Archive for July, 2010

It recently came to my attention – I’m not sure quite how – that there was a page on Facebook called “If I knew you were coming I’d of baked a cake.. LOL jk I’d of locked the door 🙂” which 136,668 people had apparently ‘liked’ enough to click a button with the word ‘LIKE’ on it. I don’t know about you, but I put its success largely down to the inclusion of the smiley face at the end and the fact it LOLs in the face of grammar.

It also came to my attention that, in stark contrast, the number of people who purported to ‘like’ my own facebook page was 244.

The obvious thing to do to rectify this rather embarrassing situation was to change my page title to ‘Not Drowning LOL jk Mothering :)’ –  ‘LOL jk’ being something the Youth Of Today use to indicate they’re telling a joke instead of, say, actually being funny. (Oh, my! Did I just type that out loud?)

Anyway, I soon learnt it was a bit too late to jump aboard the ‘LOL jk’ wagon – a quick search on facebook yielded 132,000 results. That ship had well and truly sailed – it evidently being the kind of wagon that easily converts into a sail boat.

So I decided instead to run an Oprah-style giveaway to the 250th person to ‘like’ me on Facebook. Except, even as I announced it on Facebook, I realised that I really had no idea what I could possibly give away, with the exception, perhaps, of my dignity. The word ‘Special’ had been carelessly bandied around a lot. I was under pressure…

But then I found it – again, I’m not sure how. It was the perfect gift. It said all I wanted to say… and more! It was a photo… of a dog… wearing a jaunty-angled cap… SMOKING A CIGAR! It was exactly right for a forum like Facebook where I’m always being urged to ‘buy’ JPEGS of bull dogs wearing party hats for my friends’ birthdays. Except those official Facebook Party Bulldogs aren’t even smoking cigars. Sad, but true.

Anyway, I emailed the picture to my 250th person in the smug knowledge that I was enriching her life considerably. Later that day, however, I decided the picture was so very ‘special’ that it was my civic duty to share it with the rest of my Facebook ‘Likers’. I’m generous like that.

My 250th person, however, was devastated. In her words, her ‘special’ gift had been “cheapened”. But then, she’d had the picture for four hours more than everyone else. Four. Whole. Hours. As I wrote over on Facebook “Imagine the possibilities!”. I mean, if she hadn’t made the most of that four hour head start, (growls:) that was her fucking problem.

Still, I felt bad. I truly did. Bad enough to email her the picture of a My Little Pony dressed up as Princess Leia in a gold lamé bikini that my husband had once sent me to fuck with my head. I then reassured everyone back over on Facebook that I had made amends by sending her a photo of  My-Little-Pony-dressed-up-as-Princess-Leia-in-a-gold-lamé-bikini and then I attached the photo so they’d know what the hell I was talking about. 

“It’s like a knife to my heart. You are dead to me, you hear? Dead!” my 250th person said when she saw I’d shared yet another of her ‘special’ prizes with the masses.

Of course the only thing I could possibly do then was to email her a picture of a Lego figurine giving birth to an alien life through its stomach. And this time I didn’t post this picture on Facebook. No. I’d learnt my lesson. No, truly! Also, it was kind of creepy – unlike the capped dog smoking a cigar and the Slave Pony Princess Leia.

I mean, you judge for yourself:

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I’m a good mother. No really, I am! I read to my kids, I give them hugs and kisses when they’re hurt, I go to school assembly when they’re getting ‘Pupil Of The Week’ and blah blah blah and so on and so forth. HOWEVER, whenever I have to push a small child on a swing for more than two minutes, I can’t help but feel I’m completely wasting my life.

[Incidentally, when I have to swing two or more children simultaneously (and, not to show off or anything, I’ve once swung four), I also can’t help but feeling like one of those Plate Spinners at the circus, dashing between each swing, keeping the momentum for each child going so they don’t start shouting “Higher! Higher!! HIGHER!!!” again. Man, that “HIGHER!!!” thing makes me anxious. For one thing, those swings get a terrible speed wobble when pushed too high. For another thing, I’m always worried the swing’ll end up doing one of those ‘Round The World yo-yo tricks. But I digress…]

And so it was with a heavy heart that I saw that the newly refurbished park down the road had a grand total of three swings in two different locations within the park. That put an end to any dream I had of being able to sit in a 360° swivel chair in the middle of the park sipping from a glass freshly-filled from the champagne drinking fountain (which are just a few of the park inventions I have previously blogged about. Two words: Ideas. Person.).

