Let me tell you about my day

I finally managed to get my retest for the COVIDs today after trying for three days straight.

We arrived at 12:45, the testing centre didn’t even open until 14:00, but if we had arrived even five minutes later? We wouldn’t have gotten in!!!

I would be a lot less salty if I wasn’t convinced that the majority of those people waiting ahead of us in the queue weren’t trying for last-ditch tests to allow them to leave the state for Christmas trips.

We were then waiting in the car, all of us, for four hours! The kids did really well overall. I did have to pull #1 Son out of school early to do it, which annoys me, but there’s only 2.5 days in total this week, so it could be worse.

Unfortunately, that time in the car really did a number on the hus-creature’s back. It took him over 10 minutes to get out of the car into the house when we got back. It was serious enough that when I caught him trying to bring in some of the packages that had been delivered in our absence? He got the full on Mom Voice.

To the extent that #1 Son asked me:

Mom? What did dad do to get that?

Now we wait. I’m in the unenviable position of wishing for a positive test so that there is an end date to the first part of this nightmare.

  • Hus-creature – December 21st
  • #1 Son – December 25th
  • TT – December 27th

In theory my dates match with #1 Son’s, but without the confirmation of the positive test, I’m merely what they consider a “presumed positive” which is complicated and irritating.

The cat was not impressed with how long we were gone – and we are fairly sure she has contracted it too so she’s not overly impressed with us anyway.

But we snuggled down for a cuddle which is unusual, as the hus-creature is her preferred human.

And to top it off? Tonight is December 21st, the Winter Solstice, the shortest night of the year. There is also a Great Conjunction.

Because of course there is a Great Conjunction in 2020.

And that’s #1 Son positive

Positive for COVID.

He’s eight.

EIGHT

I hate everyone and everything that conspired towards this.

TT is starting to show some symptoms and I’ve been showing some of them since Tuesday/Wednesday.

We can’t be certain until we get our results, but according to the school nurse who is acting as our liaison, positives take longer to return than negatives.

The hus-creature can come out of isolation if we have more infestation in the main house so I’ll/he’ll confirm that tomorrow and he can come back and join us. Which is good because I’m getting more tired by the day and could do with the rest without worrying about the kiddos being completely unsupervised.

In slightly nicer news #1 Son had a snow day today, but obviously I can’t let them play outside in it.

So please, please wear the goddamn fucking masks dear audience. Because this sucks.

Well this sucks

It fucking sucks.

Donkey balls at that.

Because yesterday. December 13th 2020?

The hus-creature tested positive for COVID-19.

Yep. It’s here. It’s in the house. Yes he’s isolated – thank the gods for a basement granny flat with our old bed in it. His symptoms are, at the moment comparatively mild.

He isolates for 10 days then, as long as the symptoms are gone? He can rejoin the rest of us.

As for us? Well, we are under quarantine for 14 days. Today being Day 1. Unless anyone else shows symptoms – which resets the 14-day clock. Also at that point said hus-creature may as well come out of the bloody basement because the kiddos can’t be left unsupervised.

So now begins the over analysis of every little cough, snort or sneeze. Couple with daily temperature checks. Which tell us nothing because while with us the hus-creature’s temperature was normal.

The kids are handling this like troopers. Thank all the gods we were already remote schooling, and TT can do dance by Zoom but I’m angry.

Don’t get me wrong, I was devastated all day yesterday when we got the news but now? ANGRY.

Sheer She-Hulk levels of rage. I hate every single fucker who did not and will not wear a mask. I’m way beyond my usual benign levels of cursing. I want them all to know what we are going through.

I wish no-one death. I wish no-one hospitalised. But I want them to know this fear. I want them to know this worry.

Because it’s their fault. Every. Single. Anti-mask. Fucker. Caused. This.

And I hate them. I loathe and despise them.

But I still want their families spared.

Wear the fucking masks people. It’s not hard and you could spare someone pain, fear and anguish.

T’is the season to be jolly

🎵🎶Fa la la la la🎶🎵

Etc etc. Truth to tell dearest audience I am not actually feeling all that festive. Quelle surprise!

