Wednesday, July 28, 2010

SHE SELLS SANCTUARY



OK.  Disclaimer.  Best advised not to read this around lunch time.  Or Breakfast time.  Or Dinner time.  In fact, let’s just put out a blanket warning that the following discussion of poo, wee, farts and unidentified stains may put you off your food.  Righteo then, let’s go.

I am writing here today about the sad loss I have recently suffered.   Something I held very dear to my heart and it has been rudely taken away from me by the people I love the most.  That something, is my toilet time.   Now, stay with me, it won’t be overly gross, wait, scratch that, it may be a little gross, but the lack of “me” time on the loo is hampering my ability to both function and parent without losing my shit.  Literally.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, going to the toilet gave either myself or Phil, Carte Blanche to spend as much time in there, as we wanted.  I vividly remember the days when I would see him desperately trying to scope out something to read and thinking to myself, oh bless, we won’t be seeing him for the next 30 minutes or so.

But then we moved here.  To the house with one toilet.  And the good times no longer rolled.  It was like all three children developed a special built in radar that activated their dire need to crap, the minute either Phil or I sat down for some quality time on the toilet.
 

It got to the point where I seriously considered setting up a ticketing system like the ones they have in the Deli at Coles.   Number 61, what can I get you?   Oh, a half a kilo of shit and a splash of urine thanks.   But then again, this wouldn’t work.  When you gotta go, you gotta go and I’m sad to say, our shower copped it more than once.   Children and already opened  bowels take on a world of their own. 

My biggest mistake was thinking that when we acquired our second toilet (after living with one between  5 people for 3 years) that I would find my sanctuary once again.    I can truly say that there is no such place in this house.  It’s like there is an open all hours sign plastered to my forehead  and a flickering open for inspection sign hung above the toilet door when I enter. 

It starts the minute I wake up, with the kitten using my leg as a scratching  post while I have  my first wee of the day.  This is also the time Jack bounds out of his room to tell me “I awake Mummy, I had a dood (good) sleep” and simultaneously hugs me as my pants sit around my ankles.  


Generally Sam will be roused and will come in to tell me, about 2 inches from my face, that he would like a milo and that he will be in the “new room”.  Then I force him to give me a kiss good morning.  Keeping in mind, I am yet to leave the toilet seat at this stage.   Before I do, there are approximately  seven more questions about where each of them are going that day, who will be picking them up and what will be for dinner that night. 

I could lock the door, but what would be the point.  There would just be constant knocks on the door and lots of “Muuuuum, what are you doing???  A number one or a number two?”  Then, inevitably a WWF styled brawl involving at least two of them would erupt on the tiles outside.

In fact, the whole point of the toilet is becoming redundant.  Take last night for instance.  The kids were well and truly in bed, I tucked the paper under my arm, went into the loo, shut the door, sat down and then proceeded to  shall we say, let a few wind parcels go.  That's when I hear Phil say this from outside the toilet door “Orrrrh, Ya right?!!”  Jesus, if I can’t fart in the freaking TOILET, where can I?

Perhaps it’s time to reacquaint him with the cupcake fart I perfected for my brother so many years ago.  Oh yes, I am a layyddeeee.

Oh and the unidentified stain I mentioned in the beginning?  Still unidentified but it’s a toss up between vegemite or it's suspicious lookalike.  Told you to hold off eating.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

DAMN YOU BRITNEY, RIGHT AGAIN.


I write this as Maddison (10 turning 35) sits in her room and sulks.   No doubt there are tears and silent curses that are inspired by me and a great deal of wishing herself into a world of glittering unicorns and cooler mothers. 

To be honest, I always wondered when “it” would happen and now I know.  “It" being, turning from a sweet girl into a hormonal tween who to quote Britney Spears , "Is not a girl, but not yet a woman”.

And the fact that she goes from calm to ridiculous in 0-30 seconds is what is spinning Phil and I out the most.  More than once we have just turned and looked at each other and silently mouthed “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT!!!?”  Hurricane Maddie, that’s what.

