So… About Yesterday

Hmmm yesterday.

A bit rough? Scary even?

D-uh

Shush.

So… Yesterday was an exception.

And by that, I mean that most days the conversation goes like this.

Get up

No

OK. Don’t.

Fine.

**pause**

Okay, I’m up.

Then the daily routine goes along the lines as yesterday except without itching my head so much – ’cause nits have that ability to infect anyone using just the power of thought. say the word nit and.. there you go.. itchy head. Just like a yawn. Heheh.

It also doesn’t have the amount of profanity or internal ball-busting that yesterday’s conversation had. Truth be told, it is normally pretty boring.

pretty boring?

Uh, okay. Intensely boring. Mostly because I don’t start thinking properly until java number three, which is sometime between hoovering and checking emails.

But then there are the exceptional days.

The days where everything is off. Where I’m just. So. Grrr. LEAVE-ME-ALONE!

The days where my internal mechanic starts trying to figure out what is wrong and which part needs fixing, or replacing. Most-times these days last for, well, a day-ish. Other times it lasts slightly longer.

Once upon a time it lasted for far too long but being the rational human I am, I fought my feelings. Terrified that should I even cast a sideways glance their way that I would unleash the ultimate Hell into the world. Of course my struggles only caused that big old saucepan of Hell  to spew out anyway. Only then did I admit defeat and call in the Calvary. But that was then. This is now.

Now I’m not scared.

Life before kids was good. Life after kids is great. But it has meant a massive attitude adjustment, some deep soul-searching and honest conversations with friends and family, but most of all complete open-ness with myself. To the point where although that level of honesty sounds tough, it’s actually a survival requirement.

I once had a counselor tell me that feelings are not ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but that they are just a  symptom of what was happening below the surface. I still remember the three sides to that conversation;

Me: So wanting to throw the chair through the window is not a bad thing?

Her: No

Me: huh

Me (2): yeah right lady, who’s the cuckoo-bird now?

Her: Okay?

Me: Uh huh.

Me (2): whatev’s, lets just go. Math has to be better than this.

Of course her logic was lost on me. I was thirteen and by definition I was an inward focused teen who didn’t have a clue.

Now I’m an introverted adult who still doesn’t have much of a clue, but at least now I get it.

Yesterday I was angry. Why? Just because. I’d like to say it didn’t matter, but it did. Because although I was angry, it wasn’t the anger that needed addressing, it was the underlying cause. If that wasn’t acknowledged and dealt with, then anger would turn to rage and then the Calvary gets involved… blah blah.

So apparently after nine years I am still adjusting to motherhood and having people in my space when I need quiet time. So you see, the ‘Why’ yesterday was unavoidable and illogical and Anger was just a reaction.

On any average ‘Introvert Spaz’ moment, just give me space, my headphones and a lawn mower, point me in the general direction of a yard and I am fine. Jubilant even. All I need is space and time inside my own head.

But yesterday I needed more than space, I needed an outlet. Sometimes there is no explanation for the way we feel. Sometimes the demons are stir-crazy and need a run. Whatever the reason the important thing is that we DEAL WITH IT.

Not by fighting it or blocking it off with drink, drugs or stuff designed to make us feel differently. But that we ACCEPT the feeling.

That we let that anger and frustration roll over us, acknowledge it, let it have it’s say. In my case I throw on some headphones, crank up Imagine Dragons, Linkin Park, Springsteen, Fall-Out-Boy lie down and release the demons into a safe and secure environment. Let those fiery buggers burn their lego houses down until there is one left, then let them fight over who gets to burn it down. Slowly, they’ll wear themselves out and crawl back into their cages all by themselves.

See with this honesty I’ve also found HEART and SOUL. Yes they have been broken, yes they will shatter and tear again, but, like the scars on my tummy, they rebuild as character development.

This honesty transposes to those around me and I find it easier to say, “You know what? I’m really not feeling well, rain-check?” or, “Gosh, you look amazing.” and “Are you Okay?” I also know when others need a hug – and have the God’s honest courage to walk up and give them one.

