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Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Bad day?

Arrived home more than usually exhausted last night. Dino the Physio had warned me that he was going to get me to try out some 'strengthening' exercises for my upper back and stomach, the former intended to help to pull my recalcitrant shoulder back into alignment, the latter to help me stand up straight. I hadn't quite taken on board the fact that he'd be putting me through my paces in the gym next door to his studio. 45 minutes later I was red-faced and sweating, my legs quite jelly-like and my embarrassment complete after some extremely dodgy manoeuvres involving an outsized rubber exercise ball. The last time I even looked at one of those was in my first pregnancy, at antenatal yoga classes, in those heady and optimistic days when I mistakenly thought a few yoga exercises and some well-timed breathing might get me through childbirth. What was more, after months, possibly years, of believing my stomach muscles had forever gone the way of the dodo, I had finally rediscovered them. They were definitely still there. And they hurt. A lot. I was still trying to work out whether I felt invigorated or just very, very red, as I walked into the company boardroom to give a presentation.
Presentation over and the final meetings of the day concluded I felt slightly battered – physically and mentally - and I was relieved to be on the train home. It’s funny how in this limbo stage between work and home one can picture a rose-tinted vision of the family life one is about to re-enter. The reality is often quite different. Yesterday, I was greeted as I walked through the front door by screeches of pain from Ava as Nathan landed on her head (again), a harrumphing Paul trying to keep the dinner warm as I was twenty minutes later than scheduled (bloody buses) and Eden in hyper mode (this is when she behaves as if she's on speed but is actually extremely overtired and / or bored). Half way through dinner Ava grabbed a piece of Eden's artwork from the dinner table, screwed it into a ball and threw it on the floor. Eden reacted by screaming at her to stop and then breaking down into uncontrollable sobbing. Feeling like screaming myself I took a breath and put my arm round Eden.
"What's the matter darling? You can't be this upset over a picture?" I intoned quietly, glancing at Paul, who was looking quite concerned but at the same time raising an eyebrow, ready to be skeptical.
"No, I'm really sad and cross and upset cos I had such a bad day today," Eden replied.
"Oh no, what happened?" I asked, worriedly.
"My school dinner was nasty and I couldn’t eat it, a horrid chicken thing that I didn’t like, and it was wet playtime so we had to stay inside, and I've got a bruise on my leg and it really, really hurts and Mummy came home LATE and I'm really, really very cross indeed!!"
Breathing out slowly I began to relax. She wasn't being bullied. She hadn't been 'sent to the office' for bad behaviour. Nothing dangerous or sinister was going on at school. She was just tired and frustrated. I know how she feels. Only I wish the worst thing about my day was that I had to endure ‘wet playtime’.
"Here. Come and have a cuddle", I said.


Rosie said...

Wow! You did all that exercise, then went to work, then had to be a mum again! Exhausting.

Working Mum said...

All in a day's work. Ha! Ha! Don't be too impressed by the exercise thing. That was the first I've done in years!