The smallest of events are setting her off.  She goes postal when one of her brothers looks at the wrong way. She starts mean, convoluted rants directed at them for sitting too close to her on the communal couch.  She is constantly telling me I am being “so unfair”.  ZOMG you guys, you should see how she behaves when I have the audacity to tell her to hop off the computer. Then there’s the whine when at bedtime (a very generous bedtime I might add) that she hasn't stayed up long enough.  You name it, I am the mother who is not only unreasonable in my requests to keep her room semi-clean, but also the very same that failed to produce her sisters instead of brothers.

To be fair, these explosions are only happening 25% of the time and have only  started in the last 3 months or so.  I get it,  I mean I was a young lady with raging hormones once. Ask Phil and he’ll probably tell you not a lot has changed except I can no longer call myself a young lady.


Currently the sulk fest is due to the fact I’ve just nixed her chances to go to the movies as was the plan for our lazy Sunday. Dad’s at cricket all day and I had suggested we finally go and see Toy Story 3.  Immediately she wasn’t  keen “I want to see Shrek, Toy Story doesn’t interest me”.  Interesting.  See all I hear there is “I” and “me”, which sucks for her because we have 5 people in this family so it’s never going to be all about her. 

Anyway, the inane details of her subsequent spiteful behaviour directed squarely at Sam for no particular reason doesn’t matter.  The fact that she seems  so intent on choosing the unhappy side of the line and not the positive one is what bothers me most.

So she’s in her room having a little think about it.  Meanwhile, the movie won’t be happening because even though on most occasions, I’ve given in (because I usually want to go more than them) I think today it is time to prove my point. 

I know this is small fry so far, but I am so scared if I don’t get on top of it from the start, I won’t be able to find my way back in when it matters most.
 

Yes I anticipated there would be mood swings and teen related grief of some kind, but I guess I just didn’t expect it this soon. There is no way in the freaking world I would have second guessed my mother or slammed my door in a fit of misguided rage at the age of ten. 

Or is my memory selective?


I vaguely remember desperately wanting a fluro "Choose Life" shirt and sulking my way into the Guinness World Records when instead she got me a cheaper knock-off midriff top that said “YES” on it.  Apparently my mother was a pimp.    



There is also photographic evidence of me pulling an atrocious stance outside Dreamworld because I didn’t want to go home.  Hmm, maybe Maddison hasn’t fallen so far from the Apple tree after all.

Are these hormones and mood swings fightable though?  Or should I just strap myself in and hold on tight?

Love to know of past and present experiences.




I particularly like wet noodle

Thursday, July 22, 2010

DADDY DEAREST





My dad wasn’t a great man.  Nor was he even a good man.  He was a man I really knew little about.  Whether that is my fault or his, will forever be unknown.

He was an alcoholic.  A two pot screamer by all accounts, but an alcoholic none-the-less.  Depending on who you listen to, he was either a top bloke, a bum or a misunderstood genius.

My mother and father married late-ish in life.  They adopted us even later.  In fact, my mother said she was fully aware of his drinking problem in between adopting my brother and I, yet her desire for one more child was so strong, she begged him to keep it together, at least until after they got me.  

The thing is, growing up, it didn’t even occur to me when he played ‘Up there Cazaly’ 140 times a night and started arguing with himself in a darkened room, that something was up.  And you know why? Because it’s all we ever knew.  It was our normal.

But of course it was anything but normal.  Mum knew this. She knew he was drinking heavily, getting increasingly abusive and contributing zero to the family unit in both money and time.   She also knew about the incoming threats to her children from Dad’s disgruntled clients.  

Somewhere around the time I turned ten, three things happened, my granddad passed away.  He had lived with us and had dementia.  Mum was his full time carer.  He was both hard to handle and getting aggressive.  Secondly, Dad threw a plate at her head and manhandled my brother and I.  The third, was seeing Dad being busted for stealing money from the church collection plates. The same church where my brother and I had often helped him collect money, oblivious to our father’s shameful and disgraceful behaviour.   It was all too much for Mum.

Years later of course, I realised this is when Mum had a nervous breakdown.  We as children, were shielded from this in such a way, it truly is a testament to her character.

