DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER It’s Week 66 and it was marked by an epic parenting fail which shows that karma will always get you, and my long awaited vaccine
• YOU know the way all families have their little ‘in jokes,’ things from years back that are only funny to them? Ours involves someone coming to one of our childhood birthday parties a day late. We found it so funny (not in a mean way), and we still do. We absolutely could not fathom how on earth you might manage such a mix-up. Dear oh dear.
• Right, so fast forward 35 years or so, and I’ve actually figured out how how you might manage to get into such a muddle. It can happen pretty easily actually if you read a crystal clear text invite just a little too quickly, and then forget to go back and read it a second time. So to paint the picture, it was the Saturday evening of the bank holiday weekend, I finally got a minute to myself so I said I’d drop a text to the person who had so very kindly extended a birthday invite to the five-year-old to say what time we’d pop in the following day. You know what’s coming right? It had already gone down. It was past tense. Over. Finished. Finito. Once I got over my absolute mortification (I am actually quite an organised person), and given the two fingers to karma, it was straight on to dealing with my parenting fail fall-out. At least the five-year-old was in bed soI had time on my side.
• The first thing I did (same as for most situations) was to get on to my ‘fixer,’ aka my big sis. She suggested coming clean, fessing up, drawing a line, moving on, no biggie. She’s a mum to three boys. Yeah. I feel it’s generally easier to move boys ‘on.’ I also feel she needs to spend more time with her niece if she thought that approach was going to work.
• I could hear my brother mowing the grass next door. He’s usually pretty strategic so I popped over to get his take. He made a facial expression that suggested I had messed up pretty big, and his advice was basically to say that the party had been cancelled, to draw a line, and to move on. He’s also a dad to three boys. In the three minutes it took me to get back to my house I realised that plan was a complete non-runner. Everyone knows how girls like to talk and that includes pre-school girls. They like the details. They like to go through things carefully. And then double back in case anyone missed anything. A few times. Sometimes they even take notes, in case they need to go over things again. Yeah. My story would have fallen apart by the time they’d have gone in the door of school.That was never going to work.
• There was nothing else for it, I’d have to blame Dr Tony, he’d have to take a bullet for the team. So as predicted she woke before 6am the next morning as the party was ‘A Very Big Deal’ and I had to break the news that according to Dr Tony himself we had to limit our outings again, restrict our movements etc . She was gutted (but cunning enough to suggest she should get to keep the birthday girl’s gift, worth a try I suppose), and I felt suitably awful, but in the words of Jack Nicholson I knew she couldn’t handle the truth. (I’d also like to thank my husband for being so understanding and only saying approx. nine times: ‘If I had made that mistake you’d have gone mad wouldn’t you? You’d have killed me wouldn’t you?)
• Anyway, we went to mass that morning for the first time in a while (maybe I was seeking forgiveness). I wouldn’t claim to be a regular mass-goer but it felt good, normal, and a bit like old times. Half way through (after the usual hiss in my ear that she needed the toilet just after arriving and my usual hiss back at her to hold it and that it was nearly over), the five-year-old asked ‘what does this all mean?’ If anyone can help me out with that I’d gladly take a steer. She looked mainly puzzled until the priest, from the gospel read: ‘I tell you solemnly, I shall not drink any more wine until the day I drink the new wine in the kingdom of God.’ I could see it coming from a mile off but outside of literally clamping my hand over her mouth I was powerless to stop it. ‘He’s not drinking any more wine mum, that’s what you say all the time isn’t it but you don’t mean it,’ she goes. Thank God for the mask is all I can say. Morto girl.
• She also landed me in it by telling all and sundry I got my vaccine. Not that I’m sensitive about my age or anything, but there’s no harm in a bit of mystery. It’s actually a pretty handy way to find out what age people are. Just drop a casual ‘Oh have you had the jab yet? No? But have you even been able to register yet?’ kind of thing into conversation. I got mine on bank holiday Saturday in Ahamilla GAA Club in Clonakilty and I have to say it was a super-slick operation. I was half hoping for a bit of a weakness that afternoon so I’d have an excuse to take to the bed but I felt fine. One down, and one to go.
• Finally, I had the most gorgeous chat with West Cork actress Megan Cusack who has joined the insanely popular TV series ‘Meet the Midwife.’ She plays the part of Nancy and interestingly her grandma on her mum’s side was also a midwife. See next week’s Southern Star for the full interview.