Weather warning! Where the hell is Sophie?
I have never been very good at prioritising my work load. (Was it yesterdays mascara smudged under my eye bags that gave it away? Or Doodle the poodle staring hungrily at his empty, crusty dog bowl?)
I am not what you would call an organised person.
A very good friend of mine swears by lists.
‘Make lists in diaries’ she says passionately ‘you can’t fail if you have a list, it helps you stay on top of things, helps you focus. Then you get a great sense of accomplishment when you cross completed activities out.’
I think, at the time this conversation took place, i mumbled something about being unable to find a pen and wished her good luck in all her endeavours. (I love my friend to bits but make a list?! Who has time to make a list?! Is she on Glue?)
Anyone who truly knows me, has seen the inside of my house and/or has spent an hour (who am i kidding, 10 bloody minutes) in my company will attest to my scatty nature instantly. (It’s not something I am proud of, but it is what it is.)
Within two minutes of arriving anywhere (…Starbucks, friends houses, home, Starbucks, the car, Asda, soft play, Starbucks, the dr.’s office, the hospital, Starbucks..) there is invariably a wailing baby, a wrung out de-caffeinated and panicking mother (with Rusk in her eyebrow) and a whole heap of bits, bobs and clobber scattered in every direction, covering every available surface.
The sweaty and desperate mother (me) in this picture, is searching for something to placate the red faced and angry baby with, but the embarrassed and muttering mother (still me) is unable to locate, reach, ascertain the desired object from within the jumble sale bin (aka; changing bag), and eventually a now howling and spitting baby results in the full and untidy bag being upturned on the (un-sanitary and usually bloody wet!) floor and the swearing and dishevelled mother (yup, you guessed it) looking completely confused and very close to tears herself.
‘Where the hell is the thingy mi bob hoobiejoobie?’ I pant, a little exhausted, a little panicked and a little mortified as people begin to gawp as if it were a show, ‘I am sure I put it in here somewhere! I know I did!! I packed this bag meticulously this morning!!!’ (Your definition and my definition of meticulously may differ somewhat.)
By now the slightly overweight (because who has time to diet? Did i say slightly? I must be gaining some confidence as time goes on) and haggard mother is beginning to lose the plot. She is getting no closer to placating the baby, and she knows, if she doesn’t find this hoobiejoobie soon! All hell will momentarily break loose.
The fat mother (ah well, it was good while it lasted) will then do what any dog-tired mother would do in this situation.
She methodically begins to pick up each and every discarded object off the floor, one by one, checking that, each and every discarded item definitely isn’t what she was looking for. (Please nappy! Please change in to the thingy mi bob! Please bottle! Please change in to the hoobiejoobie!)
When that doesn’t work, she does the next tried and tested technique any dog-tired mother would do in this situation.
She tries to convince the furious baby, that he doesn’t actually want the thingy mi bob or hoobiejoobie. What he actually wants is this random t-shirt instead. She waves it in his face and tries to make it seem more interesting than the desired thingy mi bob could ever be!
‘Look Addy- look! It’s a t-shirt, look! Do you want to play with the t-shirt? It is much more interesting than the thingy mi bob isn’t it? Look, its blue! Oooooooo! And oh! What’s this? (Pretend gasp!) It’s got arms and everything!’ She laughs manically and begins singing a song, using the t-shirt as a puppet.
It does not work.
Addy looks at mammy, and for a split second he is stunned in to silence by her sheer audacity! He then begins to wonder what planet she actually lives on and continues to scream like a banshee on all hallows eve.
(While we are on the subject of all hallows eve; Do you watch Charmed? I love that episode! I want their powers! KAZAB!!The object is in my hand! It would make everything a hell of lot easier wouldn’t it? I am a witch! KAZAB! Hoobiejoobie found instantly!…. I don’t want her dodgy barnet though. A bowl cut? At 31?…. No thanks, just the ability to shut the door, carry the shopping in from the car and change a nappy with the blink of my eyes please. Thank you. )
(…..aaaaand back to the post…)
NOOOO! He seems to scream! I WANT MY THINGY MI BOB!! (He can’t pronounce hoobiejoobie.)
Mammy stops cooing encouragingly and with a deflated sigh goes back to panicking magnificently.
‘Where the HELL IS THE BLOODY THINGY MI BOB?’
She is interrupted in her search.
‘Are you ok there?’
This has been going on far too long and somebody has wandered over for a closer look. Rubber -necking git. (Waiter, Barrista, friend, policeman, stranger danger!! Alert alert!!)
‘Yes, I am, I just can’t find Sophie! I don’t know where she is?’ I gesticulate like a mentalist. (And you are just adding to my frustration. Piss off!)
‘Oh my god!!!’ the person squalls alarmed ‘Is Sophie your daughter? How long has she been missing? When did you last see her? What does she look like? OH MY GOD! You must be worried sick, shall I call 999? What can I do to help…?’
I have not heard any of this, as i have my head in the empty changing bag (Just checking it really is empty) and am (at the same time) in the throes of turning the pram upside down (ready to give it a good shake with my superhuman mammy strength), removing my jumper, checking the baby’s hood and looking around despairingly.
‘Huh?’ I come to, trying to ignore the bleeping in my head (WARNING! WARNING! ANXIETY LEVELS DANGEROUSLY HIGH! SIT DOWN AND DRINK COFFEE IMMEDIATELY OR RISK MELTDOWN! WARNING WARNING!) ‘What does she look like? Well she is tiny with a soft, spotty back and a really long neck, we only just got her and if she is lost we will be in so much trouble! I don’t understand it! She was here but a moment ago!’
