Newsflash: Girl who falls face first stands up

I haven’t written a blog post in 4 months. This feels like the confession of a girl who’s not Catholic. I REALLY feel like writing today though. I’ve got the mojo, but I don’t think Falling Face First is my home anymore. Let me explain.

I feel today like writing my usual type of post. My usual ‘my husband talks in his sleep about putting barcodes on the dog’ -kind-of-post. A men baffling me kind-of-post. About them having bucks’ parties that last longer than most weekends. About them going emotionally AWOL with work then LITERALLY bringing home the bacon. About not being sure if I want any answers, or if I like them better shrouded in mystery and a misting of beer. Because I like bacon, and bacon is better than answers. But instead, I’m not writing that post.

I’m wrapping up this blog, and moving to new premises. Here’s why.

Sometimes laughing at yourself and at things isn’t coping, but hiding. I’ve been doing a lot of it over the last couple of years. When I get hemiplegic migraines that make me lose half my body for a day or two at a time, I laugh at myself afterwards. I crack jokes about Weekend at Bernie’s while my kids put stickers over my frozen face. It doesn’t upset me anymore because it just is, but it’s a huge mess in our lives. I’m trying to fix the mess, slow down, and take as many stressors out of my life as possible. I needed rest, food, a different job, to gain weight, and to be present with my family without taking photos and jotting notes. So no posts for the last 4 months.

Tinygrass is dreaming

I got a better job, 4 days, closer to home. I’ve rested. I’ve laughed with my girls and watched Frozen 50 ten million times (not a typo. It’s a real number). I’ve napped on Saturday afternoon. I’ve read blogs and commented on Facebook cos commenting the other way is too hard right now. Had no hangovers instead of 5. Gone to bed at 9pm on many of those Saturday nights. Didn’t manage to gain any weight. Drank an amazing martini last night. I’m feeling happy and relaxed.

My just 7-year-old Little L, with Type 1 Diabetes, is sunshine. The diabetes is not. I make light of the coping, because we just do, partly because I haven’t had a spare moment to take a look at my unacknowledged grief. Somewhere under here I am very sad about the loss of her carefree childhood. The worry, stress, and the fact she will NEVER eat a mouthful without checking and considering her blood sugar and insulin balance and entering the carbohydrate content into her pump. Sometimes there are tears that catch me completely by surprise – I am so caught up in managing the day-to-day of her condition.

Pocket-sized package of wiseness.

Pocket-sized package of wise old woman. 

Instead of cracking jokes to cope, I’m dealing with the shit. I think it’s called being a grown up. It’s pretty boring and bullshit on the social front, but on the personal front, connecting with my kids, getting to know my husband between our Outlook appointments, and reading good books and having beautiful dreams, it really rocks. I didn’t really want to grow up, but now I think I am, I can’t be Falling Face First anymore.

I also have a pretty big project in the works. 

This is our logo. Do you like it?

This is not the last post. There are too many awesome people I have to yell my love to before I go. I just don’t know if I can hang out here very much anymore. I’m done falling on my face.

Watch this space for directions to my new place. You didn’t really think I could run away and just not write anything anymore did you? xx

 

On rage, passion and the contacting of books

It’s just an ornery Sunday. No birds singing because the dog has tried to eat a couple of them and they have fled. (Flewd?) I am looking at my pile of homework for school, the pile of lovingly drawn upon exercise books x 13, and the Contact (I believe a registered TM shoud be inserted here, but I’m not doing Mr Contact any favours in this post so I’m taking the ballsy rage-filled move of leaving it OUT).

Not only am I filled with rage, but I’m also filled with the remnants of 2 magheritas, a caipiroska and an unquantified amount of French champagne from a hen’s bash last night. I could tell you I’m hungover, but my mother reads this blog, and a hangover happened the other weekend. Since I’m grown up now and Ive got responsibles, this time let’s just say I’m tired and thirsty. Come on. It was French!! It was important I compared and contrasted the nuances of Mumm vs Moët vs Salmon-billecart. Guess who wins? They ALL do! The French are the winners! Yay for the French!

