I’ve been away.
Interesting choice of phrase, that. Interesting because in general usage it colloquially implies one of two things:
a) I’ve been on holidays
b) I’ve been incarcerated
I think it is safe to say that my recent absence from this blog takes a little bit from Column A, a little bit from Column B.
I have been on holiday – sans husband – with two small children all week; an 18 month old and a three year old. We travelled with both my parents to our interstate destination by car, split into 15 hours of driving over two days. It is still way too early for my mind to revisit the sheer horror of those two days, so forgive me for being scant on detail. There is enough material in that 48 hours to create an epic novel of Tolstoyan scope, and I hope one day to do it the tragi-comedic justice it truly deserves.
We are staying with family in an open plan house that was babyproofed by two people who haven’t lived with a toddler for 61 years. It’s the kind of babyproofing that leaves a bright purple bottle of Toilet Duck on the bathroom floor (“Ooooh, must put that straight in my mouth!”) and props a single blow-up mattress against the entry to the kitchen with a bar stool, failing to realise that blow-up mattress = trampoline (woo hoo!) and that bar stool = ladder to launch oneself off (cowabunga!). It is essentially the kind of babyproofing that fails to take into account both the psychology and physical capabilities of a toddler. With tiled floors and stairs thrown in for added blunt-force trauma. Brilliant.
So I have spent most of my time here chasing my kids around to make sure that a) they don’t kill themselves or b) leave any evidence of their presence whatsoever in the forensically-spotless abode of my neurotically-clean parents. It’s exhausting. It’s much harder work than being at home and I’m a bit dirty on all of my friends for failing to warn me that this was going to be less of a holiday and more like a two week long working-bee that never ends.
Adding to the overall air of misery, all three of us have been sick the whole time with nasty head colds and conjunctivitis (we are drowning in snot and pus), my three year old has been struck down with vomiting and diahorrhea on top of that and we’ve already made our first trip to the local GP for a suspected ear infection in my 18 month old.
My mum is obsessed with the idea that my kid has an extremely rare and virulent form of E Coli from the petting zoo we went to last week and keeps finding shit on Google to reinforce her paranoia. My dad has Man Flu and thinks he is going to die despite getting the most sleep of any of us, when those of us with Woman Flu manage to cope despite being up all day and all night with sick children, hosing the explosive diahorrhea off her kid in the middle of the night and deftly dodging bouts of projectile vomiting. The toddler isn’t sleeping, the preschooler isn’t eating and I’m fantasising about being hospitalised with pneumonia, which should give you a pretty good indication of how much I am enjoying myself so far.
Oh, and my parents don’t have wi-fi. What the actual fuck?