However, it is Advent and calendars abound. This year we played it safe and just got the kiddos Reeses ones.


Ye cannae go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate after all.

But I decided to think outside the box a bit for myself and the hus-creature.

Now, obviously I got myself a yarn advent calendar. I’ve done that for the last three years. However due to Brexit and COVID shenanigans my usual supplier was unable to make one.

So I have branched out and purchased one from The Dye Shack – yes they are based in the UK. I have zero problems paying the extra shipping fees. I’m all about helping small businesses generally.

But I like having an edible one too. So, I purchased a Breakfast blends tea one God myself, and a hot chocolate one for the hus-creature from Yawn Brew

Now, I don’t like “fancy tea” as a rule, so I didn’t buy one last year because they were only doing Christmas tea blends and bleh. So when I saw this one I got really excited. However they have still snuck in a couple of Earl Grey and green tea blends so I’m sceptical of those claims.

However, there’s twelve separate blends, each enough for two cups, and each spread over the 24 days.

So. I’ve decided to put together – in a separate and ongoing post – a review of each blend.

I only decided this today, three days in, but as they are duplicated and it’s not Day 12 we should be fine 🤣😂

PARTY IN THE USA!!!!

OK on the face of it, today’s election result is amazing!!

Trump is no longer president of the USA from 21 January 2021.

Do you know something dear audience? I was today years old when I found out:

Donald Trump humped the American flag.

Allow me to repeat that.

He. Humped. The. American. Flag.


Apparently this was to demonstrate his love of America.


Nah dude – you demonstrated you were and are willing to fuck America. And he did. And he will until January 2021.

We aren’t out of the woods yet people

But, we are on the way. If we can pull together. But today’s speeches from the President-Elect and the Vice President-Elect don’t yet inspire full confidence.

Democrats have a tendency to “extend the hand of friendship” to the Republicans.

YOU CANNOT DO THAT THIS TIME OKAY

No amount of “hug a Nazi” crap will make up for what has been happening here. We had literal Hilter 2.0 in the White House.

The GOP has demonstrated that they will do anything to take away rights that we are confident won’t be:

  • Right to abortion
  • Right to vote
  • Right to live
  • Right to love who we want – LGBTQ+

Yes, we need to come together. Yes we need to heal. But we cannot, must not, forget this. We cannot rug sweep the last four years.

They are our shame and we must learn from it.

We cannot just sit back and sigh with relief. The fight continues.

For Ruth Bader Ginsburg. For John Lewis. I would like it very much if at the next election if it’s not a choice between: Old White Dude 1 and Old White Dude 2.

Ok. This needs to change.

But for now. I leave you with the first new Biden meme:

Witty and Insightful Title Goes Here

I’m too stressed to think of one.

I’m tired. I’m sick to my core.

I’m scared.

Within 24 hours we will have a reasonable idea of what the next 4 years will look like.

The final outcome may take a while.

But whatever the final outcome? There’s going to be civil unrest. There’s going to be rioting.

The virus is still burning through the USA unchecked. Massachussetts is going into semi-lockdown from Friday.


I guess the panic buying will start again from tonight/tomorrow


It’s curfew with limited movement. No email yet about dance class cancellations.

#1 Son has no school tomorrow and a half day on Wednesday, so he’s a little happier.

He also learned a valuable lesson today about searching for images on the Internet


No, not that lesson – he’s still a little young for that – and I’m certain that sort of thing will have been blocked by school – and #1 Son isn’t tech savvy enough to handle that…


His Social Studies asynchronous work this week is obviously about voting and democracy.

He had to choose his own pick a candidate for President in 2020

He chose Joe Biden. Independently, by himself, after a level of research – yet another set of skills he is learning.

I was (and am) so proud.

However, then used the school approved Google image search for “President 2020” as he needed to create a poster for his chosen candidate.

Upon checking his poster I…. Erased the selected photograph of Mike Pence and the one of Trump’s inaugural white house visit (I think, not too sure but either way NO.)

I then showed him that he needed to search for Joe Biden by name and we selected different images.

He was very confused as to how he got pictures like that for an event that hadn’t yet happened.