She found the strength to have him legally kicked out and apart from one family wedding, and my Engagement Party, they never crossed paths again.  As for us kids, there were intermittent birthday cards, a phone call here and there, but nothing more.

He died in 1997.  Believed to be lung cancer.  He smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish.  It was either going to be the liver or the lungs that would kill him.

That of course, wasn’t the end.  After he died, my mother, my brother, my fiancĂ© and myself cleaned out his caravan, his home for the previous 11 years.  Dad was a hoarder.  He was obviously very sick before he sought help and clearly close to death inside that caravan. 

All four of us spent a day clearing out the rubbish.  In between the empty goon casks and nuclear resistant cockroaches, we found sealed buckets of faeces and vomit of undeterminable age in takeaway containers.  I cannot describe the smell.  The fact that my husband became my husband after that day, says a lot about his character.

I know it’s sad that he lived that way.  That he was sick with a disease and addiction that is as bad, if not worse, than any other drug addiction out there.  You know, I even found a tattered, rat eaten picture of my brother and I inside of a book he had half read.  I wondered if he, in moments of clarity, thought about what he had lost due to his shitful affliction.    But fuck me if I could cry when I sat and listened to all the glowing praises he received during his full requiem mass funeral.  Not chosen by us obviously. 

My mother sat stone faced.  I didn’t cry.  I don’t recall who was there, what was said and what went on after it.  I just know I was pissed off.  Pissed off that in death, as in life, Dad had made Mum suffer again. 

I look at my own life now.  I know a couple of things.  I know I am very lucky.  I know my children will never know a world where their father chooses a substance over them.   I know that a loving and dedicated father will be their normal.

I also know Mum was stronger than I would ever have been.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

THE INTERVIEW



So this isn't original.  In fact I swiped it off Jodie at Mummy-Mayhem who I think may have in turn, borrowed it from another great blogger.  It's an interview with my children.  Maddie 10, Sam 8 and Jack 3.



Can I urge you to do the same.  Even if you don't write or blog.  Ask the questions, write them down and update them when you remember. Then give them to your children when they grow up.


I wish I had an insight into my own ten year old mind.  Although it probably would have been all about my anguish over my shameful decision to cut my hair like a boy and desperate desire to read Dolly magazine. 




1. What do you want to do when you grow up?

  • 10yo: A teacher.  (Good choice, heaps of holidays and job security)
  • 8yo:  A Train Driver.  (Nice, just be weary of that bastard fat controller)
  • 3yo: A grownup.  (Probably the longest shot of all. Who want's to be a grownup when you actually have to be?)
2. How old are you?

  • 10yo: Ten turning eleven (most important to clarify at this age)
  • 8yo: 8
  • 3yo: 3

3. How old am I? 

  • 10yo: 35 (Correct)
  • 8yo: 10 (Sucking up. I like it)
  • 3yo:  4 (Going too far, I can spot a teachers pet a mile away)

4. How old is Dad?

  • 10yo: 38 (Also true.)
  • 8yo: 81 (Bwahahhaha)
  • 3yo: 4 (At least he's not my sugar daddy)

5. What do you like most about school/daycare?

  • 10yo: English (Good girl.  Now just write another Twilight saga and we can retire on the beach)
  • 8yo: Integrated Studies (This could be a made up subject)
  • 3yo: Chocolate.  (Hmmm, that's the reason he's off tap when I pick him up)

6. What do you like to do outside?

  • 10yo: Talk to friends (And recreate Bold & the Beautiful Style dramas I believe)
  • 8yo: Play on the playground (I'm guessing this doesn't include the the time he broke his arm into two separate pieces)
  • 3yo: Playing Tennis/Raking Dirt (I can see why these two would be a close call)


7. What do you like to do inside? 

  • 10yo: Watch TV (True Dat)
  • 8yo: Work (The Nike Sweatshop has nothing on us apparently)
  • 3yo: Hanging out in my room (Stockholm syndrome, he's often relegated there for being a turd)



8. What is your favourite toy? 

  • 10yo: My DS.
  • 8yo: My Lego
  • 3yo: Batman


9. What is your favourite game?

  • 10yo: Monopoly (Until she starts to lose that is, then it sucks the big one)
  • 8yo: Lego
  • 3yo: Batman


10. Do you have a favourite TV show? 

  • 10yo: Modern Family (Mine too)
  • 8yo: Tom & Jerry (Sam is a T & J freak)
  • 3yo: Batman (Hmm, recurring theme?)


