Saturday, 28 April 2012

Books Are My Bestie

I have a book fetish.  Books have been my major companion and 'bestie' since childhood. As soon as I could read, I always had a book attached to me and would often come wandering out to the breakfast table, book in hand.

The amount of times I was busted reading a book under the desk at school are too numerous to mention. It all started with Enid Blyton, of course.  Admittedly all the constant references to characters named 'Fanny' were a bit too much for me at times, but nevertheless the stories were so entertaining that I couldn't put them down. It never dawned on me to question  how four kids and a dog could outwit hardened criminals, always remaining unscathed throughout, in all those gripping Famous Five books I read avidly.  I was rather gullible and dreamy. 

It has since dawned on me that a love of Enid Blyton books might not have started me off on the best path to having a firm grip on reality.  A situation that was made worse by a love of such unrealistic TV shows as I Dream Of Jeannie and Bewitched.  I mean, pleeease,  a beautiful witch, with magical powers that mean she can go anywhere and do anything she desires, yet all she wants to do is completely forsake those powers just to be a normal housewife.  RIIIIGHT.  I don't think so.

Anyway, back to books.  At age 10 I read 'Anne Of Green Gables' and then 'Anne' books took over from Enid as my favourites.  My friend Poss will want me to mention the 'Jill' books. So I will. They were 'horsey' type books.  And I say, they were frightfully good. Smashing and all that.  Just like Enid Blyton.  I did like the odd 'horsey' book, which is curious, because I've never particularly liked horses.

I my teens I went through a stage of reading the dreaded Mills and Boon type romances.  This horrified one year 9 English teacher, who called my mother up to the school to inform her that reading such books caused young girls to believe that if they had sex and had an orgasm, they were in love!

Books are the only thing I still hoard as an adult. With other ladies it's usually a handbag or shoe fetish, with me it's a book fetish. Everyone has their thing.  This is fortunate for my husband in that I'm happy with a two dollar book from an op shop, rather than a two hundred dollar handbag.  Not so fortunate however, in that we often need a spare suitcase to bring home all the books I buy on our holidays.

The fact that I will never have time to read all of these books even if I live to be 137 years old is completely irrelevant.  I still have to have them.   Now I still read lighter stuff. I have a short attention span and three kids, so what I am going to read, War and Peace?

 I do sometimes attempt classic authors like Austen, Bronte or Dickens, all of whom I love, but they require more concentration. So I mostly stick with frothy, girly 'chick lit' as they call it, or war time sagas, because I find it amusing how they always have to time for a brew in between all the dramas and bombs exploding, being a cuppa tea girl myself.

Interestingly, I've never read any Harry Potter books.  And I never will. As I've mentioned before, after having three sons, I'm over it.  I may also be the only person in the entire world who has never read the The Da Vinci Code.  I fear it would be too confusing for my fragile brain.  I can't even figure out how to put my sons Lego sets and other various toys together, so my brain might explode trying to decipher such a book.  I won't be reading the Twilight series or The Hunger Games either.  Ditto Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Instead, I'll just read 'Anne' again for the millionth time. Okay, trillionth....

"Mrs Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed by alders and ladies eardrops and traversed by a brook....."

Note: That opening line from Anne Of Green Gables was quoted straight off the top of my head.  Truly.  Yep, I really am that tragic.

Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

                                                         Which books do you love?
                                      What are you reading at the moment?

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Hormones From Hell

I fear I am alarmingly fat. Side on I could definitely pass for being six months pregnant.  With quads. As for my notorious double chin.  It's becoming triple. I seem to remember life on a parallel universe where I could devour hot chips and lasagne while size 8 hot pants still fit. And as many chocolates as a chocoholic likes. Which is quite a lot, actually.  After all we all know the old line: The answer is chocolate. And I don't give a damn what the question is. Boom Boom.

Of course I am presently living in the wonderful world of PMS. Nothing is guaranteed to turn me into a sobbing wreck more than these feral hormones from hell. I will sob at the sight of a Huggies commercial. I will sob when pants that fit me yesterday, suddenly decide not to zip up today.

I will be found weeping tears of utter desolation, unable to contain my heartfelt and utterly sincere despair over - absolutely nothing. To only minutes later, feeling palpable rage, rancid and real, coursing through my veins.

Slamming doors and glaring at anyone who has the misfortune to glance in your direction.  Micky Blue Eyes innocently looks at me and enquires "New top, is it?"  I am certain that what he really meant was "Looking a bit pudgy aren't we?"  He becomes the unfortunate recipient of the 'death stare' and wisely retreats behind a newspaper without waiting for a reply. I will snap at my boys for the slightest thing then begin wailing seconds later convinced I'm The Worst Mother In The World Ever for behaving like such a monumental bitch.