Whoo boy is that a whole other conversation 🤬🥺🤬🥺

Stay safe right now dear audience and, for the love of everything holy.

VOTE!!!!

Halloween 2020

So. Yeah. As previously discussed, 2020 has pretty much sucked donkey balls.


Suck it with the censorship Facebook 🤬🤬🤬


And the one thing my kiddos really look forward to is Halloween. And, this year? No. Just no.

We could go Trick or Treating, Melrose hasn’t banned it


Which I personally consider batshit but even Salem only cut back rather than completely stopped things…


But that just seems like asking for trouble. We’ve managed to stay safe this far, to the best of our knowledge, so no on ToT.

However we kept Halloween traditional up to a point.

Today we have:

Watched Spooky Movies

  1. Paranorman
  2. The Witches (1990 with Anjelica Hutson not 2020 with Anne Hathaway)
  3. Kiki’s Delivery Service

We thought we had done quite well on TT (as she is a huge Goth – even at age 4!) and has already watched, and loved so many scary films.


No, seriously, Labyrinth and Goosebumps 2 are her current best things ever


But at bedtime she fell asleep then woke up scared of zombies and Bad witches. Damn. Well, it’s a good thing we put The Addams Family off I reckon.

Eaten Holiday Food

Mealtimes were fluid and we just kept food flowing in a mixture of:

  1. Hot Dogs
  2. Popcorn
  3. Smores

As you can see, TT demanded an apple around 4pm so that was good 😂🤣

Worn our costumes

Well the kiddos did at least.

I did mention my daughter was a massive Goth yes? We therefore let her “borrow” some of my makeup:

She felt that purple glittery lipstick and black glittery eyeshadow finished off her “spooky bat” outfit rather well. She was happy, so I didn’t disagree god love her 💜💜💜

  • We have left a bowl of candy out on the front porch, and the kiddos carved pumpkins last weekend.
  • Here is #1 Son drawing his own design:

    Here is TT’s initial design and through to completion:

    And here they both are in pride of place on the front stoop:

    They are still there! I’m genuinely shocked that neither squirrels nor trash pandas have nabbed or destroyed them!

    So, 2020 hasn’t taken everything from us. And we are still here and happy.

    TT has declared that

    This is the best Halloween ever

    So I’ll take that. Right now? I’ll take that.

    Screaming into the void

    That’s what I’m doing right now. Only figuratively at least – to do so literally would risk:

    • Scaring and distracting the kids.
    • Annoying/scaring the neighbors.
    • Terrifying the cat.
    • Perturbing the hus-creature

    None of which options seem like a particularly smart plan.

    Especially annoying the neighbors – since we moved (in May this year) we have some truly wonderful people next door who were:

    • Pleased to see us move in.
    • Made us welcome to the street – on the very day we got the keys in fact.
    • Seem to love the kids – they have a fair number of grandkids so as and when there’s no more goddamn plague maybe there can be some block party type socialization.
    • Have recommended local workmen – one of their grandsons actually cuts our grass every two weeks.
    • Offer advice to us, in a non pushy manner, about things we need to consider/bear in mind when dealing with a 120+ year old home in America.

    No, honestly, as weird as it sounds, we’ve never had to deal with an old house and it’s ‘quirks’ before. Our flat in the U.K. was built in 2006. I”ve lived through some of it growing up, but I’ve never owned it.


    I’m usually pretty gosh-darned good at putting a brave face on things, it’s something of a specialty of mine. But not today. Not right now. Right now I am this close to doing my Lady Macbeth act again.

    We are so close to an election that could break the world into tiny pieces. An election that will materially affect my family and I cannot vote in it.

    Normally I can put a brave face on it, and remind myself that part is (hopefully) only temporary, but as it gets closer I can feel my anxiety spiking. There’s so much unknown and no one really thought The Orange One would win 2016 did they?

    And 2020 is a whole damn mood on its own.

