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Distressed Housewife / April 10, 2013

As my husband left for work this morning, I set about getting the kids ready to be out of the door by 9.15am to go to a play group.  As my toddler kicked and screamed about getting dressed and I threatened to bang together the heads of the other two who were quarrelling, I thought to myself, ‘This has to be harder than the training Rocky did for his big fight in Rocky 4.’

Lights slowly fade up and flash as our toddler messes with the bedroom dimmer switch.  There are a series of clicks as every single electrical item in the house is turned on and my internal training music begins to play.  I mentally check my vital stats: Yep; racing heart, sweaty palms and perspiring lip.  My legs begin to pump hard as I run up and down the stairs, fetching nappies, wipes and finding shoes, toothbrushes and clean pants.

I trudge through the debris of our home, panting heavily and occasionally losing my footing.  I am met with resistance as I go: a quilt left on the floor, a stray cat box, a yellow truck, a coffee table and the dog.

The kids go into the garden and I jog to retrieve the toddler just as he is about step up to his knees in dog shit.  I clean it up and then squelch through the still soft mud, barely able to extract my heavy legs where they are being sucked down into the mulch.

I bounce with my boys on the trampoline, my thigh muscles groaning with the strain and yet they demand ‘again!’, over and over until I can’t bear one more repetition, one more leg flex, one more jarred monkey’s tail.

My children begin to use each other as punching bags and I separate them, struggling to restrain them from fighting.  I pull them apart, my biceps bulging with the effort of stopping the toddler from biting his brothers.

As I tidy up the garden, I notice our tree has grown to monstrous proportions and is poking through the net of the trampoline, so I grab the saw (admittedly quite a bit smaller than Rocky’s) and I saw those overhanging dead branches like my life depends on it.

I put the recycling out; CRASH! into the blue box go the many, many empty bottle of wine.  Then I load the kids in the car to go and do a full shop and man, are those bags heavy!  I get back, haul the kids out of the car and chuck stuff in the cupboards, closing them quickly before everything falls out again, grunting with the sheer effort.

Then I go to the washing machine and I pull, pull, pull those damp clothes out, resting for only a moment to wipe my brow before loading them into the tumble dryer.  I go to make a brew but my kids spot me wanting ‘quiet time’ and grab hold of my ankles.  I strain against their strong little muscles, the sinews in my arms pulsating as I drag my weary body across the floor and into the kitchen.

I reach up to the top shelf of the medicine cupboard to grab some paracetamol and ease my aching head.  Once again, my husband has put the addictive substances out of my reach on the very top shelf.  Again and again I struggle to reach that top shelf and my shoulder blades protrude with the strain.

I pick up my handbag (that my husband calls my ‘Sport Billy’ bag) to go to the bank.  It contains purse, tissues, lip balm, copious receipts, a compact, Tampax, a nappy, a pack of wipes, some nappy sacks, a mobile and some keys.  Rocky’s big log (oo-er missus) has NOTHING on my bag.  AND I carry it wearing heels, which is basically the same as walking through deep snow drifts.

I get back and have to sew up the net of the trampoline in which the dog and the boys have torn a big hole.  In and out of the holes with a long piece of string, threading and tying knots in that coarse material until my fingers are numb and (probably) nearly bleeding.

As it starts to get dark I begin to run.  I don’t know for how long I run and I don’t care about the conditions: snow, rain, sleet, I just know I need to keep going and never, ever give up…until I get to the shop for my bottle of wine. 🙂


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