Monthly Archives: October 2010

The Wall

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If there is a wall in creativity, I’ve hit it I’m feeling about as creative as… something that isn’t very creative. Simile = good example.

If there’s a wall for parenting, I’ve hit that too.  Patience = zero and ideas = zero squared (that’s a lot folks).

If there’s one for looking after one’s self, it’s a hit and if there’s one for generally keeping balls in the air, forward momentum and a sense of getting on with ‘it’, that wall is looming large ahead. No… Wait… There it is. Contact – direct hit.

I’ve got nothing. Vacant space. I’ve been running up and down the length of this wall for a number of weeks now, looking furtively for a way over, under, through or around it, but have come up with nada, nichts, zip. So, I’m just going to sit down here for a while, have a drink in the wall’s shade and wait for the hand of God to emerge from the clouds to lift me out of my stale spot. With any luck, He’ll soon sit me atop the wall and let me fall to the other side like Humpty Dumpty, so I’ll have something hilarious to write about next week.

In the meantime, I’ll refer my readers to Mrs Woog’s post last week that so eloquently describes what’s going on for me right now.

Ok, a good description minus the nicotine withdraws. I’m not suffering from that, though at least if I were I could blame something, vent something, hit something, get psycho mad, blow my stack and then have a bloody cigarette because I no longer cared what was happening to my insides or what the world thought of me or…

hmmm, maybe I need to take up smoking…

jokes folks. Just jokes. See how lame I am?

 

Whatever. Enjoy the tumbleweed.

Nx

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This Saturday (night) I am grateful for

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Ok, so I’m late. Very late. In fact, I wasn’t going to bother. That’s the kind of mood I’m in: a feeling-so-jack-of-it-all-and-sorry-for-myself-that-the-thought-of-being-grateful-for-anything-sends-my-body-into-violent-convultions kind of a mood.

But then I’m sitting at the dining table, drinking my second can of Southern Comfort (my inner child is in need of comfort right now), I’m staring at my closed laptop and am beginning to tear up as I wonder what the fuck I’m going to do with myself. It’s at this point I realise what I need is a good dose of “count thy blessings thou ungrateful prat”.

So here I am, and I am grateful for:

1. Southern Comfort and the husband who thought to buy it for me when he got an SMS on Friday afternoon saying “Any time now would be good. Forget the milk.” Yes, he does get it. Kind of.

2. Herbs in the back yard – there’s nothing quite like a salad dressed with the freshest of the fresh.

3. Being so privileged that the greatest problem I face is finding a way to nurture and satisfy myself while nurturing and satisfying my two healthy children, my marriage, my household, blah blah blah.

4. Maxabella for giving me a way to remember that it ain’t all that bad… mostly.

Cheers.

Lots of people are grateful for lots of things at Maxabella’s

Ode to Childhood Imagination

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The Little Lion’s Tool Kit:

Drill – otherwise known as a “Noi”
Alternate Drill – this one is a little harder to use on account of the drill bit continually falling off.
Screwdrivers – otherwise known as “Scew” (and yes, that is one of those snot extractor thingies. At least it has had some use.)

Pliers, Nail clippers, Tongs or anything else with a pincer action - otherwise known as "Nick-nick"

Stump Grinder, Circular Saw, Chainsaw - also known as "Noi"

Sander, Jigsaw, Chainsaw, Wood plane or Iron - also known as "Noi" (Keep up, people!)

Lawn mower, Wheelbarrow, Shopping trolley, pram - otherwise known as "Noi Moor" (I know, mixing it up a little!)

Vaccuum Cleaner, Broom, Mop - otherwise known as "Leo Noi" (are we sensing a theme here?)

Shopping trolley, car – otherwise known as “car” (genius!)

Now what more could a boy possibly need?

 

Blog Flogging is Fun! See the list at RRSAHM.

Packing a Playground Punch

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Playground Etiquette 101

Lesson One – Supervise your kids.

Lesson Two – Lesson One does not mean leaving a box of hot chips on the bench seat for your toddler to share with the birds while you disappear for a coffee with your girlfriend, all the while assuming that your 4-year-old will be looking after said toddler and his bird poo chips.

Lesson Three – If it is essential that you remain well away from the playground perimeter so as not to spill your coffee on unsuspecting children during your engrossing and animated conversation with your girlfriend, at least sit on your all-singing-all-dancing picnic chair with your face in the general direction of the playground in case your toddler should pace the fence line crying, “Mummy… Mummy…” and not find you. You wouldn’t want to be accused of neglecting your toddler.

