I recently spent 50 minutes trying to buy tampons in my local shop. It was a Sunday morning, I had just brought Pearl out for a big run around the park, and stopped by the shops for the usual Sunday purchases; milk, bread, papers and, erm…tampons. Alas, there in the Personal Hygiene aisle stood One Of The Dads From The Creche Jacob Attends. He’s a tall, skinny man, with a wiry head of hair who has only ever nodded at me suspiciously as we passed each other dropping off and collecting our kids.
But not this particular morning. Oh no, this morning, he was all of the chats. His gorgeous daughter was exploring (read: pulling down) the shampoo shelves, and we both kept an eye on her as he told me about the second baby who had just arrived, the visitors they were having that day, oh and where did I think they should move to when they buy a new house? Yes, I went from Nameless Other Parent that he never said a word to, to his Personal Life Advisor. Just like that. Sound. And all the while he’s chatting, I’m thinking, ‘If I just pick up the box of tampons and start waving them around in front of him, gesticulating wildly like an Italian as I warn against the ‘Bad End’ of Drimnagh (where we live), then maybe he’ll be mortified and let me get home.
I am just on the verge of putting my hand to the box of yellow regulars (I have a very average vagina), when he delivers his next surprising question.
‘So are you working yourself, or are you a lady of leisure?’
I…I drew a blank. No, I run an engineering firm with my partner, I told him. And I act a bit, comedy mostly. And I run this website thing on parenting – you should check it out. And I… well my kid is in the crèche so obviously that means something, doesn’t it? Like, that he’s in the crèche because I need him to be because I’m busy those days doing other things…wouldn’t you think?
Here’s an example of how my day went today, just for example:
- I woke up at 3.30am to Jacob’s screams and Ass Monkey’s despair; ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with him, he’s been like this for an hour and a half! Please take over!’ I did, and finally got Jacob to lie down beside me in his bed and get over his tiny self at about 4.30am.
- I woke up again to a punch in the face at 7.30am and then we were up. He had pissed through his nappy and all his clothes, so he and I got into the shower together where we had to count all of his rubber ducks BY COLOUR and then stop him from throwing his toothbrush down the toilet. Checked on Pearl who was at the vets last night getting injections – still breathing. Quick breakfast, Ass Monkey left for work, and I dropped Jacob to crèche.
- Quick spray tan and nails done for Ass Monkey’s 40th tomorrow night and had to suffer my big orange head being stared at all day long, because the morning was the only time I could squeeze it in. Into town to get last items for said party – managed to find everything I need for everyone else, but failed to get myself even ONE thing on my own list. Ran out of time. Typical.
- Over to the office to train our intern on our accounts programme for a couple of hours. Snooze.
- Back to the house to make sure Pearl was still breathing. She greeted me at the top of the stairs (thank god), but she still wasn’t great. Spent two hours finalizing decorations for the party, rang vet and booked Pearl back in. Zoomed to the vet where my lovely doggy proceeded to diarrhea all over the vet table and then piss all over his floor. More injections. Raced back over to the crèche to pick Jacob up, where he instantaneously creamed himself against a shelf and we spent 15 minutes icing his nose.
- Home and straight up to the bath with Pearl first, and then Jacob, as I dressed the beds and put all the laundry away. Down for dinner and cleaned the kitchen. Ass Monkey got in, put Jacob to bed and went back out again for beers (well it is his birthday weekend!).
- Discovered more of Pearl’s shit in her bed downstairs. Fired her blankets into the washing machine and the bed itself into the bath with bleach. Ironed shit loads. Finished off decorating the chocolate truffles for Ass Monkey’s party. Disinfected all the floors where Pearl had shit and puked.
- Tried on my outfit for the party. It’ll be grand once I get my make up on and with a bit of luck, I’ll get away with taking my heels off after about two hours because I’m tired even looking at how high they are.
- Made myself a hot whiskey and got in to bed where I am now updating my website. For jaysus…
- Pearl seems better and is snuggled in on the bed beside me but fuuuuck…. I can hear Jacob stirring in the next room.
So, to you, Daddy From The Creche: what to say…what to say…
I’m a MOTHER!! A lady of leisure?! Sure from the second I close my eyes to the second I open them, I’m working every minute. I’m a PARENT. There won’t ever be time off again. And by the way, I need those tampons behind you there…