Monday, 12 January 2015

Measuring Spoons

So, you all know how spoons work, right?
Most alcoholics have fewer than average spoons. The
absinthe drinker has plenty, but they all have holes in.

For any who don't, spoons are the hypothetical measure of the level of cope required to undertake everyday tasks. The point of the model is that your workaday 'normal' human being has a near-infinite number of spoons, but that any level of disability rapidly reduces one to a strictly limited spondular* budget.

Now, as these things go, I am not exactly short on spoons, but neither am I the happy-go-lucky man of a thousand spoons that I used to be (in my head at least,) and my spondular commitments are many. In particular at the moment, there is caring for Arya at the weekends and helping Hanna to make up her spondular deficit, which is profound. Hanna has fewer** spoons than most to begin with, and of late has been splitting them between a daughter, a husband, a boyfriend and a demanding course of study requiring a four hour a day commute. The news that her transfer from Greenwich to Suffolk had been approved was a wonder of wonders.

This weekend, we had a clear plan and I budgeted my spoons - already depleted by post-Christmas lurgy - accordingly. By 11 o'clock on Sunday I had spent the day with my daughter (which included scraping her off the kitchen floor when she went into complete meltdown) and taken her swimming (driven by mummy) and was pretty much done for the day. Hanna and I went to see Into the Woods while Arya's other daddy took her for a stroll and a nap. I had perhaps one spoon left with which to tidy up when I got home and the others took off for Martlesham. I had planned to have a few more, but a bad night's sleep on Friday punctuated by weird dreams, the last of which involved me trying to prevent social services from taking Arya away before Hanna could get home, put paid to that.

For the benefit of younger readers, Uri Geller is a celebrity
psychic who made a fortune persuading people that even if he
could bend a spoon with his brain, that would mean something.
Unfortunately, part of Hanna's deficit derives from the fact that her ME and CFS not only cap her spoon levels, they also make it near-impossible for her to accurately estimate her remaining spondic reserve. She brought Arya to me, went to an Empire player event, came back, took us swimming and came to the cinema with me, and only on the drive back to Littleport did it really come home to her that she was not merely down to her last spoons, but had suffered an unexpected visit from Uri Geller.

I mention this not to complain, but to note that Andrew - whose birthday it is today - was a star, covering the washing up and Arya's bathtime so that I could eek out my last spoon to cook dinner and get Arya to bed. I don't know how families with only two parents cope, let alone one.

Until next time, may all your spoons be runcible.

* Spondular (adj.) - Of or referring to spoons. Also, of the back or of medical complaints of the back. I only made one of these definitions up.
** But not slotty

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