Reader warning: this post contains poo and tears
Thinking back to how I thought the day would pan out when I got up, I realise how much yesterday truly mirrored life in all its unexpected, messy beauty. By the time I went to bed, the landscape had changed.
My daughter awoke swollen, feverish and clingy and, as the husband had already left for work, I saw out the day unexpectedly trying to keep her soothed and occupied. We shared a great deal more than I’d expected when I got up. But there were fantastic, gorgeous exchanges, hugs, potty triumphs and potty fails and shared wisdom, like this one:
Monkey: (suddenly) OH NO!
Monkey: The sun’s gone behind the clouds. I can’t reach it all the way up there
We painted and baked, read together and cuddled. I hope she felt better at the end of it all (certainly her temperature came down) and I hope even more there’s a tooth/ teeth at the end of it (she won’t let me look at the moment.)
Perhaps because she felt rubbish or maybe because she’s made her peace with it, there were no potty battles when it came to weewees, but there came a poo standoff I doubt I will ever forget, unless of course I am ignorant of the fact there is worse to come! Teething affects my daughter badly and one way in which she’s impacted is how much fluid she takes on board and therefore how much she eliminates, putting this as elegantly as I can. By yesterday, it had been 2 days since she did anything other than a wee which is always one of two ways to know she’s teething or under the weather. And she hates it. She’s inherited her father’s policy of loo-privacy and she hides, sometimes even ejecting people from a room if she needs to go and they’re in it. Yesterday, there was a “poo incident” that culminated in her running around hysterically screaming “nooooo. Getitoffmeitstinks” whilst eliminating bodily fluids at the same time. Our home did not benefit from this. No amount of “I Want My Potty” or “Each Peach Pear Plum” could coax her down from her terror of the poo. Once finally all was clean and flushed, she was instantly reasonable again “bye poo. See you again later.” God, I hope not.I even managed to get her to sit on the toilet rather than the potty, afterwards. Living with a child is frequently queer. It’s like someone made human playdoh and rolled Ghandi, Mussolini and Quentin Crisp into one person.
As I was bathing her for the second time that day (as if poogate, handpainting and weeing everywhere five times weren’t enough, she managed to put the bowl containging the cake-batter she was hoovering up with a spoon on her head), my lovely lovely husband came home, a little bit broken. The universe has played a blinder with that playdoh. Husband, amazing, hard-working, focused husband, has lost the place he loved doing the job he loved with an elite crack-team he loves because he’s the star performer. He’s being parachuted into another team to turn around that function and he’s gutted. It’s of course wonderful and right to have so much faith in him and his abilities, but the timing, after so short a respite, so long his dedication to keeping things on track for everyone else, that this should happen to him and now. Or at all. Penalised for just being too good. It stings. Who knows where this will take us this time? I’ve expressed my own views on this, in vino veritas, which are best not expressed here or possibly at all.
I’m not usually at a loss to express my reactions, of course, but he hadn’t been able to do anything with how he felt for hours, being surrounded by his colleagues, and was struggling to process his disappointment. I told him how I’d spoken to a dear friend who lost her husband a year ago, someone equally remarkable and significant to us. I’d sent her one of Monkeyface’s Valentine’s hearts in February and she told me that she had interred it with his ashes just a few weeks ago. I was so moved by this, I was unable to speak knowing my voice would crack and I would cry. When I told my lovely sweet husband, who loved Christopher, he cried too.
It’s one thing to want to go and find the people who have hurt unintentionally your loved one and stamp on their toe, but I know that life is strange and sad and beautiful. But this odd day showed that there is love and hope. There is always hope. You get what you need and the universe does provide. To underline that, the Monkey slept all night through and let us recover. She hasn’t awoken yet but I’m guessing it’s asking too much for the universe to have helped her cut her last three or four teeth overnight..?
Just holding on.