So today, I learned I’ve learnt nothing. Bugger, bloody all. Nowt, nada, nil. I recall as a young Mum I would freak out if the kids hid from me. Ive launched full bins, cried and ruptured blood vessels in an attempt to prevent them doing it again. I simply can’t bear that moment of ‘I’ve looked everywhere, hence they’re dead’. So here we are 25 years later and I’m as bad; okay worse, potentially certifiable. And this morning I’d have happily sectioned myself just for a fucking rest. So Olivia has turned into bloody Houdini; taking genuine pleasure from hiding then remaining silent whilst I claw at the walls looking for her. It’s not big, clever or fair but at only 3 neither is she.
Today she was playing nicely; always a frigging trap. I was hoovering up what she should have ingested for breakfast and did a quick mum-run back to check on her. She’d disappeared…
Initially I’m cool, propping up the hoover and calling her name. No response. I’m irritated then; ‘fuck-a-duck any bloody chance of completing even a simple task without having to bloody rescue her?’ Erm, no, apparently. I start checking the usual hiding places calling out to Immy in case she’s with her. She’s not. It’s at this point something messed up happens to my brain. Like flicking a switch I am suddenly bereft of common sense, boundaries are down and positivity does not exist. She is now…missing, presumed dead. Despite repeatedly yanking on the front and back door handles and shouting ‘they’re locked…she’s in the house, the bloody HOUSE!’ I’m now running at speeds I had no idea I was capable of from room to room screaming her name. Immy is crying ‘my sister, my sister’.
A little part of my brain has now shut down as it plays out a million micro-situations that in reality are preposterous. Like a serial killer has been living in the attic and chooses today to extend his ghoulish child-snatcher fishing rod down into the house with Haribo for bait. Or she’s managed to turn the oven on, baste herself in garlic butter and get in. Similar scenarios for the washing machine, freezer and Breville Sandwich maker suddenly seem perfectly feasible.
I’m out of options, sweating and soundlessly screaming as my vocal chords have shrivelled up like testicles on a cold day. I’m on round four of my house search and am now tossing furniture in the air like Geoff Capes looking for the last Malteser. Passing by the area of her last sighting; seemingly 2 weeks earlier I note a quilt moving. Do my eyes deceive me? Am I high on adrenalin and way too many in-breaths? Reaching over I whip the 13.5 tog King Size fucker into the air and spot a pair of legs…is it her? Has it been so long that I barely recognise her? No, no mistaking those doughy cankles it is HER! She is saved!
How to celebrate? A thorough bollocking and nearly 10 minutes on the step for her and 4 fingers of neat gin for me.
Kids? Who’d have’em?!