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Archive for the ‘Rabid Monkey Rants’ Category

I’ve had enough, people.

The things I’ve had enough of are numerous and complicated but, for some reason, instead of dealing with the real problems in my life, I’ve decided to focus on mouse mats and jeggings (leggings that look like jeans). Let’s just say my mind works in mysterious ways.

But listen… In these heady days of track-pads, tell me: who actually uses mouse mats? And shouldn’t the plural of mouse mat actually be mice mats? Those personalised ones with pictures of pets are the worst. If someone gives you one, how long do you have to keep it until you can throw it away? Do you have to wait until the pet dies so that the personalised mouse mat can be buried with the pet??

Ooh, they make me angry, those mouse-mice-mats.

As for jeggings, I actually spent about an hour in the middle of the night thinking about them and how much I’d had enough of them. Wear skinny jeans, by all means, or leggings. But leggings made to look like skinny jeans? Puh-lease. It’s like wearing an apron with plastic breasts attached, but less classy.

I thought of other legging variations that I could hate with an equal passion and came up with this list:

eggings: yolk-coloured leggings

dreggings: leggings that are stretched to buggery and quite frankly have seen better days but are the last clean thing in the drawer to wear.

preggings: leggings worn by themselves that make you look pregnant when you’re not.

pleggings: pleated leggings. No, don’t ask me how that works.

renegings: leggings you put on and then take off again immediately, quite possibly because they are preggings or dreggings.

ginger-meggings: based on the popular 1920s Australian comic strip ‘Ginger Meggs‘, these leggings are hand-knitted using the hair from small red-headed knockabout larrakins.

Anyway, to cut a long rant short, when I talked to my husband about these things, he told me he was TOTALLY going to buy me some jeggings and a mouse mat for my birthday this year. In fact, he was going to have the mouse mat personalised so that it was a photo of an actual mouse, using a computer mouse on a mouse mat, while wearing ginger-meggings made from my husband’s own red hair. And here’s the really neat thing: the mouse’s mouse mat will be personalised with a photo of that same mouse wearing ginger-meggings using a mouse on a personalised mouse mat. And so on.

Which sounds kind of cool, if you think about it.

Maybe I haven’t had enough of jeggings and mouse mats after all.

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This blog post started off  with the title ‘An Open Letter To My Cold Sore’ but honestly, that fucker doesn’t deserve its own open letter.

It’s been the Worst House Guest Ever. It arrived unannounced, trashed my face (and my reputation as a Great Beauty – yeah, yeah, don’t laugh) and it then proceeded to overstay its welcome by, like, FOREVER.

For a while there, my only hope was that it would eventually grow so large it would become the size of a small African nation and proclaim its independence from me.

As it was, it quite possibly became the first human lesion visible from outer space. Most certainly, it arrived in a room a good thirty seconds before the rest of my body did. Small children would burst into tears when I – or rather ‘it’ – approached them. Some adults thought I was an extra from the film ‘Alien’ being attacked by a face-hugger. And I thoroughly expected Wes Craven to contact me in the hope my cold sore could be the New Face of Freddy Kruger.

I found myself having to warn friends in advance of meeting them.

“I have a cold sore,” I told them. “Do not talk about the cold sore, do not look at the cold sore and, most certainly, do not address the cold sore directly.”

I was worried that if they gave the cold sore too much attention, it would develop a human-like personality and end up with its own reality TV show by the end of the week. Like the Kardashians.

And every time it looked like it was on the mend, it would make a sudden comeback. Like Aussie Rocker Legend™ Johnny Farnham (although nowhere near as embarrassing).

And when it finally DID  start to go away, it felt like the boyfriend that nobody ever liked but never told you they didn’t like him until after you’d broken up. Everyone who’d said things like ‘Oh, you can hardly see it!’ or “What cold sore?” at the height of my cold sore’s power, finally admitted, once it had slowly diminished into the west like some Elvin Queen on a boat, “Yeah, that was a big one” or “Man, that shit was like Cold Sore-zilla!”.

Listen, there is one good thing you can say about my cold sore and that is this:   it made me come in from the cold and write this blog post. Even if it was kinda hard to see past the cold sore while I wrote it.

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Pass me the Zovirax, please.

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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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Stupid thumb. Always in the wrong place when I’m finely chopping ginger. Luckily the thumbnail took the bullet. Didn’t need it anyway. Except that now my thumb is more sensitive than an NDM 36 hours before her period starts and putting on a bandaid apparently requires two fully-operational thumbs and, even once I’ve finally managed to just get it on using my teeth, the bandaid turns out to be no damn substitute for an actual nail. Stupid thumb. Stupid thumbnail. Stupid supersensitive skin under thumbnail. Stupid NDM.

