Last Friday morning, I woke up after another night of broken sleep. Rocco has a new habit of waking up in the middle of the night and running in to me. Bursting open my door and jumping into the bed. It's pretty cute, and I'm too lazy to put him back in his own bed. I love his smooshy cuddles and his little sleepy smells.
Then the day began and I packed a bag for him, Max, and I. Quickly typed up a strange, two paragraph third-person resume for my job interview. Then had a shower and folded washing and searched for my computer cable, then heard the infamous line: "MUM, ROCCO'S DONE A BIG POO IN MY ROOM."
I begged Max to please clean it for me, we had to rush, I couldn't be late, I'd give him extra pocket money. So my eight year old cleaned up his younger brothers poo. He wasn't very happy about it, but he did it. I heard him say to Rocco: "Rocco, this is naughty. You don't poo in Maxs room! Gucky! If you do another poo in Max's room, Max will come and do a poo in YOUR room."
Which is fair enough, really.
I promised Rocco he could watch Monsters Inc on my laptop in the car. When he was buckled in, I turned it on and the disc wouldn't play. I died a little inside, knowing the fury to come. Fortunately, we got him excited about Buth Woody instead. (To infinity .... AND BEGIN!) Then I drove down to Sydney.
Sydney is my old lover ..... an ex-boyfriend after a particularly bad breakup. For many years I kept going back and back, long after the party was over. I even had to meet my sister in Oxford Street ... the scene of many crimes. I dropped my boys off to her just past the bus stop that I danced on (and almost fell off) after a big night at DCM nightclub, circa 1993. Next to the Exchange Hotel, where I once woke up in the toilets after passing out five hours earlier. Covered in excrement. That's normal, right?
I look at my boys and think, wow. You're both miracles to even EXIST.
I threw Linda my boys, Rocco's carseat, and a token nappy. Then I put makeup on the rear view mirror, feeling like I was using crayons. I never learnt how to put makeup on properly. It takes a lot of layers of foundation to achieve the natural complexion I once had.
I drove through the city - it really is quite beautiful. Sydney is like New York on a valium. Full of tall buildings, cool cafes and galleries - but a lot more chilled.
The thing I most noticed was this huge sense of excitement, like I was a part of something. Being in the city, doing work-y stuff ... makes me feel distinctly important. Then I felt sad that I felt important.
Is not child rearing just as important as a busy job in the corporate world? More, probably. It certainly doesn't feel like it, there's no rewards for wiping down the garbage juice on the bin ten times a day. Or changing four diarrhea nappies in a row. Getting all of the ingredients for a baked dinner onto the plates - still hot!
I parked and went up for my job interview, nervously wiping my shaking-hands hand on my jeans because I get sweaty palms. (What really helped me out was the lovely comments from you all, wishing me well. Thank you so much.) I wore jeans, red cowboy boots, my big bold red plastic flower ring, stripy top, and hair in a ponytail. I wanted to look polished yet creative. The building was HUGE with amazing views and even more amazing people. So nice, and friendly, and clever. I imagined having my own little desk there, turning up to work polished and creative every day. I could probably do it ... if I had a nanny. And an apartment in the city. And a chef.
I sat in the meeting, the guys looked expectantly at me, and I just said, "Well. I'm great with words, and ..... I'm your man!"
And we all laughed, had a wonderful two-hour interview and I got briefed for my first job.
I've had a few clients in Sydney over the years, and it was always my intention to work all the way through Rocco's babyhood. But I never intended for Dave to get cancer and for me to barely hold on, so. There you have it.
Rocco and Max and I then had a very busy, food-filled weekend in Sydney. They loved playing with their cousins, as I love playing with my sisters.
So, a happy ending, right?
When I got home, Tim had helped me out by putting on a load of washing - a big load of towels. Unfortunately, one of those towels contained the massive poo that Rocco had done in Max's room, the Friday before we left. I lifted the lid of the machine, started getting them out. The stench was pretty bad. Faeces were embedded in every piece of thread of every towel. It was beyond revolting. I stopped, then realised, *I* was the mother. I had to keep going. I threw the whole load in the outside bin. They were ruined. I felt guilty about the waste - but, maybe a rat at the dump will sniff them out and make them into a nest?
Then I had to wipe the washing machine out. It was full of .... fibres that had passed through Rocco's body. I would describe the remnants as "husks."
Cleaning out that machine made me feel SO important!