This morning I woke myself up at 2:05am and proceeded to lie there staring at the ceiling.
I did eventually put the light on and start to read. It was clear I was not going to be falling asleep. My book is so appallingly boring it has put me to sleep every night for the last week. But there I was zooming through a few hundred pages, and no sleep in sight.
I took a long bath at about 6:30 and then realized I was dead tired. The idea of closing my eyes and lolling off to sleep in the bath felt like such a divine idea. Unobtainable, but a divine idea none the less. My eyes were doing slow, lazy blinks, I felt like I was nursing a three-bottles-of-wine hangover.
I got myself ready, and sat on the bed drinking my tea, while Isabelle drank her bottle – its pretty much the oasis in the chaos of our usual morning. Our little quiet moment together.
I did realize that our “quiet moment” was REALLY quiet. The kids weren’t there, Kennith had left for work, but it was just TOO QUIET.
There was a distinct absence of the sound of Pepe in the house. Trying not to be too concerned, I got myself ready and went down the passage with Isabelle on my hip. It felt reminscent of those horror movies where the pretty, but not so bright lead character walks around the scary house going “is anyone there, is anyone there?’ and you know that she is going to get her head hacked off by some diranged ice skater in a very unattractive mask. It felt alarming similiar.
So there I was looking around and no Pepe – hmm, this was all a bit worrisome.
So I call a little – not too loudly …. as you do when the fear starts to creep up your spine. (Any mom with kids who is facing a morning and is suddenly a domestic MIA knows how this feels.)
So I call out in a little trembling voice getting louder now: “Pepe? Pepe?”
Nothing …. only me and the eerie silence.
I go to her room and knock on her door. Expecting her to come limping out with a lost left foot, and covered in leprosy sores, because this would be the only forgivable reason for her tardiness.
Still nothing – now I am starting to get a bit more worried – more about me than her you understand. I have that look of confusion on my face. You know the one where the furrow on your forehead (the ones between your eyes) are so deep, that you realize that even Botox can’t save you.
I’m thinking alien abduction? I seldom go with the logical obvious explanations in these situations.
I go back into the house and stand there – baby still on hip – and go “WTF?”
I am all out of ideas, barring one. I call her on the cell phone. Expecting to find that she is maybe on the crapper and just could not answer the door when I knocked – that must be the reason.
Pepe does answer her phone I hear a helluva lot of traffic around her and again go “WTF?” What is street traffic doing in her room? Sometimes the brain he does not always catch up on the small signs to give you the bigger picture.
She goes: “Don’t you remember that it is Home Affairs today?” Which I loosely translate to mean that she told me about an appointment/arrangement at Home Affairs at some point, and clearly I had forgotten. She had not deemed it necessary to repeat it to me in the last two weeks, or even the last two days, to draw my attention to this rather vital piece of information.
“So, no actually I did not remember Home Affairs else I would not have looked behind the dog’s kennel for you as I did. Because I thought that you were playing a rather juvenile version of hide-and-seek-when-madam-has-baby-on-hip-and-needs-to-go-to-place-of-employment! So, no honestly I did not think Home Affairs!”
I immediately hit panic mode. Admittedly I was in panic mode already since the lonely walk down the passage. Now I just decided to do more actions other than playing hiding-freak’n-seek-with-my-maid.
Threw Isabelle into clothes that weren’t her jammies. I made two bottles, threw blankets, toys, cereal, bowl, spoon and stuff into a bag, grabbed my bag, grabbed her, grabbed my other bag, gtabbed my other stuff and headed out the door. There really was no time to work out a plan, it was just reactive stuff now with short bursts of cursing thrown in for good measure.
I get to work, people smile. No one seems to have a problem with the fact that I have a baby on my hip – who it turns out is wearing the same colour combination as I am – red shirt, blue denims – totally unintentional, but totally nerdy.
I sit down at our production meeting with our production team. Isabelle is on my lap playing with a squeegee thing and we are all sitting there like it is a normal day and nothing is amiss. She threw up on my leg, tossed various things off the production table and onto the floor, but no one looked at me skew, or seemed to mind. There we were talking about lead dates,binding, creasing, UV’ing and sexy stuff like that.
After the meeting I went upstairs, she sat on my lap at my desk. I dealt with various dead line issues, and I walked around the factory with her on my hip. Everyone acted like it was all normal and quite expected.
I sat on my office floor and fed her porridge. I gave her a bottle and made a little bed for her on the floor of my office – I am in an office area with 5 other people and it is quite noisy. Everyone started speaking a bit quieter, they turned the air conditioner off and acted like this was all part of a normal day.
How cool is that? It’s a good place to work when your colleagues and bosses kind of roll with you and your logistical issues, and do not throw a wobbly because you have drooling infant on your hip ….