Lesson Four – It is important that you maintain eye contact with the park and, specifically, your children during your coffee gossip session in case your elder child should punch (yes, punch, not hit or shove or push, but closed-fist punch) an unsuspecting toddler whose father is standing close by, supervising (see Lessons One and Two).

Lesson Five – When father of unsuspecting toddler ROARS (as a Lion should) at your child, attend to the situation immediately. Do not wait for unsuspecting toddler’s father to dish out the reprimand and swift lesson in social graces then scan the horizon far and wide while shouting, “WHO OWNS THIS KID?” No amount of “Oh my God, I’m so sorry, what happened?…” will make up for your lack of presence.

Lesson Six – Whisking your 4-year-old away from the playground to momentarily stand by your all-singing-all-dancing picnic chair while you adjust your bling, take another sip of your coffee, titter with your girlfriend and flick your 18 shades of bottle blond to stylishly surround your designer knock-off sunglasses is not taking disciplinary action (as torturous as watching your personal grooming routine may be for a 4-year-old… or anyone, for that matter).

Lesson Seven – Sending your 4-year-old back to the playground with a soccer ball to kick around the equipment is also not discipline, even if you shout after him, “And see what your brother is whingeing about”. Said brother is still plaintively calling for his mother between bites of bird poo chip. He needs his mother. That would be you, Miss Glamour-Puss.

Lesson Eight – If you should decide, despite this course in Playground Etiquette, that you will continue to use public playgrounds as free daycare, other parents as free (and unwitting) babysitters, and local wildlife as custodians of your children’s less-than-nutritious afternoon tea, then at least ensure that any conflict of the above nature does not take place in full view of the unsuspecting toddler’s mother lest she trawl the net for “How to make a Voodoo Doll” that very afternoon. (Yes, that would explain the stabbing pains in your eyes, your 18 shades of bottle blond loss and the mysterious collapse of your all-singing-all-dancing picnic chair atop your designer knock-off sunglasses. Go figure.)

Lesson Nine – Remember, always, that it is people like YOU who destroy the sisterhood of motherhood. It is people like YOU whose toddlers approach breastfeeding strangers to show their pretty flower to, because their mother is too busy being… somewhere else entirely. And it is people like YOU who will, one day when you are old and crotchety with blue hair and bent back from those years of carrying too much bling, be left by your children in a fenced area with all manner of ‘fun’ activities to occupy you while your children go off and… well… just go off.

Lesson Ten – If you are in doubt about the slight variations to Playground Etiquette that may apply to indoor settings such as shopping centre play areas, doctor’s waiting room activity centres, cheap-and-nasty burger outlet playlands and the like, please complete Playground Etiquette 102 next week. In the meantime, say the following prayer for forgiveness:

“I, Miss Glamour-Puss, have been so busy farting higher than my arse (my grandmother taught me that saying – it’s great isn’t it?!) that I have not realised that my accessories baggage… children need more than entertainment; they actually need my attention. I promise to make eye contact with them from time to time… regularly and I promise to handledeal withtolerate… nurture them every week… day. I will do this begrudgingly… willingly and with love. Amen. (PS: can I have another picnic chair and knock off sunnies too? Ta.)

Two Questions

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Question One:

At what point does a writer earn the right to create (and use) their own words?

I ask because, a year on, I am still mourning the absence of the non-word “vandalous” from my book. “Vandalous”… it’s a great descriptor, don’t you think? And this is how it should have been used:

‘She rolled out her poverty-stricken beauty before me with vandalous honesty, the kind that cuts sharpest when given with love.’

Now how poetic is that?! But ‘vandalous’ is not a word (yet, and the day it is finally listed in the dictionary will be a very proud day for me, for I shall shout it far and wide that I MADE THAT WORD!). My editor asked me to substitute it with something, well, real.

I spent days pouring over thesauruses looking for something that captured the frustration, voiceless lashing out at the status-quo, a kind of honest commentary in the harshest way without being violent or bloody; anger with a kind of beauty embedded; something very human but raw at the same time; something like ‘vandalous’ language (where you describe something in the harshest possible terms to get a reaction – another valuable use for my word).

There was nothing. I had to settle for ‘ferocious’. Blah.

So, at what point did ole’ Bill Shakespeare earn the right to start creating his 1600 new words? Did he have an editor telling him, “Not yet, Billy Boy. One more theatre show gone good and you may craft words a-plenty, but for now, return thee with thine pages to the Book of Real Words.”?

I’m not saying I’m ready to redefine our language (I’m not really qualified, now, am I?), but one word? Pretty Pleeeeese?

