Sunday, December 30, 2012

Post-Christmas Carnage

It was a duel.

A singing battle being fought by The Bombshell (5 and a half years) and Miss Curly Mop (almost three).

The turf: the family room rug, covered with the detritus of Christmas, Barbie bodies everywhere.

At stake: who could sing the best song about their doll.

The rule: she who sings loudest, wins.

The Bombshell: (warbles, holding out her new 'Ryan' doll) 'Hellooooo, do you like my new boyfriend?'

The Mop: (returns) 'I doooo, but he has 'girl' eyes. So do I.... I'm very sorryyyyyy.'

The Bombshell: (attempting the tune of the Cinderella song) 'I know you, the gleam of your eyes, the rustle of your fingers....'

What exactly are his fingers doing?

The Mop: (still singing): 'Can you change my nappyyyyyy?'

Is she singing to me, or the doll?

Mummy: (in a lovely soprano) 'In a minute...'

The Mop: (speaking) 'Don't sing again.'

The Bombshell: (tries again) 'I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream. Because yours lips that touch my tan and your eyes are so different....'

His lips touch her tan? Does she even know what that means? Where is she learning this stuff?

The Bombshell: (in hushed voice) 'I love you, I know where your heart is...'
(in a different voice) 'What? You took my heart?'

The Bombshell: (in first voice, she has stopped singing and her two dolls are having a very serious conversation) 'I know you, you told me once and I remember in my head.'

The Mop: (realising she is losing the duel) 'Eric, I want to meet you. I wuv you.'

Meanwhile, Baldy Baby is surreptitiously scratching the glitter off Barbie's spray-painted torso (what? Mattel can't spring for real clothes anymore?). She gives up, and starts chewing on the doll's legs instead.

Mummy: 'You need to pull Barbie's dress up.'

The Mop: 'Why?'

The Bombshell: (leaving her dolls in a passionate embrace to investigate) 'Her boobies are out.'

The Mop pulls the dress up, covering Barbie's boobies but exposing Barbie's plastic underpants.

The Bombshell: (in her big finale) 'It's 2009 and I'm going to buy myself some shoesssssss.'

The Mop: (who knows she is incapable of putting tiny Barbie shoes on and off) 'I don't WANT shoes for my dollllll.'

The Bombshell: 'Well you have to, you are playing with MY dolls.'

Barbie get chucked across the room. Eric follows soon after.

Screaming. Yelling.

Exit stage right.

The duel is over.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My Christmas Hangover

Late December, 2012

Dear Planet Earth

I felt I needed to offer you my sincere apologies.
I am posting this letter in the virtual space because my family and I have already done enough damage over the past week that I feel to use just one more piece of paper or envelope will send you spiralling out of control.

How do you do it? I mean, between us girls, how on earth (no pun intended) do you keep managing to consume so much crap and garbage and keep such a good figure? I have been surreptitiously emptying a 1.2kg box of Whitman’s over the past few days and I can already feel the damage being done.
Yet you will somehow absorb all the packaging from yet another extravagant Christmas and you do it with grace and nary a pair of Spanx in sight. Sorry to be rude, but do they even make them in your size?

It has taken me three days to find a home for all the new toys, and then another two hours this morning to separate the used wrapping paper from the cardboard from the plastic. This is the scene of recyclable carnage on my front verge this morning. I wonder if the garbologists will just laugh and keep driving. Or send me a bill for excess usage.
I love my children and want them to be happy, but I can’t help feel there must be a better way. I am a reasonably intelligent woman with a basic understanding of the G-I-G-O concept. All this packaging must come from somewhere and as soon as it disgorges its Barbie dolls and plastic dinosaurs it has to go somewhere. A big hole in your…. umm… in your earthly lady parts, hidden away from our sensitive eyes.

Yes, I could stop buying my kids toys, but a) that’s no fun and b) I doubt even Arnie with a whopping great big rocket launcher could stop the Awesome Grandparents from indulging in a mild case of Christmas Craziness.
I could write letters to Mattel and Leapfrog and V-Tech and ask them to put their products in an eco-friendly hessian bag instead of all of that cardboard and plastic, but do you think they would listen? It would certainly save time on Christmas Day, and prevent the indignity of watching three adults trying to extricate a plastic toy from its web of wires and ties and plastic locks while the kids look on in exasperation.

I could buy only packaging-free, second-hand or hand-made toys. This is actually not a bad option considering the fact that Number 1 present for Curly Mop this year was a $2 second-hand horse from a local swap meet. I felt you smile at me that day but I’m not sure how long the kids would accept this as a solution though.
I could swap kids. No, that probably wouldn’t solve anything, as I am reasonably sure that I am not the only person with this issue.
Two bags of wrapping paper, one of plastic and a box of cardboard
The thing is, it’s not just the obnoxious consumption and packaging and the awkward choice between expensive but good quality wrapping paper or cheaper paper that tears along the corners of boxes and you end up using a whole roll of sticky tape to hide the holes.
It’s the lights. A third of our greenhouse emissions comes from lighting displays (not to mention the spike in the electricity bill).

The billions of Christmas cards that are thrown away.
The food we don’t end up eating, or the food we do eat, and which hangs around our hips as permanent Christmas rolls of a different sort.

You see Earth, it’s awkward. I am uncomfortable with the excess and wastage caused by my family, but I am a bit of a Christmas-tragic, and I am hardly going to lead the charge for cancelling it. I’m no Grinch.
So here is what I promise to do, my New Year Resolutions if you will.

I promise that anything that can be recycled from this Christmas, will be recycled (even if it’s quicker and easier just to dump everything in the bin).
I promise to eat the entire box of Whitman’s (and the Favourites and the Quality Street) and not waste a single one.