Stupid smoke alarm. Every time I start to fry something on the stove, it goes off. Then I have to run around flinging open doors and windows and searching for the broom so I can stand underneath it, fanning it like it’s some Roman emperor, while my dinner starts to actually burn on the stove top. If the smoke alarm is so damn smart, the least it could do is predict next Saturday’s lotto numbers rather than just the fact that we’ll be eating charcoal again tonight. Stupid self-fulfilling prophetic smoke alarm.

Stupid underwire bras. After seven years of wearing maternity and nursing bras, I finally bought one with a bit of scaffolding-support in the hope it would turn my southbound migrants into something a little more Dolly Parton-esque – but without the wig or the freak-show face. And then, after only a few months, the underwire staged a jail-break and I’m back to wireless. And then I read that a woman’s life was saved because a bullet deflected off the underwire of her bra and I started worrying that someone’s sabotaged my bra on purpose because they Want To Kill Me for doing something simple like setting off the smoke alarm again when the News is On. Stupid murderous husband.

Stupid cat. Who will never eat the actual cat food I put out for him but will regularly jump up on the kitchen table to feast upon peanut butter toast and partially-chewed carrot. And then will walk around crying pathetically as if to say “She never feeeeedddssssss me” just in case the Pet Social Welfare Officer happens to drop by. And when they do drop, I’ll probably end up spending four years in a high-security penitentiary because the council will have suddenly announced a zero tolerance policy when it comes to the ill-treatment of animals. And then I’ll have to spend every day writing to the cat from my prison cell, begging him to retract his statement so I can go home to be a Mother To My Children, but my words will go unheeded because the cat can’t read and instead just pisses on the letters because he’s gotten a bladder infection from eating too much peanut butter toast. Stupid incontinent illiterate cat.

Stupid post. Without a proper ending.

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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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A letter to the principal of [NAME OMITTED] Primary School.

Dear Brett, 

I had the great pleasure of receiving my very first late pass of the year yesterday morning because I was less than five minutes late in getting my eldest child to school. Thank you so much for bestowing me with this great honour. You have no idea what it means to me.  No, really. You have No. Idea. 

You may be wondering why I’ve enclosed a pair of scissors with this letter. Well, there’s a story behind it, just as there is a story behind my tardiness yesterday morning. And I’d really like to share both with you – if you can take the time out from processing all those late passes, that is. 

On my late pass, I wrote “Sore finger required band-aid” as my reason. But actually that was just the tip of the iceberg – or even, tip of the finger, if you’ll allow the joke. Which I hope you will. Because I would hate to have to fill in any further paperwork if you won’t. 

Anyway, we were on the verge of leaving the house when a skirmish broke out between Mr Justice and The Pixie at the front door, causing Mr Justice to “gravely” injure his finger. Actually, to be fair to The Pixie, I think the finger injury was from a few days ago when he pulled the smallest bit of skin off next to his fingernail but then had forgotten about it until The Pixie had dared to pull his finger (not in the comic way, I’m sorry to say). In any case, he decided that the injury required immediate attention – and if sticky-tape can fix any broken object in the minds of my children, band-aids and hugs can fix any human suffering.

But could I find a band-aid? No, Brett, I could not. I could find plenty of empty band-aid boxes in the toiletries cupboard that, handily, maintain the illusion of us having a plethora of band-aids whenever I do a last-minute stock check before the weekly shopping. But not a single band-aid to be found in any one of those boxes.  

In the meantime, The Pixie tried to climb into the Valco Mobile Home by herself and managed to tip the whole thing over onto herself. And at the very same moment, T. McGee, who had emptied the contents of his freshly-filled drink pot onto the floor, slipped over slap-stick style in the puddle of his own creation. They both started crying loudly, so I had to do a quick visual assessment of them both to make sure no bones were broken. Satisfied that they were still intact, I continued trying to find the band-aid because Mr Justice, too, was crying at this point because his finger “hurt so much”, so then they were all wailing and my mobile phone started ringing and somehow all this wasn’t helping me find the band-aid at all and I started shouting in my Linda-Blair-possessed-by-the-devil voice: “WHY. DON’T. WE. HAVE. ANY. BAND-AI… oh, what’s this?”. And there between two hand-towels was one lone band-aid. Of course it would be there. Where else would it be? 

So I administered first-aid on the (apparently) life-threatening injury, gave hugs to all three children, set the pram to rights, mopped up the slipping hazard, refilled Tiddles’ drinky pot, got everyone’s hats on and them into their appropriate seats and we set off to school – some 8 minutes later than I’d intended. 

And yet, despite all that, I was still less than only 5 minutes late. 

