As I write, you should be touching back down in the country after your trip to Brazil. I’d love to say I’m glad you’ve had such an amazing trip, but from three scant emails in 2 weeks I really don’t know if you have. All I know is that (unless your plane has crashed, and tbh I haven’t heard so) you’re alive, which wasn’t necessarily a given when you left. But I’m sure you’ll
bore us fill us in on all the details over the coming days/weeks/months, regaling friends and neighbours with your adventures whilst I nod along, having heard it all a hundred times. The food you’ve eaten, the things you’ve seen, the places you’ve been, the music, the people, the escapades. Yes, how exciting it must have been! ‘Wouldn’t it have been GREAT to have been out there?’ *Forced smile to keep things civilised.* Note how the smile doesn’t reach my eyes.
Have I missed you? Can I be honest? No. Things haven’t been any more difficult without you. But then you normally just sit plugged into your music and sitting on Facebook anyway. We’ve got through all the normal stuff – work, school, kids’ stuff, cooking, cleaning – without you. Plus we had the police at our door, a modelling trip for Boo and a hospital visit and croup with Noodles. It didn’t seem any harder without you.
Plus I had the bed to myself. (Bliss.) Or, often me and Noodles. But it still made for a better sleep than being crushed in a toddler bed.
And no nagging. Ah, the lack of the stream of questions about things I’ve bought has been heavenly. I’ve been more relaxed. Unless I start shop-lifting things cost. Get used to it.
Boo has been in a better mood too. You’ve not been there to ignore her, so she’s been upset less frequently. It’s been nice. Please don’t change that balance just by being you, expecting everything to revolve around you and only you.
There have been some changes, you’ll find. I dug through the junk in the bottom of my side of the wardrobe for a start. Could you please do something with what turned out to be mostly your stuff. We do not – and I suspect will never – need an electronic typewriter. Please get rid of it.
The house is still a mess, mind you. It’s not been as bad as normal as your papers haven’t been strewn all over the sofa. But toys still don’t put themselves in the toy box and teenagers don’t tidy up after themselves. The ironing pile is still huge (mostly mine and the kids’, but it’s tricky when there’s a clingy toddler hanging off your legs) but the washing mountain has been significantly less without you here. At least until today, when your holiday washing will come back with you (worst luck).
What I’m saying, I guess, is that you need to count your blessings and not fall back into your old routine. Because it would be easy to think that it’s actually nicer without you and I could do it on a more permanent basis.
May I suggest:
• Rather than planting yourself back at the laptop, consider engaging with us all instead.
• But not just to nag about things you don’t like. (Hypocritical, in light of the nature of this post, but this is MY blog, so suck it up and learn.) Yes, I used our joint account to buy stuff (mostly food). Get used to it. It’s what money’s there for.
• Do things because it’d be a help to me, not just because it’s convenient for you. Work from home so as to do the school run when I have to work, NOT just because you can’t be bothered to catch the bus that day. Cook the dinner (including shopping for it) if you’re home and done for the day before me, NOT just sit there waiting for a barbecue-worthy afternoon. Or give me a night off by stumping up for a take-away occasionally. Cooking for 6 each night, with everyone having different foibles, is hard.
• Do the things you say you will. Get the windows sorted, arrange some family days out to compensate for a lack of a family holiday, take me with you on a trip to the cinema. If you say you’re taking the kids to visit your mum, take the kids to visit your mum.
• Be glad I didn’t just go ahead and arrange all the things that need doing in your absence – including the installation of a new kitchen – having you come home to a pile of invoices. Believe me when I say I was tempted.
• Be glad that it’s just the typewriter, not ALL of your stuff – and YOU – that I want out of the house.
• Realise how lucky you are to go hither and thither at will or the say-so of Sepp Blatter, leaving your family behind. If only the rest of us could justify temporary escape so easily. I don’t mind your absence so much as your sense of entitlement that you can do such things.
• Don’t expect sympathy for your jet lag.
Maybe if you did these things then I would be a better wife. I’d be less tired, feel less as though I’m constantly the person who sorts everything out. The one whose left holding everything together. (Although then I’d have to think of a new tagline. but just sometimes would be nice.) Maybe I’d have some energy left for you, for us. Maybe I’d even be kind to you when your adventures have impacted on your (not as young as it used to be) body.
Finally, for your sake, I hope you’ve brought some good presents back. (Although I doubt it, especially after your efforts for my birthday(s).) At least there won’t be a vuvuzela this year. There are some reasons ALL of should be grateful. The lack of a vuvuzela is definitely one.