Saturday, June 19, 2010

the facebook jinx

8:28 am.

facebook status: off to the nambour show - i hope i survive - check back regularly and call 000 if you don't see any movement.

9:00 am.

smiling i pack the bags. make the lunches. stash the sweets. dress the kids. pack the epi pen. i have finally convinced big daddy to go to the local agricultural show. you know the sort. pay on entry for the experience. knee deep cow crap. pushy people. whining whinging children. show bags. ridiculously expensive rides. random entertainment. show bags. show bags. show bags. empty pockets....

big daddy doesn't like the show. he has never wanted to take the family. in one of my spontaneous fun moments. i plead. beg. wimper. the show will be loads of fun. he rolls his eyes. what can he do. 4 kids. and. one crazy wife. all looking at him with beady eyes.

10:30 am

it starts well. the sun is shining. the birds are singing. blue skies ahead. we park. easy. close enough for a short walk to the back gate. the kids are singing. they walk holding hands. oh what a perfect family i am thinking. smiling. smiling to myself that big daddy could be so skeptical. people are looking. seeing my kids. people looking looking. seeing my wonderful. well behaved. fantastic. first class family. this will be a great day.

10:48 am

we get to the animal patting pen. i am excited. goats. pigs. chickens. ducks.....

10:48:52 am

a tap on the shoulder. my kids are standing on bales of hay crying. bawling. howling. bellowing. pigs root around at their feet. ok. just a small glitch. easily fixed. we remove them from the animal pen. so animals aren't their thing. that's ok. we don't do animals. no probs. we walk on towards the stalls. kids have recovered. smiling. all is well. don't you see big daddy. i say. this is great. what were you worried about.

11:00 am

we pass several stalls. we look at the toys. food. fairy floss. hats. bags. stuffety stuff. no money changes hands. we walk. we look. we move on. it would seem that the show is going well. we finally arrive at the show bag stall. we have promised the kids a show bag. but under $10. no more. preferably as cheap as we can find. lijy picks the phantom bag. noobles picks the bunny bag. cj picks.....hang on.....where is cj.......there at the $25 stand. cj wants the blingy bag. no i say. i don't have that much money. she looks at me.....and then something in my cj.....who has autism....snaps.....oh oh

11:01 am

it is the first day of the show. there are lots and lots of laughing. loud. enlivened. electrified. psyched people. but. there is only one high pitched howl. yes. that would be my cj. she starts to scream. cry. hit. smack. kick. flail. fall. bite. scream. bite. lick. kick. yell. oh lord. it seems that the crowd is now standing still. and. watching. looking. people looking. looking. no smile here. she starts to run away. my 11 year old. having an autistic melt down. i bolt after her. grab her. restrain her by the wrists. and. literally drag her. biting. kicking. falling. screaming. yelling. HEEEEEEEEEEELP ME. punching. spitting. pinching. and. we are at the furtherest end of the show from the car.

11.10 am

i am still pulling my hysterical kid through the crowds. head down. looking at the ground. picking her up when she falls. and. every now and then. as the gasping gawkers look on. i yell. AUTISM. randomly. and i try to walk faster. oh lord. who's idea was it to come to the show. why on earth did we park at the back gate. i look back. and. i see big daddy dragging two crying kids. and. pushing boofa in the pram. a woman covers her kid's eyes. don't look she says. there is something wrong with that girl. this is where i would be happy for the earth to crack open. and. alien life forms to crawl out and swallow me whole.

11:12 am

we make it to the car. i check over my shoulder. waiting. for the police. security. some one. surely some one has called 000......we lock the doors. and. drive home. silently.......

lesson learned: 1. maybe occasionally big daddy is right. 2. the show stinks in more than just a cow crap kind of way. and. 3. don't jinx yourself with a lightly amusing morning status update on facebook.

oh. nearly forgot.

4. just laugh........

Saturday, January 2, 2010

rustic retreat

christmas holidays should be fun.....shouldn't they?

the intention was there. it began as a seed of excitement. and. blossomed into an avalanche of expectation. this was going to be the best christmas yet. we had done christmas with chicken pox. family feuds. detestable long distance driving. we even tried absence one year. so......surely we had pretty much experienced every kind of christmas affliction. misery. torture. and. purgatory.

or so we thought.

it began like this......we had booked a chalet away in the mountains. a bed for each of our four kids. a balcony with a view. the breeze in our hair. the sounds of the birds. the smell of the forest floor.........

i like to dream big........

