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Archive for June, 2009

Recycled Waste II

The second in my “Recycled Waste” series is “The Hostess With The Mostest“. Why? Because I’m the Hostess with the Mostest, of course! And also quite possibly the only person who has ever compared hosting mothers’ group with moving through the five stages of grief. 

http://notdrowning.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/the-hostess-with-the-mostest/

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Recycled Waste I

First published exactly a month after I started blogging, “On Preschool Rage” remains a firm favourite because The Pixie always gives such great sound bites and, well, I think Germaine Greer should just get over herself, quite frankly.
 
http://notdrowning.wordpress.com/2008/09/29/on-preschool-rage/

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When it comes to gauging my own emotional health, I’m very much like Mr Justice and his inability to monitor his bladder: neither of us realises we’ve pushed it too far until – oops! –  it’s too late.

In Mr Justice’s case, he starts out by adopting the “hands forward, bottom back” move favoured by chorus-line choreographers all over the globe. It’s at this point that I gently ask him if he needs to go to the toilet, to which he replies somewhat emphatically “I don’t need to go!”, all the while pushing his bottom even further back as if trying to disassociate himself from it all together. I think we all know how that particular scenario ends. 

In my case, my husband gently suggests I might like to “take a break” from blogging – to which, I reply, with my voice higher and tighter than a tight-rope, “No, no. I’m fine. I’m completely and utterly FUCKING FINE!” And then I promptly burst into tears, which is a different kind of waterworks from Mr Justice’s but a surprising release all the same. 

And so I really am going to listen to my husband for a change and take a break. Yes, you heard me: I’m going to take a whole week off blogging and go frolic in the countryside with my family far away from my computer.

But I am not forsaking you, oh loyal readership-of-three. Watch this space next week as I embody the spirit of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” and schedule a handful of choice posts from my back catalogue, one each day for your reading pleasure. But then, maybe you need a break too?

Anyway, I’ll see y’all back here on the 6th July with at least ONE new joke tucked under my belt. I promise it’ll be a doozy!

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Many years ago, when I was a “gainfully employed” person (as opposed to an “unpaid domestic house slave”), I strode purposefully from decision-making process to decision-making process, the Chicken of Persuasion firmly in my hand.

But these-a-days, my vision is constantly clouded by soul-wracking indecision.

“Oh, but you’re just a housewife, NDM,” some people say to me. “How hard can that job be? I mean, it’s not even a job!” 

And then those people run away really quickly before I can do too much damage to them. 

Well,  I thought I should share a few examples of the kinds of decisions I am faced with on a daily basis with those naysayers (and any other interested parties):

Tiddles “Grumpy Pants” McGee has fallen asleep in front of Power Rangers Ninja Storm. Should I wake him up immediately and endure the rest of the afternoon with him in a foul mood OR should I let His Majesty sleep as long as he likes, knowing he’ll not go to bed that night without a shit-fight, thus cutting into valuable “adult time” (also known as “piss-farting about on the computer time”)?

Should I try cooking something “exciting and new” for dinner and risk everyone going hungry when they dismiss it out of hand OR should I just stick to the usual menu, safe in the knowledge that they’ll eat it but also that they’ll grow up with a palate narrower than the 1950s White Australia Policy?

When a child shits their underpants, which is better for the planet? A) scrubbing, soaking and washing them using all manners of evil detergents – not to mention all that precious precious water (see “Water Saving“); or B) throwing them in the bin and waste dwindling fossil fuel supplies by driving to the local Kmart to buy a new pair shrink-wrapped in non-biodegradable packaging?

A small child under my jurisdiction makes an unreasonable demand at the shops. Do I  A) give in immediately before anyone really notices OR  B) risk riding out a very public 45 minute-long A-grade tantrum before finally being forced to capitulate entirely to the small person’s will in front of a large crowd of onlookers who will all judge me harshly and perhaps even hiss and throw rotten fruit at me for being such a Failure as a Mother and as a Human Being? 

