How do you get nothing done as an adult? Have children. Then have the daft idea of being able to work at home.
As a writer – this is the dumbest thing one can do. It’s complete balls. At least in my case, with no doors that can be effectively locked as the toddler has learnt the ability to circumvent anything in this place with a ‘no’ attached to it.
Trying to write a horror movie with a baby crying and a toddler crawling over me, wasn’t easy. Especially when the evening came and the toddler could watch a few of its shows before bed time and the mood changed from dark drama to the abject horror of The Wiggles.
I have been back in Melbourne for weeks now and have had to move out to the library during the day to actually get any writing done. Every idiot choice I’ve made of working from home, has been met with the same insanity of getting absolutely nothing done. Even if I do manage to drown out the noise for a bit to write a few lines of brilliance, there is always something going on in the background that is circling to drag me into it. The wife will call my name and pull me back into the reality I made for myself. She loves having me around to dump a child in my lap so she can actually have a shower, do some exercise or have five minutes to herself. As I am trying to create, this kind of thing simply will not do.
And people ask me why I drink. Pfft.
Then there’s the toddler and its mate Sia, who are always on adventures that require endless bandaids and the odd blood transfusion.
“Da. You know my friend Sia?” the toddler asks as I’m furiously typing.
“She got bitten by a dog yesterday and lost her face,”
“Dang, really?” I ask, as I’m not listening because I’m busy.
“Yeah. She lost her face, and the dog ate it and pooed it out.”
“Hmmmm…Really”, I says as I contemplate an impalement for one of my characters.
“Danny – she’s telling you something!” Here we go, the wife’s chimed in now. I have to leave my comfortable world of horror to emerge into the fearful light of a toddler tale.
“For the love of….This is how Kubla Khan got ballsed up,” I protest. “What happened to Sia?” I ask.
“Did you buy me any chocolate when you went to the shops?” the toddler asks.
“Of course. I buy you all the dumb stuff and leave it for your mother to deal with my immaturity.”
“Now. What happened to Sia?”
“You know my friend Sia.”
I refrain from throwing myself out the window.
“Yes. How is she?”
“She going to South America!”
(For the record and the more sensitive among you, Sia is the toddlers imaginary friend.)
I’ve taken to eating a bit of chilli since I’ve been back. It’s more of a study in how to never leave any evidence behind with the clean-up I have to do after, to ensure no one except me gets to experience the chilli. I could vanish a body with how precise I am with clean-up now. The toddler, however, has been a direct victim of my chilli addiction, when it somehow licked my finger after I’d cut up a Carolina Reaper. It accused me of setting its tongue on fire. Before I lathered its tongue with Greek yogurt, it was seeing through the fabric of time and speaking in tongues. (So, it was tripping and talking bollocks). I have been very careful since.
Ya see, I like Carolina Reapers. Love them. I usually have to end up eating them raw as I can’t put anything near them anyone else will be using before it goes through the dishwasher a couple of times. The one time I did get to cook one up, everyone was gagging, eyes were weeping, children were screaming, the neighbours called the cops and I slept on the coach. So, from that day on, I eat them raw.
Raw is fine, but it has its drawbacks. Reaper Ring, is one of those.
Reaper Ring, occurs anywhere from six to ten hours after ingestion. Depending on ingestion level, Reaper Ring can also be instantaneous and this has happened a few times. When there is the potential of Reaper Ring, one works from home, as venturing beyond the front door of a tiny apartment is fraught with troubles. The end of the street is a long, long way when one has Reaper Ring. I know as I’ve tried it a number of times. I’ve had my laptop bag slung over my shoulder and heading off to the library when my inner self tells me I’ll never make it. I get twenty feet from the front door before the demons of hell begin to play in my bowel.
During one particularly tough morning suffering from the Reaper Ring, the toddler approaches and hands me a roll of toilet paper, “sometimes they can be hard, da.” The concern writ across that little face made me weep. It understood on a different level. But it understood.
The very next day we were at Toscanos and I was eyeing off the Carolina Reapers. I’d been there a little while, as I was wrestling with myself whether buying of the things was going to be worth it, when one of the fellas there I talk to a bit, asked if I was looking for the milder chilli.
“Milder? What? Hell no.” Pfft. As if.
The wife strolls past – “he’s just an idiot.”
The fella laughs and I know I’ll regret it in some form, but what the hell.
I bought three of them.
That night, I ate two just to prove to the wife I was in control of my chilli addiction.
This was a mistake. It was a huge mistake. I don’t recommend doing this. Ever. Especially raw. The aftermath is a suffering saved for the seventh level of hell.
