Conversations With My Demented Spawn

Kids are never ending source of frustration, rage, strange insight and hilarity . These are just some of the best conversations that took place today.
Boy child is 6, and Girl child is 9

Me: “Boy-child, it’s time for your spelling homework.”
BC: “Ok, is the first word ‘Dank Memes’?”

Girl-Child to Boy-Child: “Did you know Americans use to call chips ‘French fries’, but then they got mad at France, and they changed them to ‘Freedom fries’.”
BC takes off his shirt and runs around the room, “I’m a freedom fry, I’m a freedom fry.”
GC to me: “Why did they get mad a France anyway?”
Me: “I can’t really remember, I think they wouldn’t agree to support them in a war or something.”
GC: “Ugh!” rolls eyes, “that is SUCH an American thing to do.”
BC: “Wait, what’s a freedom fry again?”

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GC with Stalin Cat

Girl-Child during a conversation about stereotypes and how we tend to judge people based on their appearance: “That makes no sense at all, when I meet someone I don’t know who they are just by looking at them.”
Me: “No you don’t, but most people do without meaning to. Your Aspergers frees you from a lot of that judgement because you see things in a different way from Neuro-typical people. That’s one of your strengths.”
GC: “Then I’m glad I have Aspergers.” (awwwwwww!!)

So This Is What’s Going On…

Some of you may have noticed that I’m sick a lot. Like A LOT. Well, lately it’s been worse. I’ve pretty much been sick for the last three months, with most of January (and most of the last week) spent in bed, and not in the fun way. There is a long history to my run of illnesses, which started when I contracted Glandular Fever when I was 15 years old, and became really problematic when I became pregnant at 23. I won’t go in to the hideous details, because quite frankly, they’re boring as hell.

So long story short, I seem to have suffered a resurgence of my old “probably” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Unspecified Autoimmune Disease. I’ve been in a “flare,” meaning severely unwell, for the last 3 months or so. I have the odd good day, like today, but other days are pretty awful. My mind is foggy and muddled. I get confused and frustrated easily, sometimes I can’t get my words to come out the way I want them to.  My memory is shockingly unreliable. I usually have flu symptoms and my muscles and joints hurt like hell. I fall asleep without intending to and I become extremely physically weak. The majority of these days is spent in bed.

In the first 3 weeks of January, I was on several different antibiotics fighting off multiple infections because my immune system was not doing it’s job.

I guess I’m writing this post as a kind of explanation for my absence and lack of productivity, but also as a check in because I don’t know when I’ll have the energy to write a post next; quite frankly, this is really taking it out of me. Bye for now x

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My daughter wails, “Muuuuum, I don’t like silverbeet,” as she stares in horror at her dinner plate.

“Nobody does, sweetheart,” I tell her, as I avoid her icy glare, “but we eat it anyway.”

She pouts at me, “Is this going to last forever?”

“Yep.”

“This” is our new frugal menu. I’ve decided that we spend far too much money on convenience foods, fruit and vegetable that go to waste and junk. So now, we use everything in the veggie bin, make our own cookies, cakes and muesli bars, and the only breakfast cereal I’ll buy is weetbix and rolled oats. Beans, lentils and pearl barley have become staples like they should be. Cheap cuts and offal are on the shopping list. Milk is bought in powdered form and made at home for a fraction of the cost. Fast food has been eradicated and replaced with freezer meals that I made ahead specially for the nights when I just can’t get my shit together.

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It was actually pretty damn tasty – leftovers for my lunch tomorrow.

For the most part, the kids have embraced it. The truth is, they whined about the food I gave them no matter how fried and cheesy it was. I could have offered them a slab of chocolate for dinner and they would have found something to bitch about. But now, the whining has lessened, because there are no other options available and they know it.

They were reluctant about trying the sheep hearts that I found for a dollar each, but quickly decided that it was quite tasty (and fun to pretend that they were zombies eating human heart). The next evening, they both chose to add chopped up heart to their homemade pizzas. Girl-child rediscovered her love for liver, while boy-child finally decided that beans were indeed the musical fruit that I had promised them to be.

That’s how you win children over, it’s not through persistence like they tell you in parenting guides, it’s with zombies and farts.

 

 

Goodbye Krankenstein

One Wednesday we said goodbye to our oldest kitty Krankenstein (Krank for short because that name to too freaking long to call out over the neighbourhood). Krank was only 10 years old, but had a number of health problems and she was at the point where her zest for life was gone so we had to make the decision.

She came from an abandoned litter of kittens and when we got her, she was still to young to be away from her mother and siblings, and so she spent the first few weeks missing out on those vital kitten lessons. I’m certain this was the reason for her strangeness and psychotic behaviour.

