Here we go again

And breathe…..LD is finally gone – after  what seems like forever dreading him leaving, it’s come just like that. Ah Impending Doom Syndrome, how well I know thee. I wonder if civvies catch it too, or if it is only Forces couples who get it so badly? We’ve had some really juicy squabbles over the last couple of days, pecking each other like seagulls after scraps, and my bad mood has definitely been taken out on the girls, as I’ve chosen to ignore my ‘sad’ and instead pick the scab of marital relations.

He left just after lunch – and since both big kids were occupied I went a bit tidying crazy today – clearly Grandma’s genes run deep in me. When in doubt, tidy. Move things around until everything is in its proper place. Though that is a task that could take forever in this house – my children seem to live to create havoc, messing with my rooms and my head like naughty gremlins.

The house is not clean, though….I haven’t got that far yet – first of all it’s just been quite cathartic to actually sort out LD’s side of the room. It has driven me nuts for so long that he is such a slob – is it possible that both nature and nurture combined to make him utterly revolting? With his collection of sticky sweet wrappers, crumpled receipts, piles of coins and random bits of golfing tat – when he hasn’t played golf for at least four years – he’s like some filthy hoarder waiting for a hungry rainy day.

Also, because he’s taken his alarm clock and charger and all the accoutrement that make a bedside table, the room does look rather odd – unbalanced – like he’s left me. Let’s hope he hasn’t. Anyway, all I can think is that I’m glad it’s just Shrivenham and not Afghanistan again or some similar hell hole. If this were tour number three I’d hear nothing for days, going through that gaping chasm of silence that throws you right in at the deep end. As they kill time sleeping in hangars and waiting for flight transfers, you scrabble desperately to get back to the surface after being flung into the freezing lake of full-time motherhood.

This time we’ve already texted – I accidentally got him a plate out at tea time and had to let him know as it almost set me off weeping again – but I’m sure I’ll soon become accustomed to the new routine. And again, I am glad that this time none of my babies are tiny. I remember struggling to answer the plaintive “Where Daddy gone?” a few years back, which tweaked my heart every time No 1 said it, sometimes even moving me to tears. It was worse when she stopped asking, though. At least this time they understand, and they understand that LD is coming back – and Baby no 3 has had time to know and love him before he’s gone away for the first time, her chubby face lighting up with joy when he walks into the room.

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