in reality. we arrived. our 1970s chalet lent itself to lush browns and yellows. the back to nature feel. we were close to the wildlife. the ginormous crack in the floor allowed us to meet quite a few of the 6-legged variety face to face. it was homely though. and. maybe the hand prints on the wall were just some kind of arty design. it had a kitchen. the last person to stay even left us some samples from their holiday in the fridge. how kind. at least the toilet was clean. and. there was a shower. ok. at this point i was starting to wonder if cheaper was a dumb idea (lower price = no service - it is only as clean as the last person left it).

and. it only got better. we sent the kids out to play in the lush green grass outside. they loved squelching around in the wet grass. rolling. jumping. laughing. playing. and. it wasn't until we all showered that night. that we smelt. a horrible sewerage like smell that wafted in through every crack and crevice. it became quickly apparent that our chalet was proudly located next to the septic tank. and. the lush green grass below. that wonderful green playground. all sloshy and squelchy...... well. yes. you guessed it......we were up shit creek. especially our kids after playing in the septic over flow all afternoon. but i wouldn't let this beat me. i was still going to enjoy it. we didn't have to let that get us down. we would have fun.

hmmm. famous last words you say.

ok. yes. we got to day 4. and after realizing our 10mth old had caught hand foot and mouth disease (and possibly infected the rest of the extended family). our autistic 11 yr old had cried every night until 12am. because we forgot to bring her 'girl's are great pop songs' CD. and. run away on several occasions. and. even bit some one. and. the tenants in the only other chalet left early one morning and never returned. and. child services hadn't turned up........yet. and so. we were looking at eachother on day 4 (through the bottle of whisky that sat between us) ready to chuck it all in and go home the day before christmas.

absence was ok. family feuds.....just a bit of festive frivolity. chicken pox...sheesh a breeze. a 3 hour traffic jam.....a nice way to see the sights. purgatory.....a day at the park.

we had finally arrived in hell.

no. we didn't leave. we held our breath. covered our ears. and. lalalalalaed. yes. we survived. i dry wretched as i scrubbed the toilet bowl (i left the hand print wall mural for the pleasure of the next guest). and. christmas with family made it worth living through the nightmare accommodations.

at last. we arrived home. threw on our bathers to head for our glorious local beach. to try to salvage some of what was left of the holidays. we hit the spraying surf. embraced the frothing foam. and we were all about to dive right in when......

waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

shark alarm.

OH. i give up.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


life is amusing.....

particularly through the lens of autism. it is through this lens that you see yourself for who you are...or.....specifically. for what you are actually completely ridiculous you sound.

CJ. who has mild autism. at one stage couldn't speak well at all. At 6 she was virtually speechless. we had to teach her the facial expressions for happy and sad. we reminded her that she had a right hand and needed to use it so the bowl didn't fall off the table when she ate. she screamed when we turned a corner in the car. or. if the sun got in her eyes. or. if we washed her hair. and. when allowed to take a favourite toy to kindy.....she chose the piece of lego 'grass'.


when CJ began to talk. we were ecstatic. elated. thrilled. overjoyed. and......eventually wondered where the off button was....

the world really is quite a straight forward place. and. we normals are often at fault for confusing it into complexity.

take for instance a few weeks back when we were about to eat dinner. CJ was really hungry. and. not having the social awareness the normals possess. she told us she needed to eat right now. she was hungry. in fact. she was 'hungry enough to eat a dog'.

big daddy smiled. no no. that is not what you say. the saying isn't 'hungry enough to eat a dog'. you need to say you are 'hungry enough to eat a horse'.

CJ looked at him rather bemused. she shook her head and smiled. no no big daddy......

i am not THAT hungry.

and so......we normals are often times a little confused on the facts. we can even confuse the story we are telling. it can mean something completely different than what we are trying to imply.

only recently CJ and i were traveling along the highway. and. big daddy was following in our other car. i happened to be talking to him on the mbl phone. and. as we are driving along. big daddy lets out a horrified cry. he informs me that he has been caught by a speed camera. i am visibly annoyed and CJ asks me what has happened. i proceed to tell her that daddy has been naughty and speeding (the fact that we have both been illegally talking on our mbl phones whilst driving is an aside). he has been caught by a speed camera. she suddenly becomes very very upset. she even looks frightened. she starts to cry. i am dumbfounded. i ask her. what on earth is the matter.....

and. i forget that her only frame of reference is the stationary speed camera along the highway. that black box. the menacing eye we slow down for. and. i forget that i am a normal.......

mummy. mummy. she will daddy get out?

