Are you ready for this?

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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Well, I'll go the foot of our stairs!

He did it, H. Bought me a present I mean.
He has bought me gifts before, I had a spoon rest on our first Christmas, along with some saucepans of course, because a spoon rest on it's own would ne a pitiful gift, wouldn't it? The second year I had silver wear, a knife, fork and spoon, which to most souls would seem a bizarre idea for a gift for your loved one, except H has his own silverwear, he loves it, it is very special to him and he will never ever use any other at home, he used to take it out with him but he almost lost it once and phew, that was a close one, now they stay at home where they will be safe. H thinks everyone ought to have their own cutlery and they must always be of the highest standard, a certain weight, he is exacting in his requirements for cutlery. So buying me my own was indeed a declaration of his love, I wish he hadn't written ' to Mom' on it because I am not his mom and balk at the idea of ever being in a relationship where I am forever called 'mother' I rather like my name and prefer my husband use it, however that was a touching gift that was somewhat wasted on me because I lost them anyway ( Yikes!)
I was given a kneeling stool once, for gardening, which baffled me, along with a pair of gardening gloves and a hat....I forget what my reaction was, other than the puzzled look and a whispered "wha?" we forget about that effort apart from when I want to laugh at him, then I drag it out and say " HA! Remember THAT? As if!"
When I was heavily pregnant with Isaac, I sat on the toilet and looking around me saw a jar of anti wrinkle cream looking back at me from atop the shower unit, a surpise gift! Yes, moving on.
So, although he often, throughout the years will give me sweet little gifts, like a new umbrella last week when the rains began, when it comes to those days where he is expected to give a good gift, he doesn't usually do well, I got a great camera for Christmas last year, loved that, still love it actually.
So,yesterday dawned, our 10th anniversary and I was on edge because I feel sort of fragile ( how precious) and stomped upon lately, as the day went on I was pretty sure that the day was about to slip past without a mention, until at tea time he said he had to go out and off he went, with Isaac and Seth, returning about an hour later with flowers ( there's TEN of 'em) and Isaac with a big grin and a jewellery bag, from a jewellers! Isaac handed me the bag and said "that's for YOU" he then told me how much it was followed by " Whoops, dad said not to tell you that but it actually WAS that much!" then he told me how many diamonds it had and a ruby and...oh it is a beautiful choker. The cost is irrelevant, the fact that he bought me a completely impractical gift, for no other reason than he knew I would love it and then I discovered that in true H style he researched online and learned that Ruby is my birth stone and so he went in search of something with that in...well, I shall love that necklace for ever.
Also, now I know he can do's hoping I don't have to wait another 10 years til the next shiny present!


Friday, November 27, 2009

On being thankful.....

