FB status update. 01/06/2014:
” Mama….why don’t you sit with us at breakfast time? Why do you sit at the other table and play on Facebook?”
A question Tahi asked today that really got me thinking. Why DO I do this? I always thought it was a way of easing myself into the day. A way of breaking onto my day in a quiet fashion.I know it is an avoidance of the boys. A way to wake up without being bombarded with Sugar Spoons and talks of farts and poos. Seriously….our breakfast table makes feeding time at the zoo look like high tea with the Queen. I do it every night for dinner..and that’s enough for me.
I am often asked if I have seen this show or that show. Usually my answer is no. I don’t really watch TV. I have never been much of a TV watcher. Most programmes are shit these days. So I spend my evenings chatting on the Facebook and cruising around on You Tube spending endless hours watching Joshua Homme drunkenly abuse the world. Personally I don’t think there is any issue with that. I’d rather do that than watch TV. However my boys question really got me thinking. Am I missing out by not having breakfast with them at the table? What was life like before FB? Would I be a different kind of Mother without it? Or is FB what I have always suspected it to be for me. A substitute for terrible television. Am I more in touch with my friends or less in touch with them? Do I really care what people had for dinner last night? Or that their child is 17 mths 2 days and 3 minutes old.( I actually already know the answer to the last 2 questions)
I am going to do an experiment. I am going to attempt to do 100 days without logging on to Facebook. I will attempt to sit at the breakfast table with my boys for each of the mornings that they are with me. I will attempt to not let TV replace the time I would normally spend on FB. I will observe how in or out of touch I feel with my friends and family. To be open to hearing about how in or out of touch they feel with me. Will I eat more/less? Will I use my phone more/less? Will I read to my children more or find they are driving me even crazier and finally book a one way ticket for one to Jamaica? I really have no idea what to expect.. It is simply an experiment. A way to try to answer a very simple question asked by my eldest son.
So as of August 31st until December 9th…I wil be Facebook free…..and probably blogging my tits off.
So yesterday I took my 7 yr old Tahi to his 1st game of Miniball for the season. For those of you that don’t know…Miniball is like Basketball for wee ones. For those of you that don’t know Tahi….saying that Tahi is controlling, over dramatic and inflexible in play, would be an understatement at the very least.
I loaded the boys into the car and headed off for the Primary school . The whole way Tahi told me he was feeling scared. He asked that if he didn’t like Miniball , could he quit the team. He was terrified the others might tackle him or that he might drop the ball and get laughed at. I too was feeling a little nervous. This is the 1st of my boys to do the whole ‘School Sport’ thing. My dear Tahi has the co-ordination of a drunken Chicken at the best of times. I soo wanted Tahi to feel proud of himself today and know him well enough to know that his challenges often leave him feeling like a failure. All the Miniball Mums would be there, talking about their children’s latest achievements. Swapping recipes and telling lovely wee anecdotes of how their husband and children did that cute funny thing together whilst they were all out frolicking through a paddock of fresh spring lambs on their families ‘Sunday FUNday’ this week. Yep…I was dreading it. Visions of Tahi having a melt down on the court cos he didn’t catch the ball while Toru had one of his epic 3 yr old tantrums. Rua would try to get his 4 yr old self onto the court so he could play with his big brother and disrupt the entire game. The Miniball Mums would look at me with pity and dissapproval..They would smell my fear in a heart beat and pounce. I was sure of it. Saying things like ..” Wow…I don’t know how you do it? I only have 2 boys and I find it exhausting…AND I have a husband to help!” , “But you’re dong such a GREAT job” * patronising smile to boot*. ” If you ever need a break….” Bah humbug!!!!!