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For reasons known only to her, she had to sniff and lick the feet of everyone who came to visit. Thankfully this lessened as she aged. For her first few years, she would attempt to suckle on our blankets. Ex husband wasn’t safe at night because he often slept with his hands behind his head, and she became fixated on tearing out his pit-hairs with her teeth.

She was obsessed with our older cat Zakk, and harassed him constantly, which I think he loved because he would often nap with his tail swishing about while she stalked and wrestled it. Right from the start she felt compelled to clean him, to the point where he stopped grooming himself altogether. As she got older she would pin him down to clean his ears whether he liked it or not, sometimes while he was mid-meal.

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When Zakk died 3 years ago, she became a little lost, with no one to tend to. She once attempted to clean our younger cat, Lita. That didn’t go so well, as Lita had been conditioned through years of unpredictable behaviour to be terrified of Krank. During the ‘Torture Years’ Krank would attack Lita at random and without warning, other times Krank would approach Lita (who would be cowering, too afraid to move) and sit down as close as possible to her and start grooming herself. I’m convinced it was an intentional mind-fuck. But her attempt at badassery was a farce. She was a nervous wreck, she’d startle at the slightest whisper and once when she emptied her bladder all over my floor and I thought she was dying – she actually just had bad anxiety.

It took 7 years for her to decide to acknowledge our children after our eldest was born. She was bitter about their existence until she was so desperate for someone to scratch her head that she lay down on my frightened daughters legs and refused to move.

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Both of them were extremely uncomfortable about the situation, but both were too stubborn to do anything about it.

In short, she was a bossy, unstable, neurotic bitch with a demand and arrogant meow. And I loved her. Thank you to all of my customers who helped me to pay her various vet bills during my various KRANK sales.

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Krank’s final day.

2016… I Guess It Was OK.

Ahhh, Christmas, it’s so good that it’s finally fucked off for another year. This summer I’ve been blessed with solitude. Three weeks with an empty house. Tasty-but-intense Flatmate, has moved on and taken Jealous McCuntbeak with him, and the kids have been staying with the Ex. And I’ve been… I don’t really know what I’ve been. Not lonely, just… in a state of limbo. It’s like being suddenly pulled from a busy, noisy train station and sucked into a noiseless vacuum. I miss Jealous McCuntbeak. Not her incessant squawking, but I miss her affectionate play-fighting, and the way she went ape-shit if you gave her a ball or a box to play with.

My immune system has taken a dive again, so I’ve been bombarded with colds and viruses, and a nasty kidney infection. Instead of enjoying my me-time I’ve been run down and my sleep schedule is all over the place. I miss the kids, but I know that their return is going to hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m looking forward to it anyway.

Last year was, frankly, horrific for so many people. For me it was a deep personal struggle, but for others it was more than that. Families torn apart, loved ones lost, and lets not forget Bowie.

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But then, tragedy strikes every year, and there is no such thing as a “bad” year, it’s just a matter of perspective. While 2016 was difficult, there are many things that I’m grateful for.

♥ From hardship comes personal development. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’ve grown.

♥Help from my community. Huge thanks to Rocky Steer, Gail Golding and Nicky Hughes (and co.) from the Kai Kitchen/Donation Station for saving my arse when I was falling apart. These incredible women and their friends provided me and my family with ready cooked meals, and home baking when I lost the ability to function. The food was a huge help, but what really got me through was the unreserved kindness and caring. I’ve never felt so loved, you kick-started my recovery. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

♥My daughter was awarded an exemption from school so that I can home-school her. It’s not easy, but it’s the best option for her and to see the change it’s made in her makes it all worth it.

♥My parents helped me financially more than they should have, as well as helping out around the property.

♥Love from unexpected places. Someone I would never have expected showed up on my doorstep and gave me a firm “you’re not okay and you need to get your shit together”.  She believed in me enough to give me the strength do make the changes I needed to make to get well. Sometimes we need someone with brass balls to call us on our bullshit.

♥Everyone who bought a tutorial or a piece of jewellery. Thank you all. It’s you who make ends meet.

Super-mums: Liars or Drug Fiends?

Some days, I love being a mum. I love hanging out with my kids, teaching them things and answering their endless questions. Being a parent is a unique experience, no one does it the same way. Every child is different and watching them grow and evolve in to little members of society is like watching beautiful flowers blossom and blah blah blah………. you know how mummy blogs are meant to go. “I’m a super-mum, I wore my babies until they were big enough to permanently kink my spine; I breastfed my children until they were 13 years old; only organic vegetables plucked from the Earth under a new moon goes into my homemade baby food – which, buy the way, you can purchase from my website at $23 per serve.”

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What you can’t see is that the two girls are in tears, Dad’s about to step in dog shit, and Mum’s wishing she was home alone with a cocktail.

