Monday, December 28, 2009

DON'T!!!!


I remember my mother threatening us with chemical castration (Ok, just the belt) if she heard that word come out of my mouth one more time when we were kids. Usually it was a double laden threat. She knew the only reason I would possibly be whining that word, was because my older brother was tormenting me. And by tormenting, I mean usually physically hurting me. As you do.

I remember it was a nightly event in our household. Either he or I were on for it. Sometimes we were eerily in sync and like the perfect storm, we would just begin with multiple flying kicks off the bunk beds.


Now, if Mum were here, I would like to tell her, SORRY for being such a shit. And I guess the reap what you sow chestnut is oh so true.

The word ‘DON’T’ squealed at full volume whilst dragged across young vocal cords may well be what does me in. I can handle most all the words I hear come from my children’s mouths. I can take - Stop it, I know you are you said you are, Get out of my room (10yr old) and the old chestnut “I’m dobbing” but ‘Don’t’ does my head in.

My brothers and I’s fights usually consisted of some pinching to start us off. Then we would start the bed wrestling. Sometimes when were being friendly, we played the “put the pillow on the other ones’ face until they scream and then let them up but don’t actually take the pillow off when they scream stop” game. That was generally the first DON’T of the night. Then there was the time we used Mum and Dad’s bed as a high jump mat but didn’t count on the steel legs bending under with the force. There was no DON’T’s that night, but the very disappointed look from our mother and the vision of my wafer thin father trying to bend them back out with his bare hands. It was generally all over for the night when I brought out the big guns, which meant my heel was brought down in a crushing fashion into the middle of my brothers spine. The scream of pain usually got us sent to bed pretty quickly.


What I don’t understand is why we went back and did it all again the next night. The fact that my brother walks today and actually talks to me shows that this is just normal sibling behaviour. Although, to be honest, we didn’t really like each other until we were in our early twenties.


I sit sometimes and wonder about my three. Their birth orders, their sexes and what all this will mean when they are adults. If anything. I have a friend who had an older sister. Her most vivid memory was chasing her sister into the toilet and kicking a hole hastily shut door in a fit of anger. So, sex is irrelevant. Maybe intensified? My brother in law once stabbed one of his brothers with a butter knife and my own husband threw a shoe at his brothers head and split it open just in time for his 21st birthday.


I think my 10 year old and 7 year old would actually get along ok and they seem to when it’s just them two. Add hurricane, epitome of a third child, Jack, the newly 3 year old, and all hell breaks loose.

I keep getting told that I am too harsh on Jack. That he’s a normal little 3 year old boy who is just cheeky. Um, no I’ve had two before this and not one of them has shit themselves and rubbed it into the very porous wallpaper whilst simultaneously having a taste. Nor have they taken pot shots at animals when they think I'm not watching or opened up a friends Christmas presents – the night before Christmas. And don’t get me wrong. We try it all. We discipline, we try and talk calmly and we try time outs. All I can think is that one day, we look back and laugh at his nightly meltdown and claims of having a bad toff (cough) to buy more time before bed.

One thing is certain though, we have a good 20 years to see how it all pans out..

Thursday, December 24, 2009

THAT GIRL'S A GENIUS

Sometimes I just have genius moments. Like the time I told my husband to grout the new tiles with white grout after he’d spent a day doing them in grey. I conceded about 4 days later, that he was probably right, white sucks and it shows up all the dirt. The love I could seeing growing in his eyes that day, well, let’s just say, it was a sight to see.


So too, my plan to allow the kids to try and get the special “Santa Key” (you know the one, the master key you leave out for Santa for access into houses with no chimney) into the lock to see if they had the same special powers as Santa. Turns out they don’t. They do however; have the ability to screw up the barrel of the lock with the magical Santa Key. Oh yeah, my husband could not get enough of me that year.

My most genius plan though is Christmas Eve. I only started this last year, but this plan has legs.

My plan is to do something so knackering that the kids will be passed out by at the very latest, 7pm. This plan just has to get up mainly because in another light bulb moment, I usually secure an item that requires some heavy duty assembling for Christmas day. Last year it was a 14ft trampoline. The love I saw emanating from him after he snapped the last of the 240 springs into place in the pissing down rain, just blew me away.

I’ve been kind this year, just two bikes. Easy peasy. I shall supervise from the wrapping section of the lounge room. I believe there will be beers.

