Since the half term break family life has been phenomenally busy. I find myself humming, ‘Just another manic Monday – oooh – wish it was Sunday – ‘coz that’s my fun day’ as I plunge headlong into yet another week of charging from one commitment to the next. None of it earning me any money of course. After a while, this churning activity leaves me feeling breathless and stifled. And the end of my working day is really the beginning of another as I turn my attention to my two tired schoolchildren – festering with a whole day’s worth of whingeing.
This state of affairs starts an almost chemical reaction in me that leads to what I call: The Rising Scream. It starts at the pit of my stomach, at which point I start chanting, ‘You really need to listen to Mummy, because otherwise Mummy really can’t cope.’ They don’t. I carry on, while the scream creeps higher. I have promised myself not to take out any stress or anger on my children, so I breathe deeply and rhythmically.
Then, every now and then, something in me cracks and the scream rises unbidden to the surface, and out it rips.
One such occasion was last week, struggling out of the school gate, carrying 8 bags in each hand, balancing a half-licked fairy cake somewhere on my person, and being following by my daughter whining that she couldn’t carry her water bottle because it was ‘too heavy’. Just then, the heavens opened, I ran for the car, rifled through my entire handbag for the keys (which were in my pocket), hurled the bags in the boot, turned to see where my son was, through the solid wall of water coming out of the sky, to see him pootling around with his face lifted to the sky 5 metres away.
‘Come OON!’ I yelled, ‘I’m getting soaked!’ ‘But I love the rain’, trills my son.
At any other time, I would have laughed and said, ‘Oh come on,’ in a friendly kind of way. At this point however, The Rising Scream was at neck height so I ran over to him, grabbed his arm, shouted, ‘Well I’ ———-space where I managed not to swear——–‘don’t!’ Into the car he scrambled, and into the front I went, with the scream rising from my neck and out into the surrounding wet air.
It doesn’t happen often. But when it does, it’s pretty dramatic.