Category: Single Parenting


A plane did not crash into my house last night

Plenty of other things happened, but my roof was untouched by a falling Bowing 737. Why do we need to know this? I’m borrowing a technique from a Marian Keyes’ character. Things seem particularly crappy. Coping method = at least you have been spared a gigantic catastrophe; thereby lessening the crappiness of your own circumstance.
My particular brand of crappiness started in earnest last Friday.

Woke up late. Kids cranky. Torrential rain. Work truck blocking laneway, driver leisurely conversing with neighbour. Late dropping child # 1 to school. New system involves parading parent and child at school office, receive printout with child picture, branded with words ‘unexplained/unjustified’ if suitable excuse not offered. Unexplainedly Child # 2 cried and clung bodily to me at her dropoff. Hugging + platitudes ineffective. Started fitness regime 2 weeks ago. Boxericse this morning. Group trains at park in front of beach. No-one there when I arrive. Resevoirs of will power used to turn up to this class after extreme stiffness and general unfitness of previous session. Could really have used the punching bag.
Escaped polar bear did NOT ram into my car and detach three of my toes.

Went to nearby friend’s café instead. Weeks before had sewn two entire poles with stripy yarn bombing when friends opened the café. One person complained (about the beauty??) Local council (same day) sent worker to destroy knitting with stanely knife. Dangerous footpaths are far less important, apparently. Petition at café bedgraggled and signed by one ‘Julia Roberts’. So many people loved the knitting, commented when I am sewing it. Yet only one other person posted on council Facebook page. Council ignoring posts about destroying public art.
Council worker did NOT explode in flames.

All this before 10am. Blah blah. Day did not improve much. Including deep cut to finger. Fast forward to Saturday.

Single parent struggles to get out of house on day when kids with father. Despite distressed state of house after week of over energetic kids + exhausted mother. Thanks to broken nose and facial lacerations from fall on uneven footpath weeks earlier, have to spend time carefully applying makeup.
Push myself to join new Meetup groups. City centre French speaking breakfast (yay). Time getting kids ready, applying makeup + Saturday traffic = too late to make it.
Flock of flesh eating moths did NOT take up residence in my bedroom.

Try again with Meet up. Apparently happy friendly crowd meeting in city Sat night. Find carpark in city – ‘$9 Night special’ sign flashes brightly on street. After 31 minutes of crawling up, then down 10 floors, is patently clear carpark has been full for some time. Heated conversation with moron who stops car, blocking five floors of traffic trying to escape this concrete hell. Best forgotten about really. Find another carpark. Eventually find bar. Did not find Meetup group. Not answering provided phone number. Barstaff have no idea where they are. Searched 3 levels. Psychic abilities fail me. Go home. That took 3.5 hours. Next day several people who also could not find group loudly ignored by organiser.
Did NOT eat Ecoli-riddled egg roll.

Conclusion. Some days you’re the fly. Some days you’re the windshield.

Thoughts, dear reader?

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Joining the circus

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Child #2 joins the circus. Funny, always thought that would be child #1. Who cowered at my leg at the sight of miniature pony. The only animal now at good old Fossett’s circus. Pretty sure I last went to see these guys when I was about her age.

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And God Love her, a child that listens. Was having dinner and a conversation with my mum. Middle of interesting fact/discussion/piece of gossip. Enter child squawking slightly, again,  “Mummy can you…”. Hand raises – “No. Grown ups are talking. Come ask me after Nana and I have finished.” Minutes later, child comes in, slips a note next to my plate, smiles and leaves.

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janet leigh

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s generally kept under wraps, but many medical studies support my hypothesis. Jet lag Will KILL you. It will also cause you to feel like the inside of a carnival horse’s mouth, to confine you to a marshmallowy mental haze, to make outrageously nonsensical decisions, to use capital letters with abandon, and to exaggerate past the point of human decency.

Did the trip with the little ones, 5 or so days ago. Airport to airport, Sydney to Dublin, 27 hours. Or was it 29? This time they decided to hardly sleep AT ALL. Thanks dears. Super. Nooo Mum doesn’t need to sleep, would love to play more cards/ produce more playdough, more markers, green paper and a set of Rob the Robot programs I downloaded for you, on the down low. (Have always wanted to say that.) Sure lets get up again, and go talk to the crew. It’s fine that NEITHER of you eat ANY airplane food. That there’s another 12 hours to go on this flight. That the posh expensive muesli in the little takeaway bowls, even with extra cranberries from our stash, now tastes yucky. Apparently. Fantastic that a 1.5 hour movie  actually takes 6.25 hours to watch when the combined ages of your travelling companions equals 10.

Delightful that while waiting for flight #2, contents of our hand luggage  spread about departure gate, ready for repacking and disgarding (bye bye pricey uneaten muesli bowls); I desperately need to pee. Fine that my knowledge of this airport means that I know moving the carnival to the far away toilets is a logistical impossibility.  So legs crossed tighter til flight called, we board, take off, level out and I tear out of airplane seat to a toilet the size of a tissue box.