You will find me walking around feeling like a bi-polar, bloated balloon, with breasts swollen to Dolly Parton like proportions, so tender to the touch that a mammogram would seem like fun in comparison to your partner even attempting to come near them in a futile attempt to have sex. SEX?!!!  You, must be joking, I hear all you ladies shriek along with me, just give me a jumbo size block of chocolate and GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!!!

Of course, it's comforting to know that all of this will eventually subside only to be replaced by unbearable cramps, the equivalent of 500 knives being stabbed into your lower pelvic area and twisted around torturously for several days, after which you have the luxury of being allowed to be normal again for a couple of weeks (assuming you are one of the lucky ones who has clock work cycles, most of us don't) before - YOU START IT ALL OVER AGAIN!!!

Then, if all of that isn't bad enough, the only way out of this cycle of hellish hormones is to get older and then experience the wonderful world of even more hellish hormones called - menopause.  This is a prospect that sounds about as thrilling as being forced to attend a One Direction concert with a bunch of those idiotic, screaming teenage girls, with their hormones raging. GAH! You see what hormones are responsible for??!!

Linking up with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

What causes you to have a good old sooky la la sobbing session?

(It's Just Not) Working Girl

Today I am linking this old post with Kirsty from My Home Truths for I Must Confess: My First Job.

Recently I happened to watch the retro movie Working Girl starring Melanie Griffith on TV.  The one where everyone was suffering from serious Tragic Eighties Syndrome.

 Mick pointed out to me that I too once sported a mop of Tragic Eighties style hair just like Ms Griffith in the film. See above left.  Okay, mine was far worse than Melanie's. Or 'Tess' as she was in the film. See below.  Sadly, my Tragic Eighties hair was the only potential similarity I had to the character of Tess.

It was becoming increasingly clear to me from an early age that I could never hope to be a career woman. The grand finale of the film where Tess is given her own office while Carly Simon belts out an inspiring chorus of "Let The River Run" in the background, was never going to be a scene that would play out in my life. 

It all started the first time I attempted to get a part time job in high school.  I wasn't really sure if I wanted one, but it seemed like the thing everyone did.    The obvious choice was a job at Macca's ie. McDonald's.  I dutifully filled out the application form.  I needed a reference. I asked a teacher who worked wonders at finding tactful, polite things to say about me when in reality if he'd written the truth it would have read something like "Vanessa never utters a single word, or makes eye contact.  Ever. Hire someone else."

After only two weeks of the preliminary training I was fired.  This did not bode well for a future career.  Let's face it, if you can't even manage Macca's, future CEO (or anything) is looking pretty unlikely. 

A year or two later I stumbled out of high school, with absolutely no idea of what to do.  So I signed up for a two year TAFE course in Library Practice.  Seemingly the perfect choice for the quiet, shy nerd-girl who loved reading.  To my dismay I discovered there was a lot more to working as a Library Technician than just reading books.  You actually had to talk to people.  Starting with the obvious.  A job interview.  EEEEEEEEEEEK!  Just the thought of them fills me with terror. 

I know nobody likes them. Everyone gets nervous of course. But it was completely off the scale for me.  I honestly could not fathom what to say.  It didn't matter that I was the most honest, trustworthy reliable individual on the planet, that wasn't going to get me a job. 

I needed the gift of the gab, the ability to sprout verbal diarrhoea and tell potential employers how completely wonderful I was.  I just simply cannot, to this day, do this.  I don't know how much of it is shyness and how much of it is my Aspergers, which I didn't know about at the time.  Perhaps I might have been able to get the help I needed for employment if I had known, something I desperately needed.

Since childhood, whenever I was asked an on the spot question I would freeze and literally not be able to think of  a single thing to say.  This happened at every interview.  Fortunately I was able to get a temporary position at the State Library of NSW through somebody I knew from TAFE.  But a permanent job elluded me.  For a period of time I diligently kept on applying for jobs.  I wasn't so bad at the written application part, so almost always I was contacted for an interview.  It was the talking I couldn't do.  Still can't. 

Some of the other librarians attempted to help me out by telling me what type of questions to expect to be asked so that I could prepare.  All the preparation in the world, still didn't help and the nightmare continued.  The more I tried, the more effort I put in to attempt to sound and speak confidently the more pointless it seemed.

One time I remember walking into a building for an interview and thinking: Right, I am going to walk up confidently to the front desk, speak up loudly and make eye contact.  Determined, I proceeded to do so only to receive the immediate reply "Boy, you're really shy aren't you?" I must have literally reeled as if he'd slapped me.  Even when I made a supreme effort to try to be confident, it seemed I just wasn't convincing. This was one of the many times the interview ended with me running out in tears.

Meanwhile I was also struggling with the temporary job, trying to fit in to the 'team' environment we were expected to work in.  As well as with being a dreamy, space cadet. An unhelpful trait in the work place.

