I get the feeling I come across as a bit of a super-woman, juggling (not literally, of course, except on very special occasions) my two-under-twos and writing and occasionally even doing other things – socialising, learning french, baking, etc.

But sometimes I just suck. Yesterday evening I was one grumpy girl. I had been doing pretty well earlier in the day, though Elena wasn’t sleeping for long at a time. She was being cute and interactive which is always great…

During the afternoon nap when they both sleep at the same time I got my french homework done and started on the dishes.

And what a lot of dishes, but I was soldiering on.

I broke the last of my favourite bowls but fortunately we left some in storage in NZ. No biggie. I wasn’t grumpy yet.

Then they both woke up – one probably woke the other – perks of them being in the same room – and it was all down hill from there.

I managed to dry enough dishes to make space on the bench (so I could wash the rest) – while Elena was propped up on the couch, half-asleep and happy, and Louis was drinking his mid-afternoon-milk. Then I had to wash the rest of the dishes, whipping the gloves off (stupid sticky dish gloves and stupid dermatitis that requires I wear dish gloves!) to deal with crying babies and whatnot.

Argh! So frustrating. After the dishes were done I had my celebratory pain au chocolat… and then Louis nicked off with the last bite – which he chewed on and then didn’t want any more. What a waste!

Decided to give him his dinner but he wasn’t interested unless the television was on. Elena, meanwhile was not sleeping. Not in her bed. Perhaps on my arm a sleep might have happened, but she’s getting so heavy and everytime I put her down she’d go beserk.

I gave up on Louis’ dinner – though he’d only had a few mouthfuls – but then he wanted to go to the park – kept pointing to the pushchair… and I realised I’d been a pretty crappy mum – I’d barely played with him, and hadn’t taken him to the playground, all day. He’d been good through my doctors appointment, he’d had his sleeps and everything, but I’d just been trying to get other things done. I’d been ‘dealing’ with him rather than playing with him or relating to him.

Luuk came home with sushi for dinner – hallelujah! – and afterwards, even though it was getting late, we all went to the park. Elena slept – at last! – in the buggy, while Louis covered himself in sand. I sat on a bench and looked at the sky and tried to breath deeply, but I couldnt’ quite shake my grumpy mood.

I’d been trying all day to compile my submissions – to put already-written material together – not a big job. I was hoping to have a read through, a last check-over, and then email it out this morning. So, last night, I was annoyed at not finishing this one job I’d been trying to do all day.

I did, in the end, finish it just before bed, which meant a not-so-early night. But it’s done now: revised and sent, and raising my heart rate…

I feel a bit at a loose end. There’s loads to do around here and a bit more french wouldn’t hurt before this afternoon’s lesson. Laundry is always there, waiting its turn, and I suspect I didn’t have enough breakfast (though definitely enough coffee…). I need to clear the table before our tutor arrives, but I feel like it might be important to start on a new project today – now that my query is sent off.

But what to start on…?

– re-reading and revising the draft of a young adults novel I wrote three years ago?

– planning a new novel… but which one? I have two ideas for stories set in france – one probably easy to scribble down in november, for nanowrimo, than the other which will require more research, but there’s time before november for that.

I suspect the young adults novel could be the first of a series – so perhaps I’ll write its sequel for nanowrimo. There’s another possibility.

I’ve also been toying with ideas for poems and short stories – two genres I’ve avoided since high school, convinced I was rubbish at these types of writing. Maybe while I plan for nanowrimo I could potter with some smaller works. If nothing else, they’re good for craft and practice, and being short I can easily take them along to writers group to share and get feedback.

Perhaps one of the reasons I feel so listless today is that it’s two years since the first big earthquake in Christchurch. The distance between here and there, in time and geographically, is feeling rather large.

I wasn’t even there for the first big shake. We were visiting Luuk’s family in the North Island and flew home the next day. I remember sitting in McDonald’s outside Auckland airport and saying, “Why are we going back? There won’t be school tomorrow. You probably won’t have work. We should just stay here for a few days till the aftershocks die down.”

I was six months pregnant at the time, and I was right. School and work were off for at least that week. We should have stayed up north. There were hundreds of aftershocks – perhaps not quite literally, perhaps not in those next few days, but it wouldn’t have been far off. A friend tells me there have now been in excess of 10 thousand felt earthquakes in Christchurch. I missed that first biggie, and I missed one of the other biggies the day after christmas that same year, but I was there for the rest and that was enough.

Be strong, Cantabs, or as they say, and over-say, Kia Kaha. As if it’s just a matter of will, being strong… but my thoughts are with you today. Stick Together might be better advice than Be Strong, but I don’t know how to say it in Maori.

One thought to “grumpy me”

  • Roland Clarke

    Did Nanowrimo last November and planning to do again this year. Thinking of doing sequel but not to November novel but one I drafted last summer (and now revising). So doing sequel to your Nanowrimo sounds like a good challenge.

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