I get a text at 11 on Sunday morning from India- I’m sick. Coming back early. Can you look after the children this afternoon?
I text back straight away- Sure, no problem.
Less than an hour later the car pulls up outside the front door. I go outside and open the back door on Freddie’s side. He looks happy to see me and when I get him out he gives me a big cuddle that melts my heart.
Tristan is getting Mini out when she says, “I don’t want Penny.”
When I hear that I feel like saying the feeling is mutual. But of course, I don’t. I shouldn’t be so sensitive but I really want her to like me. I know I’m kind to her so it feels like a bit of a slap in the face when she rejects me.
India looks pale and runs in the house straight for the downstairs loo. She’s been vomiting all morning, Tristan tells me. He doesn’t look so good himself.
We go down to the basement kitchen and Tristan asks me to make lunch for the children and he disappears off upstairs. The children eat lunch and I take them upstairs for their nap. Mini is crying all the way upstairs because she knows India is in the house and she wants her, not me.
Whilst the children are sleeping I hang around downstairs hoping to bump into Tristan. I don’t know what the plan is. Is he going to take over once they wake up? Should I take the children out to the playground this afternoon? I don’t see him and go to wake the children at 3pm.
Luckily Mini wakes in a good mood. I carry Freddie and hold Mini’s hand as we walk down the stairs together. India and Tristan’s bedroom door is slightly open. I can see two pairs of feet on the bed. As we walk by I glance back and see they are both sleeping.
That makes me really annoyed. India is sick, fair enough. But why isn’t Tristan looking after the children?
In anticipation of their father coming downstairs to look after the children we stay in and play and read stories in the play area of the huge basement kitchen.
At around 4pm I hear footsteps and see that Tristan is coming down the stairs. “Ah good,” I think, “he’s coming to relieve me on what is meant to be my day off.”
He doesn’t even look over to where we are playing. Looking pretty rough, he goes over to the fridge, opens it, pulls out two cokes, grabs a bag of kettle chips from the cupboard and heads back up the stairs.
This is the moment when I wish I was better at standing up for myself. I should have said something then and there. But I didn’t.
I gave the children their tea- no sign of the parents.
I took the children upstairs for bathtime- no sign of the parents.
I took them into my room to watch their half hour of allocated screen time- no sign of the parents.
And finally, I put the children to bed- no sign of the parents.
I waited until both children were asleep and then went downstairs to get a drink. As I was passing the parents bedroom I could hear India talking, loudly, on her phone- “Oh ya,” she was saying “Best. Party. Ever. But I have had a bitch of a hangover today, so has Tristan…”
To say I was fuming doesn’t even cover it.