Eventually I gave up on the library jobs and took a job in an NRMA call centre, principally because I was able to arrive 20 minutes late for the interview, after getting lost, where I mumbled a few incoherent words and they still employed me on a trial basis.  I soon found out why. It was hell on Earth.  NRMA are a great company, it's just that I wasn't cut out to talk to (mostly abusive) people all day.  Even over the phone. Somehow I worked there for three nightmarish years, before finally resigning. 

By this point I was married and we wanted start a family. It wasn't happening and we began fertility treatments.  This involved multiple trips to the hospital at random times, which would have made trying to keep a job at the same time difficult. So in it went into the too hard basket right along with driving.

Years later I had a few more casual library jobs.  (The whole fertility thing is another saga!).  The closest I got to a 'Tess' moment was when I was employed by law firm to look after their small specialist library.  I told them I wasn't in fact, officially a librarian, and they went oh well, doesn't matter and let me pretend to be one for a while.

Yes, I am definitely no Working Girl.  Maybe I'll just have to live vicariously through the film instead. After all daydreaming is something I'm good at.  Sing with me..."Leeeeeeeeet the River Ruuuun, Let all the dreamers wake the nation......"

Saturday, 14 April 2012

The Three B's

Sport and I do not mix.  I associate all sport with the three B's, ie. Bats, Balls, BOOORRRRING.  It all started in year 4 at primary school, when I had this appalling teacher who forced us to play endless games of volley ball.  Endless for me meant any number greater than zero.

I simply detested it.  I had a dread of the ball coming near me and would flinch and move away instead of diving in and hitting it like you're supposed to.  I never noticed the ball was headed my way until it was right on top of me, as I was already tuned out anyway.  Unlike other kids who looked forward to sport as a means of escaping formal lessons, I dreaded it like most people dread root canal.

  Of course I was always the last person standing there that nobody wanted when team captains had to choose people during sport at school.  You couldn't really blame anyone for not wanting me on their team.  I was completely inept and uninterested. The frequent jibe I heard was always: "You're supposed to hit the ball!"

On one occasion I do remember becoming annoyed when somebody yelled at me yet again during sport at school and shouting back something really forceful like "Oh, shut up!" That actually  was forceful for me, as I think it was the only two words I uttered through all of high school. "Come here young lady!" the teacher announced sternly.  I trudged over sullenly, preparing for reprimand.  "Congratulations," he announced instead "that's the first time you've ever stood up for yourself." It was probably the last too. Oh well.

Unfortunately for me, becoming a mother of three boys hasn't lessened my antipathy for all things sport like.  I still have zero interest.  I haven't even made an appearance at Master 8 or 10's soccer as yet this year.  The season has just started, so I expect I will eventually, at which point the following will happen:
  • My eyes will glaze over in approximately ten seconds , even when it's my own child playing.
  • When an occasion pops up where we have to go in opposite directions to take both boys to a soccer match at the same time at different parks,  Mick will then ask me detailed questions about the game, such as which team mates were there, who scored the goals and who, in fact, won, and I will have no idea, because after glazing over after ten seconds, I was then tuned out for the entire game.
  • All the other parents at the game will be overly concerned with their child's team winning and their child actually scoring a goal, screaming at them insanely throughout the match.  All I will be concerned about is if there is coffee available at the kiosk, and when it will be over so that I can go home.
  • When I get there I will have to rely on Master 8 or 10 to locate their team mates because I'm still not entirely sure who they are or what they look like, even near the end of the season, because I've been so tuned out.
  • I can't ever really remember the actual name of the teams they play for.  Is it Under 9 Dolphins or Wombats? It's some sort of an animal, I know that much. Can't remember which one though.
  • Canteen duties will traumatise me.  This requires me to do all of the things I am hopeless at, at once.  Dealing with people face to face, remembering stuff and adding up numbers all at the same time.  Too scary. Was it one sausage sandwich and two cans of coke? Or one can of coke and two sausage sandwiches?  And then I will proceed to add it all up wrong, either giving the delighted person a free drink or the peeved person the incorrect change.  Consequently, I think I've only done canteen duty a grand total of once. 
Then, in addition to all of that, if the entire season isn't tedious enough, you have the end of year presentation.  This is when you are required to sit through several hours in an auditorium, hearing multiple long-winded, dull speeches about what a great year it's been and politely clapping for every other child clopping up to the stage to get their trophy while completely bored out of your mind, when all you are interested in is your kid getting their trophy and getting the hell out of there and having lunch and a drink or two. Because frankly you need one after having to sit through such mind-numbing boredom.  Or maybe that's just me. 

Sadly though, the joke is on me.  The truth is that because of my tendency to be a sooky la la stresshead I desperately need to exercise. I also need to burn off all the cakies and crap I eat, but I have given up on this presently as this would require completing a triathlon daily.  And then I still may not have burned enough calories.  But I still need those endorphins.  So what do I do?

 I can't do team sports.  Don't even talk to me about Gyms. I have attempted to go to them in the past  when I came to this conclusion. I hate them with a passion.