I suspect Mr Contact, the inventor of The Stuff What One Uses to Stick Stuff On Books, does not come from a country as pleasurable as France. I think he comes from somewhere cold, where they like to stick things to other things, like tongues to telegraph poles, and hands to frozen taps, just for shits and giggles. I wrote him a letter since I don’t know how to whistle and I had to do something in my head while Tinkerbell was on and I contacted my day away.

In my madness, I discovered the stupid stuff is actually useful for non-surgical facelifts.

Check me out. No forehead wrinkles, and cheaper than Botox.

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Dear Mr Contact,

I hate you. Your product fills me with a degree of angry passion I reserve generally for things I feel passionate about in a positive way. You have made it on to my passion see saw. On one end, live men, words, beaches, wine, and cheese, and on the other end lives your stupid sticking on books product, and all the cold places in the world. Oh, and tinea.

Your product presents like a test. Why is there a grid? This isn’t help. It looks like some massive freaky maths test. Ugh. And why do all the hairs stick to your product? My daughter tells me she doesn’t like having hairy books. You and Mr Velcro need to sit down and have a little brainstorm about your shortfalls in this particular follicular area. I CAN’T KEEP FAILiNg LiKe THiS! I can’t keep feeling like an inadequate mother every time I put more bubbles on the surface that no amount of skewer-bursting will remove. My tears just roll off your uncaring plastic surfaces like they mean nothing.

It’s possible I’m feeling so intense about you today because of serious cheese withdrawal. Cheese is my crack. If I saw a cow right now there’s a chance I’d roll her for a good bit of milk. Going Dairy free is BULLSHIT Mr Contact. Did you know ice cream and chocolate is dairy? My life is basically over.
Freight now my luft hand and my faughter’s ice cream wrapper are stuck to the front of the book I’m covering in your product. What’s your remedy? How will you help me face a world with you stuck to me but no cheese in it??? Well??????

Hostilely yours,
Dairy-free Kim.

The dear Contact man has made it all ok. He sent me back this completely gratuitous photo to take my focus away from all the ice cream I’m not eating.

Dear hungry Kim,
I hope you like Beagles.
Sincerely,
Mr Contact

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I remain on the fence. I understand his existence is a necessary evil, but I’m going to have to outsource all the contact work to That Man next year. He’s gone to China, AGAIN. He must pay.

Survivor: The Australian Playground

The drive to be alpha female starts early. The playground of a 6-year-old girl, based on my non-scientific observations, looks much like Survivor Island, but with better food. Forming alliances is key to survival in the game, and immunity can be granted by receiving the status of ‘Best Friend’ for the day. That girl will NOT be voted off.

Girls at 6 are tricky. They’re battling it out, without knowing what ‘it’ is. It’s like a biological imperative kicks in once a girl goes to school, and realises just how many of HER there are. It’s a time of incredible transition, negotiating interpersonal relationships and playground politics, without mum or dad to retreat to if things turn bad. Meanwhile, their brains are not yet sufficiently developed to be able to emotionally process much of the behaviour they just DO or the emotions they just FEEL.

Sux to be six.

girl-bullied

I’d be intrigued to read William Golding’s Lord of the Flies written about girls instead of boys. Instead of killing the pig and throwing rocks, they’d probably send girls off one by one crying alone until there were two or three of them left huddled around their pile of berries, fighting over who deserved more and telling each other they were unicorns and would be best unicorn friends forever.

Imagine this book rewritten… WITH GIRLS.

Imagine this book rewritten… WITH GIRLS.

Replace all the boys with girls, and add more berries.

Replace all the boys with girls, and add more berries.

 

 

 

Little L’s quest for a boyfriend this year, in KINDERGARTEN, surprised me at first. She’s now had three. One moved back to England telling my mum he had serious intentions to marry her since they were in love. Shame. He was sweet. I think she’s actually just looking to form an alliance in her playground Survivor Island, and boys are straightforward. They say crappy stupid things and laugh at you, but they do it to your face so you have the chance to do it right back, then punch each other and go and play again. Safe friendship.

