It is now 13 weeks since my husband moved out. Unlucky for some. Well, mainly me. Although the children and I have our 'just three' routine down pat now (in fact they're asleep when I'm solo far earlier than they are when both parents are present) I am Tired with a capital T. In the early days the thought of our big move away from family and friends scared me. Now the thought that this semi-solo parenting set-up will go on forever scares me even more. I need an end point in sight, something to work towards.
Until this weekend I had thought the children felt the same. All this time with Mummy, especially a lovely big space in her bed just right for two small people, is well and good but could we please have our Daddy back now? The only thing standing in the way of our new home together is well, our current home, fast becoming an albatross around most of the family's necks. A number of viewings and couple of half-hearted offers haven't come to anything so last week we dropped the price to try and get more people through the door. It worked. Appointments made we scrubbed the kitchen and bathroom and hid most of our possessions in the understairs cupboard. We looked to the front door excitedly.
Who knew the children were so good at sabotage?
Five minutes before the viewers were due to arrive a suspicious smell began to emanate from the baby. No amount of part-bake baguettes toasting gently in the oven were going to drown this one out so my husband ran upstairs to change her.
Three and a half minutes before the viewers were due to arrive I heard screeches down the stairs. My husband's. Then a cry for help.
Two minutes before the viewers were due to arrive the baby and husband had somehow managed to spread poo all over themselves and our bed. Whilst trying to decide how to deal with this I glanced out of the window to see the viewers walking up the path.
As my husband answered the door I dunked the baby in the shower and used the book from my bedside table as a fan to try and get rid of the smell. Out of time to change the bedlinen I strategically placed C's pretty dress, poo side down, over the new stain and hoped it didn't look too out of place.
As the viewers came upstairs I wrapped a sweet-smelling gurgling baby in a fresh fluffy towel. They cooed, she giggled. Smiles all round. Then T walked in. 'Look Mummy I've brought C's dress!'
Shit, the ... ... shit! I screeched at T to 'go and put it back right now' in manner of demented fishwife then, in panic, barged past to check he'd managed to cover the stain without managing to get it all over his hands. The baby began the cry. The viewers shuffled their feet and looked worried.
Having been unfairly chastised, T adopted a wobbly bottom lip and insisted on being carried up to the third floor to accompany Daddy and viewers, and down again.
Rejecting the opportunity to have a look round by themselves (who would blame them, psychotic woman in a strange smelling fug upstairs and all) my husband stalled the couple in the living room to restate actually just how lovely the house is and how keen we are to move quickly. T took this opportunity to turn feral and start hurling the cushions from the sofa.
It's fair to say the couple couldn't get out of there fast enough. I was so depressed by the whole thing I couldn't even bear to listen at the open upstairs window to see what they were saying about us as they half-ran back to their car.
All that cleaning and tidying for no reward. Maybe the children are trying to tell us something. Maybe they don't want to move?