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 ….

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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 WWW War Zone

We have two computers connected to the internet – one is mine and the other is my son’s (both situated in my home office). Which has always been enough for the three of us now living in the house until now.

But I recently started an online game site because I thought it would be a bit of fun.

But it’s created a war in at our place! Everyone wants to use a computer now.

A couple of my son’s friends turn up at regular intervals wanting to play too.

My husband hangs around the office and says “You look tired – why don’t you go and have a rest?”

This is not because he loves me and cares about my welfare. No, it’s because he want me off the computer so he can have a go.

I don’t dare tell my husband if I’ve added any new games because he immediately wants to beat my high scores and take my trophies.

He and my son will battle over a single game for hours trying to beat each other. It’s a kind of bonding I suppose but they are so competitive about it.

The one thing I find hard to take is that they both plead with (and yell at) the computer when they’re playing games. I really don’t understand why they do it – the computer is not going to listen to them. Mind you, my husband has yelled at the TV for years and it’s never yet paid attention to him either …

Bingo

I recently took our little dog Bingo for her annual vet check.
She’s almost 16 and a bit shaky on her feet but she still manages to boss the other animals (and us) around.

Anyway the vet announced that she was doing really well for her age and to just enjoy the time we have left with her.

But I have to admit that Bingo has been acting a little strange lately. So much so that I’ve been telling people she’s in her second childhood.

No one but my husband sits in HIS chair but the dog has taken to jumping up on it as soon as he leaves the room.
She sneaks out of open doors and goes wandering for hours at a time.
She steals things from my son’s room and then hides them in the backyard.
She pretends she can’t hear us call but comes running whenever you open the fridge.
You get the picture.

When I mentioned her behaviour to the vet he said she was probably suffering from “mild dementia”.

Right – like that’s all I need – a dog with a Napoleon Complex AND Alzheimer’s.

A Bad Day

I’m having a bad day – so much so that even my husband’s breathing is annoying me. The children have heard me count to 3 at least five times already this morning. So far, the plan is that they are going to have to spend the rest of their natural lives in their bedrooms.

I’ve just had enough – I don’t want to be somebody’s wife or anybody’s mother today. And I’m sick of the drudge detail too.

It’s been a rotten week, the pc crashed again, the house looks like a bomb hit it, the children fought continuously with me and each other, and even the dog and the chooks got into an all-out brawl this morning. And as for my husband – he’s been sitting back enjoying the show (just as long as it doesn’t interfere with TV of course).

I want a new life – maybe as an international celebrity – sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Swanning around with other people just panting to do things for you and make your life easier. In my real life I’m the one who seems to do the doing for everyone else.

My grandmother rang to complain about my grandfather. She wants to know why, after 60 odd years of marriage, he can still drive her crazy? It must be an eternal problem: husbands sending their wives temporarily insane because of the things they either say, do or even, don’t say or do.

As for the kids, I may let them out of their rooms on a good behaviour bond eventually – it just depends on how I’m feeling this afternoon.

In order to avoid committing murder (husband or kids, I really don’t care who at the moment – they all deserve it today) I went and hid in the back yard under a tree with magazine and a cup of tea. After 15 minutes or so of alone time I started to feel much calmer – but then the blood drained from my face as I read something truly terrifying:

The wife of Russian Feodor Vassilyev had 69 children including 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets.

Ouch …

That poor woman – can you imagine a bad day in her house – all those kids bickering with one another and telling tales? And they can’t even bother to remember her name, just her husband’s!

On second thoughts, maybe my life really doesn’t seem that bad after all.

How To Drive Your Husband Insane (temporarily)

I’ve heard many versions of this over the years but I still like it.

If you want to put your husband on the spot (when even his breathing is annoying you) and you feel like an argument just for the sake of it – just ask him this:

“What would you do if I died? Would you marry again?”
No matter how he answers you he will be in the WRONG.

If he says he wouldn’t marry again you can start the ball rolling with:
“Why not? Don’t you like being married?”

If he says he would marry again begin with:
“Would you let her sleep in our bed?”

And then just sit back and watch his head explode.

WARNING: Do not try this at home if:
* You are feeling insecure – it could be dangerous for your emotional health.
* You are suffering from PMS – it could be dangerous for his physical health.

Family Dinners – False Advertising?

I want to live in a TV commercial…

Just once I would like the family to sit down to dinner together without someone, not necessarily one of the kids, whining: “What’s this? I don’t like it” about the food on offer.

On TV ads everyone is excited about the meal the mother/wife has placed on the table. They’re already seated, waiting, with happy expectant faces.

My family have to be hunted down, and driven like lambs to the slaughter to the dinner table. Then the complaining starts. Both kids want a permanent embargo placed on any food that is green. Or new on the menu. They have declared that it’s “child abuse” when I insist that they have at least have a taste.

If I can actually manage to get them together at the table at the same time – it’s a good night.

To have them eat the same meal is an altogether different challenge.
Each one has their own food fetish. My daughter won’t eat cooked vegetables while my son’s only culinary aspiration is to be served sausages at each and every meal.

Have you noticed that in TV commercials everyone is dressed neatly and nicely? There’s no-one wearing a ratty fairy outfit or a filthy footy jumper at THEIR dinner table. And never, ever, does a telemarketer call in the middle of a meal to try and convince you to change mobile carrier.

At our house the TV is blaring in the other room so they can hear it while they eat and not actually have to talk to one another. Well, that’s a lie, they do argue over who got the smallest serving of those “gross things” (peas). And although they can’t see the television they are still fighting over the channel selection while my husband endlessly proclaims to an increasingly unheeding audience that he needs to listen to the news for work.

Just once I’d like to enjoy a family meal amid civilised conversation. So one night I simply turned off the TV and announced amid mournful groans that we were going to have a nice family dinner and each member of the family could chat about something that interested them.

Sounds just like a TV commercial doesn’t it? All that caring and sharing.

Well, not in my house. What I got instead was each one, including the father of the other two, trying to top the others with the worst, most gruesome stories that they could think of, involving bizarre methods of dying. The more blood-curdling, the more they relished it.

So I gave up and turned the television back on… Even the news was less bloodthirsty than my mob.