Friday, 14 March 2014

The Mother Formerly Known as Launderer

We survived the move.  I think.  We’re still unpacking, the walls are bare, there isn’t a shelf in the house, and consequently the living area has large boxes stacked high.  I tried to make a side table out of one, draping it with a tablecloth and putting framed photos of the kids on top, a vase of flowers etc, but it just looks like a weird altar to my children. 

Random objects went missing in the move.  My cool stainless steel mixing bowl.  The mop.  An attachment for my hoover.  Not that I use any of these any more because the move coincided with the arrival – oh blessed, blessed event – of our MAID.  We have been in apartment for three weeks and I have not opened:  the bin;  the dishwasher;  the oven;  THE WASHING MACHINE.  (The valium.)

I did think about renaming the blog – really I did – but just because I’m not doing it any more, does it make it any less relentless?  If a child wets his bed in the night and you don’t have to clean it up, did he really wet the bed?  (YES.)

It’s like living with a house-work fairy.  Everything is magically done.  The house is always clean, the laundry washed, folded, put away, the toys are in their place, the cushions plumped.  The flowers on the alter to my children replaced.

So now I have nothing to do but spend time with my children.

(I clearly didn’t think this maid thing through properly.)

In other news, we went away last weekend.  The kids had a day off school on Monday so we decided to go to Indonesia for a few days – as you do. 
Who knew that toddlers could get so boat sick?  Who knew that toddler vomit gets everywhere, and that it is the exact same temperature as your body, (so that when it lands on your arms and legs and the side of your neck, you’re not immediately aware of it, other  than as a not unpleasant texture engulfing you), and that one’s sense of touch travels quicker than the sense of smell?  In case we didn’t learn enough about this on the way there, she gave us a repeat performance on the way back.  But aha!  I was ready.  I had towels and sarongs at the ready to drape around her, but she got around this by vomiting all over them, then over the replacements, and THEN over the only other thing I had within my reach which was my replacement dress,  and THEN she projectile vomited over ME. 

Anyway, we arrived at the other side, almost in one piece – nothing that a few wipes and no dignity whatsoever couldn’t sort – and – clever us! – had paid a huge amount for our children to vomit in posh class so that we could buy our visas on-board and skip the long queues for the visa desk.  Mind you, we were still the last ones off the boat, what with the vomiting and the wiping and the muttering and gritting of teeth, but at least we weren’t at that queue.  And then the immigration officer pointed out that you need 6 months on each passport to enter Indonesia, and– well, would you look at this!  The Boy’s passport had only 5 months, 3 weeks and 2 days left on his... By the time we had paid a “contribution” to the Benevolent Immigration Officers’ Society, every single person in the terminal had gone, and we were alone, smelling of vomit and $100 poorer, and cursing loudly and clearly and vowing to NEVER leave the house again.

But actually – it was still worth it.  The beach was fabulous and the children swam ALL DAY LONG – the Girl is now part fish (a very very brown fish at that – a trout perhaps?) – and we had this strange, unfamiliar sensation which we decide must be enjoyment. One evening in particular was perfect; we’d had a lovely lunch and a lazy afternoon, and then all three kids spent a couple of hours skipping about the beach and digging holes and laughing and giggling, and didn’t try to blind each other with sand or drown each other, and it was lovely.   But then we ruined it all by leaving the Girl on the beach by mistake IN THE DARK and not realising until we got back to our room – a 7 minute schlep away -  and discovering her crying and walking around in a daze and wondering where everyone was.  Who knew guilt could kill enjoyment so easily?

Coming up (I wish I could say “soon” – we know that’s not likely.  At least not until we get our internet sorted):  Singapore Supermarkets. (Try not to get overly excited.)  To whet your appetites - literally - a photo:

Somewhere a poor fisherman is looking at his warehouse full of tuna and wondering why no one will buy the stuff.

Another photo:

Who knew primogeniture applied to eggs? That sort of put me off my omelette.  

One last one (it is Friday after all):  



  1. Even the other side of the world you make me snigger....

  2. hallelujah!! Shes drinking to Brian O Driscoll and your maid! xx

  3. Eyes cross in hopes the MAID will mean you post more often, soon and frequently, because CLEARLY somethings are Very Different in your home now. And we all love reading your blog!!!!!!!!!! I love the very idea of having a maid if you have children... or even if you do not.

  4. Better than when I lost Thing 1 in a hotel in Germany. It was 15 minutes but it was a military base hotel so I figure how in danger could she, maybe the same?

  5. Now all you need is a nanny and a posse of gin swilling buddies.....looking forward to hearing more of your adventures xxx

  6. p.s Happy Paddy's day from rural Belgium xxx

  7. Love that tuna pic. Can't help with instructions though. And why did you buy a traffic cone anyway?

  8. I don't like to get competitive about toddler vomit, but, well, I obviously am. Because I need to tell you that last week child #2 vomited in my hands - no other receptacle available and it was in our only carpeted room. I emptied sick into nearest saucepan. Went to wash my hands only to find out our water had been turned off and plumber couldn't turn it back on. Oh yes.

    1. Ah, the feeling of warm sick in your cupped hands. Nothing else screams Parenthood quite so eloquently. (Apart from the realisation, as soon as they've finished, that you now have to dispose of the sick somehow. I've sat in a car for several miles holding sick in my outstretched hands. I must delete that memory actually.)