Funnily, biology came into play even in Little L’s next choice of mate. She thought she’d marry the next one purely ‘because he looks strong. He looks like he could lift beds’. Cos lifting beds is… um… very important in a life partner. Good decision sweetheart.

Sorry Little L, I looked everywhere, but could NOT find any man lifting a bed. It may be impossible. Men can lift lots of things. Even pillows, as shown. Just maybe not beds.

Sorry Little L, I looked everywhere, but could NOT find any man lifting a bed. It may be impossible. Men can lift lots of things. Even pillows, as shown. Just maybe not beds.

My heart is heavier about this playground crap than my words suggest. Little L has had a rough 6 months. She’s come home sad, excluded, yelled at, and with nobody to play with. She has differences, for sure, with her diabetes and wearing glasses, but I don’t like to think this is responsible. Her two beautiful best friends – one who now lives in Coffs Harbour, and another in San Francisco, see through that and love her properly. She’s missing their closeness and unconditional acceptance. No wonder she’s turning to boys. They accept quickly because there is the important business of playing to get on with.

I don’t want to scare any of you sending your baby girls off to kindy this year for the first time. This stuff only happens later in the year, and not to everyone, and only once they’ve got everything else (like getting to school on time (*cough cough*) down pat. If you can though, prep those little velcro-strapped munchkins as best you can, and encourage your little girls to be kind, strong, and above all, INCLUSIVE of everyone who wants to play.

I hope 2014 is a better year for Little L. I’m going to teach her that being a Beta girl or any kind of girl (or even a unicorn, if that’s what she wants to be) is pretty awesome, because then you can do whatever you want, without worrying about what anyone thinks.

Has anyone come out into the land of 7-year-olds yet? Does it get better or worse?

xx

 

Is your glass half full?

If your glass is half full, or even half empty, then hurry up and drink it. Cliches piss me off.

I don’t think anybody can be ‘glass half empty’ or ‘glass half full’, or either positive or negative in their outlook all the time. Some days my cup overfloweth with sparkling wine that magically refills when I turn my head to make tinkly musical conversation in the sunshine. (I’d have said French champagne, but come on. Reeality, Puhleeease.) Other days I don’t even have a glass. I have a stupid plastic cup with a split in it. It leaks watered-down orange cordial up my arm. I’m not all of one or another. I’m a grey area.

Nerdy pedants. Possibly even worst than those who live and die by the cliche.

Nerdy pedants. Possibly even worse than those who live and die by the cliche.

With the grey area, though, comes so much exhausting thought, analysis, should I or shouldn’t I, what should I wear, will they mind if I say no, what’s the appropriate thing in this situation, I hope they’re ok, god I have a lot of pimples on my back, where is my goddamn wine, my feet really hurt I wish I could just wear flats, that sometimes I wish I was more like THAT MAN.

That Man is an All-Or-Nothing man. Than man has a full glass. Or he has an empty glass. If the glass is full, he drinks it. Then it’s empty. Then it’s full again. It’s an approach I think I should try. In fact, I think I am sort of trying it, inadvertently. Lately, I’m just living. Not thinking too hard. Working very hard (out 11 hours a day), home to the kids, being a mum hard, then relaxing hard (for half an hour). Then sleeping hard. Weekends are full of the girls, working on the garden, being with my family. Sleeping. Not blogging, as I’m just not sure when to do it. My girls are like saplings, turning into little trees so quickly I don’t feel I can look away for a second at the moment or I’ll miss something.

Yeh, OK. I'll accept this is officially full. But shots of MILK? Get. It. Gone.

Yeh, OK. I’ll accept this is officially full. But shots of MILK? Get. It. Gone.