Last year we took the kids to White Water World and the day panned out beautifully. A day when the sun feels like its 3 feet away from your skull and minimal queues. Oh and we cashed in frequent flyer points so it was free. Unless of course you count the cost of 80,000 points. So ok, it cost $80,000 last year but meh, semantics. We stayed for about 5 hours, the kids were putting themselves to bed by 7:30, even the biggest one.


This year started a little different. Let's just say, we had a minor crisis where the dog we are dogsitting who is old and completely deaf, went missing for a small amount of time which involved silent patrols of the street (not being able to yell out to a deaf dog and all) and a long visit to the pound, only to find her safe and well inside her own house following around the cleaner. Right where she should, be but Miss 10 forgot to tell us about returning her after a particularly fretful night the night before. Note to Nick and Jen - she is 100% OK although we thought Christmas was going to suck for a while there.

So Crisis over. Looks like we’ll be going to a theme park after all. I had the dodgy not for re-sale 50% discount from eBay for either White Water World or Dreamworld. The plan was White Water World, but the day looked dubious and the numbers had it for Dreamworld.

Unsure why it took, and I am not kidding, 30 minutes to get through the ticket booth when we only had 4 people in front of us. It could have something to do with the cashiers being ALL TRAINEES or the fact that the first lady brought some crap Internet printout that meant nothing to nobody. 10 minutes there. Then there were the group who consisted of 8. They decided to pay for each ticket individually, each ticket being paid for by a combination of cash, credit and then, savings. I shit you not. Then the next guy decided to work out when he got to the cashier if he was going to take them up on the second day and then deliberated with the other 5 people in his group. Nope, not going to take it today, but could we speak to the manager about the length of time it’s taken today. No dickhead, it’s taken this amount of time because tossers like you, just don’t get tickets, pay for them and move the fuck on.


Then we were in.
Nothing dramatic happened from then on in. We did the usual stuff a party of 5 do at a Gold Coast Theme Park. Spend ridiculous amounts of money on hotdogs, bottled water and photos of us being humiliated on vomit inducing rides.

Dreamworld was fun and tiring and to be honest, fairly quiet. Not many people about and I don’t really want the word to get out there, but apparently it is the best day of the year to go. People are too busy losing their minds in woollies to get to the theme parks.


So right now, after enduring the cyclone ride where my 10 year old literally wet herself in fear, (see picture above and please note the Japanese girl who looks like she is being attacked) to the ball pit where my husband was chastised by staff for machine gunning foam balls at 5 year old children, we have one child down for the count (after quite the substantial meltdown) and the other two not far behind.

We have the beer on the table as an offering to Santa (clearly Santa is blind by the time he makes it to Greenland) Tim Tams (random selection from the 10yo but let me tell ya, “Santa” is rather happy about this decision) and cherry tomatoes for the reindeer's. (I wasn’t on the ball with the carrot situation this year)


Some brain surgeon decided to put the Carols by Candlelight on at 8:30pm on Xmas Eve. Um 6:30 would be helpful. No really, you programmers clearly don’t have young children you need to have knocked out for the present preparation to begin.


So, as soon as the fat man arrives on Carols, the two eldest will be packed off, Phil will mysteriously disappear to the shed and I will bring him beer and Tim Tams 20 minutes after that. Sure it will be a long night, but the love in his eyes whilst wrestling with those rubber tyres will make it all worth it......

Sunday, December 20, 2009

SMILE LIKE YOU MEAN IT


I attempted to shop like a man. I really did. I had a list, I had a purpose and I had a time limit. I tried and I failed.

I am a woman and like any good one, I shop spectacularly. Meaning I browse, I compare prices and I will walk the concourse of the biggest shopping centre in Australia, only to double back if the item I want is $5 cheaper at Point A.

This Christmas is a little different. Usually I am fairly organised. I, by this time of the year, would normally have stashed an amazing amount of presents in the shed, had a food list ready, purchased and refrigerated and be sitting around just waiting for the day to roll around. Wait, no I wouldn’t. I’m crap at that stuff.

I wish I was a person who could say that. “Oh I hit the midyear Target toy sale hard and got everything for an absolute bargain and now just have to perfect my signature Brandy Eggnog Snap Rocket Juice and I’ll be good to go”. But I’m not. Now’s a good time to recognise this goal will never be realised.

