Monthly Archives: June 2010
Boy are we learning our lesson.
Not that I’m not UNHAPPY we came on our very first family holiday (note that while we have travelled extensively as a family, both throughout Australia and the world, we’ve never just set up camp in the one spot to relax and enjoy it, thus the newly embraced “holiday” status), but just that, well:
- we chose a place that had tons of kid-friendly stuff to do;
- we wanted to be close to the myriad of theme parks, especially seeing as our family passes expired this week; and
- Trudging from theme park to themepark and then keeping the kids occupied in a tiny cabin even if it is surrounded by kid-friendly stuff is just plain EXHAUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!
We’ve already decided to do a post-holiday debrief with suggestions for improvements for next time. My list is already growing:
- an actual, bonafide, awesome kids club that can take them for more than half an hour.
- warmer weather.
- somewhere that can help us parents relax, not just the kids.
Oh and I’ve scrawled ‘alcohol’ somewhere in there too.
Wish you were here!
Alrighty, as promised, it’s the all-new question time! It’s the first one now, so brace yourself: here we go!
Dear, darling Comic Mummy reader Isabel asks:
…when something breaks why does it take so long to heal?
Ah indeed. There are several points to ponder here.
1. This was not the kinda question I was anticipating i.e. one that treats me like an all-knowing, omnipresent being with answers to the secrets of the known universe.
2. In response to answering the question itself, I have no idea.
3. But neither of the above have ever stopped me before.
So excuse me while I put my BS wisdom cap on:
Right, let’s do this thang.
When something breaks, be it:
a) a heart;
b) a limb;
c) a dinner plate;
d) Mummy’s sanity; or
e) all of the above…
…the point is that a ‘quick fix’ as it were, would mean that what was broken was not actually all that important.
We, sadly, darling reader, live in a day and age where speed is all, convenience is paramount and every gidget, gazmet and other g-words are spewed forth upon the shelves all in the name of making our life ‘easier’, ‘more efficient’ and ‘faster.’
But this simply robs us of the truth: that there is nothing in the world that can beat SLOW. (Irony not intended.)
In my world, there is nothing sweeter than:
A slow backrub.
A slow treadmill.
A slow toddler.
So my dear, the next time you smash that favourite teapot and curse the heavens for the time it will take to heal that sucker, just remember the words of Britney Spears: “Baby, all I need is time.”
Or failing that, Lady Gaga: “BLAH BLAH OH BLAH BLAH.”
There’s a whole long story about my connection to Eva Cassidy, not the least of which is that she’s an absolute dead ringer for my real mother, who passed away when I was just a little tike
Anyhoo, will go into more detail on that another time, namely when I’m not on holidays with the kids and thus resigned to 15 minute internet spurts an an uber-expensive kiosk!
But for now, just wanted to share this one.
It kills me every time.
Here at Comic Mummy headquarters, I’ve decided that we’re gonna introduce a little tradition known as “Question Time”. Because what am I, if not modeled on Parliament?
*Note to self: last sentence = strange.
But I can’t do it with you! No, I’m not talking to the person next to you, I’m talking to YOU, LADY/MAN/TEDDY WITH OPPOSABLE THUMBS!
So, for the next few days, I’m leaving the comments open to questions. Questions, which I shall endeavour to respond to at my leisure over the next little while. They can be:
- completely disconnected from reality;
- on any topic of your choosing, however if they do happen to be at least somewhat related to some of the things we’ve been chatting about lately on this blog, then somebody will be my favourite!
Heehee, I’m quite looking forward to this actually, this should be fun!
This week, at the exact moment that Australia was shedding its current Prime Minister, (well, okay, the exact half-hour bracket, but now who’s being picky), my littlest bundle of comicness – otherwise known as Cassidy – was shedding its current full-leg cast.
I know, poetry in motion.
But wait, there’s more!
A follow-up x-ray showed that while things are definitely progressing in the right direction, his leg still hasn’t completely healed. Thus, back down to the plaster room (or as they’ve christened it at the Children’s Hospital, the “Flipper Repair Shop”) for another round of goodness, only this time, it’s different! Namely because it’s:
- blue; and
And so it was that Cassidy received his brand new shiny cast at the exact moment (yeah, yeah, alright…) that Australia received its brand new shiny PM.
Are these moments in life not worth singing about? Jumping over? Or failing that…
“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” Lucille Ball
I’ve always loved this quote, but only just this morning discovered that the voice behind it was:
b) a mother; and
c) a woman and mother in COMEDY!
I can practically feel the fairy-dust a-spilling! (Do be careful not to trip, won’t you? I don’t have insurance on this blog.)
