Tag Archives: challenge

The Slap – my version (without the affairs, brutish thugs and damaged women)

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I don’t do smacking. That’s just the way I roll.

But today I crumbled. I’ve done it before and it tears my insides out, sending me into a spin of self-punishment via caffeine, fat, sugar and salt.

I’m tired, sure. I’m a little preoccupied with the ocean of things I want to do vs the teaspoon of things I get to, sure. But that is no excuse, is it?

There’s just some days that I can’t stop the reflex. Little Lion pushes his sister so she smashes her head on the wall, I respond with comfort for her, a short and stern expression of my disapproval to him and I walk away to focus on Blossom. No attention for attention-seeking behaviour. No focus on inappropriate actions coupled with praise and lavishing attention on the good stuff, right?

But he shoves her twice. I’m tired. I don’t have what it takes today, so when he stares at me, opens his mouth wide and buries his teeth into Blossom’s head, I snap. I smack him. His eyes flood with tears and he screams, fire spitting from his eyes.

“Oooooowww! Mummy NO hit LL! Why you hit LL?! NO HIT LL!” and he smacks me back.

I am instantly sick to my stomach. He’s right. Why did I hit him? I shouldn’t hit him. He’s small and frustrated and lashing out in the only way he knows how. He’s asking for help, not for punishment. But I can’t give it. Not today.

So the drama fades. The moment passes and I eat half a pack of Allen’s Chews to camouflage the knot in my gut. He starts drilling Blossom’s back. I divert attention, create a game, do the good mother thing. It lasts 5 minutes.

He’s restless. So we go to the shops. He’s happy… For a while.

We’re in Woolworths. The pasta aisle. He “cuddles” Blossom when I am not looking for the third time, choking her until she cries. I hiss a warning with the finger pointed at him. He roars, pure fury, and again buries his fangs into Blossom’s head. Again, I snap and crack him on the arm.

He sends up a wail that shakes the sauce jars on their shelves. Other shoppers scurry from the aisle. They avert their gaze. It’s too embarrassing to look at the mother who has lost control – of herself and her children. I am determined not to scamper away in shame. I am determined to finish my shopping, screaming duo or not.

And I do. And I stalk calmly to the car, denying LL a ride on Thomas, chocolate milk, ice blocks or treats of any kind. I don’t want to feel guilty for being weak, but smacking my poor little boy just because it’s the easier option, just because it releases the fury in me is no better than him releasing his fury on his little sister, is it? So I gorge on McDonalds for lunch, coke and chocolate through the afternoon, drinks at night, not enjoying any of it, feeling toxic and yet shoving more and more and more down my throat.

Because I should feel bad. Really bad.

(OK, so maybe there is one damaged woman in this story!)

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Amen to a new week

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Last week went something like this:

I cleaned up the cubby house while The Lion poured sand over his sister’s head to distract her from all manner of garden materials she was eating. Mr D had a huge week at work planned, so I was all hands on deck for dinner and bedtime and damned if I didn’t do a fine job of it on Monday night.

But then Tuesday came with my first period since Blossom showed up… I should have known the day was going to get ugly, but I went to playgroup at the park anyway (despite the gale-force, furnace blast of a wind). I lost my phone long enough to put me in a mood that could not tolerate LL’s constant nagging and inane questions. So, when his winging became too much, I threw both kids back in the car and cried all the way home (there’s nothing quite like a toddler shouting at you to shoosh when you’re feeling down – got to love that compassion).

LL spent the day thwarting ALL his sister’s attempts at sleep and whining that he was a baby in need of boobie, Blossom’s sachets of mush, and being carried around in the Ergo (he’s 14kg and I was in no mood to get all ‘attachment parenting’ with him, sorry). Blossom spent the day grizzly due to lack of sleep and attention. Dinner time saw me sprayed in stereo by kids who thought ‘Bolognese Raspberries’ was the best dinner time game ever invented, so being the solo all hands on deck again, I went for bath time early.

