A vortex of cockups


Today felt absolutely dreadful, a never ending cavalcade of catastrophe, a vortex of cockups, although looking back at it at nine o’clock, I find it hard to figure out why it was so hard at the time.

The day got off to a bad start when at two this morning my wife had to take Destroyer to the hospital as she was running a high fever and not breathing very well. Babies do this thing where they screw with their parents anyway, where they’ll breathe normally and then go completely silent, like they’re in respiration stealth mode, just until you reach the point of thinking they’ve stopped breathing forever, and then snuffle and start again. With Destroyer it was a bit more than this usual modus operandi, laboured breaths and snuffling constantly worrying us.

So I slept uneasily from two until six when wife and child returned, from an admissions area full of sick and feverish kids. At least Destroyer was an exemplary patient, taking a nebuliser without complaint.

Then La Serpiente woke up, and I failed to cope with her demands for fun, and sticker books, and visits to Ronin, and Peppa Pig videos, until we all went out to breakfast for some overpriced buckwheat crepes that La Serpiente stuffed double-fistedly into her mouth. I felt so zombified that I drank a coffee for the first time since I got back to Singapore, without visible benefits.

At the time, it felt like the world was caving in, but from another perspective we woke up, faffed about and then had a late breakfast. Hardly world shattering.

In the afternoon the kids napped, and I made the error of reading a novel, Look Who’s Back, about the return of Adolf Hitler in 2011 and his subsequent ascension to star of Youtube and late night television.

Perhaps because of this unnecessary sleep deprivation, after a music class where La Serpiente ran in circles for 45 minutes, knocking other children over like the locomotive she is, I left my phone in the back of the taxi that took us home. I was meant to be going running with a friend at 5:30, but instead I was stuck outside our flat, trying not to swear, wishing I’d remembered my keys and wishing my wife wasn’t out at the supermarket. And trying to explain to La Serpiente why I hadn’t brought my keys with me.

When my wife got back, we called the taxi company, and they called the taxi driver, but by then he’d had two other fares and the phone wasn’t in his car. So we called it, but it was probably set to silent because it always is. So then I logged into my Microsoft account and used the Find My Phone function, which makes it ring even if it’s been set to silent, and then my wife got a call back from the person who had my phone, who was over at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. At church. With my phone. By now there was steam whistling out of my ears and I was in a huge strop at missing my run.

So I got another taxi over there, and called again, and she came out of her service and gave me my phone back, which was probably the Christian thing to do (but still confused me, because why didn’t she give the phone to the taxi driver?) and then I got another taxi back home, arriving about an hour after I was meant to go running. It turns out that 6:15 in the afternoon is a great time to get a taxi from the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, as there are loads of taxis dropping off and nobody waiting for one, which is the exact opposite of every other time I’ve been there.

And it turns out that the run was horrible and boggy today, after the last three days of rain, and I’d felt knackered anyway, so perhaps this was divine intervention saving me from myself.

Getting La Serpiente down was another trial (Destroyer was screaming, La Serpiente was not cooperative, but also very clingy – she wouldn’t let me fetch her water bottle without taking her because she didn’t want to be alone) so it took me until 9 to discharge my parental duties, at which point I paused and wondered exactly why I’d been so stressed all day.

And then I went to the track, but that’s another story.

Thus far, then, this year has been full of sick kids and me freaking out and wondering if I have the emotional capacity to be a functional human being, let alone a parent. Maybe if I just had a sense of perspective at the time, rather than with hindsight… Ah well.

Sent from Outlook Mail for Windows 10 phone


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