Friday, 1 August 2008

One down, four to go...

Tom has gone on a jolly to Abu Dhabi. He left yesterday morning, and whilst it is nice not having to nag him about being too noisy, untidy and smelly, both Betty and I are missing him.

Betty has been looking for him everywhere. I tried to explain to her that he has gone on a five-day piss-up with all his uni mates with the excuse of a friend’s wedding, and that he would not be found under his pillow or in his sock drawer. She gave me a very firm, slightly scary look, sighed and then said: ‘Da. Da. Da.’ Each ‘Da’ grew louder and shriller. Where ‘Da’ normally means anything and everything, I think that in this case the meaning was pretty clear.

In an attempt to keep Betty on side, I have been trying to keep her as active as possible so that she doesn’t have too long to contemplate Tom’s absence. If she were to decide that she is actually pretty annoyed about it, the next few days will be hell for me.

Yesterday morning, I cleaned the car, inside and out, whilst Betty joyfully bounced around on the seats and tried to drive the car away. She enjoyed it so much that I made a note to myself that playing in the car on the driveway will become a regular activity. Whilst cleaning, I found a half eaten chocolate digestive in the glove compartment, which I then flung over the hedge, only to be met with a: ‘Mmm thank you very much’ from the farmer on the other side. I was very embarrassed and tried to pretend that I wasn’t there, and that Betty had thrown it.

We had a painting session mid-morning, sort of. Despite the fact that when I asked Betty if she wanted to do some painting she said a resounding ‘YES’, she refused to do any painting whatsoever. This was after I had set it all up, squeezed all the paints out onto plates, wrapped her up in tea-towels, and laid newspaper everywhere. I then tried to use all the paint up myself by doing my own handprints and painting about 13 different pictures. Meanwhile, Betty didn’t want to get her hands dirty at all and so she reorganised the unused paint-brushes, and sighed a lot.

Early afternoon came, and we decorated her new playhouse in the garden. In doing so I happily discovered that Betty is just as happy with a framed photo of her beloved duck comforter (which I had hung on the wall) as she is with the real thing. This takes the pressure off me slightly as the real thing is on its last legs and I have been having sleepless nights about it recently. Once the house was decorated we then hosted a play-date in it for two of Betty’s lovely friends, Daniel and Molly, in the afternoon. They all had a great time pouring each other cups of tea and dismantling my arrangements. I was then out there at 11pm last night with the hoover and an extension lead, knowing full well that I wouldn’t sleep easy knowing that there were crisp and biscuit crumbs littering the carpeted floor.

Throughout the day we also managed to fit in a trip to the garage to see a man about a spark plug, read what felt like 300 books, and baked some fairy cakes. By 6.00pm Betty was practically begging me to put her to bed and when I tried to sing her usual bedtime song, she shook her head crossly and forcefully said: ‘Da. Da. Da,’ which in this case I think meant: ‘Please put me in my cot now and go away.’

I don’t sleep very well when Tom’s not here. Last night I just lay there, feeling petrified. All sorts of things were going through my mind… fires, burglars, murderers, mice in the playhouse, Betty waking up during a power-cut and me not being able to find her, me getting food poisoning and not being able to look after her. I finally fell asleep at 3am, whilst trying to plan back-to-back activities for Betty today, and having just received a text from Tom saying that he had arrived safely in Abu Dhabi.

17 comments:

Beccers said...

Do you get a treat in return? I always try to implement the 'treat in return' system. In our house it's something along the lines of "oh you went away with all your friends so it's only fair that I should be able to go buy myself things I don't need/ go and have a massage/ demand that you rub my feet/ insist on watching the worst girliest film i can find/ don't have to do any rubbish jobs for at least 3 weeks* (*Delete as appropriate, or go the whole hog and demand all of them!)

Sounds like girl time is really fun. She's a lucky little lady!

B

Elsie Button said...

hi beccers, i have been busy thinking up some suitable treats for the last month! -i've got to make it good!

Jaywalker said...

Yo button,

My god, you can't keep this up for 5 days! Introduce some tantalising delight she can only get when daddy is not around (we have maaaany of these, like breakfast in PJs, dinner in front of TV, weeing in the garden, etc etc. He's away a lot, ok?) and thenceforth all will be wonderful and you can relax slightly.