I also find it easier to laugh and just as I acknowledge the lows, the highs seem to tag along and for some reason I feel like I’m having more FUN with life.

Last night I was exhausted. The demons had run amok for most of the morning, I was shaken at the intensity but relieved it was all but over. Today I am still exhausted. But hey, that’s life. And we only get one of those.

Oh and just in case you are wondering?

I didn’t have to tell Mister M anything yesterday. He already knew.

<3

Rach

Oh and ps. Here’s something I found from Louis CK which about hits the nail on the head (about experiencing feelings, and stuff) – enjoy.

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Dingbats.

Dinga-linga-ling.

Voices.

Most of us have at least two; the inside voice and the outside one. The outside voice is the filtered version of the inside one. Some have three voices; the outside one and the two who counsel,  cajole and console in their opposite ends of your cerebral cortex.

What’s that? Theme music? Baby, that’s for amateurs. The especially lucky ones have their own soundtrack.

Kronk has his own version ….

… and for the most part that’s me.

But sometimes… well, sometimes the conversation goes a little awry… like this;

6:30am

Oh, it’s not Saturday? Oh well it’s ANOTHER DAY where you get to live the DREAM! Isn’t that so swell?

WTF? No dammit. It’s still dark. I’ve been asleep for, like, three minutes. Go away.

Oh don’t be like that, come on there’s loads of life to live.  Just keep moving. That’s it, dressing gown on, pull up covers… one foot in front of the other… you’re doing GREAT!

Fuck off.

Oh, silly, you know you don’t mean that … now breakfast bowls … that’s it, Ooh, that one wasn’t washed very well last night. Let’s just put it in the sink. Okay, Muesli times two, Wheaties times four. Excellent. Yogurt all round, well done.

Would you shut up already?

Tut tut. Bowls to table, make eye contact with Mister, okay close enough… and conversation three, two, one…

“Good sleep?”

“Yeah, you?”

“Yeah. Not long enough though.”

“Never is.”

“Nah.”

*Finish breakfast in comfortable silence. Clear table. Kiss Mister.*

“Love you.”

“You too.”

“Drive safe.”

“You too.”

***Close door, move to the window, wave, smile.***

Breathe. In. Out. Rain again, no painting today. Bugger.

It’s Okay.

Yeah, probably just as well. I feel like a camel train backed over me.

Well, du-uh you knew this would happen. You have to keep pushing limits ‘til something gives… just for interests sake – Why do you do that?

Just ‘cause. Anyway, shit needs doing. Just got to keep moving.

“Mummy! Meat-hug!”

“Ooof! Morning sweetheart, how’d you sleep?” laugh and unwrap five year old from around legs and kiss his head.

“Good thanks. Hey Mom,” what’s he got … oh the dinosaur, cuuute,  “Little Foot fell out of bed, can he have breakfast with me?”

“Uh huh, but if he pees on the counter you have to clean it up. Deal?” *smile at giggles erupting from youngest*.

Great. Step back, visual assessment; Bright and Breezy as always. Pour milk into bowl, get out spoon and push both towards youngest.

“Morning Mom.”

“Morning Gorgeous,” kiss cheek of oldest. Smile, just smile, all the way to the eyes, damn why couldn’t I have three more minutes alone?

Jeepers, that’s rough.

Shut up.

Okay, have it your way, just, maybe…

What?!

Well… just… calm down.

I’m trying dammit, don’t push it…I can’t think beyond that, and paying the bills and work and training…and… just don’t add anything to the plate…just don’t …..

Number two pads into the kitchen, plaster happy face and voice together and … three, two, one… “Morning Beautiful, how did you sleep?”

“My tummy still hurts.”

Oh for fuck’s sake, six weeks and a million questions later and we are still doing this? What am I supposed to do? She’s up. Can’t think beyond that… breathe, smile, hug, let her know you genuinely care.

“Oh, sweetie, I’m sorry. Have your breakfast, maybe you’ll feel better once you’ve done that and got dressed. Love you.” Breathe, in and out. Calm. No demons, please no demons today. Just give me quiet. Blessed peace and quiet.

Where’s your head at?

I don’t know. I’m trying to figure it out okay?