I like That Man’s approach, in many ways. If my glass veers towards empty, or yours or someone else’s definition of ‘empty’, fill it up, bitch. (Sorry. Breaking Bad. Seeping into my vernacular.) If you’re jumping out of a plane, I see how it’s useful. Suspend all thought, throw your body out of the plane, then toss your brain out after it. Oh yeah. Pull the parachute too. If he’s exercising, he’s doing it 4-5 times per week, eating no carbs, and dropping weight like, well… like a pregnant woman becoming un-pregnant. But when he’s not exercising? He’s not all ‘errr, no. I won’t have chips, I haven’t exercised this week. I’ll skip dessert. I’ve only been to the gym once.’ He’s just not doing it. At all. But he’s eating, and enjoying it, and not thinking about it. Then he’ll get back to it again. And he’s happy. It’s not very healthy, but he’s not torn up about it either.

Better. Much better. This is almost full enough.

Better. Much better. This is almost full enough.

I think All-Or-Nothing types are subconsciously living a bit Matrix-style, inside the program, as Mumabulous was discussing the other day in her awesomely mind-bending post. I love the idea that we’re living inside a place that has no real consequence, though I don’t believe it. The All-Or-Nothing kids seem to have this sort of mentality, that the consequences aren’t there. Flying by the seat of their pants, so to speak. It would be a whole lot easier to say no, living in this world, and do what works for you. Perhaps the opportunity for personal happiness and contentment would even be greater. Woah. I’m getting a bit philosophical now for a (what day is it?) morning.

But now. The drawbacks. It’s not all fun and games in All-Or-Nothing land. Saturday night That Man went to see a show in Asquith, about 6 stops up the train line (to the north). At 2:30 Sunday morning, a text came through: ‘ah duck. Penriff. Sere u when I getting there’. Instead of having a snooze on the way home, between stops, he went to sleep All-Or-Nothing style. Like there was no tomorrow, and he was tucked up in his bed. And caught a train almost to the Blue Mountains (due west), about 1.5 hours away. Poor petal.

I see dragons...

I see dragons…

I will dip my toe into All-Or-Nothing land, but I don’t think it’s for me. Consequences. They suck. And sometimes half a glass is elegant sufficiency.

xx

A letter to me. Before kids. With Warnings.

 

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Dear Me,*

Dude! Please, do not ever let me hear you say you’re bored again. Future you will put ‘bored’ in the category of ‘good day’ words. Read more books, quickly. See movies. Also see the future movies that haven’t yet been made, since future you won’t have time to see them. Then you’ll at least be able to smile and nod when someone quotes a seminal movie line like ‘I love lamp’.* (Apologies to us. We’re not going to grow up and become highbrow.) Also, know when to stop quoting your favourite movie lines. Not too many people have actually seen ‘Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead’ and won’t know what you’re talking about when you say ‘I’m right on top of that Rose’. You’ll get tired of explaining who Rose is, and that no, you don’t think their name is Rose.

Stop standing up when you eat. What are you, a horse? You’ll be doing it for a living later (yes, yes, you’re not infertile and will breed two lovely girls. You’ll be eating breakfast and lunch in the kitchen while said lovely girls pull on your clothes for laughs. I’m pretty sure that’s why they do it). So SIT. DOWN.

Travel. I know you are now, and you will have the chance again, but try some slightly harder places. Climb to Machu Picchu, see the Moai statues in Easter Island, ski in Japan, and go smoke something in Marrakech. There is so much to see and such rich and amazing culture to experience. One day you’ll be trying to learn about it all through SBS and it’s not enough. Mainly because you keep falling asleep on the couch at 9 pm before they reach the top of the mountain (so much expectation… so little resolution), and your educational viewing keeps being interrupted by IMPORTANT shows like Embarrassing Bodies. Yes. It really is a thing. People that have been too embarrassed to visit their doctor about their leaking stinking hairy pus-filled head/toe/bum go and strip down on national TV while a cameraman (or WOMAN – must be PC in 2013) zooms in for a high res closeup of the leaking piece of anatomy. Then everyone feels much better about themselves apparently. Must. Keep. Watching.

