Thursday, March 29, 2012

Moral and medical chaos....

We’ve had an interesting last few days full of moral dilemmas, medical issues and laughter.

I realised just how different my morals are to Marks. I have always looked for the easiest way to do something and as long as it’s legal and not hurting someone – hey it’s okay! For example, I love to cheat at board games and I remember my great friend Renata and I having massive fun fights as we realised we both do it and would end up play fighting with pieces going everywhere when someone went too far. Mark used to be completely bemused by this – he just didn’t understand (and he still doesn’t understand why you’d want to cheat). You can imagine then how proud he was when I told him how I was trying to teach Lakeisha to cheat in her homework this week and she refused to do it - telling me off. She wanted to do it properly! It involved writing her 10 spelling words out 4 times on the computer but once we were through the 3rd time (which took a painstaking 40 minutes as she’s not familiar with the keyboard yet) I figured she’d practised enough, dinner time was looming and I was bored so I showed her how to copy and past the words instead. OMG! She reacted like I’d taken her favourite teddy and torn off his leg. Dinner was late that night....... And she made me delete my cheat.

Now we come to dinner...... it’s chaos at our house most nights at dinner time. We always turn off the TV and use the time to catch up on our day with everyone at the kitchen table including the baby. Last night it was simply triple chaos. Everyone had an exciting day, we were all were talking over the top of each other and even the baby wanted to chuck in his two bob’s worth. I ducked away from the table for a millisecond to get more apple juice and came back to find Mark happily eating his dinner with his super duper army issued noise cancelling headphones on! Yes – it was funny, but I was more jealous than anything. I want a pair as well.

Then after dinner our lovely interim au pair takes me aside and tells me she allowed Lakeisha to use her laptop after school and when our au pair looked Lakeisha was on Google typing in the word penis. Oh dear! Time to get special kiddy barrier software. We think it's on her radar as her 9 month old brother has discovered his new toy and is making change time hard as he won't leave his appendage alone!

Then this morning Lakeisha asked me what the rocks in my bathroom were. Intrigued I followed her in to discover she’s pulled out every single little pill in my contraceptive pills case and re-aligned them on the floor. We keep a locked medical cabinet for everything except the pill (as there is no way I’m going to forget to take it and create a 4th addition to our house). I had to very carefully question her about whether she took any and she appears to have not realised they were pills. Phew! Mark and I had a big discussion about whether I should call the poisons line but decided it was probably fine. Nevertheless I took her to school this morning to monitor her and told her teacher just in case she did take one and had a delayed reaction – the teacher who is of course male and the brother of someone I went to school with. Very embarrassing!

I dropped off Lakeisha and then dropped off Bella to pre-school. As I’m waiting for Bella to apply her sunscreen I look at the kid’s drawings and there is a statement from Keirabella with a drawing of a sad face “I don’t like it when my sister hurts me but I like it when Mummy gives me a cuddle’. Oh crap. I register Lakeisha and I (the sister in question) need to have a talk and then I curiously look at some others which were “I hate it when daddy gives me a big smack’ and “I get scared when I get smacked...”. OMG!! I know it’s awful ‘poor kids!’, but I had to smile to myself. As bad as you think you are and as chaotic as it is, there’s always someone else with bigger issues!

In the midst of all of this I had to come home early from work this week as I was falling asleep at my computer. Mack is still sick with bronchitis and not sleeping, and the school easter egg hunt seems more difficult to organise than the construction of a new building. Sigh!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tantrumy thoughts mixed with evil ones...

I know a mother whose children do not, and have not, ever thrown tantrums (and who has no issues, and has never had issues, with either of them sleeping through the night). I’m serious! She’s not someone I’ve made up – she actually exists!
It’s funny but I never seem to be able to bond with this woman. EVER... I should be able to bond with her. Our kids are friends, we are professional working mums, we both drive safe boring cars, she lives in the next suburb so our kids could have play-dates, she seems smart and she likes shoes but...... every now and again I forget why I don’t like speaking with her and I accidentally find myself in a conversation with her.
Big mistake Kylie: I always walk away feeling like an icky, stinking, bad ass mother!
Let’s call her Stephanie.
Stephanie always smiles sweetly and tries ever so hard to understand problems of other mothers. Last week’s comments at a mummy coffee catch-up the comments were: “My sister in law rang me the other day asking for my advice on how to deal with a tantrum and I had to say that I’m so sorry but I just can’t help you - my kids have never thrown a tantrum and I wouldn’t know what to do”.
AND people listen to her and smile...... WTF?
This is not something I’ve made up. It’s actually a claim repeatedly made by her. Every time I go to school and see this woman there my heart sinks and I just know I have to avoid her or get a reputation for being a complete biatch because one day I’m not going to be able to keep quiet.
What I find amazing is that when my friend who was sitting next to her at the coffee catch-up was told this about tantrums (or the lack of) she did not react to this like it was a statement from an alien with green goop dropping from her nose, or ask the perfect mother what drugs she used. My friend is such an emotionally gifted person she accepted this fact very graciously while it took every inch of me NOT to jump in and query Stephanie further about her witchcraft skills and what nights she dances with the devil to achieve such almost impossible black magic night after night, day after day. It also took every inch of me not to pull evil faces behind her back and accidentally shove sugar sticks up her nose.
My crazy, hectic, juggling act of motherhood does not compute the absence of tantrums. In fact very soon I think I might be next to tantrum on the list.......
In the last few days we not only had to cope with Bella, our 4 year old, chucking her first major banshee tantrum in 12 months over the fact she didn’t want a glass of milk – an Oscar winner for over dramatisation if ever I saw one, but she then bit a friend’s 9 year old boy yesterday full on the stomach. The most perfectly round deep horrible bite I’ve ever seen. What I love is that my friend made a joke about being thankful it wasn’t lower and smiled at me – even though she was probably thinking I am never going anywhere with that family and that horrid evil banshee ever again.

