Saturday, April 13, 2013

Flutter Nutter

Master Samuel turned 8 recently, and being the quirky little fella that he is, he requested a canary for his birthday. He settled on a little yellow birdie which he named Flutter Nutter. First name Flutter, last name Nutter. He considered some alternative names such as Nutty Fluff (ew, makes me think of hairy balls?) and Cannie Can Can (just to overstate the fact that he's a canary). He is very cute and thus far has survived the continual attention of Miss Frannie, who likes to climb up on a step ladder and push her squishy little face up against the cage whilst making various high pitched noises.
Today she took it one step further and said "I could bite your tiny yellow head off", which I take full responsibly for as I often stand and observe Monsignor birdie and imagine how easy it would be to put his tiny head between my teeth. Okay, that sounds a lot worse than it is. The context here is that I find him ridiculously cute and grit my teeth when I talk to him (as I would a kitty or a baby) and as it not possible to inflict the affection I have for him onto him (because his little birdie bones would be instantly crushed), I have to tell him.
You get it. I don't really want to decapitate the bird. I just like him a lot. Anyway, when Annie said it, it was a) ridiculously cute (seriously, imagine her little baby girl voice saying "tiny yellow head") and b) a little worrying because she could easily repeat this at child care. I'm sure they've heard far worse, but I'd prefer them not to think my daughter is a serial killer... because cruelty to animals is, after all, one of the warning signs of a future sociopath. There's a chance she might still well be a sociopath, but lets not jump the gun.

Pantless bird accosting

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Where's my chicken soup you bastards?

I am sick. Oh boo hoo, yes I know.

It's just a cold but by golly I feel like a bucket of warmed up cat sick.

I would not be exaggerating to say that one of the things I dislike the most about being sick is the fact that I still have to be the mummy. Oh how I long for my uni days when I could lie about in my tissue infested bed of toast crumbs and DVD covers, bedside table swarming with tea cups. Yes I still had to make my own toast, but hauling my arse to the kitchen for 3 minutes and then immediately back to my darkened bedroom to feel sorry for myself  is but a distant dream.

It got me thinking actually, that as far as being "looked after" when you are sick, as you get older, it's a gradual descent into hell really.

As a kid it was almost an event to stay home from school with a cold. I admit, I had it pretty sweet.
I would get shepherded off to my Nanna's house, where I would be set up on the couch with pillows and blankets, the TV and my faithful nurse maid, nanna!
My god my nanna was a legend when it came to nursing her (sometimes faking it) sick grandchildren. There was a constant snack trolley for starters. Salada biscuits with all manner of toppings. My favourites incuded, tomato and cheese, cheese and pickled onions and cheese and gherkin rounds. She also let me drink tea out of her fancy china cups and Loys Lemonade. Remember Loys? Was it Loys? I don't know... there was a dude in a van and he bought soft drinks to my grandparents house once a month. I frickin loved that dude. The Loys van was almost as exciting as Santa's sleigh. In summer, my cousins and I would hang out on  my grandparents verandah waiting for the Loys van and go a little bit mental when he rocked up. The clinking of those bottles was the stuff of childhood summer memories I tells ya!

Anyway, I digress. Other highlights of getting to spend a sick day at Nanna and Papa's house were as follows:

1. Playing shops. My Nanna had an enormous icecream container full of buttons which I would thread onto wool and subsequently sell to my Nanna. She was my only client but she was very loyal. She paid me in 5c pieces- REAL MONEY. Bloody legend.
2. Sitting up at the kitchen counter watching my Nanna peel the beans. I don't know why this was so appealing but I vividly remember watching her peel and slice beans and being mesmerised.
3. The ambiance. Grandparents homes have a certain feel about them. The look, smell and texture of their 60's furniture (now highly hip), the smell of baking and moth balls from my "convalescing blankets", the awesome lino in their kitchen which I still make a habit of sitting on when I visit and the sound of my Papa's ban saw in the distance and the faint smell of saw dust (he was a carpenter well into retirement).
4. No brother. Whilst all this was going on, I didn't have to share my grandparents with anyone. All mine. No pesky brother to detract from MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

What a lot of sentiment. I didn't begin this post with the intention of becoming all sentimental. I was actually intending on having a giant whinge about having to continue on with the daily grind despite feeling like garbage. My point was going to be that it is such a harsh shift from nanna's house to "fend for thyself single gal" and finally, the woman I was last night, cooking dinner, soothing tears, checking homework, all the while feeling and looking like the walking dead and feeling sorry for herself because "no one gives a crap that I'm sick. Bloody kids are so self indulgent". My point though, seems to have been hijacked by the fact that I have realised I had my time being looked after in the most lovely possible way and that's what being a kid is all about. My kids won't have those memories exactly but I still really enjoy making a fuss of them when they're ill.
They deserve it after all, because one day, they will likely be in my shoes, cursing the little monkeys hovering about their feet and very much wanting to throw a quilt over their head and sob.
And if I am VERY lucky I might get to be the Nanna, playing shops and making Salada biscuits and cups of tea.

