I watch Stevie Wonder at his finest on youtube; “he is always so happy, it’s lovely”, I comment to my husband, Alex- “Give him 4 kids, that’ll soon wipe the smile from his face…..” comes the retort. Fair enough I suppose……!
Today was a nightmare day. These days seem endless at the moment as I spend every waking minute of my life (my one and only life), tackling French paper work. I do not even bat an eyelid now when the till assistant (as I go to buy a bra, my first new one since uni, I graduated in 2000…you get the time scale) asks me to prove my bra size by bringing in a medical certificate verifying my boobs are a) my own and b) their size…….(after breastfeeding 4 kids, I was hardly claiming that they belonged to Pamela Anderson…..). Ok, so that didn’t exactly happen, but you get the picture as to how extraordinarily anal they are regarding paperwork and proving your very existence. I trail around buildings, personnel departments, I am shunted from pillar to post, and 5 hours later, I have still conquered absolutely sweet F.A. and am now hopelessly late for the kids. Esmie, my 2 year old, is patient, I guess she is used to being carted around whilst mummy seeks to defeat the wolves who challenge her as only Anneka Rice ever has been, to gain my rights in France, seemingly because when I open my mouth they hear my accent and immediately pretend to have no knowledge of their job, or how they may help. Of late I have made it a little further on the upward struggle of trying to get health insurance cover, and various other things. However I am not fooled anymore, and until I have the right papers in my own hands, I believe no one now, not for a single second. The battle continues. ….. woooopie!
Although Esmie is 2 now, she is carried everywhere. Whether this is because she likes it, or because she has no choice, I no longer know! I think part of it is because when I need to get from a to b; I am not that patient with the in betweeny bits, I just want to be there, at b, now, and a 2 year old will slow you down a whole lot! There is also an aspect in the fact the kids are so numerous (well, 4, but you show me a mother who grows an extra arm every time she has a kid to help her in her quest…..). I crossed into a different parent-land when I decided to have more kids than I have arms. Foolish. In fairness, I should probably have stopped at 2, an arm and a hand for each child. But I, slightly irrationally, continued to 4. As it is illegal to muzzle children and put them on leads, (although I shall ‘google’ that….) head counting in busy places can prove too big a task at times (it really is difficult to count to 4), and so, at least, if I know one is in my arms, I have that one contained. I often put them all in the supermarket trolley, and at my insistence that they ‘stay there!’ nearly kill myself in attempts to push them round the supermarket, legs bowing under the strain, head down, concentration face, red, perspiring and panting quite loudly at times too…….not much room for shopping either!
I will have another day of it tomorrow too, bureaucratic bullsh*t, and I will be husbandless to boot, no he has not left me (praise be and a quick hallelujah) he has had to go back to England for a couple of days…….that is what I am lead to believe, until I receive his postcard from the Bahamas that is…….!