So once again, I find myself in the position, 5 days out from Christmas with feck all food in the house, 10% of presents secured and limited time up my sleeve.



When I’m not working, I have three kids with me. One in a perpetual sulk mode, one who will not stop talking about the word manoeuvre and one who is just working on a plan to firebomb the local shopping centre so he never has to return. Needless to say, shopping with kids this close to the big day is outski.

All I can say is thank Jebus for late night shopping. It is my saviour. So if you a spot a curly haired, dishevelled woman, possibly talking to herself and wearing inappropriate shopping shoes wandering around on Christmas Eve, don’t be alarmed, it’s just me.

This time next week, it will all be over for another year. The kids will be as wrecked as the new remote control monster truck on the bedroom floor and we, the parents, will be putting the last dregs of prawns and beer into the wheelie bin.

And then someone will crack a joke about there being 364 days until we have to do it all again. And whilst no one will find this remotely funny, we will all laugh and quietly wish a particularly harsh gastro bug upon that person.



Happy Shopping! Oh and Merry Christmas.












Friday, December 18, 2009

I'M IT



So today I've been awarded this blogging kudos from my favourite blogger Rick at http://sitdownforthis.blogspot.com/ I wonder if he knows how much this means to me? A year ago to be honest, I'd never heard of blogs or twitter or technology (kidding about the last one) but what a wonderful world it is. And to be chosen out of all the wonderful bloggers that Rick knows and reads, I cannot stress enough that it means a whole hell of a lot. Please take the time to read Rick's blog. He's a very smart and funny man who articulates in a way I could only dream of.



So now, I must do my duties of continuing on this lovely little award and I do so quite easily. This is the one blog I read three times a week. This woman should have a column and at the very least, a self help book for all new mothers, mothers who are seasoned and those who, like most of us, are just muddling our way through this motherhood pa lava.


So The NDM, (Not Drowning Mothering)
http://notdrowning.wordpress.com/ you are my pick.




Tuesday, December 15, 2009

JOB DESCRIPTION FOR A PARENT


I got sent this today and thought it was so very true.






POSITION : Mum, Mummy, Mama, Ma Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop
JOB DESCRIPTION : Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organisational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.





RESPONSIBILITIES : The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.






POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION : None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you





PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE : None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.





WAGES AND COMPENSATION : Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more..







BENEFITS : While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.






Here I would like to add, just personally I need to be able to read a crystal ball to work out what the fuck is up with my 10 year old any any given moment, to be a walking Human thesaurus for my 7yo's constant barrage of wanting to know the meaning of every single 2 Syllable word he hears and a ninja in training to outsmart the already very cunning 3 year old.


Any more to add?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Deck the Dacks with rolls of socks. Fa la la la




How many more sleeps? Do you know? Til Christmas I mean. Well I’m not going to be exact because quite frankly all that will do is scare the bejebus out of me. I have still done zero shopping. Zero.

Today, after I suggested it, we decided to take photos of the 7 grandchildren to then transfer onto a canvas for a lovely Christmas Gift for the Grandparents. Great in theory. Not so much in practice.


I’m sure my two sisters in laws were probably thinking I was insane to start with, but seeing as I’ve been a big fragile of late, decided to let the crazy lady have her way.


The problem being, none of the kids particularly wanted to take photos. It was hot as all shit and a stray kid from another family would just. Not. Piss. Off.


So in a lot of the photos is a suspicious looking Indian kid and seven children failing spectacularly to look and smile at the camera in unison.


How do professional photographers get this process so right? Do they have a substance that is to children what catnip is to pussycats? I tried the bribes of jellybeans and candy canes. That only gets you so far i.e. not far at all.

I had visions of free flowing white dresses fluttering behind the girls whilst they danced down the wooden planks onto the beach. There would be impromptu butterflies descending upon their noses while they Eskimo kissed and the boys would sit and man hug. All in glorious black and white montages that would copy gloriously onto to canvas.

Reality: We didn’t make it past the playground due to hot as shit day and my two boys who if weren’t wrestling, were busy trying to take each other out on the slippery dip. My nephew did not want one bar of our stupid “idea” and resolutely refused to get in any of the photos. I think in toddler speak he told me to shove my candy canes up my arse.