Yesterday was Thanksgiving in America, personally, I think we all ought to have one day a year where we think about the things we are grateful for and say them out loud. Everyone, the world over.
I am being grateful a day late, which is fine, nothing wrong with hanging onto your gratitude for an extra day, even if it's because on the day you are struggling with any feelings of thankfulness because you are just so ANGRY at just about everyone and everything and then feel guilty for feeling that way and so where's the room for gratitude?
I was very grateful at 8pm, when guests had gone and kids were in bed and meals had been collected, I was truly thankful then. Just too tired to write about it or even open my mouth to say anything other than " Oh how lovely."
Usually, at Thanksgiving, we invite people we think might enjoy a slap up meal with an American theme, usually they say they can't come and then when we have finished eating, they turn is becoming a tradition that I don't enjoy, so this year we didn't invite anyone, apart from mum and Leah who I knew I would go and collect and so if they had called I would have said "Oh no you don't ladies.....get your coats, I have cooked this food, you're eating it" They didn't call, even though they know all about the rat saga and Mum was afraid that she would smell Rat pee every time she tried to swallow food and therefore vomit. Bless her heart.
In fact, Gemma popped in this week and said " oooh, your house smells lovely, like cinnamon and lovely things" so I dragged her towards the kitchen and shoved her head in the cupboard under the stairs. That showed HER.
Mum also said that she couldn't smell anything, I let her off and just enjoyed the fact that the burning granules, plug ins and copious cooking smells had obviously masked all the stinky things. Also, she didn't say she hadn't smelled rat until she was in the car going home and I was just too weary to drive home and frog march her to the cupboard under the stairs, also she is 71, I am not totally heartless.
So, we didn't invite anyone outside the family and I was THRILLED, oh I was so happy to be preparing for just family, all relaxed and laid back. I was all ready on wednesday, everything bought and waiting to be turned into heavenly food.
At 7 pm on wednesday evening the phone rang and a voice on the other end said " Hey! Helen, it's Elder ( can't remember) here, I hear you are wanting to feed the missionaries tomorrow for thanksgiving!"
"Oh, did you? Well, actually,I did look at your dinner appointments weeks ago and saw that the date was blocked out, I assumed that meant you were all set and so I invited other people"
"Hey, well that was because blah blah blah blah and now that doesn't matter and so HEY we are free, lucky you huh?"
"Oh, um, well, I suppose we will see you at 5.30 then"
And I was SO ANNOYED! So indignant that someone had told them to call me the night before and invite themselves to dinner when I didn't want to make it a big deal, when I was so happy that my house was going to look lovely, smell lovely and be filled with delicious food and I was actually going to be able to enjoy it all for a change rather than be worrying if we had enough food, enough places to sit, not fret over the fact we don't have a dining table and now I had to DO ALL THAT FUSSING.
I had to go and buy more turkey because we bought one that was just right for our family + 2, Sophie's friend had also asked what Thanksgiving was all about and then said " Oh lovely, I'll come for that then" numbers were creeping up and all by people I didn't CHOOSE. Yes, unchristian indeed.
So we bought an extra Turkey breast joint and a big ol Turkey drumstick, all good. All set again.
Yesterday, when I went to put the turkey into the oven, it was still frozen, rock solid frozen, even though it had been out of the freezer since monday. I didn't want to believe it was still frozen so I took the giblets out and ran it under the cold tap for an hour...still very frozen but I was cross so I put it in the oven anyway and thought I would be fine if I just prayed that no-one would die. After 30 minutes, I thought that maybe that was a wonderful way to prove my faith but a sure fire way to prove I didn't have quite enough faith and then kill people.
I took the Turkey out and poked it again and the outside was all hot and steamy and the inside was still so hard I knew I had to admit defeat and not cook it. Of course I had, by putting it in the oven rendered it totally inedible and swarming with salmonella bugs. In the bin and I was back in the car.
Have you ever tried to find fresh turkey in England, in November? Don't bother , you won't find any. I cooked a turkey breast joint, 2 big old turkey drumsticks and 2 chickens.
At 5pm, I had a phone call from the missionaries to say they were delayed and wouldn't be able to make it at 5.30pm and I am sure I detected the idea that I was meant to say "oh, never mind, we can wait"
However, what I actually said was " Oh, that's shame, do you have a car? Oh good, well, when you are done and when you get back, call around and I will give you 2 plates of delicious food that you can take home and eat, how does that sound?"
And after a quiet moment he said " Oh, OK, thankyou"
My mood immediately lifted and all was well.
Oh, after the invite themselves phone call, when I was grumpy, Mel was here with Joshua-the-destroyer, her face was sweet and she said very quietly "can you save me some?" and I said of course I would and I so wanted to invite her to come up and I'm not saying I don't adore Joshua at all times but dear life that child has 4536 arms and on each arm are 3 hands and on each hand there are 534376 fingers and every one of those hands and fingers and arms are at all times busy with their sticking in of little things into electrical items, he loves buttons and lights and if something has buttons that turn on lights, all bets are off and he is in heaven. He also likes me, for which I am eternally grateful and he wants mammar to pick him up and carry him, until I do pick him up and carry him and then he wants DOWN! DOWN NOW! And so despite my adoration, I was loathe to add him to the mix of great grammas and uninvited people and my own loud and show offy kids. But I did.
How can you NOT invite your own grandchild and his quite beautiful and lovely mummy to thanksgiving dinner. So I did and I said "How lovely, all you girls and Joshua can have a lovely get together in Sophie's room and you can eat in there and watch TV and KEEP THE BABY WITH YOU and have fun and enjoy the food and KEEP THE BABY WITH YOU and I am so excited you will all be here and be in Sophie's room WITH THE BABY!
