Last Saturday morning I woke up with the devil in my veins. Premenstrual lady-madness doesn't descend on me often, but when it does, dogs howl and bananas turn black in the bowl and smart men run for the hills.
The PMT rage.
You know the one.
OH MY GOD THE HOUSE.
The house is a never-ending behemoth to conquer. Like Sisyphus I wash up the dishes and pick up the toys and fold the uniforms, while my tiny army trot steadily at my heels, creating new chaos in the wake of each path I clear. On a good day, it is satisfying. Incrementally pleasing. The smell of bread and eucalyptus oil and clean sheets and dinner cooking. The chaos just becomes the warm clutter of family life.
On a tough day, like Saturday, when the kids are whinging, and everything is filth, and I feel like a drudge, and a failure, and ye gods, a failed drudge, even... life feels dark.
In every direction my mad eyes scanned, there was housework to be done, or a dirty nappy, or a child with cranky pants on. My blood was fizzing. I texted friends along these lines: I am going to punch somebody or cry or cry while punching somebody HELP ME.
They had excellent suggestions. Leave the house. Go for a walk. Get a leave pass and have a coffee. Source alcohol and drink it. My favourite suggestion was this: 'Buy a packet of ciggies, go down to the beach and hide behind a rock while you cry and smoke cigarettes one after the other until you feel sick. Worked for me 2 weeks ago.'
I didn't do any of these things in the end. I went to the $2 shop and got myself a new pair of reading glasses. (All mine are one-armed, one-lensed or lost entirely, thanks to Teddy who likes to wear them around the house and George, who has a fierce grip and a curious mind.) Then I picked up Ivy from a party, went home and took to my bed for a couple of hours. When I got up, Keith and the kids had cleaned up and increased the range of personal space they were allocating me. I felt a little better but still detached and exhausted and overwhelmed.
We had friends over to stay that night, so I hit the red wine hard during a session of the 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus' board game and disgraced myself in a novel way. I can't bear to go into details but lets just say that my dignity remains slightly bruised.
Hangover from hell on Sunday.
But business as usual today, i.e: 4pm: George has given herself a blueberry porridge facial while Ted sits below. He has taken bites out of three apples from the fruit bowl and is now required to eat them all in punishment.