Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Vitamin Pill

You know how sometimes there are people in your life that you just like even though your lives are so crazy different that it seems unlikely to anyone else? Well we had lunch with those people on the weekend. They have one grown up daughter, two nearly grown up kids and a just turned 8 year old little girl. They are laid back folk. They live on a farm in a house they built themselves that sits, seemingly, in the middle of nowhere. During lunch their pet lamb walked in to the house and sat under the dining table until dad picked it up so it could nibble his ear. What. The. Fuck. And they all laughed at my confusion and disdain that a farm animal was sitting at the table. Our differences are as stark as they are well-received and good-natured. We’re bright people who get that we’re different and celebrate our own self-imposed diversity. We can do this because there is something deep that ties us. Something intrinsic to our values that unites us as friends. Comrades if you like.

It’s the ‘sex is unnecessary now that we have kids’ ethos.

If you know what I’m talking about then you will be nodding and searching my blog for contact details so we can do lunch right now. Our comrades have been married a few years longer than we have but they’re the same vintage. They’re happy together, like us, and they have the same goals as each other, like us, and they’re not having any more kids, like us. And when we all get together it’s always the same. The boys compare stories of how long it’s been between drinks and the girls square their shoulders defiantly and give a proverbial high-five to each other as we realise we’re not alone in our resistance to the late night shoulder tap when you’re just about to slip into that deep, delicious sleep. 

But this time the boys wheeled out the big guns. No longer content to refer to the latest Cosmo tips for orgasms, today they went for medical research.

“Do you know what I read the other day? Studies have shown that semen has anti-depressant properties and that women who have a lot of semen aren’t depressed”.


To which I wish my response was “Yes, that would be true. Women who have lots of sea men are generally single, childless and very, very happy” but instead was:

“Oh my god... here we fucking go”

The ensuing debate on the health benefits of sperm was as ridiculous as it was unproductive, so to speak. Lots of rolling eyes from the wives and lots of guffawing and nudging from the husbands. Lunch was served. The boys conceded. And the boys kept their vitamins to themselves for a bit longer.

And so now I ask you, has your guy ever tried to tell you that a shot of semen is just like one big vitamin pill? Or, dear male reader, have YOU ever used that incredibly compelling argument in your quest to get laid?

Please... share x

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

I'm a mum but...

I don’t like kids.

Well, it’s not so much that I don’t like them but more that they annoy the living shit out of me.

I know, that’s going to really surprise some of you, but I’m all about keeping it real and though I do, truly, love being a mum and love my boys, kids in general suck.

Now, I can put up with all the infuriating things my kids do because the upside is the love and joy they bring to my heart and life. Most times that’s tipped in their favour. Most times.

But when the kid’s not mine … weeeelll….I... struggle. And when a mum pushes her annoying kid onto me I can barely disguise my disdain.

Example. “Go on, Annoying Johnny, give Tania a kiss and a hug. Go on, show her that cute little dance move you do. Oh go on, sing that song you sing to me – she’ll love it.”

NO. No, I won’t. 

Dear parent of annoying kid, I’m glad you think it’s cute that your kid sings, dances, counts with claps and spins like a whirling dervish but I really don’t. I don’t care.

The thing is, sometimes I care. The same way I care about some grown-ups and not so much others. Some kids I can connect with and I’m genuinely amused with every little expression on their face. But there’s PLENTY that do not amuse me. There’s plenty that just piss me off and most of the time I deal with that the way I do anything annoying -- by ignoring them. By not engaging with them.

Oh and don’t even get me started on the ‘birthday’ parent. You know who you are. You’re the one that offers your kid to help blow out someone else’s birthday cake. THAT DRIVES ME MAD. It’s not their birthday. That day is not about YOUR CHILD. Sometimes, the world doesn’t revolve around kids. It’s a lesson in resilience and humility that they need to learn. Also, when kids blow – they spit. I can tell you now that I will not eat any cake that a kid has blown the candles out on. Blegh.

I dread school concerts. I resist school plays. I downright refuse invitations to ballet recitals. Unless the stage is full of child prodigies [which my kids ain’t] then I’ve just spent $10-$30 to sit in a school hall on Facebook.

Yep, kids are annoying. And after two weeks straight with them during the school holidays I've come up with the following list. It's far from complete. Just saying.

My top 5 most annoying things kids [especially including mine] do are:

1. Interrupt incessantly

I’m TALKING. My mouth is moving, sound is coming out and hopefully an adult is listening. If I’m not talking then I’m trying to listen to someone else who is. Whether they are in front of me or on the phone now is not the time that I want to hear from you.

2. Involve themselves in grown up conversation

I’m sorry, how interested in your primary school opinion do you think I am? And kids who correct their parents during a conversation that doesn’t involve them. And kids who eavesdrop. And kids who flap about saying ‘she said the F word’. And kids who think it’s cool to be a smart arse to their parents in front of other grown-ups. And... and... and...

3. Use that annoying, whining voice

Mum, mum, mum, mum... It’s not fair. He hit me. Can I have a [insert something they’re not allowed to have]? Can we go? I’m bored? Why do I have to do that? SHUT.UP. My youngest is a drama queen and does this thing when he’s upset, particularly when he’s over-tired, where he will just cry. Out loud. It’s insane. And I tell him so. “If you’re going to make that noise, you need to take yourself to your bedroom because I do not want to hear it”. Mostly that just turns it into a wimper, but he gets the point.

