It's nearly 3:30am, and this is important, because 3:30am marks the midpoint of my shift tonight, and even more importantly, the midpoint of my run of night shifts. 5 nights in a row, where I see the beginning and the end of each day here at the hospital instead of curled up in bed.
I'm actually taking my designated, non paid for break tonight. Watching the lights of a sleeping city while taking long warm mouthfuls of hot chocolate that soak into me. It's been tough. I think I can say that. Sleeping during the day is really, really difficult. It is so bizarre to walk out of the hospital after a 10 hour shift into brilliant sunshine and know that after driving home in such intense Summer lightness that I have to somehow convince my body to lay quiescent in bed and sleep.
So what happens is I walk out into the sunshine, feel my blood swell, and the bone breaking tiredness dissolves and is replaced by some strange consciousness. And I fitfully grab naps of an hour or two at a time and try and convince my weary body that they count.
Tomorrow, or technically, today, is the Elfling's first day of Grade One, so when my shift finishes in 5 hours, Bingley will bring her here to the hospital so that I can take her in and meet her teacher. My hair will be lank and I will be wearing the rumpled look of someone who hasn't slept in a week, because I haven't.
Because of the upheaval we missed the narrow window to go to the uniform shop and it's with pure motherguilt that I remember that she doesn't have a new uniform to wear tomorrow even though we'd promised her one with the start of the year. So after I drop her off and orientate her (probably late, because my chances of getting from the city to her school in 15 minutes including parking are slim to non-existent) I will then race to the uniform shop and buy her everything she needs.
We didn't buy the booklist pack either, because in October last year when they sent around the forms we were still contemplating moving schools to one closer to our new house, and we missed the deadline there too. So my poor beautiful Elfling will start grade one in a hand me down uniform and no new books. I feel tremendous pointless guilt about this. In the scheme of things it doesn't matter. She is highly unlikely to be the only child without everything ready to go, but it makes me feel inept. Especially as I know that if I hadn't gone back to work that she would be turning up to school tomorrow with everything in perfect order.
The house is trashed. I barely remember my neat ordered shiny floored abode. And I have been studiously ignoring the mould that is again encroaching on the ensuite.
"At least I'm being paid" has been the rhetoric of the last week, and today I was. So I took my paycheque, looked at the lovely largeish number that still makes me feel proud. And I paid the Monkey's kindy bill and the Possum's daycare bill and I am left with... almost nothing. More than nothing yes, but considering the deficit, it hardly seems fair.
I'm coping, the house is running, my children are happy and I'm getting my work done. But this suspended animation and the sheer grit and determination that it's taking just to stick with this can be hard to deal with sometimes.
And yes he weaned. I weep blue-white tears every morning.