The run ashore

So it’s happening again. A run ashore is imminent.  My response to this varies wildly, so much so Popeye is now pretty cautious about how he tells me. My response SEEMS to depend on whether or not I’m on maternity leave and hormonal  or have work the next day or not. There may be other factors at play here. 

Basically I’m jealous of him and how free he can be. My life is tied down and full of adult responsibility. I have to be (vaguely) sensible. I have to be organised.  His life, when he’s onboard, hasn’t really changed (outside of his job role), since he was 16. 

  

If you have no kids and can go out and party hard yourself at the drop of a hat then good for you (teeny bit jealous here btw) . DO IT. Do it for ME if nothing else.

Forget all about how much fun they are having, who they are with, what super dooper clubs they are in, what exciting shinnanigans they are having and enjoy yourself

However. If you cant get rat arsed on a Tuesday or Thursday from lunchtime onwards, because of silly, unimportant, things, like:

  • Have to go to work the next day.
  • You are woken up by small people screaming at you for boobs or porridge at the crack of fecking dawn every day of your life. Forever.
  • You (shockingly) haven’t got stupid amounts of free money wanging around to spend on booze and taxis and casinos and more booze.
  • You actually want to sit in, curled up with a bottle of wine  cup of tea and bag of malteasers and watch new The Walking Dead, Stella or Modern Family or some new box set.
  • Inviting your bestie round for a bitch and gossip  catch up sounds like a much more appealing evening than having punctured ear drums and freshers spilling apple sours on you. 

DONT feel bad. You are not alone. Most of the Navy and Military Wife/Partner population will be feeling the same, whilst skimming through sky+ and checking their phone. 

Its NORMAL to feel jealous. They don’t have the same responsibilities as we do. To be there for our kids night and day 24/7. To go to work not smelling of sambouca and shame. To budget so we don’t, as a family, starve.

We have the luxury of a comfortable house around us, entertaining TV or company for good nights in. They don’t. They have honking pits, and are thrown together with others that, some of the time, are a bunch of pricks. 

When Popeye is deployed and goes on a Run Ashore I try to empathise. And when I thought about it I realised holy crap of I was in the Navy I’d be out having a drink (or ten) too! After being stuck in that metal box for, possibly weeks, working all hours God sends and thinking about home and missing us and seeing our faces smiling down from above his bed whilst he plays the same Xbox game for a few hours of free time. 

  

Shit man, I’d probably be drinking like a fish and dancing on tables in denial by the end of the night. It’s a form of escapism, denial and group consensus we’ve escaped in our normal lives. 

So next time your Popeye lets slip he’s going out for a “quiet few” (obviously code for getting plastered and tattooed and ending up stealing a large decorative fish) try to quiet the inner jealous, wine deprived, pub deprived, eye shadow deprived, grown up conversation deprived, she wolf. 

He’s going out either way so you might as well focus on all the good things youve got around you that he hasnt. 

Bottom line is he would do anything to be sitting there next to you nicking that last malteaser rather than replaying the same night out over and over again for years.

Muchos love 

Olive

X

P.s this does not mean you can’t remind him of all his nights out when he’s home so you can have a girls night out, complete with blackjack, vodka, possibly karaoke and all the glory of the “Mummy Lie In”. Life’s funny that way.

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

My “linger” moment, in response to ¬†daily posts WordPress prompt.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Linger.”

What moment would I like to pause and linger over?

Easy. Peasy. Lemon squeezey.

The morning before the last morning together.

Waking up a minute before he does and watching him sleep.

Concentrating on the rhythm of his breathing.

The dappled curtain filtered sunlight playing on his sea-salted skin.

In this moment we know nothing of deployments. My stomach does not ache from loneliness or loss but swells with love and tenderness.

I snuggle up under his thick, heavy, tattooed arm and find my harbour , where I feel more complete than anywhere else.

And we just breathe. We breathe in the silence, breathe in the closeness, breathe in the togetherness that no distance will ever destroy.

This is my linger moment, my safe harbour from separation, my never ending nirvana. A simple sunlit strewn memory that nothing can take away. Not even a deployment.