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Dear Cla(i)re

"I'm going to have to cancel tonight as my health seems to be declining. I will pay you the money and feel horrible about this forever! I just cannot stop coughing and and I've had an awful experience- I could not stop coughing and I vomited in the sink a little while a nurse was here for a home visit about Mr. K. (sad face emoji with one tear)"

Text that I sent to the wrong Cla(i)re.

So now I am missing out on a (non-refundable) port and cheese night that I had been looking forward to for months AND I've *horrified one of the mums from the school. Also, that nurse was quite upset. 

This is why I have given my children such original names. I am always surrounded by Danielles. It was Danielle S, Danielle M, and Danielle L in school. This sharing of my name has continued into adulthood. One of my good friends here in Cheltenham is a Danielle. We've been mistaken for sisters which is very confusing as with two different accents and the same name, I can hardly imagine what our family situation growing up would have been- some messed up version of The Parent Trap (1961 version obviously). My partner also has a popular name. It causes too many opportunities for comparison. The old Danielle? Young Danielle? Fat Danielle? Thin Danielle? Mean Danielle? The Danielle with the strange children (this one has happened- and fair enough)? Or the one with the chronic cough? It would be nice to be known just by your name, no description necessary. Hopefully my sons will enjoy this luxury although no doubt, they will grow tired of telling people how to pronounce or spell their names. It's always something. If my boys decide to reproduce, they will most definitely name all their children John and/or Jane. 

The top five baby names this year in England and Wales for girls are Olivia, Amelia, Isla, and Emily. For boys we have Oliver, Harry, George, Noah, and Jack. The top five baby names in Canada for girls are Olivia, Emma, Charlotte, Sophia, and Aria. For boys; Noah, Liam, Jackson, Lucas, and Logan. I know people with all these names, they are adorable names, and I am actually quite surprised at how similar the Canadian and British lists are. I was sure that the top baby names in Canada would be Justin, Celine, Cannabis, and Trade War. And why is no one in England naming their child Marmite? It has a nice ring to it even if it tastes disgusting. 

It's been a long week of devastating coughing attacks and very little sleep. It's always tragic when I cannot blame my poor sleep on my children. I had a lot of obligations and and places I had promised to be this week, so even though my bed has been calling me, I've been getting up, getting dressed, showing up, trying not to cough on people, and doing my best. I realize that this is adult life. Keep calm and carry on as you try not to spread your germs. Apologize every time you walk into a room. I remember fondly the days of staying home sick from school and watching "Zoobilee Zoo." The only time I ever got to watch that show was if I was home sick, and I could watch it with my **cute baby sister, bonus! If you don't know what Zoobilee Zoo is, you were probably not a theatre nerd child in the 80s. Or maybe it didn't air in the UK. Either way Cla(i)re, I forgive you. There is no Zoobilee Zoo when I am sick these days, there is only mortification and cough sweets that taste of black liquorice and poison. 

Today started with Mr. K dumping a brand new bottle of olive oil in the sink. He then tried to distract me by being charming and wearing my slippers all throughout the house. He then dumped a brand new bottle of balsamic vinegar followed by a full bottle of canola oil down the sink. I suppose I was wrong. I do need to child lock EVERY cupboard in my house. At least it will create a stylistic theme. Maybe I will even start a trend. I often see people looking at our upper cabinets with child locks (sometimes double) with confusion. I just tell them that I am heIping my partner with both his diet goals and his fine motor skills. I hope we don't need to cook anything involving these lost ingredients this weekend because I am too tired to run to the shop and I feel like my time would be better devoted to thoroughly cleaning that sink, it's seen A LOT of action today. I will also be busy with a steady stream of complaining followed by uncontrollable coughing. My most common statement to my partner when I am burned out, "I feel like a slave!" His most common response, "A slave would not complain so much!" We have a very precious relationship. 

At school pickup today, I couldn't find my keys because they were in my pocket. I didn't get my usual parking spot at my first school which caused me to be late for my second school. I backed into a parking space while people were watching, this is actually a massive accomplishment for me, so I am counting this as a win. My favourite sunglasses broke and my boys were fighting and crying before we were even out of the gate. I may have ruined a delightful friend's evening. I now have to stay home and eat the crappy food I bought for my family because I thought I would be out... frozen pizza. This is fine because all the cough sweets, cough syrup, and congestion have ruined my taste buds anyway. 

To all the Danielles and Cla(i)res out there. I see you. I know you are working hard and inspiring others with your kindness and tenacity. I know that you are creative and vibrant and I'm grateful to associate with you. You are raising beautiful amazing tiny humans and I salute you in solidarity. I just wish I could keep track of who is who. 

 *She reacted very kindly and offered to help. All Cla(i)res are wonderful.

** I honestly have always thought my baby sister was the best. We get along swimmingly and she has an original name so I have been jealous of her my entire life. 

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