4. Put their filthy hands all over the food

Kids do not wash their hands properly. It’s a fact. Also, I have seen mine wash their hands and walk out the bathroom picking their nose. What. The. Fuck. So, I hate it when they put their hands all over my food. When I entertain I purposely put out kids’ snacks and grown up snacks. Partly because I buy expensive cheese for the adults and the kids get cheap crap but mainly because I don’t like to share with grots. It makes me wild when mums let their kid’s hands on my grown up snacks. Especially the indecisive ones that have to pick up every fucking thing and put it back before they choose.

5. Complain about life

Actually, I haven’t heard many other kids do this but I’m sure they do. When mine complain about their life I go a bit mental. They’ve got the greatest life in existence. And the best mum. Be grateful.

Be honest... what annoys YOU about kids? And if you say nothing... can you please babysit mine this weekend?

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Things to do in SA these school holidays

There are many mums who get excited at the prospect of school holidays. They like the fact that the routine goes out the window and they get to spend all day everyday with their kids. It heralds special times of afternoon tea and pjs all day. There are mums like that. Then there's the other sort of mum. The mum who kind of dreads school holidays because the routine goes out the window and they get to spend all day everyday with their kids. It heralds nagging and sibling punch-ups and expensive outings and cabin fever. For those mums, I've put together a short list of things to do that get the kids out the house and won't cost a stack of dollars. 

The other mums might like the list too. And dads. And grandparents. In fact, as long as you're in SA, it's worth checking out.

South Australian Museum

My kids love going to the museum. We usually try to include a tram trip at the same to add to the adventure. These activities are free and best suited for kids aged 5 and up. With all activites held inside, it's a great wet weather destination.

Sleeping Beauty in Rundle Mall

If you've got a helping hand this is a great idea. Head into the city [take the bus to save on parking and add to the adventure] and set the kids and your 'helping hand' up at the show... and then sneak off to do some shopping. WIN!

Botanic Gardens

This school holiday program is great and the costs are very low. Don't forget to book though.

Hahndorf Farm Barn

The Farm Barn is particularly fun for the younger kids. It's open from 10-4pm every day and has some good family concession pricing.

Art Gallery of South Australia

Only $5 to participate in this activity. Bookings essential.

Granite Island

This is a great one. Take a drive down the coast and head out to granite island to see the penguins. Fun for the whole family and cheap as chips.

Can you suggest anything else local that the kids'll love and won't cost a fortune?

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

A lesson I didn’t teach my son

My eldest boy, Nathan, cried himself to sleep tonight. And when I say cried, I mean he sobbed. Loudly. With big tears rolling down his cheeks and noises that occur when one is simultaneously heartbroken and desperately trying to stifle the pain.

I held him on my lap for a long time. His long, 8 year old legs wrapped around me and his face buried into my shoulder. It’s not regular behaviour for him. Not much really affects him. He’s unusually pragmatic for a primary school kid, so I really feel for him when he’s upset. I just could not work out WHY.

We’ve had my little two and a half year old nephew with us today. Three boys in the house is actually not too bad. My boys are really patient with their cousin and love to just hang out with him. But sometimes, even though he’s a really good boy, we forget that our house is no longer ‘toddler proof’. And we are most often ‘reminded’ by something going wrong. And something went wrong tonight. Clearly more wrong than I initially thought.

Rest in peace, Sticky Slinky x

One of Nathan’s little toys was broken. Beyond repair kind of broken. It was a piece of crap in my opinion. A little man made of that horrible sticky stuff that you can throw against a wall and it will ‘climb’ down. Like a slinky but sticky. A sticky slinky man. I could NOT see the big deal about his 'death by toddler' but what Nathan sobbed to me, took me by surprise.

“I worked so hard to get him, Mum”

Wait... What?

We don’t do pocket money here yet. We believe kids should help out around the house as part of their contribution to the family and it’s only for things ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty that they should earn money for and there’s not much of that required. Plus, we just don’t think young kids need to have their own money. I’m not saying it’s the right way or the wrong way, it’s just our way. We try to create opportunities for them to earn ‘experiences’, like “if we all weed the garden we can go to the park” or something like that. So I couldn’t understand what the hell he was talking about when he told me he’d worked for something.

I racked my foggy, pinot gris brain for a memory of him working for Sticky Slinky and came up with nothing. And then, through the fog, I remembered. He brought Sticky Slinky home from a party he went to on the weekend. An Intensity party. Where the kids go along and get unlimited access to ‘arcade’ games for a couple of hours. Games which produce tickets depending on your skill levels. Ergo, the better you are at the game, the more tickets you get and the more tickets you get, the better your redemption rate.

Are you still with me?

Nathan ‘worked HARD’ earning those tickets. He teamed up with his best mate and they worked a system out to get the maximum number of tickets possible and then they took their ‘earnings’ to the 15 year old gatekeeper who told them what they could ‘buy’ with their loot. Turns out Sticky Slinky required the most amount of tickets. And now he’s dead. And Nathan is devastated.

And that’s how, without me even trying, my son learned the value of working for something. 

What's a lesson your kid has learned that you didn't teach them?