Thursday, April 21, 2011

The TV

My friend was telling me how her 3 1/2 year old daughter had pushed her to the limits last week after a long and fractious day. She finally said to her daughter "that's it, I'm leaving. I'm going to leave home." She grabbed her handbag and headed to the front door.

As she did her daughter started crying hysterically and screaming "NO! you can't go mummy, you can't leave..........who will turn on the TV for me?"

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Snot and Vomit

In the last week I have been vomited on 6 two different children. Spew in my hair, spew down my top, all over my legs and one time right down to my bare feet. Mountains of japanese tofu flavoured vomit (thanks Ivy) to small stinky measured doses from Poppy on a semi regular basis everyday at the moment.

Then there's snot. Poppy has had a cold for a month now, and if my experience with Ivy at a similar age is anything to go by this cold will last until approximately June 2012. Everyday I go in to get her out of the cot and am greeting by a little face that looks like a glazed donut. I then spend the day trying to balance the gross out factor of others seeing her with two green slugs coming out of her nose and trying to wipe it away with the severe screaming and crying that this induces in Poppy which just causes more snot anyway.

Currently I am wearing a cardigan that has several layers of dried snot on it. I don't really see any point washing it or getting changed as our water bill is already horrendous from all the washing we seem to be doing.

So I am sitting here in my snot covered cardigan listening to my daughter trying to fall asleep in between almost choking to death with her terrible cough and I come across a few comments on a news website about the potential cutback to the childcare rebate. Several commentators (who I would have thought would know better) have made snide comments about "yummy mummies who do yoga and have coffee."

What I have to say to that is rather than deriding these women, you should be falling at their feet and worshipping them as goddesses with superpowers. Frankly, any woman who has a baby or a small child who can manage to look semi yummy and get out of the house for a coffee is a bloody legend - it has probably been a herculean effort on her part to do so and possibly will be the only part of her day where things are going well. No doubt an hour later she too will be at home with vomit in her hair and maybe a bit of snot too, but of course those who judge won't be there to witness that bit.

And this is where yet again mothers cop it no matter what they do. If we headed out of the house in our crusty snotty pajamas with snotty vomity kids we would be castigated as lazy and slovenly and will have 'let ourselves go.' If we manage somehow to look semi decent and give the appearance that we have it together suddenly we are lazy bitches who do nothing but have coffee all day and don't deserve any kind of social services support.

Of course what I find fascinating is that if you see a dad out with his kids....he will be hailed as a deadset legend - snot covered or otherwise.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Shopper

When I was young - well about 11 years old a wonderous shop opened in our local Westfield. It had a rainbow coloured logo and the words "Sportsgirl" in splashy black writing emblazoned across the door. Inside was what every 80's tween girl could have dreamed of, fake pearls, hot pink plastic jewellery, floral prints, tight jeans, ra ra skirts and more. From the minute I stepped through the door that first time until I was about 34 - it was my favourite place to shop.

This weekend we were foolish enough to think that a trip to Pitt St mall in torrential rain would be a good idea with two small children - by the time we arrived in Sydney's shopping mecca we all looked like drowned rats (except for Poppy who was hermetically sealed in her stroller under the rain cover) and Ivy had developed a pronounced limp having soaked her canvas sneakers right through which then proceeded to rub the crap out of her heels. But for once no-one was complaining (much) we had made it to the city and we were there to enjoy it.

First stop the new Westfield - it's my 3rd visit there and I have to say I'm disappointed. It's dark, disorientating and altogether average. If I have one message for the city of Sydney it is - you MUST TRY HARDER. If I am going to drag my arse all the way into town I want something more than what I can get at my local shopping mall. Please see downtown Melbourne for more inspiration.

So apart from our disappointing trawl around the usual crappy chainstores (oh and a peek into all 3 storeys of Zara which is just days away from opening and genuinely looks very, very good) it wasn't a very exciting trip until we took a stroll down Pitt St mall. Out of the blue Ivy lights up, points and says "there, I want to go in there." "There" turned out to be the newly refurbished flagship Sportsgirl store.