For the record, I had been enjoying that park immensely while it was being refurbished. Oftentimes, I would park the car with the five kids in my care just outside the building site and watch the workmen hard at work talking on their mobile phones. We would chat excitedly about all the new equipment and all the fun we’d have when we could finally go there – which I promised to do the very minute the park was open. It was the best fun I’d ever had at a park because nobody even unclipped their seatbelt, let alone asked me to hold their legs (and their full body weight) while they ‘swung’ across the improbably high monkey-bars or ran in front of an oncoming swing. Nobody tried to sell me a handful of tanbark posing as ‘chips’ and then expected me to eat them. Nobody took their shoes and socks off to go in the sand pit or dipped their arse into a puddle the size of the South China Sea at the bottom of the slide. And most certainly, nobody asked me to push them on the ruddy swing.

So I was just a little disappointed when the park actually opened and we had to get out of the car and go in it.

And of course, within minutes of stepping in the place, I found myself, eyes glazed over, tanbark in my goddamn shoes, simultaneously pushing two children on the swings, with yet another child over on the ‘big swing’ looking at me with imploring eyes.

“Higher! HIGHER!” the children all shouted.

“I’m wasting my fucking life!” I thought to myself. But then I thought about how I could turn it all into a blog post so now I suppose I’m just wasting yours.

The end, by me.

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My husband has taken on a new mistress. He likes to stroke and pinch her lovingly at the breakfast table, right in front of his own wife and children.

Yes, my husband has gotten himself an internet and multimedia-enabled smartphone.

Not an iPhone, mind. An iPhone-a-like.

He says it’s called an Android and it’s better than an iPhone. Whatever. It’s a frickin’ phone. And I have never seen a man so attached to a frickin’ phone. In fact, I never thought I would see this man so attached to a frickin’ phone.

I mean, this is the man who once criticised me for checking my blog statistics during an episode of Boston Legal. In my defence, it was an episode from Season Four – the season where all the main characters contracted a bad case of the Ally McBeals and went all stupid. I think even Denny Crane’s wife would have done the same. If Denny Crane had a wife in Season Four. And that wife had a blog. And if, of course, that wife with a blog also had WiFi at home so she could check her blog stats on the computer in the loungeroom while watching Boston Legal. And if you can accept, too, that a character from the show could watch an episode of said show. And yes, this allusion has almost gotten as stupid as the fourth season of the show now so I should really just stop it here. UNLIKE THE MAKERS OF BOSTON LEGAL WHO WENT ON TO MAKE YET ANOTHER SEASON OF THE SHOW.

Anyway, so besotted is my husband with his new iPhone-a-like that he has taken to consulting it for everything – from breaking news and the latest weather, all the way to the app which tells him which foot he should next put forward when walking and that other app that advises whether he should let a fart out or not. All the while, he’s stroking that touch-screen with tender loving care…

I’m thoroughly expecting him to change its ring tone to Whitney Houston’s ‘Saving All My Love For You’ any day now.

All I can do, as a non-iPhone (or even non-iPhone-a-like) owner, is shake my head. Of course, if I did have an iPhone, I’d be swiping and pinching my own screen in a race to get the answer to whatever the question was first. That way I could show him that my iPhone shat on his iPhone-a-like from a great height. And yes, there’s apparently an iPhone app that helps you do that.

Anyway, the other day, we were driving somewhere new and we got a bit lost. Rather than pick up the street directory near his feet, my husband whipped out his Electronic Mistress and fired up google maps. The ensuing conversation went something like this:

NDM: So do I turn left or right here?

HUSBAND: Hang on… Just checking… Whoops, didn’t mean to do that.

NDM: The lights are going to change any moment. I’m going to have to make a decision. Left or right?

HUSBAND: (pinching and stroking and swooshing the crap out of his phone) Um… oh, shit…



NDM: Okay, the lights have changed and I’m going to turn right. I’m turning right! TURNING! RIGHT! There. I’ve turned right. What’s your little girlfriend got to say about that?

HUSBAND: Oh… er… that you should have turned left?

Now I understand why most men keep their mistresses a secret from their wives. It’s because the wife might be tempted to throw the mistress out the window of a moving vehicle while doing a U-turn in heavy traffic to correct a mistake that MIGHT HAVE BEEN AVOIDED had the mistress been stroked and swooshed correctly by the so-called husband. I mean, if the man is going to keep us both, he’s going to have to treat us right. Sheesh.

