Friday, June 29, 2012
Today, it was my darling [argumentative, petulant, sulky] five year old.
She was deliberately dragging her feet: she knew she was making us late for school. She didn't care because she obviously thought (quite accurately) that I was quite powerless to do much about it.
As I ran through my list of threats, I hit upon a winner. I would tell her teacher the real reason we were late for school.
She didn't like that and within five minutes we were out the door.
She moaned Every. Step. Of. The. Way.
WHY were we walking? Her legs were soooo tired. Why couldn't we take the car like everyone else. Her toe hurt. She likes to sit down in the car. I was a mean mum. No one understood her.
The bell had already rung when we were making the final push towards the school. Every step was torture as she ranted about how horrible and mean and bossy I was.
Then, in an excellent display of karma, the deputy principal appeared on the horizon, hurrying towards us.
Now, she was actually on the lookout for two year seven boys who had wagged school but that's not what the Bombshell thought.
I looked down at her and said that we were so late the deputy had come to look for her.
The deputy looked worried, then mentioned that she might need to make a call to the police [about the boys].
You can imagine what the Bombshell thought about that. She looked at me with a newfound respect - that not only had I managed to inform the deputy but that the police might also get involved.
You can bet that next week we won't be late for school.
An advert came on, so the Curly Mop began looking for other ways to amuse herself.
‘Mum! She got her germs on me when she sucked on my jumper! Eww,’ shrieked the Bombshell flicking bits of her sister's drool across the room.
Seriously? Sucking jumpers? Don't I feed you enough.
Apparently not, because not long after I found her sucking toothpaste straight out of the tube, probably to get the taste of grubby jumper out of her mouth. Brushing teeth? Close enough.
I let the Mop choose her own outfit. She looked like a bag lady. Whatever.
Meanwhile, Baldy Baby thought this would be a judicious time to poop. Two minutes before we are due to leave for school.
'Mum, the baby's bottom is kinda stinky,' offered the Bombshell, her nose buried in the baby's crotch.
'She STINKS,' agreed the Mop.
Cleaning bottoms? Check.
I pulled beanies over their heads, disguising my half-arsed attempt at pigtails. Hair, done.
I threw the two littlies in the pram, handed the Bombshell my thermos of coffee and bounced them down the steps on four very flat tyres.
The Bombshell ran ahead: not even my atrocious mood could ruin her pure joy as she balanced on garden walls, pointed out rainbows and... crap. Rainbows?
We were halfway to school when it bucketed down.
Naturally the umbrellas were at home, next to the door where I had left them. We sheltered under a tree while the Bombshell's school mates drove by in massive SUVs waving gleefully at us.
We must have looked pretty pathetic. The grumpy mum standing under a tree with three sodden kids (I said sodden, not sodding!).
* * *
I should have brought the dishes outside and left them in the rain. Maybe then, they'd be clean by now.
*Apologies to The Smiths for associating their uber cool brand of rock with a very cranky brand of domesticity.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
These are the times you probably would have been better off sticking the kids in front of the telly and opening a bottle of wine. Less tears. Literally, in my case.
We had decided to take the Bombshell, the Mop and Baldy Baby to see our first ever 3D film: the new Pixar film 'Brave'.
I was so confident of a winner weekend that I had already purchased a cool Brave diary for girls from Australia Post, ready to give to the Bombshell after all the gushing thankyous I expected for being such a good mum. [Seriously, Australia Post, whoever is in charge of your 'impulse item marketing' deserves a hefty pay rise. Every time I go in there to buy a 60c stamp I spend $20 on books and random gifts.]
We were all settled in with our boxes of popcorn and slightly daggy 3D glasses. During the adverts and previews the Bombshell kept shrieking wildly every time a star or sparkle (or car) came shooting out of the screen. I was torn between smiling indulgently at her (it was pretty cool) and wanting to hiss at her to be quiet.
|This photo now belongs to Weekend Notes.|
After about 20 minutes of previews and adverts though, the novelty was wearing off and she had started with the 'when is the movie going to start?'