As we arrived at the lions den, I was delighted to see that my dear friend , Rose, the English Rose was there too. She too has 3 children . Her daughter had signed up for miniball as well. Her 4 yr old boy ‘ Mitch’ is having a Bromance with Rua and was happy to see us arrive. Sweet!! That would be Rua entertained for the duration of the game . We sat down and prepared to watch. As it turns out ,when the school asked for volunteer coaches for the season… I had promptly pretended I didn’t get the memo and ignored the request but Babydaddy had volunteered.However..Babydaddy works at sea. Week on. Week off. This week he was away…and whilst the ‘The Breakers’ had their Miniball Mum coach sitting on her teams bench all “I’m so supportive and coachy like”, my wee fellas team ‘The Red Bulls’ had an empty bench. The teacher in charge stood on the court and said “Would someone please volunteer to coach The Red Bulls for this game?. They really need someone”. She was looking directly at me. Of ALL the keen perfect Miniball Mums she had could have stabbed with her eyes of lasery emotional guilt trips…she laser beamed ME.!!! There was no avoiding eye contact and slinking away out of this one. Dammit! “Sure Ms Laser Eyes, I’d LOVE to do it” * does best impersonation of happy to help cos I’m and enthusiastic Miniball Mum smile*
I made my way to the bench. Making sure I asked what exactly it was I was supposed to be doing. ” Only ever 5 on the court at a time.Just make sure they all get a turn on the court” said Ms Laser Eyes. . Sweet. I could do that. So I sat on the bench and did the best I could to appear to look like I knew how the game was played.. To have them think that perhaps …in a past life I had played in the NBA.There was 5 on the court already. I sat next to 3 boys. 2 of them had shaved head and rats tails. Brothers. Bob was the eldest. Chopper was his younger brother and stood at about 3ft high. Also there was Mike. A tall solid lad that, I suspect, may have something up with his hand, as it curled over a bit like a hook if it was resting. Instantly Bob was at me. “Can I go on the court? I wanna get out there!! Oh come on. When’s it gonna be MY turn. It’s not fair!!” Ohhh goooodddd!! I was in for 20 minutes of this!! Mike just sat quietly. The game started and I proceeded to internally curse Babydaddy and his stupid volunteering to coach and his stupid job making him not be there and his stupid making me pick up HIS slack. This carry on was partly why I left him. I was STILL having to do it. Dumb feckin’ Babydaddy!!!
The game started. I held my breath anticipating Tahi might trip over his own feet in any second. My subs started yelling out encouraging tips to The Red Bulls. Things like “WASTE THEM YO!!” : “JUST FOOT TRIP THEM, YOU EGGS!” “KICK THEIR BUTTS!!” Within a minute into the game it happened. The ball was passed to Tahi. For a fleeting second I could read the fear and self-doubt pulsing through his little body. All eyes were on him. I held my breath.He bounced the ball and moved with it. He stopped. He passed it. Tahi, my unco little chicken,was grinning from ear to ear. He had done it. YUSSS!!. At that moment,Chopper the delightful 3ft blonde rats tail kid looked up at me with his wee eyes and said..” I just wanna get out there and SMASH the other team”. ” Then SMASH them you will , Daniel son”. I started subbing the kids on and off. Little chopper went like a firecracker. I’m not sure he ever got to touch the ball, but he was having a blast running from goal to goal. Mike was a machine. A big strong lad that could move the ball from one end to the other. No one could stand in his way. A 8 yr old miniball version of Jonah Lomu if you will. These kids were alright. I found myself calling out things like.. . “Pass it” “Just take a shot” ” Good effort Chopper” . I was even clapping and shit!! Half time came and it was time for a wee team talk. I started..” It’s not how you play the game…It’s whether you win or lose. Oh. I mean…ummm….at the end of the day …it’s a game of 2 halves….hit the showers! Oh shit. umm hang on..it’s only half time…ummmmm” Fortunately Rose, the English Rose was a netball player and had come over to sit with me on the bench. She had some tips for the team that seemed pretty sound. ” Yep. Do what she said” I barked.