The queueing up for machines, the doof doof music, the overly polite, patronisingly fake staff who are only interested in getting you to sign up for a hellishly expensive membership.  The posturing people giving you pitying looks at your Best & Less purchased sport wear.  No thanks.

So I exercise at home.  By myself.  Where nobody can see what an uncoordinated klutz I am.  Wearing an attractive ensemble of leggings, one of Mick's t-shirts and joggers with holes in them.  Huffing, puffing, sweating, face red as a beetroot.

Which reminds me.  I suppose I had better go it do it.  Soon.  Oh, okay, now.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Quiet Discomfort

I am, of course, famous for being quiet, introspective and deep.(ie an off with the pixies, space cadet who can't think of a single original thing to say) which means that I do not find myself making faux pas. In fact my biggest faux pas seems to be the fact that I AM so quiet. It seems to bother people tremendously.  This has led to the following situations and observations.

When an outgoing, talkative person leaves a job, their co-workers are genuinely regretful to see them go, not only because of their work contribution, but also because of their wit, conversation skills and general friendliness.  People descend on them with loud exclamations of "Sorry to see you go!" and promises to keep in touch and meet for coffee.  There are lots of 'in' jokes on the farewell card about all the crazy times at staff and Christmas Parties.

This is in stark contrast to a shy, quiet person, (ie. me). When you leave a job (assuming you can get one in the first place) people make such heartwarming comments like:

"Oh well, we'll miss your work, but not you - you're too quiet."

When the farewell card goes around the office, everyone politely signs it, all the while wondering:
 "Who is she?"

Other stuff that has happened:

People routinely talk about me as if I'm not there.

People who would never dream of telling an overly loud chatterbox to just shut the hell up, think nothing of telling me that I SHOULD NOT be so quiet. That I MUST come out of my shell.

Frequent jibes heard are:

"It's always the quiet ones you gotta watch."

 As if being quiet means I am some sort of weird psychopath waiting to happen, who could potentially snap at any given moment. Well, just so you know, I personally keep my collection of sawn off shot guns right in between my collection of Carpenters cds and Lucy Maud Montgomery novels. NOT.

"Stuck up bitch!"

I heard this a lot growing up

 Me? Stuck up? I live in Boganville for christ sakes.  Me? A bitch? I honestly wish I could be one.  Even just for a day, just to see what it feels like.

"You're the quietest person I've ever met/known." 

 Hmph.  Don't they know any dead people.

Other stuff that occurs to me:

People whom I've met several times and by now could reasonably expect they might remember me, look at me bewildered, frantically searching their memory banks and coming up they have forgotten my name.

I spent decades of my life being nice, polite, sweet and giving to other people who wouldn't even like me if I gave them a Ferrari, only to be informed during a so-called Confidence Building group thingy, that quiet, shy people are selfish and self-absorbed. This didn't particularly build my confidence, come to think of it.

In a recent social situation I was my usual quiet, unassuming self. Meanwhile, a group of young women were chatting away incessantly. The bulk of the conservation seemed to involve bitching about other friends and acquaintances who were not there. At times the comments were not only bitchy but downright racist. I said nothing. Maybe I should have. Nobody else said anything. Then, in amongst all this racist bitchiness, somebody turned to me and exclaimed loudly :

"You're the quietest person I've ever known! You're never gonna change, are you?" Hearty chuckles. How am I supposed to respond to such statements? I have no idea, but I probably gave her look that would freeze hell over.

Apparently being bitchy and racist is far more socially acceptable than being quiet. I don't get it. I never will. Sigh.

Selective mutism is, of course, part of having Asperger's Syndrome. I was just lucky enough to score a genetic hatrick of traits. I'm introverted, shy, quiet AND an Aspie, so therefore, is it any wonder I am so quiet? Maybe I should wear a sign on my chest or something informing people of all of the above, so they won't make a federal issue of it.

Ultimately, the older I get the less I care about what random people think of me. Hallejah! About time. Occasionally, I frustrate the fuck out of Micky Blue Eyes with my silence. I DO care about that. I don't know how he puts up with me, sometimes. But then again, I don't know how I put up with him either. Interesting. Apparently we like putting up with each other.

Okay, I think I'm done.  Back to what I do best.  Shutting up.  Try it some time people.

Linking up with Kirsty from  My Home Truths for I Must Confess.

Are you a talker? Too quiet? Or just right? What's so wrong with being quiet, anyway? Any thoughts?

I Vant To Be Alone

It is Easter Sunday and I now have alone time.  Mick has taken the boys to a soccer match. The house is echoing with blissful silence.  I can even hear a bird cooing along with the wind chimes outside the door. No deafening roar of a PlayStation, combined with the television blasing. No cries of "Muum, can you get me a cup of tea?" vying with "He started it!" to be heard.

 Consequently, I cannot think of single interesting thing to write about.  So I expect this blog entry will be boring as batshit.  Just like all the others then, I guess. Oh well.