Should I leave the house with all three children in tow and set a very dangerous precedent indeed? Or should I just stay at home until they’re 18 and develop a severe case of cabin fever wherein I start hallucinating about frozen margaritas and calling everyone “sport”?

Basically, when it comes down to it, the Secretary-General of the United Nations should try doing my job for a while.

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I have long since felt that there is a definite procedure to be followed when it comes to the preparation and consumption of toast. 

Of the standard serve of two slices, one slice should be designated as the “main meal” (e.g. vegemite, peanut butter) and the other slice should be the “dessert”(e.g. honey, jam, nutella). Each slice should be cut in half and the resulting units eaten in this order: main meal, dessert, main meal, dessert. It is imperative to end with a dessert slice, otherwise more toast needs to be made to “even things up”. It’s the law.

When I found myself thinking about this out loud on twitter, my friend SR piped up with “OMG, I’m the same. That’s an inner conversation I never thought I’d see written down.”

Such is the power of the internet. Doesn’t matter how strange your thoughts are or what devilish activities you’re into, chances are that somebody somewhere has blogged about it or tweeted about it or created an online support group for it. I personally like to think that by airing my stranger thoughts in public, I’m giving back to the online community, rather than making the internet a more dangerous place to tread. 

In any case, it’s no secret that I tend to treat my blog a bit like Dumbledore’s “Pensieve” – somewhere to pour’n’store my thoughts and memories. (And yes, that’s a Harry Potter reference. So sue me.) But even Pensieves must need the occasional spring cleaning, right? My guess is that there must be some kind of limit to the amount of memories you upload to the thing. Surely. 

ANYWAY, turns out I recently looked into the 43 unpublished posts in my wordpress account in the hope of harvesting one of them. Instead, I found that they had been languishing away in the drafts folder for a a very good reason: they were completely unpublishable. I even had three posts with the titles “Genghis The Menace”, “Stupid Council” and “Stupid Stupid” with no body text to them whatsoever. Really valuable stuff…

But I feel I can’t just throw all of those thoughts away, just like that. Surely, it is of the utmost importance that they be posted so that some poor soul will one day find them here and feel heartened that they are not alone in the world in thinking such incredibly lame stuff.  

So here are a few of them – or at least the essence of them – thrown to the internet like so many bread crumbs:

  • Hell is… someone loudly chewing gum in my ear.
  • There’s something very nice about clean crisp sheets when you are exhausted.
  • Not to come over all “Princess and The Pea” or anything, but the feeling of crumbs and sand in the bed against my skin really hurts me.
  • It’s no great surprise my bed is full of crumbs and sand considering how little time I spend cleaning my house. 
  • What on earth tells the petrol pump when the tank is full and is it possible to get my husband fitted with one for beer? 
  • I was 21 before I realised that thunder isn’t caused by “clouds rubbing together”. 
  • Only a man could say “Better in than out” to a heavily pregnant woman.
  • Mr Justice once told me “I laughed to the backside of my face”.
  • People with children at weddings are a little like smokers. They end up hanging around the back together, exchanging sheepish looks as they try to keep their children from screaming or shouting exhuberantly during the “important bits”. 
  • Genghis Cat is a menace.
  • Stupid Council.
  • Stupid Stupid.
  • I have ugly feet.

And I’m spent. 

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I should never leave the room because when I come back, at least one of the following things are guaranteed to have happened:

  • Someone will have taken my chair – if not the kids, the cat. If not the cat, four ninja turtles hanging out in a hot pink Barbie Roadster. And if nobody’s taken the chair, the chances are that somebody pissed on it in my absence.
  • All the toy boxes will have been upended and the resulting mountain of toys will have been generously sprinkled with milk.
  • All shoes and socks will have been removed and thrown around the room and somebody will be unexpectedly – and most inconveniently – naked. Quite possibly my husband. 
  • Small hands will have magicked scissors out of thin air and will be honing their fine motor skills by cutting up my passport or wedding photos.
  • My husband will have picked up one of his guitars and will be strumming with his “guitar face” on, putting an end to all possible conversation for the next hour. 
  • The previous tableaux of domestic bliss – for example: three children reading books on the couch in the fading afternoon sun – will have disintegrated into an on-for-one-and-all shit-fight (quite literally, if the youngest happens to be unexpectedly naked).
  • Somebody will have taken all the DVDs out of their cases and and rubbed them vigorously with sandpaper. It’s the only way I can explain how they all get so scratched. 
  • My keys will have gone mysteriously missing and I’ll find myself wishing – not for the first time – that I could phone my keys to find out where the hell they are. 
  • My cousin (“mystery v”) will have convinced my husband to try table-dancing for a living because the hours for table-dancing would suit him better than his current job.
  • The cat will have vomited on one of the library books.
  • Worst of all: someone will have spilt my drink. This means that, as I face whatever else has happened in my absence, I am unable to take a slug to steady my nerves. And it also means that I will have to leave the room AGAIN.

