Thoroughly miserable Tuesday
It is not the light that is waking me at the crack of dawn but my guilty conscience. I woke at five again this morning. I went to bed early around 9.30 after cuddling Naoise to sleep with a made up story about the family living a crofters life in highland Scotland. I had been watching This is England 90 with Syd. I thought it would be fun to have a programme to watch with him, I thought it was important to spend this time with him, espeially as he had fallen off his bike.
I am not finding adjusting to the new routine easy. I am tired in different ways. Its not easier its just different. Time ordered differently.
I spent most of yesterday baking for the children lunches. I baked savoury pastry tarts, chocolate buns and wholemeal bread.
I make, I bake, I am.
I walked into Tod when sitting in the house became inward. I hate it when the walls close in. I was disappointed that I had missed a new friendship support session at the Sure Start Centre, but the reminder letter only arrived at 11.30am and the first session finished at 11.30am. I was a bit annoyed, but annoyance gets you nowhere. A walk clears the annoyance.
I went into Tod to walk off my annoyance, buy some onions and see if I could find any plates in the charity shops. My odd bod collection of ceramics has been depleted through various accidents and breakages. A stone floor of a front room is not very forgiving. I was delighted to strike gold in the Overgate Charity shop, thirteen dinner plates and serving plates, dishes and gravy bowls and a few tea cups and saucers all for £20. I rang P before spending the money, its a tight month so I have to be super careful with our money. P agreed that I should buy them. I was so pleased to have made my plate purchase at last, no more eating off side plates. Next to look for some new bowls.
I am aware that I must press on with jobs. I was going to cycle to the studio today, but I think it best I take the car, least I can get a full day working then. I probably will spend most of my hours at the studio searching for paid work and opportunities as its pointless making work if I can’t pay for my space. Its a chicken and an egg. The chicken needs feeding before it can lay an egg.
School pick up was awful. I received a text from S at two asking for a lift home, which made the baking extravaganza rather stressful and chaotic. I managed to collect him on time, and he was grateful to see me. I don’t think he is very fond of school and I think it will take him a while to adjust to the new term and new teachers and the increased amount of homework that he will be given.
School pick up was awful because Naoise wanted to go to the recreational ground with his friend and I said no. He stormed off in a huff and ran out of the school gates. Luckily he ‘didn’t run onto the road, instead he clung tight to the black victorian railings outside and refused to walk up the hill to where my car was parked. I tried to take some images of him clinging to the railings, I thought that the pause for thought might help me. I felt upset, and anxious and annoyed and frustrated. The camera did not help him though, the camera was cruel so I did not take an image.
He was upset and frustrated and annoyed and determined to get his way. I am sick of these incidents immediately after school, I have to be clear with him, he needs to know his boundaries. I don’t want to be hanging out in the park or the playground after school for hours on end when I have so much work to do back at home. I don’t mind some free play after the release of the institution but I need it to be on my terms to. For too long he has dictated my timetable and he needs to know I have needs as well. The day is so long with P leaving before 8 and returning at 6.30pm. The day is so long.
I eventually managed to get him up the hill to the car. I tried to be calm, but I wasn’t. He clasped hold of the railings another two times. My heart raced. He is indignant. I need to think about how to better cope with these challenging situations. How to be stern, clear but kind and calm. It is very difficult, I find being a mother very hard. It looks so easy when you see others. When Naoise misbehaves I feel outside, I feel other, I feel bad and shameful and inadequate.
I think I am having a crisis of confidence, maybe the friendship group will help, but I have to wait till next Monday now.
P is in the shower getting up, the clothes are drying on the radiator. I put away the clean towels in the laundry cupboard but there are still piles of my clothes to hang up and place in drawers. I must do this before our guest comes back this evening
As I boiled the kettle to make my tea I saw the baby robin outside. Yesterday when I was speaking to my friend on the telephone and juggling the care of Naoise, I saw a squirrel in the back yard. Our yard has become a sanctuary for nature. It must have been the same squirrel that came through the cat flap last week.