Whenever I have absolutely no hope in hell of getting near the computer, then, no doubt I would be bursting forth with all sorts of brilliantly witty insights and revelations (ie. full of shit). Today, I've got nothing.  But since nobobdy is reading this anyway I guess it doesn't matter.

So, now that I have alone time, here is a list of things I could do:

  • Exercise (I do need the endorphins.  No point worrying about burning calories.  I could jog to Melbourne and back and I still wouldn't have burned off the calories I've eaten in chocolate.)
  • Blast Carpenters REALLY LOUD.
  • Write
  • Eat more chocolate
  • Do 20 truck loads of washing up (hmm might actually be forced to, if I fancy a cup of tea later)
  • Read a book
  • Put away 20 truck loads of laundry
  • Eat more chocolate
  • Clear away/tidy
  • Clean the bathroom
  • Stare into space vacantly
  • Eat more chocolate
  • Have a bubble bath
  • Call a friend
  • Text a friend
  • Ironing ( yeah right)
  • Watch tv
  • Watch a girly movie
  • Eat more chocolate
Right. So far, have managed to read a book, eat more chocolate, stare into space vacantly, eat more chocolate, blast Carpenters, eat more chocolate ,write this boring as batshit blog and eat more chocolate.  Comforting when you can tick stuff off your to-do list isn't it?

On a day when most people would unite with their extended families for a big get together or bbq, I am quite content being alone. I have chocolate. Books. Carpenters. Computer.  Ahhh, heaven.

I guess it seems like I don't really love my kids when I crave alone time so much.  But I really do love them.  I just really love them to go out with Mick and leave me alone sometimes too.  This gives me time to ponder on things like the deep and intellectual thinker I am.  Like my reflections on being so quiet and introverted.  Coming soon.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Group Therapy

Today I was hit by a bus. Metaphorically speaking.  Pushed way out of my comfort zone.  Completely out of my depth.  Feeling awkward, alien like and anxious.  This happens every Wednesday.  One word.

Playgroup. Actually it could be two words.  Not sure.

It's only two hours a week.  Two very  over-whelming hours.  For me, anyway.  Noise.  Children.  Apparently they are essential for a Playgroup.  Fleurescent lights. People.  Lots of people.  Scary.

Not to mention the giant huntsman that crept out to greet me in the bathroom there, a few weeks ago. Eeeeeeeeeek!

On any given week, there will be children running around playing, including my very own Master 3 (when he isn't clinging to me).  Babies crying.  Mum's chatting.  Toys everywhere.

Where am I amongst all this?  Standing, mute, in the corner, in quiet discomfort.  It's not that the folk there aren't friendly and welcoming.  They are.  It's just me.  Groups intimidate me. Always have.

Although I can sometimes manage an awkward one to one conversation, groups are a mystery to me.  I have no idea in hell how to join in an already established conversation.  Am clumsy at starting one. Posess zero ability to shout out and project my voice (which rarely reaches more than a whisper anyway) across a crowded room.

I can't bounce off people speedily with instant witty comebacks.  Trade jokes and banter with effortless ease. I do not have instant rapport with anyone I meet or make friends easily wherever I go. Let's not even talk about eye contact. Impossible.  Just. Does. Not. Compute.

I am capable of being a loyal friend and confidante, I know that, but not capable of making them easily.  Luckily, I do have my family and a small group of friends who seem to accept me the way I am (the quietest person in the room where ever I go) for which I am very grateful.

Plus, when at Playgroup, or anywhere for that matter,  I seem to have a decidedly unhelpful habit of comparing myself to all the other mothers.  How on Earth do they manage to look so neat, tidy and frankly, awake?  Wearing white.  White. With children.  Just. Does. Not. Compute.

In addition to this, their children tend to look like they've just stepped out of a Target catalogue.  My Master 3, on the other hand, looks like he's been dragged backwards through a hedge, wearing faded hand me downs, impeccably ironed to perfection though, of course, ( if you have been reading all my posts you will know I just made that last bit up, just wanted to check if you are paying attention) including a Spiderman shirt that belongs to a dress-up suit, at least a size too small.  As well as sporting a dodgy at home hair cut.  Classy.

The main thing is, he seems to have a good time.  So I will keep going,  and hopefully he will learn to navigate groups with slightly more ease than his mother.  Also, even the most quiet, shy, introverted Aspie craves company sometimes.  Even if I do come home exhausted, wanting quiet time.  If such a thing even exists as a mother of three boys!

I just hope that the huntsman spider doesn't make another appearance.  That thing was huge.  Eeeeeeek!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A Day In The Life Of A Mad Boganville Housewife Part Three

Time for the stunning conclusion of a day in my life. Read on for fascinating insight.


The boys now all sit gape jawed looking at the tv.  "Do your homework." I tell them.
"Not now!" shouts Master 8 "later!"
"But my favourite shows on!" roars Master 10
"When does that finish?" I ask, patiently.
"Half an hour."
"Okay." I comply.

