My first mistake was telling someone I had Come Out The Other Side [of parenthood].
I realise you never really Come Out The Other Side [of parenthood]. It’s not as if parenthood goes away just because your kids are getting older.
What I meant was, the kids are getting older therefore things are getting that much easier.
There is sleep, blessed sleep, again. Most of them (three quarters anyway) can do up their own seat belts. Most of them (nearly three quarters) can dress themselves. Some of them (maybe one quarter) can use the bathroom without assistance. Most of them (three quarters) are out of nappies. This autumn three quarters of them will be in big school.
We can go places now without a buggy. We can sit in a restaurant and most of them will sit still. At least until they’ve eaten. We are one child away from taking them all to the cinema.
We are tentatively talking about our first family holiday to the sun but realistically speaking, that won’t happen for another few years.
I don’t feel as wretched as I used to. I don’t feel like I am struggling any more. I can laugh and roll my eyes now at a small calamity; one that previously would have made me buckle over with the effort not to break into snotty sobs.
I have time for my hobbies. Kind of. Sort of. One of them is weather dependant and the other needs my brain to be plugged in.
But I am definitely getting there. I wake in the mornings and that awful dread is not hanging over me. I look forward to stuff again. I am enjoying life again. I have a renewed interest in make-up. I have more than one pair of jeans. And they are not maternity ones.
I drink wine again. And the odd glass of beer. And regularly have fond thoughts about Guinness.
Last summer I went mental and had those balayage highlights put into my hair.
I have some high heels that fit. Properly. Both feet. None of your one foot is a size 5 and the other is a five and a half messing about.
I wear my Wonder Woman tin bracelets these days and can repel most anything nature fires at me.
But all of that means nothing to a tummy bug. Even a 24 hour one.
Tummy bugs don’t give a fiddlers for make-up, high heels or skinny jeans. Tummy bugs laugh in the face of hobbies and don’t give a rat’s ass what your hair looks like.
Tummy bugs aren’t particular about whose colon they inhabit. In this case the sulphuric virus settled in Oldest Boy’s system.
It might have been for a brief 24 hours but that tummy bug had the power to wake him (and me) every two hours last night.
Because it was the first night in a long while during which my sleep was badly interrupted, I was well able for what today decided to throw my way.
But it still smacked of the hazy daze days. There was still a very tangible sense of what those days contained.
Like I said, my first mistake was telling someone I had Come Out The Other Side [of parenthood].
It looks like there is still a ways to go.