Because usually, Joshua follows me and I would never, ever say or do anything that would ever make such a precious baby feel I didn't want him close to me, so I can be found in the kitchen, where all the hot things are found saying "Oh my darlin' did you come to see gramma? Did you, uh oh, careful my darlin' it's so HOT in here and oh, don't touch that sweetie, OH OH Joshua, bless your heart, where's mummy? Oh no don't touch that darlin' oh.. whoops, no don't eat it, don't eat that baby, where's mummy, careful it's hot! Oh no...not in there baby, whoops"
So, I knew then that I would be catering for 13 and I got used to the idea. When I knew that the 2 not family members wouldn't make it to sit down and eat I cheered up immensely. Call me hard hearted.
When I came downstairs on wednesday, I found a line up of ingredients all along the worktop, marshmallows, pumpkin pie ingredients, cornbread muffin mix, green beans, mushroom soup and I gathered from such a sight, that H had exacting ideas of what he would like and how he would like it and the prickling began. He said he would like oyster dressing, which made me heave, he explained that his aunt Gloria would make this dressing, so I looked it up, heaved a bit and wrote down what I would need. Then he said he would like the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows (which has always made me gag a little and wonder who thought of such a thing?) so I looked that up and wrote down what I would need. I was all set, I then went to buy the things I didn't have, armed with a list, written by H. A list. I have never in all my 47 years taken a list shopping, I will admit that as I wandered around the supermarket checking this list and picking up ingredients for food I was pretty sure would make me vomit, I felt a fleeting irritation towards H and then I let it go, for about 8 hours.
I always want him to feel that the Thanksgiving meal is perfect and I always hope that it makes him happy and miss home a bit less, I try my hardest and usually it is a success, so to be told that it ought to be done differently made me a little cross.
Wednesday night, as the boys were going to bed, I asked Seth to pick up his clothes and fold them, he picked them up and sort of rolled them into a muddled pile and as he was about to leave the room H said " Seth, do you really think that is a good job?" Seth looked and said " well, yes, I do" and I said ( flippant me) " SETH! Anyone would think you are a BOY!"
And there followed a rant about how offensive that remark was, how dare I say such a thing? Why would I assume that just because he is a BOY he wouldn't be able to fold clothes properly? What was I thinking to say such a thing? Why did I think that kind of throw away remark was OK because didn't I understand that the boys would grasp such remarks and use them to do a sloppy job and then who would we blame? Huh? HUH?
I kept my mouth shut, if I had opened my mouth right then I would have blown it. So, I sat and I fumed and I raged inside, I was overwhelmed with such a sense of injustice that I wasn't sure I would ever be able to open my mouth and say what I wanted to say, I toyed with the idea of not saying anything and just hurting him with a solid object, for longer than I should have probably, luckily, he took 45 minutes to read to the boys so by the time he came back downstairs, I was ready.
Sophie was in the room and I was darned if I was going to wait until she left to say what I wanted to say so I let him have it.
"Would you regard it as offensive for someone to assume that only a woman could cook a large thanksgiving meal? Would you? Oh good. Would you be offended if someone were to leave a pile of ingredients out for you to see and then assume that is what someone else wanted YOU to prepare? You know, rather than ask nicely or actually open their mouth and say something polite like " Oh, you know what I would like this year? Would you mind doing that? Is that OK? Well I DO find that offensive, really offensive and yet, I kept my mouth shut because I told myself that you didn't intend to be so rude and thoughtless, I ran around buying all the things YOU wanted, I have found everything you couldn't even be bothered to tell me you wanted, just by looking at your signs and working them out for myself, I am cooking this meal..WHY? Can you not do it because you are a man? How thoughtless and rude of me to assume I ought to be doing all this work because I am the woman and here, all this time you could just do it yourself? Who thought?"
I said all that without giving him a chance to answer because when he does answer me during one these times when weeks of frustration come bursting out of my soul, he is guaranteed to say the wrong thing. Sophie, in a rare show of tact, quietly closed the laptop and left the room , either tact or a quiet surity that she was in the line of fire.
He has been saying and doing the wrong things consistently for the last 2 weeks, without any effort at all, he has made me angry and sad, furious and bereft over and over again. What I should say is, he has managed to ignite what is already there, I am so anxious lately about things I can't even write and true to form, rather than work on what is really worrying me, I push that aside and so H will open his mouth about something irrelevant and a whole slew of rage will come pouring out. H is tactless, it is all part and parcel of who he is and the aspergers and I try to be understanding of that, the thing is, who is giving ME some slack? Who is there for me, with some understanding and knowledge that this is who I am, there are times when I just really wish that he would give some thought to why I feel the way I do....but he can't and so, this is it.
It is our 10th wedding anniversary today and so far, no comment or acknowledgment has been forthcoming, although Sophie gave us a card, addressed to 'Mum and Dad' and really, after that, anything is going to seem inferior because what could possibly be greater than this particular child of mine showing that the man she fought for 9 years is like a dad to her? Nothing that's what.
By the way, the dinner was very successful, H said it was all perfect and exactly what he loves, everyone enjoyed it and I was so happy when it was all over and everyone was stuffed and relaxed, I love that H does all the clean up, to not have to wash a single dish is still a thing of glory to me, even after 10 years.
Happy Anniversary H, now go out and but me a present.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Because I have been given much...