Well do it already.

Shut up.

I mean at least other times there’s been a reason…

Shut up. Damn, Danni wanted jam, not cheese sandwiches… see what you made me do?

… I mean there has been some cray-zay bullshit. But you are through it. You got help.

Shut up.

Christ sakes, Look at where you live, look at what you are doing for everyone. For the first time since you had kids, you have purpose, you are appreciated…. You have actual friends. You’ve been gifted the dream. So, in your language, What the fuck?

Shut-UP! I just DON’T KNOW alright? This all feels different, like the times before but different. Except before I had all those excuses, but now…. Fuck, I don’t know.

Are you going to tell Mister?

There is nothing to tell.

Yet.

No, there’s nothing to tell. I’m tired, that’s all.

Oh yeah, with a triple shot of anger thrown in as a chaser.

Maybe, but it’s nothing I can’t handle

If you’re in trouble you know he’d rather be there with you.

I know, but … shit. Why the fuck do I have to do everything? Or why does it have to become a fucking drama to get someone else to organise anything? Why can’t it just be someone else saying; “Okay, you want it, so let’s do this, I’ll deal with it for you.” Oh and then there is the whole “here we go again” bullshit.

That’s not fair. He’d never say that.

He never says it. No one does, but I feel it. Why is it always MY fault? Why am I always the one causing the drama? Why can’t I just be normal? Why do I have to get to this stage before I call time? Scrap that, why do I have to get to this stage before anyone takes any real notice? I ask and I get the ‘oh I’d better do it or she’ll go troppo’ vibe. That’s right after the ‘fuck it’s her job, she’s home all day, why does it have to interfere with my day?’ but slightly before the deep seated sigh of ‘ she’s the one over-committing, why do I have to deal with the fall-out?’

Jeepers. Angry much?

Nah, just broken.

Why?

Fucked if I know.

“Morning Mommy!”

Bright and breezy

“Morning honey, how’d you sleep?”

Visual assessment: What the fuck is wrong with me?

Just keep moving.

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Feminism, Pedestals and Grace

Pedestals.

Who the feck invented them?

No, scratch that, whose brilliant idea was it to use one of the most unstable pieces of furniture ever invented to display items of the most precious nature?

I bet it was a joke, or better yet, a dare that just went a little far and somehow caught on among those who don’t recognize dumb idea’s as the jokes they were intended to be – I don’t know if the conversation went along these lines but here’s how these things usually play out;

Einstein (after a few brews): “Ernishh, mate, you should totally shplit the atom, that’d be sush a blasht!”

Rutherford : “Good call, I’ll grab the gear.”

Or this one;

Coach: “Hey you lot of thugs, I’m sick of your crap, go jump off a bridge.”

Team: “Hey awesome idea coach, let’s grab the bungee cords so we can bounce around.”

Hackett: “Yeah, and let’s charge people to do it with us!”

Seriously?

Okay, so maybe not that type of conversation, but you have to admit, it’s almost like pedestals were invented as a challenge to art.

Uh huh… Point?

As if the 15th Century Ming Vase had not done enough just to survive the initial torture of etched painting with horrific minerals then placed in a zillion degree fire so some palace hoodoo could place it on a shelf where maybe it would be admired by the actual emperor, or used as a rice container by his chef, or snuck up to a young prince’s room and used as a storage jar for his abacus beads or whatever.

Point?

Getting there.

So the new vase is used but over time, it disappeared from the palace. Maybe a servant took it, maybe it was stolen in a palace raid, maybe it was sold on, exchanged for kung-fu lessons, whatever happened, the next half a millenia were a blur of earthen suffocation, oceanic drowning, dead skin cell and insect collecting, door stopping or a mixture of all four.

Then someone finds it and recognizes it as something special.

The vase is scrubbed in places unseen for decades and passed through more tests and exams than your average med student before being verified as a true treasure. Ironically, the vase now has to face the most difficult challenge of all; to stand tall and proud on a raised platform whose widest part is only slightly wider than the total circumference of it’s own base.

