About lillytootin

A city girl living in a country town.

The ADHD Circus

WARNIG: Raw emotion to follow. A mothers darkest place. If you are a flowers and unicorns parent….. don’t read. You will hate me.
In this moment I hate my children. Like really HATE them . Or at least I think I do. As a mum I know I don’t. I know that by the time I have finished my rant I will be  feeling all crap for even daring to think anything less than rainbows and unicorns about my children. But right now………! So . Indulge me.
So I just took the 3 boys out to a rocky beach with a playground, a  skate ramp and a flying fox. We packed a picnic and took the scooters and off we went. Within 5 mins of being there the arguing started. Toru started screaming at me because Tahi was having a turn on HIS scooter(as organised) When trying to calm him I was sworn at and told endlessly to shut up.(very typical behaviour Toru. I suspect he is on the spectrum and we are waiting for a diagnosis) I put him in time out. Then Tahi and Rua started fighting over a swing. Physically fighting. I offered up my swing and walked away. Soon Rua followed demanding that I discipline Tahi for hurting him in the fight. I ignored him and told him we were leaving. Eventually with all of them in the car we went to leave. As I went to pull out we saw a pod of Orca. maybe a dozen of them. Some people had gathered with cameras and were filming them as they ducked and dived through the ocean. It was stunning. As I tried to engage the boys in the magnificence of it all…it started up again. Yelling and screaming at each other they started throwing rocks at each other (big fucking rocks) . Of course as usual in all of these situations everyone stopped and stared at the circus that has become my life. Tahi ran screaming into the car to get away from Rua, who had a mighty rock in his hand and was trying to bash Tahi’s head with it. Tahi was quick enough to lock the front door of the car but not the passenger side. In this moment I was scared of 2 things. Scared that Rua would either throw the rock and smash a windscreen( mine or someone else’s ) or smash Tahi’s head so hard he would give him a brain injury. So of course I am desperately yelling at Rua to drop the rock as he climbed into the back of the car and threw it as hard as he could at Tahi. And the Orca ducked and dived in the beautiful ocean. And yet all eyes were on the boys and I. There is fucking ORCA whales out there!!! What an amazing thing to see; and my boys choose to spaz out at each other. FOR FUCK SAKES!!!! Fortunately  Tahi wore the rock on his back. Not his head. I got into the car and drove off.

The rage of  years of this having bubbled to my surface. NO MORE. No more being told by dept store managers that the boys need to be quiet or we will have to leave as I try on a much-needed pair of jeans and leave my ADHD child with his smallest and most easily overstimulated brother in the chairs of the fitting rooms. No more having to break up a fight within 5 mins of being at a BBQ with people I have not seen for years. Whose children all seem to function in the realms of normal and basically are dignified small people. No more being told by the after school care that if they can’t find an effective way to manage each boy they will not be able to look after them ….thus effecting my ability to study and work. No more trying to stop Rua from kicking down Tahi’s bedroom door IN FRONT OF THE LANDLORDS after being goaded endlessly by him for hours before.No more fighting over friends when we attempt to host playdates.  NO more blood. No more bruises;On them OR ME!! No more being told I’m hated because I didn’t protect Rua from Tahi. No more being told by Tahi that he wants to live somewhere else because the families problems are all his fault. No more having to leave shops because all of the mirrors and bright lights send Toru in a frenzy of excitement, dancing and overstimulated noise making. NO MORE STRANGERS STARING AT THE CIRCUS OF OUR LIFE.

And in the that car, as we drove away from those Orca, years and years of this EXPLODED. I yelled and screamed so hard I was spitting with rage in the car. I called them every name under the sun and took away every possible privilege I could think of, short of life itself. I ranted and raved and spat and boiled like a madwoman. I screamed till my throat hurt and it sent me into a fit of coughing. I showed them the darkest anger I have. I let them see their worst mother. And I will say…. in that moment….I wanted to HURT them. I wanted them to FEEL my rage. My despair and frustration. My loneliness and shame. My isolation.Because this IS isolating.
I am so fed up with hearing the well-meaning words of   ” I don’t know how you do it?!” *translation= fuck..your kids are mental. I’d kill them or run away*.
” Wow..I feel sorry for you”* Translation=  I feel sorry for you. Please let my pity for you be of comfort *.
” They are SO full on” * No shit  Sherlock*…
and ” You’re an AMAZING Mum” * Translation=  I don’t know what to say to you so here is a band-aid. It has nice things on it*.
And for the love of god…DO NOT TELL ME it’s just “boys being boys” Cos it’s not. ADHD is NOT NORMAL. It’s boys being assholes. Period!!
It’s all just a reminder of how different we are. . It feeds my anxiety about the boys. My shame. Because I do feel shame. I often feel pride in them  too…and in these moments I feel shame.  Perhaps if you feel the need to  say something…think hard before you speak. What are you ACTUALLY saying?. When you see  a couple of kids making a lot of noise..but HAPPY noise…instead of telling them to be quiet…try and distract them or ask the MUM if she needs anything else. Tell her its great to hear such happy children. If you see a mum trying to get in and physically break up fight and is struggling…HELP HER. In what ever way seems obvious. Most likely separate the fighters. I always appreciate a warm smile from a stranger. A smile that tells me they SEE us. That perhaps they have been there. A small reassuring nod..’You’re doing good Mum. Stand your ground.’ Engage the children. SEE them . Laugh with them . Help them .Show them. It really does take a village to raise a child. And solo parenting is very lonely at times.

