Wednesday, 20 May 2015

What Do You Do All Day?

"Snake! Snake!" I heard over the tears and the screams, so with my heart in my mouth I headed off to the garden to see what the hell was going on.  I should state that after three years in Australia and having come across some fairly hairy and scary critters, we haven't, so far, encountered a snake.  So it was with a certain amount of resignation (as in - feck it we've finally got a snake) that I landed in the garden like the Mad Mammy on steroids.  I was literally ready to rip the scaly one apart with my bare hands.

Well, I needn't have worried.  The "snake" in question most certainly wouldn't be found on the "ten most deadly" list.  With it's bright pink and purple markings and rather furry skin, the only problem with this snake was that it is one of La-la's favourite cuddly toys and somehow it had landed in the bamboo.  La-la was beside herself and the Dude was still shouting, "snake!"  I fixed him with a laser beam death stare and told everyone to calm down.  Once the shouting and wailing had stopped I assessed the situation and decided it could be solved with those old staples the garden rake and a brush.

photo of pink and purple cuddly toy snake

I told everyone to stay calm, whilst I retired to the house to find the brush.  Five minutes later Snakey was free and everyone was happy.  I decided to grab the washing off the line whilst I was in the garden anyway and not remember it three days later (hey it happens....)  La-la was happily cuddling Snakey and the Dude was contentedly slaughtering ninjas when La-la scrunched up her nose in that nine year old girl way and announced, "eeuuuuw, what's that awful smell?  Like dog poo?"

Photo of young boy in black and red ninja outfit
The Ninja Warrior

"Eeeughhh," chimed in the Dude whilst grabbing his throat as if choking, in the way that seven year old boys prone to a touch of drama do, "I think I'm going to die!"

Now, I have to add here that we don't usually have an issue with land-mines in the Mad Mammy household as Miss Billie is the soul of discretion in this regard and usually does her business in the bushes.  However, with the recent monsoons she has been dashing out between the raindrops, depositing a doo-doo and dashing back to base.  We've been clearing any remaining land-mines during dry-spells but my nose was  now telling me we had obviously missed one, so I asked my minions which one of them had stepped in the poo?  They  checked each others' shoes and responded with much shrugging of shoulders and puzzled expressions.  That's when it dawned on me, the schmuck who had stood in the doo-doo was yours truly.  I looked at the bottom of my shoe and there was no doubt as to who the culprit was.  The Dude was shocked, "Mummy, it was you!" He exclaimed.

Oh My God meme of OMG in big red writing over a black and white photo of a young Burt Lancaster
The Dude Be Like This

"Yup," I replied, just delighted at the prospect of now having to wash dog poo off my shoes.  I remembered the garden hose, so I handed the clothes to La-la and went in search of wherever the last person who had used it, had abandoned it.  Rolling it up and putting it back on its hook would have been too much like hard work, obviously.  Anyhoo, I found it in the middle of the garden and surprise, surprise it wasn't working.  I have to confess, with a million other things I had to do waiting for my attention back in the house, frustration was starting to get the better of me.  Therefore, I applied more force than was perhaps necessary to the attachment  and the next thing I knew my eyeballs were at the back of my skull, such was the explosion of water into my face from the now attachment-less hose.  I immediately dropped the thing - after all it was trying to kill me, and it proceeded to do the crazy hose dance around the garden like a snake out of its mind on cocaine.  The Dude at this stage was bug-eyed and riverdancing his way around the garden to avoid a soaking.  La-la had returned from depositing the clothes in the house and was staring wild-eyed at her mother and sibling engaged in some rather alarming jiggerypokery.  I grabbed the hose and brought the monster under control.  I washed the shoes.  I dripped into the house and was about to change my clothes when I heard:
"eeeuwww dog poo!"
"Whaaaaat?" I squealed.
"Poo, there's dog poo on the stairs," La-la exclaimed.
"Faaaaaack!"  I screeched as I abandoned all plans to dry myself off and change.

Drawing of confused and agitated woman with question marks coming out of he head
I Was Starting To Feel Like This

I had a new job to do - clean the floor before someone stepped on doo-doo and brought it through the house.  So off I went in search of the mop, bucket and bleach.  A half an hour later we had a shining floor and one slightly frazzled mammy.  Two minutes later Big Daddy arrives into the house and asks, "are you ready? We gotta be at rugby in five minutes.  What the hell have you guys been doing?"
Death stare number two sorted him.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Happy Mummy's Day

The little arms curled their way around my neck and seconds later I felt the excited puff of his breath in my ear before he plonked the mother of all kisses on my cheek.  "Happy mummy's day" he chattered excitedly into my ear as he bounced on the bed beside me.  I opened one eye to see the Dude beaming from ear to ear.  It seemed the obligatory mother's day lie-in was to be sacrificed at the altar of the Dude's excitement.  I opened both eyes and spotted La-la sitting on the other side of the bed looking on sympathetically.

