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Posts Tagged ‘screaming like a crazy bitch’

It’s just quite possible that I’m as good at doing hair as I am at doing makeup. Which is to say, I’m not very good at all. 

Let’s put it this way: my recent attempts at getting The Pixie’s hair into a bun on the day of the Annual Dance Concert was effectively an act of voodoo by way of bobby-pin. And the half an hour I’d allowed for “hair and make-up” in my Stage Mother Schedule, was quickly used up by just “hair”. 

Half an hour will be plenty of time, I’d thought. And indeed,  it might have been ample had my subject been one of those freaky Barbie heads that stayed completely and utterly still and didn’t suddenly thrash her head about like someone at a Iron Maiden concert for no apparent reason – or rather, no apparent reason other than that I’d stuck a bobby-pin in one of her  Jing-river acupuncture points. 

By the time I moved onto her face, I was under pressure. And she wasn’t helping by puffing up her cheeks and making “Bhh! Bhh!” noises.

“Stay still, darling,” I said, between gritted teeth, as I tried to apply the mascara on her fluttering eyelids.

“I can’t keep my voice in!” she explained and immediately returned to puffing her cheeks and Bhh!-ing. 

“STAY!!!!!!!! STILL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I screamed crazy-bitch style, causing my husband to rush in and stage an intervention. 

“What the hell has happened to you?” he accused me. And then he glanced over at his daughter and the look on his face clearly said: “And what the hell has happened to her?”.

And both questions were fair ones. 

For my part, I was merely keen to be on time to the theatre and lay out the costumes (and related accessories – all in Separate Zip Lock Bags, you must understand) before the performance started and I had to commence my shussssshing of other parents and children. THIS WAS SERIOUS BUSINESS, PEOPLE. 

And as for The Pixie? Well, KT had kindly lent me some foundation that claimed on the bottle to be “Cool Beige” but – on my daughter’s porcelain white skin in the harsh light of day – turned out to be more “Hot Orange!” (complete with exclamation mark). 

“It won’t look so bad under the stage lights,” I said, somewhat unconvincingly. 

When we arrived at the theatre (On Time), we found all the little girls were in a state of high excitement. It would seem that having your hair and makeup done for Concert Night has the same effect on little girls as baths do on dogs: they just wanted to run about and roll around in stuff. And all the horrified mothers could do was to look on in abject horror, shouting “NOT THE FACE!” and “MIND THE HAIR!!”.

In the end, the amount of hairspray I had to use to fix The Pixie’s hair resulted in a mushroom cloud visible from outer space. But her face? Unfixable. With all that smearing, plus some snot-wiping and eye-rubbing thrown in for good measure, it made her look like a bottle of Tan-Fastic had exploded unevenly in her face. 

“It won’t look so bad under the stage lights,” I said again, this time even more unconvincingly. 

I started wishing I’d made vodka jelly shots to get around the STRICTLY NO ALCOHOL BACKSTAGE ruling . “I could have put fruit in them! Nobody would have known!” I said to myself. “Except, perhaps, when some kids got hold of some and DoCs were called in…”  Stupid vodka jelly shots. 

In any case, I never had to see how bad her make-up looked on stage. As my daughter’s Official Dresser, I got to watch the whole concert from the dressing room monitor which reduced everyone to grey blobs. The only thing that helped me distinguish The Pixie from the rest of the dancers on stage was that she was the one furthest behind the beat. I mean if you think of the beat being, say, the Sun, then she was standing on Pluto dancing joyfully to the rhythm of her own internal drum.

But even on that grainy old monitor, she was a beautiful sight to see. And I knew my husband and my mother, sitting out in the audience, would be like me: laughing and crying all at once – except they’d be laughing and crying all the more because they would be able to see the make-up. 

And then suddenly, before I knew it, the concert was finished. The costumes were packed up (carefully), the make-up was (mostly) wiped off and the bobby-pins were (somewhat painfully) extracted from my daughter’s skull. And I was left standing an Ordinary Mother with an (almost) normal-looking daughter. 

Now that it was over, the whole thing didn’t seem that bad after all. All my outrage about the make-up and the costumes and the flesh-coloured underpants and the NO-ALCOHOL-BACKSTAGE dissipated in the after-glow of the concert. 

And I found myself being almost (but not quite) disappointed when I overheard The Pixie tell her brother on the journey home: “Next year I’m going to do karate instead because mummy says there are no costumes or make-up.” 

I guess I’ll drink to that.

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There’s one thing that a Not Drowning Mother of small children dreads more than a Gastro Trifecta (that’s three children vomiting in the same night for the uninitiated) and that’s The Teenage Years. (*Shudder*). And I have good reason to dread those years: The Pixie, at the ripe old age of four and a half, is already showing incredible form as one helluva Teenage Girl.

Just the other day, I took her to a particular park at her insistent request.

[An aside: I have made no secret of my disdain for park-going on this blog but I take my children to the park because a) I love them and like to make them happy; and b) it is an effective way of killing time on Those Days Which Seem Like Months. For the record: I think parks would be vastly improved by having swiveling chairs in the middle of the playground, allowing parents 360° supervision without ever having to leave their seats. Remote-control operated swings, self-draining slides and free champagne-fountains are amongst my other park innovations. And yes, I’m an ideas person.]

