Friday, August 31, 2012

The Story That Was Never Told

The year was 1986 and two young girls were running free in Kings Park, high above the city of Perth.

It was a typical hot summer day, the air was thick with the sound of crickets and the distant hum of traffic. The dazzling Australian sun gave everything a bleached, slightly yellow appearance that made you squint. Despite the heat, the grass was deep green and lush underfoot.

The two girls, seven and eight, were dressed only in bathers.  Let's call them Mary and Kate.

Mary's mother was settled in the shade, a picnic spread before her. Mary's older sister played nearby with a friend. The park was by no means quiet, yet somehow Mary and Kate found themselves alone, running down a grassy path.

Suddenly they no longer alone. A man stood before them on the path. To their youthful eyes he seemed old.  He was probably only in his thirties or forties.

The girls stopped and faced him, silent.  He smiled warmly at them.

'Do you girls happen to know where the nearest toilets are,' he asked.

The girls knew the park very well.  This man was obviously a visitor or else he would know the nearest toilets were in a far distant area.  They told him so.

The man looked embarrassed.

'I really need to go,' he told them. 'Do you think you could stand guard while I take a leak here. Warn me if someone comes?'

Without waiting for an answer he pulled down his pants.

The girls were now the ones who were embarrassed.  Giggling to themselves, they turned their backs and kept guard for people. They stared at their feet and glanced sideways at each other, waiting in silence.

They still had their backs turned when the man's voice was suddenly behind them.

'Those are nice bathers you are wearing,' he told Mary.

Mary looked up at him and shrugged.  She thought they were okay.

'I'm going to make a pair of bathers for my daughter,' he said. 'But I don't know what type of elastic I need to use. Can I just check to see what elastic you have in your bathers?'

The man slipped a finger under the elastic at the top of Mary's leg.  He stretched it out a bit, testing it, all the while having a serious expression on his face. As though he was really intending to sew a pair of bathers for his daughter.  He moved his finger further round the leg of Mary's bathers.

Mary's eight year old innocence doesn't realise where else he put his finger. She doesn't yet understand what is happening, although she know it feels wrong. Her face burns and she can't look him or Kate in the eye.

A voice further down the path startles the man. He withdraws his finger.

'Nice,' he says. 'Thankyou.'  He turns quickly and walks way down the path.

Mary and Kate, not speaking, run back to where Mary's mother and sister have gathered for lunch.

'There you are,' Mary's mum says, gathering the girls back into the fold.

The girls say nothing.  Not then. Not to each other.

Not ever.

Friday, August 24, 2012

It's Happened

The Blonde Bombshell is planted outside the door, sitting on the ground wailing.

'Mummy doesn't love me,' she sobs.

I am inside Baldy Baby's room, feeding her. I smile to myself: the Bombshell loves the sound of her own voice, and she's trying out her lament with differing emphasis.

'Mummy doesn't love me.'

'Mummy doesn't love me.'

'Mummy doesn't love me.'

'Mummy doesn't love meeeeeeeee.'

If there was a mirror in the hall, I swear she'd be in front of it, trying out her sad faces.

She throws open the door.

'I don't love you Mummy,' she screams.  BANG. She slams the door shut. Baldy Baby stops feeding and watches me.  I sigh.

Small footsteps in the hall.  The Mop is coming to investigate.  I want to tell her to go back to the family room, but I also don't want to draw attention to myself.

'Rah,' I hear the Mop say from the other side of the door.

'You're not a lion,' the Bombshell says.

'Rah,' repeats the Mop.

'You're not a dragon,' sneers the Bombshell.

'Rah,' says the Mop.

'You're not a dinosaur, not a baby dinosaur. You're nothing.  You're not cute and I don't love you anymore.'  I frown.  This can't end well.

WHACK.

'Waaaaaaaaaaa!' shrieks the Bombshell.

WHACK.

'Ahhhhhhhh!' screams the Mop.