They splashed the majority of the bath water on me and when Blossom became suspiciously still and silent, LL suddenly announced that he was swimming, dove headlong into the water and jammed his feet fair up Blossom’s bits. This would have been a problem even if Blossom hadn’t just smeared a giant turd along the wall of the bath – the very same turd that became LL’s toe jam.

Bath time over.

Blossom was placed on the mat (where she finished the poo she’d started in the bath, before her brother rudely interrupted her) and I fought with LL over the right to clean the shit from the tub.

Bed time (remembering that Blossom was desperate for sleep) saw me drag the two of them outside for a walk in utter frustration at 7.00pm because Blossom needed to sort her digestive problems out (before I sorted them out for her)and LL was running laps of the hallway, screaming AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

When Mr D came home at 8.30, Blossom was still sorting out digestive issues and I was tucking into my second glass of bubbles in an attempt to lighten the mood.

Then Wednesday came, cold and grey, and began at 5.45am with LL shouting that he wanted yoghurt (WTF?). After getting up every 2hrs through the night to Blossom, I was in no mood to be woken, much less shouted at. But, being the mother earth that I am, I silently rose, gave the Lion his yoghurt and went back to sleep on the couch. For 10 minutes until he started picking my nose.

During preparations for daycare (I luuuurve Wednesdays and I don’t care if that makes me a bad mother), I discovered that both LL and Blossom were sporting a blotchy, pimple-like rash around the nappy region, on the feet and on the hands, but in the absence of symptoms around the mouth, fever or any other signs of dread disease, I rang The Magnificent Mrs L and asked if she would be ok with having LL anyway. Bless the woman’s soul, she thought nothing of it (especially since it was only going to be two of them)!

So, I left the Lion with TMML, Blossom with Grandpa G (while poor Nanna H was in bed dying of a sinus headache, ear infection and pain/drug/illness-induced nausea), and I went home to clean like no man’s business. Who would have though chores could be so satisfying?

Alas, upon bringing the kids home, I discovered a massive ulcer in LL’s mouth, he ate no dinner, drank no smoothie , no ice block could entice him. He sported a 38C temperature and all signs pointed to Fucking Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. Again.

He fussed and shouted and pretended to be a dog for over an hour at bed time and by 8pm I had finished the bubbles from the night before and was working on a little Southern Comfort.

The rest of the week was thus:

No more days with TMML 😦

Cranky Mr Lion-Blotch and little sister Blossom-Blotchette.

No kids eating, much kids whining, even more Mummy-trying-to-entice-with-bite-sized-morsels-of-every-treat-known-to-kids. And failing.

Mr D cranky that he was at work. Still. Again. Until 10.30pm. After a 6am start. Again.

I drank Bourbon and Dry in the absence of Scotch.

Amen to a new week this week!

C25k – it’s a wrap!

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Week 1 – Wow! I can do it…

Week 2 – I am doing it!

Week 3 – I actually want to do it!

Week 4 – It’s a challenge, but I’ll do it.

Week 5 – Can I really do it?

Week 6 – It’s hard but I’m going to keep doing it.

Week 7 – Oh alright, I’ll do it.

Week 8 – I’m so close now it would be silly not to do it.

Week 9 – I can’t believe I’ve done it!

And now I’m going to keep doing it because I can and because I want to and because I actually enjoy doing it! Freaky, hey?

Bite Me

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Dear Jean and Joe Average,

Here’s a taboo topic for you: My son, the Little Lion, occasionally bites his sister. So bite me. Does that make me a bad mother? Does that make him a bad little boy? Will we all go to Hell in a pea green boat because my poor little two-year-old is finding it hard to express his very strong emotions in a socially acceptable manner?

It doesn’t happen often, but judging by the reaction from you onlookers, you would think he had just bludgeoned her to death with his “noi”.

Your eyes widen, you gasp and squeal and tut, “Oh my!” and “Oh dear!” and “What will you do with him?” and “What will he be like when he’s older?!”. I don’t know, should I banish him to the desert? Tie his feet to cement blocks and throw him off the pier? Dear God, he may grow up to be a cannibal! Or maybe a vampire! Well, here’s hoping he’ll unleash his fury on you next, you imbecile.