  Half an hour later.  "Do your homework." I tell them.
"But I'm going on the trampoline!" Master 10 says frantically, trying to shut the back door so his brothers can't come out. He wants alone time.  Master 3 starts crying at the door.  Master 8 tries to placate him unsuccessfully, receiving a thump to his stomach for his efforts. So he then proceeds to kick him in the shins in return. 

Another twenty minutes of wailing and shouts of "He started it!" ensue, while I try to comfort and smoothe over the argument.  Master 10 wanders back in from the trampoline. 

"Homework!" I remind them. Mick chimes in too.  Reluctantly they get their homework and sit at the table.  "What's twelves times nine?" asks Master 10, scrunching his face up in concentration.  I rack my brains and come up with.....nothing.
"Ummm..not sure," I reply, feeling stupid "ask Daddy."

Mick prattles off the answers immediately, unwittingly doing Master 10's homework for him.  More grumbling, shouting and arguments errupt as Master 3 tries to scribble all over Master 8's homework.  Finally it is done.  Now for the next battle.

"You have to have a bath. " I tell them.
"But I had one yesterday!" howls Master 10
"Later!" declares Master 8.  Master 3 is already half naked.  He loves baths. 
"Bubbles!" he says in excitement.
"I don't have any."
"Want bubbles!"
I squirt shampoo in.  I try to coax Master 8 or 10 into the bath also. The door bell chimes.

It is their friend, Miss 9, from next door, asking to play.  They scurry off, happily, dodging a bath.  Master 3 comes running out swathed in nothing but bubbles.  "Want go plaaaay!" he cries.  I wrestle him to get him dressed.

They all go out and start jumping on the trampoline, bouncing around blissfully and playing 'tips'.  Next they decide to play hide and seek.  Suddenly the back yard is left in eerie silence.  "Where are they?" Mick asks, looking up from the computer in alarm.

I rush out to the front of the house and scan the street, panicked. Nothing.  Then I hear a giggle over the fence.  They are hiding next door at Miss 9's house.  "Play in the back yard only." I order.  They scowl and sulk, then obey and start playing on the swings.  Master 3 demands to pushed. "Higher!" he orders, giggling.

Miss 9's Mum hollers over the fence for her to come home.  She skips off.  The boys and I trudge back inside. I realise I should start dinner. Suddenly, I remember they still haven't had their baths.
"You have to have a bath after dinner." I warn them.

Mick grills the chops on the bbq health grill while I boil baby potatoes and corn on the cob. I cut up salad.  Master 3 strolls into the kitchen.  An overwhelming stench emanates from his direction.
"Did you do a poo?" I ask, frantic.
"No!" he denies it vehemently, but the smell is all too obvious.  I drag him to the bathroom. It's everywhere, in his underpants, down his legs and up his back.  "Arrrrgggh!" I yell, while the smell over powers me.

"It's not poo, it's chocolate!" Master 3 declares, defiantly. I am forced to give him another bath, this time putting a nappy on him afterwards. 

I then set the table.  The food is ready.  Master 10 puts one chop on his plate and tries to skulk to the living room with it.  "Sit at the table!" Mick and I chorus.  He does so, glowering.  All tv and play stations are switched off.

Master 8 gobbles everything in sight.  Except anything green, that is. "Eat this." Mick says sternly, putting a tiny amount of salad leaves on his plate. "NOOOOO!!!" he yells, as if we were forcing him to eat dog poop.  He manages to swallow a small piece, but not before turning nearly as green as the lettuce. 

Meanwhile  Master 3 is howling over his potatoe. "TOOO HOOOOT!!" he wails "BLOW IT!"
I blow on it half-heartedly.  "TOOOO HOOOOTT!!" he keeps on howling.  Master 10 eats his one chop and picks at a piece of corn before announcing: "I"m full. May I leave the table?" PlayStation goes back on.

Master's 8 and 3 start arguing again, this time over lego.  There is now more washing up to be done.  It's all too much.  I retreat to my room and put on a Carpenters Cd instead.

Master 3 bangs on the door, crying over some new injustice from Master 8.  I comfort him then go back to my Carpenters.   Master 8 bangs on the door.  "Mum, can you scratch my back?"
I scratch it and then go back to my Carpenters.

Bang, bang.  Master 10 this time. "I'm starving.  Can you make me some noodles and a cup of tea?" 
I give up on my Carpenters and traipse back to the kitchen, which now resembles a war zone.  I make two minute noodles, and cups of tea and coffee for everyone.

With grim determination I start washing up, when I remember they still haven't had their baths.  I sigh. Oh well, one day without a bath won't hurt I tell myself.  I need to reserve my energy.  For it is time for the mother of all battles.

Bed time.

