Saturday, August 18, 2007

I feel like Sleeping Beauty...

...Yesterday, 21st C Dad came home at 5.30...I said hello, then goodnight and went to sleep for a very long snooze...

When I woke up yesterday morning, I just wanted to go back to sleep...sleep...sleep. I tried my best to keep myself awake, cups of tea, ringing friends and going for a walk. The children helped keep me awake too, by shouting, arguing loudly, pouring lego everywhere and making me the target of throwing games...but none of this worked...I just wanted to lie down, and drift off into the land of nod. However, with two children at home, there is nothing else you can do but prop open your eyelids with imaginary matchsticks and hope the day passes quickly.

It's on days like this that I really feel the disadvantage of being so far away from our respective families. It's hard enough that the children only get to see their grandparents about three times a year, but on days when you really could do with calling in the family emergency services it feels even harder.

Acknowledged that it was my decision to move from Wales to see the world (...or at the time...go to Nottingham to do my degree). Being the first to move away to study, I don't think any of us understood the consequences of separating the family at that time. Then, my mind was certainly on being a student and far away from settling down with an englishman, moving around with his work, having children and then staring at the realities of the generations being 250 miles apart from each other...just like yesterday.

Admittedly, I am lucky to have a great group of friends who would be happy to help in situations like this. However. I also have the habit of convincing myself that friends are too busy with their own family situations and consequently I don't want to disturb them by ringing up with "sorry, I am just too tired to deal with my kids." Eh, I'm a mum. I should be able to deal...aren't we all tired?. I know that if my mum lived around the corner, I could just call her to the rescue. That's how things worked when I was little and as a consequence, I have lots of happy memories playing with my grandparents.

So, can I have my cake and eat it? ...No! I live in Suffolk, my mum lives in Wales and that's how it's going to be. However, yesterday I saw a glimpse of how life can get easier and it is heart-warming.

Amidst a tantrum (thrown by me) over the mess on the floor and threats to take toys off to the tip, my eldest quickly embarked on tidying his room and cleared the lego from mine and his brother's room. He was not scared. He actually understood that I was feeling poorly. After each job he asked what else he could do to help. I was very proud of him as he helped with sweeping the floor and setting the table for lunch. My youngest got it too and gave me his monkey to cuddle and insisted that I sat on the sofa, where we all enjoyed a huge cuddle. We were a team and a great one at that. Then after a while 21st C Dad came home to the rescue, early from work, allowing me to scuttle off to bed.

So having just woken up after a long 14 hour sleep, maybe this sleeping beauty can now ditch thoughts of moving to the fairytale castle just down the road from her mum's house in Wales and continue to enjoy life with her 21st Century Prince Charming in a suburban semi in Suffolk.

After all, perhaps having your family on your doorstep is not all it's cracked up to be, eh? The castle looks nice though...

(Photo of Castle Coch, courtesy of


Erica Douglas said...

When I was younger my mum would drive us from scotland to wales to visit our grandparents.

We would know we were almost there when we saw castle coch, although we knew it as the 'fairy's castle'. My mum told us that it was where the tooth fairies lived... :)

Thanks for the reminder!

Paul said...

Love the Sleeping Beauty - presumably a Pre-Raphaelite, but who???

(Sometimes you do have to shout at children.)

21st Century Mummy said...

Erica - We used to pass it on the train on trips out to Cardiff. We too used to call it the "Fairy's Castle" and always used to look out for it on the journey. It was always magical.

Paul - You're right about the shouting and the pre-raphaelite painting. The Sleeping Beauty is by Henry Maynell Rheam, British artist (1859-1920). See:

Nigella said...

I AM NOT SAYING A WORD!!!!! But you do know my number and do know you can call whenever you need pseudo-family support xx

21st Century Mummy said...

Hee hee...Nigella, thanks...I know...I just need to get rid of my invisibility cloak that makes me want to hide on such occasions and just pick up the blower instead. ;-D