October and I used to be better friends back in the day. I gave up on September some years ago, because she tends to have this muther running in all directions, kicking my ass at every turn, but, et tu, Octobre?! Between this never-ending brick job, and a new case of head lice to manage, an abundance of French homework where I am barely of any service to my kid, October feels like a big, fat fail. Martin’s been plagued with a low-grade fever for weeks, coming home from work, looking and sounding like someone’s just pulled the batteries out of his back, as he does a face-plant into the bed, all ashen and sweaty.
Scene – 7:15 PM, any weekend, October 2013.
Martin: *cough cough*
Me: Maybe you should stay home tonight…
Martin: *cough cough cough* Pardon, what?
Me: You’re still coughing.
Martin: *cough cough cough*
Me: Can you please go to the clinic tomorrow, because that sounds bad…
Martin: I will *cough cough* but work is nuts, and by the way… *wheeze*… I’ll probably be late coming home on Tuesday… *cough cough cough* …but I’ll be better if I get a nap.
Me: Sleep now.
Me: I’ll cancel the sitter. *slow blink*
I nix his presence from every social thing we have planned for the next week or so. And I just know that guy’s got pneumonia…
* * *
Scene – 4:30 PM, any weekday, October 2013.
Me: Ava Scarlett, please hold still. *combs through hair*
She: Are we almost done?
Me: No, Sweetpea… we just started. Just bend your head a little more this way…
Him: Mummy, I’m ready.
Me: What? Oh, right… okay, the next word is avoine.
She: *moans* Can we take a break soon?
Me: Lovey, please. It just takes the time it takes. And I need the daylight… it gets dark so early these days…
She: This is taking forEVER. And I feel shy with that guy watching me.
Me: He’s not watching you, I promise. He’s just laying brick. He’s just trying to get his job done… it’s almost finished… please don’t whine. Anyway, we can’t rush this thing.
He: I said, okaaaay. I’m reeeady.
Me: Sorry. Um… the next word is amener.
He: The verb?
Me: Um, I… guess… so…
She: Can I have a drink?
Me: In a minute, okay? I just… can I just please finish this section?
She: But I didn’t have a drink since a long time ago, and because my juice-thing leaked in my boit a lunch today, and almost all of my juice was wasted, so I hardly drank anything. *groans* And my crackers were wet, too.
He: I said, okaaaay…
Me: Well, I’m sorry about your juice. You could’ve had water, you know. *combs and combs*
She: I know. I did. But my boit a lunch is sticky.
Me: *biting* I’ll wash it tonight.
Me: YES, Oliver?!
He: I’m ready. The next word.
Me: Sorry. Um… aussitôt.
She: Mummy? What’s for dinner?
I find nothing sinister in her hair, but everyone knows the moment you stop looking, The Dreaded Bastard Lice come back. And also? It’s rather hard to do two things at the same time. French homework can suck it.
* * *
Scene – the night before any social thing, any day, October 2013.
Me: Hey, I got these shoes to wear to the thing tomorrow. *elegantly models shoes* I just wanted a little something… you know.
Martin: They’re nice. *cough cough cough*
Me: Are you okay?
Martin: *cough cough wheeze* Pardon, what?
Me: Do I need to take your temperature?
Me: I’ll cancel the sitter. *slow blink* Again.
I went to that lovely bat mitzvah by myself, and sat in the gorgeous synagogue. I listened as my friend’s daughter chanted her haftorah, as nervous as a thirteen-year-old girl is doing such a thing, in front of her family and all her friends from school, with her grandparents sitting in the first row, and her parents standing behind her, beaming expectantly, and rubbing her shoulder reassuringly… and the silence was suspended and immense, and I listened as the beautiful girl sang ancient words she’d been practising for a whole year, words as old as the scrolls themselves, and I heard the tremor come and go in her soft voice with every lilt and undulation, and I felt every ounce of her nervousness because I am an Empath at times, and I felt hot tears fall on my cheeks because I just couldn’t help it. Special times, yo. I always cry at bar/bat mitzvahs (and at marching bands) because that’s just how I roll. And also because, that day in particular, I probably needed a little cry.
* * *
Scene – pre-bedtime, any Sunday night, October 2013.
He: Um, mummy? You know that thing? I need to print that thing for the thing… I need it tomorrow.
Me: Ohmygod, Oliver. Can you please be on top of your life? You can’t leave it to the last minute like this. I mean, really. *grumbles*
Yeah. My kid is only nine years old.
He: *mumbles* Sorry, I forgot. *silence* And um… what should I be for Halloween, do you think?
Me: *flatly* Are you kidding me right now?
* * *
This weekend my sister came to town for two short nights, but I only got to visit with her for about 10 minutes, it seems. There was a Halloween-themed birthday party to get ready for, which meant finding a last-minute costume for Oliver, experimental make-up for the wee one only 20 minutes before said party, plus a lice-check. Because, lice. I also have five pumpkins staring at me, and I am NOT feeling any of it.
But it’s okay. Martin has some powerful antibiotics in his system now (for pneumonia, thankyouverymuch), and though he’s a little boney and pale, he’s gonna be fine. Madame doesn’t seem to have The Dreaded Bastard Lice anymore, but I’m still on it because hyper-vigilant is just how a muther has to be for a while. Oliver will be a gangster for Halloween because it’s easy, and I’m determined to get those orbs rocked out in time. But this month needs to end.
We’ve got a few days to go… maybe I can turn it around. Without dying in the process, I mean. *shrugs*
How was October for you?
Sara Lanthier says
Ohmygod, Oliver. Can you please be on top of your life? I can hear you saying that! I’m sorry babe. This all sucks arse. Next time I’ll be your date at the bar/bat…
Grumble Girl says
I know, right? I’m the worst… no wonder my kids hate me so much. And yes, you should be my date for every thing, every time something comes up from now on, forever and ever, amen.
Amanda Olsen Brown says
Oh, Tracey, that is a LOT to manage and bear right now. This post summed it up so well, though, the never-ending needs and the day-to-day grind of it all. Here’s to…November??
Grumble Girl says
November. Oui. Let’s hope it’s better… and I KNOW you know about juggling, mama – may The Dreaded Bastard Lice never cross your doorstep again!!
Oh boy…you’ve had a month and a half by the sounds of it. I really hope All Souls Day heralds the start of a fantastic month for you full of friends, socializing, and finished home repairs and devoid of bugs of all sorts!
Grumble Girl says
Oh lady… well, it’s nearly over. Let’s hope the bugs of all kinds stay away forever, and that the scaffolding can come down in a few weeks. Uch…
nancy macdonald says
Oh I feel your pain, Miss Grumble. I don’t love the early darkness and find the cool weather tough to get used to. I remember lice. I remember pneumonia. Boo!
Grumble Girl says
Yeah, these dark mornings make it hard to get-up-and-go… feels like nighttime! Anyway, all will be well eventually. But, BOO, indeed!!