Super indeed, that my prized little bottle of  JETLAG CURE (Yes it works):  homeopathic remedy Cocculus 30C, has sprouted tiny white legs and slinked away from designated spot in hand luggage.

Marvelous that when we arrive Ireland is experiencing its first run of five consecutive sunny days since 1973 (Tric was right), and I’m too foggy to take it in. When I start to become slightly conscious again, the rain and wind has returned. Thanks. Lovely. As well as bright idea of mine to bring the children to a play centre. On a weekend. Seriously? Hundreds of rugrats, birthday parties, screaming, jumping, crying, dodging person dressed in oversized and bedraggled dinosaur costume. Great choice there. 

Enchanting that little dears share with me the joyful news that they are mildly peckish, or may require some slight stimulation. At 4:30am. Every morning.

Crankypants here actually had great crews on both flights, hardly any queueing through 3 airports,  can do the journey in 2 flights now instead of 3, and not one of our party wet herself. So it wasn’t all bad.

Until the play centre.

Out of the cocoon

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Most, or at least a lot of, single mums have a break every second weekend while kiddiwinks disappear off with Daddy. Myself and DrJ+MrH (ex = Dr Jekyll + Mr Hyde) found that moving faster than glacial speed upset the little ones. So we soon arrived at – Sat am to Sun am, every weekend with Dad – and have stayed there for more than a year. It will change to alternate weekends soon, as does not work so well for me, and the kids will enjoy the extended time with their Dad better.  

To whit: Sat 10.05am – house suddenly and miraculously silent. Mommy collapses on couch. Stares into space for a while. Sometimes a long while, but nobody’s around, so doesn’t matter. Turns on TV. Sometimes crazy reality TV appears. Dance Moms. Don’t judge me. My kids don’t go to dance. And now they never will.

I digress. An old friend who hadn’t seen me in forever, told me I had gone into my cocoon since the breakup (and another disturbing life event;) and laughed as we said goodbye, muttering I’ll go back into my cocoon, and she’ll see me again in another year or two.

She has a point. I’ve met a few great single mums. Who go OUT on Saturday nights. Well most alternate Saturday nights. I’ve been invited lots of times. Some of these times I’ve gone. Errm, more of these times I’ve stayed home on my couch. Exhausted. Or it’s too cold. Stop. It does get cold in Sydney in the winter. Or rainy. Torrential, yeah.

Or I can’t be bothered. BUT it’s not just at night. Sometimes I just stay in all day as well. That’s recovery though. Or licking my wounds. I lost my gorgeous Dad last year. Moments before Dr Jekyll + Mr Hyde was due to move out, in fact. Got the call. Within 24 hours myself and kids (one with a brand-spanking new passport) were at the airport – ready fly to Ireland. Thank God we got there in time. Got to say goodbye. Very Lucky there. Good God, I’m digressing.

Let’s wrap this up. You have other blogs to skim.

So many Saturdays – for that is my child-free day and night – I have not left the house. It makes me very very sad to say the time has not been spent scrubbing and polishing the place to make it a pristine palace either. Although it makes me very happy to say one Saturday I waved the kiddiwinks off, went back to bed, and watched 10 or so hours straight of Downton Abbey, series one and two, propped up in my comfy bed, pausing only for food, drinks and bathroom breaks. Thanks to my very thoughtful brother for mailing me the first THREE series on DVD. Watched the rest the following Saturday.

I heartily apologise for all this digression. If you have skipped ahead til this paragraph, I am about to get to the point. Please enjoy nice picture below.

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One of the great single mum friends, politely told me to get out of the house when the kids are gone. Even if it’s to walk along the coast or take a swim. We are Very Lucky to live near the beach. I didn’t take her advice too often. Errands, life & comfy couch all got in the way.

So last weekend I did. 5 Kms brisk walk along the coast. Yesterday the same. Blustery windy weather. Freak’n amazing. I usually only do that beautiful walk when its sunny. A powerful ocean makes you happy to be here to see it. Putting it mildly.

God, but we’re lucky to live in Sydney.

Moral of the story: listen to your good friends. You know who they are. They speak the truth. Thanks Mich xxx

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My house is clean. I mean spotless. Frypan sitting smugly upturned on the bench. Covered in gumption, (kitchen cleaner) waiting to be reborn as pristine. So what am I avoiding? Enrolling in University apparently. With the two kids. Little one in day care just two days a week. Mmmm. No wonder the house is clean.

1. Check more course info online. 2. Get paperwork ready. 3. Go to campus and register. 4. Buy a chicken. (We still have to eat.)

Mama goes back to school

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So a friend of mine asked for some help with dropbox the other day. Easy. After sorting out the mildly techy stuff, we got chatting. Life/ life changes/ whatchya gonna do, kind of stuff. This guy is the best guy at finding what’s available and making it work for you. A large cup of tea later, laptop out, I was scrolling through courses at my local university. Drove home with a seed germinating in my little head. Next day called the uni, spoke to the course director. Next day applied online for a Certifcate in Digital Media + Animation.

With fingers crossed that the timetable will work with little one’s daycare and big one’s school hours, I’ll be a full-time student again in one month. Holy Cow.