Tuesday, September 27, 2011

School Holiday Day 3 ( Alternative Title= Shoot me Now!)

This may be a rant. I fear it will be a rant.

Spring school holidays are under way here and so far we have spent them thusly:

Miss 7 has a horrid cold and alternates between crying, coughing, snotting and snoozing. She has not been out of her PJ's in 3 days and she is operating on Panadol, Dimetapp and CocoPops. Barbie as Rapunzel is playing on a loop and I am going insane.

Miss 13 has had gorgeous blonde hair which she dyed brunette, then tried to go back to blonde resulting in a blonde halo with dark ends - kind of like an upside choc-dipped icecream. So yesterday she tried to dye it deep burgundy (slaps forehead) and ended up with lipstick pink/scary orange hair. Another two batches of hair colour today has returned her to what she started with and me $100 poorer. Of course it is all my fault.

Miss 15 helped with all but the final dying effort and her main focus over the past 3 days has been on which body part she should get pierced. She has it narrowed down to either the nose, lip or the tragus. I have studied advanced anatomy and I had to Google it ( I'll save u the trouble - it's the little bumpy cartilage bit at the centre front of your ear). You may imagine that we parents stood united in our answer of  "No".  You would have imagined incorrectly. The Man I Married said "Sure.. why not. " I could write an essay on Why Not , but instead I am taking her to get holes poked into her body.

Master 17 is all broody teenage manliness, wakes at around midday, grunts in response to all questions and expects daily hour long driving lessons. He thinks he would like to move out into a group house. He is still at school, with not even a part time job. I wonder what he will eat. I ask him what he will eat. The silence is deafening. His suggestion is he will come shopping with me when I do my groceries. I suspect I have not prepared him for the realities of adult life.

I have finally completed a massive (STUPID) Medications assignment, with 44 questions none of which asked anything about medications. The argumentative me wants to question the sanity of a non-medications medications assessment. The "I just want to pass" me tells me to suck it up and get on with it. So far I am unsure which me will win.

The man I married is oblivious to all the above. His Star Trek viewing is on track and going swimmingly.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Materialism for the evolved

It had been a hectic morning running errands, trying to get everything on the to-do list in one shopping trip, battling through the 135 pushers, prams and strollers on the street and in the store. I was tired, my shoes were rubbing and my arms aching from carrying bags ( yep - real smart planning for a city which does not have any all day car parks within the shopping precinct **rolls eyes**).
A coffee shop beckoned. It looked warm and inviting and the scent of hazelnut mocha drifting towards me was truly more than I could resist.

So I entered, ordered and sank gratefully onto the nearest chair.

In came two young things, early 20's, hair arranged to fall in carefully planned 'natural dishevelment'. Layers of bohemian hippie-ness in all shades of ecru, cream and taupe, little crocheted sleeveless cardigan to complete the look. Makeup perfectly applied for the 'nude look'.

They looked at me and lips curled. At first I thought it was jealousy. I really was sporting the nude makeup look, and my hair was disheveled without hours in the bathroom. (I prefer to call it windswept and interesting). My clothing looked dated , although perhaps not quite so bohemian...

Then I realised it was disdain. The disdain and arrogance that only comes for your twenties and is surely gone by the time you hit thirty and have paid a few more bills than your Portmans card.
They go to the counter and they order, "Yeah like, can I have like,  um an Organic, free trade, double shot machiatto with skinny soy".

Sure you can sweetie!

Then they sit behind be at a little table and discuss how materialistic their friends are, and how un-materialistic they are, and "like, did you see Kate's Bag last night, Prada. Like, how can she be so obsessed with what she wears and stuff? I'd be, like, totally ashamed of myself if I were her"  (small silent pause while they reapply lip gloss to lips you could already play slip and slide on). Girl A drops her bag to the table to look for more non-makeup products.

I recognise this bag, my daughter showed it to me a night or two ago on the internet. This eco-warrior, all natural organic hemp masterpiece has a $140 price tag. My jaw drops. The makeup scattered across the table is from 'that' brand which is all earth mother, natural ochres and hand ground in sustainable communities in some little place. It is also worth a Motza! For a non-materialistic girl, she sure has nice stuff.

Girl B starts whispering and giggling pointing at another customer, who appears to have rather less money than most. She wrinkles her perky little pierced nose and deliberately arranges herself so this customer has to side step around her. She pulls out of her carrier bag ( natural fibres of course), a truly gorgeous dress. flowy and soft and WHAT??? a pricetag of a cool $200.

Oh yes.. you know I couldn't help myself.. heehee !!

As my coffee order was called I collected my belongings. I leant over, smiled and said " If you were really un-materialistic you wouldn't give a crap that her bag was Prada and you would realise that you already have the Nude look when you fall out of bed. Oh and by the way, you probably could have provided a village with immunisation for a year with what you just spent on that dress".

See, I don't react well to smug brats who think they are superior.

(At least I didn't tell them that their Boobs are gonna sag one day too. Because they will)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Don't Judge me? Is it possible?

I recently had a fight spirited discussion with a friend who likes to say "I'm not judging you but..."
She feels very strongly about the word "judge", & says no-one has the right to judge.