Of course the higher the pedestal the greater the value of the vase, but also the greater the risk that one day, gravity will prevail, thereby reducing the precious vessel to dumpster fodder where it will eventually return to the earth which first gave birth it all those centuries ago.

Oh for feck’s sake, boo hoo, poor vase, where are the feminists?

Coming. shhh.

The point is, the vase cannot place itself on the pedestal. It gets put there as a recognition of value and only the rarest of precious artifacts ever make it to pedestal status.

The same applies to people.

There are those who acknowledge the work of others, they say things like Stay at Home Mom’s should be put on a freaking pedestal and those who say that Working Mom’s should be on a pedestal.

Are you trying to start a war?

Take off those goddam headphones and take a look around you.

The war is on. Has been since the mid-nineties when feminism became a social ideal and all the doors to all the opportunities opened for women all over the western world and inevitably lead to this split between the stay at home vs the working mom lifestyle choices.

Now, just to make it perfectly clear. These are lifestyle choices and…

I don’t give a rats about either side.

(see, I put that in bold, just to make it very clear.)

However I am pissed at the third group in this little debate.

The third group?

Yeah, the group who say “I don’t need your pedestal.”

Who say; “I ain’t going anywhere near no damn pedestal, those things hurt when you fall off ‘em.”

Who say; “Take your pedestal and shove it.”

I get the whole pedestal/falling thing. I do. And I know how devastating that earth shaking fall can be. But here’s the thing… unlike the vase, we get to pick ourselves up and carry on. For all our rights and voice and opportunity gains women and in particular, mothers, have made over the last twenty years we have lost a vital part of our humanity.

We have sacrificed Grace and Humility.

We get offended at being called a lady and heaven help the man who dares to hold a door open for us. The fight is so engrained in our psyche that we are no longer able to accept a compliment. Hell, I doubt half of us even recognize one when it is given.

To be viewed as ‘the vase’, or the sun, or the moon or the stars, or anything else means that someone thinks the world of you. If someone thinks that you are something so precious and unique you are worthy of reverence is a HUGE compliment.

I have to believe that anyone who writes negatively about lines like this; Yes, she is just a mother. Which is sort of like looking at the sky and saying, “hey, it’s just the sun”, are doing so solely for the sake of confrontation and sensationalism.

Because the alternative is worse.

The alternative is that we have lost the grace to say, “Oh, you noticed? Thank you”.

Let’s cut the bullshit and take a moment to be thankful. Or don’t and waste time being be bitter about an imaginary slight and then (worse still) attack the person who made the compliment for not getting off their ass and doing the same work they were complimenting us on.

Confused.

Yeah, so are half the moms out there. A similar conversation goes like this;

“Hey, you look fantastic, you must have worked really hard to get back into shape. You are a real inspiration. Well done.”

Answer: “What? How dare you?! I worked damn hard for this figure and I do not need some dumbass like you to tell me how good I look or how hard I worked because I already know it and you have no idea. And don’t give me any of that inspiration bullshit because that means when I put the weight back on I’ll feel even worse. Oh and by the way, you look like shit, maybe you should stop looking at me, lose some weight and see how it feels.”

That’s some crazy talk.

Yeah, but I didn’t make it up. It’s real crazy conversation and it’s happening all over the place about all types of things.

Life is not a bunch of random attacks day after day, sometimes there are flowers among the brickbats, they are rare and they are precious. Let us have the knowledge to recognize them and the grace to accept them in the spirit in which they were given.

Oh and this ….

pedestal

see ya!

Rach

 

 

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Rule #2 and Why I’m back on The Stick.

My Mom.

She’s awesome.

Oh here we go, boohoo, my mom is so cool I just want to cry ….

No this is not going to be an ode to my parents.. shut up and listen.

Uh Okay.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, my Mom. She is cooler than Sam Jackson, fresher than Robert Downey-not-so-Junior, more persistent than Erin Brochovich  but stricter than Tiger Mom. In fact if Olivia Pope and Lara Croft combined gene pools … that’s more in line with my mom.

Let me guess, people say you’re alike?

Yeah, see what I did there?

(shakes head)  Is there a point?

