Friday night idiot or optimist

Ok so the rational, sensible grown-up part of me, the one who does her car-tax and uses clubcard coupons knows that Popeye can’t come home this weekend.

But his ship is alongside somewhere in the UK. 

Hmm… The U.K.  you say… Interesting because that’s where I am too…

Suddenly, buried deeply underneath the realistic brain comes a beaming shaft of optimism. Or stupidity. 

Maybe he’s going to come home on weekend leave and surprise me!”

The split second my traitorous brain thinks this I slam shut the mental door on the escapee thought.

But it’s too late. 

It’s too late, I’ve thought it now and it’s in my head. Wiggling and dancing across all my other thoughts for the rest of the day.

  
Maybe, just maybe, he will be coming home.

Tick tock, tick tock.

I wonder if the ship is alongside yet? *checks Google and Twitter and Facebook*

Tick tock, tick tock.

I wonder how long it takes to get from X to our house? *checks AA route planner*

Tick tock, tick tock.

I wonder what times a train would get in from where he is? *checks the trainline.com for an early/middle and late train*

I get on with the evening routine. Making dinner and trying my very best not to look at the door over and over whenever the dog makes a noise or a car door slams. 

  
Trying my very grown-up-sensible-brain best not to do time maths to work out “omg omg if he got that train he’d be back any moment now!”

But of course I do because my treacherous brain let the thought come flying out before I could stop it. Stupid brain.

 

This pic has nothing to do with the post but i think its fucking hilarious
 
Finally I decide to just give him a quick ring, you know, for a chat. Because he’s not coming home (except maybe he is- squeeee!) and it would be nice for a catch up even if he’s not coming home (unless he is and he’s coming to surprise me any second now!!! Double squeeee!) .

Tossing my hair over my shoulder with a blasé shrug, I dial the number… 

…And I crumple as it does straight to voicemail. 

…………

Ah, I see. He’s still below deck. On board. With no signal. Hence the voicemail. 

So he’s really really not coming home. Just like he said. Just like I knew.

Crapsticks I am such an idiot. 

And all I can think is thank god I’ve never ever told anyone I do this. No-one apart from me and my traitor brain know how crazy I get the second that optimistic thought gets out. Just don’t tell anyone and then the secrets safe Olive. 

People would think I’m totally mad, wouldn’t they? 

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Weird pick ups. 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who- after completing a basic level  Navy Wife MOT has driven like a bat out of hell to some isolated lay by, or petrol station, or middle-of-nowhere train station, to await the arrival of the fabled sailor. 

  
Sitting there with the hot air blowers on, checking your phone and trying to look really casual, yet stunning, making sure there’s a cool song on the CD player, and trying (and failing) to not gaze into the headlights of every approaching vehicle like some lip glossed, perfumed rabbit.  

Oh yes, and if it’s early evening, in the summer, on a Friday night, in Somerset, in a lay by at the side of the A303, waving along creepy men in white vans who obviously think you are a dogger. Seriously, this actually happened to me.

Eventually, after a few texts of “where are you?!” With no reply, you give up and start playing candy crush with your mouth hanging open and/or start pulling stupid faces in the mirror whilst inspecting your eyebrows and makeup. You wonder if you’ve got time to do a fart and air the car out before he turns up. If I’m in a risk taking mood, I let rip. If not, it’s lockdown for the foreseeable future. 

Of course this is the time that the passenger door opens, and he appears before me (imagine a choir singing “hallelujah!”). 

I, of course, jump out of my skin, swear, drop my phone down the side of the car seat, blush and (if applicable) release the trapped guff. Great first impression Olive. 

He doesn’t mind of course. And I use my blush as a reason to wind down the windows, or jump out to help him get his stuff in the boot. Further creating air circulation. 

This account is not including the drop off at Official Scary Navy Gates. Where they have giant guns and think it’s absolutely hilarious to wave them around next to my open window and say things like “don’t worry love you wouldn’t get far”. And then stare at you whilst you park up. 

The fear I have felt when pulling into the wrong gate at the Yeovilton Base cannot be underestimated. 

There are three gates at Yeovilton, all along the same road. And all open and shut at seemingly random different times. I’m sure these times make perfect sense in navy land but not to me. I used to shit myself when picking Popeye up from there in our early years because the people on the gate were just plain mean and used to laugh at me freaking out, sweating, stalling the car and stammering when they waved their guns around and told me off for coming to the wrong gate. Again.

(Also why is there a gate that leads no where in both HMS Collingwood and one of the entrances in Portsmouth?! Why do they exist???)

The weirdest place I’ve waited to pick up Popeye is probably at the side of a lake in a country park in Devon (probably prime dogging territory). In the pitch black in the middle of nowhere. I could literally hear crickets. 

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve had to go meet your sailor? 

And how much did it feel like you were doing a drug drop/ were a gangster? (I bet quite a lot). 

Also if anyone else gets the heebie jeebies from picking up by Official Scary Navy Bases please tell me. I feel like a right wimp. 

Muchos love

Olive

Xxxxxxx

 


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.