I had a friend once, who was 50 years my senior, she had had the most terrible childhood, the stuff of real nightmares and yet she was the kindest, funniest most glorious soul, I miss her since she passed away and think of her often, she had a saying, that she lived by and that was 'cast your bread upon the waters and they come back buttered'. She swore that if you share what you have, no matter how little that may be, it will always return to you, twofold, even more.
I knew her from when I was the littlest girl and she, along with my mum always taught me that you never think about whether you CAN help someone, you believe that there is no way you CAN'T help. Everyone is able to help someone else, I know that and I am so grateful that I am often able to do small things that make someone else feel glad to be alive.
I just want to say that always, throughout my life I have been blessed, whatever I may have done for others, Auntie Margaret's saying comes back to bread comes back buttered.
I have such wonderful friends who always seem to know what I need. I am so grateful and humbled by them. This week they out did themselves and I have swung from being so touched and mortalaciously embarrassed, the embarrassment was fleeting because I know why they did what they did, because they love me, I am more warmed and thankful than I am anything else.
I sometimes think I ought to stop putting it all out here for the world to see because they don't let anything slip by unnoticed!
So this is nothing more than a thank you, a public notice and declaration that I love my friends and that I want them to know that I am paying it forward, in any way I am able to do.
Thank you., from me and mine.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