    Today however is a stupidly busy day which probably isn’t helping. Today entails:

    1. Plumbing work – to try and repair major drain issues that mean that we cannot, at the moment flush toilet paper – and haven’t been able to for months – don’t ask. They have to cut a hole in a wall that we didn’t want to use, so that’s another thing to add to the money pit list because it’s in a room that will get a lot of traffic eventually. And the water is switched off so we can’t flush toilets or wash hands (thank the GODS for my hand sanitizers stash)
    2. New freezer being delivered – on the same day as plumbing work. No this was not part of the original plan. But from next week I can finally batch cook and freeze meals for some form of future planning.
    3. It’s snowing. First bloody snow of the season.
    4. It’s bin day and also garden waste collection and the bottom came out of one of the garden waste bags, and the bins aren’t yet collected and did I mention the imminent freezer delivery?

    #1 Son also has his second 2:1 violin lesson in less than an hour, which means his concentration for the rest of the day will be shot and after lunch they are allowed to wear their Halloween costumes which means he will be making Pikachu noises all afternoon.


    Which will almost certainly mean another email from his teacher about lack of paying attention etcetera


    I’m tired. So tired. It’s bone deep at this point.

    On being “Mom”

    Or:

      Mum
      Mama
      Mummy
      Mater
      Mam
      Mommy
      Madre

    Whatever title has been bestowed upon you by your marvellous and beloved offspring? The job is hard. It’s fucking gruelling – and there’s often no respite.

    I don’t know if you might have noticed dear audience, but there’s a freaking pandemic going on out there. And it’s taking so much from us. And the burden of children and child-rearing is, as ever falling on us maternal-type units.


    Disclaimer: I am bloody lucky in my hus-creature and I love him muchly. He has been awesome in this shitty ass time.


    And there’s no answer to it. I’m not going to write about generals. There are a LOT of articles out there at the moment which are saying it so much more eloquently than I feel I can:

    Parenting is a job – in a pandemic it’s impossible

    Death of the Working Mother

    Both of these articles resonate with me so hard. In the first case?

    I’m exhausted. I’m touched out.


    Seriously – it’s worse than when they were newborns and I didn’t think that was possible quite frankly!


    TT is a wreck. She’s always been the most social one of the four of us and lock down and social distancing have destroyed her.

    She gets one dance class a week (today as it happens) and the joy when she realises it’s Wednesday is, quite frankly, heartbreaking. Because it’s her only chance to spend time with any humans outside of our bubble. In a mask. Six feet apart. With no contact. But it’s all that we could do.

    And it will be taken from her soon enough. Make no mistake about that. Cases are spiking everywhere and I hate every single selfish fucker who won’t wear a mask. If I could send them my daughter’s future therapy bills I would.

    We spend a minimum period of two hours every day cuddling on my bed because she just needs that reassurance. It sounds lovely but it’s every day. It’s relentless.

    But that’s not the main point of this post. It’s mainly the second linked article I’m pondering.

    See, a few nights ago #1 Son wombled into my bedroom and asked me:

    Mom, if you could have any career what would it be?

    First off, ouch.

    It’s not the first time either. Over a year ago I was standing in my kitchen doing one of my snow/ice dyeing experiments and #1 Son asked his father what I was doing. When told I was doing a science experiment this was the response:

    Why is mom doing that? She’s just mom.

    I walked away and left daddy to deal with that.

    Way to hit me right between the eyes there son. Because this is a very sore spot for me.

    I am a stay at home parent. It’s not a job I ever envisaged for myself; and, if I’m honest? It’s not the job I wanted.

    Now, do not get me wrong. I adore my kids with every fibre of my being. I went through hell on earth to have them. But I wanted to keep my job. To keep my paycheck. My independence – in so far as that was possible.

    Then we emigrated. And I couldn’t work until I got my work permit. Then #1 Son started school and we realised that, work permit or not, there was no way on Gods Green Earth that I was going to be able to find work whilst dealing with him there.

    Then there was TT. Daycare is ludicrously expensive so I was forced to accept I was stuck until she started Kindergarten at least.

    However that was OK, after all, my skill set is in higher education administration and from The University of Oxford no less. Surely I would be able to find something when the time came? If not Harvard or MIT then at least Tufts or Boston College etc right? After all, University education is a permanent fixture right?!?!?

