First Day Of School

My youngest godson starts school this week for the first time. It is such a big day for him and he is so unbelievably excited. He has spent the previous couple of weeks modelling his new school clothes for anyone and everyone.

But his mother and I have mixed emotions. He looks so young and vulnerable standing there in his over-sized school uniform and shiny black shoes.

When my first child started school for the first time, I cried buckets when I got home. My daily routine had been centred around her for so long, and the house felt so empty. I couldn’t wait to pick her up and bring her back home again.

By the time my second child went off to school I was much calmer. I didn’t cry as much, and I actually began to revel in the peacefulness of having my house to myself again.

But now that the children are older it’s a different story. My friends and I get together on the first day of each term and celebrate “Back To School Day” over coffee and cake.  It’s a red-letter day in all our calendars. We all look forward to it, and there are no tears.

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New Year’s Eve

Welcoming in The New Year has changed considerably as my family has grown up…

When we were in our “pre-children phase” my husband and I used to head into the city and join the multitudes for the music and fireworks.

When our children were babies we had New Year’s Eve parties with friends, who were similarly encumbered by small children, in each other’s backyards. We were all armed with baby monitors so we could listen to our sleeping children inside.

As the children grew, we found babysitters who were willing to watch them for us (at an exorbitant rate) while we headed off into town to join the multitudes for the music and fireworks.

Unfortunately, when we did this, we also suffered the guilt of feeling like neglectful parents when the kids demanded to know why couldn’t they go with us? I mean how do you tell your own child that you want to have some fun without him?

Now that my children are teenagers it’s a different story. They definitely don’t want to share New Year’s Eve with us.

The idea of even spotting their aged, uncool parents in a New Year’s crowd is enough to send them spiralling into a black depression. Let alone the unmitigated shame they would suffer if we actually spoke to them in front of their friends!.

Anyway, my youngest tried come up with a solution yesterday to ensure that we would not to be within 10km of him at any time from sunset to sunrise. The “Oldies” (his father and I) could have a party at home with our friends and he would go into the city OR we could go out ourselves and leave the house to him so that he could throw a party. I don’t think so ….

The Christmas Crazy Begins

The Christmas Crazy has begun for me – I’ve started Christmas shopping!

My friends and family admire me for being organised. They just don’t seem to realise that I’m not being efficient – it’s simply a matter of survival and I’m a natural-born coward.

I don’t like shopping, and I especially don’t like shopping in crowds because I’m terrified of being trampled to death by one of those maniacal shoppers fighting over the last item on the sale table. So you can see that the Christmas rush is definitely not for me.

Anyway this year I decided to buy all my Christmas presents via the net (see eBay and me for more details) and I’ve almost got them all done. So I’m feeling very self-satisfied as you can imagine.

Christmas is at our house this year – not a problem – I’ve got heaps of time to design the menu and start stocking up on the non-perishable items – so I’m still feeling smug.

But here comes the bombshell: one of the family has become a vegan (no meat, eggs or dairy products). Ok, so I’m not feeling quite as complacent now. What the hell do you serve a vegan for Christmas Dinner? Roast Tofu with veg? Prawn shaped tofu with salad?

We have a tradition that we’ve been following faithfully for years – we hold open house on Christmas morning. Our friends in town (before heading off to their respective families) turn up for a festive breakfast of pancakes with brandy butter etc. It’s my husband’s sole contribution to the Christmas spirit and everyone looks forward to it.

But vegans can’t eat this either – I’m now officially stressed.

My sister calls: my niece has been diagnosed as gluten intolerant – she can’t eat wheat in any form (even flour).

Now I’m really ready to be certified. I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to feed a houseful of people expecting a traditional Christmas with all the trimmings and, at the same time, use neither meat, eggs, dairy or wheat products… HELP!!!

 

To be continued…

 

The Laundry Basket

It’s not that I dislike doing the laundry so much as the fact that it never ends. You finally get everything washed and put away and suddenly the dirty clothes basket is full again! How does that happen? Are there laundry gremlins just waiting until that satisfied feeling starts to well up, and then they pounce? In our house we wash every day and still the laundry basket overflows.