But now that I think about it, it seems perfectly natural that Lucille – a mother (unarguably a synonym for “busy person” if ever there was one), striving to carve out a career following her creative passion – would be the one behind it.
I just LOVE it, LOVE it, LOVE it! Namely cos it turns that whole “Boohoo! I just don’t have any tiiiimmmeeee….” thang right where it should be: on its whingey, sad, defeatist little head.
*Disclaimer: author of this post is talking to herself as much as you.
Indeed, having limited time can be our bestest little buddy in the whole wide world when it comes to getting stuff done. Because:
- when we do have an opening of time, knowing that this may be a small window at best forces us to quit stuffing around (I mean, does it really matter whether there is such a thing as a Johnny Depp Batman doll on ebay? I mean, really?) and just pull up our socks and get into it;
- it forces us to get organised (bearing in mind that being ‘organised’ is a continuum, so by this I mean ‘more organised than we might otherwise be if we had limitless time to squander at leisure’)
- the simple state of being ‘busy’ with things to do, means that we are creating momentum. We are already moving! Okay, sure, that might be movement involving wiping snotty noses, wrangling snotty children or fixing snotty meals – hang on, did I just say that? – but the bottom line is that this ‘business’ can lead to a snowball that you can ride, baby! And anybody who’s ever tried to haul their butt out of a lovely, fluffy, inviting, retro, heart-shaped lounge knows, that starting any movement from zero, just ain’t easy.
1. MAKE LIKE A BOYSCOUT & BE PREPARED!
Have your to-do list/goals list ready at hand so that when the moment of free time strikes, you are not wasting a moment of it scratching your head, looking heavenward and pondering the secrets of the universe.
Note that I’ve found it works better for me just to have a generic ‘to do’ list to work on as required, rather than a strict time-based schedule. i.e. if I start doing the whole “at 9am I will work on ‘blah blah’ thang”, I start pulling my hair out pretty quickly thanks to the ingenius knack of kids to turn all unpredictable on me. Seriously. I have a bald patch. I don’t like talking about it. Could we please change the subject?
2. TREAT YOUR TIME LIKE THE LAST TUBE OF TOOTHPASTE ON EARTH
I’m serious. When it comes to squeezing every last drop out of these fleeting moments of peace, you’ve gotta commit to the battle, people! For instance, in our house, we have those rare – yet treasured – but rare, occasions, when my older kids will arrive home from school while my littlest is still sleeping. It’s around this time that I squeal for joy like a little piggy on steroids. (Silently of course, what are you, crazy? I don’t want to wake the baby!)
I then, in what can only be described as “somebody’s pressed the fast forward button on Jenny’s new show: “So you think you can guarana!”, assemble a line of snacks with a bansheed cry of “I LOVE YOOOOOOUUUUU!!!!!!” as I disappear back into my lair.
Sure, it’ only buys me an extra 10-15 minutes at best, but in the words of Sarah Connor: “We loved a life time’s worth.”
3. SLOW COOKERS ARE YOUR SOUL-MATES.
That is all.
But enough about ME!
What about you?
*Just for the record, if there really is a Johnny Depp Batman doll – on ebay or anywhere else in this cosmos – please contact me. Not that I need it. Ehem…
Coming soon to a theatre near you!
Forgive me, this is the only way I can deal with the grossness that’s been today.
Will be back tomorrow with an actual read-able post!
Until then: look, a monkey!
*Image courtesy of scragz
Over at Kelly Rae’s e-course, there’s quite a bit of discussion going on amongst the participants on how the heck you stay on top of the housework thang AND carve out a creative career when you’ve got those little pint-sized wonders known as children.
Which has prompted me to drink share the following:
1. YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL (AND YOU DON’T WANT TO!)
If you really do want it all – a thriving career, fulfilled creative passions, a happy family, AND a clean house…then you’ll get it all. And by “all” I mean “everything, including a nervous breakdown.”
Seriously, there are only so many hours in the day. Something’s gotta give – you’ve just gotta work out what that ‘something’ is.
For me, that something is ‘an impeccable house’. This used to stress the living daylights out of me, especially when it came to other people being in my space. I would be so paranoid that they would be judging me, tsk tsking over my failure to be on top of this that I would even stop extending invitations. I know, RIDICULOUS!
Then one day, my great friend Penny (a fellow ‘house cleaning is not my top priority’ woman after my own heart) said to me “If you come over, I’m assuming that you’re here to see ME and not my house!”
That really stayed with me, and I think it’s a great thing to remember – the people who matter will not mind, and the people who mind do not matter!