                                                             Nanna and I circa 1974.
I need to give a shout out to my mum for the the frickin' awesome wall paper choice in our lounge room.
Ever the style conscious, she changed it to fake wood paneling in the 80's.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Balloon animal protocol

I promised I would write this down one day. A tid bit if you will.
Balloon animals... seemingly harmless... seemingly.

Oh how I wish I had been given the low down on this before I had a second child. It's very simple really and allows you to avoid the possibility of  a scene that makes the first ten minutes of Saving Private Ryan look like Milo and Otis frolicking through a meadow. Although I probably should say that I'm pretty sure the filming of Milo and Otis involved some priiiitty questionable goings on... animal welfare wise. There's a definite lack of a "no animals were harmed in the making of this movie" disclaimer in the credits. I've checked. A lot. Anyways, I digress...

So here it is. When purchasing balloon animals for children, always, ALWAYS, let the older child choose their balloon first. I know it's tempting to appease the little one who's clawing at your thigh and eyeballing the balloon dude like a junky waiting for their next hit from a crack cocaine dealer, but please, resist. Once the older child has their hands on their pirate sword balloon, THEN, and only then, allow the 3 foot maniac to choose their balloon. They WILL change their mind from the butterfly to the sword, and they will not be swayed to change it back. Easy. Crisis averted. Scene avoided. No need to carry a screaming child sideways on your hip, balloon butterfly in mouth, whilst getting kicked in the stomach, back to the car park. No need to cut short your foolishly envisaged idyllic romp through the Botanical Gardens in the sunshine (fool). Nope.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Some stuff happened.

It's been an eventful period in the land O' Fran. The little mite had a birthday, a hair cut and Christmas to contend with.

Her third birthday was fairly low key. I'm afraid the little lady is always going to have that mental "Christmas rush" thing surrounding her big day, but that's what you get when your ridiculously fertile parents have poorly timed sex. Sorry Annie. Anyway, we spent the day at the local pool with her accomplice, Miss Clara, having a picnic and generally getting all razzed up on sugar and sunshine. 'Twas a good day.

I was kind of looking forward to the "terrible two's" being behind us. I wasn't expecting a miracle mind you. It's not as if I thought she might wake up the next day and suddenly resemble one of the children from Little House on the Prairie, but I thought perhaps my small but emotionally volatile house mate might have chilled out just a smidge. No such luck I'm afraid. If anything she has been spurred on by the craziness of the last few weeks, and all the sugary, over-tiredness it has bestowed upon her 3 foot frame.

The first hair cut could have been a disaster but actually turned out to be one of those moments you think you're going to have (but rarely do) when you envisage having children one day, where you gaze down upon the smiley, unfathomably cute little miracle you have created, through tears of pride and love. Unfortunately all sentimentality came crashing down in steaming pile of horse crap though when I tempted fate and tried to squeeze the grocery shopping in after. It wasn't pretty.
I fear "imposter Annie" and I may be inadvertently responsible for motivating the creation of future offspring for the 20 something year old hairdresser lassy, who was witness to this rare display of sweetness from my little psychopath. The presently perky and well rested young woman will no doubt be cursing me amidst her own Coles toddler meltdown one day for having given her a false impression of "the joys of motherhood" and instead into the harrowing experience that is shopping with a semi wild animal.

Christmas was, as it always will be from now on, a mixture of sweet moments where you remember the magic of being a child on Christmas morning and are stirred by the looks on your own children's faces as they experience this wonderment for themselves, contradicted with bitter resentment toward corporate greed as people seem to spew money into wealthy department stores in some sort of frantic display of psychotic spending.
It's easier if I do a list.

