It has occurred to me lately that you have to make the most of the hand you are dealt, and ensure normality remains throughout all the abnormal rubbish that threatens your daily routine. Because if you can’t lead by example to your kids, and teach them to rise above everything that life throws at you, then what message are you giving to those you love the most?
I’ll be honest, Thursday last week was a low point, twin boys ‘minor’ surgery took all day, we entered the hospital at 11.30am and didn’t leave until gone 8 o’clock. For any parents who have sat beside a hospital cot, you know this may be 8 hours in the real world, but at least four days in hospital time. I was tormented by the usual conflict, seeing kids who faced bigger challenges than mine, kids for whom a mere 8 hours in a hospital wing would be a blessing, but yet I was angry to be sitting there, once again, with a different child. As I took my son to theatre, I recalled taking his baby sister countless times down the small hallway, and it narked me, big time.
As I said, Positive Percy abandoned me on Thursday.
The news on Twin boy’s ears wasn’t overwhelming good, god forbid he could just have a simple case of glue ear. His ears are a bit broken, more surgery looks inevitable, the possibility of hearing aids is starting to loom, the doctor smiled at me when he said he expected to see a lot of us through the coming years, and I think I scared him when I tried to choke a sob but actually managed to snort a cry. The main difference is as the written word sounds, choking a sob is a little romantic, snorting a cry is explosive and a little green in colour.
But last Thursday has past, and we adjust to normal again, we are a bit diabetic, a bit deaf and a still have a legacy of hip dysplasia. But we are still smiling and taking everything that life throws at us in our stride, although we do stumble a bit along the way.
Let me give you a glimpse of my normal.
Morning swims into our house with a dollop of disarray and a clattering of chaos. Today was no different. Because I had not prepared packed lunches, packed the school bags, laid out the uniforms and ironed my suit for work, we obviously slept in, leading me to awaken with a bad word falling from my mouth and a sense of urgency in my first toilet visit of the day. I ripped open curtains frantically trying to awaken the children who seem to raise at dawn on a weekend but could sleep till noon in the week.
Slowly the three of them emerged like Zombies from their respective rooms.
In a chorus they all demanded their needs of me whilst I fought a failing battle with a pair of spanx that led to me falling back onto the bed and having all my children launch at me screaming ‘pile on’ as they mistook my anguish for playtime.
“Mum, I need an insulin change, and a cannula, and the tubing.” said the diabetic.
“Mum, I need my ear plugs, I am going in the shower,” said the mildly deaf one.
“Dress me,” said the youngest, holding out a pair of pants “my leg doesn’t bend.”
Staring at my three, I assessed their needs in order and worked out a plan of action.
I first dictated to twin boy where he could find the ear plugs, and then I grabbed the insulin from the fridge for Twin Girl whilst swinging BB upside down and depositing the knickers on her backside. The insulin was clap cold, which added to the stress, as it needs to be room temperature before you can pop it the pump. I rolled it between my palm and fingers and felt no sudden temperature increase, then I sighed as I realised that the only way this drug was heating up in time was if I put it in the warmest place I have.
That’s right, I tucked it under my right breast and silently praised myself for breastfeeding for three years which has enabled me with the skill of securing small items under my bosom without them crashing to the floor.
I then turned to see BB trying to put on her trousers unsuccessfully without bending her afflicted limb and out of the corner of my eye I saw Twin Boy sitting idly in his PJ’s by the TV.
“What are you doing?” I questioned.
“Waiting for you to get my ear plugs,” he retorted with an injured look on his face.
“I told you where they are,” I challenged.
“I didn’t hear you.”
Shit, forgot about the deafness.
Twenty minutes later, we were ready to leave, my work suit still crumpled, but passable in my view, BB was dressed, albeit with shoes on the wrong feet, Twin Girl had insulin out from under my breast, back in her pump and it was flowing around her system through her newly injected insulin site. Twin Boy was climbing into the car and the house behind us was groaning as it realised it was to be left in the state it was in, all day.
In the car, my blood pressure came back to normal, I congratulated myself and the kids for surviving the morning and told them all I would get them a treat on the way home.
“Feet?” said Twin Boy, “what are you doing with feet?”
I corrected him and re explained I was getting them a treat for being on time.
“Wine?” he continued, “it is early for wine.”
“Even for you,” muttered his smart talking sister.
Positive Percy threatened to leave me again as my heart started to sink when I realised that his hearing was suddenly worse than before, and again a wave of fedupness surged over me.
“Oh Owen, you can’t hear me, I’m sorry.” I said, feeling a bit desperate as it would seem Thursdays operation had not helped at all.
“He would hear you better if he took those flipping ear plugs out.” said Twin Girl, reaching over a yanking a purple plug from her brothers lug hole.
This is my normal – do you see why I seek solace in gin.