I have developed a system to make things seem better while all looks so bleak amidst the extreme sleep deprivation that only a newborn can deliver. It is called the Deceive Yourself Strategy. Each time I am in a “pinch point” (disaster zone) I assess and improve the rating up by one notch IN MY ACTUAL MIND. It looks like this:
Baby throws up post massive feed; I transform this from “frustrating” to “hmmm….perplexing”
Baby throws up whilst feeding onto boob; This moves from “fucking gross” to “could be worse”
Toddler dips (contraband) dummy into baby sick on my boob while I am looking ineffectually for wipes, then attempts to put sick laden dummy into my mouth to try to soothe my exhausted and hysterical sobbing; harder challenge here but manage to mprove mental state from “fucksakes” to “seriously?!”
This level of deception is familiar to me. I am middle class and my mother always taught me never to wash my dirty laundry in public. Presumably she was using A Metaphor and she didn’t actually mean that I shouldn’t wash my underwear out in the village square like a snaggle toothed idiot holding my mangle and filthy undergarments aloft. But, being middle class, she also told me never to admit defeat or ask for help so perhaps,not so much A Metaphor, as straight talking advice.
These ramblings are just the precursor to the REAL test I faced this week and how I employed this handy new strategic mindset.
I am running for the first time in six months, five weeks after giving birth. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time and I am happy to be out of the house without the baby, toddler or a bra soaked in baby vomit and breastmilk. So far, I would classify the run as Not Ideal.
As I lumber along, I notice a skinny man smoking and holding a baby. He is shirt off, jeans tatty and rolled up in what I assume is akin to Somalian pirate style. He points to a military training boot camp and passes comment to his girlfriend
Skinny Man Smoking and Holding Baby: look at them lot
His girlfriend: wha’?
SMSHB: Them fucking yuppies can’t even do anything. They’ve got to get some fucking c*** dressed up like a soldier to do it for them
I have immediate runners rage for the following reasons:
1) So firmly fixed is the roll up cigarette on his upper lip and so powerful is his commitment to the glottal stop that I have to work even harder than I already am in order to eavesdrop on him.
2) The total injustice of it all; they’re not so ridiculously posh and wealthy that they have someone else to do this for them. They are actually exercising. I mean cut them some slack.
3) His lack of finger on pulse-ness has annoyed me. I want to let him know that 1987 just called to ask for their cultural reference back. Yuppies. Fucksakes.
I am red, hot, sweaty but too tired and passive aggressive to do anything about it. I employ the strategy and tune down my “incandescent with rage” to a mere “properly fucked off” and breath out. Namaste. Fucking namaste.