Last week was what is known as a Total Cock of a Week. If you’re wondering where I was, I was being chewed up by the great big cockness of it all, frantically trying to claw my way out of its penile grip. This is what I endured, in chronological order:
A migraine. I battled it with Syndol then more Syndol then I gave up and prescribed myself gin instead. It worked! In as much as I passed out and when I woke up it was more or less gone. Mind you, I don’t remember much after the second g&t, so I’m not sure it’s the most sensible treatment, but anything that blocks out the CONSTANT WHINING AND WHINGING of my offspring – whether through black-outs or otherwise – can only be a good thing.
Three days of hospital alert for the Girl. That recurring cough she has? It’s chronic cough-variant asthma. So now I know that when she’s coughing and gagging and vomiting for three days in a row I shouldn’t be muttering will you stop fucking coughing under my breath, but should rather BRING HER TO HOSPITAL.
A stomach bug. My apologies to everybody I met on the nursery run on Thursday morning who had the misfortune to be unable to avoid talking to me.
The Boy saying “What’s this?” at the same time as he pressed the panic alarm on the house alarm. The house alarm for which I do not have the code, have never used, but the sound of which will haunt me for the rest of my life. Hell is not other people, people; it is being stuck in a house with your three children – two of whom were asleep, one of whom was asleep for the first time in 48 hours - while the most FURIOUS alarm system in the world rages just over your head for twenty long minutes. I confess that I went a bit insane during those minutes; I apologise to everyone I might have dementedly telephoned.
Cocoa on my hand. Not the worst thing ever, and not entirely unexpected when I’m responding to the hot chocolate demands of various offspring. But somewhat annoying when, a few minutes later I’m upstairs changing the Baby’s revolting nappy and notice it’s still smeared on my hand and I, unthinkingly, lick it off, and discover IT’S NOT COCOA.
You see? Cockness.
Unexpectedly, the week finished on two high notes. Firstly, we had old friends over on Saturday night; we drank and talked and I felt like a real person for the first time all week. I also cooked this:
which was as simple and delicious as it was pretty (it was prettier in real life - less porridgey) Plain risotto – “plain” meaning a chopped onion sautéed in an enormous glob of butter until soft, rice added, a glass of white wine, then hot stock, then stir and stir and stir, more stock every so often, until it’s a great big soft gloopy mess, at which point you add a small mountain of grated parmesan and an obscene amount of butter – a dollop of homemade pesto, and a garnish of roasted tomatoes.
Our friends left at midnight - I know! - and, forgetting I had three small children to tend to in a handful of hours, I poured self another glass of wine and decided that midnight-half-cut-email-checking was just what I needed. And bizarrely someone had emailed me to say that I was mentioned in the Guardian, which must have been a mistake, but I took a peek and - ! - IT WAS TRUE! Which was very very exciting; not least because having a writer, whose blog is one of your favourites and whose posts are often the only small glint of sunshine in a day over-cast with parenting, refer to your own as one of her favourites is... well, it’s great.
It certainly beats licking baby-shit off your hand any day.