ANYWAY, after an hour of Top Shelf Parenting, including pushing both The Pixie and Tiddles McGee on the swings, holding their full weight so they could “swing” on the monkeybars and getting tanbark in my goddamn shoes, I managed to shepherd them back into the car.

I had just strapped them both in and handed out my Exit Strategy snacks when The Pixie suddenly announced: “That wasn’t the adventure park I meant. That’s the Wooden Adventure Park. I meant the Airplane Adventure Park.”

Then, before I’d fully registered what she had just said, she cheerfully added: “Today is a great day because we get to visit two adventure parks. Yayyy!!!!” And she started clapping so enthusiastically, that Tiddles McGee started clapping and going “Yaayyyy!!!”, too.

Luckily, I had a planned visit from The Pixie’s beloved KT to play as a trump card. “Oh, we haven’t got time to go to another park because KT’s coming over!”, I said in my best “Oh what a pity!” voice. And I merrily started driving home.

After a little while, The Pixie piped up again.

“Mummy, can I go to KT’s house after she comes to our house?”

“No, sweetheart. Not today.”

The Pixie then smiled very sweetly at me through the rear-view mirror in that way that beauty counter attendants do when they’re about to call the manager.

“Let’s see what KT says,” she said.

“I said ‘No’, sweetie.”

“Okay. But let’s see what KT says.”

“It doesn’t matter what KT says, because I’ve said NO!” I said somewhat emphatically, before practically growling: “And I’m the Mummy here.

“Let’s just see,” she replied, unperturbed.

“I SAID ‘NO’!” (Yes, screaming crazy bitch time).

There followed a brief shocked silence in the car when I almost thought I might have reasserted my authority… But then… The Pixie started whispering “Let’s see what KT says” to herself under her breath like some kind of mantra All. The. Way. Home.

Luckily for me, I’ve already convinced my very fashionable friend GT to have The Pixie during her teenage years on the pretence that GT can “teach her about hair, makeup and fashion.” And “GT will have her! GT will have her!” became my little mantra as I drove that exceedingly long 5 minute journey home, punctuated by the occasional “Sheesh!” and “I’m the Mummy here!”.

Ha! Who am I kidding?

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It may or may not have come to your attention that my Late Pass Counter has not risen past 004 for a couple of months now. Some might think that finally the NDM has learnt to respect School Policy and is putting in 110% effort to be punctual, which is mathematically impossible, but whatever.

Others might harbour sneaking suspicions that the NDM is not reformed at all, but rather too embarrassed to return to the school office and thus the scene of her public meltdown (see “Sorry, It’s School Policy“).

Whatever the reason, just yesterday I found myself screaming “RUN! RUN! RUN!!!!” at my kids as we all sprinted, with me still in my ugg boots and with my hair distinctly uncombed, from the car to the school gates.

Now, one could argue that if wasn’t for the Late Pass Policy, we would have been walking in a calm, genial fashion, all holding hands, perhaps even singing a little ditty about going to school. Any casual passerby might have exclaimed “What a lovely school!” instead of “Eeeshhhh, that parent is clearly unwashed and unhinged!” before concluding “I’m not sending my child there and/or I’m not approving their grant for funding and/or I’m calling ‘Today Tonight’ to report a sighting of a bona fide ‘Suburban Menace’.”

Those same people may or may not have had similar negative feelings about seeing me and my children parked outside the school 30 minutes before the morning bell, eating our breakfast and listening to Razorlight at full volume. It was raining, okay? And I didn’t want to miss out on a parking spot again, alright?

Still, whatever way you look at it, we have had an unprecedented run of punctuality and I have the support of the community to partially thank for it. 

One dad, who we shall call “Mister A”, often meets me on his way back from the school run, while I’m still on my way. One morning, he kindly offered me a”Late Tip” that went something like “Wear headphones so you don’t stop to engage in conversation with Every Single Parent you see on your journey” which of course ignored the fact I had stopped to talk to him. He then signed off with a cheery “Same time, same place tomorrow, for another Late Tip!” and disappeared off into the distance, riding his six year old’s scooter.

The following day, I saw his wife on her return journey, and she told me that Mister A was thinking of standing on their street corner and issuing late passes of his own – to me, only me. “Well, he promised me a daily Late Tip service and he’s late!” was my retort. In truth, I had been interested to hear the next tip in the series, especially since some early experimentation wearing headphones while pushing the pram had almost resulted in me garrotting myself. 

Interestingly enough, in the school newsletter yesterday, Brett (the principal) expressed “safety concerns” because of the large number of parents double parking to let their children alight in the middle of the road. Ironically, Brett says that for those parents “being late for work is not an acceptable excuse” for such behaviour.

But what about “avoiding a late pass”, Brett? Let’s face facts: I have run screaming at my kids like a crazy bitch in public, eaten my cereal in the Tarago parked outside the school like some kind of breakfast-eating stalker, and dabbled with self-strangulation by ipod. All to avoid a late pass. 

At what price punctuality, Brett? At. What. Price.

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