CJ thinks that the speed camera has some how teleported. and. caught big daddy. and. that he is now trapped in the black box. tiny. alone. and. on the side of the highway. how on earth will we get him out.....

so. sometimes life is confusing. but. really rather simple. we normals need to take a leaf out of the autism book (i mean page) and mean what we say.

maybe then. we'll get up on the right side of the bed.....of course. as long as it isn't pressed against the wall. and then. we normals might just see things differently......see things the way they actually are.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

a little bit antsy (part two - the anty-climax)

this post is a special request from my kids. it involves ants. and. big daddy. so sit back and enjoy the ride.....

(i randomly laugh when i think of this story).

let me take you back a year or so. when. life was simpler (and we had a lot less kids). it all began a few weeks into big daddy's great idea. his master plan. (often. big d decides that he has one too many chins. and. begins one kind of health kick or another). he had bought himself a brand spangly new bike. it was shiny. bright. polished. sheeny. it was his ticket to chin-less-ness.

plan: ride lustrous. 2 wheeled. un-chin-an-ator. to and from work each day. simple.

big daddy began his day as usual. rode his glassy mongoose to work. and. after a hard day was almost home. he was zooming along the road at speeds of up to 200 km/hr. he was weaving in and out of traffic. artfully dodging pedestrians. he was king of the road. or so he thought. when. it happened.....

apparently.....he was coming around the bend. traffic on all sides. before his eyes a car puts on the brakes. his life flashes before his eyes. big daddy slams his hand down on the brakes. and. he finds himself flying breathtakingly through the air at speeds of up to 250 km/hr. then. stupdenously gravel slides under two cars. does an extraordinary dodge roll away from a lady and her baby. and. comes to an astonishing halt on his wrist and fore arms......apparently.

my version is possibly closer to the truth.....he wasn't looking. saw a car. hit the front brakes only. his back wheel continues over the front of the bike. he does one huge head-over-heels-over-front-of-bike fall. and. crunches his wrist. and. when he gets home (driven by a good samaritan) he retells his story. hoping for sympathy. caring. concern. and. his wife unashamedly laughs.

so. what has this got to do with ants. nothing......yet

big daddy is hurting. he has gravel rash from elbow to wrist. he takes himself off to bed. dejected. miserable. despondent. and he sleeps. as he sleeps. he dreams. not sweet dreams. but. a terrible nightmare. he is being eaten alive by ants. they are all over him. tearing chunks out of his flesh. it is terrifying. horrifying. unnerving. he is so startled that he wakes bolt upright in bed. and then. as i sip on my coffee in the lounge room. i hear a blood-curdling scream......

i run in. and. there is big daddy. jumping up and down on the bed hitting his gravel rash.....i start to feel alarmed. he runs past me to the shower......what is going on - i am wondering. he finally emerges from the shower. hyperventilating. and it is then i notice ant carcasses all over our bed....

whilst big daddy slept. the army of ants that had permanently set up home in our roof. had smelt the scent of a dying animal. and. invited the entire colony to picnic on big daddy.


i'm afraid that after visualizing big daddy catapulting over the front of his bike. and. then dreaming he was being eaten alive by ants. whilst being eaten alive by ants. i could not help but laugh ....and laugh......and laugh.

so. the moral of the story is: chins are not so bad. ants are more dangerous than you think. and. if you are looking for sympathy - bypass your wife.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

a little bit antsy (part one)

i'm sure there is a reason that god created ants....

ants are unpredictable. erratic. capricious. and just a bit iffy. you never know when they are going to show up. how long they will stay. and. what their motive is.

well. ok. we do know what their motive is. food.

so. we had a swarm of flying termites crash land on and in our house over the last few days. they were coming in through cracks. windows. doors. and. the vents in the ceiling. it can be quite a disconcerting experience. especially if you are 5. and. you happen to be having a private moment in the toilet. when. a swarm of flying ants accost you through the ceiling vent. lets just say that the ant carcasses on the toilet floor probably died of fright. and. bleeding internally from the ears.

let me inform you. telling a screaming 5 year old that termites only eat houses is apparently not reassuring.

tonight. we had another ant incident. my anti-ant 5 yr old informed me that he had a trail of ants right next to his bed on the wall. he refused to go to bed until said ants were exterminated. i came in to take a look. there. on the wall. was a trail of ants coming in through the window. and. eating something stuck to the wall. i look at my son. he is shaking. an understandable response after the toilet episode a day before. i look back at the wall. and then i realize what they are doing there.

hmmmm. apparently ants aren't too picky when it comes to food.

i then explain to my 5 yr old. perhaps it isn't a good idea to wipe your boogers on the wall. it appears the ants think it is a dinner invitation (evidently - this is the most reasonable explanation for a 5 yr old to stop wiping boogers on walls).

oh - he says. hmmm - i say.

