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Archive for the ‘Childwrangling’ Category

The other day I was having coffee with my dad friend TMR and he ordered a mugaccino. Yes, a mugaccino. For those of you whose lives  have thus far been untouched by the mugaccino, let me explain it this way: it’s a cappuccino. In a mug.

I snorted slightly as it was delivered.

“Oh, [TMR],” I said, shaking my head. “A mugaccino is sooooo 1995.”

Even the cafe owner laughed as he placed it on the table. But then, I have the cafe owner well trained. He basically knows to start laughing the moment I walk through the cafe door but I’m not sure he’s always laughing in a kind way.

A few minutes later, however, it was TMR’s turn to raise an eyebrow when the cafe owner placed a Chai Latte in front of me.

“Yeah, okay, alright,” I said, feeling a bit exposed. “At least my drink wasn’t in fashion with Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Rachel’ ‘do.”

Still, there we both were, with our notsohotrightnow drinks. We chatted for a while about ways we could get them to join forces, wonder twins style, to become a ‘chai-accino’ or a ‘mugachai’. But that last one just sounded like a character from hit 1984 movie ‘Gremlins’. And no, I don’t know why I thought that, either.

Anyway, it turns out TMR is simply waiting for the mugaccino to become the ‘it’ drink again. Just in the same way, I’m waiting for Cornflakes to become the ‘it’ cereal in my household so that the 5KG Family Pack taking up precious pantry real estate might actually get eaten.

You see, I live with a bunch of food faddists. Mostly this faddism is concentrated in the area of breakfast cereal where a particular cereal will be eaten voraciously right up until the point I invest large sums of money in the type of bulk-buy pack that requires its own shopping trolley. It’s at that moment that my children will suddenly regard eating the cereal in question as the equivalent of stuffing one’s mouth with shredded cardboard and cat’s piss.

Fruit, too, is also a key focus area for food faddism. For example, Mr Justice last year proclaimed the humble ‘Golden Delicious’ as his ‘apple of choice’, shortly before it went out of season. I waited half a year for them to appear back on the supermarket shelves only to have him take one bite and spit it out, declaring it to be ‘the devil’s own food’. Yes, that apple tree in the garden of Eden was apparently a Golden Delicious tree. Who knew.

To be honest, I think they basically inherit this trait from their father – my so-called husband – who will announce that from this moment on he will only eat chicken and vegetable pies and then, mere minutes later, will have taken to his bed complaining of ‘pie poisoning’.

The most annoying thing of all of this is trying to cater for such movable palates. If you were to draw a Venn diagram of foods each of my children deemed ‘acceptable for consumption’ at any given moment in time, the circles representing each child will cross at one point and one point only: hot chips.

Personally, I hope for two things: that there is a scientist out there somewhere on the verge of declaring hot chips as the new Super Food (bye bye, banana) and that hot chips never, ever, EVER go out of fashion. Not like the mugaccino, eh, TMR?

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Like many people, I loathe having to make the double-goodbye – you know, when you go through the whole “I’m leaving now. Great to see you. Catch you again soon!” routine with, like, EVERYONE in the room, only to reappear a couple of minutes later because you’ve left one of your children behind. It always makes me feel a little like a dog returning to its own vomit – a phrase I admittedly tend to over-use in the same way that, well, a dog might return to its own vomit.

So is it any surprise that, having made my farewells at the kindergarten the other day and dragged Tiddles McGee, his bag and his portfolio of ‘pasting’ masterpieces (= patty pans stuck randomly to cardboard) to the car only to have him suddenly start tugging furiously at the front of his pants, that I opted for my now patented pee-in-a-bottle method?

Now, every time I employ this method, I promise myself that I will dispose of the bottle at the earliest opportunity, to avoid any “I’m thirsty! Ooh, there’s a bit of apple juice left here in this here unlabeled bottle…” high jinx.

And every time, I totally forget about it.

You might ask how anyone could forget about a bottle of urine on their car passenger seat. Let’s just say it takes a special kind of person.