The door flies open again.

'I. Don't. Love. You,' the Bombshells repeats in case I have missed the previous ten minutes of screaming.  'You're always with the baby.  You don't love me anymore.'

Ah. I see.

I knew this was coming.  Advice anyone?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nip, tuck, wax, mow

My garden has had the equivalent of a bikini wax.

I would even go so far as to say it's had a Brazilian.



Personally, I have never gone that far on my own patch of real estate.  I considered it once, but that's as far as I went.

I don't have any of the 'before' pictures, so it makes it a little difficult for you to see the transformation.

But when I stepped outside and saw the complete removal of unruly daisies, leggy geraniums, rampant weeds, overgrown grass, and dying bulbs I felt lighter, cleaner and... yes, fresher.

I keep staring out the window, and as long as I look past the building materials, collapsed scaffolding and piles of bricks, I see a neatly mowed lawn and well-tended garden beds.


It makes me want to go out there and play.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my 35th birthday. 

I woke to the sound of the baby crying - nothing unusual there, but it was a bit after 6am: which is a lot better than 4.30am.  WIN.

I came downstairs to see the Bombshell and the Mop sitting at the table eating their breakfast.  They weren't even fighting. Much. WIN

'Good morning, Mummy,' the Bombshell said. 'Happy Birthday.'

'Party,' agreed the Mop.

I gave them both kisses then walked over to where my husband was spooning cake batter into ten thousand mini cupcake cases. 'Happy Birthday,' he said.  'Presents!' he said gesturing with a spoon. Presents. WIN

I grabbed the baby and settled down on the couch to feed her.  The Bombshell collected my presents and stood in front of me unwrapping them for me. Two beautiful rings, amethyst and amber, and some measuring cups that stack together like Matryoshka dolls. WIN.


The Bombshell showed me a picture she had drawn of the family.  Three little girls all with striking blue eyes.  Mum, with brown eyes.  'I'm sorry that none of us have brown eyes, so that your brown eyes wouldn't be so lonely,' she told me.

My husband took the Mop off to daycare, with promises of being home early to take me out to dinner. WIN.

The Bombshell then took me solemnly by the hand to her bedroom.  She showed me her bed which she had made with extra special effort.  'I did it extra good because it's your birthday, Mum,' she told me.

And then she made my bed.  WIN (sort of).

This is actually the 'after' picture

The baby went down for her morning nap with no screaming or yelling or rogue poos. WIN.

The Bombshell offered to decorate my cupcakes for me. She even swept up all the 100s and 1000s that she dropped on the ground. WIN.


All morning my phone has been beeping with messages from friends and family. Birthday wishes on Facebook, on my blog from readers, cards in the mail. A friend took me for breakfast. I love breakfast. WIN.

When we left for school, my new skirt blew in the wind and tore along our rough stone wall. I looked at it sadly.

The Bombshell took my hand, and said 'I think you would be a lot more sad if you lost one of us three kids.'

Wow, talk about perspective.  From a FIVE year old.


Happy Wednesday everyone. I hope you all get some wins.








Tuesday, August 14, 2012

35 Shades of Grey (It's my birthday)

What do women talk about when left alone for a couple of hours, with free-flowing champagne and no kids.

Well... porn naturally.

Sunday marked the first day of my birthday week celebrations.  Tomorrow I turn 35, or as my friend once called it: 'the Wednesday of my thirties'.

So, I gathered with some old friends at a certain hotel for high tea, which I had chosen for two reasons. The first, was that they provided what less swanky establishments would call 'all-you-can-eat'.  The second was the 'free flowing champagne'.

Free flowing if you hunt down the single waiter and bribe him with a twenty perhaps.

Six women. Champagne.

First we talked about our kids. 

Then we talked about our husbands.

Then we talked about porn.

The segue from husbands to porn wasn't quite as raunchy as our other halves might like to think.  We were discussing whose hubby had given them a lift, and those who were forced to drive themselves.