What I really hate about Christmas (I probably shouldn't start with the negative but it's much easier)
  • Over spending. I refuse to spend $18 on a tin of short bread biscuits shaped like a Scotty dog. Go away.
  • Christmas shopping. People seem to be at their very crappest when shopping at Christmas. I have so little patience for "the peoples" at the best of times, but overcrowded shops full of mentally deranged consumers with trolleys piled high with plastic crap really makes me freaks me out. I have a permanent scowl when I am Christmas shopping.
  • Slutty Mrs Clause costumes advertised in the junk mail.
  • Mariah Carey in my face (wearing a slutty Mrs Clause costume probably).
  • The inevitable religious associations that come with celebrating a Christian holiday... and yes, I know that makes me a massive hypocrite because I am, for all means and purposes agnostic and my partner a militant atheist, but I celebrate Christmas for my kids because I don't want them to "miss out". It's very complicated.
  • Car travel in the heat. I have a 5 degree comfort zone (18-23 degrees), anything outside of that requires some method of heating/cooling. I don't engage well with the heat. Hot seat belts, sweaty legs, shade blinds that spring up. I don't like it.
  • Hot weather. Don't even. 
What I really like about Christmas:
  • Putting up the Christmas tree with my kidlets while listening to Christmas carols. It reminds me of my childhood. Of complete and utter blissful ignorance of  anything outside of my own little world. Sigh. 
  • Cherries
  • Prawns
  • Michael Buble in my face. He is the Christmas whore (as Sash eloquently put it) but that's okay. He's a hot guy that can sing. C'mon!
  • Seeing friends and family that I rarely get to see.
  • School holidays. I have to admit I love having my boy at home with me. He is such a darling and it's nice not to have to contend with the school run everyday. 
 Also I really hate the beach. I know it's not directly linked to Christmas but it's worth a mention because I hate it so very much. 

Right, so, rant over. I'm glad things are starting to slow down a bit and return to normal. However that is providing that normal includes rinsing skid marks from tiny, fairy adorned knickers.


I took this photo earlier today. It captures perfectly the moment between being told she wasn't allowed to watch Peppa Pig on my phone and deciding whether or not to burst into tears (she went with the tears).
I call it the "hover cry". In the event of the hover cry there is an ever so brief moment in which to distract a toddler with something shiny or loud, high pitched sounds. I wasn't on the ball.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lock Down

So it's been over a month since my last post. I guess that's the thing about writing about having a demanding toddler... there's not a lot of down time to write about it. Total first world problem. I'm sure the Ugandan mother who just schlepped two buckets of dirty water 20 kms to her starving children is really feeling for me...
ANYWAYS! The last week has been a teeny bit tedious due to the fact that Miss Frannie has had a "non specific virus" which pretty much only consists of a complete body rash. Other than that, she has been fine and running around like a crazy person, but understandably she is still deemed unfit for child care. 
So... she conveniently kicked this rash thing into high gear on Saturday because that was the day I was due to catch up with my dearest friend Annie... Yes, she is also an Annie and I will hereby refer to her as "Tough Annie", because when little Annie was born we decided that sounded better than "Big Annie", because that kind of sounds like a large female prison inmate. Anyways, obviously because Tough Annie was going to be in Adelaide for only a few days, Frannie, whether consciously or not, brought it upon herself to immediately halt my plans of being "a people" as the honest toddler would say, for a short time (ie.having pleasant adult social interaction). Meanwhile, just to rub salt into the wound, Sash, ie. dad, was in Melbourne seeing his favourite band in the world. So I only got to see my dear friend for a few hours on the Saturday, with kidlets accompanying, which of course results in a lot of half finished sentences and interrupted conversation interjected with "stop it please", "mummy's talking Annie" and "in a minute darling" and the feeling later that day that you kind of remember seeing your friend but you can't be completely sure.
We spent a good deal of time in the doctors surgery, which is always a mad cap adventure and always includes Annie lying on the stained carpet that god knows how many people have vomited/urinated/bled on. (P.S She did a wee on it on visit 1, requiring the poor, grossed out receptionist to cover it with "the trusty vomit/pee sand"). By the fourtieth "Annie, please get up, the carpet is yucky", you give up and concede that this festy little human is probably "building up her immunity" by rolling around on this germ laden floor. BTW future prospective parents, I don't know at what age you stop washing the dummy every time it falls or using a blanket to line the shopping trolley etc, but at some point all is forgiven with the phrase "building up their immunity". It's probably around the time they eat their first millipede, which for Annie was 12 months.
There were a number of toddler fueled incidences on days 2-5 including a stand up screaming bath, a run around the airport arrivals lounge wearing only a nappy (and covered head to toe in a rash-people in airports love that shit) whilst waiting for daddy to return home, improvisational texta drawing on floorboards and a sneaky Zinc Curash cream free for all which saw the kitchen thoroughly painted whist I was in the shower (how dare I bathe).
After 3 more visits to the doctor we finally got clearance to go back to child care today, which kind of feels like Christmas. I've only missed 3 days of work (for which I don't get paid, being a relief teacher) and 2 social outings with one of my closest friends in the world who I only see 3 or 4 times a year, but that's okay, I'm not bitter (eye twitch). No, to be honest I am probably more relieved that besides the rash, little Frannie wasn't actually ill with the virus. As any parent will tell you, there is nothing more awful than seeing your little people unwell. So I am grateful for that. Sure we had a few moments which had mummy tearfully reevaluating her life choices and daddy sitting outside, desperately inhaling his cigarette and starring into space with that "I wonder what would happen if I just got in my car and drove to Melbourne" look on his face, but we made it through 5 days of lock down and the little lady is free to go back and join the 15 other little maniacs she hangs out with 3 days a week.
Sigh. Peace.