Okay, so, yes, we are alike. In fact so alike we’ve had more than our share of ‘break-ups’. Even now, we still have moments of uncomfortable silence as we telepathically agree to go our own ways with our opinions, but she has taught me more valuable rules to life than Jethro Gibbs and Tony Robbins combined.

Mom has ten rules – some would call them commandments, but she wouldn’t want to step on anyone’s toes so ‘rules’ they are. One day I’ll enlighten you to the other nine but this time I’m just gonna focus on Rule Number Two.

I’m doing it for two reasons;

1 – Her second rule is the only actual golden rule in our house.

2 – This rule is the rule that has played a part in me being back ‘on the stick’.

Wait… what? You mean like Back to Here?

WTF ??? How do you even justify that? Oh wait, can anyone say “Martyr”?

Uh no. Not in the slightest. Listen. It’s just a bi-product of Mom’s Rule #2;

Do the Right Thing for the Right Reason.

That rule right there is our family’s guiding light and mantra.

It has served us through more than our share of ups and downs, but it when we follow it everything turns out better than we could ever hope for… even if it means that a part of the journey takes us to depths we’d never encountered.

Huh?

Okay, so here’s an example; Our twins had twin to twin transfusion: those who know what that is KNOW what that is, those that don’t.. well, just trust me, it’s a rare horrible no-win disease that affects twins in the womb. Most cases end horribly, the remaining ones end horribly horribly.

Our ‘do the right thing for the right reason’ was to swallow our fear, fly to another country and undergo experimental surgery. Before we went our specialist told us, “one live baby would be a good outcome.”

We had two, perfect, thriving babies and not a day goes by that we don’t quietly thank everyone involved.

Which is all very well for the big stuff, but Rule Number Two also applies with every single choice we make and path we take. Sometimes we know what the decision will be automatically and sometimes the answer takes a day or two to appear.

Are you circling back to the point?

Yeah, stay with me…

good, ’cause I lost the will to live for a minute there…

Over the last six months we’ve had a crazy, crazy time; on top of life as a family of six, we’ve been renovating, a lot of big-thinking-stressy-stuff has been going down at my other job and we’ve had a few financial and life curve-balls thrown in for good measure.

Losing…. It….

Okay. Okay.

I’m back on the stick because;

It was the right decision for the right reason to fill up on painkillers and paint the inside of our house ourselves, when the alternative was to undergo the stress of finding the money to pay someone else to paint the house;

Waiting approximately 288.23 hours for loan draw-downs is a better decision than not having the finance at all.

It is better to have the bass alter your heartbeat and hear Jake-Clements-style tinnitus from standing a few feet away from Springsteen than choosing to annoy the neighborswith the edited DVD version over-and-over-and…

moving on …

Right.

It is better to help a group of volunteers make the right decisions for the right reasons and then help others carry the fall-out of those decisions than to sit back and do nothing.

Because rocking out to my ‘Wrecking Ball’ playlist while mowing the lawns makes my head feel good even if it makes my legs seize up.

Because I know that as long as I take the next few weeks slowly, this too shall pass, and in the meantime I have lived life to its fullest.

Because all along, what I was doing, was the right thing for the right reasons and that, my friend, makes any sort of physical BS roughly one million percent more manageable.

See ya!

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I’m Sorry, (sort of).

It’s been a while. I know.

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking about you.

Or getting stuff sorted out to write.

Or that I’ve been doing any less than I was before.

Because Lord knows, I haven’t.

Cross my heart and pinky swear on my Facebook friends. I have been doing all of that and more and truth be told I was set to come back a month ago, but then something happened. Don’t roll your eyes, I know between four kids, renovations and life in general some shit is ALWAYs happening, but when it does you know I usually bring it to the page in one form or other.

No, I mean something happened.

Something that made me put this whole Internet thing into perspective.

I got a visitor.

Not the; ‘Oh MY God! How’re you doin’? Sit down and stay a while’ visitor.’

Or the; ‘Shit, they saw me, now I have to spend a half hour listening to how my soul is set for eternal damnation’ visitor.

Not even the; “Holy crap, I though I paid that bill,” visitor.

