Or You Could Just Hide In the Cupboard

Or You Could Just Hide In the Cupboard

Quote of the Day/Week/Month/Year or Until I Change It!

‘Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.’

Mohandas Gandhi


Pondering the choices we make at our crossroads is like revision in the school of life.

Regretting the mistakes or taking for granted the successes, means we have learnt nought.

An attentive student will gain wisdom from the mistakes and joy from the successes.

Cartillyer – 2008

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Edited 2 June 2011: Cooking instructions have been added for those who didn’t get the joke…

So, we’ve established that Mr T knows more about the vacuum than I do, but the kitchen is still my domain.

After placing two packets of Maggi 2 Minute Noodles into a saucepan, Mr T asked me, ‘If I put two packets in, do I boil it for two or four minutes?’

‘Are you serious?’ I asked.

He didn’t smile or laugh; he patiently (and very seriously) waited for my answer.

When I started laughing instead of answering, he sheepishly said, ‘It’s two minutes isn’t it?’

And for those who have never cooked Maggi 2 Minute Noodles or have never cooked more than one packet at a time – whether you’re cooking 1, 2 or even 10 packets of noodles, the most common way of cooking them is to place the noodles in a saucepan, cover them with water and then bring it to the boil. 

Regardless of how many packets of noodles are in the saucepan, after bringing it to the boil, you only boil it for a further 2 minutes.

Sorry if this ruins the punch line, but I’ve found myself explaining the cooking method for noodles to several people. Thank Christ Mr T wasn't attempting a soufflé…

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Don't Do Housework

I am often asked how I cope with all that I do. Working and studying part-time from home and taking care of a house, husband and five children, of which three are aged five and under, is time-consuming and often exhausting.

My usual answer is, ‘I don’t do the housework.’

Many don’t believe me, so my reply is usually met with laughter. Sure, I do the washing, the cooking and the hundred other daily tasks that we don’t think about as we take care of a family, usually all completed with a clingy two-year-old constantly attached to me. This is part of the reason I’m unable to get stuck into the joyous chore of cleaning the toilets and bathrooms. Miss Flora’s penchant for sniffing and tasting things doesn’t stop just because the label says it’s poisonous. It doesn’t matter where you spray it, she’ll try to lick it!

But the main reason that I escape so many housework hours is that I am blessed with a wonderful husband, who understands how important my writing is to me, realises that a fifteen-minute chore can take two hours to complete when I have a toddler attached to me and…he loves doing the vacuuming!

How much more vacuuming he does than I do was highlighted when we passed the shop where we usually buy our vacuum bags.

‘Oh no! Our vacuum bag shop’s gone. Where will we get vacuum bags now?’ I asked.

‘Lucky we bought a bagless vacuum in the Boxing Day sales!’ replied Mr T.

Before I could reply, Mr T asked, ‘Shouldn’t I – the husband – be the one that knows nothing about the vacuum?’

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Internal Organs

Once again we are under attack as another tummy bug barges into our home. (More on that in a later post.) It doesn’t seem to matter how many dirty nappies the children watch me change or how much vomit they ogle when one of their siblings heaves into a bucket, they have an obscene fascination for the waste products that leave our bodies.

Sometimes this fascination extends to our internal organs as well. While waiting to pay the bill after having a renal ultrasound one morning, Boywonder asked me why we were at a different doctor to where we usually go. I explained that the doctor needed to look at my kidneys and bladder.

‘Did he take them out and have a look? Can I look too?’ asked Boywonder as he grabbed my shirt, ready to lift it and look for himself.

After I explained that the doctor uses a special machine to see my kidneys and bladder, and it certainly doesn’t involve taking them out, Boywonder then asked,
‘What’s a bladder? Can I look at your bladder?’

I enlightened my budding anatomist by placing a little pressure on his bladder and asking him if it made him want to wee.

‘Yes,’ he said.

‘That’s your bladder!’

He was finally happy with these explanations. That was until I had to pick up another four-litre bottle so I could perform the 24-hour urine test again.

