, and unhinged, and unfair. But I don’t care. I am having to be a single mum without the government benefits. I am having to be a single mum whilst also being a phone ninja (not that he’s been able to call anyway!) and whilst still being expected to send lengthy interesting emails. Plus pictures. Plus boxes with pictures printed off. Plus still send sexy flirty messages. Something’s gotta give.
As any new mum will tell you, It takes hours to get out of the house. A busy day involves walking the dog and/or shaving my armpits. Sweet Pea is like this brilliant, awful, fantastic grenade that has exploded into my life and has made everything, everything change.
Not for Popeye though, oh no. Everything on board is the same, except he’s got new pictures up by his pit. At least this is what I tell myself as I wipe up the latest pile of human bodily fluids. And the stupid thing is that I knew this was how it would be. We talked it through extensively. But back in the good old days where I could take a crap at leisure and eat with two hands. And eat my food hot. And not cut up into chunks prior to me sitting down. And slowly. *sigh…..*
sorry, I’ve had two hours sleep and my minds wandering. Yes, back in B.B (before baby) I thought what I was doing was noble. The self sacrificing navy wife. The constant, smiling heart-of-the-house earth mama. The sun to the solar system that is our family. How satisfying! How fulfilling! How wonderous!
How fucking ridiculous! The reality of my life is screaming blue murder in your face and pooing across your floor.
Yet for Popeye, the mental picture of me, tenderly changing a nappy whilst lovingly gazing at Sweet Pea, possibly surrounded by a halo of white light, is still intact. At least whilst he’s away and not able to call.
And there’s a big part of me that wants it to stay like that, for him to keep that frankly ridiculous image of me, “Olive, Super Mum” in his head. A bit like before Sweet Pea was here and he thought I walked around with full makeup and lace undies on everyday. He now thinks of me and her in this madonna- and baby esque way. I ask myself everyday, Should I burst his bubble? Should I send the email telling him exactly how I feel during those moments of desperation? I don’t think I will, although I’ve considered it!
What good would it do? It won’t get him home any faster, it probably wouldn’t make me feel any better. And it sure would make Popeye feel awful. Which a tiny part of me wants, but a bigger part (the non-evil part) realises that then we would both be miserable, and making him miserable is not what I want to do. I want him to be happy, but not too happy, I want him to not miss me, but really I want him to mega miss me, and I want him to have fun, but not too much fun.
I think what I want, and what I will never have, is for him to understand wholly, completely, what it’s like day in day out with a newborn.
But what I will never ever understand, is how it feels to be separated from your daughter and wife and only see her growing up in pictures. I can only imagine. And it’s pretty awful.
So whilst the image of “Olive Oyl: Super Mum” is a complete work of fiction, my view of him and his life onboard is equally as rosy tinted and idyllic, as his is of us at home.
Who am I to add to his unhappiness at the situation by enlightening him to the pooey, noisy, sleep deprived truth, it’ll all be waiting for him when he’s home!