Tuesday, March 17, 2009

crap in my head

Hundreds of papers to correct in a few days.

Stupid day today. Fucking parades!

I don't know why, I don't know why, but I took my poor children to the Greystones parade today. Because someone suggested it, maybe, and my addled brain seems incapable of making a decision on its own, or knowing what is right. As my little tale will evidence.

Point number one, Jo, should have just gone to the funfair on the prom in the morning, as you planned.

Got there late after parking miles away, ended up on wrong side of street from my friend, in the cold shade, with a daughter in just a t shirt and a son with a runny nose. The parade was grand, standard crappy fare. The town was nice, meeting Darren and Lottie was an added bonus.

The kids were cold and bored, I don't know why I didn't make my way out sooner - was tempted to go for a wee drinkie with D&L but when we got to the Burnaby there was a monster pile of folded buggies in the doorway, we weren't allowed bring them in, so I thought, no, fuck that - then as we were making out way out of the town, Olivia announced an urgent need to use the loo. Sigh.

Point number two, should have either battled my way back into the pub to the toilet, or found the house of the woman I know on the way back to the far-away car.

Instead I dragged my poor child through the wilds of the Burnaby, thinking, just get home - and got lost, again, same as I always do, ending up by the golf course. Child has pain in stomach from needing to poo, and is freezing cold from refusing to bring a hoodie, and generally put out.

Child refuses to pee in the waste ground off the golf course, whinging escalates unbearably.

Point three, should have made her go.

Instead, under pressure, I knock on the least imposing door I can find (The Burnaby is full of mansions behind security gates) after seeing the non threatening figure of a little old lady in the kitchen. She answers the door suspiciously (Olivia is green haired and face painted). I explain we are lost and desperate on the way to the car. She reluctantly agrees to let Olivia use her loo, but informs me I have to stay outside. I see that she's a scared old lady on her own who fears I'm planning to rob, and agree, but when she she shuts the door on me, and then they're gone for what feels like a while I think, what the fuck have I done? Olivia finally returns, stony faced. 'Are you ok?' I ask, and the old lady says, 'She's fine!'

But it turns out, I find, as we walk away, that the woman staying in the bathroom with her, and wouldn't let her wipe herself. What the fuck?

And she informs me that she's wet, and uncomfortable, and cold and tired and miserable and that this is the worst day of her life.

And I feel like seven kinds of shit.

Minutes later, on the right track, we walk past the friendly house of the friendly and not paranoid or weird woman I know. AAAGHGHGHG.

We did see an incredibly beautiful pink Japanese type blossomy tree, on the plus side.

Then we went home, had lunch, I rang Axel and told him about the weird woman adventure, which made him angry and mean about my reckless endangering of our child. And then we hit the sea front, which was of course insanely crowded.

Point number four, I should have gone to the cash point when we got there, instead of walking past it, inexplicably, so the kids got to do v little, as the little rollercoaster ate my cash, Bodhi didn't like it (he's so out of sorts at the moment, he keeps smacking me in the face, which is not fun). So he only got one bounce, which he loved beyond belief, but lasted far too short a time.

And the fair is gone after today.

I feel like such a failure. I really do.

I can't make a decision in the moment. I don't assert myself even when I know I'm doing the wrong thing. That's what gets to me. The plunging headling into the thing I know isn't the right thing. And then it all gets worse and I don't seem able to manage to extricate myself.

My godmother said Olivia will thank me one day, as happy, fun filled childhoods don't lead to excellent first novels, so I think I'll cling on to that. And the fact that Olivia was delighted with her bounce/bumper boat/rollercoaster experience and an illicit ice-cream made up for the brief stay. So it ended up not being the worst day of her life. And Bodhi went to sleep grinning about his bouncy castle adventure.

But I just feel like a wet rag.


Ms. Moon said...

And this is motherhood. You try so hard to make a special day and then, well, life gets weird and you just wish you'd stayed home but if you'd done that, you would have felt like a bad mother for not taking them to the fair or the circus or the parade or whatever and the decisions you have to make are so unlogical because they are based on the needs of children.
Sounds like you really did the best you could and they will remember it all in a good way.
Weird old lady, though. Weird.

artyfeminist said...

God what kind of mean old lady won't let a little girl go to the bathroom by herself and won't let her wipe? That is weird and sad. Hope I am not a scared distrusting old lady like that one day!

jothemama said...

I know, artyfeminist! If only we'd happened to land at a friendly granny's, it would have been so much better.

I think I'll always be the opposite, over trusting. Which may land me in equally horrible trouble one day.

At least she wasn't a crazed child abuser anyway!

Wouldn't you know it, I just found an extra fiver in my bag that would have paid for all the bouncing they needed :(

Xbox4NappyRash said...

That woman, seriously?

I would have freaked out when she closed the door.

anonymom said...

Know what you mean about jumping headlong into situations you then don't have the willpower to plow through and get where you want to go.

I cheer myself up by thinking, better to have jumped into it badly than not at all.

My husband thinks this dooms me to a grisly and horrible death, but 34 years and no major trauma is a pretty decent record, no?

My other self-serving theory that I think you might enjoy is: your kid may be unhappy with the way you handled things, but she'd be much unhappier if you handled things perfectly. I have no justification for this, just a gut feeling. Here's to your future novelist!

(jumped over to you from Black Hocky Jesus' comments, btw)

jothemama said...

Hi anonymom, great name!

That's nice perspective, thanks! Yes, I and my two children are still alive and well, it's true, and me nearly 33!

Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, it was feckin' FREEZING at Bray seafront and I too under-dressed my kid. I felt so bad for her chattering teeth and little red nose, so I sacrificed my jacket.

Like bullets I tell ya!

Give me that mean old lady's address, we can team up and teepee her house tomorrow night if she loves the stuff so much.