I smell a rat!

I never gave that phrase much thought until the other night, as we sat in our front room, door firmly closed against the onslaught of rat pee stench, burners alight to fill our haven with the aroma of heavenly autumnal scents, I was playing 'bejewelled' a game, yes, ME playing an online game, which has become my passion, an addiction even because it makes lovely tinkling and crashing sounds and I have to concentrate, not listen out for, or hear any scuffling sounds, no scratching and shuffling, only tinkles and crashes, giddy moments of high scores and victory and on to the next game, no time to stop, or think or listen. Ahhhhh, sanity.
So, I sat here and clicked and crashed and tinkled and right out of the blue I bellowed " I smell a RAT"
I know what they smell like you see, I recognise the smell and I have smelled it when I am out and about and I wonder if I will ever not smell it again.
I don't want to go back and read to when I first started complaining about the awful smell under my stairs, I don't care to work out when the laundry room stopped smelling like fresh laundry and started smelling like dead things, musty old men, who live in squalor and hoard old milk bottles, rotting socks and wet dogs, all mixed together with some sewer and sour milk.
Weeks. Months even. way back in the summer, do you remember me saying "ewwwww I saw a mouse!" That tiny little scuttle thing that we all squealed at and thought we caught? That was the beginning of a living nightmare.
I am all about smells and safety. I love good smells, I strive for clean smells and my home especially must always smell of happy things, clean laundry, good cooked meals, fresh air and all things uplifting and clean. Oh how I love clean.
I live with untidy ( though lately both H and I are almost manic about STUFF ON THE FLOOR!!! Get that STUFF OFF THE FLOOR!) I didn't used to mind crumbs, the odd crumb wasn't a threat to me but now, Oh ho! Crumbs are the ENEMY, clean the CRUMBS!!!
I think it is a testament to H and I that despite the infestation from hell, of RATS, not has been sick ( gah, gremlins ignore last remark, do not jinx me, should take that last remark back really, too late, it's out there, written and seen by the AHA! Send VOMIT gremlins) Bins are emptied so fast the crap hardly has time to settle.
H washes the kitchen floor with more vigour than ever, I scan for ratty tidbits and I sweep them away, do not invite the vermin!
We can scarcely relax in our home, the council man came and he killed and he made stench, oh that smell of dead under the floor rats, will that ever be erased? Will it? I ask as I sit here, staring into the future where clean and fresh surrounds me again.
I am almost loathe to admit just how jittery this has made me, I have tried before and just deleted the few lines I wrote because IT IS NOT OVER.....yet.
Tomorrow the man from Rentokil is coming, he is only going to look and make up an estimate of what it will cost the landlord to rid HIS house of this misery, then we wait to see if he is willing to pay for the service.
Today, a man came to get an estimate for replacing the carpets that are soaked in rat's pee, isn't pee a cute word? Aww, bless little pee. Probably, although I detest the word I ought to write piss, because this is evil rats fluid, it is by far the filthiest smell I can think of, little boys all sweaty and grimy? Lovely smell, armpits make me feel all cosy and safe...Rat's pee is the devil's own stench. The landlord is huffing and puffing, we are calling and waiting and waiting and calling and all the while, the smell. It's by the kitchen, near the cupboard under the stairs, we are masters of breathing out, through our teeth as we leave the kitchen, we walk quickly with food in the hopes that fumes won't settle on whatever we are carrying, we have cooked anything and everything that smells strongly, curries and chili, baked and cooked and the slow cooker RULES because that means GOOD smells ALL DAY LONG!
When we get a snippet of good news, my spirits soar and I see AN END and then we get a call that the Landlord says......and we wait some more and I am getting less and less able to be polite on the phone, I am almost at the stage of cutting the carpet and walking into the agents office and saying SMELL THAT!!!! Eat your lunch with that smell under your nose!! Have your friends over and let them smell that.....hey. go outside for an hour and forget about it and then walk in and OH FOR THE LOVE OF NOSTRILS there is the SMELL!
When the rentokil man comes tomorrow I can see myself throwing myself at his feet and begging him to help me because oh this has been so awful.
I am not exaggerating when I say that I have not spoken to, chatted with, Face booked or called anyone, I can't think of anything but this smell, the rats, the whole deal.
Sophie swears she can still hear them, me? I won't allow myself to hear anything anymore. I can't stand the idea of them still being here and so I don't think of it, apart from making sure, when I walk along the hallway at night, I make noise and I put lights on and wait a while before I walk into the kitchen because if I see another rat I am pretty sure I will lose this teeny little frayed remnant of my sanity. I can't do it anymore, it has been a true and awful nightmare.
Oh the drama, I know, people in other countries would laugh at my horror, I know and I am very grateful that I don't have to live in squalor with cockroaches and rats as my bedmates. I am a big old soft scaredy cat what?!?
I came out of hiding today and had a chat with Jenn and Cathy, oh my lovely friends, who just carry on and are happy when I come out from behind my screen where I have been hiding and cowering, they are right there with a cheery wave and not a word about what I have been not doing....emails and messages from Julie Bo without a single expectation of getting an answer, real friends. Friends here in my town have been just as kind, nothing but a pat on the back and a gentle squeeze of the arm. I think I will be back soon, when I have a house that smells clean, when the granny pee soaked carpets are gone and clean, beige carpet is in it's place, when we breathe in clean paint fumes and skip with glee at the sight of our beautiful house, when holes are boarded up, when I can breathe without the elephants on my chest and I have skin back on my hands, skin that isn't blistered and weeping. I am a wreck but I can almost see an end to it....oh sweet joy.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

The one I will never send.