As predicted having ranted I feel better. My blood is no longer at boiling point and I feel ready to go and talk calmly to my Tahi and Rua who have been sent to their rooms for the night. I am choosing not to apologise for the way I raged in the car. I so often apologise to them for my emotional reactions in fear I am a shit parent. That if I don’t show them remorse they wont ever understand it. But I am so sick of comparing my parenting to the expected PC parenting for ‘normal’ children. My boys are not. They are firecrackers. They are passionate, strong-willed,dedicated , articulate, focussed and soo many other wonderful things…that if I can just get them through their childhood with some basic understanding of what is right and wrong….they will be bright lights indeed. I know they will.So I gotta go and feed THAT fire now.

Now go give your Mother a hug. She bloody deserves it!!!

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FEEDING THE MONSTERS

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Time and time again we hear of these mass shootings. Mostly from a country with ridiculous gun laws. And always from people who want some kind notoriety from their crime. Posting their shit on social media etc. And time and time again we see the media pecking at it like starved vultures. They create more fame for the perpetrators than they do for the victims. We all seem to be more aware of the names of the killers than those who are killed. That would be rather enticing for a mentally ill future mass killer, don’t you think? The thought of their name and face all over the world medias. Household names if but for a short time. To a point where they are all trying to do worse than the last mass killer.
I see it. Often. On my news feed; Post after post about the state of the perpetrator’s mind. The ‘Monster’. Inadvertently feeding ,feeding, feeding the drive of a future ‘monsters’ motivations.
I wonder if we were to stop. If there was a global media blanket put over these acts. No coverage of it. Most certainly no coverage what so ever of the people committing these crimes. If the world stopped paying attention to these nobodies who are trying to be somebodies;Could we drastically reduce these happenings?
I won’t be giving these things ANY attention anymore. My heart will still hurt. I will still despair at the fact that some people’s internal suffering leads them to commit these acts. But I will ignore the articles. Change the channel. NEVER even breathe the name of the people doing this. Being that the media feeds us what we consume….maybe…. if we are a little more selective about our media consumption, we could actually save some lives?

BEAUTIFUL OR HEALTHY? WHICH IS IT?

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Like most other woman I have my own relationship with my body. Some days it’s great…and other days it’s bad. Mostly I am at a stage in my life where I have come to accept my body as it is and I generally try to maintain a reasonable level of fitness. As a result I have more good days than bad days. And because I have always been ‘curvy’ I am also very able to see the beauty in ALL body shapes and sizes. I am delighted to see a movement that is supporting this.
Below is a link to a news article I read this morning.When I read things like this I feel like some people are missing the point. What’s up with this attitude of just because you are fat, you are unhealthy and therefore should not dear to love and or accept what you see in the mirror?!.  Just because having bodies like this are a health risk they  should be ignored for their exterior value?  YES….being morbidly obese almost certainly will have bad effects on your health. However…can we not still be beautiful if we are unhealthy? Kate Moss  and other ‘Supermodels’ have been raving drug addicts,anorexics,bulimics etc.I can not even begin to imagine what the state of their insides are like.Or their heads for that matter. But we don’t seem to crap on and on about how they should not be told they are beautiful because of it, every time they appear in a magazine. I have friends that are half my size and I have no doubt that I am of a much healthier state than they are in. They might chain smoke, drink heavily or even eat endless junk food. Does that make them less beautiful/handsome than I am? Sadly I live in a world that says regardless of THEIR health….they are more beautiful than me. That their slender body has more value in this worls than my curvy body. As a teen I was told on numerous occasions by friends and family that I if I lost weight I would be really pretty. Effectively being told that unless I am slim, my  beauty has no currency in this world. As you can imagine, in a world so obsessed with beauty, this most certainly had an impact on my sense of self worth. it took me years to see the bigger picture. I still struggle…but I GET it now.
Beauty is a superficial thing. It is also a personal thing. We all hold beauty differently. Some woman like their men ripped and hairless. Some like them with a healthy layer of life and a bit of hair on their chest.(me included). Some men like blondes…others like brunettes.
I believe that refusing to acknowledge the beauty in people for fear of encouraging them to remain unhealthy is ignorant and in this instance, very hypocritical.  Beauty and health are two very seperate things.One is purely physical and subjective.The other is scientifically measurable. Sadly it seems that depending on what you weigh, they either have an equal value or they don’t.We tell anorexics and bulimics that they are beautiful. They always were and should not let anyone make them feel any differently. Yet if someone is obese…we are encouraged NOT to tell them the same thing?! WTF?!!!??  Every time I see photos of a big women being beautiful, there is an endless stream of comments going on about their health. Funnily enough when I see pictures of celebrities looking fabulous I don’t see an endless stream of shaming because of their cigarette addiction, rampant red meat consumption or overwhelming depression. Because we all know it has nothing to do with  the picture we are looking at. When we see a super skinny model in a magazine it’s the magazines fault.The designers fault. Societys fault. Poor her. How did she ever think so little of herself that she would starve herself like that?  Why is it that the big women in this world are endlessly banged on at about their health every time they show the world they dear to feel beautiful? In this instance it’s always THEIR fault too. Not the designers.Not the magazines. Not society. It’s all about them.  !!!
I think that this Tess Munster is a gorgeous woman. I would kill for those cheek bones.Those lips.I know there are men and women out there who think her shape is bangin’. What if she can run 5km with me? What if she can run 10km and I can’t? Then which one of us is more beautiful ?

