One thing I love about reading blogs is the insight that it gives into other people’s lives. In 1997, back before blogging was a thing (was the internet even a thing?) I used to sit in History class with a girl named Leah Murphy. Every History class I would give Leah a rundown of what had happened in my home in the previous 24 hours. Leah was a brilliant audience because she used to cry with laughter at the things I told her. She especially loved any story to do with my youngest sister Jenn. I think perhaps the especially fun thing for Leah was the glimpse it gave her into a home that was quite different to her own. Leah lived with her single mum and had two brothers. I lived with my single dad and had three sisters.
Once I posted some pictures of a camping trip Leigh and I took with the girls. My friend Simone commented on one of the pictures, “do you usually eat that many veggies with your dinner?” She confessed that she was so fascinated with all the little details that she’d zoomed in to see what was on our dinner plates.
I’m with Simone. I want to know what you did today. I want to know what your bedspread looks like and what you ate for lunch. I want to know what made you laugh today and what time you think you’ll go to bed tonight. Am I especially curious about people, or is this normal? I think this is why I like Facebook so much. I just like to know where you’re at and what makes you tick…
So with that in mind, here’s a small snapshot of what about an hour of my day looked like today…
I open my eyes and notice that I feel good. This is a happy thought because I suffer from PMDD and it is day 28ish. On day 28ish usually, I feel an unreasonable sense of dread about having to “do the day”. It has been two years since I’ve known I have PMDD though, so the dread doesn’t scare me anymore. Now I just tell her hello, agree to work with her and not against her and get on with the day.
Still in bed, acknowledging that I don’t feel bad, I think about the things I have to do that day: go to work, pick Smooch up from a school trip, buy some food… I think about what I’ll wear, and whether I need to wash my hair. I say hello to God.
Leigh comes into the bathroom to say goodbye and I am sitting on the floor of the shower shaving my legs. He opens the shower door and kisses me goodbye and he leaves.
Three more people come into the bathroom. No discernible reason.
I put on underwear and a shirt. As a general rule, I wear pants as little as possible. I am trying to model body positivity and give my girls a realistic idea of what normal bodies look like.
Eat some Nutrigrain and drink tea from my new favourite mug. I’d rather eat toast but we are out of butter.
Amelia is dressed, has eaten breakfast, made her lunch and is hassling Sienna. I break up a fight and send someone to time out. I check my email on my phone and figure out a time to meet my project supervisor, Brian.
I put pants on even though the day is warmer than I expected. I put on makeup and pack my bag while calling out reminders to brush teeth and pack homework.
Sienna starts to cry. She doesn’t want to go to school because they are celebrating Chinese New Year and she is too tired for that. She doesn’t want to wear red, and the teacher is making her wear red. I read out the note that explicitly says she doesn’t have to wear red. She says Chinese New Year is stupid. “Why do they have to ruin my day?” she cries. We have a chat about respecting our friends’ cultures and honouring their traditions. She listens and nods and she then gets the two sharpest knives off the magnetic strip. She holds the knives in the air and tells me she is “going to sabotage everything”. I make a mental note to circle back to this later. Possibly in a decade when I say to my therapist, “I’m not sure if I’m remembering those years correctly?”
The second eldest comes out of her room wearing a lot of bright makeup. I take one look at her and say, “go take that makeup off. You’re not wearing that to school.” I don’t say it kindly, which I instantly regret. She bursts into tears because apparently if you don’t wear bright makeup you will just stand out. And she wants to fit in. I have to be careful what I say here because she now subscribes to this blog via email. The makeup looks beautiful and she is stunning. I can’t believe what a brilliant job she has done. I don’t want her to have to take it off, but I am a teacher through and through, and a rule follower, and so I make her take it off. And there are tears and she is no longer going to school, which is totally reasonable.
She is my favourite daughter.
The youngest declares that she is also staying home.
There is some yelling and some more tears. And someone gets makeup remover in their eye.
I am hot because I am wearing pants, which will be great later when I am sitting in my air-conditioned office. But right now is just too much.
I stand on the coffee table, amidst the folded washing and the dirty breakfast dishes, under the vent with the evaporative system going at full speed. The air con pumps cool air all over me and I lift my arms so that the breeze billows down the sleeves of my shirt. The sweat droplets on my forehead dry as I turn my face to the draught, arms outstretched.
I thank God for my weird children. I thank God that I am alive and that it feels like an okay Day 28.
I tell the girls that this here moment of standing under the air con feels so good that I’m sure it is a little bit of heaven.
There is a scramble for bus money and number two leaves. The doorbell rings and a member of the neighbourhood bikie gang has arrived with her dad. Amelia suggests we all just cut through the garage cos it’s quicker and I laugh because she’s not the one who has to think about turning off every light in the house, putting the lid on the peanut butter, and locking the doors.
I kiss the little two kids in the driveway and they leave for school.
What does your morning look like?
Quite different but I do remember those days.
Thanks Yvette for the reminder.