Dear first one and all fathers who think that they can walk away from children and still expect all the joy that comes to those who fulfill the greatest calling they will ever be given, this is for you.
I say " dear" but I must state that the dear, in this case, if of the " Oh Dear" kind, not the term of endearment, any feelings off affection for you left with you, for a while I thought that I cared and that I was to blame for your leaving, time and wisdom has shown that the fault lies at your door.
I will take responsibility for your leaving me, I'm a big girl, all is fair in love and war as they say.
What happened next is all yours, you get to keep ALL the blame for the years that have passed since then.
20 years in fact, 20, you'd think that by now, all would be buried in the past, wouldn't you? The thing is, as parents we have such a huge responsibility, once a child has been conceived, carried and then born, all bets are off, you can't THEN decide that perhaps this isn't what you wanted after all, oh you can SAY that, you can even walk the walk, once you have talked the talk, go ahead, life is free and we can all make whatever choices we feel are right for us, what you don't understand, even after all these years, even having been told time and time again, is that there are consequences for every choice we make. Welcome to your consequences.
When your daughter was 10 weeks old, TEN WEEKS old, when your sons were 23 months and one month short of 4 years old, do you remember, when you explained to me that I was so unlovable, so revolting, so stupid that, as much as you wish you could, you simply couldn't stay another day? Do you remember telling me how I had to accept that you had a life to live and I wasn't a part of that anymore and that you were'sorry' but you felt it was important that you be selfish for a while and think about yourself? I remember that. I remember a nearly 4 year old boy watch you take out every single item you owned, I watched him sit in the hallway and when you had gone, I watched him shrug his shoulders and say " Oh, well ....I think that is that then"
Do you remember how I explained to you, over and over again that this tiny baby would be lost to you? I told you repeatedly that this child, would never EVER believe that you were glad she was born, that because she was so new, so brand new, she would always believe that perhaps you left BECAUSE of her? I explained that as she grew she wouldn't know who you were, the word 'dad' to her, wouldn't mean anything more than a word, she wouldn't ever be able to understand what that word meant in regards to you.
Do you remember that I told you that if you walked away from her, she would have no respect for you, no matter how much you would wish she did?
You don't, do you?
I will admit, that for the boys you were as good as you were capable of being, they have affection for you, although they have no respect either, they have watched you their whole lives, being selfish and searching for whatever it is that will make you happy, more women, another child, several houses, more women, new cars, new jobs, many holidays, lots of stuff. They see that you are still looking, still searching and still telling everyone how you deserve to be happy, how you NEED to think of yourself because who else will?
Only a fool would still think, at 48 years old that happiness can be chased down, held onto, found.
Only an idiot has not learned that joy is found accidentally, it comes upon you when least expect it, when you are busy making other people happy. Your children give you joy when you are raising them, while you sit and eat dinner, while you watch them sleep, when you hear them playing and when you see them grasp all the things you are teaching them, they don't stand in front of your face and heap joy upon you simply because you caused their conception, it isn't a fair deal, being a parent, you give them blood, sweat and so many tears and then, when you least expect it, they do something small that makes you heart almost explode, oh the benefits you reap when you stick around to watch them, when you fill them with security and trust.
The joy to be had from being a parent comes so slowly and only as a result of giving your very soul. Part timers don't get the prize, sorry about that...choice you made though and be honest, you were warned. Yes, you were.