11. Do you have a favourite movie?

  • 10yo: Eclipse (Twilight) 
  • 8yo: Transformers (Because ultimately, Sam Morley would like to be Sam Witwicky)
  • 3yo: Batman (I think he thinks he's Robin)


12. Do you have a favourite book?

  • 10yo: Eclipse (Pasty vampires & love triangles, perhaps I should start censoring)
  • 8yo: Tornadoes (Infatuated with natural disasters)
  • 3yo: Batman  (Enough with the batman)


13. What's your favourite colour?

  • 10yo: Purple
  • 8yo: Red
  • 3yo: Green, Black and White (Why not?)


14. What's your favourite number?

  • 10yo: 100
  • 8yo: 1
  • 3yo: 3 - that's my birfday Mum. 


15. What's your favourite food?

  • 10yo: Pasta Bake (Which we NEVER have)
  • 8yo: Apples
  • 3yo: Batman Food


16. What is something that is really good for you?

  • 10yo: Bananas
  • 8yo: A haircut. (Let's face it, a bloody good one can lift your spirits)
  • 3yo: Not hitting (Yes son, good because you spend less time incarcerated in your room)


17. Do you have a favourite friend?

  • 10yo: Alissa
  • 8yo: Zack
  • 3yo: Georgia (Also can be classified as his girlfriend)


18. What time do you usually go to bed? 

  • 10yo: 9pm (On a slack night, true)
  • 8yo: 9:30pm (Um, maybe in fantasy land)
  • 3yo: 54 (Still working on the whole time concept)


19. What time do you wake up? 

  • 10yo: 7am (Unless of course no one wrestles her out of bed, then anywhere up until midday)
  • 8yo: When Jack wakes me up (Correctamundo.  Ditto for the rest of the family)
  • 3yo: When Mum & Dad wake up (deluded)


20. Anything else you’d like to add?

  • 10yo: No
  • 8yo: My favourite science is Hurricane  (Well hop to it and learn to read Storm Chaser)
  • 3yo: I like playing in the playground. (I wonder why he forgot to mention how much he loves to block the toilet with unidentified objects?)


Thanks for reading, direct me to yours if you do something similar :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

C'MON BABY LIGHT MY FIRE


I feel like the world is conspiring against me at the moment.  I cannot, for the life of me, get the time to sit down and write a blog.


Is this the Universe's way of telling me to STFU?  Well I will not be silenced Universe, not even when you throw fire balls at me.


For the last 4 nights, I have been up until 12pm each night bookkeeping for a friend who owns a Specsavers.  Believe me, the irony that my eyes are getting shitter because I am staring at tiny numbers on a computer screen, doing books for an optometrist, is not at all lost on me.


And when I began doing her books,  her business was only starting up, the hours of my input minimal and I didn't blog.


Now, four years later, her business is a national chain, it takes about 15 hours to input and I enjoy writing WAAAAYY more.  That said, suck it up Bern and think about the unpaid bills folder. 


So, the fireballs you ask.  Slight exaggeration, but it does sound exciting no?


Well funny story.  Not funny ha ha, but funny, in a "that is truly shithouse" kind of way.


Maddison had her first "boy" party today.  The ratio in fact was 10 boys to 2 girls.  Scary odds at any age. Luckily it was all very innocent and at a bowling alley with his parents in attendance.  Maddie's best friends Mum offered to take her her home with them after it finished, so I didn't have to rush back, with the option to pick her up anytime tonight.  No problem.  What could go wrong.  Fireballs. That's what could go wrong.