I think the worst part is the fact that I wash clean clothes. Or rather I wash the teenager daughter’s clothes, fold them neatly on her bed and then, a few days later, find them in the laundry basket complete with fold marks. Then I have to wash them again because they’ve been cohabiting with the dirty stuff. This is her version of tidying her room – just remove all the clothes from the floor that she pushed off her bed the night before.

When my daughter was about four she changed clothes an average of 15 times a day for some unknown reason, and I washed them all each time. How stupid was I? Don’t answer that.

My son on the other hand has never put an article of dirty clothing in the laundry basket in his life. His soiled clothes sit coiled and waiting on his bedroom floor to trap the unwary passer-by. I actually used a rake the other day to transport this hazardous material to the laundry because I was too scared to touch it.

I remember when the children were newborns. I was so fanatical about cleanliness – I used pure soap to wash their baby clothes and I boiled anything that could possibly come near them (the dog was in a constant state of fear).

Then came the day my perfect, pristine baby started teething and the dog’s ear was a convenient option – the boy has never looked back and neither have I…

When I Was God

I remember when my children thought I was God. I was all-powerful, all-knowing. I could fix any problem and answer any question they threw at me. And then my children started school…

These days if it comes to a toss-up between their teacher and me – I lose. After years of being infallible I have suddenly developed feet of clay. It’s not that I know any less (at least I hope not) – it’s just there is a new goddess in their life. Their teacher obviously knows more than me because she’s a “Teacher” with a capital “T” whereas I’m just a lowercase “mum”. I can even accept that with relatively good grace if I have to – it’s the fact that Ms. “whatever-her-name-is” has become the expert on everything in their lives. And she’s just so incredibly politically correct (PC) about it all. She’s turning my kids into the “PC Police”. They lecture me on what food we should and shouldn’t eat, what sort of car we should drive and so on.

Now I’ll admit that I like the odd glass of wine or two (sometimes it’s all that keeps me from killing the kids) but now they have the audacity to nag me about it. They actually kept count of my drinks at a party recently. Can you believe that? (I’d had 3 drinks for those of you who might be morbidly interested).

Did you know that I am personally responsible for climate change? Just ask my kids. I suppose I should count my blessings that they’re not blaming me for everything else that’s wrong in the world.

When I was a teenager my mother was really dumb. The incredible thing was how much smarter she became once she was a grandmother!!!

…or was it just that when I had kids of my own – I finally learnt to appreciate her?

The Testosterone Hurricane

My house is suffering from an infestation of testosterone – it’s apparently dripping down the walls.

It’s school holidays and my teenage son,  and godson, and their friends are invading my space. They’re big, loud and smelly, and are working their way through my larder and fridge like a biblical plague of locusts.

They spend a lot of time wrestling in the lounge room,  usually when I’m trying to  read.

I’ve noticed that teenage boys don’t have a volume control, they have to yell at each other, even when they’re in the same room. They argue continuously over stupid things. They spent most of yesterday on: “what was better, Pokemon Go or Ingress?” I was ready to kill them all by dinner time.

But I have a bigger problem…

What is it about boys’ humour? Can someone tell me why bodily functions are so hilarious? They frequently make objectionable noises (and smells), and then laugh uproariously. And to make it worse, my husband thinks it’s funny too.

Is this a male-only thing? ‘Cos when I tell them that I think it’s revolting, it only makes them all laugh all the more.

Baywatch Revisited

Imagine the scene in one of those romantic movies – the screen is all misty, and the gorgeous hero emerges out of the water in all his glistening splendour. He tosses his head, throwing back his hair – all in slow mo of course.
Can’t you just see it?

Well my 15 year old godson tried something like that, well, sort of.
I think he was endeavouring to impress a girl. All I know is that it impressed the hell out of me.

One minute I’m sitting around the pool enjoying a quiet drink with a few friends and the next moment there’s my godson, in the pool, with blood streaming from his head. He had tossed his head alright – straight on to the concrete edging around the pool. Not exactly the impression he was trying to make, I’m sure.

A trip to the nearest hospital, and 3 stitches later, we finally made it back to the party.

My godson was the centre of attention of course, but unfortunately, not for the reason he was hoping for.