Chardonnay (just one of my five a day)
I think I loved my husband before we even met – he is the most caring, generous and passionate man I have ever known and is also my best friend. However, we got together when he was 44 years old, and between the time he turned 50 and now, we are on, I believe, his third mid-life crisis…. and he loves to talk about it! It is difficult to explain how the daily ‘talk’ can be both repetitive and changeable at the same time but it is both mind numbingly predictable as well as confusing and, while I love the man to bits, a day with Samuel takes up every bit of patience I have so by the time Mark gets home I am sucking through a straw at the bottom of my patience tank. I searched through a dictionary looking for a word to describe my husband when in his mid-life crises and found this.
Narcissist (noun) – someone who is excessively preoccupied with themselves
Communication with a narcissist is quite problematic – given that their minds are dedicated to what they are both currently saying, and what they are about to say, it makes hearing others almost impossible. This dedication to the art of continually hearing themselves speak, makes repetition inevitable and even more tiresome than the scripting of an autistic child, and I live with both.
‘How do you do it?’ / ‘I don’t know how you stay so patient and calm’, they say to me, especially since I had been home schooling. The truth is I have managed to avoid mind numbing and sleep aiding drugs because of just one thing – one of my ‘five a day’ in fact – the grape! Specifically the Chardonnay grape (in liquid form of course - wine)!
After a full day of being with Samuel who will have ‘scripted’ (explanation on ‘scripting’ to follow in a future post) all day with myself being involved in each ‘script’ I am as tired as I have ever been at any time in my life, thus far. At 5pm, when I have given Samuel his dinner and allowed him to watch a movie so I can think about preparing dinner for Mark and myself, I pour myself a glass of my favourite chardonnay. The first one perks me up and gives me fresh energy.
Later on, by the time Mark had been at home for a couple of hours and been on his exercise bike, eaten his dinner and had a bath, I would have heard all about his day at work, what he had eaten that day, where he had been for lunch, whom he met for coffee, how he was generally feeling (which covered exhaustion, boredom, irritation, bowel movement, nose running, coughing, sore throat and general aches and pains), he would settle on our couch and start again from the beginning. In fact this could be the third time I had listened to it as Mark usually calls me at least twice a day on the telephone. The second and third glass of chardonnay ensured I was relaxed enough not to care about hearing it again and doing my best to listen to Emmerdale and EastEnders throughout. Also, thanks to chardonnay, when it was bed time I was able to sleep like a baby even though Samuel had attached himself to me like a limpet and, in spite of my menopausal hot sweats, remained there until morning.
I have strict rules regarding my chardonnay – NEVER DRINK AND DRIVE and NEVER DRINK BEFORE DINNER TIME (lunchtime drinking only acceptable if not driving while on a holiday treat with girlfriends and Samuel is safe at home). Anyway – just this Wednesday I was reminded how challenging my evenings would be without chardonnay – when I had an unexpected lunchtime with both Mark and Samuel.
Samuel and I had a timetable for our week, which went as follows: -
* Monday – tidy up all of Samuel’s toys and clean the playroom followed by Son-Rise with swimming between 4pm and 6pm.
* Tuesday – Son-Rise followed by walk to park, park play, walk along a stream and running up and down the blue bike ramps (weather permitting).
* Wednesday – trip to shops and have lunch out (McDonalds) followed by Son-Rise.
* Thursday – Nana’s house
* Friday – Jump Zone followed by Son-Rise.
Samuel and I were supposed to be collecting Mark from work and having lunch at McDonalds followed by a visit to the shops after returning Mark to work. However, that morning Samuel decided that he did not want to do this – he wanted to go to Nana’s house (I explained that Nana wasn’t in her house as she would be out all that day). Then he decided that he wanted to go swimming (I explained that we had been swimming two days before on Monday and how it didn’t open until 4pm anyway). A meltdown occurred with Samuel refusing to leave the house, hysterically shouting, “we have lost Daddy – Daddy and chips are lost!” “WE HAVE TO GO TO NANA’S HOUSE NOOOOWWWWWWWWW”. I phoned Mark to advise him of the situation and he agreed to get a takeaway instead and come home for lunch ASAP. Over lunch I explained the problem to Mark – detailing how we could not go to Nana’s house today and that swimming doesn’t open until 4pm and anyway, we had gone on Monday. Halfway through my detailed analysis of this morning’s meltdown, which Mark had come home to help me sort out, he went glassy eyed and began telling me all about how exhausted he was. While he was talking, Samuel came in and joined us. He seemed calmer so I asked him what we were going to be doing tomorrow, hoping he would calmly answer, ‘we are going to Nana’s house’. However, Mark replied, “maybe you could go swimming or to the Wild Life Park? Would you like that, Samuel?” You get the picture – even though I had given him the information he needed to help calm the situation and remind Samuel of his regular itinerary, he had obviously not heard any of it and felt it would be most helpful to throw in two new options. These options would have been fine if the Wild Life Park was open during the week this time of year (which it wasn’t) and if it wasn’t for the fact that SWIMMING DIDN’T START UNTIL 4PM!
We ate our not so happy meals and Mark returned to work, leaving me feeling my usual state of exhaustion, four hours earlier than usual, dreading the following day’s meltdown if Samuel should demand that we visit the closed Wild Life Park instead of Nana’s house. It was only 1pm – tea and biscuits would be fine – some rules should never, ever be broken.
This was just a one hour, unexpected lunchtime visit but as it is the most recent example, I am using it. I could regale you with tales of long, repetitive and obsessional ‘chats’ (only one person talking you understand) about how he is feeling on a daily basis regarding, for example, how his life has changed since Samuel started home schooling (well – his hasn’t changed at all but mine is unrecognisable - I am too tired to talk about it however) / how he feels about our impending move to Scotland / how he feels about his upcoming retirement, and, of course, how his body is both looking and feeling, but I won’t. The main reason being because I need to conserve my energy but also, dear reader, as it may not be Dinner time in your house at the time of your reading this, I wouldn’t want to drive you to drink! ❤ Lou