After my last blog was published there seemed to be genuine shock amongst some of my friends. Obviously when I had previously told them that I would be feeding the boys Dominos and nuggets for 80 days they thought I was exaggerating. On the realisation that I was most certainly not, offers came flooding in from kind friends to provide their culinary services to provide a break from the daily food monotony (thanks Denise and Maura!)
I really felt we were doing well on the food front until last Saturday’s mutiny. Youngest had a friend over and the usual Dominos was on the cards. Eldest then appeared looking a bit uncomfortable and eventually admitted that whilst the pizza had been really appreciated, they were now running a bit thin (the regularity of them, that is, rather than the actual crust depth).
He made a great case for Indian take away instead so of course, being a good mother who wants her kids to have a varied diet, I agreed. Very nice it was too. However, I’m pleased to say that the nuggets still seem popular and Tesco has even started sending me money-off coupons to redeem against them! So we are all doing very nicely on the food front – not sure I can say the same about the Husband’s intake around the races, but perhaps I shouldn’t get started on that one.
I have been asked how our squirrel situation is progressing. The answer to that depends on whether you are looking at it from the perspective of the squirrel or us. I got home the other day from collecting Youngest and we were beckoned excitedly upstairs by Eldest. He told us to look out of his bedroom window and there, hanging off the edge of our roof was the said squirrel. Needless to say it was not very alive. I was not enjoying the dancing squirrel in my loft and had visions of it munching through our electric cables. It had to be me or the squirrel. However, seeing it lolloping sadly from our roof was a bit shocking and I could not help but feel a pang of sympathy for its demise.
There have also been many questions over how I handled the “iPhone down the loo” situation. I was not feeling terribly sympathetic when the Husband announced it’s drowning (and could not bear to initially ask how this had happened). But when I got home from work he told me the sorry tale and pointed out that he had been trying to mend the loo upon my instructions! Fair enough. However, he then borrowed Youngest’s phone to go to Windsor races and came home having temporarily lost that. I was less impressed by this development.
So how are we getting on generally? Despite the Husband informing everyone that he still has some way to go to finish this endeavour (“it is a marathon not a sprint” apparently), for me the end is most definitely in sight. We seem to have got into the swing of things at home and are generally coping (I have not forgotten to get Youngest from school yet and I have bravely managed to remove at least 15 spiders that he keeps finding in the bath).
This time alone though has given me real insight into what it must be like to be a single parent. It’s tough and I am only ‘playing’ at this for 80 days. The physical aspects take their toll, being solely responsible for the washing, cleaning, cooking, taxi service, middle of the night wake up calls etc.; but the main issue for me is the pressure of the anticipation of a problem as opposed to the actual problem itself.
What am I trying to say here? I am referring to the work environment. Will anyone notice that I leave work at 3.45pm to pick up Youngest from school (irrespective that I log on and do about 2 hours more work when I get home, having been in work since 6.45am anyway); and will the MD come into my office at 3.43pm and ask me to do something urgent for him. However organised you are, something will always come up that you were not expecting and when you are relying on yourself only, that can be quite a challenge. The anticipation of these types of problems are stressful and tiring. Handing the baton back to The Husband when he finally returns will be quite a relief! That said, I won’t enjoy having to hand back the remote control………
So how is The Husband getting on? It is fair to say that the challenge is taking its toll and there have been a few understandable wobbles. The driving has been a real struggle. It is not sympathetic to dodgy knees and slipped discs and the Husband, not content with one ailment, suffers from both. But he faces these challenges bravely and continues on with his marathon. I have noticed an increase in ‘tutting’ on the rare occasions he is in the house. Available time is non-existent and so anything that causes him a delay (whether it is traffic, computers, soggy iPhones or dancing squirrels that are freaking his wife out) becomes a bigger issue than normal for a man who is usually incredibly laid back.
He is bolstered greatly by his amazing group of friends who have joined him at various stages along the way. Whether they enjoy horse racing or not seems to be an irrelevance and Simon, Jason, Clive, Paul 1, Paul 2, Ivan 1, Ivan 2, Andrew and Maura, Tammy and Ant, Brian, Jim, Luke, Liam and Al have all supported in their own unique ways (and some definitely more unique than others!). One of them even dared to share a hotel bedroom with The Husband one night after a race meeting. I received a text quite late that night which said: “How do you stop your husband from snoring?” My response: “Send him away on an 80 day journey around the racecourses”.