The rest of the game was much like the start.. Tahi occasionally got the ball and managed to pass it on and even get a few shots at the goal. Young Chopper darted around the court with maximum enthusiasm and minimal direction. The kids subbed on and off with little fuss and I found myself thoroughly enjoying myself.Cooper got a Goal for the Red Bulls and the team roared with excitement. As did I.
By the end of it all I had had a blast. The kids enthusiasm and excitement was contagious. I was all over this Coaching yolk. Perhaps I would be more than happy to be Babydaddy’s fill in when he works. Babydaddy would rather drink a cup of cold sick than have to work with me in any way shape or form. But feck him. Drink away Babydaddy cos I’m getting me a Bumper sticker that says ” Honk if you’re a miniball mum and lovin’ it ”
So at about 1 am a few mornings ago I awoke to an awful noise.A loud blood-curdling noise. A noise that evoked terror to my very core. A noise that had me praying for the life of one of my bestest , coolest friends. Right outside my bedroom window , my beloved cat Ziggy ,was protecting his territory and his family. Keeping the evils of the neighbouring cats away from his precious loved ones. I listened to the deep hateful exchanges between the two cats. Hisses and growls that would have sent shivers up the spine of Chuck Norris . And then……..the part of the fight when one of them makes the actual move and it’s all on. As I listened to the hissing and screaming and banging and crashing on my deck, my darling Ziggy’s life flashed before the back of my eyelids.
Now I have had a few cats in my life. I am by no means a Crazy Cat Lady type. I don’t spoil or live and breathe for my cats. I have 3 children.There is simply no time for that claptrap. I do love feline company however, especially if they are independent. Needy,timid, over affectionate, foot weavy, yowly little cats don’t get a look in.They have to be big strong, chilled and mostly do their own thing. Much like my men.
There was Tyson. The psycho tabby that adopted me in my early flatting years. A lovely cat until you looked at her the wrong way. She would then maul you.Your hands rucked and bitten to pieces quicker than you can say “Do you mind if I just rest my lips on your ear Mr Holyfield?”. Tyson was a bitch.Though I did soften to her when I woke one morning to discover a dead bird next to the gifts at the bottom of the flat Christmas tree. I adopted her out when I moved to Australia. There was Thomas the family cat. A ginger Tom who had been a stray. We inherited him with a house Mum and I moved into when I was 14. He was the human equivalent of someone who should always have been a completely retarded and socially inept cat. There was Knickers whom ,as a kitten I saved from the bottom of a pub I was working at. She was a lovely cat.I was very fond of her. My heart really did break the day we had to have her put down due to liver failure. That poor cat died whilst being showered in sobbing tears and the snot of devastation.Then there was a pure black cat we adopted from the SPCA for Tahi’s 6th birthday. We named him Richie McClaw. A fine young fellow. The kind of cat that would attack your feet in the middle of the night and would actually laugh at you when you awoke screaming in surprised pain. A cat that would leave a decapitated Hare lying in a bloodbath in your lounge for your arrival home from work. A chap who would hide behind doors and ambush you. Flying at you with all four legs, claws out for the attack, from a horizontal position when you entered the room. Again he would retreat laughing manically. A real character of a cat. Also a real wanderer. He wandered a lot. One day, sadly, he just didn’t come home. Being that I reside in a rather small town, I later learnt that his wanderings had him stumble across a couple of hot middle-aged lesbians with no young children to cramp his style. They adore him. He is happy and now named Malcom.
