Last night my man came home from work. Really!  It wasn’t the ranting, raving, interuppting, interjecting frothing at the mouth version, but the gentle, kind respectful one. He seemed happy, despite the terrible flu he has still got!

Oh joy! I was so pleased to have him back, and we talked and laughed for a good couple of hours together. We ganged up a bit on 6, who will only do the minimum of  chores he is asked to do. He will swear black and blue that his bedroom is clean, (when he hasn’t touched a sock or dirty pair of jeans), even when he knows all I have to do is walk downstairs to check on it. The boy has no fear! He has improved a bit with the limitation of his game playing time, but not so much anyone would really notice. Fitty loves to join in whenever I nag 6. Often I don’t get to finish sentences as Fitty knows exactly what I’m going to say…

Last night I told 6 to go pack for his week at his fathers. I was busy getting dinner organised and when I turned around 5 minutes later, he was still sprawled on the couch doing nothing. We had arranged to watch a movie together after dinner, so I explained to him if he hadn’t folded and put away his washing, and then packed his bag in the next 15 minutes, NO MOVIE. I even set the timer!

He returns 4 mins later… I just know he’s bundled his clothes into his drawers all screwed up, and blindly thrown what ever he needed into his packing unfolded. When accused of this he says, “oh my god, my t-shirt will have wrinkles! How will I ever live this down? Quick, to the ironing board!” Needless to say, I have never ironed a t-shirt in my life.

It’s not easy being the mother of a junior comedien. He has such sarcastic talent, this kid. I have lost count of the number of times I have been going balistic at him, only to snort laughter through my nose at something he has said in retaliation. He has a range of ways to make me forget why I was angry in the first place.

Not Fitty, he has steel will when it comes to 6. He has been a great step-father to my boys, doesn’t give in easily at all. I guess some would say I am a bit more of a soft touch, but I’ve always liked to think of myself as someone who compromises more. As my boys have grown, I have realised, as we all do, the mistakes I have made. I am a much more consistent mum to 7 and 8 than I was to my own kids.

I now have the time and patience that comes with age. I don’t get angry easily, but when I do, it can take me hours to wind down.

Which brings me back to last night. Fitty and his damn mood swings! After a quiet dinner, just the 3 of us, (7 and 8 have gone back to their mother for the week), Fitty went down to the man shed. He didn’t come back until I was having my evening bath, relaxing in the tub, well trying to, and all I can hear is cough, cough, cough. Snort, cough, cough! SNORT! Bit hard to relax, the shack is kind of cosy and noise doesn’t have to travel far. I was annoyed, you know the way it is when someone has that dry hacking cough and it just goes on and on. Mostly I was annoyed because he wasn’t doing much to help himself. Sitting for hours out in the night air on the blah blah radio etc. Then coming upstairs to sit for more hours in front of his computer. He really isn’t getting enough sleep!

I call out, “for god’s sake Fitty will you take some cough medicine or something!” No answer, must have his head phones on.

I haul myself out of the bath, and tell him I think he should go to the doctor or something. I suspect he has a sinus infection and I have told him I think he needs to get it looked at. It’s been almost 3 weeks since he has been “man sick” and he obviously isn’t beating it doing nothing. That’s where I went wrong. I accused him of “doing nothing” about it. Oh lord, the brow beating I got. He hadn’t been doing nothing, he had bought these uber expensive health food cough lollies, talked into that by a slick sales person. As far as I can tell, someone has ground a heap of stinking herbs like cloves into some sugar, sold it for $30 a bag, and is laughing all the way to the bank. If they are “super effective” Fitty, why are you still coughing like a wounded harp seal? He says, they are breaking up the infection on his lungs? I say he has no idea, and needs a second opinion. He says some nasty things to me, and I say some back. He says even nastier things. I begin cursing like a sailor.

I went to bed angry, something I hate to do, but I was so tired I didn’t have the energy to try and resolve the situation. I decide bitchily as I fall asleep that I am just going to avoid Fitty for the rest of the week.

This morning he wakes me gently telling me he’s off to work, leans down and gently kisses my face. How can I stay mad at this man?