Don’t worry so much about your peer group. This will sound bad, but, umm… why don’t you try on a few more hats? You will be wearing the hat you marry for a long time. That long term thing you do? It seems really dramatic and all when you’re a teenager, but just no. Stop! Immediately!

A few more words of advice from future me to you, in brief: don’t think so hard, don’t work so hard, definitely play too hard, exercise a lot (and your body will and does thank you later), and smile whenever you can, knowing you have two beautiful girls coming along to change your life forever.

Also – in March 2013 you will have a cold. Try and take some echinacea in February 2012. Ok? Thanks. Mwah.

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*In case it’s driving you crazy, this is from Anchorman.
*If this letter looks familiar, that’s because it probably is. A version of it appeared as my ‘Featured Flogger’ post on Grace’s Flog Yo Blog Friday page a while back. What can I say? I’m time poor and my advice to myself is unchanged.

Mama guilt – a dog called Bob

In case you missed the blahblah memo, I’ve started working full time, and with the change in routine I’ve developed a healthy dose of working-mother guilt. Before I was a mum full time, a wife full time, a freelance worker (so, somewhere between ‘every waking minute’ and ‘not at all’); and yet somehow I felt like half of nothing. Now I feel fulfilled, there is guilt for dessert. Almost like a woman with kids isn’t a proper mother unless she puts part of herself away and leaves it there until her kids give their blessing for her to go and retrieve it, many years later when it may no longer be there. I’m not saying this is how it is, just how I feel.

Where does our identity come from in our 30s when so much of our 20s is centred around a working persona? I’ve been wrangling with this for some time now, in my search for work satisfaction – be it part-time or freelance. The right job came along, but with it full time hours. I talked it over with the girls who are excited to go to before and after school care (so far…). It will mean a lot to me, personally, to have a separate identity outside the home again.

Even freelancing, my work in the home office was always without clear boundaries, with loads of washing here, pickups there, and hours that extended late into the night at my computer. My thoughts on working identity are a post for another day. Right now? This little worker bee is loaded up with guilt about how much I love being back at work in an office.

Sitting at my desk at 9 each morning feels so natural for me, it’s like I stepped back in time 10 years and misplaced a couple of kids along the way.

Working mother guilt. My new buddy, like a pet dog that lives in my handbag. We’ll call him Bob. Bob catches the train with me every day. He barked like an annoying MOFO when I missed the first infants’ sports carnival on Day 3. He made me buy lots of charity pens and daffodils on Daffodil Day, in case each seller at 200 m intervals in the city thought I hadn’t bought anything, since I purchased from the first schoolgirls I saw off the train that morning. (Does anyone else’s brain work this way?!)

Bob tells me going to the gym would be a selfish indulgence now I’m gone so much. Bob is probably letting my littlest get away with a bit more bad behaviour than usual, and a bit more clingy ‘mummy’ behaviour too, because, transition. Change. I did it to her. Stupid dog. Bob even tells me to eat Tim Tams in the office far too often, and I’m sure he’s the evil little bugger who arranged for my skin to breakout. That dog has powers. Powers to the nth arsehole degree.

 

My stupid mummy-guilt dog Bob. Ugly little shit.

My stupid mummy-guilt dog Bob. Ugly little shit.

I’d euthanase the dog, but I don’t need to. I just feed him a lovely barista-made coffee, a toilet break with a closed door and nobody yelling, and a healthy dose of work respect, and POOF! He’s gone. His stupid fluffy little head tucks back into the recesses of my handbag.

That’s right, people. I said RESPECT. That’s what’s been missing, and what I’ve found back at work. The jury’s still out, but it *may* be even more important than money.

Among the other perks, aside from a choice of coffee, respect, lunch breaks, shops, RESPECT and the knowledge that my brain won’t atrophy, is the train. My spoilt 20s-self thought the train was a hardship to be endured. Now it’s an uninterrupted 40 mins of quiet time, just for me, twice a day, when I couldn’t be doing washing or sweating it out in a Pump class even if I wanted to. Take THAT, Bob.