It’s hard enough for me to control my urge to throw LL across the room for hurting my baby Blossom while also dealing with the ache that my first born is so distressed that he has to lash out in this way. So I sure as hell don’t need to hear you judge and label my little boy.

He’s not “A Biter” because he occasionally bites as much as he is not “An Angel” because he occasionally does as he’s asked. He’s not “A Chatterbox” because he enjoys a conversation, he’s not “Gay” because he likes to wear necklaces and carry handbags, and he’s not “Naughty” because he enjoys deliberately defying his mother. He is an average little boy trying to figure out this very confusing world full of terrible, frightening, challenging experiences for which he has not yet learned the coping mechanisms that we grown ups take for granted.

In fact, truth be known, I sometimes wish I could turf the stupid social filters that make me suppress my more animal urges. It would be wildly satisfying to bare my teeth, snarl and lunge at you self-righteous turds as you tut ruefully at the little mark on Blossom’s arm.

I won’t bite him back, I won’t wallop him and I won’t publicly humiliate him. You do what you like with your kids. I’m dealing with “this issue” my own way – my son will know his boundaries, he will feel safe enough to express his emotions freely, and he will have healthy strategies to cope with difficult feelings (rather than being forced to repress them and later stifle them with addictions of one kind or another) and he will know that he is loved no matter what.

These are big, hard lessons to learn and they will take some time. In the meantime, you can fuck right off with your suggestions.

With mildly masked disdain,

Lioness Fang.

Pounding Pavements and Ripping the Roads

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I’ve been exercising.

(wild hoots and riotous applause now please)

You may remember that in one of my bouts of motherhood amnesia, I vowed to do a sprint triathlon before the end of the year. Well, I am proud to say that motherhood won out over this rather absurd goal. The last event for the year is on in two weeks and I will not be anywhere near it. In fact, I wouldn’t be seen dead in a swimsuit yet, so that rules me out completely!

BUT

I have been exercising… the goal, a sprint triathlon at the end of February.

I’ve been pounding the pavement with my latest bandwagon (C 2 5k) and loving it despite my run of mishaps (don’t bother pardoning the pun). I’m mid-way through Week 5 and so far I have one misadventure on every single run. The latest have involved local wildlife (specifically rather persistent flies), domestic (though not domesticated) dogs enjoying the chase, wardrobe malfunctions (read: shorts creeping up my crack and causing nasty chafing between the thunder thighs), and an unfortunate case of stealing debris from a building site for my husband at the beginning of the run and having to carry it all the way. I’m a good woman, I am.

My only criticism of the podcast program is the atrocious song change in Week 4. I don’t know what you were playing at, Robert, but DJ just ain’t your thing. I thought there was something wrong with my machine, but no, the three tracks jostling for air space and creating a cacophonous noise for almost a minute just as I started my last run for the session was simply you trying to be cool. Newsflash: NOT COOL.

So, being past half way to a 5k Cliff Young shuffle with just enough bounce to get the ponytail swinging, I decided it was time to incorporate some riding into the mix.

Let me clarify here: Mr D loves me more when I exercise. Not because I’m sohotrightnow, nor is it the beetroot face and sweat moustache, but because I’m not such a snarky, downtrodden martyr when I exercise. So, having the unsettling capacity to see through me as he does, Mr D eliminated the last of my “Reasons Why I Can’t Possibly Go For A Ride Today” by buying me a new helmet for my birthday. Bugger.

“Riding”,for me, means getting on my bike and hanging on for dear life while feeling sure I am about to die of a heart attack any moment. I’m not what you might call a “confident” rider. No. Ok, so it terrifies me. There. I’ve said it.

But I got out there yesterday. Good for me. I rode 9k. Good for me. I figured that if swimming was all about getting into a breathing rhythm, and if the same seemed to be true for running, then I’d just do the same thing on the bike. Good for me.

I got the pedals going – breathe in one two, breathe out two three four, breathe in one two, breathe out two three four – I geared up and down to make sure I didn’t lose that rhythm and, LO! HARK! JOY TO THE WORLD! I had a great time doing it!