Perhaps when I am riotously famous (now there’s one that’s similar and made it though the spell check) like Barak Obama and the bookshops suddenly all crave copies of that long lost memoir that tells “with such elegance, wit and wisdom” of my life before, perhaps then I will reinstate ‘vandalous’ to her rightful place on the page.

I can only hope.

Which leads to question two…

Actually, it doesn’t lead to question two at all. There is absolutely no possible connection. These are the random thoughts that crossed my mind while giving my legs a badly needed shave last night.

Question Two:

Why are nipples not made of the same tough stuff that the soles of you feet are made of? Or why don’t they, like a tradesman’s hands or a guitarist’s fingers, become calloused with use? Because, let’s be honest, it’s much less torturous (another cousin of ‘vandalous’) to keep a calloused heel soft than to make a silky nipple tough. In fact, I’d argue that the former is possible while the latter is impossible.

This came up during the last couple of weeks of illness. My milk went west when I was at the peak of my suffering (and peak of my Panadine Forte consumption), leaving Blossom desperately chewing on my nipples for hours, trying to glean every drop.

It made me feel like I had an especially large, capable and hungry newborn, and I wondered why, if that’s what boobs are made for, did God not protect them a little from wear and tear?

Ok, so a calloused nipple is not the most enticing thing a baby (or man, or woman, or whoever it is you want) could choose to suck on, but the thought then occurred to me (and bear in mind, people, I have been doped to the eyeballs and somewhat delirious), that the Ped-Egg could have a sister product, the Nip-Egg. I can hear the advertising now:

“Looking for a smoother surface? A softer place for you baby to suck? Let Nip-Egg help keep those dry, hard nipples feeling soft and silky without compromising their hard-wear capabilities…”

So now you know why I don’t work in advertising.

So there you have it – my very long-winded two questions. Any thoughts?

 

PS: This a blog-hoppin’, flogging, bloggin’ Friday over at Lori’s RRSAHM place. Go see!

Comment Love?

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Dear Veterans of the Blogosphere,

Please explain comment love.

I mean, I get that we all love comments – who doesn’t love knowing that someone is actually reading your drivel and being emotionally moved enough (in either direction) to say something back. That’s cool. It’s one of the reason’s I’m so hopelessly addicted.

What I don’t get is that it seems we are meant to care about where these comments appear. Seriously? Because if you ask me, which I know you would if we were in real time, I think that’s just weird. A comment is a comment. Isn’t it?

Surely if someone reads my blog on facebook, (where, let’s be honest, most of my readers do because I am a bit of a blogging virgin and my friends are being nice), surely it is reasonable for me to expect them to hit ‘comment’ below my post and whack in a “you made me laugh/cry/cringe/snort tea/feel ten-foot tall because you suck more at baking cake than I do” right there where they’re reading.

Of if they’ve actually subscribed via email so they can by-pass their workplace ban on social networking sites, surely I can accept their covert communications entitled ‘Quote’ or ‘Re: Product Enquiry’ with warm fuzzies.

Do I really need to tell my commenters that they need to put their words on my blog page or don’t bother? And why? So whoever happens upon my posts about bulbous bodies and motherhood mayhem may see my forty thousand comments and think I am more popular than I actually am? It’s akin to asking my friends to follow me around Woolworths in a conga line in the hope that other shoppers want to be my friend based on my apparent popularity and the riotous fun we all seem to be having. Next you’ll be telling me that I have to offer giveaways to anyone who helps me reach 200 friends and followers.

What can I say? I’m not a collector (ok, that’s a lie – I do collect stationery and I am only allowed in Officeworks with a responsible adult, but it’s all useful stuff that I intend to use for crafting when my children are old enough to make useless bits of junk that we will then throw away). So I’ll rephrase: I don’t collect friends and followers for the sake of collecting them. I don’t collect comments for the sake of proving how brilliant, funny, wise and talented I am either.

So please explain. Obviously, I can become a collector if I am missing some crucial part of the blogging code that will change my life in some immeasurable way. I’ll gladly play the game, if someone can explain the rules.

In the meantime, feel free to comment any way you like. I love it all.

Yours humbly,

Nadine

Saturday Thanks

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This Saturday I am grateful for:

1. Mr D – the world seems brighter, the kids seem happier, I seem more relaxed when Mr D is home.

2. Rain on the roof and enough stillness to hear it.

3. My psychologist and the help she gave me to allow me to step into the ‘real’ world when stepping back into the world of competitive sport would have been the easy way out.

4. Maxabella’s beautiful blog hop for a Saturday smile.

x