http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/fashion/68016399/Its-wrong-to-tell-fat-women-they-look-fabulous

SAVING THE WHALES

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I saved a whale. Actual. In fact I think it is fair to say that I saved a few. 64 even.
My friend Mac came to stay for a few days. You may remember her from such stories as ‘Macs New Shoes’. Whilst doing a cruise on the Facebook on Friday, I saw some locals posting about a rather large stranding in our area. Whale strandings are very common where I live. There have been 8 in the last 10 years. Every time there has been a stranding, I have had the children in my care and automatically write off helping out due to childcare. When I mentioned in passing to Mac that there was a rather large stranding in our hood, she was all over it. Like a rash. So with a little gentle persuasion from her to make it happen ( persuasion  more resembling  a steamroller)..I damn well made it happen.
On Friday the 13 th of February, 198 Pilot Whales stranded on Farewell Spit in Golden Bay.By Saturday morning 103 whales had died and 70 of the surviving whales that had been refloated on the Friday evening, had restranded further to the base of the spit by the Saturday morning (Valentines Day). Mac and I arrived at about 4pm to the stranding site. DOC( Dept of Conservation) and Project Jonah ( charity organisation that specialises in strandings) were there to meet us and give us a briefing on what to expect, what to do and what to avoid doing…. eg. getting hit by their tails. They said a lot more but all I could hear was the loop track in my head “I wanna save a whale. I wanna save a whale. I wanna save a whale”.  Briefing done, Mac and I went to prepare for our heroic adventure. I had my wetsuit on in a flash. Much to my frothing frustration though, Mac struggled to put on her wetsuit due to the leg of the suit suddenly being a lot smaller than normal. She soon learnt that arm holes are meant for arms. Not legs. Job done.
The whales were about 300 mtrs from the shore line, so we jogged out to them quick smart being sure to hold in our tummies and try to put an air of total comfort in our skin-tight 2nd skins. My hope was that if we were moving fast enough there would be less chance of a DOC worker throwing a sheet over me , drizzling a bucket of water over me to keep me comfortable until the high tide came in and then refloating me with the rest of the pod.
A Project Jonah Volunteer greeted us as we approached the stranded pod.We were told about 4 people to every whale. They  directed us to some whales looking in need. I had expected  that being so close to one of these beasts would be akin to a spiritual experiencefor me. A moment where I would look into the whale’s eyes and I would see his soul and he would see my mine and he would  feel my love and I would sing to him and keep him wet and he would whale talk his gratitude to me and we would be two souls in this limitless universe, together, connected on a transcendental level, and when the high tide came in, I would gently guide him to the ocean where he would meet his pod, then he would turn back to me and say “squeak, wail, high pitch noise” which would mean “Thank you for your loving kindness. All beings are one and love is the  way.Your love has saved my life and your people have saved my people. I will never forget you ,Toots the Whale Whisperer”, and I would say ” And I shall never forget you ,oh great Whale being” but I would say it in Whale speak because I am indeed the Whale whisperer.And I would fly home on my cloud of supreme compassion as the lights of heaven shine down upon me and I would have thigh gap and perky breasts.
It was not like that.
70 whales had restranded. 6 were dead that I could see on arrival. A big pink tag around their large lifeless corpse. A baby whale was thrashing and calling out for what I can only assume was its dead Mother. 100’s of people in wetsuits sat next to whales mindlessly splashing water on the large stressed beasts.Some people had been there since dawn and had done the same thing the previous day. Whales were horrifically sunburnt from the day before. Their blistered skin peeling away showing raw bleeding flesh. Blowholes shooting into the air as the whales gasped for breath. I was surrounded by large dying animals.I found a whale that had 2 people with it. He ( I am only assuming it was a he) was large and had a white saddle on his back just behind his dorsal fin. I introduced myself and starting splashing the beast with water. I made light chit-chat with the  2 other volunteers helping him while I looked around and took it all in. I had always imagined how a whale might feel. Kind of like a wet gumboot. And it did. So smooth. But to look at it up close you can see all the scratches and scars of the mischiefs of its life. Yet still soo smooth. The thing that struck me the most about the whale was that is was warm. I had never thought about whether it would feel warm or not. But it was.Of course it was. He was a mammal. At some point as the tide came in,I found myself moving my half covered arms into ‘Elvis the Whale’ to keep the chill away. Here I was trying to keep him alive and I was using his body warmth to keep the chill off my privileged arms.
