Saturday, 3 May 2008

Transition traumas.


I made it through my first week back at work... full time work that is. The great things about my week:

1. An assistant script editor joined the same day as me and she is super lovely. To have a partner in crime (or in my case, someone to watch 6 weeks worth of Eastenders with) was fantastic. She is a girl's girl. Supportive and warm. Really helped me not feel like the lumbering Mother trying to squeeze herself back into the working world only to find that the world has moved on fifty years since I last did the 9-5 grind.

2. Everyone at work seems lovely and understanding about the fact I have no idea what anyone is talking about.

3. I have plastic rubber duck fairy lights above my desk for some reason.

4. I visited the Square!! Saw Arthur's bench, Kathy's cafe and the Vic. Embarrassingly excited about it and annoyed I forgot my camera for iconic 'Albert Square' stand-by-the-railings shot.

5. I went out with husband for cocktails at a farewell do.

Bad things about my week:

1. Could I be more nervous? You know that old paranoia that eats away at you - Will they find me out? Suddenly realise it was someone else they were meant to employ and turf me out as soon as it comes to light that I am crap? Can I do the job? Will my writers want to murder me? What is my name again?

2. Sproglet missing me. OH MY GOD. He followed me out even though I put on a DVD and crept out as if I was only popping to the kitchen. I quickly shot down the stairs and once outside the flat door, bent down to tie up my laces. I heard him career down the stairs after me. Then he banged his small fist against the door and howled. My heart sank to my converse and it took every ounce of my willpower to keep on walking out the front door, stomach in knots. Head metaphorically in hands. Heart left battered on the hall floor.

The next day I got wise - placed him in his Dad's arms so they could tickle and cuddle through my surreptitious exit. Husband rang me later to say that the minute Sproglet heard the front door bang he flew down the stairs and performed his banging on the door lament, then was mopey all morning and clingy when he was dropped to his child minder (whom he loves). If guilt were a monster it would be Jaws and I would be Robert Shaw in the scene where the shark chows down on him - as he slides down the boat into his hungry gaping mouth.

3.Husband is now having to get up when I head to work at 8:40am. (Train 8:48). He has a window of 2-3 hours before Sproglet goes to his childminder (a GODDESS full to the brim with patience and a telepathic ability to control Sproglet). Husband gets in at 3am/4am ish and then is up 4 hours later. He is tired. Super grumpy. Oh and I don't see him. We leave those dreadful cliched housemate type notes to each other ('Take out the bin'; 'wash dishes' 'we need milk' etc.) Romance has jumped out the window and down the street, never to be seen again. So Thursday evening was a big deal. We had a sitter and were actually going out together on an evening to Pocket's leaving do. We got there to discover it was at a ridiculously trendy bar where all the girls wore strappy tops, big earrings, scarves and giant heels and the boys had more products in their hair than Boots would stock for Xmas. It was so 'meeja' and youthful that I felt about 75. The music - thud thud thud - reverberated off the walls and husband declared he was leaving the moment we arrived.

I was so torn. My dear, dear friend Fran (Pocket) was leaving to go to LA with her lovely husband - FOREVER - and my husband wanted to walk. That good old 'friend v partner' debate. He bought a drink and sulked outside. I tried to explain to Pocket why husband was now an ogre. I understood he was tired, but I had looked forward to this night and just needed to let off some steam after such a transitional week. Pocket understood thankfully. My toes curled as husband pointedly refused another drink in front of a group of folk and stared me out with the look of death. Realising I needed to leave immediatly or he would divorce me - I said my hurried farewells, unable to get a decent goodbye (we Irish love our lengthy goodbyes that normally involve a 5 course meal, 3 toasts, a bottle of port, a cup of tea, 2 biscuits and 16 hugs)and didn't get to say hello or even goodbye to Steph - a girl who I was dying to have a great yarn with, as she used to work where I now do.

As I hugged Pocket (my rock in the past 2 years) - the one person I relied on most in my lonely Motherhood journey; the girl who always made time to pop in for a coffee no matter how busy her life; who cheered me through my job hell and who offers the best advice in the world (fact) - the tears spilled. It was like the boy and the dam - but the bugger took his finger out and the water kept a comin'. Husband and I went for dinner and he sent me to the ladies as I wept so much people were staring. You know you should stop the cocktails when you tell strangers in the loo your dramas as they try to dry their hands and they look frightened. Not for you. By you.

I blame PMT. Tiredness. The stress of trying to exchange on a house when mortgage folk are complete NUMPTIES. Losing a dear friend to another continent. Missing Sproglet. Going back to work stress. Etc. Etc. We rowed for oh... a good two hours. Who had the most stress? Did the most in the flat/for Sproglet? That lovely competitive row that gets nowhere and you go in circles until you wonder why you ever even shared a plate of chips never mind a life together. I drank far too many vanilla martinis and sobbed in the cab. If I had thrown up it would have a be a re-run of many nights out in my 20s, but instead - now in my 30s, I ended up weeping on my child minder's shoulder. She stroked my hair in a tender Mother-like way and I felt soothed.

Husband and I talked yesterday briefly. He sent loving texts. I had a moan to my best mate over wine (always helps to vent). Today we snuggled together in bed and laughed again. Sproglet keeps giving me lots of kisses. It is a time of change for our relationship, our family life as we knew it - juggling jobs, a house move and parenthood with little help isn't easy. I don't do change too well. But the dust will eventually settle. Until then I'll avoid the martinis and stock up on Evening Primrose oil.

Have a good bank holiday weekend y'all.

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