'Moooovie', agreed the Mop, although she was clearly more interested in the popcorn.
Now, there is always a baddie in kids films. I get that - they are necessary for the plot. A scary witch, an evil mastermind, a fluffy teddybear.
Or an enormous, snarling, man-eating bear.
I vaguely remembered the brochure had warned that there may be 'some scary scenes'. This disclaimer was also repeated on the advertising at the cinema and at the start of the film.
But seriously? Who ever pays attention to disclaimers? Smoking causes cancer, sure, but 'parental guidance recommended?' Whatever.
Turns out my kids don't like bears.
'I'm scared, Mum,' the Bombshell told me after about 5 minutes when a giant bear ate someone's leg off.
'You'll be fine,' I told her. Nice one mum.
Not much later, there were more bears. The Bombshell buried her head in her hands, and said something to me. Her words were muffled by all the screaming from the screen.
'What?' I asked, helping myself to her popcorn.
'I want to go home,' she pleaded.
'Are you kidding, it just started. No'. Nice work, Shannon. Awesome parenting.
We made her sit there, sobbing, for an hour before I remembered that at age three my parents had taken me to see ET. I watched it from between my fingers, peeking through the gap between the seats in front of me. I had nightmares for a decade of a crusty, white alien and those guys in the big suits busting through the window.
Then I saw the Mop, standing in front of me. Peeking at the screen through the gap in between two chairs, her eyes enormous and worried, and suddenly I saw decades of nightmares about bears. Untold psychiatry bills: 'they wouldn't take me hoooooome'.
We don't even have bears in Australia but I doubted that particular argument would be worth much at 2am when trying to console a terrified preschooler.
So we cut and ran.
My husband grabbed the two older girls and led them, whimpering out of the movie. Meanwhile I had to bundle the baby back into the car seat, where she immediately started screaming, and collect all the jackets and water bottles and other accoutrements that come with taking three kids to the movies. Oh, and shovel as much popcorn in my mouth as I could. What? It cost us $13!
Then the complaints from the nearby patrons started.
'Imagine bringing a baby to the movies,' hissed the couple in front of us.
'Sit down!' came a call from two rows back.
'Waaaaaaaaaa', screamed Baldy Baby, sitting on a puddle of popcorn that the Mop had tipped in her car seat.
So I bolted, thinking of my poor, inconsolable, terrified daughters. And was confronted with...
two little girls, doing hand stands and running merrily around the foyer.
I had planned on a family dinner after the movies, but for some reason Hubby was in a less than chipper mood, so we placed an order for takeaway.
We spent the next ten minutes watching the kids ride motorbikes and pretend to shoot things in Timezone. So proud.
Always read the disclaimer. It might save you some hassles.
* I did end up writing a review of the movie for my other gig, Weekend Notes. Not quite sure how the film ends, but I can't let that stop me.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
I still have questions though...
When is a good age to start teaching kids about what to do in an emergency? How to get out of the house in case of a fire (without scaring them?).
When do you teach them to recite Mummy's mobile phone number in case they get lost (without them spouting it to every stranger they meet?).
When do you start giving them pocket money and expecting them to do jobs around the house?
When do you tell them where babies comes from?
Where meat comes from?
When do you start explaining that life isn't like a Disney fairytale and that violence in the real world has real consequences. That the 'baddies' in the real world don't always learn their lesson/fall off a tall building/apologise sincerely.
How do you balance their innocence as children with their safety in the real world?
Thursday, June 7, 2012
I have a sore throat today. It's either because I have been slurped on by the germilicious two year old, or because I have been yelling too much today. Regardless, the sore throat means my fingers don't want to work, and so I am going to recycle a story I wrote when the Bombshell was exactly the same age as the Mop is now.
Mud. Clear as.
* * *
I have been trying to get the Bombshell to lose the dummy for weeks, months, probably a year actually. Because she is so tall, and her hair is so long, she looks like a 6 year old with a dummy hanging out of her mouth, a really bad look. So I have been asking, pleading, begging for her to throw it away. Naturally, that just made her want it even more.