No.

This was something far spookier. (Spookier than eternal damnation?) Yes.

It was the ‘visit from an ex-boyfriend who you haven’t seen for more than a decade but who saw you pick your kids up from school and decided that it was really good idea to follow you home’ visitor.

We were together for a little over a year 15 years ago. We split. I moved on and two months into being a single gal went on a five week holiday. To the other side of the world.

On my return this same ex-boyfriend drove to my flat and declared his undying love. This was two seconds after I’d dropped my bag in my room following a 19hr flight and 6 hour drive. I would have laughed as I shut the door in his face if I hadn’t been shaking from a lethal cocktail of jet-lagged exhaustion and kidney stretching holding-wee-for-3-hours pain.

Him turning up at my home this year wasn’t the creepiest thing though, after all, I’m a big girl, I have a walking stick, know how to use it, and to be honest I really don’t care about him – which you know is way better than hating or loving. Those emotions can flip in a heartbeat, but not caring? That’s death of emotion. It’s not emptiness, or shame, or hatred or anything. And that is exactly what I felt when I saw him.

Nothing.

It was what he said after the ‘pleasantries’ at the front door that sent the creeps through me.

“Yeah, I know ALL about you. 4 kids and a writer huh? Your old cell number doesn’t work, want to to give me your new one? No? Okay. So, I saw you hadn’t been online for a while and thought I’d stop in.”

What. The. Fuck.

After I’d politely but firmly blocked his entry to the house and told him to go. Watched his pickup back down the driveway and hung up on him when he called three minutes later, I rang Mr. M and mentally went through all the places I appear online. The only thing I could think (apart from how I wanted a shower – and NOT the cold kind – the kind that’s hot and scrubby enough to erase emotional slime) was how I was going to shut everything down.

Everything. My books, my site, my entire digital footprint. Gone. Well, not gone, ’cause nothing EVER dies in Inter-space – but well out of date at least.

Then Mr came home, the evening carried on as normal, we put the kids to bed and instead of the usual wine, he poured me a bourbon. Quickly followed by several more. We forwent our usual viewing (ironically, Scandal), and chose instead some nameless, faceless crap. Then we slept on it.

Something I’ve been doing ever since.

At some point last week the exhaustion from painting and kids and school and house stuff disappeared and my creative soul started to re-emerge. I realized that shutting everything down just because ‘someone other than my mom could be watching’ would be punishing me way more than them.

I would be the one hunkered down in … well, not fear, but a loathing that would turn to fear if I let it.

I won’t let it.

I am careful with my family, but we have to live and be free in a way that can only come from within, so while there might be a few small changes – re-branding to The Introvert Parent and showing a little less of the actual details of me and my life, the stories and comments will remain as true and raw as always. No matter who reads them.

Anything else is compromise.

And life is way to short and precious to live in a compromise.

So, again, I’m sorry I haven’t been here, but it’s sure good to be back.

:)

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Four Horsemen and an Apocalypse

(To regular readers this is a little flash fiction … just because the awesome folks at Blogger Idol suggested it… and, well because most of my fiction ends up over at my writing site… seeing as this time last year we were all freaking out ignoring the Mayan calendar End of the World debarcle. Oh, and I thought it was fun to write about an apocalypse that didn’t involve Zombies. Enjoy)

My spine tingled as the air around me turned into a volatile mixture of fear and expectation. I froze mid-wipe and I waited. The thunder of hooves amplified, the sound swirling around until hoof-beats blended with heartbeats.

four_horsemen_1024x768The hooves slowed and came to a stop, but tiny lightning bolts still flickered through the atmosphere.

I took a breath, dropped the sponge and swung around, greeting each of the four riders with a stare, letting a small sliver of satisfaction slide through me as each rider averted their gaze. Apocalypse or no, the four horsemen  knew who grilled the cheese in our house.

I ignored the orange juice remorse raining its acid into my gut. The Four had been called up countless times before, but this time was different. This time they were excited, that meant they were serious. Deadly serious.

