The Working Week: Part 2

Thursday : A smooth start to the day. I’m now a pro at making breakfast in the lounge with the make shift kitchen I fashioned, and my mother has dutifully maintained and stocked. The bags were packed the night before, lunch is in the fridge, the car has fuel, we are out the door. I’m snotty, in a big way, I’m coughing at all the wrong times during the practice meeting and I’m 100% more ill than some of the patients I see today. 

I opt for a take away instead of another microwaveable meal. My dad – part of the 4th emergency service – declines. He spends the evening in the bathroom, not in the recreational sense. He takes to his bed and we don’t see him until I am summoned to his bedside to answer his medical questions regarding throwing up his tablets. I make up a sensible answer, shout it at him (as he has taken his hearing aids out) and steer clear- a cold is enough for me just now. 

Friday: Phil is on Call. Again. But I don’t even notice. I have no work, I survived and more importantly so did the kids. So now with a genuine sense of joy I get to go in to full mum mode. Nappies, snot, tantrums, swimming lessons, food slinging, and being mauled are all welcome. 

The grandparents don’t depart until the evening as my dad wanted to ensure that his tummy upset has fully passed before they set off on their 2 hour drive. Unexpected faecal incontinence is not desired by a man who insures his wife on his car but won’t let her drive it for fear of her “disrespecting” it. 

Whist still feeling thoroughly crappy and full of cold I’m doing good. I finally have a kitchen sink, the men are all leaving today and after nearly 3 years of living in the most dysfunctional 1980’s kitchen, I now have most of a modern-currently-still-dysfunctional-but-at-least-no-longer-with-a-1970s-serving-hatch kitchen. 

I head to bed with slight feeling of contentment, possibly achievement (and some blocked sinuses). But we have been here before, I know when I’m feeling like this, it’s too good to be true. This is when a child is going to shatter my world. 

Enter, The Boy. 

Vomiting.

All over everything. Cot sheets, teddies, sleeping bag, jammies, him. All need washing. I eventually faff around, get him cosy and snuggle him up all clean and dry.

For about a minute. And then round two commences. This one getting all of the above and me. Despite being a medical professional I have never been great with vomit so whilst I’m retching away I decontaminate myself and him, as quietly as possible, and pray that The Girl doesn’t wake up. 

Once again we get ourselves sorted, we are clean and dry, and shattered. The Boy is trying to drop off to sleep again. Realising I only had one sleeping bag left I decided not to put him in it just yet. Which was just as well. 

He hurls again, splattering the bed we are sitting on, him, me, anything else near by… The vomit is also bright red thanks to jelly he demolished at tea time, it’s starting to resemble some sort of a horrific crime scene in his lovely pastel coloured nursery. Where was he storing all this? There is definitely more volume being projected from him than could possibly be stored in his tiny body. 

Fortunately at this point I hear the front door shut. Either we are being burgled (in which case I’m pretty sure they are going to turn right around when they see this) or by some sort of divine intervention Phil has actually come home, and his timing is perfect. I text him. 

“HELP”

There is a momentary delay in his reply so I continue. 

“NOW” ….. “PLS” 

I have never been so pleased to see him. Together we deal with the devastation and pop the first of several washes on before he heads to bed. He is still on call and will be for the weekend.  

Saturday: The wash didn’t flipping work. The machine is full of water so I can’t get the door open. 

I google like a maniac and conclude that my waste pipe is blocked. I proceed to drain the washer via a tiny tube at the front like the Internet told me to, which involves filling a frying pan and then tipping it in to the drain and repeating about 400 times. The frying pan is not the ideal tool I recognise that, but due to the upheaval of the new kitchen I can’t access a more appropriate receptical.  

Eventually, I’m able to move the washer forward to find a kinked and now (thanks to me trying to straighten it out) cracked waste pipe. I’m up to my knees in vomit covered garments and no functioning washing machine. 

Someone get me a mangle and a bar of soap – I’m gonna do this old school style…..Actually, no. No, I’m not. There are still chunks of sick and it smells horrid. 

So I attempt to, whilst trying to entertain and feed the kids their breakfast, attach a new waste pipe. To my untrained eye, it appears to work. So prior to stepping outside to burn my bra and perform a victory dance, I pop a wash on. 

…..It wasn’t quite the raging success I was hoping for. Turns out there is a reason that we have washing machine repair people. The waste pipe connecter I fashioned failed, so the washing machine leaked all over the floor. On the plus side once I wade through the foamy ocean spreading even further as I watch, at least I can open the washing machine door…Which enables me to discover the the new pillow case from The Boy’s bed has turned the whole entire wash a lovely teal colour. Yep. Of course it did. 

So, in true GP style as per my eportfolio requirement, here follows a reflection summary: 

What happened? 

A Sh*t storm hit. 

What happened next? 

It carried on. 

What did you learn? 

How to drain a washing machine, and, incidentally, what bullnose architrave is. 

What will you do differently in the future? 

Buy a lottery ticket. 

Author: motherinthehouse

I am Helen, although more commonly known as “Mum" or "Doc". I have a couple of other roles along side of this. - I’m a a wife, to another junior doctor (yawn) - who specialises in willies and wee. - A daughter to a Yorkshire man and a Scottish lady, an undeniably great combo resulting an ability to be super frugal drunk. - A sister to two older brothers therefore the victim of years of 'character building' experiences. - A northerner who travelled down to the midlands for uni and never quite made it back. Yet. - A friend, to some, for over 25 years, and still can’t shake them off; at this stage they know too much. - An aunty to two boisterous nephews residing stateside, and a local niece. - A daughter- and sister-in-law; having lacked sisters growing up I'm now lucky enough to have acquired 4. - A neighbour to The Deputy, The General and their wives, amongst other retirees. - A slimmer and a swimmer, albeit neither particularly successfully just now. - A gardener, chef, cleaner, washing machine operator, carrier bag collector, and now after much persuasion (borderline bullying) and a 30 quid investment, a keen blogger!

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