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.