I would like to say there was some kind of interspecies connection between me and Elvis. A meeting of the souls. There was not. Elvis was a large mammal trying desperately to stay alive. In an environment he had no understanding of. Listening to his fellow pod members struggling and dying. Elvis was very still. Lying next to Ralph who kept squirting me with his blowhole as he gasped for breath. No matter where I moved I was in Ralph’s firing line. Noted by a few other volunteers. I eventually just let it go and put it down to another story to tell. Whilst the smaller Ralph seemed to take a breath every 5 minutes, Elvis would take a breath more like every 10-15 mins. He was still. Not thrashing so much like many of the others. He just seemed so focussed on breathing. Just breathing. Whilst 3 of us chit chatted and laughed about Ralph and the other farting whale next to him …he just. Kept.On.Breathing. At one stage I really  thought he was going to die. That he was just going give up.
At 5.25pm a Project Jonah official came over and told us that in 35 minutes it was going to be high tide and time to refloat the whales. I don’t know technical terms for tides and how they work. But I do know and did know that this high tide was not going to be a particularly high tide by high tide standards. I also knew that if we were not able to refloat these whales that night, DOC would be forced to “euthanize” them. With guns. Needless to say, at 6 o’clock…when it was high tide… SHIT. GOT. REAL!!
I vaguely recall during our briefing that Mac and I were told NOT to drag the whales during the refloating process. “GUIDE them out” they had said. Dragging can rip their bellies and other such yolk. I can assure you…that on valentines day of 2015 in a little place called Golden Bay…64 whales were DRAGGED the fuck out to sea. It was that or be shot. Now, I do the odd Les Mills weight class.And I can lift a bit of weight, I am a strong lass. In fact..Fatty Ding Dong( the gentleman caller) has \offered to challenge me to an arm wrestle as he is sure I am stronger than him. I always turn him down. I fear I might actually beat him and then be the ‘manly’ one in the relationship sadly rendering him to be the ‘Camp’one.  I know he would kick my arse..and I like that he thinks otherwise. Have you ever tried to lift 3 tonne of wet mammal?!?! No matter how strong you think you are…you can never be THAT strong. To be in a space where 150-200 people + 64 giant mammals are all trying to achieve the same thing in 30 desperate life threatening minutes is an experience I can not even begin to describe. A collective of minds and will. A force of compassion that drives and unites perfect strangers do work together without even speaking at times. TO just know. It is astounding. People were dragging, pushing, heaving and shoving these whales with everything they had. There was mainly 3 of us with Elvis in these moments. The guy and girl I worked with had a sling under the front part of him. I never asked there names. peoples names were irrelevant in this moment. I had one hand behind Elvis’ dorsal fin and one hand behind a flipper. I would dig my feet deep into the ground and squat as low as I could go then on the count of 3 I would push with my legs and groan and grunt in a primal determination as they lifted the front of him. We would make progress. Little by little. All around us people were as focussed and determined and as desperate aswe were. Making progress with ‘Their” whales, little by little as we were.People would get their whale to a level of water where the whale could float and they would go and look for another whale to help push out to sea. As the whales got deeper they started talking to each other. Apparently trying to establish who the matriarch was now that so many were dead. Sharing their excitement about the water that finally enveloped them. Tails started thrashing. Blowholes started blowing. And a few volunteers got knocked over by eager whale tails. My Elvis was super chilled. Eventually we got him out to a depth where his body started taking over. Elvis was talking and moving with the rest of his pod. To hear him communicating finally was very moving for me. He was going to be fine. We were able to let him go. I reluctantly moved away to join the human chain that was forming. He began to swim away. He didn’t look back like I had dreamed.
The volunteers formed a human chain in order to  deter the whales from immediatley restranding and drive the whales out to sea. A maori couple did a beautiful Karakia.It moved me to tears to hear her voice wailing in the wind, blessing these  great guardians of the ocean. We watched the whales swim out to sea. Volunteers high-fived each other. They hugged. We all cheered.
Since this experience I have thought a lot about whether this is just another example of bleeding heart humans interfering with nature. There are many opinions on this matter. It did occur to me that perhaps instead of whale hunting, whale eating countries could set up a mobile canning factory, send people with the factory out to strandings and just take their meat from the freshly dead stranded whales. Seems legit.
I still don’t know if saving stranded whales is the right thing to do. What I do know is it is obviously in human nature to want to help those that are suffering. That we do put a value on the lives on all beings in one way or another.That hundreds of people from all over the world, of different ages and different expereinces all wanted the same result for these lives. That when we band together we really are able to achieve incredible things. Moving a 3 tonne mammal is doable if you want it to live enough. And there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that those whales WANTED to live too. Everything in them wanted to survive. They fought just as hard as we did. They breathed. They kept on breathing. We kept on pushing. We all won.
We watched the whales swim out to sea.
I was cold.
My feet were bleeding.
I would never know if Elvis lived or died.
I was hungry.
Elvis had left the building.
I still didn’t have thigh gap.

