8.15am - Walk Maddy to school, and back home in the rain. My jandals squelch and my legs ache with the tension of holding onto wet shoes. I hobble barefoot some of the way on uneven and lumpy sidewalk.

9.15am - Back home. Tidy up and change Mish's nappy, find her shoes.

9.45am -Attend Mainly Music session with my littlest girl. There are no words to describe how dismal being Matilda the Gorilla makes me feel, or how swishing rainbow ribbons and stomping bunny feet make me writhe with awkwardness. But my sweet preschooler leaps with joy when I tell her we are going, and participates with such animation that I gain enough joy from that to outweigh the agony of my introverted behaviour.

11.25am - Rush out of there late for an appointment with a prospective daycare for one day a week.

11.55am - Eventually find the wretched place after driving around in circles. The place we see is dismal, dirty but reeks of chemical cleaners. My toes curl up involuntarily. Yuck. No way.

12.45pm - Home for lunch and clean up kitchen, fold washing, read stories.

6pm - Stare blankly at my dishevelled reflection, slap on more face paint and drag on my fat jeans (you know the ones that are so loose that they make a muffin top feel like washboard, not really, but better than the mental torment of holding one's breath due to waistband torture.)

6.30pm - Attend Maddy's school Meet the Teacher night. Park the car miles away from the gate out of stupidity and force legs not to droop like wet noodles. Again, awkward stretch as there I am a stranger, having left all my school mum buddies a year ago. I shuffle around with the other parents, trying to keep my arms uncrossed, but they just keep snapping back into position. Plaster on what I hope is a welcoming and pleasant expression and try to appear interested in why certain spelling words are chosen and who sits where. As soon as the bell goes for the PTA meeting my jandalled feet patter me away as fast as they could. My brain protests weakly, PTA? Maybe? I could put myself out there and be a part of things at this school....??? No way Hosea my feet retort and keep walking, fast, back up the hill to the car.

7.30pm - begin sleepily to turn into the driveway and remember critical lack of food in pantry, and essentials like milk and bread desperately needed. Swerve (kind of safely) back onto road and drive to grocery store.

8.30pm - Unload groceries and stagger up steps. Unpack and put away. Can't find the Ricies I know I bought. Thank God for my sister who was babysitting and had prepared dinner and put Mishal to bed.

9pm - Deal with 8 year old who needs a shower and hasn't done homework and is wracked with overtired complaints.

9.15pm - Tuck other child up in bed and try to not to fall asleep as I lie next to her and we stare out over the soft night-lit garden and talk about Daddy.

9.30 - Fall onto couch with hot mint chocolate and consume several squares of hazelnut chocolate, watch recorded show Flash Forward.

10.30 - Scrub off makeup, brush teeth, crawl into husband's empty side of the bed, read for 10 minutes. Fitfully sleep.


9.30am - Denial fully rolls away, and I drive back to the shop.

Yes they say, you left your groceries.

I left them? No, the cashier put them on the floor while he packed everything and I never saw them.

The customer service lady shrugs and reads from a page in a tatty book, listing my groceries. Three bagfuls.

These have been put back she casually says, flicking a hand behind her, you'll have to go round and get everything again.

I stare at her incredulously.

Sigh deeply, and transfer Mish from my hip to a trolley. Feel wet on my right side. Her nappy has leaked and I am sporting a puddle of wee the size of her bum while I re-shop my shopping from her list.

Infuriatingly, I had forgotten to buy onions the night before, but there was no way I was complicating things by putting them in my trolley of replaced goods. So after we had been given the all clear to leave the shop, I park Mishal out side a fresh fish shop and dash into the vegetable shop next door to buy some onions.

I only leave her because I cannot fit the trolley into the narrow shop aisles. And she is WET you understand. Everything is okay thankfully, but my heart nearly stops when I realise a very interested gentleman standing next to her, tall and ghoulish, long pale fingers holding a cigarette and dressed from top to toe in black. He moves away from the trolley and pretends to study a fish through the glass as I rush to her. Mish says to me, Mummy, who that man? Who man mummy? I was calling you Mum, come back. Adrenalin and fear flick through me and I squeeze her arm reassuringly as I steer her back to the car. Breathe Amy.

So, yes now we are home. Tired. My exhaling breath is hung on sighs and fatigue shoots hot up my spine, and I am soothing the jagged place where my fright lies, at something happening to my baby while I bought onions. I keep staring at the onion bag, lying on the bench like a grim reminder, and will not be using them for tonight's dinner I think.

It doesn't help that I have given up coffee - the caffeine evilly feeds estrogen dominance but I miss that steadying energy not to mention the simple joy of my mug of long black with a dash of trim milk.

The Big Guy is home tomorrow and I know from experience that relief follows reunion. But for now, for now there is a tired baby screeching and a meal to be made, and another Meet the Teacher night at the Intermediate school. Perhaps a coffee today will be in order - purely medicinal you understand and for a cloak of extroversion, if there is such a thing.

There are some days I just feel inadequate.

Simoney  – (February 18, 2010 at 3:19 PM)  

Yowzer Amy, what a day (or two) you've had!
Feeling ya my friend. Feeling ya.

Meghan  – (February 18, 2010 at 9:29 PM)  

Have been enjoying your beautiful photography and posts of late (found via Kiwi Mummy Blogs). I really identified with today's post, especially the leaving of the groceries. I have so many more what I call 'nappy brain' moments with 2 kids than I ever had with just 1 that I sometimes despair at myself and feel pretty useless - and you have 3 children so how you manage that I don't know..I take my hat off to you. The good thing is tomorrow is another day, a new beginning and His mercies are new every day. Thank goodness hey!

Sammy  – (February 19, 2010 at 1:20 PM)  

So glad other people have days like mine! Some days you just want to get back into bed and start over again!

Cat  – (February 20, 2010 at 5:56 AM)  

and then there are days like these.....feeling it Amy

count it all joy  – (February 20, 2010 at 6:32 PM)  

Amy...hang in there. What's that saying "Mother never said they'd be days like these"? Take a deep breath, make a cup of your favourite beverage, hug your babies, take a bath....whatever it takes. You might need chocolate - just for medicinal purposes of course. Meredy xo.

Chavah Kinloch  – (February 26, 2010 at 5:34 PM)  

You're not inadequate, the supermarket boy is useless. Big difference :)

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