I've been feeling somewhat like a demented lunatic lately. Not in a bad way (did I just say that?) just dealing with a lot of balls in the air. And what really brought it home to me yesterday was this.
I walked right past e.g.etal and I didn't even look in the window. Crazy right?
And then I had to dash into Cleggs to get some elastic and I didn't even look at the yarn even though some of it was on sale.
So I was in town because I had a meeting for my serious job, or what I thought was a meeting that turned into a four hour series of meetings causing me to miss lunch with my boss, who it turns out is no longer my boss which is extremely sad since he's just about the best boss I've ever and I can talk straight to him and he trusts me that if I say I have no idea what I'm doing eventually I will and he's also interesting and well read and fun, and through those four hours I went from knowing what I was doing to having no idea what I was doing to still not knowing but having a plan for how I might. Because this is a normal part of big projects (I tell myself and I believe it) that you start out going yep, yep, I know what I'm in for and then you scratch the surface and it is a seething mass of stuff you have never seen before and suddenly you are neck deep in shit with no shore in sight. It all comes together again a bit down the road but somehow in the conception stage you never plan on needing to build a raft just to get ashore before you start the real work down that road.
So head exploding with information and confusion and an overwhelming sense of all the work that needs to be done and the very short time frame in which I could do it I dashed down to the other side of town to check out the venue for my workshop stopping briefly on the way for a Krispy Kreme donut to convince Amy that it would be worth her while to walk home from childcare on a stinking hot day (and because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about I had one too in lieu of lunch and even though I do like donuts I was mightily disappointed. People waited in queues for hours for this?) even though giving food bribes is really bad and I could have been organised and bought a piece of fruit from home in the morning but didn't OK? So the venue is good but of course has some issues, not the least of which is a series of sewing machines I've never used and will need to work out on the spot (how hard can it be?) and a total absence of critically important items like scissors and bobbins.
So I'm swapping shoulders with my heavyweight folders from my meetings and going through the logistics of how I am going to manage to bring crates and crates of stuff for the workshop when Amy is supposed to be at swimming lessons and a taxi can't even take me to the front door (arcade entrance) let alone get several loads into the lift in one go and I dash in to get the elastic because I have been knitting a new design and am needing to fit the waist band before I progress further and looking at the clock and thinking Wil, who was malto cranky this morning, will be hanging out for some milk and I haven't even got my feeding bra on because I'm getting sick of saggy boobs all the time so I'm going to have to sneak in the Centre without him seeing me and get to the loos and change my bra and suddenly the temperature seems to have soared and my 100% not natural fibre slinky work outfit feels a lot like a plastic bag and my make up is probably running but I'm knitting on the tram anyway because, well, clearly because I am a lunatic.
So I get to the Centre and before I can sneak in and re sag my boobs there's some committee work to do (yay for volunteering), papers to sign and dates to note and then I manage to feed and get going but not before 45 minutes has elapsed and the sun is now so low that the pusher awning doesn't block it out of the eyes of a very tired and hot boy and the flies can spot an easy target and simply won't leave him alone and Amy is chattering away at full throttle but I can't actually make out what she is saying over the traffic noise and Wil's cries. Her feet are dragging just as Wil's impatience is peaking so I'm nagging her to hurry up and wiping sweat from my eyes and figuring I must smell pretty bad by now what with all that BO inducing plastic I'm wearing and Amy and I are fantasising about how many ice blocks we'll have in that first glass of water when we get home and even though I am making an effort to eat good food and only consumed pure fat and sugar for my sorry excuse for a lunch meal when D suggests fish and chips for dinner I can but agree.
After a short burst of calm while the food was going in, the kids and I retire to the bath to try and get rid of the sweat salt and sunscreen and deep fryer grease deposits and then it's time for feeding and whispered stories while little boys snort and groan with snotty noses and then the kids are gone and it's time to write emails and draft zine submissions and plan the book project I have to submit in a few weeks while D snores in front of the channel 31 car shows and I'm tired but in the back of my mind I keep thinking about the story of a friend of mine who has been trying to conceive for a few years and has just started IVF because her partner has viable sperm but it seems it is the wrong shape to fertilise an egg without assistance of the clinical kind which was news to them since his last partner got pregnant and if there hadn't been a miscarriage he'd now be raising a child that wasn't his. And then I hear there is a proposal being floated by some men's group to have all newborns compulsorily paternity tested and I think that's really mad and the whole paternity testing thing just seems to be throwing up more and more ethical dilemmas in which men and women fight about deception and betrayal and economic disadvantage and what a family really is and out there is a growing legion of kids who have been abandoned without understanding why and how can that be fair?
And I didn't bake the cakes and biscuits I had planned to do ahead of time for the annual round of functions in which I am required to produce an endless array of lucky dip items and hamper fillers and tasty child appealing salads and plates to share and cakes for fundraisers and gifts for carers and teachers and neighbours who so kindly collect and cart Amy around whilst Wil naps or gets sick or otherwise takes me somewhere else (just tallying up how many favours I've called in over the last year makes me feel guilty and extraordinarily lucky) so I need to add that to the list of stuff that really has to be done but I'll try not to forget that I get to go out to dinner this Friday, like a grown up, while we call in yet another favour to have someone come and sit with the kids and because my electronic diary is getting ancient and the battery can't hold a charge for long I have to try and remember the 30 odd events and appointments coming up over the next few weeks, including a range of addresses I am unfamiliar with. And I keep forgetting to make the advent calendar and I only have two days to go.
And I think my head just popped right off.