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I was almost disappointed when we made it to school on time the other day and I didn’t get to write down ‘Tiddles McGee’s Arse Explosion’ as our excuse for being late. Yes, a last minute trip to the toilet by my youngest child put our (so far) perfect punctuality record for 2010 in jeopardy for a few minutes there. And for the record, ‘Tiddles McGee’s Arse Explosion’ a just like ‘Jon Spencer’s Blues Explosion‘, except it’s brown instead of blue.

Anyway, it turned out I had another explosion to deal with – of the yellow variety. Having had to run through the school grounds to deliver assorted children to their classrooms on time, I arrived triumphantly at The Pixie’s classroom only to feel what can only be described as a ‘Tena Lady Moment’.

Of course, there had to be a large group of attractive, well-dressed mothers milling about just outside said classroom. And of course, I had to be wearing jeans at the time and we all know how blue denim showcases wet patches as beautifully as if I’d taken a photo of my sodden crotch and posted it on twitter.

“Running late is so stressful,” one of the mums said to me sympathetically, misreading the look of horror on my face.

It was so tempting to reply “So is pissing your own pants!” in front of everyone. Except I’ve learnt to hold my tongue a little better since the time one of the school dads told me to “have fun” with my (newly fixed) washing machine and I found myself exclaiming “What kind of a fun are you suggesting, exactly??” while crowds of fellow parents stood and stared.

So instead, I just smiled and nodded and, sensing my wet patch might be growing at a similar rate to the population of New Mexico, slunk off as quickly as possible out of the school grounds and back to the car. And it was then that I found I was still holding The Pixie’s school bag in my hand.

I was wondering what I should do when another mum came up to me and started chatting and, before either of us knew it, I suddenly blurted out: “We were late for school and I had to run and I kind of lost control of my bladder and now I have to walk all the way back to The Pixie’s classroom because I still have her bag in my hand and everyone’s still standing around in the playground and they will all see my piss pants!”

Had I known her a little better, I might have then been able to ask her to assess the damage. But the moment my confession was made, it was like an invisible line was drawn at shoulder level and neither my eyes nor hers were able to wander below it for even a second.

She quickly made her excuses and I headed back into the school to drop The Pixie’s bag off, adopting the awkward gait of someone who is trying to walk without their thighs separating.

Of course, the same group of mums were still standing around, still looking attractive and well-dressed.

“I forgot Pixie’s bag!” I called out cheerfully to them, explaining my reappearance, but perhaps not the strange way I was walking. Thankfully, they quickly returned to chatting amongst themselves and I, blushing from head to soon-to-be waterlogged toe, delivered the bag to the classroom and scurried back to the car.

Once I got home, I rushed straight to the toilet so I could finally inspect the full extent of my shame. And was surprised to discover that the seemingly ginormous wet patch was actually the size of a ten cent coin and would only have been visible to someone attempting to do the limbo under my crotch.

I mean, sheesh! No wonder they call it stress incontinence.

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Like many cats, Genghis The Cat is extremely particular about the food he eats from his bowl. But when it comes to food outside his bowl, his palate is suddenly as broad as [Australian PM] Julia Gillard’s accent.

Here are just a few of the things I’ve caught him trying to eat: soggy weet-bix, peanut butter toast, popcorn, congealed sausage fat, playdough, crayons, ‘floor rice’ and watermelon.

And then there are my toes – a delicacy he is now obviously craving every morning around 5AM. I don’t take to this kindly. I mean, that hot guy who plays Marc Antony in HBO’s series ‘Rome’ could be nibbling my feet at 5AM and I’d still feel vaguely murderous. My feet are a NO GO zone between midnight and daybreak. Take note, James Purefoy!

Anyway, turns out that my toes were on the menu the morning before our recent snow holiday and so I didn’t have a whole lotta love in my heart for my so-called pet when I left. Indeed, I might normally have instructed the designated cat feeder (in this case, the Mild Mannered Lawyer) to “avoid the non-fish sachets” in the mixed box I’d accidentally bought the day before. However, my care factor was nil, as I told The MML. Which was another way of saying that “Genghis can bite my duck liver and lamb shanks arse” and that he should just SUCK. IT. THE. FUCK. UP.