"Time for bed!" I announce, cheerfully.
"NOOOOO!!" they shout at ear splitting volume, just as if I had announced "Time to sever off your dangly bits with a sharp instrument!"
"Five more minutes!" they yell simultaneously.
"Alright." I give in, feeling that familiar throb at the temples again.  Half an hour passes.

"Right, time for bed!"
"NOOOOO!!" they bellow, just as if I had said "Right, time for your colonic irrigation!"
"Five more minutes!"
"Alright." I retreat, feeling tired and defeated.  Half an hour passes.

"Bed time!" I try, hopefully.
"Strewth, is that the time!" says Mick, looking up from the computer in a daze, where he is blasting Iron Maiden on Youtube.  "Get your pyjamas on." he orders.  They do.

"Can we sleep in your bed?" they both ask, smiling, cherub like.
"Ask Daddy." I reply.  They do.
"Ask Mummy." he says.  They come back to me.
"No, go in your own beds." I say.  They sulk and head to their room.

"Can we read a book first?" Master 8 pleads, clutching a Where's Wally book.  My heart sinks.Those books take approximately twenty hours to 'read'.  By which point you still haven't found Wally. I suggest a different book to no avail.  I try to skip pages, but they are too smart for me.  Finally Master's 10 and 8 get into bed. 

"Can you pat me?" sobs Master 8
"Mum, come in my bed?" begs Master 3, pleadingly.  I sit and pat Master 8, while Master 3 tugs at me to come with him.

Suddenly, Master 10 springs up out of his bed with a great "RAHHHHHHHHHH!" deliberately scaring the bejesus out of us, a charming habit of his.  I rouse on him and comfort the other two, then say goodnight and take Master 3 to bed.

"Lie down on my bed." he instructs me, solemnly.
"No, I'll just sit and pat you."
"Lie down on myyy beeed!" he is crying.  I lie down.  After 15 minutes or so he starts to fall asleep.  The other two start giggling and talking across the hall.  "Shhhhhh!" I hiss, afraid they will wake Master 3 up.  I lay there for another 15 minutes or so, at which point, I nod off.

Half an hour passes.  Mick finds me there, snuggled next to Master 3, comatose, snoring.

So endeth a true saga.

Stay tuned for more musings.

Monday, 2 April 2012

A Day In The Life Of A Mad Boganville Housewife Part Two

As promised here is Part Two of the gripping saga that is my life.  Read on for drama, suspense and intruige.


Micky Blue Eyes has now returned and I am booted from the computer.  What to do now?   There are several truck loads of washing to be put away.  This strikes me as tedious, so I flick the tv on for entertainment while folding. 

First channel.  Infomercial about funeral plans. Too depressing, as I realise I don't really wish to plan for my death.

 Flick to the next channel.  Infomercial about miracle weight loss programme and exercise gadget.  Too depressing, as I realise I desperately need to lose weight. 

Flick to the next channel.  Infomercial about some wonder mop that will make mopping effortless, leaving all floors gleaming.  Too depressing, as I realise that the highlight of my day may involve mopping my filthy floors.  And there will nothing remotely wonderous about it.

Sighing, I switch off the tv.  Haphazardly, I start folding clothes.  On closer scrutiny it appears that most of them require a hideous process known as ironing.  This strikes me as tedious, so I convince myself the crumpled look is in and put them away as they are.

Then, I survey the living room.  There are toys everywhere.  In order to vacuum/mop I will need to clear approximately 20 tonnes of clutter.  Bugger that.   I procrastinate by making another cup of tea. 

Mick is still working away on the computer.  He starts talking to me about something Accountant-like as the kettle boils.  I try to not to look bored.  I retreat into the bedroom with my tea.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, I flip through my biography on Karen Carpenter for the millionth time and zone out.  Seems like only ten minutes go by but possibly an hour later, I glance up and catch sight of myself in the mirrored wardrobe.  I have a disgusting roll of belly flab, thunder thighs and a humongous double chin.  I am horrified.

Grimly, I pull on my holy joggers (as in they have holes in them, not as in they are sacred) and put on an exercise dvd. Within minutes, several pert, patronising aerobics instructors are beaming at me from the tv screen, looking scarily fit and promising me I too will have rock hard abs, buns of steel and melt away pounds if I work out with them.  So I do.

I begin the warm up, marching valiantly.  This is okay, I think, happily.  The pace picks up.  I start sweating.  The scary women bounce along effortlessly.  "You're doing great!" she shouts.  Why don't I feel so great?

"Time for some push ups!"  she announces as cheerfully as I would announce "Time to sit down with a cup of tea and a cakie!"
"Drop and give me twenty!"   Bugger that.  I jog on the spot instead.  I puff and pant.  Bugger that.  I march on the spot instead. 

Scary Woman bounces back up again.  "Now, go and get your Fanny Lifter. " she says.

My what??

"Position yourself over the Fanny Lifter."  Ummmm...okaay.  It appears to be some kind of bench/step thingy.  I improvise and do the squats without one.  Then we are huffing and puffing again.

