Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Confession

Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It has been a lifetime since my last confession since I am not Catholic or even vaguely religious, but I am hoping that the many inebriated sessions with girlfriends over the past umpteen years whilst consuming many a bottle of (red) wine counts for something.

Confession 1

My Florence Nightingale intentions upped and left at some point in the middle of yesterday's debacle which masqueraded as dinner time. Therefore there is a 5 year old in school today still recovering from pneumonia and coughing up a lung every half an hour or so. Hopefully his teacher and his class mates will do a better job of tolerating his incessant hacking than I can. I wish I felt a smidgen of guilt about it but I am too busy luxuriating in the first day of blissful silence this house has experienced in 6 days.

Confession 2

Despite watching episode upon episode of Supernanny and Little Angels my talents at discipline remain purely in the 'theoretical' stage of development. The kids are taking over the asylum and every single moment that they are in my solitary care the scene is reminiscent of a madhouse, where I play the role of a deranged person of indeterminable gender - wild-eyed, hair on end, clothes askew and taken to weeping in the corner rather than bring order to the terminal chaos. The boys' behaviour right now is constantly loud, destructive, disobedient and verging on feral. Mealtimes are an absolute joke. The sofa is regarded as a giant inflatable and toys and clothes are regularly thrown with wild abandon over every surface. There was a point in time when I had the energy to coral this behaviour but the impetus seems to have left me and I have no confidence it will ever return.

Confession 3

I haven't had a shower for 2 days and it is likely this unhygienic trend will continue as long as there is a bug the size of an anteater, but not half as adorable looking, lurking in my bath. I know I need to suck it up, put on my gardening gloves and deal with it. But every time I peek with trepidation into the bath and spy it there, winking at me, I get a seizure of the heebie-jeebies and it is all I can do to back away slowly, close the door quietly and sprint at Olympic speed back down the stairs where I can no longer hear it chuckling with malevolent intent. Not only is this bug HUGE (at least 3 inches from top to tail and that is without its various antennae thingys, which add at least another inch to its hideousness) but I am pretty sure it is the only guaranteed meat eating living organism currently residing here apart from my good self. I am fairly certain it is going to eat me alive if I even attempt to approach it within a 2 metre radius. At this point in time I would have more confidence, and probably more success, tackling a rabid sabre-toothed tiger out of the bath. Smaller teeth you see.

In the meantime I will continue to do the best I can with a packet of wet wipes to remove the fetid stink from my various crevices - and keep donning a variety of caps (thank God I live in America where this type of head wear is not a huge fashion faux pass) to hide my greasy, lank locks.

Confession 4

I am the most woefully ill-informed adult that I know. I haven't read a newspaper since living in Chicago and apart from being able to rattle off the various indiscretions and wardrobe highlights and horrors of every A, B and C list celebrity I have no idea what is going on in the world. I read other blogs which regularly reference current affairs, eloquently expressing researched opinions of importance and magnitude - with a dull ache of ignorance. I am not sure how this happened to me. I think it is a reflection of the lazy slack Alice attitude I have adopted since becoming a mum, where everything apart from the superficial and banal just feels like way too much work to keep on top of.

This state of ignorance has been amplified since I stopped living with ex. Ex is the fountain of all knowledge. Well, not all knowledge (like how to maintain a successful marriage) and not necessarily knowledge that I had any real interest in (the current state of the space programme at any given second of the day or the latest political shenanigans occurring on Capital Hill). But at least it was knowledge and it was freely dispensed - and quite frankly whilst I found it a source of extreme irritation at times, now I really miss it. What is going on with the Space Programme? I lie awake wondering at night. Is the probe back from Mars with more space dust and photographic evidence of previously unseen red craters? I have no idea. Who is that new man with the big ears on Capitol Hill? It was like having my own free verbal news ticker tape, constantly running as background noise in my life. Now I have nothing and I am back to being stooopid.

Confession 5

Despite having a severe bout of bronchitis recently, which until it was diagnosed I was certain was lung cancer, I am still smoking. I did give up. I really did. For 5 days - which felt great. Then I got all emotional dropping the boys off at their dad's at the weekend and I went and bought a bottle of wine and some more fags. It's always intended as a Fuck You gesture (this was how it all started 3 years ago when my little white picket fence started tumbling down - ex is an avid anti-smoker) but I know ultimately if this bad habit continues it's just going to end up with a Fuck Me result, as the bronchitis already testifies. It's so stupid, because I really hate smoking. I hate being a smoker and it is the thing that I despise most about myself. It is shameful and the most disgusting habit I have (although if the bug in the bath lives for very much longer I am guessing my personal hygiene, or lack of, might start to have a competitive edge).

I do have certain rules (absolutely no smoking in front of the kids or in the house) and I try to keep the habit to between 5-10 cigarettes a day. But I don't really understand why I am doing this to myself and why I don't have the strength and motivation to stop. I told my closest friends I had stopped smoking last week and am now trying to keep up the pretense, whilst sneaking a quick drag every few hours. The hacking cough is persisting (go figure) and after several hours of no nicotine fix, when I am gasping for a fag, I 'reward' myself and then end up literally gasping for air...but still going back for more a couple of hours later. I do want to stop. But I guess I just don't want to stop enough. It is a crutch - a pathetic crutch, yes, - but mine nonetheless.

After reviewing this post is seems obvious that all these 'confessions' could be easily resolved if I stopped being so gormless and aimless - and just directed a little more energy to the important things in my life: my kids, my hygiene, my health, my intellect. As my mum would say 'Don't dither - do it'. And I guess that is just the thing that I have to do. Stop whinging about it. Stop being so bored with it all. Stop procrastinating and finding everything so bloody difficult - and just get my arse into gear and sort it all out! Oh my. Think I have just saved myself a fortune in therapist fees there. Right, hand me a wet wipe cos my underarms could do with a quick scrub before I do the school run. And if I'm quick I'll have time for a quick cigarette before I go...


  1. Capitol Hill, not Capital Hill.

  2. Chairman Bill! Was that comment aimed at causing feelings of more intense stoopidity?! (And you didn't even promote the e-cigarette either - I am stunned...)

    Nicola, excellent post, well written (still laughing). I wonder how many people don't realise that you aren't exagerating..?
    Shivers on the bug in the bath - you know that as soon as you lean over the tub it will leap straight for your throat.. or even worse, your ears... brrrr!

  3. C Bill - I know - I got it right the 2nd time, did you notice?? And you are one of the blogs I read to keep informed, so keep up the good work and save me from having to succumb to American newspapers (dross) or American tv news (worse)

    K Rookie - thanks love! did just manage to get bug....hurray!!!! Off now to wash my hair until it shines like a Timotei advert xx

  4. Yippee!!!
    You got the bug. Did you break open the yellow marigold gloves that I sent you?
    Well done you!! Now go shower, I can smell you from here.
    And as for quitting smoking and then NOT.....
    Well you know my thoughts on that one.
    But I loved the post.

  5. That bug. Are you sure it was a genuine critter, and not the physical manifestation of some of your inner turmoil and angst? Just wonderin'.

  6. So relieved you have been able to shower. The stench had just reached the UK and was causing some consternation locally. I hope you feel better for unburdening your confessions. I feel immensely better for the fantastic chuckle I've had reading them.