If the comforter really is on the way out, rejoice. I have been dragging "Old Mimi" ("I LIKE the bad smell. It's smells of wee and sick" Er, yes. Indeed.) across Europe for six years now, with many heart-stopping "oh no we've lost it and the rest of the world thinks it's a stinking rag!' moments.

Hope the time goes quick. It sucks and believe me I know!

Elsie Button said...

Hi Jaywalker - i know, it is exhausting! the tantalising delights is a good trick...

Yes thinking about it the comforter will probably go on forever - it is already only a shadow of its former self, but betty still loves it dearly. she makes me kiss it every day as part of her morning ritual and i almost gag from the smell/sogginess of it

Tara@From Dawn Till Rusk said...

Good god girl, stop trying to be Superwoman! I know it's really tempting to try to do 'cool' stuff when Daddy's not around, but she'd probably appreciate it more if it was just you and her playing aeroplanes on the bed or Invasion of the Tickle Monsters!

Nunhead Mum of One said...

I hope you're in for a nice pressie!

It's funny (though not haha funny) what goes through your mind in the wee small hours. I usually worry about things like dropping my keys down a drain and not being able to get into the house, falling down the stairs in the event of a power cut and lying at the foot of them whilst Mac merrily empties the medicine cabinet into his mouth, forgetting that I've left the gas on and waking up in the morning(!) to find my kitchen (and most of my house)in a different post code......even when David is in the house!

valley girl said...

The great thing about children is that they don't notice whether what you do is 'exciting' or not - cleaning out the car, or helping you empty the washing machine, can be just as fun as a day out at a fair or kiddie farm. Littleboy 1 has just spent a good 20 minutes watering the garden, at a time of day when he would normally be grumpily watching TV as I cook his supper....

Mud in the City said...

Hi Elsie - you asked about the blog list thingamy, in case you didn't see the comment on my blog here goes:

As for the blog roll thing, it is an element you can add to your page under the 'layout' tab - just have a look for "blog list" - really easy!!

Good luck!

Stella Blue said...

Thanks for the link!

My little one's first word every morning (after streeeettttchhhh...grumble grumble...) is "da?" She keeps it up until daddy is either awakened or found somewhere else in the house.

Of course, when she's being a complete grump, I don't feel bad saying "here, honey! I'd soothe her but she asked for you! I'm going to go grab a beer while you get her calmed down. Bye!"

I hope you survive the next few days - you'll eventually find a rhythm for just the two of you. Good luck!

Louise said...

Wow! I was exhausted just reading that! Betty really has got super-mum! I am so impressed. I hope you can manage to get some sleep!

Jonny's Mommy said...

Yeah, I got the paints out for Jonathan a short time ago and got him all ready for painting and he did the exact same thing -- did not want to get dirty.

They can be so prudish at this age.

Hope you survive Tom's business trip.

GoneBackSouth said...

My kids still like playing in the car at age 6 & 8, only now it involves packing suitcases and going on pretend holiday (and they don't want me there)! Hope the rest of the time works out okay.

Suburbia said...

That food poisoning worry (whilst having full responsibility for the children)is one of mine too! Thanks for visiting, and putting me on your blogroll :)

DJ Kirkby said...

I was going to ask where you were going for the bride's hen party but after reading this post I have realised that you will be too exhausted when Tom returns to do anything of that nature.

Frog in the Field said...

Darling Husband went to search for a farm in Australia and New Zealand when our youngest was 14 months old.
He was gone for weeks and every day I got up, looked in the mirror and gave myself a pep talk on coping with the day.
The children missed Daddy so much they phoned his brother and told him he had to come for tea every night, which he did.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Yeah. I do agree with the "worrying in the middle of the night bit". Do I leave the keys in or out of the locks? Can they reach them? Can they use the phone? etc.etc.etc. (Hubbie will be away in Egypt for a week soon so I'm working up to it already!)

Susanna (A Modern Mother) said...

I included you in the best of the British Mummy bloggers list ... you may want to put your two pence into the debate...http://tinyurl.com/5ueo9t