IN 30minutes my office will be invaded.
I am defenceless. The MI5 aren’t going to climb out onto the balcony for this one. Somehow I have to get through it.
IN 30 minutes the summer holidays will have begun, for everyone but this working Mum.
Roll on desperate conversations about how to get kids to entertain themselves in a small rural town without money (or transport), and temperamental weather. I used to get by over the summer holidays sending the kids to holiday programmes and booking in a week of sunshine at our much loved surf beach Whangapoua.
But what do I do now?
Last year I wasn’t working, so we um….actually what did we do? For six weeks?
Counted nasal hairs?
Mohawk-ed the dog’s tail?
I’m really feeling the fear now. I can’t concentrate at all. I’m watching the clock. In 30minutes all the numbers will fly off its face, and I will enter the long tunnel of time-space continuum. Eternity is frankly, shorter.
What the hell am I going to feed them for six weeks? Will the dog get out of it alive? Will we end up surviving on Kentucky Fried Cat?
Of course I’m trying to work. I’m trying to get people to not only notice my brilliance but pay me for it. The difficulty is well..it’s bloody difficult being brilliant when they’re annihilating baddies in your lounge.
Currently I sit on the tiniest desk known to mankind in the corner of my bedroom. I shut the door to the rest of the house and sit cross-legged (yes Mum I know I’ll get varicose veins, but it makes me feel a bit like Gandhi, calm and sorted..) typing on the little Tosh. I shut the door to the rest of the mess and studiously ignore my Englishman’s plaintive comments;
‘You’ve been at home all day, how come you haven’t noticed we’ve run out of bread and milk’.
Yes dear, but I don’t typically work in the kitchen. Or the fridge!
I tend to ignore the mess of Haley’s Comet impact proportions downstairs. I employ a sanguine ‘little bit of dirt never hurt anyone’ frame of mind and pride myself in having children with the most robust of immune systems.
But even I notice when the dog has moulted a carpet.
And the washing piles move on their own.
Or God forbid, when I cannot find a matching set of bra and knickers. (We’ve talked about this before. They must match!!)
Summer holidays came at the end of the year just before Christmas, in New Zealand and I’m used to that rythym. I’d put a ‘Gone Fishing’ sign up on the door (virtually) of the business, and spend time with the kids. We’d do cheap activities like lying on the beach (which was in walking distance) or the kids would go to hang out with their friends. There was certainly room in our five bedroom two storey house for several teenage carcasses of gangly limbs and greasy locks.
And room for me to keep chugging away in the office, or in my room.
I remember once sending the kids to their father’s for a week. It was January so he was working and the kids were attending holiday programme. When I returned to pick them up I was greeted with this soul-destroying whinge -
‘You have no idea how hard it is!’ he said.
‘First I have to get up early and get them organised for holiday programme, get everyone breakfast, whilst getting myself organised for work, and then drive them to the programme, and me to work. Then I work a long hard day and drive back through rush hour traffic to pick them up. They’re grumpy and tired and collapse in front of tv. Then I have to make dinner and get their dinner, and get them in bed on time, and then turn around and do all the dishes before sitting down with the laptop to do some work of my own.’
My heart bled with empathy.
‘You’ve done that for five days. I’ve done that for fifteen years!
But still, I’m panicking about these holidays. It doesn’t feel like summer as I know it. We don’t have the money and resources to entertain the kids.
What the hell am I going to do with them? I don’t have a lot of choice.
I guess it’s a case of ‘feel the fear and do it anyway!’