But instead of being able to release my child into the classroom to get an education, I had to do a fifteen point turn with the Valco Mobile Home to go back to the School Office, where I found myself blabbing to the largely-indifferent office staff that all three of my children had eaten breakfast, were fully-dressed, wearing sunscreen, hats and matching shoes and even all of us (me included) had clean underpants on and that I had, in fact, made my son’s “litter-free” lunch at 5:45am that morning and cooked everyone pancakes for breakfast and even put on a load of washing before we left and that it Just. Wasn’t. Fair. But no, none of that in any way nullified the five minute delay and the Late Pass was issued. Rules are rules. Apparently. 

And then, when we finally got back to the classroom, the teacher made a big point of thanking Mr Justice for getting a late pass, but she said his name wrong like it was “Mr Jar-stice” and I yapped “It’s Mr Just-ice!” like one of those pathetic half-rat/half-dog things that live in Paris Hilton’s handbag, and then, as much as one can when manouvering the Valco Mobile Home, swept out of the classroom in a huff. I then spent the rest of the day either ranting about Late Passes to anyone who would listen (not many) or feeling terrible that I’d lost my temper and made a scene in the Office and snarled at the teacher all before the first week of school was even finished.  

And so Brett, we come back to those scissors I’ve enclosed with this letter. Those scissors, my friend, are simply for you and your underlings to Cut. Me. Some. Fucking. Slack. 

Yours sincerely,

The NDM.

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Beneath the Mild-Mannered Lawyer’s mild-mannered exterior lies the heart of a Shit-Stirrer. I began to realise this when I received unsolicited facebook messages from her entitled “Rival Cake Maker”, detailing a certain gorilla birthday cake she had seen at a party, along with cupcakes dotted with green sprinkles and with little plastic jungle animals for the children to keep. 

“[The maker of the gorilla cake] said she bought a gorilla cake-mould. Is that cheating?” asked the MML, all wide-eyed innocence. 

“The use of moulds is definitely cheating,” I wrote back, all the while knowing that the one time I tried to use a mould the whole cake collapsed in on itself. “And as for plastic jungle animals, that’s just trying to buy the children’s love. Pah!”

Pah, indeed. 

Now, I never claim to be much of a cake decorator, although it’s something I enjoy doing and seem to do a lot of. Like a lot a lot. However, my friends The Fabulous Miss Jones and the Suburban Diva are far more accomplished than I. Whenever I am faced with Miss Jones’ icing roses (where every petal has been carefully hand-crafted) or the Diva’s glorious mint-leafed mermaid tail, I always think “Shop Quality”. My cakes fall (crumble?) more in the “Home-Made-With-Love” category, particularly with my last-minute-super-freak-out-patch-up jobs using marshmallows and M&Ms (see “The NDM Guide to Decorating Birthday Cakes” for examples). 

In any case, having a “birthday cake rival” would suggest that I looked upon the Birthday Cake Arts as a competitive sport. And we all know that I don’t have a competitive bone in my body. No, no. Not me. Anyone who has ever read my blog and been pressured to sign up for an email subscription purely to increase my stats will know that. 

And so, I tried to erase the image of this alleged gorilla cake masterpiece and its accompanying cupcakes from my mind and get on with my life as a Wife, Mother and Rabid Monkey Blogger.

But then last weekend, I was just sitting around, minding my own business and obsessively checking my blog stats, when I got another NDM-baiting email from the Mild-Mannered Lawyer – this time with a photo of a Wall*E cake made by yet another of her (obviously numerous) cake-making friends. No message. Just letting the picture do the talking. And let me tell you, them’s definitely fighting words. You see, the MML knows full well that I, too, have attempted the WALL*E cake – it was the “It” Cake for 2008, after all.

So what are you playing at here, MML? Is it a good old-fashioned Cake-Off that you want? Is it?? Well, (mild-mannered) lady, you got it. I’ve subsequently gone and created the first Official “Not Drowning, Mothering” Reader’s Poll. And you’ve only got yourself to blame. 

But hang on one dog-darn moment! Before anyone rushes ahead and votes, you should consider the following:

  • one of the following cakes was made for a child not of the cake-maker’s loins and done for the price of an afternoon’s babysitting of two of her three children and a half-price haircut;
  • one of the following cakes actually resembles the WALL*E character, whereas the other is based loosely on some cartoon version drawn by some non-Pixar-affiliated artist and randomly found via google images;
  • both of the following cakes were no doubt made with blood, sweat and tears – but considering the bladder control issues of one of the cake-makers, urine was possibly involved as well in the  making of one of them.

Okay, now that I’ve got that off my chest…. let the people choose cake!

cakeoff

Two cakes, one choice: You. Decide.


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