Always phone

It doesn’t matter if it’s 3am or 6am or lunchtime and I’m at work. If you have the opportunity to phone me take it.

  

Even if you’re worried you will wake me up, or wake the baby up, or if you’re drunk, or if the signal is crappy or there are announcements on the speakers that sound like daleks.

Always ring me.

I will wake up. The baby will wake up. I will swear. Sometimes I have rolled over and hung up on you and gone back to sleep. 

Being woken up to hear your voice from hundreds or thousands of miles away is worth it. Sleep is overrated anyway.

I don’t care about your level of sobriety. Or lack of.

 In fact it is damn funny to hear you slur “I love you soo mush you knoo, no, no you daan understaan, I rally rally love you Olive” whilst your ship mates sing or fight or puke in the background. 

  
I won’t mind if we get cut off after 1 or 5 or 15 minutes. Well, actually I will, but it’s not as bad as not getting that phone call at all. 

(Plus then when the other WAGs are talking on our Facebook group I will be in the know that “No comms aren’t down! I had a phone call!” And I can feel a leetle bit smug. Instead of panicking/ feeling bummed out that you haven’t rung me when you had the opportunity. ) 

It’s okay that we have to pause for ages whilst some bloke waffles on on the speaker about fire exercises or rounds or other navy crap. I will wait, do my best dalek impression whilst he’s talking, or eavesdrop and hope I hear some uber cool secret titbit of information. Then when the dalek shuts up we can carry on.

Any call is better than no call. 

Just to know you’re alright. You’re safe. I haven’t imagined you, you do still give a hoot about me and want to see how I’m doing. 

All of this is conveyed just by having the phone ring. Even if the actual conversation is broken and nonsensical and sometimes downright impossible. Because you made the effort I know you’re thinking about me and loving me from wherever you are.

It’s quite straight forward really. If you can phone me then do it. 

If I find out you had the chance and didnt take it, well that avenue is really not worth exploring darling. Those daleks have nothing on me. 

Muchos love 

Olive x


Boring Snoring Gloring Mummy versus “The Funninator”.

I work hard at home to keep everything ticking over. I have systems, I have routine, I even have flexibility built into the routine. Efficient, no?

 Me and Sweetpea, we have fun. We have sand play, water play, music time, play groups, breast feeding group, messy play, you name it we go to it. Such activities are are on a loose weekly basis, special fun days are planned in advance and carefully packed for the night before so there’s no forgotten sun cream, no lack of spare clothes, no forgotten swimming costume disasters. 

In short I think I provide a stable, varied and fun week for her.

Until Daddy comes home on a Friday. Of course. How can I ever compete with The Funninator?

He usually comes home right in the middle of tea time, meaning that from the second he bounds into the room, arms open, voice booming, Sweetpea will be so star struck that she will eat no more that evening. 

She will stay up late because I want them to have some time together. 

They will get so wired off of playing together that she may as well have had a whole tube of blue smarties. Same goes for Popeye. By time I’ve put her to bed it’s Stupid O’clock and I’m doing my very best impression of a walker from The Walking Dead. With one side of my bra unclipped. Nice.

So that’s the evening routine screwed. The next day Popeye will suggest us all going on a day trip. An expensive, exciting, far away day trip, like to the zoo or aquarium or something. Which is great.

  I will say yes because I want them to have special magical memories of lovely days out together. Just give me 30mins to get everything ready whilst you two play and snuggle. 

I’m fairly sure Popeye is thinking all this time “why this isn’t stressful at all! I’m having a lovely time playing with Sweetpea. What’s the problem, parenting is such fun!” 

(Sweetpea is probably thinking something similar.)

Meanwhile I’m rubbing porridge off of the wall, loading the dishwasher and the washing machine knowing we will be out all day and shit needs to get done.  

Mid domestic whirlwind, I see them cuddling from the kitchen and I feel a pang of jealousy. I want to be the Funninator sometimes. 

But he doesn’t get much time with her and they need this bonding time. 

Plus I’m the only one who knows when bin day is and where the nappy bags are kept. 

So we go for our super mega ultra fun day out. We have super mega ultra fun. Naturally this ends in a HUGE tantrum from Sweetpea and a looooong nap in car on the way back home. Meaning another late night, and she still wakes up at 5am.

Argh! (*breathe Olive breathe- keeping reminding yourself “quality family time, quality family time- oohhhhmmmm” etc).

By the time Popeye leaves on Sunday, me and Sweetpea have no idea which way is up or what’s going on. Night time routine has gone out of the window, daytime routine has gone out of the window, so much crap has gone out of the window I may just get a door installed there instead.