I set off to get her and driving up the hill to their house I was thinking, Jesus, the fog is thick up here. (I truly am a brain surgeon)  As I drove over the top of the peak I saw the flashing lights of multiple emergency vehicles.  And my gut just dropped.  I don't know why, but my immediate thought was, holy shit, there's a siege.  Hmmm, perhaps I'm watching a little too much police based TV. 


Then I noticed the flames. Even then I only stopped the car because the firetruck had blocked the road.  I parked and walked up the hill to Maddies friends house, 5 letterboxes away.  They were oblivious to what was happening down the road,  but the drama proved too enticing and they all walked back down to the action.  



Oh did I mention I had bought Jack, the three year old with me for the drive.  No?  Because of course in my grand plan of picking up Mad, I also thought he may drop off to sleep on the drive.  


Anyway, all 4 kids became virtual CSI experts on the spot.  "Oh, it would have been laser light spinner they have on the wall.  If heat hits it, it explodes"  said one.    "No, I think it was the TV, the new ones just blow up for no good reason".  Really.



All I knew was that the house was on-fucking-fire.  Big time.  I've never seen fire that close, well apart from like a camp fire.  The difference being, you could roast the whole pascall factory on this one.  Embers were flying everywhere, explosions were going off and you know where 100 on-lookers were standing?  Right in front of it all.  Like virtual moths to a flame.  Except instead of moths, we were all just dim-witted sticky beaks. 



Luckily no one was home.  The dog was rescued and at this stage, the same kid who reckons there was dodgy laser light spinner on the wall (I call bullshit on that btw) also reckoned there was a kitten in there as well.  I hope not. 



So even though it was lovely standing around listening to the majority of neighbours chewing on  conspiracy theories about insurance jobs (the house was for sale), I just wanted to get the hell home.  Unfortunately, in very stern words though, I was told by one very hot looking fireman (is it a prerequisite that you must be better looking than George Clooney to get a job as a Fireman?) that my car was a no go zone.  So we just had to wait it out.



So, long story very long, we got home, just 3 hours later than I had first planned.  George Clooney Number 2 snuck us through the makeshift operation centre and waved us off.  Jack, fell asleep and Maddie analysed every single moment of the night, over and over and over again.



So Universe, we do have another party to go to tomorrow and would appreciate if you could redirect any natural disasters or apocalyptic style events for at least one day.  Right now though I smell like a pack of Winnie Blues, so am off to have a shower. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

BOY VS GIRL



Right now, there is a huge debate raging over a couples decision to scientifically choose the sex of their baby because, after having three boys, they want a girl.  Now, this is illegal in Australia so, to bypass this, they have decided to fly to Bangkok and make their dream of having a daughter and their desire to provide a sister for their three sons, a reality.

 

Now I’ll sit on the fence and get splinters in my arse about whether I think this is cool or not.  Mainly because I have a girl and two boys.  Therefore, I don’t know anything about wanting for anything other than what I was lucky enough to receive, the best of both worlds.
 
 

I want to touch more on what possibly people think they may be missing out on if they only end up with only one sex.  Is there really a major difference between having  boys and girls though?  Sure, one has a penis, one has a vagina.  Is one smarter than the other because of its gender?  Definitely not.  If you have a girl, does mean she’ll never want to go fishing with her dad. Nope.  If you have a boy, does that mean you won’t have a shopping buddy.  Um, hello, I swear this worlds economy could be sustained on hair products sourced by the young men of today alone, so nope again.  Do I believe my daughter cannot be the leader of this country all because she was born a female, absolutely not.    

I can tell you though; regardless of sex they will all:

  • Cry so hard as a baby you think they will damage themselves 
  • Make you feel like you would sell your soul for an entire nights uninterrupted sleep
     
  • Have at least one explosive diarrhea incident
     
  • Get into trouble with a teacher
     
  • Have to do cross country and hate every minute of it.
     
  • Projectile vomit from the doorway of their bedroom.
     
  • Lie about where they have been, especially if it involves drinking passion pop at the school carnival. (Or so I’ve heard)
     
  • Inflict physical pain on a sibling that in normal circumstances would see them charged with assault.
     