I was a super-mum last week. Last week was an A-grade parenting extravaganza. Today, they’re driving me crazy. They’re no different than usual, but I’m PMSing hard, and everything they do seems to be designed to torture me. Boy-child speaks painfully slow, but what he’s telling me is clearly important to him, so I have to patiently sit and wait and resist the urge to hurry him up. Trying to get him to follow instructions is an exercise in futility. If I tell him to go and get dressed, he’ll disappear for 20 minutes to do various other crucial tasks that are not getting dressed, such as pulling faces in the mirror or reloading his Nerf guns. It takes him 4 trips to his bedroom and back just to retrieve a pair of pants. On the way out the door, he needs to go to the toilet even though he just went, then he’ll ask if he can give the rats a treat, then the cats. Then he needs to tell me something really import that he saw on YouTube about Minecraft.

Girl-child is like a puppy with periodic rabies. She’s overflowing with love and adoration, and would probably be down to play fetch until she collapsed if I were to suggest it. She talks to the animals in an insanely high pitched squeak that seems to be at a frequency that can pass effortlessly through walls and my skull. It’s become such an ingrained habit, that she often doesn’t register that she’s doing it, and seconds after being asked to stop, she’s doing it again. Sometimes, she’s a dragon. She speaks in Dragonesse and starts roaring, hissing, trumpeting and walking on all fours. This is usually a sign that she is  about to lose her ability to regulate her actions, not to be naughty, but just out of sheer unbridled excitement.

Every now and then, without warning , she goes apoplectic. She throws things, tells me she hates me, my house, and everything in it. She stomps around and inevitably,  hurts herself, setting off Screaming Banshee mode. Then she goes to her room, and after a couple of minutes of tearing the linen off her bed and doing her best angry diva impression ,  she starts calling for me, apologizes then tells me why everything is my fault. These tantrums can take a few minutes, or last several hours.

I envy the mothers who can just sit back and smile serenely as the chaos washes over them. They must be on some hella good drugs. Why aren’t those bitches sharing?

As Desperate As An Ice-Cube In Hell

I thought about turning on the TV tonight, but I can’t get my head around watching it alone. Since my separation, I’ve hardly really watched TV at all. Which is weird, because it’s not like me and Ex really watched anything together toward the end anyway, mostly because we couldn’t be in the same room as each other. I vaguely recall spending most evenings either beading with my headphones on or laying in the bath for hours with a bottle or two of wine, while he either slept on the couch in front of the TV or skulked off into his shed to pretend he was busy.

Before it got like that, back when we did watch shows together, it was always what he wanted to watch. Typical male king-of-the-remote-control stuff. He would fall asleep and I would gently pry the remote out from between him and the cushion. I would slowly turn the volume down before changing the channel, hoping that the sudden shift from one show to another wouldn’t startle him awake. There’s an art to it, but I never mastered the skill. I invariably failed and would receive a glare and a, “I was watching that.” He would reclaim his precious prize, switch the channel back and nod off again.

Now days, if I’m faced with the challenge of deciding what to watch, I’m like a crippled little lamb. So mostly, I don’t watch anything except for The Walking Dead. If I’m with someone, I can watch, but I can’t make the choice. Even if there’s something that I want to watch, I’ll concede to someone else’s preference. It’s part lack of confidence in speaking up, and part being so desperate for company that I don’t want to risk them deciding not to join me on the couch.

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You see, I’m stunningly needy. I’ve only just come to realise this. I’m fairly certain that everyone who has ever dealt with me has been long aware it, while I’ve been existing as a shapeless mass of oblivious desperation. I’m horribly lonely, even when I’m not alone. I require constant reassurance that I’m a good person, a good mother, that I exist, that I’m not losing my mind, not a burden, not a hellish mash-up between The Blob and Freddy Kruger.

When someone doesn’t want to spend time with me, I “know” that it’s because of who I am as a person, or how I look. If someone rejects me, I feel like hideous monster who should be shunned from society. Conversely, if someone chooses to spent time with me, I feel like maybe I matter. If I’m lucky enough to spend the night with someone or be shown affection of any sort, I start to think maybe I’m not so bad. So I crave touch; a hug, a hand resting on mine, any kind of gesture. It’s not romance or love that I want, it’s just the feeling of being worth…. something. Hell, some days, I would be happy to be punched me in the face just for the sake of human contact, some kind of acknowledgement that I’m here and I matter. And that’s not a healthy way to be.

I’m learning a lot about myself as I work through this process, and most of it isn’t great and it hurts like Hell. But all the same, I’m glad that I’m figuring myself out, so that I can work on fixing it. Three steps forward and two steps back is still progress. Eventually, I’ll have found all the little pieces of me, I’ll cut back the rot and I’ll be content to be me. I’m not going to get any younger or prettier, so best I start learning to accept myself now before I’m a lonely old hag preying on handsome young Jehovah’s Witnesses who knock on my door, insisting that they have one more cup of tea.