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Archive for March, 2009

The other Sunday, as I was dropping off Mr Justice at a playdate, I found myself grumbling out loud about how I was supposed to be going food shopping next with the other two children and how I resented doing this on the weekend because I could do the shopping with Pixie and Tiddles any day and, any way, weekends were supposed to be different from weekdays, otherwise What’s. The. Bloody. Point. 

Mr C, who politely listened to my little rant, patted me on my arm and gently suggested that I give up the distinction between weekday and weekend because it might make me happier. 

And at that moment, I saw the days stretch out in front of me as far as the eye could see and I almost fell over with the endlessness of it all. It took me back to those early days as a First Time Mother, carrying Mr Justice around a local park, looking at other older children and thinking “The parents of those children survived…” and feeling like I might just not be able to myself because I could hardly breathe through the crush of unrelenting responsibility for this small angry creature from Jim Henson’s Workshop that I was holding.

And that was before I knew the full weight of it. That there would be wave after wave of requests and demands from that small creature – and the others that followed him – for sandwiches without crusts and drinks with heart-shaped ice and a dash of pink food-colouring in the blue-and-white plastic cup and NOT the white-and-blue one, thank you very much, and for comprehensive entertainment programmes for each day without one single minute left unscheduled in case someone actually got Bored for a minute, if you don’t mind, and for new shoes whose soles seem to have worn-through before we’ve even left the shop we bought them in, while you’re at it.

Of course nobody often says those things in italics, but their gratitude is inferred in their smiles and the way that when Daddy comes home they still want Mummy-Books and Mummy-Teeth and Mummy-Huggles, Mummy-Eskimo-Kisses-In-Bed and, of course, Mummy-Poos (which I hasten to add is where I act as Door Sentry while they do the ablutions – oh, why, oh why did I never manage to have just one child who was a Solo-Pooer?).

Overwhelming.

Nope, I’m clinging to this weekend concept for as long as I can, I said to myself as I drove off with my screaming children in the back into the car. And adhering to the “a change is as good as a holiday” rule, I decided to do my food shopping at a different supermarket.

Nobody can accuse me of not knowing how to have a good time. Nobody.

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The last time I had a consultation appointment with my oral surgeon, he told me about how one of his patients blew her nose four weeks after surgery and burst a major artery. And then he laughed. 

It’s not the kind of thing that fills you with confidence, especially when this particular surgeon’s surname resembles the noise made by a cash register as it’s opened. In fact, the only thing that was possibly missing from that whole scenario was that he hadn’t walked into the room waving and saying, in a semi-strangled voice, “Hi, everybody! I’m Doctor Nick!”.

But yes, “Dr Nick” is my very own oral surgeon and one who has apparently got a very good reputation – at least according to my dentist, who mostly likes him because Dr Nick’s charging structure makes my dentist look like he’s merely asking for your loose change in comparison.

In any case, I’ve only got myself to blame for all this oral surgery caper. It takes a Very Special Person Indeed to stoically ignore dental pain as long I did before finally taking action and one could argue that the resulting pain, inconvenience and cost justifies why I avoided the dentist so long in the first place. Except we all know that it doesn’t quite work like that and I really do only have myself to blame. Which is a shame. 

And so last week, I went kicking and screaming (on the inside) to Dr Nick’s city surgery to have him perform the second of three (currently foreseeable) procedures upon my person: one of my back molars was being removed under “intravenous sedation”, a drugged state that can best be described as General Anaesthetic Lite.  

Now, it is a little known fact that any time I have to have an anaesthetic, it is automatically deemed to be a Brown Underpants Occasion. A failed spinal block during the emergency c/section delivery of Mr Justice has somewhat spoilt the delightful practice of being stabbed to sleep with needles for me forevermore. Needles now make me nervous, and when I get nervous, I make jokes.  

Unfortunately for me, Dr Nick’s Anaesthetist seemed to have left his sense of humour at home. Either that, or he deemed laughing at my jokes a billable extra which I obviously couldn’t afford.

After failing spectacularly at raising a smile at any of my funnies, he looked at my medical history and remarked “I think I’ve seen you before.”

“I don’t know! Maybe! I can’t remember! I’m blonde!” I said a little too brightly. 

“Nobody every remembers their anaesthetist,” he replied dolefully in the kind of tone that someone might say “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.”

And then he left me in his office to wait for Dr Nick. Since I had no book or magazine to read while I waited, I ended up climbing onto the dental chair in the corner and closing my eyes – anything to a) make best use of this child-free time and b) stop looking at his impressive array of needle types and sizes. When the assistant came in half an hour later, I jumped to attention and immediately exclaimed “I was so totally not asleep just then!” in that knee-jerk “I didn’t do it!” way of mine. And you know what? I think she totally believed me. Like totally.