Mid strip at the airport. Impromptu nap on a tutu.

Blotchy but cheery.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A real human girl?

 Strangely unsettling morning. Annie was pleasant. Sweet even. She has either come out the other side of some sort of demonic possession or she is trying to lull me into a false sense of security, at which point she will let rip with a Britney/Lilo-esque type melt down at the most opportune moment. There have still been moments where her pupils seemingly glow red and she gets that weird 'Children of the Corn' look on her face, but for the most part she almost seems like a real human girl. I must admit, a lot of this "normal" behaviour can be attributed to blatant bribary (If you put your shoes on you can have a milky way... If you stop screaming I won't leave you at the petrol station... obviously joking). Last night she ate one solitary piece of meat so as I would refill the gravy compartment on her plate. The girl is all about the gravy and the sauce! It didn't really work though, so for all means and purposes, you could safely say she had gravy for dinner last night. Mmm,Vitamin MSG.
ANY success to get her out the door in the morning is largely to the credit of her bestest friend Clara (or Cwawa as Annie pronounces it), who she runs to squealing, arms flailing, each day across the school yard. It's a scene I tells ya. The two of them then grab hands and do a spirited happy dance/jump up and down number before trotting off to get to work on very important toddler business. It always makes me laugh and also feel slightly disappointed that rarely in adulthood does this awesome display of  frenetic "Oh my frickin'god, I missed you, you're so awesome, I'm so excited" happen , especially after only 24 hours apart.
Their to do list includes; dropping stones into the storm water grates, collecting branches and other crud from the oval, stealing food from other peoples lunch boxes (well if ya leave it lying around??) and the ever popular stuffing around at the drink fountains (which are of questionable hygiene) inevitably leading to wet, dirty clothes... The aim of every toddler I assume? Get dressed, arrive, find water, get wet, sorted.
I have become especially watchful for the ice cream containers of dog water that are often lying about at parks etc because apparently this stuff is better than any of that bottled crap. If you are under 4 dog water is delicious and irresistible!

Anyway, wish me luck because I am spending the entire weekend alone at my mum's house with the small ones and things could go very very wrong. I will be requiring alcohol on both nights and seeing as how I am going to be sharing a bed with Samuel, the side sleeper, who loves nothing better that to kick me in the small of the back all night. I might throw in a sleeping pill, a face mask and spongey ear plugs for good measure. Yes, I will be emulating Judy Garland during her demise... Might have to find a flowy nighty for maximum effect.

Annie and her co-conspirator in mess making, the adorable Clara.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cactus Hour

I've decided that cactus hour is a bit like having Motley Crew (in the 80's) in your lounge room.
Basically there's a fair amount of screaming, public urination, outrageous demands and nudity.

After getting up at the crack of sparrows today, herding the littlens to OSH and Child Care, teaching year 2's for a full day and finally herding everyone and their 14 pieces of hand luggage back through the front door alive (hooray for me), we then have the privilege of being a part of the 4:30 cactus hour... which goes on until well after 7.

4:30pm: Take off nappy. Get on and off toilet 35 times.
4:35pm: Go and wee on a Medicare cheque.
4:40pm: Wee on floor boards twice more ensuring wee gets in between boards.
4:45pm: Eat instant coffee directly from the jar. Freak the fuck out.
4:50pm: Demand a lot of plastic straws. No, not that one. Tantrum.
4:55pm: Get foot stuck in toy (valid cry). Didn't kiss foot right amount of times. Tantrum.
5pm: Watch Mr Maker... get craft ideas in head.
5:05pm: Not allowed to go outside to paint. Major tantrum.
5:10pm: Demand Milky Way, Chips, Tiny Teddies... Denied. Tantrum.
5:15pm Demand macaroni and cheese.
5:30pm: Be deeply offended by said macaroni and cheese offering. Demand sauce for dinner.

There is no way to end this post. I'm so tired. Good night.