  • Never be told by their parents they can't sing out of tune.
     
  • Request Toot, Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car, just one time too many.
     
  • Not leave home when you expect it.
     
  • More than likely return home at least once after they’ve moved out.
     
  • Have a minor bingle in their car being a dickhead.
     
  • Be a victim of bullying
     
  • Want to be the cool kid.
     
  • And last but not least, practice tongue pashing kissing on their pillow. 

 

The thing is, every family is different.  Every combination is what makes each family unique.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I had three girls or three boys.  Would I have stopped?  Kept going until I got what I wanted?  Charted my cycle, followed some voodoo?  Well, actually, I probably would have kept on going except my ever vigilant husband spotted this and booked himself in for the schnip the minute we had the all clear with number 3, Mr Jack. 



I grew up with one brother.  During the years we have fought, hugged, punched on, loved, kissed and told each other to go and stick objects where the sun don’t shine.  I honestly think you could ask any gender sibling combination and they would say the same. 


I still distinctly remember him refusing to stay home one Mothers day,  choosing instead to go surfing with his mates.  So I went into his room and wrote in very small letters onto as many his treasured Oakley posters that were plastered on his wall “ingrate” and “stay home pig”.  I also took sips of his secretly stashed Contreau.   We laugh about it now, but if he was a girl, would this scenario be any different?  Nope. I don’t think so.

 

My friend tells me she kicked in the toilet door on her sister when they were in their teens because of some minor argument.  Sound like something boys would do?  Think again.

 

The thing I’ve found is that it’s personality, not gender that defines people.  I want to enjoy my kids for what they are, unique individuals.  Sure, my boys may not  be future sports stars  and my daughter more than likely will not be a ballet dancer,  but to be honest, I reckon the fact that I have living, breathing souls with heartbeats I can hear when I press my ear to their chests, is enough for me.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

CLIP CLOPPING THE MIDDLE FINGER


Three things I cannot cop: Bieber Fever, People driving in the bus lane and Cyclists taking over the road.

 

OK, I reckon my displeasure with Bieber Fever resonates with the majority.  Unless you’re a 12 year old girl or Usher.  From all accounts, he is an arrogant little helmet hair headed infiltrator who has taken over my daughters bedroom walls.  Oh and he’s in deep shit once his voice cracks.

 

My hatred towards bus lane abuse runs deep.  I think it may have started when I saw a certain ex crazy mobile phone shop owner gunning his ridiculously accessorised  Porsche up a bus lane in Broadbeach.  It was him.  Because his name was on his numberplate.  Although if his numberplate had said wanker, I still would have identified him.  The thing is, these lanes are for buses, taxis or limos, not tossers who are too impatient to wait their turn in the other two lanes allocated to them.  I make it my mission in life to straddle that lane if I spot one coming in the rear view mirror.

 

Another similar example is driving in a 2P (must have more than two or more people in the car) transit lane when there is only one of you.   A certain high flying Gold Coast restaurant owner,  who has his surname blatantly displayed on his personalised numberplate must,  like Lindsay Lohan, think he is above the law and takes his Mercedes convertible the whole way up the 2P lane alone.  Perhaps he could teach Jason Derulo a few things about  riding solo.  Is this arrogance or ignorance?  Both?  That's not to say the average bogan in his 1990 commodore isn't burning up the inside illegally also, it's just that I notice the ones who advertise themselves so prominently more.

 

OK, onto the third: Cyclists.  My neighbour across the road, is a cyclist.  He does triathlons and is super fit.  And he’s a really top bloke.  (G'day Nick)  Plus, he’s just a really normal guy.  Which surprised me because I had all cyclists lumped in the same category of “rude dickheads”.  That will teach me to judge a book and all that. 

 

So bear with me while I talk about my aversion to the ones that should most definitely be rounded up and dumped into that rude dickhead clique.  You know the ones. They ride four abreast across a vehicle lane clearly ignoring the general traffic behind them.  Imagine if my friend and I decided we wanted to have a little chat and drive footloose style in our cars, side by side, discussing the weather.  Would anyone have a problem with that?  You bet your sweet lycra ballbearing unitards they would.

