The Trapeze Artist

30 Apr 2013

I loved going to the circus when I was a child.  It was thrilling sitting in the huge marquee, listening to the noise and watching what any child would consider to be death defying acts.   I still have cravings for toffee apples and candy floss.  I cannot walk past a kiosk without stopping.  Of course, the 5 sticks of floss and 3 apples on a stick bulging out of my hands…are for the kids.  Each child needs an overflowing portion to themselves.  Sharing is not an option because there wouldn’t be any leftovers…hmmm…I digress…moving swiftly on.

I remember the trapeze artist.  Irrespective of the ‘safety’ net below, I was always baffled at how they managed to balance themselves on a thin rope.  It was painful to watch, agony in fact and what’s more even as an adult, I still have no idea how they managed it.  The idea makes me cringe now that I know the risks involved.

Then early this morning I woke up in a sweat.  After taking a holiday with my family, where we did nothing but eat, sleep and have fun, today was my first day back into routine.  My supposedly gentle wake up by my carefully chosen ‘harp’ playing alarm sound was nothing less than a drastic reality check.  ‘Gently’ was not how it all started this morning.  To begin with, I was back to rising before the sun does.  Painful.

My waddle to the bathroom was cut short after going flying as a result of the wayward pillow lying in the middle of the floor that I had dispelled from my bed mid slumber.  Contact lenses in the dark are a force to be reckoned with and frustrated, I had to asked myself again, why, when I folded my children’s laundry, did I not just spend 1 more second turning the socks the right way round?

Every morning I refuse to set my alarm one second before 6am but because my daughter’s bus arrives outside our door at 6.45am, to take her to a special school outside of town, I run ferociously against the clock:

The Objectives:

  1. Get dressed, properly or risk raised eyebrows from the driver and neighbours for that matter, later on in the day when I take the rubbish out in leggings, a stained t shirt complimented by my ‘Frog’ slippers.
  2. Lay everyone’s clothes out.  Why not the night before?  Who can think that far ahead?
  3. Quickly load a washing whilst helping my elder daughter get dressed.  Why on earth?  Because I feel in control with the hum of the machine in the background.  Do I take pills for this?  No, perhaps I should.
  4. Make everyone’s packed lunch whilst my husband serves breakfast in the same small space.  Why not the night before?  The only way to answer that question is to ignore it.
  5. Take my daughter to the bus.  Slowly, slowly.
  6. Clear up breakfast whilst coordinating the dressing efforts for the rest of my children upstairs.  Normally coupled with shrieks of ‘Did you flush the chain and wash your hands?’
  7. Police the dressing efforts from upstairs whilst folding dry laundry from the night before.  Now is not the time to ask why.
  8. Work out with my husband, how to resolve the issues of the previous day that we always have with our special children and their schools.  Why at that time?  Good question…why should we have to at anytime?
  9. Teeth, hair and kisses goodbye.  The best part.
  10. All of the above must be with a happy disposition, lots positive reinforcement and filled with exciting topics of conversation and enthusiasm about the upcoming school day.

One and a half hours after forcing myself out of ‘snooze’ mode the house is always quiet. My husband is on the school run and I, pre coffee, feel somewhat bewildered. Could it be possible that I do all that, everyday before 7.30am?

This morning, fear gripped me as I realised yes I was dressed but in what state did I leave my hair before walking out the front door? I ran to the mirror. Don’t ask. But I took a moment to look at myself and consider the ‘balancing act’ that I had performed again by 7.30am…

That trapeze artist ain’t got nothing on me.


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Deborah French

Deborah French, a 34-year-old market researcher turned stay-at-home mum, author and special-needs activist launched her first e-book in April 2013. The award winning e-book, A Brief Moment in Time is published by ASD Publishing Co. and tells of her personal journey of how her world was turned upside down when her daughter was born unexpectedly with Down’s syndrome. A year later her son aged just two, was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Now with her eldest two being 10 and 8, Deborah also has four year old twins.

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