Although she's not even 4 yet - Ivy May has a very VERY strong sense of fashion and a huge interest in the aesthetic. While I was also keen on the odd bit of clothing myself as I got older I've never massively encouraged Ivy in this area yet she is famous amongst everyone we know as being completely mental about clothes, jewellery, makeup, hair product - you name it, the girliest kind of girl possible. She is also a very tactile person - even as a very small baby she could be found just stopping to lie down on an interesting surface, be it carpet to grass and zoning out running her fingers through it. And of course being not quite 4 - excess is her middle name.

When we step into Sportsgirl for a moment I think her head is going to explode. The store has been decorated in a very over the top way. Store dummies are standing / sitting everywhere with long wigs and dressed in maxi dresses, cloaks and tonnes of jewellery. There are wooden cutouts of deer hanging from the ceiling and giant coloured balls of wool swinging in between. Chairs, lamps and cushions have been covered in rainbow coloured nana blanket fabric and there are baskets everywhere filled with woolly scarves, silky fabrics, soft cotton throws, mountains of silver and gold costume jewellery, cloaks made of feathers and racks of stockings.

Ivy goes into a trance and moves from spot to spot - hands running over everything, jigging to the pulsating dance music track that plays over the stereo. She touches everything and is totally deaf to my entreaties to "be careful - don't touch everything too much." Once she's had enough of touching (and discovers no-one is going to tell her off) she gets a little bolder and starts trying things on.

Within a few seconds she looks like this:

She finds an audience of giggling shoppers and sales girls and installs herself in front of the full length mirror in her new outfit. She then proceeds to dance around with her hands in the air, smiling at herself until she decides an outfit change is in order and hares off to another corner of the store where she starts loading up every available limb with bangles and necklaces. By this stage I'm half laughing, half horrified (and maybe just a little bit half tempted to pretend she doesn't belong to me). But it's like I don't exist because Ivy has found her mecca, her nirvana. All up we are in there for half an hour and despite pleas and threats the only way to get her out is with the promise of a cupcake. As I lead her out I catch the eye of an older mother walking behind a sulky looking teenage girl. She smiles at me and I just know she is thinking "you'll be back - and in the future you will have to buy the clothes you sucker." I have been put on notice - maybe I will have to get a full time job sooner than later.

Friday, April 15, 2011


After Ed came home from the Masterchef launch we apart from the usual gossip about who was there and who said what it was straight to the best bit - the goody bag.

Goody bags do strange things to people. I remember at the Opera House packing goody bags that were often just a random collection of marketing tat, stickers, brochures and say the odd sachet of coffee or something. As single items they are nothing to get excited about, but stick em in a bag and hand them out at an event and grown adults go beserk, even as one of the goody bag packers suddenly I would be overwhelmed with desire once the event began.

At TEN things were the same, and initially staff were told that the Masterchef bags were off limits but when there were a few leftovers Ed was a lucky recipient.

So back at home we fall upon the large hessian bag with the Coles logo on it. Inside - a bunch of random brochures, the usual Telstra logo-ed bottle opener (which goes in the drawer with the other 6 identical openers we have) we discard the tacky tea towel and fall upon the big ticket item that everyone had been talking about - the Sunbeam hand mixer. Before scoring it everyone was trying to get their hands on one - Ed had got a little confused and told me it was a blender then that it was a stick blender which was disappointing but frankly any kind of free white goods is exiting. We rip the box open and then after a little while we wonder what we might ever use it for...cakes? Scones? Considering baking is something I do once a year for Ivy's birthday or when I am in the occassional PMT induced frenzy - I do have to wonder.

By the next day the loot bag has been dismantled and the hand mixer already destined for a life in the back of the old pantry (ie: the shit we don't ever use cupboard.) Ed later confesses that his favourite thing is the Coles shopping bag while I admit that the two rolls of paper towels were probably the best thing in there. Says a lot really doesn't it?