I’m excited about this new bend in the lane. Bob is a fluffy dog, small and manageable. I’ll turn him into a football at some point, when I’m ready to let him go.

Do you carry around a mother-guilt dog in your handbag? What do you feed him to shut him up? 

I can make people

Adulthood doesn’t present many opportunities for achievement. I’m not too sure what it means anymore. It was a simple concept in childhood, defined by good marks and smiling teachers. By uni, it simply meant finishing the bloody degrees. These days I wear so many hats, as worker, mother, friend, sister, daughter, and wife, that it’s more likely I’ll feel able to tell you about my ONE BEST FAIL rather than my biggest achievement.

But then I remember, I have an extremely special talent. I can make people. I know nearly all of us can, but in the humdrum and cacophony of daily life I’m quick to forget the miracle of this, my best achievement. It didn’t come easily. Making humans is bloody hard work.

Just two for me, thanks.

Just two for me, thanks.

The first human I made was 6 years ago. I was told to try and make one soonish since I was all endometriosis-y, and had had surgery and a short delightful jaunt through drug-induced menopause. Fun for all! Luck was ours, and the human put herself in my very cranky womb quickly and happily.

After all the usual retching and fainting, and a couple of good migraine months, things became more challenging. Commuting daily became a game of ‘catch the guilty shifting eyes’ as the wheels on the bus went round and round and the preggo lady tried not to fall over. Then the techtonic plates shifted, (or the joints in the back and pelvis anyway) and I effectively fell apart. I saw a physio every week to put me back together, and she gave me a super sexy belly band in ‘nood’ to hold me in one piece and to funk up my outfits all at once.Winning!

I started contracting around 35 weeks – with an ‘irritable uterus’. Medical descriptions are so cool in their suckiness sometimes. I’ll say it was irritable. It was saying ‘Eject! Eject!’ The contractions were painful, pant-worthy and regular, so I stopped sleeping and was put on meds to stop labour.

Luckily I produce ENORMOUS babies, so Little L being born weighing almost 4 kg at 38 weeks was not a moment too soon. I just had no idea I was in labour, since the pain had felt the same for the last 3 weeks nonstop. Do you think I want an epidural? Do you think there’s a reason I’m laughing like a hyena when you ask me that question?

Did you know babies also decide to come while you’re sick with the flu and have a fever and chest infection? I stupidly thought they would just wait until it was a good time. Ten days later I’d cracked a rib from coughing and had my first round of pneumonia (with a couple more to come over the next few years). Good thing I make sturdy babies, hey.

I still find it fairly unbelievable that only nine months later I went back and chucked another human into this very cranky womb. Of course it was very cranky again, and tried much harder to chuck its goodies out. Little A, the fighter that she is, just kicked back of course. A story for another day.

So while I’m not very GOOD at cooking people, the fact that I can and have made two of them, who I’m very, extremely grateful and proud to wrap in my arms each day, is more than enough life achievement for one me.

Think I’d better dance now

Lately, whenever I feel I’ve put my foot in my mouth, or in fact both feet, AND my fist, the words of Tom Jones appear in my head unbidden. Or when I’ve had a really shocking day, and I can’t quite think of anything else that could go wrong, there is Tom, thinking he’d better dance now. How did he get there? How will I make him go away? Can I choose a more attractive earworm, under the age of 70? Thankfully I’ve resisted Tom’s call to action, since capping off inappropriate words with bizarre behaviour usually doesn’t have a redeeming effect. Particularly in job interviews.

One of these days I’m thinking it may all become too much, however, and before I die of shame or embarrassment, I will actually dance my way out of a room or a situation that has become dire. Stay tuned. I promise I’ll let you know when it happens.

