Super Sonic + The After.

Hanging... On...In....There

Both my children are sick.

Fevers, runny noises, a deep rattly cough that is terrifying in the middle of the night. (We are so far away here, if something goes wrong... so far away from a hospital, a large medical centre... so far away from my mum.)

I am exhausted, up to them repeatedly at night to cuddle and kiss the pain away, to administer Vicks on their chests for their coughs, Nurofen for spiking fevers that leave them brick hot, cheeks flushed.

And I feel a pallid, almost complete exhaustion. This is single parenting, and this is rough.

After two days of sickness, two days of the Bump crying, clear liquid running from her eyes and nose and mouth all at once; two days of the Chop, grumpy and screaming unintelligibly at me when his fever rises, cheeky and filled with a kind of energy that only a three year old boy can possess when the meds kick in... after two days of that, I snap, and lose my temper.

The Chop screams at me, for pressing Play on the DVD we are watching, and throws a dummy that hits me square in the face. I am filled with a white hot rage, and, before I know what I am doing, I slap him, open hand, on the thigh.

His face crumples, and of course, the screaming intensifies. I see a red mark, the shape of my fingers... it's the shape of shame, and it's forming on his leg.

I kiss it better, I apoligise profusely, and I wrap him up on the lounge in a blanket to watch TV. I go outside and look at the stars, I light a cigarette.

And then I cry. because this is so fucking unfair, and so difficult, and I am so damn tired. The mother guilt is eating at me, the life guilt takes my breath away.

My son, he forgives quickly, as small children do, and the three of us, we cuddle on the lounge. The smell of Vicks, warmed by the skin of tiny bodies, is comforting.

Tonight, it will be another long night. I remind myself that this is what millions of women do, all by their themselves.... but it's still difficult. I just wish I had someone to take the pressure off, someone to get up at night.. someone to cry with, to play tag team with... I wish i still had Tony's endless patience for our children, that kicked in when mine was lacking.

Hanging on in there. Because what else is there to do?

children, exhausted, mothering, sleep, and more:

Hanging... On...In....There + The After.