We’ve had a great weekend. I’ve loved  having The Funninator home to help with parenting. I’ve loved seeing him and Sweetpea together. I’ve loved feeling like one half of a whole again.

We’ve all had quality family time. So much quality I could do with a bit of quantity to be honest. 

Instead I feel like every weekend is a holiday, which is great, but makes my head spin! It takes me and Sweetpea about a week to recover, by which time it’s the weekend again! It’s exhausting and exhilarating at the same time.

On Sunday’s after weekenders, most of our food has gone off because we’ve had so much dominoes and wagamama, we usually have some random and expensive fudge or cheese from a farm shop and that’s it. We are therefore also skint. We don’t have any clean clothes because I never did take that first lot out of the washing machine on  Saturday  morning, and the house looks like someone has confused it with a magic 8 ball and picked it up and shaken it repeatedly. 

“Thanks for a lovely weekend, I’m going to miss my girls” says Popeye, with a big hug and kiss for us both. He hates leaving us so I put on my best “big girl smile” and wave him off and say something reassuring and positive. Off he sweeps to save the world one cleaning routine at a time.

We sit on the floor in the chaos and look at each other. Then Boring Snoring Gloring Mummy starts picking up the pieces again as Sweetpea waves to the shut front door “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy” she gurgles.

“Daddy’s gone to sea, Daddy be back soon.” I reply. And stick the washing on a repeat cycle.

  

Leave lists 

They’ve only just got in the door, you’ve stuck the kettle on and already your mind is whirring. 

Like a lioness about to pounce on an innocent grazing (nautical themed) gazelle you judge whether it’s time to strike. 

  

On the outside you’re gazing doe eyed at your sailor as they sip their tea. On the inside you are crouched, coiled with tension, waiting and watching.

They lean back with goofy, satisfied smile. 
“Ahh, that’s better, it’s so good to be home.” Says your Popeye. 

You murmur in reply “It’s so good to have you home” with a smouldering gaze through fluttering eyelashes. 

All the while your lioness half is debating with yourself “Is this the time? Is this the time to strike?!” 

You mull it over for a few seconds, blood coursing through your veins. Heart pounding. Pulse racing. 

 You’ve waited so long for this, you need this. Your mind is spinning with fantasies you’ve been dreaming about during your time apart. 

Popeye goes for his second sip of tea. 

Now” whispers the lioness “just do it now, whilst he’s vulnerable”. 

……. 

You stand up, walk over to him, and get it out.

Placing the innocuous piece of paper down between you both, breathing heavily, trembling with excitement, you begin. 

“Popeye I need you, no, I want you to…. 

….. put the Christmas decorations in the loft, mow the lawn, hang that picture frame, ooh and Sweetpeas flat pack nursery furniture arrives tomorrow so you need to put that together too, the driveway needs pressure washing…” 

You can’t stop. It feels so good. So satisfying. 

You keep talking faster and faster, listing more and more jobs until Popeye just can’t take it anymore and you finish with a climax “Oh and can you sort out the shed, it’s a tip!” 

It feels so good. Finally you get what you need. 

All those weeks of dreaming and now those fantasies  are coming true. 

The “to do” list will be done. 

Oh yeah…

Muchos love

X

PARPs in Pompey, sweet goodbyes. 

I’ve just said goodbye to Popeye. Again. Not for a big deployment thank god, but long enough when SweetPea has discovered mobility and seems to have a primary objective to try to trip me up by stealth crawling right  behind me in near silence. Like a small, squidgy, yoghurt covered ninja. . *mental note: ninja baby-possible Halloween costume idea*.

I dropped Popeye off outside M&S in gun wharf quays, the shopping centre in Portsmouth, because he forgot, as he always forgets, that you can’t turn right at the traffic lights to get to the dock gate. *sigh*. So at 6am this merry morn I was stressed, he was stressed. And. We said goodbye. Again.

In hindsight, driving home listening to Mumford and sons, was, probably a bit of an error. But I managed to hold it together for the best part of the first song, until I got to my Pre Approved Rant Point (PARP).

My PARP is silly really, it’s a point fairly near the dockyard but just far enough away that I can’t turn around and hit Popeye over the head and drag him, feet first, into the trunk-cave woman style.

My PARP is the Eberhardt Signs sign shop along the A3. When I see their neon pink sign, I’m allowed to cry. Or scream. Or vom. Whatever seems best. No matter what time of day or night, what weather or what season, there is the neon sign of my undoing. 

Right next to where the A3 turns into the M27 and splits east and west. So, nice  and safe then.