After we arrived home, Boywonder picked the bottle up and asked, ‘Do you have to wee in the bottle again, Mummy?’


‘Can I wee in it too?’

‘NO!’ I replied as I took the bottle from him.

‘But I have a bladder too!’ was Boywonder’s argument.

‘Everyone has a bladder, but they are not all going to be contributing to my bottle!’ I replied, hugging the bottle to my chest. I then hurried to the toilet with my bottle before Boywonder gave me the lecture on sharing that he’d heard so often from me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Whose Shoes?

Getting anything done with three children, five years old and under can be a challenge, so we usually do things like bath time or getting out the door punctually as a production line. Unfortunately, even the most efficient production lines have their glitches.

To save time when going out, I change Miss Flora’s nappy while Tomboy and Boywonder go to the toilet. I then help put eight feet into four pairs of shoes (including mine).

All was going well one morning until Boywonder brought me the last pair of shoes. I undid the laces, placed them on the desk and waited for the right pair of feet to come to me. After a minute I looked at the shoes and realised that no one was coming to get their shoes on because they were my shoes.

Everyone else was already shod and waiting for me.

I suppose it’s not as bad as the time I dressed Boywonder in Tomboy’s pyjamas after their bath one night. If you think my not noticing that I was putting bright pink pyjamas on my five-year-old son is bad – he didn’t notice until after I’d pointed out my mistake!

Monday, May 16, 2011


The Apprentice and Uni Student took Tomboy and Boywonder to the shops in Uni Student’s car. They connected Uni Student’s iPod to the car stereo via bluetooth, thus enabling The Apprentice to change songs without touching the iPod.

After watching The Apprentice fast-forward to the songs that Tomboy requested, Boywonder asked The Apprentice how she was doing it. 

‘I’m psychopathic,’ she replied.

We assumed she was trying to say she was psychic and/or telepathic, but after this morning’s events we’ve since added psychotic to the meaning.

The Apprentice broke down on the way to TAFE during peak hour traffic. Her boyfriend (TAB – The Apprentice’s Boyfriend) was at work.

My first question was, of course, ‘Do you have roadside assistance?’

‘No, I'm not paying for that! TAB’s my roadside assistance.’

‘Have you called him?’

‘Yes, but he can’t make it!’

(She’s obviously not heard the saying – You get what you pay for!)

After dropping Boywonder at school I go and pick her up. In the meantime, Uni Student goes online and gets The Apprentice some roadside assistance. All the way home The Apprentice tells me that she didn’t want to join RACV roadside assistance, as she doesn’t like that they have a monopoly on it.

Hmmm, a company having a multitude of cars out on the road to quickly get to those who have broken down is a monopoly and, apparently, a bad thing.

Her alternative, and also her preferred choice, was to try to drive it home, but I wouldn’t let her do it. It involved driving her car, which wouldn’t accelerate faster than 20 km/h as it spluttered and threatened to conk out, across four lanes of the freeway with traffic bearing down on her at 100 km/h. She would then have to drive her car across the boggy grass area to cross another four lanes of the freeway (heading in the other direction), again with traffic bearing down on her at 100 km/h. If she managed the suicidal freeway crossing, she would then attempt to drive her car all the way home in the emergency lane at 20 km/h.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Whose Poo?

Five nights out of seven, Tomboy gets the urge to evacuate her bowels mid-dinner. I don’t know if she’s making more room in her belly or just wants to escape the dinner table for a while, but it’s a regular occurrence. It wouldn’t be such a problem if she learned to wipe her own bum!

On this occasion she said she needed to ‘go to the toilet’ and left the table. Not long after she disappeared into the toilet (the room, not the actual toilet), she yelled out, ‘I found a poo!’

We thought that she had put off pooing because of her discovery, so I yelled back, ‘Whose poo?’

‘My poo!’ was her reply.