Ten hours later, there was a banging on the toilet door.
“You in there.”
“Out in a minute.”
“Mama said you have the rope rings.”
“Yeah, yeah I do.”
“You know how da always says mama’s in charge?”
“This is one of the reasons why that’s so.”
“Like what mama said when you ate them? That it was silly?”
“Exactly like that.”
“Mama was right.”
“Yes… Oh Christ have mercy!”
“What da?” Silence. “Da, what’s wrong da? Why are you crying?”
I finally emerge to find the toddler sitting directly outside the door.
“Why do you put yourself through it?” the wife asks.
“Why’d you put yourself through child birth twice?” I retort.
“Look for yourself,” as she gestures grandly and I see the toddler searching for a booger that’s eluding it and a baby that explodes in its nappy.
“Why?” I ask again. “We could be going to Europe every year.”
Then the toddler releases a hacking cough and my eyelids peel back as I wonder what horror it has contracted.
Then the disease spread. Days of reminding the toddler to cover its mouth when coughing, so it didn’t pass on the germs, was wasted breath. The toddler ignored the instruction as it was getting attention by openly coughing over everyone. Then the baby got it and the poor thing couldn’t breath properly and had a cough, then the wife got it – and I’m all high and mighty as it didn’t touch me. “Not enough blood in my alcohol stream for the thing to take hold”, I grin, truly believing I’m simply genetically superior to everyone else.
But the sickness mutated into a super-massive man-flu. It was no longer the mild, weak-strain the rest of the family had managed to tolerate. No. It had become a superbug. (That I can write this blog is testament to my strength to battle through adversity). I was hallucinating this morning. Anytime I closed my eyes I ended up in a dimension to warn my other selves in other dimensions not to close their eyes. While this was initially interesting, I feel there was a lot of story I missed in the weird dreams. I eventually woke feeling harassed. As though I’d quaffed fifteen pints of Stella Artois, a flagon of “white wine” and chocked back a lot of Amsterdam scoob on top of 40 Marlboro reds. Basically it felt like waking up twenty-four again. I felt I was going to die. I still feel that way. Something has moved into my lungs and refuses to be evicted. Like whatever dark creature it is that rents space in Peter Dutton’s head – I feel how it must look.
The toddler took pity on me and made me unicorn soup. What’s actually in unicorn soup, if one isn’t watching it make said meal, ranges from the dish water it fishes out of a pot left to soak, cut-off bits of food it finds on the bench or floor, foods it tells you it needs from the fridge, usually lots of herbs and spices that I’ve left out, all the salt it can get its tiny hands on and lashings of olive oil. “Put the oil down darling, da isn’t working at the minute.” It then gave me a massage and asked if I was now feeling better. I mean, how could I not be after unicorn soup and a toddler massage?
Another part of feeling so sick, is me losing my mind. The baby still explodes and covers its back, front, forehead – whatever. We’ve touched on this in the previous blog. However, I made up a rap I found funny. It’s probably because I’m ill, but the toddler loves it and has been walking around singing the nicer parts of it. Eminem and every other rapper on earth is safe from me – but here are the lyrics. Imagine a baby singing it in the awesome voice of Ice T. It really works in my head and I did enjoy myself when singing it as I danced the baby to the beat.
“You want a nappy filled?
Then come put it on me.
‘Cause I’m the mother-loving-nappy-filling O G.
No sooner will you do it up.
Then I’ll go and relax my butt.
Yo – there’s no one holds a pin to me;
I’m the mother-loving-nappy-filling O G.
I’ll grin as you sit down.
In the best fucking place in town.
I’ll wink as a rumble flows from me.
I’m the mother-loving-nappy-filling O G.
When I release, best fill the bath.
This load be the devil’s wrath.
You other babies can’t compete with me.
I’ll be the mother-loving-nappy-filling O G.
(Outro – if that’s a thing)
Filling nappies by day. Draining boobs by night
O G, right here.
Wasn’t a nappy I met I couldn’t fill. Nor a boob I couldn’t drain.
Word to your mother.”
There has been another revelation with the toddler – fine blond hair. It’s freaking everywhere. I’m forever pulling it from the baby and out of the air. I open the front door and a hair will descend as if on cue. I pull them off my top as I leave the house and then again throughout the day. I’ve even had to pull a strand out of my throat that had become part of my scrambled eggs. The toddler is a hair-shedding beast and like asbestos, it appears the hair remains in the air for years.
Anyway – time to get back to writing a story about a witch that kills children. (I had this story long before I became a parent.) Honest…