Bella embarrassed me further by refusing to sit in the naughty corner and then trying to reason with me that she’d said sorry so why was I still fussing? OMG – she just did not ‘get it’ that her biting was UNACCEPTABLE. She also knew she was in public with at least 100 observers watching Mummy surreptitiously behind their meal to judge my reaction and she knew she could push me and there was no way I was going to react badly and embarrass us. My only option was to leave so I could tell her exactly what I thought privately of her behaviour in the car – which is exactly what she wanted in the first place - to leave!
Bella was once so bad that my best friend banned her from her house in case she taught her own toddler son how to tantrum like an animal. I think it’s even more frustrating in that I thought she’d grown out of this evil, horrible stage and that she was the world’s cutest, most adorable child. Up until the last 2 weeks she’s been a dream child. But..... Tonight the teacher sent home a note that we need to talk as she's become rebellious.. My child? Never!!
I won’t even start with Stephanie's absence of issues with her children sleeping except to say that she must have shares in a pharmaceuticAl company, and that our 9 month old Mack slept through last night for the first time in months. Yay!!
On the upside..... I only have the next 11 years to avoid Stephanie at school. Oh crap! Maybe it's Mummy's time to tantrum.....

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baking evil thoughts....

Today I will try to just think evil thoughts and not say them out loud.

I couldn’t help buy a card that said this today after being chided again on a closed internet forum for my comments.

The forum is like car crash television for me. I know I shouldn’t indulge in it and I know it’s bad for me but I can’t help sneaking a peek. This one is a step worse than car crash TV as it can also attack back! Those of you that know me well know I have a quirky sense of humour for the ridiculous that most people ‘get’ in person – for example when one of my students asked for advice on her uni program and she was a bit stressed I told her to chuck it all in and find a Sugar Daddy. The reaction was confusion and then hilarity. Of course I didn’t mean she should do it but I sensed that this was a big issue for her keeping her awake at night and the comment was designed to flip the stress on it’s head and give her perspective. I can usually judge the audience correctly. It usually works. And it did.

My kids are very familiar with terminology like eating caterpillar vomit (avocado), squashed flies (sultanas) and saying butterfly poo instead of the s word.

So what did I say on this closed forum that was so bad? Actually in this case, it wasn’t the sublimely ridiculous. I was being serious but making it light hearted and recognising my shortcomings as the issue has had quite an impact on my kitchen habits. In a discussion about the Women’s Weekly cookbook and people posting up pictures of their wonderful creations, I noted that when I was a kid one of my friends lost his fingers in the mixer while baking (true and gruesome). Some of you that I grew up with will know the incident. I suppose in my own way I like to throw in the ridiculous and it's not the direction I think people thought the conversation would take! But I have to say that when I think of baking a cold hard stab of fear possesses me. I don't usually share why this is with people but hey - it's interesting in a forum with mostly strangers I feel it's okay to tell them my insecurities. Most people know I outsource birthday cakes etc and now they know why. In my mind I connect baking with blood and panic.

I said and here is my evil comment.... “I’m a Nazi with the mixer. Absolutely no-one else is allowed to touch it. I know it’s extreme ..”.

You should have seen the offence one woman in particular took to my use of the word Nazi and then she posted an independent post about my reference to the work nazi and..... I’m instantly a baddie! I called myself a Nazi in regards to baking and recognised my need to get over my extreme reaction to the trauma – perspective here sweetie. Is her reaction so overzealous that it’s a parody?

I know the solution is NOT to look at this forum again or not to post, but.... it’s hard for someone like me who loves people and who loves to interact to just butt out. 85% of the time I feel supported, loved, and receive great advice. I like to think I give good advice too, but I’ve realised a fault I have that I never thought was an issue. I am super sensitive to written criticism and I really need to toughen up.

This happened once before on this forum and friends asked me not to leave but ........... I have a self imposed ban for a few day’s and then I’ll probably accidentally say the wrong thing again. It’s funny as I never have this issue in person with people – so the written word really can be misinterpreted and people seem to be nastier online than they are in person.

I think some sort of guidelines need to be in place for closed forums but I’m too scared to suggest it! I hope the investigation into that defence closed forum creates some kind of national guidance. I once suggested on the forum that we only say constructive, supportive things when people started attacking each other and they turned on me.

Maybe I should just watch more of Jerseylicious or Keeping up with the Kardashians – at least they don’t bite back! Maybe I could have some fun with this and just completely and utterly not censor anything???

I certainly know that I will never enter another closed forum ever again.