The Dude has been looking forward to Mummy's Day for the past two weeks and has been reassuring me constantly that he will be doing all my jobs!  "I will be Mummy for the day," he proudly announced this morning and the first order of the day was to don one of my tops which looked like a dress on him so he was instantly in touch with his feminine side.

The second order of the day was to make a list of all the things mummy does in a day.  The Dude entered into this exercise with what can only be described as the enthusiasm of the innocent, much the same way as a new mum-to-be thinks her life is going to be the exact same post-baby except for afterwards she's just going to have her very own little bundle of love in it.

Photo of boy in hulk costume, jumping.
The Dude - Ready To Take On
The Mother's Day Challenge

So the Dude found a pen and a piece of paper and proceeded to write what he thought was going to be a very short list.  He very quickly realised it was going to take more than one piece of paper!

Here's the list:

Make Breakfast.  Include chocolate milk for me and La-la and don't forget the prebiotics.
Clean up after breakfast.
Empty dishwasher.
Pick up clothes off the floor.
Put on a washing machine.
Take clothes off clothes-horse.
Fold clothes
Put clothes away.
Take clothes out of washing machine.
Hang clothes.
Satisfy random demands for food.
Break up fighting.
Settle arguments.
Deal with whingeing.
Find lost items of clothing.
Put together a superhero outfit.
Trawl google for colouring pages.
Print colouring pages.
Figure out what's wrong with the printer and then print out colouring pages.
Fight zombies - try best to head off the zombie apocalypse.
Make up a game that everyone wants to play.
Deal with unwanted creepy crawlies.
Send text regarding playdate.
Find the random lost toy that must be found immediately or else the world is going to end!
Go to park.
Keep everyone alive and know where everyone is every thirty seconds.
Deal with injuries.
Clean up the sitting-room.
Go shopping.
Put the shopping away.
Pick up random crap off the floor.
Feed the dog - don't forget her medicine.
Walk the dog.
Don't forget to bring bag for the doo-doo.
Pick up the doo-doo - euuwwwww!
Put doo-doo in bin - after carrying it for a mile or two.
Find the scissors.
Say a prayer for the scissors because they have obviously followed all the other scissors into the big black hole where scissors go and are never seen again.
Figure out how you are going to do the task you needed the scissors for - without the scissors.
Clean, wash and prepare vegetables for dinner.
Cook dinner.
Set the table.
Clear the table.
Wipe the table.
Empty the dishwasher  - again!
Fill the dishwasher and put on - again!
Put rubbish out in the bin.
Do the recycling.
Get uniforms ready for school.
Find shoes.
Make sure ice packs, lunch boxes and schoolbags are ready for morning.
Do reading.
Look for a movie or T.V. programme that everyone wants to watch - deal with all objections and demands diplomatically and with respect to everyone's wishes.
Give lots of kisses and cuddles throughout the day and make sure everyone feels loved and wanted.
Get ready for bed.
Do water bottles.
Supervise bedtime routine.
Kiss and cuddle for bedtime and deal with any troubles, concerns or worries.

At about page two he asked if he could stop now because that was enough really.  At this stage we had only just hung up the washing!  I explained that we really needed to carry on as there were a few other things that needed to go on the list - he looked quite dismayed.  Out of kindness I decided to leave out the following: check emails for school related stuff, pay bills and oh yeah - write 1000 words and put a blog post together.

So far he has managed to clear the table and go shopping with Big Daddy.  In the dog's best interests I decided to feed her and administer her medicine.  I'm not holding out much hope for her walk.

Billie on the beach
The "I need to walk" look

Amazingly, the Dude hasn't felt the need for a colouring page so far today and has foregone his usual superhero transformation.  Also, no toys have been lost and we have not had a zombie invasion.  It's all just as well really because as the Dude himself observed, "how would you get all that mummy stuff done in ONE day!"  How indeed son, how indeed.

Photo of boy sleeping
Pretty Soon I Think The Dude Is Going To Look Like This

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Grandad and Wolverine - Who Knew!