Yes, I was angry.

But even amidst the red mists of my rage, I still remembered to ask The MML to keep the bedroom doors closed during our absence, in case Genghis expressed his displeasure by splatter-crapping on our pillows.

I didn’t count on the fact, though, that even cats know revenge is a dish best served cold – in this case, as cold and as the still as the lifeless body of a guinea pig I found slayed in the backyard one day after our return from holiday. Yes, a guinea pig.

I ran inside to tell my husband. “Genghis has killed a, um, porc de Guinée!” I whispered furiously, using my bad French to shelter my children from the terrible truth – about the guinea pig, that is, and not the fact I can’t speak French to save myself.

“Are you sure it’s not a ‘large mouse’?” my husband asked, using his code word for ‘rat’.

“Well, let’s just say if that’s the size of the ‘large mice’ around here, I want to move,” I replied, adding: “Although, we might have to move anyway because that thing out there is some neighbour’s beloved pet, I tell you. A BELOVED PET.”

Indeed, I could already imagine the ‘MISSING’ posters written and posted around the neighbourhood by some six year old girl in the hope that ‘Fuzzy McFuzz’ might be returned home safely and that she didn’t have to cry herself to sleep any more.

And then it struck me: the guinea pig had more than a passing resemblance to the local Presbyterian kindergarten’s pet Mr Puddles. Could it be…?

I voiced my fears to my husband. He was disbelieving. “It’s unlikely Genghis could have carried the body that far,” he said, before adding “Although I struggle to see how he managed to get the body over our back fence. I mean, it must weigh at least two kilograms…”

Which only proved my fears. When you’ve got two kilos of meat in your mouth, there’s not much difference in being able to climb a six foot fence or walk 500 metres – especially when you’ve been graced with superfeline strength by your evil overlord (Satan).

“Oh, god! I’m going to the kindergarten committee meeting on Wednesday… What will I say?” I moaned.

“It’s not Mr Puddles,” my husband said.

“Mr Puddles! Poor Mr Puddles!” I cried.

“It’s not Mr Puddles,” my husband repeated.

“What’s done can not be undone,” I philosophised, before hissing: “Now get rid of the body. Quick! Before the kids see it and let the rest of the neighbourhood know we’re harbouring a guinea pig killer and the lapcat of Satan.”

Four days later, I found myself at the committee meeting, anxiously waiting for an agenda item about Mr Puddles having gone missing and ready to confess that he was “with God now… by way of the bottom of my Sulo bin”. But the announcement never came. In fact, I realised at the end of the meeting that Mr Puddles himself had been scurrying around in his cage behind me the entire time.

Phew, I thought. He’s safe… but for how long?

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As of today, I am officially off my P plates. For non-Australians, this means I am no longer a Probationary driver and am now licensed to drive a vehicle carrying more than fifty-seven people, while swigging gin straight from the bottle. Well, not really, but apparently I can legally drive a car with a manual transmission, which is quite worrying since I have never actually driven a car with a manual transmission and suspect that the difference between the two for someone like me is as great as the difference between being able to follow the plot of the first Matrix film (hard enough) and being able to follow the plot of the sequels (nigh impossible). Or even following that last sentence.

Anyway, many people asked me how I planned to celebrate getting off my ‘Ps’, and my glib reply has usually been something like “Get really pissed and do donuts in the Aldi car park”. Which is apparently what I was supposed to do when I was on my P plates, except I was too busy ferrying around small children around in a people mover.

Yes, people, I have been an extremely responsible and careful P-plater. I have followed the restrictions placed upon my probationary licence for three years to the letter. And that letter is ‘P’! (ha-ha-ha-ha-ha a little probationary licence holder humour for you there). However, I recently grew concerned that I might blow it all on the last day by taking my P plates down too early. I mean, my probationary licence expired on the 18th July, having been the date I got it. Intuitively, it felt right that I should take my P plates off on that day. It’d had been exactly three years. I’d served my sentence. If I took them off the next day, that sentence would have been three years PLUS one day. I mean, nobody said I’d have to be on probation for three years PLUS one day. Nobody. And yet, I wondered…

I asked one local dad who I knew to be an officer of the law about what I should do.

He took a long look at me and said something along the lines of “Listen, lady, I’m a detective. If you have a dead body in the back of your car or you’ve just made a getaway from a major jewel heist, then I’m the man to talk to.”