 

Perhaps my disdain comes from hearing those special cyclists shoes come clip clopping across the fucking cobbled pavers every time I sit down and try to have a quiet coffee at my local cafe.    Although I think it undoubtedly just comes back to the fact that when some of them ride, they are only one step short of giving everyone else on the road the finger and making what should be a relatively safe environment, dangerous. 

 

I have no problem with people cycling and keeping fit. Go for it. In fact, put in an extra peddle for me.  Just stay off the bit that is meant for cars.  That way we can all get home safe.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

REALITY CHECK



Exhibit A – See that photo to your right?  That’s how Sam sees me.  A multicoloured,  big nosed, stick wielding crazy lady who has petrified red hair and clearly likes her Champagne.  The resemblance is uncanny.

 

This version of me was made at vacation care today.  The kids have been there all week with the highlight being a day at Currumbin Sanctuary and the lowlight, well, I’m guessing it was the day they made the kites that don’t fly.  It’s a necessary evil but to be quite honest, to me, it looks kind of cool. They have a cinema area, pool table, fooz ball, massive playground and on most days, awesome activities to partake in.   Yet my kids loathe it.   Especially Maddie.   Oh except for the day they had the chocolate fountain and fairy floss machine. She was pretty keen to get there that day.

 

I swear to god though, school holidays seem to come around quicker than a Ben Cousins drug scandal.  I notice it particularly more now that I have to pay school fees every term.  No sooner have I paid one bill, it feels like the next one lands in my inbox.  I mean, jebus, we are over half way through the freaking year!  Excuse me why I have a total Nanna moment here and ask “Where the hell has the year gone?”
 
 

As I said above, my kids have to be palmed off to Vacation Care with Phil and I both at work  and  even though our bosses are awesome, I think we would be pushing the friendship if we asked for a combined 14 weeks off per year.    So it’s what we do.

 

The problem is that, we as parents, feel almost obligated to make sure our children are entertained at all times.  Not only that, we take it as personal affront if our children tell us they’re bored.   We throw Wii’s and DS’s at them and in some instances, iphones.  Oh yeah, we pull out the big guns. (Note:  my children do not have iphones.  In fact they will not be getting a mobile phone  until they can pay their own bills*).   And even though I pull out the old chestnut “Well if you’re so bored, I’ll get out  all those games and toys you own and give them to someone who wants them”, I still have this insipid urge to want to make them, well, unbored.  Yes, that’s right,  I just made a word.

 

I read recently this is basically a problem of my generation.  Certainly wasn’t  a problem of my mothers.  For 6 solid weeks every Christmas, bar Christmas Day, we had to entertain ourselves.  That meant lots of running around the streets, swimming unsupervised, turning into lobsters due to lack of sunscreen, trading Star Wars cards at the local shop and talking to imaginary friends under the mango tree.  Idyllic really, now I think about it.

 

Sadly we can’t just shove the kids out the gate in the morning  with the blind faith they will return on sundown anymore.  I mean what if someone takes them? What if they get hit by a car?  Imagine the headlines: Mother just left them to their own devices FOR AN ENTIRE DAY!
What did she think was going to happen? 

 

Actually I did take the first week of these holiday off to spend with the kids.  Turns out the older they get, the harder it is to agree on what makes a top day out.  To Sam,  a great day entails going to JB Hi-Fi, going to the Sushi Train and returning straight home to have a Myth Busters marathon – alone.   Maddie however would prefer to see a movie, at a movie theatre, preferably about pasty vampires whilst simultaneously taking a stab at breaking the Guinness World Record for M & M consumption in a two hour period.   Jack, well Jack is like a wild animal.  As long as he gets to run around and dominate someone weaker, he’s pretty happy. 

 

So it was a case of each of them getting a little bit of what they wanted.  Sam his Mythbusters, Maddie her Eclipse and Jack, world sibling domination.  Win Win.


Please read these two hilarious blogs about School Holidays at Sharpest Pencil and Mummy Mayhem.   They inspired me to write about about this topic today.  But before you do, maybe tell me about your fondest or even your worst school holiday memory.


