In an alternative reality, I am organised and efficient. My to-do lists are punctuated by self-satisfied little ticks, indicating completed tasks and time well-spent. My evenings are spent relaxing against neatly plumped cushions while two clean and contented children slumber in freshly-laundered bedding, the washing-machine and dish-washer whirring smugly in the background. In an alternative reality, I sip chilled white wine and contemplate tomorrow’s enriching and carefully-planned activities, secure in the knowledge that my plans are well-laid and certain to come together smoothly.
In an alternative reality.
In this reality I totter on the edge of chaos. I meet with triumph and disaster and, like Kipling, I treat those two imposters just the same. Mainly because I know all too well how swiftly triumph can turn to disaster and how failure can be snatched from the jaws of success.
In this reality my to-do lists are written, fretted over and eventually pushed away out of sight, usually under another to-do list. My evenings are spent slumped on the sofa at an uncomfortable angle, in a vain attempt to avoid the latest pool of baby dribble. There is an ominous whirring noise floating down the stairs, suggesting that my firstborn has abandoned sleep in favour of unscrewing the knobs on my writing desk to get at the printer. Son number two is farting and grinning on my lap as I swig lukewarm wine from a Thomas the Tank Engine beaker and try to decide whether to spend tomorrow at son number one’s preferred soft-play, or at the one with the nicer tea and cakes.
At the back of my mind a little voice is whispering that it doesn’t matter what I decide as tomorrow’s activities will determined purely by what happens to be going on at the time we eventually manage to leave the house, what clothing I have managed to wrestle onto my recalcitrant offspring, and just how much yelling has occurred in the lead-up to our departure. That little voice will take on a decidedly smug tone and mutter “I told you so” when the highlight of the day turns out to be a trip to the supermarket where my eldest child lies in the middle of the fruit and veg aisle screaming blue-murder because the broccoli looked at him funny.
That little voice, is the reason for this blog. I live in hope that somewhere in my internal commentary is the explanation as to why I inhabit that second reality, and not the first. I am also hopeful that a blog might act as an online to-do list, and that the prospect of my prevarication and disorganization being held up for the scrutiny of any random googler might actually provide a virtual kick in the pants and a few long-standing projects might finally see light of day.