I lifted my chin at Death and threw a sharp glance at the fiery river of lost souls trailing behind him. His brows furrowed in confusion. I tilted my head toward where my babies were staring at the river, terror welling in their eyes. A flame sped across his face and with a flick of a wrist the souls disappeared into rainbow colored puffs but the volatile silence remained.

Dee do-do-do, Dee do-do-do, Dee do-do-do-doo.

I jumped at the sound, releasing a snort that was two parts relief and one part hysteria. Geldof, threw his scales to the floor and glared at the culprit. “Fur the love of God man, whatever’s in yur head?” He pointed a perfectly bitten fingernail at William. “Some Conqueror you are. No communication, He said. Wait ‘til after the apay-calypse, He said. Are ya deaf as well as stupid?”

Alexander’s blood-red stallion shook its mane and a mug of Starbuck’s finest appeared in the cup holder beside the warlord’s sword. “I bet it’s that Sheila from Sydney.” He grabbed the mug, breathed in the aroma, and chugged the lot down without pausing. He wiped the froth from his lip with the back of his hand and the cup disappeared. Then he turned to William. “What’s the matter, you couldn’t leave her alone for one lousy day?”

Death growled, “Yeah, it’s not like we haven’t waited several thousand millenia already, but hey, you know, go ahead… it’s only the APOCALYPSE!” A flare shot out of his ears and panicked shrieks filled the room. The flames immediately turned to twinkling stars that swirled around the twins, turning shrieks to soft giggles.

William flushed, pulled the phone from his pocket. “Idiots,” he muttered as punched the green button and raised the phone to his ear. “Yes. Absolutely ready Sir,” then his voice tightened, his smile disappeared and his eyes landed on me, “Uh yes she is.” He handed me the phone.

Geldof rolled his eyes, “Here we go. I told ya’s it was a bad idea comin’ here.”

Alexander nodded, “Yeah, I know,” he shrugged, “but you know, He’s the Boss, whatdoyado?”

I shushed them and raised the phone to my ear, “Hi Honey. What’s up?’

The voice of The Almighty thundered back at me. I missed the words but caught the rage and frustration. I held the phone away from my ear.

“I spend all my time and energy on this throne, protecting them from that idiot downstairs, making a world they can be proud to call home. And how do they repay me? By messing it up!” He sighed, “Then the imbeciles have the audacity to complain. Humans, bah. Biggest Mistake Ever.”

I sighed, ignored the frowns and sparks flickering between the four horsemen and turned to face my two bare bottomed, star struck babies giggling beneath the freshly decorated wall. The remains of both diapers were still scattered on the floor and my heart sank as I realized that the cots would have to be scrubbed clean as well.

I switched the phone to my other hand, jamming it between shoulder and ear, picked up the sponge, grimacing as the first wipe turned our twin’s attempts at redecorating into a giant brown and yellow smear across the wall. Lord knew, I loved my family, but cleaning  poop off walls while persuading the Almighty not to annihilate the human race was definitely not a perk.

“Oh, Sweetie, you know cleaning up their mess is a part of being a parent, it’s how they learn to trust in you.” I soothed, my words massaging his temper while my hands massaged the walls. “You love them unconditionally remember? And besides, you promised.” I added.

“I know,” He grumbled, “but it’s just so one-sided. I give them everything and I know some understand, but the others…” he trailed off, then took a breath, “I’m just not sure their love is enough.”

I smiled, “You’re right, it’s not fair. Not even a little. But Honey,” I looked at our girls, “If you don’t believe in them, who will?”

Electricity prickled my skin and sidestepped a small bolt of lightning. The horsemen could wait. The Apocalypse wasn’t happening. Not today, not ever.

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“You Can’t Always Get What You Want ….

…. but if you try, sometimes, you get what you need”
Mick Jagger

Has anyone noticed how many aphids there are in the garden this year?
(Sorry Northern-people-in-the-midst-of-winter, but there is a point, I think. Maybe keep reading to find out)

Seriously, no sooner do you spray one lot, and then the next week there are twice as many of the squishy green terrors! I blame the ants. Ant’s farm aphids for their juice or something. it all sounds a bit Walking Dead to me… so anyway, when I apply my finely tuned logic to the problem I reckon, if I kill the aphids, not only do I help my flowers, there is a distinct possibility that I will also kill the ants. (Stick THAT in your ears Mr. Spock)

What’s that?