Actually, perhaps I was harder that I could have been, way back then, I don't think so, I was pretty sure I knew how you were going to behave after you left and how sad that you didn't prove me wrong.
You have one daughter, just one, she was such a delicious baby, chunky and blond, funny and so clever, wherever we went she enthralled people, she entertained and she was so mad at you.
She spoke at an incredibly early age, she walked at 9 months, she did everything with such vigour, such a zest for life. She refused, from the very beginning to call you daddy, it was impossible to call you daddy when speaking to her, if I said 'daddy' she would say " you mean Kevin, he's Kevin, he isn't daddy, he is Kevin" those same words, every single time. If you called and she answered the phone she would always say "Hello, who is it? Oh, you're not daddy, you are Kevin" and how could I tell her anything different? She always had such a rigid idea of what a daddy was, he ate dinner at home with his children, he held hands with his children and he always treated his children the same. She grew up with you doing these things with her brothers and watching you hold their hands while she ran behind saying "HEY! Hey! Do you know you have ME???" When she was 3, we both gave up, I couldn't watch her be shoved aside while the boys had their one weekend a month with you, coming home and crying because WHY does Kevin not like ME? She was 3.
She stayed with me when the boys went and that suited you, it was easy, 2 little boys who have always been so amenable, so polite and so happy to see you when you came, why would you want a surly little girl with a frown and hard toed shoes. She was a kicker, wasn't she? My goodness, she never was one to take an injustice quietly was she? If you tried to use that high pitched insincere crap with her she'd give you a damn good kick wherever she could reach. That went down well.
She's been kicking and fighting her whole life, she fought epilepsy, she fought me, she fought drugs, she fought H, she fought her own miserable surety that it was HER you left. the only thing she never fought, was you.
That's always amazed me, the fact that this child has spoken her mind wherever she has been, she has made me cringe with her loud mouth and her complete inability to keep her mouth shut, until it comes to you. She can't open her mouth to you, she can't, even as a grown woman, even at 20, when you call and she answers the phone without realising it is you, her motor mouth shuts down. She can just about manage 'yes' and 'no'. She doesn't care enough to argue, she says she knows that you don't listen, you have never listened. She gave up.
You don't deserve anymore than she gives you.
I won't fight your corner, you had the chance to be whatever it is you want to be now. Now she is grown and you hear what an amazing women she is now, when you hear she is funny, when you see she is beautiful, now you have yet another woman in your life, now you want to show HER how beautiful your daughter is, now you want in, you want to lay claim to everything she has become and guess what. Boo to you, too bad, so sad, cry me a river.
When you called today, she spoke to you, in monosyllables, as usual, she handed the phone to me and she went to make herself some lunch.
She came in, sat down and said " Oh, no....look, I sat down and my spoon fell in my soup! Ha!"
and H was siting next to her and said " Uh oh, you need another one? " and he went to get her a clean spoon.
That's the dad thing right there, he has earned the right to be dad, he has earned, through literal blood sweat and tears to have her say things like " I wish he was MY dad" and " Actually, he is a really great dad to those boys" He has been here when she cried, swore, punched him, spat at him threatened him, he has been here through the worst of times and now, well now she calls him H, she has a tentatively special friendship with him and one day, when she is truly happy, when she has a man that loves her best, someone who will choose to be with everything she is, I suspect that the man who has been here will be the one to give her away. You can't do that because she has never been yours to give has she?
He gets to hear that filthy laugh she has, he gets to hear her news as she bursts in the door with her mouth rattling away at a million miles away, he gets all the things you now wish were yours and guess what. that's a great thing.
Welcome to your consequences. I told you so.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