Of course, a few days (yes, days) later, I was driving along when I saw my friend The MR walking along with his daughter on the other side of the road. I hastily pulled over to the side of the road to offer them both a lift to the school. And as I hastily pulled over, I heard a distinct noise. It was the distinct noise of a plastic bottle full of piss rolling off the passenger seat and falling down into a place that could only mean the first thing that would happen when The MR opened the passenger door was that the bottle would roll out and land cheerfully at his feet.

And so I began scrabbling furiously down the side of the passenger seat to retrieve the bottle before he opened the door.

See where this is going? Yes, instead of opening the passenger door to have a plastic bottle of piss fall and explode on his feet, The MR opened the passenger door to find a middle-aged woman stretched seductively across the passenger seat. Holding a plastic bottle of piss.

I think we’ll all agree that’s what’s called a result.

Of course, you’d think I’d remember to dispose of the bottle after that. Yes, you’d think that.

But no. The bottle had to remain in the car long enough that the next time we were parked outside the school, Tiddles McGee was able to pick it up from where I’d hastily stashed it and, holding it out to a large group of parents and children passing by, announce proudly “Here’s my wee!!”.

Needless to say, when we got home from that particular school run, I prioritised putting that particular bottle of wonderful straight into the outside bin. And I’m delighted to report that I got to have a prolonged chat with one of my neighbours while doing it…

By the way, in case anyone’s wondering, the little girl equivalent of “Piss In A Bottle” involves the car bin. But I’ll spare you the details, mostly because I’m still trying to block them out and not return to them like a dog… to its own piss-filled car bin. Oh, and subsequent vomit, of course.

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When I was 21, my family doctor asked to bring in a urine sample for my next appointment.

The morning of the appointment, I duly filled up a large vegemite jar and brought it into the surgery, where I sat, awkwardly, in the waiting room, desperately wishing I’d brought along a bag.

When my doctor was ready to see me, I quickly thrust the jar into his hands.

“Good effort, [NDM]!” he said, encouragingly. “But, actually, I only really needed *this much*.”

And he indicated with his fingers an amount of liquid that would probably get a itsy-bitsy-faerie slightly tipsy, but certainly not so drunk she wouldn’t be able to drive home.

What can I say? I always like to exceed expectations.

So too, my husband – or so it turns out. You see, he’s been feeling poorly over the Christmas break and his doctor ended up giving him a specimen jar the size of a small keg to collect his ‘stools’ for three days in a row.

Now, how he went about harvesting his own faeces, he thankfully kept entirely to himself – although he always returned from the task looking a mere shadow of his former self.

“You didn’t fill the jar, did you?” I couldn’t help but ask on the third day, after he’d delivered the samples to the pathologists.

“Oh, no, not at all,” he said. “I only did *this much*.”

And he used both hands to indicate how much.

I shuddered. I mean, I love my husband and all, but I didn’t really need to know that.

Anyway, it turns out I had other shit to deal with.

Later that day, I was at the park with The Pixie and she suddenly announced she needed to do a wee. There being no public toilets within striking distance, I was left with no option than to attempt the Bush Wee.

Now, anyone who has ever attempted the Bush Wee with a little girl knows it generally has a 3.6 degree of difficulty and the only way you can do it without getting wee on her shoes, your shoes and the shoes of anyone standing within a twenty metre radius  is by removing all her clothing and lowering her into position using a hydraulic crane winch.

Having found a bush large enough to conceal us, I took off her undies, trousers, socks and shoes and put them at a safe splash-free distance and then stood back, waiting for the deluge to hit.

But it didn’t.

Instead, the Pixie suddenly started shouting “Ouch! Ouch! OUCH!”  and then thoroughly surprised us both by letting a poo the size of a small loaf  fall to the ground.

“OH SHIT!” I exclaimed. It was one of those occasions when swearing in front of my child seemed entirely appropriate.

Anyhoo, I’ll spare you the details of the clean up, but suffice to say, they involved bottled water and (if you’ll excuse the expression) a shit load of tissues and only left me feeling  frazzled *this much*…

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