The dental assistant then led me through to The Chair, where Dr Nick and his Straight Man were waiting for me. Dr Nick cheerfully greeted me with some remark like “Are you ready to unleash the monsters from upstairs?” and I looked at him blankly and he and the Anaesthetist started giggling like Beavis and Butthead and I started wondering if I’d already been given the drugs already without my knowledge. Or that they had taken them instead. 

As the Anaethetist started injecting something into my veins, he explained that Dr Nick liked to refer to the anaesthetising process as “unleashing the monsters upstairs”. And it was at that moment that the wall started to behave very strangely indeed and everything went like that scene in Easy Rider when they’re tripping in the graveyard and I knew for a moment what it was like to be on the Open Road on choppers in the 1970s except that I was strapped to a dental chair in the CBD, which could well be the ‘Naughties equivalent. And then I fell asleep. 

And when I woke, after some of the Strangest Dreams Ever, my tooth was gone. But here’s the rub: apparently the bloody tooth fairy doesn’t service the over 35s – instead, she leaves you an invoice for a ridiculous amount of money. I guess she has to fund her philanthropic work with children somehow, but still… 

The moral of the story? Brush and floss your teeth, kiddies. Brush and floss. BRUSH AND FLOSS.

Else you end up at the mercy of madmen, like me. Not Cool. Not Smart. Not Safe. 

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I have long since been an avid consumer of magazines where “close pals” are constantly dishing the dirt on their famous friends. Some pals! But I never thought in a million years that I would become embroiled in a similar situation. Mostly because I’m not famous and, generally speaking, people really don’t give a shit about who I’m seen flirting with at the miniature railway or about how I was spotted stuffing my face with Popcorn Chicken while parked in my Tarago in a side street – except perhaps my husband, who might want to know why the hell I didn’t buy him any. 

Anyway, the other day, I had The Lovely Tattooed Lady and The Mild-Mannered Lawyer over for morning tea. We ended up having one of those conversations where talked a lot about penises. Even when The MML tried to change the topic by causually remarking how the packaging of Imperial Leather soap has not changed in 20 years, we still managed to get back to the X-rated stuff and some personal stories were exchanged amidst much salacious laughter and clapping of hands with glee. 

The MML was later heard to exclaim “I can’t believe a change-of-topic about soap packaging didn’t work”, possibly thinking we might end up like those people on a Brand Power ad, sitting around and earnestly discussing the latest innovations in personal grooming packaging design. But secretly, I think she was secretly relieved the conversation reverted back to penises. She was obviously just covering her arse, following her legally-trained instincts and all. 

That afternoon, the MML’s status on Facebook changed to “The MML can’t believe she has known NDM for three years but has only just discovered that she went out with a sumo wrestler.”

Whether or not it was actually true, I denied it all, of course. And then, after a few “enquiring minds need to know” comments from complete strangers, I stepped forth to clarify my initial denial to “For the record, I haven’t gone out with a sumo-wrestler during the three years that I’ve known The MML.” 

And then promptly changed my own status update to “The NDM wishes she had some dirt to dish on the MML, who is currently spreading wild rumours about her and a sumo wrestler.”

“You’ll find no dirt on me.” was the MML’s response. I swear she would have written”Mwah-ha-ha-ha” except that she is really too mild-mannered for that. 

And you know what? She was almost bloody well right about there being no dirt. Until MGK stepped up to the mark and reminded me of a rumour our entire mothers’ group had started about the MML. Apparently, she was spotted having sex with her husband in the car park of the local supermarket. Which was one of those rumours that wasn’t based on the slightest shred of evidence but instead born of copious amounts of alcohol and a Truth and Dare game.

Still, it was enough. It had to be enough. I promptly changed my status update to include this tasty titbit. 

“Oh God” was the MML’s initial mild response. Followed by a “I will get my publicist to issue a denial. You can’t believe everything ‘close pals’ say.”

It was all I could do to stop myself from hanging a MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner across the front of my house. Because, like the Bush Administration’s combat operations in Iraq, it was a dubious mission in the first place and nothing had really been accomplished. But still, there was something somewhere worth celebrating, surely. For one thing, her rumour about me was entirely true whereas mine about her was not. But it didn’t matter. 

It was a little like the end of that book “The Life of Pi” where you have to choose which version of events you want to believe: if you had to choose between believing that the MML had sex with her husband in the car park of a local supermarket OR that I rubbed fatty bits with a sumo wrestler when I was 21, which one would you choose?

No, wait. Don’t tell me. It doesn’t matter. Or so my close pals tell me to my face.

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