Friday, January 09, 2009

How to be a working mother - lesson 101

When your mobile phone rings on your day off just after your cranky 18 month child has awoken from a nap.

Answer phone to discover it's a very senior player in the medical industry who has decided to share some very juicy information off the record for a story that you are writing.

Tell person on the phone politely you are not at work today and could you have a conversation on Monday in the office.

Person says yes but then continues to talk and talk about government submissions, scandals and dirt that is very compelling.

Maintain professional demeanour as your toddler starts grabbing your leg and trying to pull your pants down.

Say "yes yes - this sounds like a great initiative" whilst not really listening and trying to cut a piece of cheese for cranky toddler whilst trousers are around your ankles.

Continue to "mmmmm" and "yes" in an authoritative tone whilst toddler shrieks "no no no" and throws the cheese at the cat.

Absentmindedly give toddler a piece of chalk and a piece of paper to keep them occupied whilst still "yes-sing and mmmmm-ing" Realise toddler has gone in the other room and is now quiet. Good.

Continue to listen and catch up with what the caller is saying - realise that should be taking notes as this information is gold.

Walk into other room where toddler is to see that the good couch is now covered in blue chalk swirls. Mouth falls open in horror whilst still managing to sound knowledgeable.

Look at watch and realise said toddler was due at the doctor 5 minutes same time unpleasant smell is coming from the rear end of the toddler.

Try and get the chalk off the toddler whilst discussing Government regulation whilst toddler lashes out and shrieks "no no no".

Eventually plead with caller to send me an email before he launches into another 5 minute rant about topic.

Almost break neck trying to cradle phone hands free and change a nappy with spare hands.

Finally beg to get off phone and virtually hang up on caller.

Leave house - covered in blue chalk - wriggling toddler in tow with no idea what was discussed in the last 20 minutes and with an awful feeling I may have committed to something..........

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Resolutions ahoy

Others it seems have had New Year’s resolutions of their own. A few days ago I headed off to my usual aqua aerobics class at the pool (yes I’ve finally found an exercise I enjoy after 37 years of not really doing anything much with my body apart from eating and drinking beer – I think it’s the appeal of not getting sweaty, no-one seeing me while I exercise and best of all the fact that the majority of the class are at least 20 years older than me so I can kid myself I am still young and lithe…well until I walk past the actual gym where amazing looking people my age are doing full on pump and body attack classes..) but I digress, I headed to my class expecting to see a dozen or so of the regular old ducks and dears that do the class with me when I was greeted with an extraordinary sight – 38 people leaping into the pool, mostly strangers, but all with a weird gleam in their eye. When I looked at my instructor she rolled her eyes and said “oh it’s always like this in the New Year”.

It’s true, I remember this scenario when I worked at the Opera House. Once the new year had been rung in and the bottles and chocolates swept away suddenly the paths around the Botanic Gardens would be crowded with throngs of over zealous exercisers wearing brand new trainers and tracksuits throwing themselves about vigorously. By around Australia day mysteriously they would have disappeared, shoes and trackies presumably hurled to the back of the cupboard as the allure of the pub, café or even just a nice lie down started to win out over those resolutionsfor yet another year.

I’m researching an article on gymnasiums at the moment and I have uncovered an interesting factoid in this vein. 80 percent of people that join a gym stop going after approximately 12 weeks.... never to be seen again. Of course for the gym this is the perfect paying customer, the one they never see, and subsequently most gyms build their business model around over subscription.

I will bear this in mind when I try to enforce my own blogging resolution – do you give me approximately til Australia Day before the Tigers and Teapots get foisted to the back of the wardrobe of my mind?