AM I REALLY A CHILD ABUSER?

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New Zealand has one of the highest rates of child abuse in the developed world.
On May the 16th 2007 The Anti Smacking Bill was passed by the New Zealand government( not without public protest). This was to enable the system to have a black and white law that could actually have some pull with child abusers. If you are not allowed to smack your child by law..then you have NO EXCUSE as to why your child is battered, bruised, brain-damaged or Dead. YOU MAY NOT SMACK YOUR CHILD. PERIOD! If you are found to be abusing a child…your sorry ass is going to be charged and punished appropriately because the justice system has finally been set up to do so.

Recently I received a phone call from New Zealand’s Child Welfare Dept. Aka: CYFS.  Having recieved third party information a notification had been put through to them by someone who was concerned for my children. CYFS followed this up and felt that although they are not concerned for my children, I will need to go through a process with them, most likely resulting in my doing a parenting course. I yell at my children. I swear in front of them. But the  biggie is that I have  used soap in their mouths. I don’t hold them down and ram a giant bar of sunlight soap in their gob. I give them a choice. Either you do it yourself or I will do it for you. They always choose to do it themselves and I am always satisfied that after they have licked the bar , I have bought another 3 mths of non potty mouth.I was not aware that  this is considered abuse.
In the eyes of the law I have abused my children. For this, I feel a great sense of shame and inadequacy. If this country has any chance of getting the people who abuse children horrifically, then this law needs to be in place. What I want to raise is what happens for those of us that get caught in the crossfire?. Where is the line and why don’t we know about it?

As a Mum I have done many things I am ashamed of. There are days it all gets too much. I remember one day Toru was just at me with screaming and tantrums. I had endured days of it. I was done. In mid tantrum one day I snapped. He was standing at one end of the hallway and I boiled at the other. Before I could even think about it I was charging him like a bull. I stopped in front of him put my face in his and ROARED like an angry as fuck Lioness. Everyone stopped. I felt much better.
I am forever beating myself for not handling my boys better. For not being more patient with my high maintenance Tahi. For yelling more than I would like to.The more I have shared my current situation with people these last few days, the more I have learned that I am the normal story. SOOO many of my peers are guilty of the same things. Feeling the same shames and frustrations and often just as overwhelmed. Always comparing themselves to the parents they think are doing just great.Turns out a good few of us have resorted to the soap bar. I am the common Mum.

I have heard a few stories of people getting caught up in the system. Sometimes during a messy separation. Sometimes by an angry and vengeful teenage child.Sometimes by a witness who have only seen half the story. But a good few stories of people like me. People who are by no means perfect. People who should not be slapped with the label of ‘Child Abuser’.
When the anti-smacking bill was passed Tahi was 1. He was just a baby and I didn’t spare much thought for what was being passed. I knew that I disagreed with it but I just didn’t GET IT. From what I remember and understand of it there were many protests by many parents who feared that it would be exactly as it is.  Now …I GET IT!! I wonder how it is that this bill was passed without the support of a nation? I wonder how much money this bill has cost the nation in investigations and compulsory Parental Courses for those of us that were just being parents in a moment of  weakness.. I wonder, what would it be like, had the Government decided to put a  nationwide survey  out looking for the common grounds in the reality of  parenting. Had they asked as a nation what WE thought abuse was. What we thought was a realistic legal expectation of us as parents. From there could the laws have been made? Could we have supported parents by setting up courses, seminars, TV campaigns, ANYTHING to help  educate them on the new expectations  that have suddenly changed thousands of years disciplinary habits and give them the tools to do so? It may have cost a lot in time and money. But would it have saved us all in the long run? Would it not have created a national dialogue about what good functional parenting is. Warts and all. A place where we can share our reasonable shortfalls as parents with each other and not fear it may put us in trouble with the powers that be. Create the village that raises the children rather than the village that pretends they have it all under control while behind closed doors they are forever beating themselves up because today they broke the law.?