There are several more references to the Fanny Lifter, which strikes me as a completely ludicrous name for an exercise gadget, so I am too busy laughing to exercise properly.  I improvise as best I can for several more minutes, before giving up and skipping to the cool down section.  At least I have managed to break a sweat, I tell myself, as well as make my head pound in earnest.

I swallow some painkillers and head for the shower.  Once there, I recoil in revulsion at the state and smell of the bathroom.  Might have to pull out the tub of Gumption first.  I half-heartedly give it a once over, then take a shower.  That done, my stomach growls.  Lunch time.

I then proceed to sabotage all my exercise effort by making Mick and I ham and cheese toasties. Then guiltily gobble a biscuit or other sweet treat with a cup of tea after the sandwich. 

There are several truck loads of washing up to be done.  This strikes me as tedious, so I dart back to the computer as Mick has disappeared outside for a few minutes.  I check my Facebook again. Yep, I am still a crashing, heaving bore compared to everyone else.

Mick comes back inside armed with yet another giant basket of washing from the line that I eye wearily.  He comments on the glorious weather and how it just makes him want to jump in the car and drive to Darwin. I try not to look alarmed.

Dismally, I do the dishes, wondering what to have for dinner.  I get the chops out.  Seemingly only 15 minutes have gone by but it is already time to get the boys. I set of to get Master 3 while Mick goes to get the other two.  This is the true highlight of the day, for when Master 3 sees me he his little face lights up, he runs to me joyfully, and I scoop him up in a big bear hug.  We head home.

Mick and the boys are back.  "Hi Mum," says Master 8, looking around dubiously "what did you do today?"

"Muuuum!" Master 10 shouts, already in his recliner/throne. "Can you make me a cup of tea?"

Stay tuned for Part Three, the stunning conclusion.  Coming soon.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Day In The Life of A Mad Boganville HouseWife Part One

Howdy folks.  Due to the fact that my life is so thrilling and glamorous (you, know the chops, three veg and tubs of gumption kind of glamorous)  I thought you might be gasping to get a glimpse into a typical day in the life of me: Boganville Housewife Extraordinaire.  So here it is, brought to you in a gripping three part saga, that will have you on the edge of your seats.


The raucous rumbling and roaring of what sounds like a jumbo jet at take off penetrates my restless sleep.  Simultaneously a small foot thuds into my forehead.  Master 3.  He had somehow snuck into our bed in the middle of the  night unbeknownst to me.  Thus, I am awake.  Sort of.  I snuggle with the little man for a bit longer.

Some minutes later I drag myself up and out of bed in my usual fashion, ie. like a hundred year old woman named Enid.  Back aching, neck stiff and sore.  Dizzy, nauseous. Nose clogged.  The promise of a pounding headache later, lurking behind my eyes.

Blearily, I stumble to the kitchen, and instead of 'a cup of ambition' I am handed a lovely, frothy vegetable juice. It was my idea to start Micky Blue Eyes on juices when he had Cancer.  In doing so, I created a monster as he now forces us to drink his concoctions almost everyday.

"Muuum! Can you make me a cup of tea?" Master 10 yells from his recliner/throne. 
"Drink your juice first!" Mick orders.  Pandemonium ensues as three very reluctant boys are forced to drink juices while turning an alarming shade of green.

Time for breakfast.  Crumpets with honey for Master 10.  Honey Weets for Master 8.  And for Master 3?  He wants tuna.  Or circle meat ie.  devon, which strikes me as particularly revolting. But, as my mother recently reminded me, I used to eat olives straight from the jar for breakfast as a girl.  As you do.  So I give it to him, then start packing school lunches.

Promptly, Master 10 is dressed and ready, eager to get to school.  "C'mon, hurry up, get dressed!" he wails to his dawdling brother.
"I aaaaam!" bellows Master 8.  They then start chasing each other and fighting.  Master 3 gleefully joins in. Testosterone bounces off the walls. I am forced to chase him to get him dressed.

Once in his room, he rejects every article of clothing selected for him.  "That's boorrring!!" he shouts, then stubbornly insists on choosing his clothes and dressing himself.  "I do it!" At least this is a refreshing change from Master 10, who no doubt would still allow us to dress him if he could get away with it.

There is a mad last minute panic and flurry of activity looking for hats etc, and making sure all notes are filled out, signed and school things paid for.  There seems to be something nearly everyday. Mick then takes them to school and kindy.  Ahhh, blissful silence. 

Armed with a cup of tea and toast I dash to the computer.  This might be the only ten minutes or so I have on there all day, as Micky Blue Eyes works from home.  I check my Facebook.

I scroll down my Newsfeed.  It seems everyone on my friends list is striding off purposefully to jobs and careers, planning holidays and looking forward to catching up with friends.  Meanwhile what does my thrilling day hold for me?  Stay tuned to find out in Part Two.  Coming soon.