So lately, she has been doing some stuff that I don't like as a character trait. That is not to say I don't like her, but I dislike some of her recent choices and behaviours. 
She asked me why I haven't been visiting or calling much and I said that some of her recent choices don't sit well with me
Then all hell broke lose.

"So you're judging me!" she said.
"Um yes."
"What gives you the right to judge me? You can't push your moral code onto me. That's not fair, I thought we were friends, and real friends don't judge"

Food for thought.

How did I decide to be friends with you in the first place? I judged and decided you were a cool chick who I could get along with. 
How did I decide you were safe enough for my kid to come and play at your house? I judged and decided you weren't an axe murderer. 
How did I decide whether I could trust you to come into my home and look after it when we went away? I judged you and decided you were trustworthy.

Whether we like to use the word 'judge' or not, we all judge. It is human to judge. It is how we keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. It is our compass of whether a person is going to be a good friend and companion or a sleazy user who flirts with our husband.

A person has every right in the world to behave however they like. Everyone else on the planet has the right to choose whether they want to spend time alongside that person.

That isn't to say I have the right to harshly criticize someone to others, nor do I have the right to humiliate them or demand they change.  But I do have the right to walk away. 

I do not choose to judge. But I definitely judge to choose.

If that's not ok with you ( and to decide that you have to judge it) then I'm ok with you not spending time alongside me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The influence of a school.

When J-man was in Primary school he went to the public school nearby. His primary school years were grim. His school really didn't do much to support him or us to get him through.
We completed pages of assessments, took him to many many specialist appointments, had squillions of recommendations made.. and yet the school he attended did not even bother to read those reports, or to implement any of the recommendations.
The only thing they did attempt was to convince us as parents that it would be more convenient beneficial for J-man to be drugged daily.
Unfortunately, we were so busily focused on just getting through each day that we really didn't explore moving J-man to another school. I guess this was because the focus had always been J-mans problems. His issues. Never did anyone say "Well the school isn't really stepping up here either".
Looking back, the school principal would actually turn and walk quickly away when he saw me coming. At one meeting he told me he really didn't care what the plans for next year were as he was retiring then anyway. Teachers covered their arses and said they" didn't realise there was a 9 inch thick folder all about J-man". At the time there was no funding for J-man and without funding they simply were not inspired or required to do anything out of the box.
At the end of Grade 6, when J-man had been accepted to a small Catholic high school, we decided to explore Catholic primary schools for our daughters so that when high school came the transition might be smoother for them.
I rang a school and asked for some time with the Principal. I didn't tell him anything about our children or J-mans troubles as I was fairly non-commital but just asked for a general tour. He agreed and within 5 minutes I was on my way.
Here's how my eyes were opened.
He greeted me at the door and remembered my name.
He introduced me to the office staff.
We were about to enter a classroom when he turned to me and said "Now in this class is a little girl with Aspergers syndrome. She just likes to know who is coming in and out of our school. She's our little policeman."
With that he opened the door and straight away a little dot of a girl came over and shook his hand. Then she stood there, holding his hand while he solemnly introduced me!! She shook my hand and skipped back to her desk.
He didn't roll his eyes. He didn't make her feel silly. He spoke to her with respect and acted as if she had every right to be introduced to me.
My heart slowed down and I felt myself relaxing.
In the Prep building sixth grade kids were sitting with little preppies making Santa hats. There was lots of laughter. The teachers were trying on hats and laughing.
It was so very different to the school experience we had so far.
We couldn't get our girls in there fast enough.
I wonder how different things could have been if J-man had been at this type of school.
Certainly since that change 7 years ago, as I've watched my girls, including little miss 8 move through this new school system, the schools' open and welcoming attitude for ALL children has made all the difference .

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Romance is........................?

In class yesterday a friend was complaining that her husband never does anything romantic for her.
She wants to be wined and dined, would love a bunch of roses 'just because' and bubble baths with champagne featured heavily in the conversation.
I didn't say much ( which for me is surprising).
I am married to the most unromantic person on the planet.
He substitutes wine and dine with a McDonalds takeaway in front of the TV
Flowers are for when things have gone very wrong ( like when you blow the "buying a new car budget" by several thousand dollars)
Bath times are solo operations and Star Trek features heavily in his his life.
On the traditional Romance scale, he doesn't even leave the starting line.

On our wedding day the biggest compliment he gave me was "Your dress is nice" and when I expressed my fears about the impending birth of our first born.I believe his response was a slap on the thigh and "you'll be right."

Sometimes I feel ripped off, or let down by the lack of obvious gestures of love. I didn't share all this in class, I don't want to justify his life and my life and our marriage and the why's and wherefores of how it works. It just does ok.

So I came home after a VERY long day of learning.
He made me a cup of tea.

He'd been to the store and was making sausages, mashed potato, vegies and gravy. for dinner.
He had taken small child to the park and played.
He'd fixed the tyre on large teens bike.
He washed the dog.

I fell in love again.
The big showy gestures are nice,
The small acts of love are nicer.

It is the first day of spring here today.. I hope wherever you are, small acts of love remind you that you are loved, that you are appreciated,