I had a meltdown of epic proportions last night. It was the culmination of a series of rather unfortunate events. I say rather because on hindsight, for one, I survived it (hey, I woke up this morning and didn’t feel that depressed), and besides, the Baudelaire kids have it worse.
The morning started with a cough from Ben and him doing a Merlion continuously for a few minutes, complete with Becks yelling “Kor kor pass urine! Kor kor pass urine!” and trying to jump on the spot where he merlion–ed. This was when everything happened in slo-mo for me. I walked out to smell a stench of undisgested goat’s milk all over the corridor. Amidst the stench, I lifted Ben to the other bathroom to shower him while having to answer his questions groggily (Am I going to school? Why are you washing me, Mama? Is Becks going to school? Am I sick? Do I need to see a doctor? Can I eat medicine?) and thinking ahead of myself what this day would bring. We decided to keep Ben home (I think it’s probably a mild case of stomach flu) and so I told Ben to play on his own.
Not knowing how to deal with boredom or being alone, Ben proceeded to help the housemaid with her daily vacuuming and dusting chores. They were happily in it together until she told him that she was gonna start vacuuming the shoe cabinet area and he was like, ok, it stinks so I’m sitting here to watch’ya, Auntie! And lo and behold, just as I was coming out to take the breastpump parts from the steriliser I saw her using the vacuum brush to dust *gasp* the sole of every shoe! Mortified by her absolute lack of common sense of the not-so-intelligent-Burmese-kind (sorry, I don’t mean to be mean here, but seriously, vacuuming the soles of shoes?), I let go a series of expletives (not at her, via whatsapp, to fatherkao) and told her that was a terrible thing to do:
Me: Shoes step… toilet, lift, shopping centre, car, pavement… DIRTY! Dead ants, mud, dirt, saliva, urine, germs – all on soles of shoes!!!!
Maid: Yes, ma’am.
Me: Vacuum brush… clean bed, cot, toys, chairs, tables, tv top, everything. Children touch, put fingers in mouth, rub eyes, nose…Fall sick!!!!
Maid: Yes, ma’am.
I’ll leave it to another post to rant about why I needed to get a maid and why a maid of the Burmese origin. Suffice to say, she was scared shitless by my outburst and I was left wallowing in guilt for being so unkind to another human being in front of my very stunned son, who probably thought vacuuming soles was the coolest thing to watch if not for his mother shrieking her lungs out.
Then my mother-in-law came because she was such a kind soul to take my maid to the polyclinic because she had been complaining of a earache for almost two months now. I am convinced more than ever that she might end up being the fourth kid I have to take care of because of her absolute lack of common sense, but like I said, it will be for another post another time. So she left with my MIL and I was alone with a three-year-old toddler and a two-month-old infant, which was fine by me because Becks wasn’t in the equation, and if she was, then it would definitely NOT be fine (are you kidding me, one pair of eyeballs to two tods and an infant?). Ben was a darling (I don’t think it was stomach flu) and played on his own as long as I sat beside him. Occasionally he would ask for biscuits and help with flushing the toiletbowl, but it was lovely to have some time to spend with him. Until I discovered that there was laundry in the washing machine, toilet rugs unwashed (the boy had also vomitted in the toilet in the morning!), a very unsterile washing machine that has loose threads and grime, and kitchen cloths and floormats stuffed in the children’s laundry basket of clean clothes. I nearly went ballistic. Add to the madness of putting right what the maid didn’t – three knocks on the door by the postman (at different times) because I have been happily g-marketing away last week, a hungry infant and a toddler in need of lunch and a nap, plus the realisation that I need to fix lunch for Ben, that pretty much sums up the madness in the afternoon.
The maid came back with a referral letter to see an ENT specialist and I had to beg my MIL to take her to the hospital next month. Then my daughter came back from daycare looking like grumps and throwing tantrum after tantrum, wanting my attention, all 58 kilos of me to sit right next to her. Both tods wanted Mama to feed them their dinner so there I was practising my octopus-juggling act while stealing occasional glances at the baby telling him soon it would be his turn to feed.
Then I came up with a brilliant idea of letting fatherkao do a bottle feed so I can feed the kids and grill the red wine-marinated ribeye in my happycall pan and have a nice romantic dinner complete with rucola salad and Cabernet Sauvignon (ambitious, I know). Except that I forgot to factor in baby Nat refusing the bottle (he gags) and fatherkao needing to move his bowels and take a shower after a hard day’s work.
So you have it, the perfect conditions for a meltdown: two whiny kids, a screaming infant, a tired hubs and a my-rubber-band-is-going-to-stretch-and-break mom. And it took one MISunderstanding amidst the 100-decibel noise pollution (called a crying symphony by two tods and an infant) to lead to a screamfest between fatherkao and me, resulting in a meltdown of swearing, sobbing, sulking, et al.
By the end of the day, I felt so bad for screaming/sulking/sobbing that I cried so hard singing lullabies to my babies. They must be wondering why Moses crossing the Red Sea and Jesus Loves Me makes Mama feel so sad. By the time they were asleep, I was a hungry, exhausted wretch. I thought I’d get some junk food to make me feel better so I ordered McDelivery and chomped down a mcchick, nuggets and a pack of fries. I didn’t feel better; I felt bloated which led to more guilt pangs of adding to the kilos which are already so hard to lose from pregnancy. And as I tried to sleep away all the bloatedness and guilt, I started to have a earache too. It was certainly not from the earlier noise pollution. It was a real earache which was so painful it kept me awake all night. It was like the terrible-ness to end a terrible day. I hope earaches are not contagious. If they were, it must be because the maid has been vacuuming the soles of our shoes.