The other day, my friend JS embarked upon a self-imposed alcohol-free week. After five days, she declared she had only ever intended that week to be a working-week and promptly star-jumped off the wagon. I am always in awe of a lady who knows her limits, particularly when it comes to knowing her limits about not knowing her limits. Um, I think there’s a compliment in there somewhere for her. In any case, she damn well deserves a compliment because she’s done way better than I ever could: every time I try to declare an alcohol-free evening, I’ve usually poured myself a drink before I’ve even got the sentence out.
Addictions have been a topic of conversation in our house recently, particularly since our ill-fated trip to the dentist (see “Thumb Kind of Trouble“). After all my agonising about how to get The Pixie to kick her thumb habit, as it turned out I didn’t need to do a thing: she just went and did it all by herself in less than a week. I think I only ended up putting the “very special nail polish” on her twice – while she was sleeping (which is Prime Time when it comes to thumb sucking). Which is just as well, because that stuff is naaassssty and using it seems a little too border-line child abuse for my liking. I even tried a little myself before slathering it all over my daughter’s hands and for the rest of the evening I walked around with my mouth looking distinctly like a cat’s arsehole. It was worse than the time I accidentally ate durian melon thinking it was a steamed pork bun – and yes, that really happened and yes, alcohol played a key role in that particular episode.
ANYWAY, back to The Pixie and her incredible Self Control. I mean her thumb is right there in front of her – it’s actually *attached* to her – and yet she abstains. Having a glass of champagne requires me to get past the leaning tower of case-less videos to get into the wine glass cupboard, then walk at least 6 further paces to the fridge, bend down to get the bottle from the bottom door shelf, get the cork out and pour it – all either one-handed or with Tiddles screaming and clinging to my legs – and STILL I can’t help myself. Kudos, Pixie. Kudos.
Mr Justice’s poison is the computer. At first it started off as a bit of harmless diversion in the guise of being “educational” – a little something to make us all feel good. But then it began to possess him. It’s a bit worrying when Mr Justice speaks more fondly of the time he reached level 10 in a Spiderman 3 game than he does the time I took him all by himself to the Planetarium. From the moment he wakes up on a weekend, the Parent Badgering starts in earnest: “Can I go on the C?”. Just the fact that he calls it “The C” bugs the crap out of me. It smacks of Todd “Luminary of Australian Musical Theatre” McKenney referring to the date-rape drug (allegedly) found in his pocket as “The G” – as he did on “Today Tonight”, no less. The C or The G – it just doesn’t sit well with me.
But all the harassment to go on the computer is nothing compared to getting him off it. I can stand there waving my hand in front of his face, simultaneously blowing an air horn in one ear and shouting “LOG. OFF. NOW.” in the other and he simply can not hear me. And this, more than anything, frightens me – I just don’t want him to finally take his eyes off the screen when he’s 42 and find that he’s only ever been on one date and that was with a busty Second Life Avatar called Boobalicious that was probably just a man in real life anyway.
I’m therefore proud (and somewhat relieved) to report that today is Day 12 for him without computer – at home at least. And although he still slips in a “C” question here and there, he seems to accept “No” as the answer much more easily and can usually find something else to do, such as tourmenting his sister. Our next step is to re-introduce it gradually but in contractually-agreed slices of time and it will no doubt involve the installation of some kind of timer that cuts off all electricity to the main grid after half an hour.
So we’re doing pretty well dealing with some of our demon addictions here in the Not Drowning Household, but our work here is not yet done. Next target: my blogging addiction… Sheesh! Just typing that little sentence surely has got to be hardest part because that was pretty damn hard. Quick! Someone pour me a drink!