It turns out I’m grumpy. I’m not sure if this has always been the case but over the last couple of months my grumpiness has definitely become more apparent. I am at my worst in the morning, particularly if the day starts off with howls from the girl about how she can’t put her dressing gown on (damn those Christmas elves delivering this cursed garment). However I am also grumpy if I sleep in too long, if I get woken too early (more usual) or just generally when I wake.
I used to put my grumpy mood down to slight hangovers and not feeling tip top, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t drunk every night but during J’s workless days we would often have a drink or two on an evening. After months of this I decided that the New Year would see a soberer and cheerier me. Soberer yes, cheerier, not so much.
Just to be clear, it’s not that I’m unhappy, I’m just a grump. J even went so far as to tell me I was turning into my dad the other day – my dad’s grumpiness is a standing joke in our family…and amongst any that know him, and thankfully (as he’ll probably read this) he knows it. I was aghast at J’s comment, but I couldn’t disagree, I really am grumpy.
I don’t know if my grumpiness has come to the fore since I turned 40, since we had kids, or whether J has just been too scared to mention it before. I am tempted to blame the kids, the constant being ignored, being looked at as if you’re an idiot, being asked when you’re going to die (the girl’s current favourite topic), being hit with sticks, mid-dinner toilet trips (despite going to the toilet before dinner), being mauled by freezing cold hands whilst having “rat hands” screamed down your ears (though I accept some blame for coming up with the name), having earlobes pulled off your head whilst being told “say it’s painful” (yes, we are raising a dominatrix), these things can grind you down eventually and make even the cheeriest amongst us grumpy. Then you go to the shops and old people look and coo over them, tell them how well behaved they are and tell us – “enjoy them whilst they’re small”. Yeah, you take them for a while and then tell me it’s fun, as you drag your distended earlobes behind you.
Of course, it isn’t all misery, they give good hugs and when they tell you they love you with all their heart, it melts your heart. But generally by this point in the day, I’m so battered and bruised I could just weep that their torture has ended for a short while. I have taken J’s reprimand to heart though and am trying to stifle my grumpiness, though after dinner conversations about how the girl will get her own milk when we’re dead, adding that I’ll die in a swimming pool (right after a conversation about when we’ll next go swimming) does make this difficult at times. Despite the constant reminders of my mortality though I shall endeavour to become less like the sour faced one of the seven dwarves, but I’m not convinced sobriety is going to be the way to do it…maybe starting the day off with a gin might help.