 Sometimes I think we treat our kids like they will always be children. That they are fragile and will be forever more. They are not. They are resilient. They are hopeful. And they will one day look at their childhood through the eyes of an adult that gets it.How many people do you know that say “Man, I pushed Mum to the limit when I was a kid.  She broke a total of 3 wooden spoons on my ass over the years. She was always frazzled but took no shit. I love my Mum. She is awesome!” Is my asking them to lick soap really going to change the course of their life? Are the school mornings littered with my yelling ” For fuck sake Tahi, clean your teeth! For the love of god put the toy down and go and clean your bloody TEETH!!” going to make him a meek and afraid of the world…or worse…a career criminal?  I wonder where the middle ground is?  Can we find a place to continue protecting our children as well as protect our parents and support them while they do the most challenging and relentless job known to man?

COMPUTERS,CHEWING GUM AND HELLS ANGELS

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FB status update. 01/06/2014:

“Laptop has finally died from terminal illness. Am unable to get over the hill to spend what could feed a small african village for a year on a new one. My “smart” phone provides fractured 3rd rate internet at best ( the 2nd time i’ve posted this status as the last one disappeared into the interwebs somewhere) . I am living the pinnacle of 1st world problems. If there is no soy milk for my double decaf soy chai orange mocha frappacinno latte today… I’m gonna feckin kill myself!!”
A few things. “THE HILL” is what separates my small isolated town from the rest of the world. It is roughly 25km of long winding road, peaking at approx 791 mtrs at its highest point. The closest ‘City’ is about a 104km /1.75 hour drive from where I live.
It would be a month before I would have a window of time to get over “the hill” to get my technology situation sorted.
I don’t ACTUALLY drink  double decaf soy chai orange mocha frappacinno lattes. That’s just silliness.They are revolting!
As it turns out, on this very day my Tahi had a playdate organised for 1pm. At 12.40pm his wee friend called in sick. Being that Tahi does not often get playdates due to having  limited social skills, he was gutted. As was I, for him. However… this  led me to the thought that perhaps now was the time to seize the day. Carpe diem so to speak. I immediately rung the electronics store in the city over ‘the hill’ and spoke  to a lovely sounding chap called Jack.He informed me they closed at 5pm. BOOM!!!  It was on. I rallied Tahi, Rua and Toru and packed them away in the car. We were off to get some new computer thingees and get out of our wee town for an afternoon.
We would also see my Gentleman friend who is living over ‘the hill’.A  lovely chap whom I will hereby refer to as “Fatty Ding Dong’.Mostly cos it’s  funny. Having dated for some months he has only recently met my offspring. They were very charming indeed and gave him no indication that in fact we are all rather mental and louder and more full on than a Metallica concert on a 5 day meth bender. He even came back. WIN. He is a little bit into geekery  and since my laptop had died had been doing some investigations into what type of computer would best suit my needs. I rung him to let him know the circus was coming over the hill to by computery things sooner than anticipated and that I didn’t need him to come to the shop cos I’m a big girl and can buy computery thingees all by myself and I  would call him after the trip to the electronics store and we could go and let the kids out  for a run at a park whilst we throw balls for them ,drink coffee and pick up their little kiddie doos in wee plastic bags or some such yolk. That suited Fatty Ding Dong just fine.Off we went on our big city adventure.
Now my boys LOVE chewing gum. Especially Rua. He will ask for that and ONLY that for christmas, birthdays etc.That is pretty much the only time they will get it too. However, if it is in my bag, Rua on several occasions has been known to steal it and go and hide under his bed chewing it ALL,leaving a trail of chewing gum wrappers to the crime scene.  He will offer some to his brothers in exchange for their silence. Sadly for him…his open love for gum  is his teller.  Going shopping anywhere with an 8 yr old ADHD kid , a 5 yr old and 3.5 year old who could easily represent New Zealand in a contest of “Epic Tantrums of the World’ , is not an easy task. Let alone  having to go to a store where you must actually listen to the sales person for 30 mins and not have your rampant offspring break expensive electronics. Clearly chewing gum bribery was in order. I stopped at the petrol station and grabbed 3 packs of chewing gum. I explained to my boys that the chewing gum was theirs ,IF they could follow 3 simple rules. 1.Don’t touch anything
2. Don’t fight with each other
3. No yelling and screaming.
3 strikes…and no chewing gum.
For those of you that don’t have small children this sounds reasonable and easy enough. For those of you that DO have small children…I know you are, at this very moment, laughing hysterically  at my hopeful naivety. Thank you. The boys understood what was expected of them and agreed to the terms and conditions of the chewing gum contract. We were all in good spirits. We arrived at the electronic store at about the same time Tahi’s ADHD meds were due to start wearing off. He was doing great and I knew time was limited. I beelined for the counter and asked for Jack who was just finishing up with another customer. Jack was a slight man of about 21. He looked like he might be someone who might spend a bit of time in his room , at his parents house, playing computer games with people on the other side of the world. He struck me as a man who had perhaps just been dumped, had his car fail it’s warrant of fitness and lost his BFF cos he ran off with his girlfriend all in one week. To top it all off, he looked to have had a hard day in the shop and just couldn’t wait to get himself home and into the womb of his meticulously built imaginary world of war games. And then along came us. Lucky lucky man.
To be fair it all started very well. My children all skipped into the shop holding hands with their   neatly combed blond  hair. Their white little trousers matching their white little shirts, offset by their wee blue suspenders. Their shiny little leather boots glistened in the afternoon sun as they stood quietly behind their relaxed mother. Each dreaming of the chewing gum bliss that was only a few sweet  moments away. If only Jack would hurry up. My three blue/green-eyed angels skipped happily over to the cordless mouse section as I finally engaged the  frazzled Jack. ” Hi Jack. I need some computery stuff and a tablet. Lets do this!”  Jack was more than happy to oblige and was clearly optimistic and excited to make a good sale. Lucky lucky man.