‘What?’ the person asks visibly confused. ‘She has a spotty back?’
‘What?’ I say back between breaths before stopping to properly look at him. ‘Yes, a spotty back!’ (Really, stop wasting my time! What has her back got to do with anything?!?!)
‘Your daughter is missing, and the only description you can give me, is that she has a spotty back?’
‘WHAT? NO!? I don’t have a daughter!’ IDIOT! Sophie is so much more vital than that! ‘Sophie is a giraffe. I can’t find her and it is literally the end of the world!’
I am aware, I am gesticulating like a mentalist again.
‘A bloody giraffe?’
‘Yes, Sophie is a bloody giraffe.’ I’m angry now; not only is he impeding my search and rescue but he also doesn’t seem to understand how imperitive the safe return of this bloody giraffe is! ‘It is his favourite teething toy. We can’t live without Sophie!’ I shout, really annoyed, sweaty and on the verge of a breakdown now.
‘Is Sophie, the giraffe, currently in your son’s mouth?’ He speaks slowly. As if to an idiot.
I whip my head around and am astounded to see Addison chomping on Sophie’s patella, ‘now, where the hell did you get that from? I looked bloody everywhere!’ I gasp before plonking my over sized arse down and wiping my shiny, red brow.
In all the commotion (I had caused) I had not realised my son had quietened down and it was actually me, now causing a scene.
Sophie was found. Drama over.
(To this day I still can’t figure out where he found her. I am beginning to think he had her stashed down his trouser leg, and only shimmied her out when he knew I was past the point of no return. Little monster is torturing me on purpose to make a point! (GET IT TOGETHER MAM! And next time when i say i want to go to soft play, bear this in mind! I am the boss here, you are my puppet! Let this be a lesson! I am sick to death of sitting in Starbucks! – he seemed to say.)
Suffice to say, that since this event (and many others just like it) occurred, I have tried really hard (ok, let’s just say i have given it some effort) to be more responsible and methodical (and other big words, that essentially mean get it tobloodygethermam!) in my day to day role as primary care giver.
Which brings me nicely to my point (Finally!)
This weekend we are going to up to Carlisle to visit one of my best buds. (Yes. WE. Meaning all of us. It’s ok there is a Starbucks there, I checked.) We leave tomorrow and I really want to ensure the weekend in its entirety is bedlam free. We need the break.
We need the break as a couple as much as we do as a family. It has been a tough few months. (Who am i kidding? It’s been a tough bloody year!)
Waking up this morning and running through the amount of stuff we have to fit in the car, reminded me of the conversation about lists.
To prevent utter chaos and the theme tune of my life (Benny hill) from playing on repeat in the back of my head, i thought ‘why not? May aswell.’
So I gave it a go.
I made 3 lists of all the things i needed to achieve today, to ensure the total prevention of events like the one above occurring on my relaxing weekend away, that Woo and the Irish one appear to be joining me on, and my first night out in months which they definitely won’t be joining me on.
List 1 – Addison.
- Pack bag for Addison.
- Find bag to put Addison’s stuff in. (Where has his bloody bag gone? It was in the cupboard!!)
- Put a wash on. (Where the hell are all his socks?)
- Find Sophie. (I think she is in the car.)
- Put Sophie in the bag. (Once you find her.)
- Don’t forget wipes. (Damn it there is none left! How did this happen?!?! I just bought some!)
- Buy wipes.
- Buy potatoes. (The Irish one has eaten them all.)
- Feed Addison Potatoes. (Act like you don’t care. It is the only way he will eat them.)
- Stop Doodle stealing Addison’s potatoes.
List 2 – My list.
- Try on going out outfit to make sure you don’t look like a pig. (I look like a bloody pig!)
- Get tanned, you’ll feel thinner. (Orange me up woman!)
- Get nails. (Decent ones.)
- Pack bag with stuff you need. (Once you find bag.)
- Find stuff you need. (Where the hell are all my socks?!?)
- Don’t forget hair straightner’s. (They are still in 2 bits sat on the side.)
- Re-Gaffa tape hair straightner’s.
- Buy Gaffa tape. (This can be used on the Irish ones mouth at a later date.)
- Clean car out. (It looks like tramps have been living in it!!)
- Find car keys. (Check under sofa cushions.)
- Get bin liner. (For rubbish.)
List 3 – the journey.
- Check you have petrol. (Take manual filler up spout watering can thingy – just in case.)
- Buy petrol. (NOT DIESEL THIS TIME! PETROL!)
- Buy water. (To drink. But also for wipers. In case you get stuck in field again.)
- Don’t forget to pick the Irish one up from work. (Really. Don’t forget.)
- Drive. (Not around in circles.)
- GET DIRECTIONS!
- Find satnav.
- Find satnav charger.
- Read satnav instruction manual.
Those lists, took me the best part of an hour before i gave up.
Organising a list is impossible! Never mind my day! It’s too time consuming!!
I tried. I did! YOU SAW ME TRY!
But, I’m sorry. My way works better.
‘One in, all in.’ – (As my dad used to say.)
(FECK!!!!! I just remembered Doodle isn’t coming with us!!!! BIG HAIRY BALLS!!! (Doodle’s. Actually, no, not doodle’s as they are more, small hairy balls. But you know what I mean.)
‘Out of the suitcase doodle – OUT!’
*Runs to call dog sitter*
I hope you are ready folks.
Hurricane Woo is a big one! And it’s heading up north!!