Yes I have a pantry, with food in it. Well, actually, no, not food. Crumbs, biscuit crumbs, do they count?

And of course I have kids … (Does WTF? face) … Do you even read anything I write? Get out of my po … oh, I get it kids + food = neverendingsupplyofants.

(sigh) Okay, so…

This despicable piece of gardening information is not nearly as remarkable as the fact that my radar has expanded so I now notice the small green creatures and the habits of their keepers. Nearly as shocking is the fact that I have the time to not only notice, but research and spray the blighters!

You see raising children (no matter how many) takes a lot of Time and Energy. and Focus. and Patience. and.. well it just takes every ounce of resource that you have and them some. The first few years with kids takes you far beyond what you thought was possible. So far that it is like children give you this amazing emotional and physical overdraft facility. One that might take five years to use up, but like any overdraft, it takes far longer to pay back.

While you (or your Grandma) might love the idea of having blemish free, eternally blooming roses and perfect box hedging in a weed free garden, the reality is that while you have small children it is somewhat of a dream that goes unfulfilled. There is always someone wanting a drink, needing their diaper changed and telling you that one of their siblings has snatched something from one of the other kids who has retaliated with a stick and now everyone is crying and somehow, somehow the cat got involved. Moving on…

The times that you do get a few minutes to yourself it is either pouring with rain or so hot that your SPF 50 sunblock is completely useless; the concrete burns through your jandals (uh, okay, flip flops) and even the aphids have found shelter elsewhere.

It’s the same with any other idea or hobby that you might have for around the home. Want to paint the house, clean the car, strip the boat, wash the curtains or mow the lawns occasionally? Tough. It all takes second place to the needs of your kids and elements beyond your control. And it is frustrating as all hell.

But do you know what?

The kids do grow up and become a little more self sufficient. In time they will go to school, sleep deprivation will be a thing of the past and suddenly you will find yourself taking the time to notice the little things and appreciating life in its smallest detail again.

You will start to take notice of the things happening in your community, start having an opinion and the time to voice it. ‘Doing coffee’ with a friend may involve a café and dialogue, not just two exhausted people having ‘yes no’ conversations between hounding, clingy kids. Hang, you might even start to have a favorite place to get coffee from.

You will have the time to read the paper and the mental ability to care about what is being written. You might start ringing talkback radio about the exploits of a sportsperson that you have never met or a politician that you will never vote for…… you may even start posting deep and meaningful comments on Facebook, then spend an hour cutting those comments down to 140 characters for Twitter…. (laughs a little) not that anyone would be so foolish I mean, shucks that would be a waste of a day …

You will start to find your passion for life again, but with a wiser, more grounded and realistic view and you will better understand the realities facing others in their lives.

You will laugh more easily, cry more readily and get wound up about little things like aphids on your roses. The last 5 years will seem like a blip on the screen and you will wonder what the fuss was about.

But all the future visions of peace and skippity unicorns blowing rainbows out their bums don’t help the Here and Now parents up to their armpits in muck and milk. Oh you can see those weeds, lining up their seedlings like the silly little Alliance angry bird characters, ready to split and sink into any soil. At least you don’t have to worry about aphids, since you ran out of time to water the roses and in return they didn’t even get a chance to bloom let alone sustain an aphid attack.

You know the paint is peeling from the front door and the car still has mud splashes on it from that trip to your parent’s place in July, and the bugs glued to the headlights from the return trip.

You know all this and the fact that you can’t physically deal to any of it fuels the bubbling frustration.

But do ya know what?

It’s OK.

There are only 24 hours in a day and you are already working 28 of them. This is the one time in your LIFE that you can be a slob and everyone will ‘get it’.

Ergo, the only one stressing is you.

Ergo– let it go and make the most of those precious seconds of calm between the manic sessions of well, mania.

And now you just want to slap me for being so Gosh-darn chipper – so I’ll go.

See ya

Rach
xxxoooxxx

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