Now don’t get the wrong idea, it’s not that I’m a complete and utter failure in Club Housekeeping (I can actually FIND my children amongst the rubble, so long as they yell loud enough), but what I’ve really learned is to just commit to the main thing that really matters to me in my house.
I’ve decided that I can deal with a bit of clutter, a bit of mess (I don’t like it, but I can deal with it), but a disgusting kitchen just undoes me. I’m not kidding. It turns me into this:
So…I focus on getting the kitchen done each and every day, and then if the other mess gets cleared up, well: DING! DING! DING! I present myself with a giant stuffed hippo! His name is Herbert.
2. CHILD LABOUR ISN’T ALL BAD
Get the brood in on the house-keeping as soon as they are able to – and they are able to as soon as they’re walking! I’m serious! My littlest loves handing me clothes from the washing basket to hang up – right after he’s finished stitching the line of sneakers I’m working on in the basement.
And yes, there might be tantrums direct from the hell realm moans and groans, but do not relent! My pitch goes a little like this: ”we are a family and a team, and part of being the team means helping each other out.”
And if that doesn’t do it, “Gummy bears!”
Each child has their designated parts of the house and they don’t get their allowance unless they’ve completed their responsibilities.
Note: if you have a little Donald Trump in waiting, you might just be delighted. My 7-year-old daughter has recently cottoned on to the profit potential in this arrangement and is always asking me if she can do extra jobs, vacuuming, mopping, even doing the bathrooms herself for extra pocket money.
“Mummy, PLEASE can I do the bathtub?”
“Alright my dear. But you’ll have to fight me for it. KAPOW!”
3. WHEN IN THE ACT, JUST DO IT!
This tip came in the comments from the lovely – and Canadian but that’s not why she’s lovely though I’m sure it helps – Kate:
I don’t dilly dally while doing my chores – I do them with purpose, and while I do them, I mull over my projects. I also do them with the kids around instead of during any “alone time” now.
I think there’s a few key points here:
a) When you’ve boarded the house-keeping train, do not get off it until the train has come to its destination (i.e. do not get distracted by TV, internet, non-fatal injuries or other blather). Unless you are forced to of course, even the best trains get derailed from time to time. (Note to self: this sounds good, but if literally true, could be cause for great alarm. Hmmm. Must investigate).
b) Your mind is still free to wander, even when your hands aren’t. Okay, so you’ve decided to scrub that toilet. Whoop-dee-doo! Now, as far as I’m concerned, once the brush is in your hand and things are in motion, that’s enough. You don’t really want to think about that thing too do you? I don’t care how much you love ‘living in the moment’, if you’re actually being fully present with a toilet bowl, then I think the cosmic joke’s on you. Instead, use that time to let your mind wander away to a happy place, a lovely buttercup field full of the flowers, buds and pollen puffs of your creative self and the things you really want to be doing! Frolick! Tra la la!
c) Use your “alone time” wisely.
While of course it’s tempting to just crack out a few chores in the peace and quiet that comes with that elusive space, DO NOT DO IT. Do you see how much I mean that? I bolded it and capsed it, just so you’d know that if we were talking about this in real life I’d be yelling at you. In a friendly way of course.
But yes, seriously. Don’t.
Instead, you have to use this time to do what you need it most for: fuelling up the fire. Whatever it is that really gets you going, whatever you really need to be working on, being creative, blah blah blah, whatever it is (the blah blah blah was more of an ‘insert your own option here’ thing by the way, not an ‘I don’t really give a flying shizz’ one…just so we’re clear) THAT is what you need to use this time for.
No housework allowed!
Well, okay, wipe that puke off the rug, but only if you really feel you need to.
Now THERE’s a Doctor Seuss Title if ever I saw one!
Greeting my much-loved comments thread this morning was this nugget of inspiration from Comic Mummy friend, Donna:
“…Someone once asked Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”
(Originally quoted in “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield)
Then, add to this the delightful news that I won one of Donna’s “I’m launching my new blog so let’s share the love around!” giveaway! Soon to be adorning my studio (sorry Donna but I didn’t mention that I have this rather selfish habit of keeping my favourite cards to admire at will; in fact, I don’t know who could overcome their attachment to these, really – I mean, come on, who am I? The Dalai Lama?) are these wondrous cards…
My sister-in-law actually owns the original of this one:
I had to share this, namely because it is just completely freaking rockin.
I swear, if we ever have to deal with the lemon of being forced to downsize in a most dramatic way, then this will almost certainly be our lemonade.
*Image courtesy of Daniel’s WoodLand.
(If only they could ship to Australia! WHY? WHYYYYYYY????!?!?!!)