Or not talk to, as the case might be.

Anyway, I decided to take his subsequent advice and err on the side of caution. I waited until the 19th July (today).

I can’t say I’ll miss my P plates that much. For one thing, I won’t miss the other motorists thinking they need to ‘learn me real good’ just because I have P plates. Also, there’s something about driving around in your late 30s on Ps which smacks of Rodney Dangerfield in that “Back To School” movie. Not cool. And I’ve yet to see a P plate that sticks onto the car without half a kilo of blue tac and a roll of sticky tape. I can do without the stress of hearing the unmistakable ‘thwick!’ of the P plate unrolling itself off the back window so it fall into a puddle or, better still, a steaming mound of dog shit, the very next time I open up the back of the car.

But having said all that, there is one thing I will miss. Having them (precariously) stuck to my car windows was a bit like wearing a badge of honour. They said to the world “Here is a woman who overcame one of her biggest fears at the age of 36”.

Driving, eh? I thought I’d never be able to do it, but it turns out I can. But not in a car with manual transmission. That shit’s complicated.

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The Pixie once developed a remarkable bond with a broken and rusty scooter I picked up from the hard rubbish and let her ride a short distance to see if it was worth buying her a new one of her own. A few months later, my husband found it down the side of the house and asked if he could use it to fashion a spare part for his motorbike (he’s a regular MacGyver, that one). The Pixie was outraged.

“Not Sparkly!!” she howled and proceeded to cry for half an hour. Yes, half an hour. Over a piece of scrap metal she’d only met for five minutes. And apparently given a name to.

So you can imagine we had to be very careful whenever we spoke in her presence about selling The Love Bus. In the end, we told her it had been “borrowed”. Which, when you think about it, is how the Love Bus’s new owner might like to think of our transaction if it ends up giving him half the trouble it gave us.

Anyway, I realised the other day that I hadn’t blogged about the Love Bus since January’s ‘Trouble‘ post – mostly because it had cast a long dark shadow on my very soul (and the front lawn). And, indeed, I realised that there are many things that I blog about and then never mention again.

So it’s time to do a kind of ‘end of the (Australian) tax year inventory’ – an NDM ‘State Of The Union’, if you will.

For the record:

My hair hasn’t faded, despite multiple washes in anti-dandruff shampoo, and my beige skunk stripe is coming along nicely, thank you very much. Many of my friends have said they like the new colour on me but my husband has never – and will never – speak of it. It’s like my hair is dead to him. I suspect that in his heart of hearts, he just wants me to have long blonde hair – which might come as a huge surprise to anyone who actually knows me. I’m just not a ‘long blonde hair’ kind of girl…

My husband still has a beard and, quite possibly, will continue to have one until I have grown my hair long and blonde.

Thanks to Madame Zap’s enlightening comment on my post ‘My Husband Vs. The State Revenue Office‘, we received a refund cheque for $605 a couple of weeks ago. Interestingly enough they made the cheque out to my husband, even though it had been I (in my capacity as equal owner of the property in question) who had written all the correspondence and made all the phone calls to precipitate that cheque’s sweet arrival. Either they had read my post and been a’feared of my husband’s litigatious wrath, or they’re still stuck in the 1950s. I’ll let you be the judge.

After a very shaky start, Tiddles is now fully toilet trained. He still likes to ‘paint the town yellow’ from time to time but as far as I’m concerned, we’re out of nappies forever and I flip the BABY aisle in the supermarket the finger every time I pass it.

I put notes in my daughter’s lunchbox for the first two months of school before slowly and ever-so-gently weaning her off them – i.e. I forgot one day, she didn’t mention it and I never put another note in her lunchbox again.

Telstra didn’t fuck with me again after I wrote “A Telstra Of A Mess” but nor did anyone give me a free iPhone. With each passing day, I grow angrier and angrier that I am (seemingly) the only person on the planet without one. My lack of iPhone physically hurts me. I think this is what is called ‘A First World Problem’.

Finally, to update you on the opening paragraph of this post, ‘Sparkly’ is now officially ‘in storage’ and (unofficially) has been used to create (in my husband’s words) “a bracket to hold an electrical socket into which I can insert a standard ‘cigarette lighter’-type plug to connect my motorbike battery to a solar charger on the carport roof” which (in my words) “doesn’t actually work and was a waste of good scrap metal”. Oh, Sparkly!

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