It was on our way to the laptop section of the electronic shop that I noticed that the angelic Toru had taken it upon himself to grab one of the cordless mouse things and start shaking it. As any good relaxed mother who had made her offspring sign a chewing gum contract  in their own blood would, I reminded Toru of the  chewing gum contract and lightly let  him know that he had made his first strike.  At this very moment something strange happened. 2 little horns instantly grew from his little blonde head. His white shirt turned into sleeves of demonic tattoos and his  light angelic voice dropped about 3 octaves. He responded with  “NO! I WANT TO TOUCH EVERYTHING!!!” and promptly proceeded to do so with intense fervour. In doing this he seemed to suck away any remaining effects of medication that may have been holding Tahi together . Just like blowing up a balloon and then letting it go to see it noisily and uncontrollably dart around a room,….Tahi LOST.HIS.SHIZZLE. He started jumping excitedly up and down in one spot and laughing like a complete mad man. I quickly  stepped into carnage deflection mother mode. I gave Toru a mouse and told him he had a very important job to do. He was to hold on to this mouse and make sure he did not lose it because we were going to buy it for our new computer. He was happy with this arrangement. I told Tahi he was to follow me to the laptop section and stay close to me at all times. We got there and Jack started telling me all about all the different laptops. ” blah blah ram yadda yadda terrabytes blah graphic stick yadda yadda blah blah”
 ” Hmm yes Jack. Just a minute Jack. Toru! put that down please. Tahi, please dont wedgie your little brother! Sorry Jack..you were saying..?”
” Geekery geekery better performance yadda yadda n’ stuff” .
“Sorry, excuse me Jack. Toru do not put your tongue in that! Tahi! Stop telling your brother to put his tongue in that and give him back the mouse. NOW! I said NOW!!!!!. Thank you.”
At this point I was smart enough to see where this was all going.So I took it to the next level of Super Nanny parenting. I instructed Tahi  to come and have some time out. He was to sit in the corner next to the laptop section so as to avoid  having him wind up his brothers. As he loudly made his feelings about this arrangement known to all and sundry  I noticed Rua mooching around the shop. Just looking. Not touching. Through all of Tahi’s protests he obediently made his way to the new  time out spot and sat down. Now  I was able to slim my options down to 2 computers. Progress. Then it happened. Toru discovered that if he went through the little white gate by the door with the mouse in his hand it made a very loud and entertaining beeping noise. Wohoo for him! Back and forth and back and forth. “Excuse me Jack. Toru. You mustn’t do that!” to which he replied in his deep demon voice “I WANT TO!!” “Right Toru. That’s 3 strikes buddy. No chewing gum for you” Wrong answer Mum. He looked at me and replied innocently “But I want chewing gum”  Though what he was ACTUALLY saying was  ” I couldn’t care less about your chewing gum lady. Your grey hair, dark bags under your eyes and recent plague of wrinkles gives me more joy than any of your pathetic chewing gum ever could. Sucker!” It was that this very moment something beautiful happened. Like a knight in shining armour, Fatty Ding Dong strolled casually through the door. His unshaved face and unkempt hair from a day in his workshop was  like a ray of sunshine on  a rainy day. Immediately butterflies started smashing into each other on my insides as they tried to escape and flutter towards the sunlight. In my joy I turned towards Tahi “Hey look” I said “Fatty Ding DOng is here”  Instantly the butterflies dropped dead.  Tahi had managed get himslef to lying on his back with his knees up around his ears. He was slightly rocking whilst slapping himself on his bum and occasionally trying to poke his finger in his jean clad orifice. He was making a noise that I could only think was fluent Gorilla speak.He was also dribbling like a drunk on ketamine. He was having a ball. My body filled with a sense of dread and hopelessness. Fatty Ding Dong was surely gonna run a mile when he got a load of us in full swing. Nevertheless I put on my brave face and smiled a happy smile. In actual fact I prayed that the ground would open up and swallow us all and Fatty Ding Dong would never know what a circus uncontrolled fruit loops he had stumbled upon. I continued to chat with Jack about general Geekery whilst the offspring fawned over Fatty Ding Dong and tried to impress him with their butt jokes and songs of poo. He  offered to take them for a walk so I could get on with it. I scoffed at him and over casually said ” Dude. Yeah nah , it’s cool. . This is nothing. Really. No big deal. Just a casual shopping trip.I got this. And even if I wanted you to I wouldn’t tell you cos I need you to think I’m superwoman.  How about you talk to Jack here and let me know which one of these 2 computers you think is the way to go”. He obliged. Meanwhile I set about putting order back into my spawn. I sent Tahi to sit out by the doors of the shop. I needed to make sure that him and Toru were separated as the two  of them seem feed eachothers madness. I ignored him rolling around in front of the door and the customers that had to step over his writhing body as they entered the shop sharing a knowingly amused and encouriaging smile with me. I passed Rua  as he sat and watched large TV that was showing car racing.I picked up the 20kg’s of Toru and started looking at tablets. Jack soon joined us and we started talking tablets. Turns out that was hard work. Toru wriggled whilst I tried to find a tablet that would work for our family. Sadly no cast iron ones. I eventually put Toru down and he started darting around the shop. Tahi kept calling him over to the doors. In and out he would run and I would pick out tablets only for Jack to find they had none left in stock. Poor Jack looked like he was about to cry. Eventually I just told him that “Whatever  would do. I just want to get the hell out of here”. He obliged. With laptops, tablets,a mouse, a new phone and god knows what else we  finally got to the counter. Toru  started running around outside and Tahi started threatening to sit on the road cos obviously I didn’t care about him and I was the meanest mother in the world. I couldn’t see Rua anymore. I called out across the shop to Fatty Ding Dong to see if he could sight him. All good. They were hanging out. I went outside , grabbed Toru and threw him over my shoulder. He kicked and screamed in his demonic voice and demanded I put him down whilst Tahi begged for us to go now. Were we finished yet? Would he get his chewing gum? Why can’t he have his chewing gum?  Poor Jack looked like he was about to cry. Clearly it had all been a bit much for him too. Eventually the deal was done. The bags were full of goodies and it was time for me and my  circus of little angels from hell to leave the shop.As I turned to leave I saw little Rua standing quietly behind me. He looked at me with his big blue eyes and spoke directly to me for the first time in this whole experience  “Mama are we finished now?”
” Yup Rua. We sure are”
“Mama..?”
” Yes Rua. What’s up?”
” Umm…May I please have my chewing gum now? “

