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Sunday, February 04, 2007


I sit at the dining room table with my children as they eat their snacks. My prompts are limited as my words are indistinct after jaw surgery. I try to glug my next bottle of Ensure, the most vile liquid substance on the planet. The crunch of munching crackers makes me slightly jealous, the salt crystals glitter in the weak Californian sunshine. Only five more bottles to go before bedtime. Three pairs of eyes long to share the sickly sweet drink.

“Eeow Mom, yur dribblin!” she squeals. Junior scrambles from the table and rushes into the kitchen. He slams a few kitchen drawers before returning with a floor cloth. He hesitates, falters, recovers and dabs ineffectually at my chin, “dehr you go mom, all better now!”

Rats to the theory of mind.


I determine to be productive after "jaw surgery" and set off into the garden to pull up weeds and remove dead leaves. As my knees bend and I hunker down I whiz through a decompression chamber such that my nose explodes with the shock of being 3 foot lower than usual. I drop the three soggy leaves that I’d selected and head back inside the house to clear up the blood from yet another spontaneous nosebleed.

It’s like a conspiracy of sloth has overtaken me. I move rapidly along to plan B.
If I cannot be physically active then instead I’ll just let my fingers do the walking and phone the gardening company to come and clear up the mess, damn the cost. I have just finished dialing when I remember that I cannot speak out loud, or at least not so that anyone can understand what I’m saying. Damn – it is a conspiracy.

I am so heartily sick of being ill and idle. I try and remember the things that I used to do before, before……..the children? When I wasn’t working my hands were always occupied. I sat down more. Hobbies of the past, or pastimes such as knitting stopped with the last baby blanket. It would appear that every waking moment was filled with children’s needs. Once those needs became more complicated, my time disappeared and reformulated itself into extracting words and teaching basic skills. The frantic pace with the mantra ‘early intervention’ ran through my brain at all times. Every second had to be used constructively. I was all over them like a rash, relentless and frenzied. We had started late, we had so much to catch up on. It was a relentless treadmill of our own making.

I also realize that whilst I didn’t have surgery three years ago, two years ago or last year, this year, now, it has been possible, that although we still all have a great deal of growing to do, I can stop obsessing on the trees and admire the forest.[Thanks Kristina]

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