There are many things that we take for granted in this life, never assuming for a moment that you may have to manage without them. Like my leg. Really, I never gave it a moments thought about how much I needed it because it has always been there.
Granted, it still is - but at this present time it is not serving me a great function, merely hindering my ability to get on with my life. Lack of sleep, an inability to succumb to doing what is actually good for me - has resulted in the rather unfortunate position of being almost crippled. Walking, as a result, has become a challenge. Imagine having hot fat poured on your leg whilst being bitten by disease infested rats and you may come close to experiencing life with my leg.
As a result, I am having to resign myself to lying down for as long as possible because standing up for more than about 40 minutes, tests just how steely my nerves are. The Bitch is less than sympathetic and empties the bin 4 times a day in dirty process. In fear of being asked to walk her, almost the entire village has taken to wearing hoodies and skulking past with unfamiliar gait to avoid recognition.
On top of the useless leg, one child is showing fairly classical signs of separation anxiety. He apparently cannot sleep unless our eyelashes actually touch. He to - now has a bad leg and a mere glance at it, causes pain. When appearing to walk without pain, he develops a headache, tummy ache or just general 'not okay anywhere' syndrome. We are unable to get past 3 minutes without him declaring his love and pouting for added effect. I have never had clingy children, never seen it as lack of need - more of a sign of confidence - so it is a tricky one and dealt with in the best way there is - two whole days of school loafing with Mummy.
Frankly, at 5 - or even 15, I have always thought that every child needs the odd day off, the odd spontaneous 'There are more important things' day. So we slept, we ate rubbish, we watched rubbish and we spoke gibberish. I expect a long haul but am hoping my admiration of the brave sad boys that make it into class even when sad - will be enough to get him there tomorrow.
They are all having different moments, in different ways and this in essence, is the true test of parenting so many. 4 children, 3 different ages, 4 different personalities, 4 different understandings, feelings and observations. It can make trying to have a conversation with all in the room very taxing and even more so when they have the desire to speak over each other. It is no wonder that I sometimes feel as if I may actually be going mad. At best, you get them on there own but sine these conversations can go on for some time - it is like holding an open session in the local town hall and like the town hall, nobody is entirely satisfied with the answer.
Another irony in life is that the things that drive you insane are the things that give you the simplest pleasure. Trying to walk the Bitch yesterday, Child 4 asked if we could go to Disney World next year. "We don't have the money sweetheart," say I
"Can we go next year" He asks hopefully.
"I think it unlikely we will be able to go darling, it costs an awful lot of money" say I
"Could we save up some money and have a day out" He say's
"Of course we can," pausing "You know, we may not have much money, but we have something far, far more important" say I. "Do you know what that is"
Waiting for that once in a life time moment, that poetic perfect Walton moment, I look down anticipating.......
"Yes" he say's "My shrinky dinks"
It was the lightest moment of the day. I worry about so much and he worries about so little. It would not have occurred to him to say love because this is the one thing he need never question and because of that, he is free to concentrate on all the little things that really do not matter. And this - is just the way he should see his world.
Talking of dark - my life is full of it. Not only is it dark but everything is broken. None of the outside lights work, the toaster is a fire hazard and aside from coming close to flames on more than one ocassion - has blown all the plaster on the kitchen wall. The hall light, the larder - to name a few are non functioning and to top it all - we have to wee in the dark.
This is not that hard, it is after all fairly clear where the toilet seat is - but with a house of four boys, it can be a deeply disturbing event. I may well know where the toilet is but they just use it as a rough guide. Toilet in here, so must be the room we wee in - anywhere. I could turn the light on but to do so could be our demise because within a few minutes there is a choking electrical smell and the odd wisp of smoke from the fan.
This coupled with nearly 4 weeks of not being able to run a bath in less than 60 minutes, a garden full of both dog pooh and holes (Bad leg/insane dog) and the house is looking simply peachy. I am trying to ignore the falling plaster, the filthy paint, the dangerous electrics and everything else and concentrate on the positive.
The house has not burnt down yet and we still have shrinky dinks.