To top it all off, a guy dressed like Santa up top, i.e. Hat and beard and like a patriotic Warwick Capper down below, that is green and gold dicktogs, walked past the kids pushing a wheelbarrow of empty stubbies, presumably from the Surf Club. Disturbing, but probably not as disturbing as when my 3 year repeats the same sentence to the kindy teacher tomorrow morning. That is “Why Santa not wearing shorts today mum?”

All I can say is thank god for photoshop.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

WHAT'S THE DIFF?



There are the obvious differences between man and woman. You know, one has a penis, one has a vagina. And then there’s the not so obvious ones. The ones like the use of common sense.

For instance, my husband has his Christmas party this Friday. Now he’s a plumber and in years past, Christmas parties have generally involved, beer boobs and chraginas. The last word has been altered to make it more appropriate for the Christmas season. If you’re still struggling, I’m referring to naked strippers and their bits. Par for the course at a tradesmans Christmas Party. Hey, he may as well cop an eyeful there because I certainly cannot provide that sort of entertainment at home.


This upcoming one however is at a big establishment and it has, wait for it, a motivational speaker. What in the fuck do plumbers want with a motivational speaker? A plumber turned professional football player motivational speaker to boot. Hey, but who am I to judge, perhaps there’s a whole heap of plumbers who need a little pep talk with regards to installing that cistern in a more understanding, passionate and Anthony Robbins inspired way.


So this hasn’t really demonstrated the difference between man and woman yet though has it. Well I asked dear husband, what time his party starts. His response “I don’t know”. I then went on to ask him “Is it casual dress?” His answer – “Don’t know”. “Is it day or night, will you need me to pick you up?” I don’t know. It was like when I ask my seven year old what he did at school today – “dunno”. “Who did you play with today?” - Dunno. Fantastic, I’ll keep sending you to school and paying money so you can learn fucking nothing and speak to no-one.

Back to the older man of the house though, I just don’t understand how he doesn’t know these important details. When a woman is going to a party/event we know the date, the time and the dress code. We will then go on to shop for said dress code and exchange stories regarding this outfit. Why is so hard for him to ask his mate “Mate you wearing jeans or pants?” Does he think that is too intimate?

Is his not knowing ignorance or ambivalence? I think it just comes down to a lack of, and this a technical term, giving a shit.

Today we set up a large blow up pool for the kids to cool down in. Of course last year, we blew this up with our mouths but this method apparently is no longer good enough. An air compressor would have to be engaged. And seeing as we didn’t own one, Bunnings, his lover, would be receiving a well earned booty call.

That wasn't the man vs. woman issue. No the actual placement of the pool was.

In my mind, placing the pool on the grass was the safest option. His idea was to place it on the concrete pad as he wanted to mow (didn’t happen) and it would burn the grass (we already have crop circles in our turf anyway) Clearly my idea was never going to get a look in. I got home from picking up the one child still at school to basically a carnival in our back yard – on the concrete, right next to the shiny slippery tiles. I could see the near concussion before it happened. And of course, it happened. The 3yo, after nearly being accidently suffocated by his brother staggered out of the pool, slipped on the tiles and cracked his head. Awesome. I told you so was never uttered. It didn't need to be.



What about the old chestnut that is – Sex. We are genetically designed, and this is a generalisation, to want it either more (guys) or less (the women) than the other. Guys don’t get why we don’t want it every 5 minutes, Girls don’t get why guys need it so often and consistently. This of course, I relate to a married or long term couple, not that new, let’s go at it like rabbits, kind of couple.

The telltale sign in our household is when my husband is languishing on the couch beside me at 11pm patiently watching the bachelor and not, I repeat, not giving in to his immense tiredness. He’s doing the hang.

I know we just think different and I know there has been study upon report upon thesis with evidence and documentation as to why. Wonder if there’s been any studies done on how many times the woman has been committed with frustration over the men in their lives.

Monday, December 7, 2009

WHAT'S WORSE THAN A FUNERAL?

Oh, when someone nearly gets killed AT that funeral


Yep, Mum’s funeral was today. And it was lovely. It was sad and devastating and lovely and fitting all at once.

So it went to plan, I did a eulogy which I wasn’t ever 100% sure I would get through and I nearly made it without losing it. Nearly.

Sam sat beside me and pretty much made it impossible for all behind to keep their eyes dry with his sobbing. I thought he might be ok as for days he spoke about “not being able to wait for Grandmas funeral”, but the minute he started to really concentrate on the casket, it was curtains for him.