(*sigh*)

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Forgive me if I seem a little edgy today. I’m still getting over the Thomas Take-Along “Thomas and Percy’s Carnival Adventure” set that I recently got at my friend MGK’s garage sale. 

“What’s to get over?” those people uninitiated in All Things Thomas might ask. 

“What’s not to get over,” would be my immediate response. After all, anyone who read my previous Thomas The Tank Engine rant “Tanks for Nothing” may recall that I have a few “issues” with the underlying messages of the Rev. Awdry’s classic children’s books. 

And yet, this time my beef was with something much more specific. Some might suspect it was with the half an hour I spent trying to put the Carnival Adventure together before discovering the instructions. Or with the fact that every second piece I laid out was instantly removed and hidden by small hands. Or even that I’d had Dora The Explorer’s “We did it! We did it! We did it! Yeah!” song on permanent loop in my head for the entire time (I’ll save my Dora rant for another day). 

But no, it was my discovery that there were New Generation Tracks in the Thomas Take-Along series which were completely incompatible with the old-style Take-Along tracks, of which we already have ample sufficiency, thank you kind sir. And it would appear that the only thing that might join the New with the Old was this small, unassuming and imminently losable connector piece:

gauge_thomas

And the more I looked at that piece, the more that I realised I should just Throw It Away Now and pretend that the Carnival Adventure was part of a “different” Thomas set altogether rather than waste the rest of my freakin’ life looking everywhere for it while small people looked on with Great Expectations. 

“Now, what’s all this about ‘different’ Thomas sets, NDM?” those same people from before are probably asking now, making me realise how truly blessed these people’s lives must be to not already know the depressing answer to this question. 

Why, they’re probably thinking it would be enough for the Estate of Rev. J. Awdry to whore the rights to the Thomas franchise to one toy manufacturing company. After all, there are well over 50 different engines to collect, not to mention Special Edition engines, such as “Thomas covered in paint” and “9 1/2 Weeks Percy dipped in chocolate” (there really is a chocolate covered Percy – I don’t make this shit up, you know).

But no, there are at least five different varieties of Thomas engines and tracks on the market: “Thomas Motor’n’Rail”, “Thomas Take-Along”, “Thomas Wooden Railway”, “Thomas Lego” and the “Thomas Electric Trainset” … and ne’er the twain shall meet.

So if you thought you could bung a Take-Along Annabel to a Wooden Railway Gordon, you would be wrong. Or that a Lego James might be able to go for a wee spin on the Motor’n’Rail tracks – but no. And you might even toy with the idea of putting an Electric Train Edward in a Take-Along roundhouse but THINK AGAIN, BUB.

But try explain that to an angry two year old boy who is at the throwing-die-cast-tender-engines-at-his-mother’s-head stage of frustration. “Sorry, darling. Skarloey won’t fit in the Sodor Saw Mill because there are GREEDY EVIL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WHO HATE ME AND WISH TO MAKE MY LIFE A LIVING HELL.”

It’s a wonder that I haven’t banned Thomas outright from this household, like I did “Barney & Friends” where just the words “Super Dee Dooper!” can send me into a muderous rage. Super Dee Dooper? Why, I’ll Super Dee Dooper your purple padded arse…

And yes, I think I’ll take myself off for a little lie-down right now…

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