Corbyn has selected his shadow cabinet. There is much criticism of him already. Politics has however got a whole lot more interesting and I suspect that the tories fear his left wing agenda and see him as a real threat as they are trying very hard to discredit him.
Bag, Book, Homework, Leaf (after the school run)
9.33am (in the studio)
I made it here I made it to my place of work. My other place of work. My place of mark making and organising thoughts. A room of my own.
The morning routine was as dreadful as the weather. It needn’t have been so dreadful, but for Syd wanting a lift to school without giving me any prior warning. He needed a lift to school as he was taking his electric guitar into school for his Music lesson and he also had a PE kit and his School Bag and it was all too much to carry and the bus from outside the front of the house does’nt arrive at his school on time. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
I did quite literally scream and have an adult tantrum. I did not remain calm. I screamed. Syd was very rude and disrespectful when at first I refused to take him, he said “but your not at work so you can give me a lift” I am at work, I am at work I thought to myself. I did cave in and take him. I did manage to get Naoise up in time, though he ate his hot buttered toast for breakfast out of a plastic tub in the car and supped on a bottle of milk. After dropping Syd off I then had to return home as Naoise needed to brush his teeth and fetch his scooter. I hadn’t factored in a return to the house. I am shattered and its not even ten o’clock. It feels like one of those sleep deprived baby days when the boys kept me up all night with breast feeding.
Despite the fact that I was a shouty horrible stressed out mum, Naoise was surprisingly good and handled the disrupted morning routine very well. It was only the initial tantrum of stealing him out of his sleep in bed and carrying him down the stairs wriggling and squirming and fighting that caused me to scream Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh at him.
He brushed his teeth without any commotion and we left for school on time, he even went slowly and moderated his normal speediness on his scooter when I told him that I wasn’t feeling well enough to go fast. We talked on the way. I talked about missing him and we discussed how many hours we were apart. FIVE. Naoise thought it was FOUR. Naoise was very clear to let me know that he didn’t miss me and that I could see him after school. I am truly glad that he does not miss me. I am. I will miss him less when I am properly reinitiated into the adult world.
I worry about writing this blog. I do worry about being honest. Who will read this? Would a potential employer read this and decide not to employ me?. Is this too much. Am I paranoid? Have I opened my heart too wide? I haven’t let you totally in, I hold back a little, the door is only open a slither. If this was ink on paper, would I say more, would I be true. Is this true?
I was worried when suddenly on our way to school Naoise turned back around and scootered towards home. I was pleasantly surprised when I realised that the turn around was to collect a beautiful leaf that he had spotted. I picked up the wet ochre specimen for him. He was so pleased with the leaf as he now had something for show and tell.
We got to school after crossing the road near the railway arches. I hate this road, its completely blind. You cannot see what is coming under the arches and have to make a guess at when it is clear. We got to the school crossing and the lolly pop man jollied us across the road with smiles and good mornings. I helped Naoise up the steep steps with his scooter. He did one wiz around the wet tarmac then made his way diligently up the ramp. I am so glad of this good behaviour. I am so tired I have been up since five. I smile and say hello to the friendly mums. Naoise puts his scooter in the storage area and I arrange his bag, book, homework and leaf for him. He laughs at me as I carefully hand him all the things he needs. He wants to wait for his friends but I encourage him to go inside. He is managing very well with going in alone.
P told me to have a rest today, he told me to have a rest because I am struggling with the children. It will be a long week as P has told me he will be working overtime. Overtime. Freelance work. Work at weekends. It is not surprising that I am tired. I tell him that I am going to have to look for a local job and that I see no other way of managing paid work because of his hours. There is the morning club and after school club. All the responsibility rests on my shoulders. All of it. All of the maintenance work. The school drop offs the school pick ups.
It is a lonely world. The world of mothering. The world of parenthood. It is a lonely world of being with and without children. Its a lonely world when all your friends have returned to work work and you are left hanging out in the playground on your own. I don’t want to be lonely anymore. I sit in an empty studio. I look at the children’s pictures hanging on the wall. The green pram that I bought to do something creative with. I have art. Art can be a companion.