People often say that bad things come in threes. I disagree. I would say they come in eleventy-millions. That’s how it feels at the moment, anyway.
In my opinion, going through such a trauma as what happened last week should give me and the girls a get-out-of-jail-free pass for… oh, a few millenia or so? But life doesn’t work that way. In fact, I’m starting to think that there is a seriously vindictive bastard out there somewhere, whose sole job is to fuck with me.
On Friday morning our pet budgie chose, with impeccable timing, to die. Half an hour before school. I mean, what the fuck? Cut a woman some slack here! Of course Big Girl and Little Girl found him, I expect you guessed that. What a fucking shitstorm.
Somehow I managed, tearfully, to get them into school. I was tempted to just keep them off, but I figured that they’d at least be busy and distracted all day. And it left me with only one child to occupy while I engaged in Operation Bird Removal.
Now there’s a job I would have usually passed over to my partner. But not any more!
I wouldn’t allow myself to be bested by an animal that doesn’t even have opposable thumbs. Not even if I loved him. So, through floods of tears, I slowly dismantled his cage. I sniffed and I sobbed and I howled. Was I crying about the bird? A little bit. But I suspect that mostly I was releasing a lot of the pain I was feeling about the loss of the life I had hoped and planned for.
Never did I think being a funeral director for an animal could be so therapeutic.
I placed him on a kitchen roll bed in a shoe box, and left him in the corner of the kitchen until the girls came home from school. That evening, we had a little birdie funeral. They drew him pictures, and we said our goodbyes. It was so fucking sad. But they were so brave, and just wonderful. When we were done, I pulled them into a soggy floor-cuddle, and there we stayed for a while. Then Big Girl looked at me and said, “I don’t want to cry any more. It makes my throat hurt.”
Kid, I fucking hear you!
I am finding that I am really missing that little bird. Sure, he was a grumpy little shit who never let the theme tune of my favourite programmes go by without squawking his damn head off, but he was mine.
The next story is a touch funnier, although it wasn’t at the time! On Sunday morning, I took the kids out shopping for the usual mundane crap: milk, washing powder, yawn. Our little shopping centre has a bit of raised flooring, with steps and slopes and handrails. Remember the handrails, they play a big role in this.
So we got all the stuff we needed, and began to make our way home. The girls always want to go up the steps and run down the slope. It was quiet, so I just left them to it. Big Girl made it down with no problem. But not Little Girl…
Can you see where this is going?
I was chatting with Big Girl when I heard a shriek of epic proportions. I looked up, hoping and praying that, just this one time, the sun would shine on me and give me a break.
Nope, still cloudy.
At first, it was hard to see what the matter was. So Little Girl helpfully clarified with a high-pitched yell of, “I STUUUUUCK!!!”
She had decided that, instead of running down the slope, it would be an excellent idea to walk between the handrail and the wall. It was not an excellent idea. It was a spectacularly shitty idea, in fact.
But I think she’d worked that out for herself by then. Because she was absolutely and completely wedged in there.
It was at that exact moment that I decided that someone, somewhere, seriously had it in for me.
I tried to calm her, but she was freaking out. I tried to get her head out, but it was really stuck in there. And how many genius ideas did I have to fix this problem?
None. My mind was completely blank. All I could think of was the humiliation of having her cut free by firemen. I know a few of my friends would be positively delighted with that occurrence, but that’s just not how I roll.
Thankfully, someone with a functioning brain passed by, and suggested that I walk her backwards until the gap widened a bit and she could escape. Which was really fucking obvious, actually. I mean, she had to get in there somehow, right? So we did it.
And, thank God, it worked. She sobbed and clung to me, and I may have shed a few tears as well.
Now just to put up with the four months of repetitive telling of the story from Little Girl, every time we go shopping.
There was one more, fairly trivial but extremely irritating thing which happened this week. My hoover developed reflux.
Yes, reflux. Oh, you know what I mean. You spend ages hoovering the carpet. Then you stand back to admire your handiwork, turn off the hoover, and sigh as everything you just picked up is regurgitated from the end of the nozzle.
So fucking annoying.
I wasn’t going to let a little plastic piece of crap get one over on me, though. My carpet is clean now, and the hoover has been relegated to the rapidly expanding rubbish pile.
Fuck you, hoover.
As much as I feel buried under the enormous, cascading pile of shit that has been thrown on me recently, I will endure and try to focus on the positives. There are small victories, and I am grabbing them and holding them close to me to keep me going. Here is one.
Little Girl really, really hates mushrooms. With a passion. If one accidentally passes her lips, it results in a reaction akin to cyanide poisoning. Retching, gagging, the works. (I’m pretty sure that’s not how people react to cyanide poisoning, but take a look and see if I care.)
Well, I wrote that a bit wrong. Little Girl hated mushrooms.
The other day, I made a lasagne. And I put loads of mushrooms in, because Big Girl and I love them and it just wouldn’t be the same without them. I think she can always pick them out if she hates them so much.
That day, however, she surprised me. She shoved a mushroom in her mouth, chewed, swallowed and declared, “I like mushrooms now!”
Man, my kids are so fucking awesome.