I remember looking around and wondering where to begin. It was all so new. All so foreign to me. I looked over at my baby son, snoozing in his capsule, unaware that he had just moved to a new home. A new house that would be closer to his sick grandmother, yet further away from the friends we had always believed he would be surrounded with. That this, his new abode, was merely a shell. And that his parents, in what could only be explained as sleep deprived insanity, had purchased a house to renovate that on closer inspection, was probably more demolish-able than renovate-able.
The instructions that morning, that very first morning in our new house, were pretty simple - nothing was to be left on the newly laid timber floors. Sure. I could do that. So I picked up the broom and began the task of well, sweeping.
I looked out the window across the road to see our neighbour making her way down the stairs, young son by her side, with what looked like an old fashioned ‘welcome to the neighbourhood pie'. That was when the baby began to stir.
I placed the broom against the wall and picked him up, his wispy hair plastered to his sweaty little head and it registered that not only was it hot, for some ridiculous reason, ALL of the windows were closed. In Queensland. In Summer. As I was trying to jimmy the 40 year old window open, I saw the broom out of the corner of my eye start it’s slow decent towards the, oh shit, the new timber floor. I stuck my foot out to catch it exactly the same time as the Window started to fall out OF THE HOUSE.
So to give you an overall picture, there I stood – a baby in one arm, precarious dangling window in the other, all whilst almost doing the splits to try to stop the broom hitting the TIMBER FECKING FLOOR. I somehow managed to secure the window and was about to bend down and pick up the broom just as Phil rounded the corner, totally unaware of what had just happened. “Oh come on Bern, all I asked you do was to keep stuff off the floors!”
“Um, what did you just say?!”
“Um, what did you just say?!”
“These floors are new, nothing is allowed on them for 24 hours, I told you that!” Then he shook his head.
I stared at him in what could only be described as enraged disbelief as he started to reiterate his point.That is the exact moment that living with his parents for the past 7 weeks, the homesickness, the enormity of what we had taken on, culminated into quite the unladylike explosion. As expletives streamed out of my mouth at unnecessary volume, I turned to see our new neighbour at the curb, dropped jaw, her hands fiercely protecting her son's ears. She simply turned on her heel and returned home.
Oh. My. God. We were THAT family. And yet, yet, we weren't. Usually.
Bear with me – this does have a point. Of sorts.
See, that neighbour, the lady with the pie, she did eventually speak to me and strangely, she is the one I have to thank for introducing me the world of Blogging. I mean, she didn’t warm to me straight away, but I’m guessing she was won over by the small acknowledgment waves I enthusiastically doled out each morning and the lack of full blown domestics in our home.
After some time, she told me all about her blog. So I checked it out.
It was super crafty, had perfect photos of her perfect boys floating down wooden stairs to a perfect beach. There were short tales of idyllic family outings to museums and places of further education. Her recipes were non fat, non sugar, non fun. There were posts about the disgusting habits of parents that had children with headlice. And the evils of the school canteen. We were fed images of her child genius playing the piano wearing homemade clothes having had just finished a home school lesson all the while devouring lettuce wrapped in prosciutto.
Meantime, her real story was more like a parallel universe. Her 4 year old was still soiling his pants. Daily. She was known to call her husband home from work to deal with “this”. Both of her boys ate more sugar and yellow food colouring than my children have seen in their LIFETIME. Her husband would sneak over and ask to have a beer because he “wasn’t allowed to have alcohol". Her children gave my children nits. The hypocrisy was amazing.
And her hypocrisy annoyed me. And it annoyed me because she had people not only believing that her perceived perfection was easy, but they were somehow inadequate if they were failing to achieve the same. Ultimately though, it annoyed me because the only person she was lying to, was herself.
So that is initially why I started So Now What? I wanted to represent a realistic take on life in suburbia as a married, working parent of three. To prove that it ISN’T always perfect. And it’s not ever predictable. But it *is* always real.
As part of the Kidspot Top 50 Bloggers competition, I have been required to write this post that will be my entry. As such, I had to explain how my journey into blogging started and what sets me apart from the others Bloggers nominated. This is the hard bit. Why am I am more deserving to win the AMAZING trip to New York City (Oh, just my ALL TIME fantasy destination) to attend 2012 BlogHer and a Ford Territory to drive for a year. I'm guessing *now* wouldn't be the right time to mention the whole sideswiping incident though, no so won’t be doing that.
As to what sets me apart from the other 49 I stand alongside? Probably not a whole helluva lot. We all love what we do and do it to tell our own, unique stories and share our experiences.
But, OH, also to note, if you vote for me, you could win 5,000 big ones just for clicking a button. So even if you think I’m a grammatically incorrect moron, don’t let that stand in the way of your own potential win.
Plus, check out my competition, I am in outstanding company.