*I reserve the right to change my mind and cave into peer pressure when she starts High School

Sunday, July 4, 2010

LIFESTYLES OF THE (NOT SO) RICH AND THE (NOT SO) FAMOUS



I read today that Britney Spears ex security guard has dobbed her into the Australian version of DOCS for allegedly taking to her two small boys with a belt and feeding them food that caused them to react violently to their allergies.


Now if this is true, shame on you Brit, not cool.  But to be honest, I always had this idea in my head that the rich and famous kind of just well, you know, avoided all the hard stuff.

 
I mean doesn’t she have minions to get cross at her kids?  And cooks who just organise nutritional meals 24/7? After arsenic hour is complete, I’d like to think she just drifts on in ready with warm and loving hugs whilst accompanied by soft violins and candlelight.   Isn’t that what separates her life from mine? 

 
I guess I’m only wondering this because today I awoke to the sweet, sweet smell of faeces.  Well, actually no, scrap that, I firstly awoke to Maddie whispering loudly about 2 inches from my face “MUM!  Jack has done a poo on the toilet floor”.  My eyes flicked open quicker than Kevin Rudd called the removalists.

“What?” 

Maddie, almost apologetically mumbled “Sam is running around out in the hallway saying he can’t POSSIBLY use the toilet”.  Newsflash Sam, we have two toilets; Dad installed the other one over a month ago.

 
Still, I had that sinking feeling.  Turns out that feeling was justified.  There on our poo brown tiles (note – white grout), was a slightly darker shade of poo.  And it was mushed like mashed potato.   I, as a fully grown adult have never, as far I as I can remember, crapped out something as large as my three year old managed to today.    Perhaps I should stop right now and tell you, lovely reader, I’m about to massively over share.  Actually maybe I should have done that about two paragraphs ago.

 
Imagine being in your pyjamas with copious amounts of sleep in your eyes, three children inexplicably hovering around the mountain of poo whilst simultaneously trying to keep the kitten from eating said mountain, all the while struggling to work out what in the fuck is going on.   Well, that was me. 

 
Now, for some reason, I don’t reckon the Britstar has found herself in this kind of situation.  I’m pretty sure that shit (literally) would have been cleaned up well and truly before she arose from her slumber.  Nor would there be a rude awakening to find the kitten pissing on the folded washing in the corner.   But maybe I’m making wild assumptions here.


Maybe Brit is a hands on “Mom” and gets up at sunrise when her children do.  Perhaps just like me, she wakes up hearing Lego men being dropped like bombs onto her timber floor.  Perhaps she gets up and makes them early morning Milo and gets quite cross when, for the fourth morning in a row, one child cannonballs themselves into the other whilst holding that Milo. 

 
Do we just imagine the rich and the famous live such different lives to us?  Surely no amount of money gets you out childbirth of some description?  Surely no amount of cred means you don’t have to wipe your own bum?  And like any other mother, I imagine she loses her shit from time to time.  Actually I reckon we (the common people) are lucky to some degree.  We don’t have a third party stranger watching us 24/7 who sees us lose our patience, sometimes unfairly, with the little ones.  No one is generally there who keeps a keen eye on say, our meal choices and tut-tuts when we decide a pie & chips night is the best we can manage.  
 

I always marvel at Oprahs fluctuating weight.  I mean, I excuse my weight gain and lack of organic, healthy eating by blaming my innate lack of ability to plan and my complete busyness.  Surely, as the richest woman IN THE FREAKING WORLD, she could just employ someone to prepare really healthy yet tasty food and then just pay someone to whirl her round on an Ab-King Pro?

I digress.
 

The point is, we all lose our shit from time to time and hey, stand too close to my front door on some days and you may well hear what sounds like a screaming banshee with its arse on fire.  That would be me, telling off my kids for one reason or another.     Sure, not all of us shave our heads in front of millions and/or lose custody of our kids, and to be honest, if I see another photo of her having a ciggie above her kids head, I may very well go postal myself, but the point is, not one of us can say we are without fault. Can we?