Every time I drop him off I think “get to the neon sign Olive, get to the sign. Then you can rant. Not before. Step on it girl!”

 

That’s the one. The PARP that let’s me know it’s time to lose it, just for a minute, before I have to concentrate on not crashing the tonne of steel I’m in charge of.  

Btw I didn’t, like, decide  on a PARP. I didn’t even want one. But sometimes, I guess the PARP life chooses you. 

Deep man.  

Anyone else have a PARP? Or just me that likes to let rip at certain landmarks around the south coast?

Muchos love

Olive x

Decisions decisions… The great mayo or salsa debate

Why is it that just before home coming I lose the capacity to make decisions? During deployment I can make decisions like a power hungry Cold War dictator. But during those last few weeks I’m less effective than Nick Clegg wanting to pass a new policy.

Last deployment I was able to organise moving house, I found a new one, bought it (without Popeye seeing it), moved in, grew and birthed a human AND organised building a new bathroom and all the stuff to go in it.

All of these things involved a LOT of decisions and choices. Big decisions, big choices. I was able to do these things swiftly and decisively, confident in my ability to choose, and choose right .

However a month before deployment ended I was minding my own business, daydreaming about homecoming and I had a meltdown at the drive through. Completely lost it. And all because they asked me if I wanted mayo or salsa on my chicken burger.

For a good few seconds my mind went completely blank. What had they just asked me? Oh, a choice! A simple choice! Then… “Oh my God, what do I want??? Mayo? Salsa? Ok, I definitely want salsa. No. I want mayonnaise. WHY IS THIS SO HARD????

IMG_1645-0 With people starting to beep their car horns behind me, and Sweet Pea kicking off in her car seat, I garbled in an anxious ridden tone “I don’t know! Surprise me!” And sped off to the pay window with red cheeks and a pounding heart.

I lose the ability “to decide” in those fabled last four weeks. WHY is this? Popeye is not in anyway Mr Controlling, if anything, infact (and I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this) I am the powerhouse in our marriage that gets things done and organised. He’s more of a laid back ideas man.

Maybe in the early stages of deployment it’s just knowing that when he’s away I have no other option than to decide. Theres no choice. The bucks stops here, squarely at me. At this early stage of deployment the idea of him actually being here has taken on a “Stars In Their Eyes” mystical quality that doesn’t seem all that realistic. Homecoming really is a day dream.

Then suddenly, four weeks to go, shit! Get outta the way Mathew Kelly, clear that fog from the fog machine, he’s actually going to be here, to help me!

Crap! I’m going to have to factor in his opinion! His preferences! I’m going to have to start playing as a team player! No more Olive-The-Dictator, time for a UN resolution and swiftly.

This realisation puts my head in a spin. Basically I think my brain stalls.

I temporarily suspend any “decisions”. Big or small. Or even McDonalds miniature happy meal sized ones. My brain just can’t handle it, knowing that the cavalry is just on the top of the hill. Or at least on the sea surrounding the same continent.

This realisation of help, support and opinion being so near yet so far makes stuff like mayo or salsa become a HUMONGOUS decision, towering above my head, staring down at me like a drill sergeant from some 80s military film, “which one is it soldier? You must decide, NOW!”

And yes, I guess I must. I must decide the little things, or go hungry. But the big things, like getting the car serviced (or not), booking a holiday, painting the baby’s room or getting the driveway paved can all wait. Because at this point I can’t plough ahead knowing that this dictatorship is about to become a democracy. And who the hell has salsa anyway?

Muchos love X

Safety and the navy wife.

Whether or not Popeye is deployed, I like to think I am a fairly sane and rational woman. I like to think I’ve got it together, the house is towing the line, I’m ticking all the boxes at work and (now) also being a super-awesome-military-spouse-parent-unit thing. My life is organised and above all safe. Living alone without a big hulky sailor around can give you the heeby jeebies late at night. And so I take steps to make our house an impenetrable fortress of solitude and safety.

I will check the front door with Obsessive Compulsive thoroughness, once, twice a night, just before and during criminal minds or the walking dead, and once again on the way up to bed.

I will be so paranoid I’ve left the oven on I will wake up in the middle of the night to check, or (this has happen three times) turned around mid commute to work to double check I’ve locked the front door.

I don’t talk to strangers. I have my phone in my coat pocket whilst walking the dog. I have an attack alarm primed and ready to scream at any would be attackers. I always tell my mum or friend if I’m going to something possibly risky, like the pub gym.

