We made it to Ireland in one piece. The first leg of the journey was as close to horror as you ever want to get – if you want nightmares (or to feel better about your own shit parenting life) have a look here; I have vowed to never speak of it again. The second leg was fine(ish), however – apart from my leaving a bag in the terminal, and later leaving an iPad on the plane, both of which triggered major security alerts (“STEP OFF THE PLANE MA’AM”) and then we had 6 days of jetlag, which never sounds that bad, but OH CHRIST. Despite all this, I spent the first couple of days here glowing somewhat with self-pride - I managed three kids on an international flight ALONE – but that has now worn off, replaced by the exhaustion of domestic drudgery. (Cook, wipe, wash, launder, repeat. It’s endless. Just think of all the driving of my children around I could be doing!)
However, I cleverly booked all the kids into various camps this week – because if I have to do endless cleaning, at least give me peace and quiet in which to do it – and off we set yesterday, and I dumped them, weeping and furious (them, not me – obviously) and went and had breakfast and fifteen mugs of tea, and bought some emergency winter clothes, and then it was pick-up. Today I decided to forgo the breakfast and the fleeces, and maybe just have a walk through the glorious Dublin streets, soaking up the culture and the irreverence and the gorgeousness. So obviously when the Baby was whingey this morning and announced she was feeling “a bit sickie” I totally ignored her because OBVIOUSLY SHE IS LYING. But guess what? SHE WASN’T. I found this out when we were standing in the middle of the camp sports-hall and she vomited all over me – head to toe (literally; my hair was soaked, and the vomit went all the way down my new hand-wash-only jumper, along my be-jeaned legs, into my fur-lined [now fur-clotted] boots.) And I just stood there, surrounded by parents and coaches and children, all normal reactions (such as Run To The Bathroom, or at least Hold Her Away From Me) frozen. And then she did it again, but this time INTO MY FACE (thence down the inside of my jumper, OHGOD) and all I could do was whimper HelpMeSomebody. (Somebody was the Girl who fished out a few tissues from her pocket, bless her traumatised heart; everyone else stood staring, aghast – understandably.) And then I carried our soaked selves to the car, where we sat in puddles of sick for another 50 minutes while I dropped the Boy to his camp (UGHTHESMELLTHESMELLI’MGOINGTOPUKE) and returned home. Gone were all notions of walks and culture and gorgeousness, replaced by disgust and horror, and also disbelief that I used to wear a blanket of vomit quite regularly, and not want to scrub my skin with a brillo pad.
And now it’s time for pick-up, and I suppose I really should wake the Baby up and take her manky clothes off her. The thing is tho, the longer she wears them, the less laundry I have to do. Sometimes it’s the little things which make a summer holiday.