I promise to sit my kids down and explain that the true meaning of Christmas is not actually ‘she who dies with the most toys, wins’.
I promise to surreptitiously ‘borrow’ some of the myriad toys gifted to my children this year, and dole them out during the year for special occasions rather than go and buy MORE toys, which I am known to do.

I promise to set up a Secret Santa system next Christmas with both sets of Awesome Grandparents so that each child receives fewer gifts.
I promise to encourage my kids to make handmade gifts for each other next Christmas.

I promise to use the ten thousand gift bags I have stored in my cupboard next year, rather than buying more wrapping paper (and I will give some to the Awesome Grandparents as well).
I promise to have a good clean up during the year, and make sure that toys my children no longer use, find a good home.

Finally, I promise that I will remember this letter to you, and the weight of excess consumption I feel right now, and endeavour to do better (ie do less) next Christmas.

Please forgive me the multiple Barbie Boxes up your lady parts.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fairy Tales About Fairies...

There is something extraordinary about the imagination of my five year old daughter.
What is even more extraordinary, is how carried away I get when talking to her about her current favourite subject: fairies.

Some mums like to tell their kids that fairies aren’t real, but I think I prefer to wait until later in life to crush her spirit (‘well sweetie, you ARE the youngest person in your year at school so while everyone goes to the pub to celebrate, you’ll just have to come home and have a nice milkshake with ME…’).
The Bombshell lost her first tooth on the weekend, but all she had to show for it was an empty space as she lost it while swimming with the Awesome Grandparents. She was quite concerned that the Tooth Fairy wouldn’t come.
And then my mouth ran away with me…

‘Actually,’ I told her in my most conspiratorial voice. ‘I heard the Tooth Fairy LOVES to swim, so if you lose your tooth in a pool, she gives you extra money because it means she gets to go for a swim instead of working.’
Seemed reasonable to me. Most people prefer slacking off to working, why should fairies be any different?

So she wrote the Tooth Fairy a letter directing her to swimming pool in question and sure enough the next morning, there was a letter in return thanking the Bombshell for the opportunity to go swimming and a new $5 note.
‘Look Mum,’ the Bombshell screamed at about 5.30 the next morning. ‘The Tooth Fairy left me 5 cents!’ (She can read and write but has no concept about money. Something for me to work on over the school holidays).

I congratulated myself at saving her from complete devastation but then had a thought: what if the same thing happens to the Curly Mop or Baldy Baby in five years time. How am I going to remember the intricacies of my stories?
See, kids may not remember the name of the child they have been sitting next to at school all year, or even the name of their very own uncle (true!) but they WILL remember what you told them about the tooth fairy on a whim half a decade previously.
So I am hereby writing down all the ‘truths’ I have been telling about fairies, so it is on the record for subsequent daughters:

-          If you make a circle out of petals for the fairy (‘a fairy ring’ duh) the fairies will leave you a letter [I have one of the Bombshell’s friends to thank for this one, and it meant I was up at midnight writing not one, but two letters from the fairies, after she roped in the Mop into making a fairy ring as well].

-          And because I can’t help turning these things into learning opportunities, the letters were then written to each child to try and get them to work on their major faults. The Bombshell’s said ‘Make a wish, be kind to all, and it will come true.’ The Mop’s said ‘Make a wish, always try your hardest, and it will come true.’ As far as I can tell, neither girl’s wish have come true yet.

-          In order to stop the girls hitting a tree in our backyard to get the flowers to fall down, I told them that the seeds pods are actually where the baby fairies grow.
       It worked. They just hit each other now.

What ‘truths’ have you told your children, and have you ever been caught out making up stories?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

You'd Be Lucky To Have Her

You might not guess it, but I am actually the product of a private school education. Yup, bowler hats in summer, ties in winter, dead sexy lace up shoes, we had the works. At the time our local public high school had a bit of a reputation for kids getting beaten up at lunchtime so my parents made the decision that we would be sent to an all-girls school.

These days I am lucky enough to live in a corner of Perth where the local high school is pretty fantastic, so assuming that it doesn’t become a den of depravity before 2024 (when Baldy Baby starts high school), I am happy enough for the Bombshell, Mop and Baldy to go to the local public school.

However, since you never know what the future holds, I thought I would put the girls’ names down on the waiting lists of a few of the nearby private schools, including my alma mater (see, private education!).

I had been a bit tardy putting Baldy’s name down, so finally, with no more excuses left, I sat on the rug with the baby, gave her the TV remote to chew, while I called the schools to request their enrolment forms.

This is how one of the conversations went:

‘Oh hello. I was hoping you would be able to send me an enrolment form for my daughter, please’.

Baldy Baby chooses this exact moment to start warbling in her zombie queen of the undead wail.


‘Oooh,’ said the very prim lady. ‘Is that her.’

‘Sure is,’ I say proudly.

‘Pwwwwthhhhhhhhhht’ farts the baby. ‘Eeeeeeeeeeee.’

‘And, uh, how old is she?’ I could imagine this woman praying silently that this wasn’t a nutter ten year old with control issues being sent to her posh school to be sorted out.

‘She’s nine months old,’ I told her.

‘Oh. Wonderful,’ she said, plainly reassured.

‘Bleuughhhhh’ vomits the baby on the rug, followed by a hacking cough.

‘She sounds lovely,’ said the woman, probably having a stroke.

‘You’d be lucky to have her,’ I told her.
She paused just a second too long before laughing falsely. 'I'm sure she'll be just wonderful.'
'Arghhhhhhh,' screamed the baby. Then a tell-tale silence. Then the unmistakable sound of a nappy being filled.
‘You’d be lucky to have her,’ I thought.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...