I’ve noticed this homecoming though, that upon Popeyes fabled return to the Oyl homestead, I seem to display a flagrant disregard for the safety of myself, my family and my property that would leave my deployment alter ego shaking her head and swigging gin straight from the green glass teat.

All of a sudden it’s fine to leave the electric hob on. So we melted the dogs lead, it’ll make a funny story to tell.

The smoke alarm has been shut in the bathroom so it doesn’t go off when I make toast.

So you went out all morning and left all the downstairs windows wide open. Who cares , that’s what windows are supposed to do, be open. If they weren’t they wouldn’t be fulfilling their window destiny. Or something.

Slept all night with the front door not only unlocked but also open after a slightly heavy night of post homecoming celebrations? Been there done that my friend, and after all the hallway needed an airing.

Get to the car only to realise it’s been unlocked all night? Not a problem, ha aren’t we such crazy homecoming kooks! Lucky we’ve got car insurance and all our CDs are scratched anyway.

In short, when Popeye is deployed I may take the personal safety thing a tad too far, I admit.

However I think that when he’s home I go too far the other way. I don’t seem to give a hoot if the house burns down, because at least we will all be together.

IMG_1609-1.JPG

What. The actual. Fuck.

Muchos love

Xxxxxx

The hype of Skype.

Ahh Skype! I heard so many wonderous tales from other navy wives about you. How seeing their Sailor was amazing. And I have suffered the aghast looks and “oh Olive you haven’t ever Skyped? How do you cope? Why not? you simply must! it’s the best!”

So this deployment, mostly so Popeye could see his Daughter, Sweet Pea, (who is turning into a right chunker by the way, SO cuuuuuute!) we attempted to get with the decade and Skype.

so, being the super modern Royal Navy couple that we are, we downloaded, (during paternity leave), we practised, then when he was back on deployment and alongside, we text each other, to arrange a time, Popeye scouted bars in Dubai with free wifi (a real chore I’m sure!) to find a place to do it.

I actually made sure I had makeup on! My top only had one bit of sick on it! I had tidied the living room! I had brushed my hair! Sweet Pea was wearing her best baby outfit! The clock ticked to the allotted time, adrenaline and excitement coursing in my veins, after two months we get to see each other!!!!

Aaaaaaaaaand…….nothing. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Cue desperate texts costing a squillion pounds each- “I’m doing everything right here Popeye, it must be you, at your end”.

“No Olive, it’s not my end, it must be you”

“No Popeye, I must disagree, darling, surely it is you who is technologically challenged, not I”.

“Nope it’s you, I can’t be bothered now”.

“For God sake Popeye keep trying or I will LOSE it. It has taken me HOURS to get ready for this flipping Skype call!!!!”

Eventually… it connects.

Relief and anticipation flood my body as I peer into the iPad screen.

And I can see him! But wait…he’s pixilated like some Mine Craft character!

And his movements are all lagged and robotic.

Aaaaaand I can only hear every other word.

Oh.

Is this what everyone’s been raving about?

IMG_1210.PNG

After about fifteen minutes of Minecraft Robo Hubby making vowel sounds like a monkey, and me shouting “I can’t hear you, what?” Whilst trying to hold the (now screaming) baby up for him to look at, I am actually relieved when the connection cuts out for the last time and we go back to old fashioned texting.

After all that effort I am exhausted, Sweet Pea is freaking out about everything and Popeye is pissed off at the whole exercise.

Skype I’m sure is amazing when you’ve got a stellar connection and angel child and all the time in the world. However when one half of the conversation is either broken and disjointed, or has the background noise of the Queen Vic, it’s not the magical wonderous experience I was expecting!!!

Parcel sending: what does your parcel say about you?

During this deployment my parcel skills have taken a nosedive. I used to be soooooo good at sending parcels out. I diligently sent one a week, each item loving picked to cater to Popeyes fluctuating needs throughout our time apart. Hours would be spent writing a letter of epic proportions, with each line thought about and delivered tenderly and with very neat handwriting.

I would go into specific shops to find a DVD or game that he had requested, I would go to the sweet shop in search of his favourite sweets (fizzy raspberry balls), I would in short trek up and down the high street, my heart fluttering with excitement at the thought of his delight as he opened each carefully and lovely packed bundle.

Fast forward a few years, and add a baby into the mix and the standard has dropped…I have dubbed myself “the New Mum” parcel sender:

the New Mum
Bang out a garbled letter in which my handwriting looks like a spider has died a slow death and crawled across the page, a letter that’s contents is basically a minute by minute account of my day, and therefore exactly the same as the email I’ve just sent.