One friend had arrived early, having been dropped off by her husband and three kids.  She ordered a G&T from the bar and settled in with her book to wait for the rest of us. It just so happened that the book was 50 Shades of Grey.

Nice work.

Of the six of us, all bar one owned or had read the books. One had - rather optimistically - been given the books by her husband as a Mothers Day present.

I own all three copies, but have yet to start reading. You would have to live under a rock though, not to know what they're about.  Even my husband asked me rather cryptically whether I had heard about 'those Grey books?'

What, the ones I ordered online and had shipped in the postal equivalent of a brown paper bag? Sure.

'They'll frustrate you, Shan,' a friend said without a hint of irony. 'The sex might be ok, but the writing will frustrate you,' she clarified. 

'Maybe you should write some porn,' another suggested. What a sterling idea, I thought.

'I took the books on holiday recently, and volunteered every day to take the kids back to our room for their nap, so I could read them,' a third friend admitted.

When asked whether her husband benefited from her lunchtime literary learnings, she shrugged.

'Not really, I  just wanted to read about it. It doesn't mean I wanted to do it.'

The waiter found us a lot more interesting when he realised we were talking about sex and porn: we certainly were offered a lot more champagne and finger sandwiches anyway.

But as women are apt to do, we overstayed our welcome and we were politely asked to leave.  We made our way to our various cars, or called husbands to collect us.

Except my friend: she ordered another glass of wine, and settled down in the foyer with 50 Shades of Grey.

I hope the waiter didn't take it as some sort of invitation.










Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Oh What A Feeling

My mobile phone was ringing.

I glanced at the number - a local one, I didn't recognise it.

'What the hell,' I thought.  'It could be someone calling with a book deal.'

'Good morning, Shannon,' the voice said. 'This is Dave from Subaru calling.  Do you recall buying a Forester from us in 2010.'

Uh yes, I recall spending tens of thousands of dollars.  I recall kidnapping the sales guy and driving him all the way to my home, and then making him wait while my husband and I tried to fit car seats in the back.

I recall making him follow us back to the showroom in my husbands car, while my (then) three year old sat in the backseat offering her opinion about the new car. I recall her saying it wasn't as cool as her friend's ginormous, 4WD with built-in DVD players in the head rests.

I recall sitting for an hour with a newborn in the sales office as they tried to sell me insurance, and paint protection, and fabric protection and other things all useless against the onslaught of small children.

'Yes,' I said politely. 'I recall.'

'We have realised that we do not have an email address for you, and we would like to send you information regarding your warranty, servicing and specials.  Do you consent?'

It took you two and half years to realise this?

'Uh, listen, my inbox is already full of junk... I mean, I get a lot of emails, how often would I be receiving stuff from you?'

'Oh hardly ever. Weekly, no monthly. Not often, I promise.'

You promise? Who is this? The work experience kid?

'I'm also calling to let you know that we are having a big sale at the moment of our floor stock.  We are actually losing money on our wholesale prices.'

Yes, and I am a size 8.

'Well, actually we might be looking for a seven seater,' I told him. 'Can you tell me the arrangement of anchor points in your models and how the backseat is accessed?'

'Well, um I would need to look at the brochure...' he said.

'You go do that,' I told him cheerily, beginning to enjoy myself.

'Also, while you are there, can you tell me how much space there is between the back row of seats and the back of the car? What safety features are there for small kids sitting in the boot?'

There were muffled noises as he madly flicked pages of his brochure.

'Well, umm, you'd have to come and have a look...'

I nattered on to him about my kids and the difficulties of fitting in three car seats, and the fact that I would love to separate them so they stopped poking each other in the face, but before I even got to my joke about wanting a London taxi cab (with the screen between the front and back seats) he interrupted me.

'Well, I have to go, thankyou for your time. Goodbye.'

And he hung up.

He didn't even get my email address.

Sucker.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...