i suppose ants do have their uses.....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

they're not normally like this......honestly

i'd like to think my children are well behaved. i am studying one would assume i knew something about behaviour. but. often. it would seem, god enjoys making me eat my words. like the time we were visiting my in-laws.......

cj was 3 years old. i was quite proud of how well she played by herself. i felt we had done a wonderful job in teaching her to make her own fun and find her own amusement. and. when at your in-laws. there is a certain kind of pressure on the outsider to look competent in the area of parenting. especially. if ones in-laws happen to speak publicly on parenting.

so. we are eating lunch. enjoying family. sipping wine. laughing. cj has quietly gone off to play in the spare room with some toys. i am feeling particularly proud that she is not whinging. whining. pulling my arm to come and entertain her. until. there is a knock at the door. we all look at each other wondering who it could be. my father-in-law answers it. and.

it is the police.

they inform us. that. while we were basking in our parenting glory. freely supping and drinking without interruption. my cj was in the spare room dialing 000 and talking in baby speak to the police. no. not for a few minutes. but. up to an hour. hmmmm. i turn a certain shade of beet-root.

these parenting burps happen when we are least expecting them. when there are lots of people to witness them. people we would like to impress. people whom have been on the receiving end of our bragging. or. perhaps the neighbours.

not long after moving into our new street. cj (who has autism), took it upon herself to introduce our family to the neighbourhood. she proceeded to have a melt down. not just any melt down. but. a major 10/10 melt down. she sat beside her window yelling at the top of her voice.....HELP ME. SOME ONE HELP ME. CALL THE POLICE (apparently she had forgotten how to dial 000) - add lots of screaming and crying - HEEEEELP ME. SAVE ME. MUM IS THE EVIL STEP-MOTHER (and. apparently she is cinderella).....HHHHEEEEEELLLLLPPPPP

now. being new to the street (and one by the name of whisper gully). we were expecting child services to turn up any minute. so. the remaining 5 of us ran outside to the front yard and began playing soccer together to prove we really weren't murdering our child. instead. we were kicking a ball. fake laughing loudly (trying to drown out the screaming). having fun. really. quite normal......ok. so we are not normal......hello neighbourhood. we have arrived.

or there was the most recent time. just last week in fact. that i was at another doctors appointment. it was the only one i could get at short notice. and. i had to bring all 4 of my children with me. unfortunately it was at the end of a day. after a long car trip. they were hungry and tired. we waited. a long time. the doctor finally called us into his room. and. it began.

they opened all the cupboards. pulled all the toys out....all over the floor. snatched. grabbed. tore toys from each other. took books off the doctors shelf. whinged. whined. cried. was so difficult to hear the doctor. i asked him to repeat himself. numerous times. it was so bad that he kept forgetting what he was doing . i was embarrassed. ashamed. humiliated. mortified. and. as my doctor handed me a referral to a specialist for boofa. he casually mentioned that maybe i leave my kids behind for that appointment. oh. ahhh. hmmm. right at that moment i was hoping the rapture would occur and i would disappear leaving my naughty kids behind.

honestly........they're not normally like this.......i say (a few times above the din). the doctor looks at me. i can see he wants to roll his eyes. he has heard that before....

at least some one is amused. i can hear god laughing.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

old underpants

i turned 31 today.....

i'm offically old. beauty is now something that comes in a container and needs painting on. mozzies don't bite me anymore for fear of getting lost in the forest i have cultivated on my legs. i am now resigned to having pillow indents on my face until well after lunch. 'muffin top' is not a reference to food. and. i can now fling my breasts over my shoulders to avoid tripping.

today i woke to 4 little faces. they loved on me. kissed. hugged. snuggled me. and. told me i was the best mummy they had ever had.......oh ignorance is bliss.

my husband asked me what i really wanted for my birthday. so. i gave him my list.
1. a complete day of sleeping without interruption
2. to go to the toilet and shower at least once without being watched (by ANYONE)
3. to be able to leave the house.....alone

he laughed. i didn't.

ok. so i didn't get my birthday wish. but. i did spend the day with a childhood friend. we relived our youth......what we could remember of it anyway. we had take away indian for dinner. and. yes. my husband forgot to get a cake - to the horror of my kids. but. he did remember the more important thing....


and. as we sipped. we toasted.......

my old friend reminding me of a time. in the car. on the way to school. when we asked my mum why she had wrinkles (she was probably 31 at the time). and. she explained......

it's just like a pair of underpants. as they get older they loose their elastic.

tonight. i shall try to embrace the middle years. greying hair. and. failing bladder. i shall enjoy my wisdom and experience. and. just for one night. i will not dream of botox and boob jobs.'s to old underpants. and the cracks they fail to cover.