Now I’ve got sweet pea it’s a case of- grab a few bags of 3 for 2 from the confectionary aisle of tescos as quickly as possible. Cram as many sweets into the box as I can under the 2kg limit (or I have to pay and that is sooo not happening). If it’s over the limit, remove heaviest sweets and eat them myself, then at some point during the next week or two whack it into the post office en route to the next supermarket trip or doctors appointment or coffee morning. There are no more DVDs, no more scented pillowcases, no more “open when you feel… Letters” it’s literally a box of a random collection of aisle 6’s choicest picks and a note with a coffee ring in the corner. I think of my parcels as a bit of a failure on my part, especially when I consider how much effort I used to put in (see “The Romantic” and “The Artist”, below). But I haven’t got enough time on my hands to worry about it.

This got me thinking about how these parcels reflect us, those packing them. Whether we are girlfriends doing our first deployment, a heart broken fiancé counting down to her wedding, a rushed off her feet wife and mother, or a mum wanting to scoop up her son or daughter from miles away but not being able to. I’ve come up with some categories:

The romantic
(Basically how I was,)
So, it’s probably their first deployment. Each box is lovingly packed with items that have been given a lot of thought. A romantic letter with rude undertones. Possibly a stocking with a note “come find the other one when you’re home” etc. definitely stuff that smells of their perfume. Letter sealed with a lipstick kiss and a sigh. Very excited about when their sailor receives it. Sees the parcel as a physical embodiment of their love. Box weighs more than 2kg, but she doesn’t care as she is desperate to send it. Makes a special trip into town to ceremoniously post it.

The pragmatist
Has been given a list by her sailor. Writes a time and date on the calendar when a trip into town is manageable and goes in and buys said items. No more, no less. May or may not call into the post office to buy her new tax disk at the same time. The letter written explains why certain brands were selected in favour of others, a short account of how life is at home is given, with a reminder to provide certain information, such as national insurance number, so that she can register them to vote/complete census form/update SORN information before homecoming.Box weighs exactly 2kg after wrapping.
Sees the box as a reflection of how well she is coping. Poster feels a sense of accomplishment and personal pride when sending it. Posts it during her lunch break as she’s remembered to take it with her in the car that morning.

The Old Timer
Needs no list. Due to doing so many deployments psychically knows when her sailor needs a parcel and exactly what her sailor needs. This will change depending on which hemisphere he is in. She knows how long each parcel will take to arrive, give or take 3 days, no matter where they are in the world. Parcel is packed with a balance of things he literally needs, such as shower gel, moisturiser etc, and an even mix of moral boosting sweets and crisps. There are letters from her and the sailors best friends and family members. She has a photo bucket account set up and automatically includes recent photos and updates of important family events. Box weighs as much as it needs to and is sent when it is ready, which is exactly at the right time. Sees the box as something she does when her sailor is deployed, and thinks no more of it.

The joker
Sends an empty box.

The Angel
Puts other navy wives to shame by sending several boxes at a time. Each one is a mix of practical and romantic. They don’t worry about when they send them as they constantly send them. Is on first name terms with the post office staff. Has a roll of customs labels at home. Will send novelty items as needed for functions on the ship, such as a Neptune costume for the crossing the line ceremony. And are therefore practical and fun. Usually includes home made jam or chutney. Letters are newsy, breezy and different every time. Has no need for scales as can tell by holding each box if it is over the 2kg limit. Thinks of her parcel as a little cuboid of home.

The Artist
Has a lot of free time. Picks a theme and runs with it. Will spend a LOT of money on items just to fit the theme. Themes such as holidays (Christmas/Halloween) and interests (TV shows/ hobbies) are common. Usually sends a mug or key ring that fits the theme. Box is sent in a rush hoping it’ll get there on time. Items sent are impractical, novelty and flamboyant. The Artist needs to then send a second parcel shortly of things their sailor actually needs. They feel embarrassed when writing the customs label and have no idea of the weight until they get to the post office, which, due to their insurmountable excitement, they make a special trip to go to. Usually five minutes before it shuts. This parcel is posted the day the parcel force man delivers the final item purchased through Amazon one click. Thinks of her parcel as a much a project to keep her busy, cheerful and focused as it is to him him entertained and happy.

20140925-143825-52705197.jpg

So, which parcel sender are you? Do you jump between the categories? I’ve probably left half out, but rest assured, no matter what kind of parcel sender you are, you are pretty awesome simply because you are sending a parcel.

Hope that raised a smile, and hope those countdowns are zooming by. Now off for coffee via the nearest Royal Mail depot.

Muchos love,
Olive
X

Olive Oyl: Super Mum. Another dream bites the dust.

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!