The Dude is obsessed with anything super-hero related and when I say obsessed I mean his every waking thought is about one super-hero or another and his time is spent "in training" as he puts it, or fighting imaginary battles with super-villains.  It's very re-assuring knowing should the world ever be enslaved by some super-villain with a whole heap of nasty super-powers then the Dude is ready to take his place beside Batman, Superman, The Flash, The Green Lantern et al.

Photo of Barry aka The Flash in costume and surrounded by flashing electricity as he runs
The Flash - Currently The Dude's Favourite Superhero

He has them all categorized in his head and has ratings assigned to them according to whatever their powers are, how many battles they've fought and what super-villains they have defeated, oh and there also seems to be a rather arbitrary "cool" rating.  On any given day, at any given moment I am asked, "who is your favourite super-hero?"

This question is not as straightforward as it seems! The Dude rotates the super-hero ratings and his current favourite is usually sitting in the number one spot.  Woe-be-tide you if you answer this question with a character who is not currently in the Dude's favour.  You will be asked (no - demanded) to justify your answer and you'd better have it ready!  Many's the car journey (yes, his favourite place for these interrogations) that has degenerated into a full on family row over the virtues of Batman versus Superman.  Interestingly, Superman has never been high in the Dude's ratings till this week - we are all wondering what has brought about this "road to Damascus" type conversion and are all fearful it's just a ruse till the next time he has us all trapped in the car!

A dark photo of batman and superman
The Batman v Superman Battle Is Due To Hit
The Big Screen This Year
After Being Played Out In Our Car For The Past Few Years!

Anyhoo, his current favourite is Wolverine, who also just happens to be one of The Mad Mammy's favourites (I mean come on - you gotta love Hugh Jackman in those jeans and that white vest, stretched tantalisingly across those pecs and revealing the most perfect biceps.....whoa! Okay you get the picture as to why Wolverine is one of my favourites - I must confess to having my own ratings system for super-heroes and it's very different to the Dude's!)

High Jackman as Wolverine in black jeans, white vest and claws
Hugh Jackman As The Wolverine

However, I was somewhat surprised when the Dude announced yesterday that Wolverine was a friend of Grandad's.  The Dude is prone to the odd spot of storytelling and can sometimes tip over into fantasy in the interests of keeping a good tale going but this was a stretch even for him.
"Wolverine and Grandad were friends?" I asked, "are you sure about that?"
"Oh yes," he nodded his head vigorously.

Now, I should add here that Grandad is also quite the storyteller and I wouldn't put it past him to have regaled the Dude with tales of his times with Wolverine.  So I asked the Dude, "Did Grandad Tell you that?"
"Nooooo!" He shook his head vigorously, "I saw it in the book."

Okaaaay, at this point I have to confess to having a little confusion going on and Big Daddy was looking on totally lost and I could see he was thinking, "this is what I get for marrying in to a bunch of storytellers...."  I decided to press on and see where the Dude was coming from.

"What book are you talking about?" I asked, wondering what book existed that could possibly have Grandad and Wolverine in it!

"The family book," replied the Dude.

The family book?  Okay this was getting stranger and stranger so I had to take a minute to gather my thoughts.  Big Daddy looked at me questioningly.  I looked at him, utterly bewildered at this stage and then it hit me.

"Did this book have photographs?" I asked.

The Dude jumped out of his chair in delight.  "Yes! Yes, it did!" He exclaimed.

Big Daddy looked at me as if to say, "there can't possibly really be a book with Grandad and Wolverine in it?"

I smirked, an all-knowing smirk.  "Was Grandad sitting on a couch beside Wolverine?" I asked.

"Yes," nodded the Dude, his delight, at my knowing the "book" he was talking about, evident in the smile lighting up his face.

I started to laugh and it was Big Daddy's turn to be totally bewildered.

The "book" the Dude was referring to was an old photo album he had come across in my parents' house last summer.  In it are photos of Grandad in his heyday back in the seventies, complete with luscious dark locks and the must-have seventies accessory - sideburns, just like the ones sported by our favourite X-man.  In one of the photos he is sitting on a couch with two of his side-burn sporting pals and if memory serves me correctly, one of them is a dead ringer for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine.

So there you have it, Grandad used to run with Wolverine, now it doesn't get any cooler than that, especially if you're a seven year old boy whose Grandad is just as much a hero to you as any bloke with super-powers.

Note: As I go to press the Publish button, this morning's battle has seen the elimination of twenty bad guys, one super-villain and his helicopter.  Planet Earth is a safer place this morning thanks to the heroic efforts of the Dude.  Rest easy citizens the planet's in good hands.

Photo of young boy in homemade superhero outfit
The Super Dude