We’re not sure if it was a ‘surprise’ poo (the poo you don’t know about until it’s arrived) or if this was her first ever look in the toilet bowl after doing her business. She gets rather indignant when asked sensitive questions, especially if everyone’s attention is on her, awaiting a reply, so we left that one alone.

And just in case you’re wondering – I got to wipe her bum.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day

My Mother’s Day started on Thursday with a special visit to the kindergarten with the other mums. We spent an hour being pampered and making princess things with our children. The mums got to be the princesses!

After Tomboy and I enjoyed decorating a portrait of myself as a princess, making a princess crown and reading a book together, we moved to the table that had fairy pillows on it. They were for me to rest my hands on while Tomboy gave me a hand massage with some hand moisturiser.

I asked Tomboy if she wanted my hands palms up or down and she turned them so they were palms up. She then stuck her finger in the tub of moisturising cream and dropped a big dollop in my right palm. She then got another rather large dollop and dropped it into my left palm.

Tomboy wasted no time spreading the cream about on my hands. Realising that she had quite a bit of cream on her own hands, she stopped spreading it about on mine and proceeded to rub her hands together.

Still sitting there with slathers of cream on each palm (there was enough to do my legs too), I reminded her about my hands.

‘Rub them together like this!’ she said as she continued to rub her hands together in a vain attempt to get rid of it.

And that was the end of my hand massage. 

The rest of our activities were a little hampered after that. Pulling tiny heart stickers off of a sticker sheet to stick on a plastic pot or threading small beads to make a princess bracelet is extremely challenging when performed with slippery hands. (The teacher had to tie my bracelet together!)

At least I have my wonderful portrait, drawn by Tomboy to remind me of how much fun we had together. 

Her talents are exceptional. See how well she’s captured my double chin. And that isn’t a line of pimples, it’s my diamond necklace and, no, she didn’t make me a ‘ranga’ with a mohawk, that’s an orange tiara. The blue eyeshadow was my idea, reminiscent of the eighties.

I’d love to say that Mother’s Day on Sunday was filled with self-indulgence, but I worked all day, while Mr T cleaned the house and kept the kids busy so I could get on with the job. I did, however, spend the day in my pyjamas (the benefits of working from home) and received some wonderful presents.

At least Boywonder didn’t declare the day his five minutes after I opened my presents – like he did last year.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

When Thinking Outside the Square Isn’t the Best Idea

I was doing the dishes when I heard The Apprentice banging about at the kitchen bench and then swear.

A quick investigation of the problem revealed that when she was trying to open a tin of catfood, the metal loop that you hook your finger through and pull had broken off. Well known for thinking ‘outside the square’, The Apprentice was using a teaspoon to try and prise the lid open. This might have worked if the loop had lifted the edge of the lid at all before it broke, but it hadn’t.

Lucky for The Apprentice I happened to have a new invention in the kitchen that would solve her problem within seconds. I pulled it out of the drawer and attached it to the top of the can. I then turned the handle so that it moved around the top of the can, miraculously lifting the top off as it went around.

I told The Apprentice that since this new invention opened the can, the ideal name would be a can opener.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bad Words

Boywonder came home from school yesterday and told me – quite seriously – that one of his friends said a bad word, so he told the teacher.

‘What did he say?’ I asked.

‘F*cken headen [sic] – and – he said STUPID!’ replied Boywonder wide-eyed as he said stupid.

Boywonder thought ‘stupid’ was the most offending word that came out of his mouth. He knew the ‘F’ word was wrong, but he’d never tried it at home, so he’d only heard lectures from us about how rude it is to call other people stupid. In fact, when he hears us call an inanimate object stupid because it doesn’t work properly, he goes mad at us for saying ‘stupid’.

No doubt he will start using the ‘F’ word more often to get a reaction, since we had to explain to him that any words beginning with f*ck are the worst words and that we don’t ever want to hear him say them.

I’m not looking forward to when he first hears c*nt and we have to explain that it is worse than the ‘F’ word. Kids have an uncanny knack for remembering the parts of your conversations that you don’t want remembered.

‘But you said f*ck was the worst word!’