So, after a rest day today and a run tomorrow, I’m going all out: I’m going to do the 18k that I’ll have to do in the race. Bring it on. See how it goes. Who knows, I may be ripping up the road and pounding the pavement all in one session next week. Then we’ll really see who’s a tough little chicken!

And if, for some reason, motherhood wins out over this burgeoning triathlon career of mine, I will at least take solace in the fact that I now have three exercise options to keep the snarky martyr at bay. And that is a good thing. For everyone. Yes?

A POST POST SCRIPT (Do you like this? I think it’s really quite funny!)
After writing this post, I went to the bakery. At the bakery I bought a bun. With my bun, I exited the bakery. As I exited the bakery I stepped down an uneven step. As I stepped down the uneven step, I rolled my ankle. As I rolled my ankle I jarred my knees. As I jarred my knees (and rolled my ankle) I swore loudly…
So now I have my ankle in ice. I hobble. I creak and moan and curse that step. I will not be “going all out” any time soon. The universe has spoken. The career is on hold. The bun was average.
The end.

Taking the sting out of the garden

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We have been working hard to get rid of the chaotic weed heap in the centre of the yard. Sounds so simple, huh?

I’ve transplanted the 489 spontaneous tomato plants hidden among the thistles, nettles, rampant nasturtium and all manner of clover, dandelion, fire weed and nightshade. Mr D has constructed the first of three compost bays and I have shovelled a mountain and a half of grass clippings…

But all this takes inordinate lengths of time because of one little apprentice determined to help and another little apprentice determined to be carried AT ALL TIMES! The upshot: I work with a baby strapped to the back until we are both too hot and sweaty to breathe and Little Lion sets the pace – think snail.

So a few weeks ago, we were all out back pottering away at our various tasks, LL shouting from time to time for Mummy to “look! bug!” or “dig! hole!” or “my! bucket!”, Blossom casually sucking on an Ergo strap. Naturally, LL gravitated toward the centre of our activity and wanted to pull out some weeds too. At this point, daddy felt it was time for a lesson:

“Look. This is Stinging Nettle. Don’t touch. It will hurt you. Ouch!”

Little Lion crouched beside his father, hands on knees, nodding as he listened with his grave little face contemplating what daddy said. “Ting Net. Ouch,” he said, pointing.

“That’s right. Don’t touch. It’s ouch.”

A gleam sparked in LL’s eye. He reached out his hand and looked to his father to check his reaction. Mr D’s eyes widened in warning, “No, don’t touch. Stinging Nettle will hurt you…”

The Lion giggled. This was a great game.

“No…”

And he did. Grabbed a hand full. Mouth shot open. Horrified eyes searched for the garden for his mother – how could Daddy have betrayed him so? And he screamed…

I did what any mother would do – knelt to the ground and stretched my arms wide ready to receive my distressed boy. And he did what any distressed boy would do – ran for the comforting arms of his mother.

Only trouble was the enormous patch of Singing Nettle between him and me. That’s right, the patch that he (for some incomprehensible reason) did not swerve wildly and carefully tip-toe around to avoid. He ran straight through the thick of it. Right up to his bare little waist with his bare little legs brushing against those leaves of fire time and time and time again.

His face said it all – “Mum and Dad are in cahoots and they’ve got it in for me.”

The welts eventually faded, but the emotional scars remain. All you have to do is say “Singing Nettle” and you can see the grey clouds shadow his face. “Ouch,” he will solemnly reply without so much as a glance in your direction.  And that damned weed patch has lived to fight another day… week… ok, month or two.

We’ll get it one day.

We really will.

Riding the wagon

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I’m not a bandwagon kind of girl. I just don’t like jumping on if the wagon is already crowded with people yipping and yaying about how great the ride is. That’s why I’ve only read one Harry Potter book (to placate my students, which didn’t really work because I told them what I thought of it) and it’s why I don’t do vampire romances, iPhones and doggy day spas (ok, maybe that last one is because I don’t have a dog yet, but even if I did and when I do, it won’t be going to no day spa!).

