Post Party Blues and 2013 365 Challenge Day #28

The Jungle Party was a success

The Jungle Party was a success

Everyone is sad and jaded this morning. Husband has a second-interview tomorrow and no energy to spend on learning his competency-based answers. I’m behind on my post and can’t keep my eyes open, and I left two crying children at nursery which always breaks my heart a little bit.

I phoned ten minutes later to check they’re okay and Amber had been let into her brother’s room to give him a cuddle. I love that they look out for each other and are a comfort to each other. I must work hard today to make up for their sadness. I do wonder how my daughter will cope with going to school every day in September. She does so love being at home, particularly since Daddy has been home too. Let’s hope his interview goes well.

Party Girl in the Zebra mask she made as part of the craft activity

Party Girl in the Zebra mask she made as part of the craft activity

The party was amazing but we were all exhausted afterwards. The only problem with having it in the morning was surviving until bedtime. And my daughter’s birthday isn’t actually until tomorrow so there are still visits from grandparents and more gifts to come. It’s overwhelming for children even though we’ve tried to keep it as calm as possible. It’s tough on the little one, too, as he doesn’t really understand the gifts aren’t for him. Especially so close to Christmas when they both got presents. So I’m going to get him a little something today so he has a toy to play with tomorrow.

The tightrope walk of parenthood!

My daughter told me this morning (after I lost my temper at their constant whining about not wanting to go to nursery) that she wanted a different Mummy rather than me. Husband was horrified:

“Mummy gave you an amazing party this weekend, aren’t you grateful for that?”

I just shrugged and said, “But that’s my job.”

The Jungle Party Room

The Jungle Party Room

If she doesn’t hate me from time to time I’m probably not doing my job properly. I love her, I want her to be happy but I also want her to grow up knowing the balance between times when she is the centre of everything and times when the world gets on and she must fit in.

I want to be her friend but first and foremost I’m her Mum. The two are not always the same thing.

Anyway, I’m late with the post because I had no words by bedtime last night. I have twelve minutes to post pictures and write something about Claire. Might be a bit of 200-word flash fiction today. I’ve been reading some great Flash Fiction over on the Apprentice, Never Master blog and it’s a skill I don’t currently have.

And then I have to make a dozen Valentines Day cards for the Gallery, buy Amber a gift from her brother, wrap all the presents and make dinner for Grandad’s arrival this evening. I might not earn a wage but it still feels like work to me!


“Julia? It’s Claire. Don’t bother: I know Carl’s in an end-of-the-world summit in Timbuktu and can’t be reached. I don’t want to talk to him, I just want to pass on a message, seeing as that’s his preferred method of communication. You tell him it will take more than his sister’s friend’s stupid husband to make me quit my assignment. If Carl wants to fire me he’ll have to do it in person. Until he grows a pair and tells me to my face that I’m no longer required I will do the job he is paying me to do. That’s all.”

Claire hung up the phone and grinned. An unfamiliar surge of liberation flooded through her, starting in her chest and spreading out down to her fingertips. She pictured Julia’s face as she listened to the diatribe pouring down the phone, imagining the perfect cherry-red O in the middle of her flawlessly made-up face. Glancing in the mirror on the back of her phone Claire realised with a start that she hadn’t put make up on for two days. And she didn’t care. Who is there to impress out her in the sticks? She stroked her face. It felt clean and smooth, like it could breathe. I don’t remember the last time I went out in public without slap.

The sun shone on the while walls of the Byrness hostel as Claire loaded her things into the car ready to drive to Kielder. She looked at the building with more fondness than she could have imagined two days earlier. Settling into the icy seat Claire pulled on her gloves before touching the freezing steering wheel. She tugged the choke, gave the car a pat of encouragement and checked the Sat Nav instructions. Her heart felt buoyant as she poked around for a gear and drove away.


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