When it does, I’ll take a leaf out of the book of these girls. They dance like nobody’s watching.

girls dance 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

girls dance 3girls dance 4

 

 

 

These photos bring me joy. This week I’m feeling a little pensive, and I’m grieving for the little girl you see on the left, who didn’t have diabetes in these pictures. I have a strong, resilient, mature daughter, but I grieve for the one who kicks up her heels and just dances for no good reason. My little girl is joyful, but now she thinks about things, a lot. So do I.

I think we’d better dance, now.

xx

Linking up with Tegan at Musings of the Misguided, for the Lounge’s ‘Favourite photos’ theme this week, and Grace for FYBF.

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Oh what a night …

And a day, and a night… I’m sorry for the silence on the Face First front (if you’ve noticed?) but I’ve been living large IN THE REAL WORLD what!? It seems June is the festival month of births. Everyone who is anyone (i.e. my husband and friends) is born in June.

There has been a June bonanza of birthdays, and upon waking on Tuesday morning, I was slapped with the rude realisation that we’ve not all just turned 21. Thursday night – 1am. Friday work from 6am. Bed -10pm. Saturday night – 12pm. Sunday – BBQ at ours from midday – 1am. Monday – husband’s ACTUAL birthday, start-time, 7am with BOUNCING CHILDREN. I have learned something from this experience. Celebrations are bad for your health. This week? I will be holed up in my monastery, behaving like a monk, doing monk-like things. I will be drinking water (broth? holy water?), making friends with salad (gruel? vittels?), and going to the gym (err… kneeling for 5 hours? Ugh. I’d pick the stairmaster over that). I will sleep. And sleep, and sleep. (But it won’t be fun, cos I’m a monk).

Lights_opt

Oh what a tangled birthday web That Man weaves

It seems most of my friends are born in June. Why is that? What is it that happens nine months before June? Is it the springing of spring? Couples, walking around, see a baby lamb and a daffodil, and say ‘Oh! New life! We must procreate! QUICKLY! Give me your SEED!’ Or was it the irresistible music topping the charts in September 1976, when most of these friend-babies were conceived? In late August, early September the Australian no. 1 single was ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’. Ah. It all becomes clear. Young and sweet, only 17. That’s the music of LOVE, right there. Are you cringing yet, friends of mine?

In any case, preceding the festival of husband on Sunday, we went out in Manly Saturday night to celebrate a close friend’s birthday. It was a quiet and sedate night. In the cab on the way home one unnamed male party offered the cab driver a cheese stick from his pack of 12 he’d picked up from Colesworths, and the other asked the cabbie what he does for work. It turned out there were in fact TWENTY-FOUR cheese sticks. They were on special, so it made sense to buy two packets. We ate them all by the time we were home.

Girls out in the the REAL WORLD drinking … water.

Girls out in the the REAL WORLD drinking … water.

The lunchtime BBQ Sunday was a day full of friends, family, and kids going crazy. A wonderful fun day that ended in the night with a bonfire and toasted marshmallows. That Man is SMART, I tell you – having his party the day before. I awoke to excited kids, tiptoed away from Sleeping Beauty, and faced wine glasses that had procreated and had wine glass babies while we slept. Wrapped presents, blah blah YAY YAY IT”S YOUR BIRTHDAY  YOU’RE REALLY OLD YAY YAY then I crashed out and slept on the couch for two hours. AHHHHHHHH. Job well done me. Then I cooked a gourmet seafood dinner. The only thing he said that was missing from his birthday? A cake with candles. SERIOUSLY. I’ll give him candles.

This is how you occupy kids for HOURS. My technicolour  chalk path and bricks look gorgeous.

This is how you occupy kids for HOURS. My technicolour chalk path and bricks look gorgeous.

In any case, I had fun too. My festival of living in the real world was wonderful, connecting with friends and spending proper quality time with them. If you need me this week though, you’ll find me asleep on my stationary bike in my monk cell at the gym.*

*An update: it’s raining, a LOT. I can’t possibly go to the gym. Therefore I’ll just sit quietly and think repentant-type thoughts.