On nightmares and dreams.

Oh what a time we have been having. Sometimes I just can't write about it because it is too much, too hard to put into words.
Can you believe it? We have had rats and I say that in a past tense because I swear if I ever see or hear another one in this house (or any house I love in) again I will lose my mind, what's left of it anyway!
It all started so long ago, with that one tiny little grey creature that ran across my front room and oh how I hated that! How awful I thought that little fellow was. I still think it WAS awful because I now know he was the tiny little mouse that lost the draw. I now believe that the colony of festering vermin living under our home had a straw draw one night and that little lookout lost and was sent to reconoitre and go back with details of all the pickings that were to be had.
Since that night, oh so long ago, we have found, trapped, killed, disposed of, lived with maggots and flies, cleaned, scrubbed, cleaned, blocked off, trapped, killed, disposed of and shuddered at the nightmare that is our home.
10 days ago the council came, oh hoorah! Professionals! Such hope we put into the rat man as he cometh.
We made an extra effort at cleanliness and tidied and scrubbed and waited, sure that he wouldn't be able to walk and say " well, of COURSE you have rats, you filthy slummocks, look at the dirt in here" ( and let me say no-one could ever say my house is dirty is preety much always untidy, it always looks as though we never make any effort to be orderly whatsoever, one of these days I will leave it and then let everyone who visits unannounced see just how bad it could be.) we are untidy but we are very clean. So I wanted the rat man to be sympathatic and say something like "Oh you poor dears, look how clean you are, this is not your fault at ALL!"
What he did say was "where have you seen them?" he threw down poison and then said " There ya go, something is going to DIE and then, well then it was smell like bloddy hell"
Never a truer word said.
Oh my good heavens, what a smell.
You know how they say if you see one mouse / rat ..there are another 10 you don't see? And then you think of how bad that one dead mouse smelled that time when I threw it in the bin....multiply that by at least 30 ( because we trapped and killed 3 HUGE rats in 12 hours at the same time as he put the poison down, one of them had a body 8" long, not including the tail) well that's what it has smelled like in this house for the last week. Luckily at the party we had all the doors open and lots of glorious food cooking so no-one smelled anything, also friday wa sthe first day I started to smell anything sunday it was so awful that it was hard to believe the party was such a success.
They have chewed through floors, ripped carpets, eaten holes in walls and even eaten through the plastic storage containers in the pantry.
I feel as though I have been living in my worst nightmare. I abhor anything dirty, I can deal with most anything apart from bad smells and it is impossible to explain how terrible this smell has been. It has been so bad that today I was inpsired to write a blog and thought that title ought to be " things I never knew smelled as lovely" and I was innspired by my armpit. YES my ARMPIT! I was changing my shirt and as I lifted my arms up, I caught a whiff or soapy, cotton fresh deodoranty smell and I thought, oh that smells so GOOD, I love that smell. As fast as that thought flew through my brain was the folowing thought of ...actually Ihave thought that about some pretty bizarre things this week. Like H's face, but his face smells so grand, I bought him ' Farenheit aftershave when I was in Boston ( the place of heavenly smells, oh Boston how my nose adores you) there have been many times over this past week when I have shoved my nose right against his face and taken a good old sniff and said " oh you smell so lovely, can I stay right by your face because OH I CAN'T STAND THIS RAT SMELL..can you?"
H doesn't flinch at smells, I used to think he was like my dad and didn't have a sense of smell at all, but now I know he can smell things because this week even HE has said " Oh, that is so bad, I gag every time I come downstairs"
The first day or two, going upstairs was a treat, clean fresh air up the stairs, we have had the windows open this week, while others have been truning on the heating and getting cosy, we have had windows open and no heating on, oh no....heating warms the smell and it gives it extra power and we can't have that now can we?
So upstairs was fine, until on sunday, as I took a shower I was overwhelmed by the hot steamy stink of dead rat.
It seems they had a little holiday home behind the bathroom cupboard and as the shower ran, hot and steamy, so the dead vermin hidden behind walls began to cook and don't need to know just how traumatic that was.
My soul has been crumpled and beaten down this week. Dramatic, I know but true .
Slowly ( and how slowly) the dead smell has weakened, we are down to a medium musty, slightly rotten smell in most places, the bathroom smells of bathroom, all soap and freshness and my heart sings a happy tune.
Downstairs there is still a stench that makes me cry and H heave, right near the kitchen door, we couldn't put a name to it, it's not the dead smell but it is SO strong, when I go out and come home again, as soon as the front door is opened I can smell this odour and it makes me want to turn right around and leave again.
I have plug in fresheners, bottles of febreze, cans of febrese air freshener, we have used odour killing powders, I have pop socks filled with fragranced granules, the same granules are in burners and candles warm then and make the house smell beautiful but by the kitchen door.....hell awaits us.
We worked out today that this spot has been some kind of lavatory for rats with bladder issues.
There is no getting rid of this stink, other than ripping this carpet out and srubbing the floors underneath and when the wood is all clean and dry, putting new carpet down.
There is a faint glimmer of hope in that, I hope this means that the Landlord will replace the carpet, it is so old anyway and very worn in places ( and incredibly ugly to whit) I hope he can claim on his insurance and we shall be all fresh and also beautiful. I am also calling my insurance company and see if it is covered by my contents insurance.
H bought some sticky traps today, just to make sure that they are all gone...Seth, ever on the ball asked " So, what's the plan if you actually catch a rat in one of those? Are you planning to cream really loudly and stress it to death because I can't see any of you actually KILLING it"
On the nose again Seth-Meister, I leave it all to your father. Although I shall certainly help in the screaming department!


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sixty Six.

Oh UP gramma!

Elijah the weary wizard.

Joshua, my grandbaby boy.

66 People at the party.
Roaring success.
Ears are still roaring.
Huge fun.
Huge mess.
Huge joy.
Worth every minute.