We had a lovely poem and reflection from Bec that was truly beautiful and heartfelt. A lovely DVD with photos and accompanying song and then it was pretty much over.

Time for refreshments and sandwiches on the alfresco deck area. That’s where things went pear shaped. Within 3 minutes of everyone (over 50 people) on the deck, the outdoor fan fell from the ceiling directly onto a lovely ladies head. Miss C’s mum’s head to be exact. My sister in law was cut on the shoulder and thankfully she wasn’t holding her 1 year old on the other hip. I just keep thinking of how totally devastating that scene could have been.

Now if it had have been someone Mum wasn’t particularly fond of we all could have sworn she’s taken a pot shot, but lovely Sonya had never met mum and therefore, shoddy building practices and unbelievably bad fucking timing was at play.



After that, I spoke to one friend who said this was only his second funeral and the first one he had stood next to a guest who had a heart attack. Tom, it’s time you stopped attending funerals buddy. It was truly awful but thankfully Sonya appeared to be OK.



As is always the way, you see people you haven’t seen in 20 years and lament how much it's terrible that these catch ups are usually always for such a sad occasion.

I guess more emphasis should be put on get-togethers for no particular reason at all. We rush to book flights for funerals which we may or may not be able to particularly afford all to mourn and show our respects for someone we can no longer have a conversation with. We all say it but we never follow through. Let's make it a priority in 2010.

And of course it’s not long before reality kicks back in. After driving home after picking up Jack from kindy (Hurricane Jack did not attend), we turned to see Sam hiding behind Jack’s car seat whilst making Grandma’s funeral picture talk and say to Jack “I am your Grandmother Jack, now drop and give me 20”, Phil and I lost it, but in a good way. And I don’t reckon Mum would want the day to end any other way.

This is a video - press play.

. video



Love you Mum.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

BIG BALLS


So for something more, upbeat.

We are staying in Surfers Paradise. In the second week of Schoolies Week. Yep, let’s just say I’m a brain surgeon in the making.


This is day 5 and to be honest, it hasn’t been that bad. Sure getting into the lift on the first day where someone had spewed the contents of their stomachs onto the lift floor wasn't pleasant. This also lead to the children analysing the situation for the next 3 hours. “Was that ALCOHOL MUMMY?” “Did they just LEAVE IT there for someone else to clean up? Roger that kids. And that’s nothing.

Day two, after coming back from work, I got into the lift alongside about 8 schoolie boys. Their first question? “Are you single?” My response? “Um, boy’s I’m old enough to be your mother”. “So you wanna come for a party? To which I slowly turned, looked at their carton of midori splices and said “um, no I don’t drink girly drinks” Not perturbed, the one closest to me whispered into my ear “seen one of these before” to which he showed me his pubescent nipple. I replied "yeah actually I have, I have a 2 year old” and with that, we hit the 24th floor and out I popped.


What else? Well there is a fair bit of screaming, whistling and I’m embarrassed to say it, but almost choreographed chants going on outside. Jesus, did they the practice this shit before they got here?

Most important to note though is that being at schoolies gives the boy’s balls.

Standing at the traffic lights waiting to cross the road, I heard the following:
Two boy schoolies (no shirts – because they can) “Hey, check out these two” I immediately spy the two “ones” they are talking about. Two girls, short short shorts, blond, pretty and usually, not a chance in hell of them getting lucky with. I didn’t hear the initial line. I believe it was something to do with their phones. Well played boys - hit em where they care. Next thing you know they are discussing where they went to school, where they are staying and the parties they are going to attend that night.


See what I mean. Usually two good looking girls walking down the beach at Surfers would get lots of looks but no actual hits. That’s because extra super big balls aren’t gifted out in any other week during the year. But on schoolies week, these kids feel like they’ve got nothing to lose, everything to gain and their fear disappears.


If I wasn’t sure we were living the dream – from the balcony this morning, directly below us, we viewed all of the sun lounges, fashioned into the unmistakable shape of dick and balls. Shooting shall we say. Well done kids, some good old penis humour clearly spans the generations.

If I have one criticism it’s the fact that none of the punks move out of your way. They just stand. In packs. Blocking everybody. Um guys and gals, I’m pretty sure you were taught manners in respect during the last 13 years. Demonstrate it. Other than that, enjoy your time, get loose, get ready and suck down those midoris, because come next week, life begins and those balls, well, they return to normal.