Sometimes I have ideas about the way things could go. I think you call them “plans”. Lately, Life seems to be noting my attempt at plans and replying “plans schmans“. Particularly post kids I have learned to make less plans. But every now and then I fall into old habits, thinking that I might be able to somewhat control my life, children (pah ha ha!) appliances, career or day and decide on something that would be pleasant to do. Like, bake.
Because, you see, Matt is away for a few weeks so I’ve been trying that planning business to keep us occupied (= busy = sane). Hmm. Bad idea. Let me give you a little visual explanation of how that is going for me so far.
Don’t they look delicious? Don’t they look….burnt?? Yep. That’d be this week’s bake fail. It’s not the first I have confessed here. You see, I just keep hoping my oven has a bake function, rather than a series of grill settings. I can’t accept that someone would make an oven without a bake function. Why would they do that?!! And more to the point – I just can’t accept defeat.
I want to be able to control my day. I want to be able to say “Hey, baking would be fun, let’s do that!” I want to at least be able to control my oven. I had even less success with my children. I had visions of it being a sweet little afternoon activity, concluding in a milk and cookies picnic with two delightful rosy-cheeked, flour dusted children. I clearly overdosed on Enid Blyton as a child. Instead of that particular (RIDICULOUS) fantasy becoming reality B1 tipped sugar all over the floor and ate massive globs of creamed butter and sugar every time my back was turned. B2 commando crawled the floor eating and coating herself in spilled sugar till she was unpleasantly crunchy all over. Tantrums ensued. Threats made. “Mine want biscuits now!” . I counted to three and included fractions. You know that warning system…
B1 threw off her cute junior apron (seriously; I am not making this up) and stormed out. I rescued B2 from becoming a cupcake. And then my oven started smoking. Instead of baking a second batch I ate the rest of the uncooked dough from the bowl, growling at anyone that came near, like some kind of feral animal. I was having a pity party and no-one but the cookie dough was invited. It wasn’t pretty.
I’d like to say that the rest of my week was better but instead, in the last few days I have scraped and dented my car reversing out of our garage and sliced my thumb making kids sandwiches, right through the nail, forcing me to rush off to the medical centre holding blood spurting digit aloft (slight exaggeration but you get the picture). Side note – I am now acutely aware how vital opposable thumbs are – buttoning clothes, washing hair and bathing the kids just got a whole lot harder. ‘Cause I needed an extra impediment. Then B1 got a cold and B2 started teething…with a vengeance. Oh, did I mention that B1 has officially abandoned napping? Roll call of broken things just this week include: car, DVD player, amber teething beads, thumb and ME. Why, just as I sat down to write this post I kicked over my glass, spilling my drink all over the rug. Of course I did.
And before you mention it, I know these are all first world problems. Things could be a damn sight worse. My gripes are minor and temporary and fix-able. I get it. But you know how some weeks you just can’t face another challenge? You’re maxed right out? They may have all been small, repairable problems but they banked up. Not having Matt around gave me a whole new appreciation for solo parents. My God, it is NOT easy. You know that saying about it taking a village to raise a child? Yeah, that’s, like, totally, true. Two people at the very least. With working thumbs.
What I really wanted to do was conclude in an optimistic manner. That’s my usual style. Something about how the kids were gorgeous, or I finished this great book or made the perfect lasagne or something. Anything. I wanted to say that I squeezed in some writing time or walked by the sea and things seemed better. I wanted to end happy. I wanted to get all gracious and elegant, in the manner of Audrey Hepburn. But I didn’t get any writing done. I didn’t read anything. And I didn’t walk by the ocean. To be fair, it wasn’t an absolutely 100% terrible week, but for the most part it was Challenging. I got kind of unravelled and didn’t look or feel anything like Audrey Hepburn; not even a tiny bit. I don’t want to sugarcoat it because that’s the truth of it some weeks, isn’t it? Nothing written, nothing read, and a cookie that looked like it should have worn sun protection.
This little person seemed to find a grin even when her Mama couldn’t. She didn’t give a hoot that her cookie was blackened. All the better for dunking, apparently. Helps it to hold its form. Those crumbs on her lashes? From holding the cookie up to her eye and pretending to be a pirate. She’s thrilled. Not a care in the world. While I sit behind the lens and stew and worry and curse. So there you go. My reality has been thunderclouds and mishaps. Her reality has been perfect pirate-eye-patch-cookies and rainbows. Hmmm.
I feel like I should be learning something here….
HUGS, Hannah x