CRINGEY PARENTING MOMENT #176

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 Today I had my “Domestic Goddess” dress on. It was 8.30 am. Rua and Toru were dressed and frolicking outside in the late spring sun. I had the washing out, the kitchen cleaned and was getting stuck into the bathrooms. Now, as with everything in my life I had the music pumping to provide a soundtrack. I had plugged my MP3 player into the kitchen speakers and cranked it up. I had last loaded up a running playlist. I like running to rock mostly.So, I had the very motivating sounds of Iggy Pop, The Rolling Stones. Gorrillaz. Led Zeppelin ,The Black Keys and many more, filling my house with rock fuelled joy. Whilst scrubbing away at our delightfully filthy toilet, a song by a band called ‘Nine Inch Nails,’ named ‘Closer ‘ came on. For those of you that have not heard it….,it is a great little number with some very explicit lyrics.Contraversial. About addiction and power of a sexual nature. Words like “penetrate” ,”violate” and “desecrate” may or may not be in the waxing lyricals of this song.The chorus states that the singer might like to engage in coitus, much like an animal, with the object of his desire. Obviously , he says it in a much more “street like” fashion. Initially I just scrubbed the toilet bowl and pretended I knew the lyrics to the first verse, as I do. ( Really , for someone who loves music as much as I do, I must hang my head in shame.  I never know lyrics outside of a chorus. I just sing the vowel sounds and then go nuts when the chorus hits, much to endless amusement of some of my more lyric savvy friends). So, as it was, I made appropriate vowel noises and then went nuts with Trent as we sung about what we wanted to do to eachother like  animals. At this point it occurred to me that this song was not appropriate for the boys to hear and I should probably go out and turn it down whilst they frolicked outside on their tractors and freewheel bikes. I trotted off to the kitchen and found my 3 yr old ‘Toru’ dancing like a crazy man on a chair with one arm up thrashing out the beat. He saw me and with the biggest grin, he  yelled “Mama, I LOVE this song!!!!”

Needless to say I danced the rest of the song with him.(You must NEVER turn off a song when someone is dancing to it ) Whenever the chorus came onI hid the shame of exposing my poor children to inappropraite song choices by singing as loudly as I could ” I WANNA LOVE YOU LIKE AN ANIMAL!!!”  I think, actually, he was none the wiser and now he has a new favourite song.

D-Hoh!!!!

Be warned. This vid is not for the faint hearted.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTFwQP86BRs