Do you still ‘do’ birthdays? Or do you let them slip by quietly like I do? 

xx

Live from Pet Cemetery – Robopets, the way of the future?

Life in a glass menagerie is hard. There you are, being a fish, swimming around being all fishy and gold, when one day you find yourself nose down, shaking your tail fin, contemplating your fishtality. Or not. Your brain is the size of a pebble. You probably can’t see it coming. You may not be staring at it, but death is staring at you, my friend. I have a solution to this problem. Be a fake pet. A robot pet. You can’t die, and nobody will cry. And I won’t have to keep fixing all of the horrible stupid nightmarish crap that keeps happening with sneezing rabbits, upside down fish, hind-leg hairless cats and flea-allergic dogs that keep NEEDING things. Like children. Oh. Did I say that last bit out loud? Sorry. Temporary digression. But love. Pet love. Aww.

Please note – the tank filth did not kill Goldie because Blackie lives. So does Sticker, who is my favourite fish, always smiling and not eating.

So, Goldie died. Poor, poor little Goldie.

Now normally, I would have thought nothing of it and flushed Goldie, sending her back to Nemo and friends in the *sea, but after the recent passing of our beloved 21-year old Kobi-cat, there were floods of tears when little A realised Goldie was on her deathbed. Sadness reigned, mitigated only by the stuffing of Easter eggs into her sad little pie-hole. Little L processed her emotions more artistically, with a poem that said so little, and yet so much.

An ode to Goldie

I realised a ceremony was in order, to help with the processing (and to buy me some time for tank cleaning and new fish purchasing). Goldie was buried on a sunny autumn day in a perfect Goldie-sized coffin in the garden, under a blanket of crayon rainbows. Words were said, like ‘Goldie was a good fish. She was a very good swimmer. She can swim in heaven now with Kobi.’ I let go the part where cats don’t like swimming with fish, because who knows? Maybe they LOVE swimming in heaven. And I didn’t take photos, because hello? Respect for the dead?

Now we have Pinkie. Little A is satisfied that Blackie isn’t sad anymore. Little L, however, wants a fish that ‘swims by itself’. I pointed to the tank, SPEECHLESS. ‘No, I mean, one of those pretend ones that go in water and swim around.’

Pinky the usurper

When I recovered I realised she’s on to something. (Block your ears Herbie). I only wish shed been struck by her lightning bolt of petspiration the day BEFORE I’d purchased Pinky. I guess it’s not a hugely long-term commitment we’ve made though. You know tank fish. They’re here for a good time, not a long time.

Lulu agrees with Little L’s epiphanic statement on the benefits of robopets. (Until she annoys me, and then I switch her off, with the switch under her fluffy little white cat’s bum. At this point she doesn’t need to agree nor disagree. In fact, she can even be sat on without objection. She needs no food, no water (in fact… sparks may fly), but only a gentle stroking to keep her mewling and purring contentedly.

Lulu – the way of the future?

All the ponies in pony castle agree with with this notion of future Robopet ownership, pursuing a lively debate on the topic as baby and baby daddy prepare their evening meal like good slaves in the kitchen below. We all know they get up to no good once we’ve gone to bed, putting on their Prince music and dancing like it’s 1999. Not all ponies can rock a tiara and high hair plait like that.

“All the kids in the pony castle say ‘waaay ooooh wayyy ohhh, walk like a robo-peeeet’”

Little L’s ‘my little pet pony’ on the iPod does NOT agree with me because she keeps killing it, regularly. It’s fundamentally flawed though. What kind of fake pet needs food?

I’m kind of on the fence here. You know how I feel about my dog Herbie. But the rest? If they ran on batteries (ooooh or photovoltaic cells – environmentally friendly AND not annoying FTW! ) I think I’d be pretty happy. So, I guess robo-menagerie it is.

What do you think is the way of the future for pets? Real or fake? Do you want to switch your pets (or children) off?

*sewage treatment plant