After Richie I thought my cat days were over . That perhaps it was just going to be me and my small army of boys for a while. One Easter Sunday , I was lunching with my dear friend Lulu at her mother’s house. Her Mum runs the local SPCA. After a filling lunch with their friends and family I suggested to Lulu that we just go and have a ‘look’ at the cats. It would be good to walk around a bit and digest the lunch for Baby Jesus. She kindly obliged and off we went. Now I really was JUST looking. no intention of taking anything away with me. I walked into the shelter and there he was. A handsome adult Tabby/White prince. Majestically sitting there, watching us as we entered. He was built like an over sized All Black. We made eye contact, him and me. He held my gaze , smiling at me with his princely cat eyes, as the other willing cats weaved around my feet relentlessly yowling at me. I walked over to him, in slow motion, through a patch of daffodils and I swear I could hear Roberta Flack singing ‘ Fist Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ from the lounge of Lulu’s house. I put my hand out. He immediately stood and head butted my hand.The cat is 6″3 ft!!! Seriously. He is HUGE!. I think he might have originally been a Lion, but after years of soul-searching, he finally accepted that inside there was a domestic cat just dying to get out. I pass no judgement on gender change. I picked him up thinking ” Girl, don’t use your back like a crane”. We had a moment. I fell in love. Right there, right then, that cat won my heart. In classic Me style, I ran. Told Lulu I had to go and skidaddled. ( Gawd, you know you have serious commitment issues when the love of a good cat sends you running for the hills) I was NOT going to get another bloody cat. ! No Sir-ee!
I thought about him allll week. The feel of his soft white belly. His Goliath pink nose nudging my face. It really was love. I spoke to my boy Tahi to see how he felt about getting another cat. He was dead keen…..as long as we named him after David Bowie. We had a deal. As we drove to the SPCA we threw around names. Bowie. Major Tom.Gene Genie. Jareth . McJagger Shagger,etc. Through it all we came up with Ziggy Stardust. And so it was we went and collected the delightful Ziggalicious. Upon collection we saw that he has a big brown patch in one of his eyes. Different eyes. Just like David Bowie!!! Totally meant to be, or what?!
He has been awesome for this family. He is super chilled with the boys. They pull his tail and pinch his ears. He takes it. They pick him up and drag him around the house. He takes it. They love him and squeeze him and sit on him. He takes it.He sleeps on their bed. They take it. He does his own thing during the day and at night comes in and lets me scratch his belly whilst he lies all over my computer keyboard. He doesn’t yowl and weave through my feet in the kitchen telling me he’s hungry. Though he does eat a lot and talk a bit. Due to his gargantuan size, he can tend to be clumsy. He provides the family with endless giggles as he constantly misjudges the height of things and crashes head-first into said object or only JUST makes his mark and has to use his back legs to scramble up just that little bit more. As we shriek with laughter at him he will regain his composure and look at us with indignant exasperation . He also does that cat thing where he sits outside at your ranch-slider just looking at you, willing you to let him in. We open the door for him and he will then spend 10 minutes deciding if actually does want to come in. Half in and half out. Just looking around. He has a cat door. Asshole. Otherwise he is the most chilled cat with the oldest soul I have ever met. We were destined to find each other.
As I listened to the brawl happening outside my bedroom window , I contemplated going out there and scaring the other cat away. My gut tells me in these situations tho, that we are to leave them. That perhaps if I was to go out there and interfere in his man fight time, he would become the laughing-stock of the neighbourhood cats. That even his stray friends whom he goes and hangs out with on Friday night to do a bit of Catnip, listen to some Cypress Hill and play some poker with, would disown him ( he does do catnip. I found some in his basket once. I’m not sure how to broach it with him though). So , I lay there and listened. Feeling tense and scared for my cat. It went on for about 30 seconds. I have never heard anything like it since last time I heard it. Then…….. Nothing.
When I got up the following morning, awaiting me outside on my deck was a pile of cat fur. It was everywhere. White. Black. Grey. Cat Fur. Everywhere! I called out for my man. I heard a meow then strutting around the corner came my 6″3 ft cat. Not a scratch on him. My Ziggy had kicked some serious butt! I know I live in a hippy town and all, and violence is not cool, but seriously….my cat must be MAD scrapper. I am confidant , that if any gang of local Pirate cats get together and decide to come to my house and rape and pillage this family…That my Ziggalicious Rockstar of a cat will handle it. In fact…I think he would probably take on the local Rugby Team too. Take that shizzle in his stride. He is sooo the Chuck Norris of cats. Hells to the YES people. My cat is a BOSS. Period!