Yet, here I am, about to start week three of the Couch to 5k program, complete with podcasts. Why? Because of darned mummy bloggers yipping and yaying about the bestest way to burn the jubbly bits and get a bit of yee-ha into the psyche.

And bugger me if it really isn’t the best way to get rid of jubbly bits and instill a bit of yee-ha! It rocks my world (although this is not hard given the most thrilling me-time I have is a toilet break when both kids are asleep and I can purge without locking the Lion in with me lest he taste-test his sister’s forehead in my absence).

It’s the perfect exercise for someone with an out-of-control inner taskmaster like me. Yeah, you know the voice that says, “You’re not going fast enough! I don’t care if you think you’re having a heart attack, keep going you pussy! Stop? No way! Only soft, fat losers stop! If you’re not about to spew you’re wasting your time…” and all that jazz. It’s a voice that reigned supreme for a Very Long Time and it has not taken retirement terribly well. On occasions it can be heard shouting, “10pm?! You’re stopping the house work at 10pm?! Like Hell you are! Get that mop out, you pathetic excuse for a housekeeper…”.

So for me, the super calm voice that says, “It’s time for your first running interval… go,” and then, in no time, returns with, “OK, you can slow down to your brisk walking pace now,” is like a benevolent angel giving me permission to enjoy myself. Enjoyment, that is, provided I avoid the following:

1) Taking my regular (and I use this term in the loosest way possible) walking route only to realise that road works have rendered the sidewalk completely impassable. It forced me to tiptoe through the ankle-deep slurry and stones that passing cars hurtled at alarming speeds, yes, in the middle of the bloody road! And did I mention that it was a main road during the 5pm home-time rush? No?

2) Finding a new route to avoid being pole-axed by a semi, but realising that every single time the voice says to run on this new route, I am going sharply up-hill. I’m not fit enough for that shit yet! And did I mention the teeming rain in my eyes? I swear the natives thought I was in serious training for something a whole lot bigger than jubbly bits and yee-ha.

3) Searching for another new route only to find myself completely and hopelessly lost in suburbia. When the session ended I was still lost, finally resorted to jumping a fence, trespassing through a school, traversing a water-logged football oval and, upon reaching the main road (yes, there I was again!) it still took me 20 minutes to get home.

4) Accidentally pressing a button on my mp3 player mid-way through a session with no idea where I was up to and finding myself listening to Week 3’s track. I had to scroll back through the music, trying to guess roughly where I was up to all while walking briskly and slowly melting in the scorching sun. It took 5 minutes to find a sound that seemed vaguely familiar, but as it turned out, I was wrong and ended up repeating a whole lot of the session.

5) Grossly overestimating the capacity of my bra and how much The Blossom had had for breakfast. The juggernauts initiated a rather large let-down that positively shone through my purple t-shirt, dazzling the oncoming traffic (yes, I went back to main road highland dancing for fear of never making it out of suburbia – lucky drivers).

6) Rolling my ankle and swearing loudly (very loudly due to the false concept of volume you get when you have music blaring in your ears) in front of the husband and two young sons of a girl I am trying to groom for friendship. I have yet to hear what he reported when he got home, but I dare say my attempts to regain poise, dignity and charm were met with little approval:

“OH, HI CAPTAIN! (Yep, I couldn’t remember is name off-hand and ‘captain’ was the best my pathetic brain could muster. What happened to ‘mate’, ‘guys’ or just leaving it at ‘hi’?) JUST OUT FOR A RUN. (No shit, Sherlock) YOU BOYS GOING FOR A WALK THEN? (No, dip-shit, they’re sailing) WELL, BEST BE GOING… (God, let me die now)”  Ah well, at least I finished week two.

So, with one mishap per run and still loving it, I am looking forward to the next installment of the C 2 5k bandwagon ride. Before you know it, I’ll be romancing vampires, tweeting from my iPhone and pampering my pooch. Look out world!

It’s Blog Floggin’ time with Lori’s Random Ramblings of a Stay At Home Mum!