    Ahem, so sorry.

    Because then the pandemic happened. And it’s clear that Higher Education is going to take a massive hit in the short to medium term. So that’s that for now. And it’s been over three years already. God knows what my skill set is going to look like by the time this situation is under control.

    So for the foreseeable I’m stuck. Completely.

    However hus-creature did put the recent sad into slight perspective.

    The fact that my son asked me if I wanted a career? That means he doesn’t remember when I DID.

    Which means that he only remembers me being around. So no damage of any kind from me missing those formative moments of ages 1-5.

    Some solace perhaps.

    But I do still have a sad.

    Life is complicated isn’t it?

    But I am around. I can help with remote learning. I can comfort my kids and we don’t need me to bring in a paycheck. I’m grateful for that.

    But COVID needs to fuck off. Because it’s still a lot. And some days it’s too fucking much. And I’m tired. So tired.

    Baby Loss Awareness Week

    I have seen mention that yesterday, October 15 – Baby Loss Awareness Day – also covers infertility.

    With that in mind, I have my own story to share.


    I will preface it with that I know I am lucky. I was only ever almost the 1/4.

    I’m often blasé about my infertility and my struggles with it, because I know I’m lucky.

    #1 Son was conceived in a normal time frame, and we didn’t KNOW how impossible he should have been.

    TT? We knew – and it was hell. Hell just knowing that what we were putting ourselves through was likely pointless, but that we had to jump through the hoops to get the IVF referal.

    The months of trying that followed, that weren’t straightforward because of my surgery. The tears, the stress, the guilt – because I HAD one child, surely he should be enough? Knowing in my heart that he wasn’t. That he needed a sibling and that I needed to have a second baby.

    Then that positive test. Then the hope and fear that came with it. But then to be sternly told that with my issues the likelihood of ectopic pregnancy was very high, so any pain, any bleeding I MUST go direct to A&E – do not pass “Go”. Do not collect $200.

    I remember that day so clearly. I remember the pub lunch the office had gone to that day (because I was SO glad I’d stuffed myself 😂🤣); Returning to the office, going to the toilet (it was 4pm) and seeing blood. I went stone cold.

    I remember how supportive my awesome boss was – he took one look at my face and asked if I needed to leave. I could barely nod, and he just told me to get gone – that he would handle everything.

    I remember calling the hus-creature and sobbing to him. I remember the kindness of another colleague who took me for a cuppa and let me weep whilst waiting for him to collect #1 Son from nursery and come get me.

    I remember reaming a random cold caller who had DARED to call me “about the car accident you had”


    I didn’t pass my driving test until TT was 8 months old.


    I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I do remember screaming (whilst on a public high street – which as a Brit is a huge nono) that I was in the middle of a potential miscarriage and waiting for a call from my doctor and she was tying up my phone line. I DO however remember her terrified apology. And to this day I hope I made her think and reassess her career choices.

    I’ll never forget rushing to A&E, 7 weeks pregnant with my girl. Terrified I was going to lose her. Knowing that if I did? There wasn’t going to be another baby.

    I had to break the news to both sets of parents that yes, I was pregnant with the much longed-for second child but possibly for not much longer and could they please come get my eldest from the hospital so that he was safe and away from it all.

    A night of nil-by-mouth and such kind (but silent) nurses. But nobody explained why. Nobody talked to me. Nobody could handle my fear, my panic or my pre-grief.

    Because they knew. They had seen my notes. They knew what this meant. That I was almost certainly going to need emergency surgery so not even a cup of tea.

    But I was one of the lucky ones. The following morning I had an emergency scan, saw a heartbeat and cried tears of joy. I remember the technician commenting that it was so rare for them to see happy tears. I got a week’s sick note and I rested. Oh god did I rest.

    I got the fairy tale. I often talk to women with endometriosis and tell them my story because I want them to know that the miracles DO happen.

    But so often they don’t. To this day I don’t know why I was so lucky.

    Infertility is hard. So hard.

    Baby loss is worse.

    So I lit a candle for everyone who needs one. And I hope that I haven’t caused pain in this; I simply feel that I do have a story to tell.