Sunday, 29 May 2016

The One With Sid (26 months + 17 days)

Life is all about change; about adapting. It's basic evolution, right? You adapt to change- or you're extinct.

Just to give you an overview of my life currently, it is 12:45am and I am roughly half-way through writing my personal statement for masters chemistry programs at several universities, (so, considering that it's the middle of the night and I'm writing about chemistry, you could argue that not a lot has changed in my life over the past year...).

Except that it has. Again.

So, last time we spoke (Spoke? Wrote? Read? Communicated via my warped version of a diary?) Piglet and I were staying with NNB, because of the mushroom "situation" at my flat. I can now report that the mushrooms have GONE! WOO! YEAH! PARTY! NO MORE MUSHROOMS! Which has meant that Piglet and I are now living in our own flat again.

I finally got to meet my landlady (who was so nice fyi- like I am a bitch for being cynical. Bad, bad, bad cynical me) and she got the builder round to sort them out literally days after I'd met her. There were several leaks in the bathroom which had resulted in the fun-guys appearance. Builder man (who is now totally my best friend- he calls me flower ["He can call me flower, if he wants to"]- I really like it) took away the floor and fixed the leaks so we're just waiting for the floor to dry up now before it gets re-tiled (or re-linoed...or floored. Whatever, it's 1am).

I've been distracted by discussing the builder now. Uhm... Oh, yeah. So, NNB and I had discussed the possibility of mushroom situation not being the result of damp, and then I would be tied into the contract, and he had stated that he would be happy to move into my flat- especially now that I'm not working and stuff because- you know, we had A PLAN and all that (he was all about the planning NNB... never the doing but always the planning...). Of course, when it came down to it, he decided that he didn't want to do that. OK COOL. THANKS. But that was fine. We would just live separately.

So, set the scene: mushrooms are gone; getting re-sorted in lovely flat. Lovely life plan is still half going ahead. I've had lots of races and shiny medals and things, which is fab. And then I am met with what I can only describe as my worst nightmare.

Worse than the mushrooms.

SLUGS.

THERE ARE SLUGS IN THE BATHROOM. Now, I have no idea where they're coming from. Literally like no idea. So, I did what any sane person would do when faced with the disgusting plight of molluscs: I went to Tesco.  Bought practically every container of salt they had. And poured them all around the edges of the bathroom/bath/sink/toilet to stop the slimy bastards getting in.

Was this successful? Well, to an extent. We've reduced the number of slug sightings per day (hereafter known as the SS/d count) from around 200000 to 3. But they're still bloody getting in from somewhere (I can't lie- I am becoming slightly obsessed with the War on Slugs that I am currently undertaking), so now we have a bottle of emergency salt in the bathroom to deal with these rogue freaks of nature that can apparently hop over salt mountains.

But still, all going swimmingly. I had adapted to not working. I had adapted to being a full-time mother (note- it involves taking lots of baths with the toddler; bathtime has now become a legitimate parenting tool in our household; "Come on Piglet, let's go have a bath at 3pm! YEAH! WOO!"). I had (semi-)adapted to living in the presence of dirty hideous repulsive slugs. I'm a winner, right?

Oh hello life, you cheeky old friend. You want to throw a spanner in the works, do you? Oh, go on then. Give it your best shot.

NNB left me.

Two months after begging me to come back. He left me. He said he thought it would be best if we had some time apart. It would do us good. We could revisit the situation in six months or so and see how we felt.

NNB basically repeated every single thing that I had said to him, back to me.

Well played, dear. Good one. Shortly after I had finished work and taken Piglet out of nursery, I had said to him that I thought it was all going to be fine, and that we'd be ok, and his response was along the lines of, "Well, would be the ultimate revenge for you leaving me wouldn't it? Ruin you financially and socially, and then leave you? Playing the long game".

And that's exactly what he's done. Cut off my social life. Cut off my financial independence. And left. There's always some truth to things said in jest.

Earlier today, Piglet and I were having our (hourly) bath (our art session had gotten a little crazy- there was orange paint hair and at least one googly eye in her nappy) when I spotted a slug on the bath, by the taps. At this point I had two options: I could scream, freak out and run out of the bathroom throwing salt everywhere in my trail, potentially giving my child a phobia of both baths and slugs for the rest of her life (the sensible option) OR I could pretend I was at peace with the slug, and continue trying to explain to the toddler that, "we have to wash your hair because orange streaks are not in this season" (the fucking stupid option).

I chose option two. I showed Piglet the slug. We named him Sid. Sid had two black stripes down his back (there's a lot of variation between slugs, you know- they're a bit like cats really). And I explained to Sid that I was absolutely fine with him casually sitting there whilst we got clean, but he should know that as soon as I had clothes on, I was going to salt him to death (literally) if he was still there.

Sid had disappeared when I went back to salt him. And I was quite glad. I'd grown quite fond of Sid during our 20 minutes together.

I've had to drastically change my plans now that NNB and I are no longer together. He wants to be part of Piglet's life which I am currently happy with, and I hope that I will continue to be happy with that. I can't help but be angry though. When I left before, I was in a much stronger situation. As it stands now, I have had to apply for income support and housing benefit. I am hoping to get a career development loan to cover the cost of my masters. If I can't, then it means cutting my time at home with Piglet short, and searching for a job earlier than I had planned, and hoping it will be flexible enough that I can shuffle it around when uni starts. Money is going to be much tighter now than it would have been. So yes. I am angry. Funny thing about anger though, is that it's a fantastic motivator.

So I look forward to revisiting the situation in six months. I really do.

I went into the bathroom earlier this evening. Sid was sitting on top of the toilet rolls- his black stripes gave him away. Sid had returned. Yes, I had grown fond of Sid. But, he was still a slug- so he got salted.

You adapt. Or you die.

You move forward. You don't go back.

I am not going to end up like Sid.

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