Sunday, 1 January 2017

Out with The Old

A very quick one.  Happy New Year!  Thank GOD 2016 is over.  Did anything good happen in 2016?  Not to us it didn't.  I mean, yes, good things happened, but nothing enormously good - certainly nothing good enough to outweigh the very very not-good things for which 2016 will always be remembered. 
It being New Year's Eve, I had my customary why-do-I-even-bother resolution-making session yesterday.  In 2017 I resolve to be:  more engaged;  more interesting;  more informed.  I will face – not fear – my endless admin. 
So to this end I have deleted FB from my phone.  The liberation!  (Also - whisper it - the boredom. All those dead minutes - when you’re waiting for your son in public toilets, or  driving around, or having dinner with your family, or out with your friends,  etc* – I could totally be engaging my brain in finding out what other people are doing…)   I have also paid all my speeding / road fines where I was clearly in the wrong, and downloaded the appropriate road user regulations where it was less clear, so I can FIGHT THE SYSTEM.  (We all know how well that goes in Singapore.  I wonder if they have wifi in prison here?  Not that that matters to me, of course, because of the UNPLUGGING…)
Holiday highlights included:
  • The Boy waking up at MIDNIGHT on Christmas Eve (technically Christmas Day, I guess) and opening all his Santa presents, then falling into our room wailing about how he didn’t like ANY of them;
  • The Baby waking up at 3am – about 20 minutes after we’d gotten the Boy to sleep – and screaming HE’S BEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!  SANTA HAAAAAAAAS BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!  And then staying up FOR THE REST OF THE DAY to play with her presents.
  • The Girl copying her sister almost exactly, except about 40 minutes later.
We got no sleep.  Not a peep.  It was like having the newborn triplets of a crack-addict mother.  I had (stupidly) envisaged Christmas Day being something calm and twinkly and pleasant;  not us weeping with exhaustion and just willing night time to come so we could go to  bed.  (In fact as it transpired we got a second wind and had a quintessential Irish Christmas Night – visiting friends and sitting in the kitchen eating ham and bread (or just bread, for some) while drinking pints and ignoring the rampaging children.  It was quite lovely actually, and made the day for us.)
There was also a very un-Singaporean road rage incident, where all the petty traffic fines I KEEP GETTING collided with all the petty traffic inconsiderations I KEEP SEEING, and they all turned to straw and I became a camel with a broken back, and  I went totally mental - yelling at some poor man who WAS IN THE YELLOW BOX.  (By way of background, I had also just lost the car in an enormous car park, and had literally been walking around in an underground furnace for 45 mins, futilely calling its name;  and then there followed 20 minutes of sitting in the underground traffic unable to get out of the damn place because CARS WERE BLOCKING THE YELLOW BOX AT THE EXIT;  oh, and I'd just suffered 90 minutes in the Mall From Hell with all three kids;  who knew malls were where every single Singaporean spends their Christmas vacations?)  As I said (loudly, and in a manner perhaps unhinged) to my friend the offending man – THE BOX IS THERE FOR A REASON AND THAT REASON IS NOT FOR YOU TO NUDGE YOUR CAR INTO IT TO STOP ME GETTING OUT OF THIS DAMN CARPARK AND AT LEAST LOOK AT ME WHEN I’M YELLING AT YOU.  (On the plus side, all of my kids were in the car, and so when my friend the offering man drew up alongside us and starting his own bout of yelling – AND finger pointing, which is really bad manners in Singapore – they decided that he was even more mental than I was, and forgave me my transgressions.)
Ooh, before I went mental, there was a sneaky weekend in Hong Kong – my first visit there – which was fabulous beyond words.  I found some notes I had scribbled down re my first impressions:  “smells like boiled chicken;  there is a peak!;  it’s v. cold” – which I think we’ll agree might not reflect accurately the enormous joy the city gave me.   
So, see? There was one thing good about 2016. I'm hoping there will be more of such good things in 2017.  If not actual visits to great cities, free from the shackles of adult- and parenthood, then at the very least, the occasional whiff of boiled chicken to transport me back there. 
And if 2016 has not blighted your spirit, or good things have happened irrespective of the bad stuff - good things which you can appreciate and are joyful of - I hope 2017 is even better.  And, it goes without saying, if 2016 SUCKED EGGS for you, then 2017 has got to be better.  Right? 
Either way I wish you all a very very happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year.

(*I AM JOKING!  Obviously the Boy can take himself to the bathroom.)

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

CHRISTmas (already, FFS)

Goodness me, this December lark is a bit overwhelming, isn’t it?  This is what I have been up to in the three weeks since we last spoke (sort of):

Running around (not literally.  I have given up the exercise ghost.  It is now one of the Ghosts of Life Past;  it sits there, forlorn in its lycra, beside the dosing Ghost of Sleep-Ins Past, and the tight and taut Ghost of Pre-Pregnancy Stomachs Past.  Somewhere in the room are also Patience, Knowledge, and Energy.  All Past.)

I digress. Driving around. Averaging 125km a day. Not a huge amount if you are a trucker, or a resident of deepest Perthshire (or similar), but I am neither;  imagine you live in central(ish) London / Manhattan / Dublin, and you don’t go beyond Zone 2 / Manhattan / M50, and yet you clock up 125KM a day.  CAN YOU FEEL MY STRESS?

Becoming older.  But age is just a number, right?  Who cares that my DOB screams ELDERLY, when I feel youthful on the inside?  (A cranky, sulky, lazy teenager, in case you’re wondering.)

Becoming demonstrably older:  Reading glasses.  THE SHAME. (Also, I keep losing the damn things.  And those neck-chain things are not an option, because that really says Old Lady.  Sorry Mum.)

Not buying Christmas presents.  I know I will, at some point, but for now I get minor panic attacks (see “Becoming Older”) and make self a cup of tea (ditto) whenever I think of it.  

Making lists.  Oh, the lists.  None of them make much sense.  Here’s one:

Note that one of the kids has thoughtfully added a reminder to me of my (I assume, tho possibly their, or Jesus’s) birthday.   Also, Play Doh is clearly an important feature in our family life.

As is “Sean an Si” – Irish for Jack the Fairy [I can’t remember what Elf is in Irish.  Anyone?]   Yes, he is back, and as if I haven’t enough to do, I have now brought this upon myself too. I actually don’t mind – too much – but apart from the first night, I have had to climb out of bed every single night to install him somewhere.  Occasionally I have had the energy to create a small scene – wrapped up in toilet paper, or hanging from a ceiling fan – but I am bereft of imagination this year,  so PLEASE, and ideas, throw em my way.    I did remember to bring him away this weekend (see “Email Nikoi”) and cunningly entangled him in one of the mosquito nets (tropical glamour, dahling) while the kids were off terrorising monitor lizards.  So he sat there, waiting to be discovered, at bedtime. And he sat some more.  And after 20 mins of them faffing around and not going to bed, he was still undiscovered.  So I lifted the Baby up, ostensibly to kiss her or some such undeserved action, and she let out a shriek, and all the others came running. And they all swore BLIND that he hasn’t been there just five minutes before, especially the Boy who insisted that he had just been looking at that exact spot, and he WAS NOT THERE.  Which is great, because obviously, Jack is MAGIC.  Except then the Baby started to freak out because I DON’T LIKE JACK FLYING ALL OVER THE PLACE AND COMING IN WHILE I’M HERE AND BEING CREEPY.  So that sort of backfired a bit.  Not enough, mind you, to warrant Jack’s banishment, alas.  (I did NOT remember him the day before we left for the weekend, and awoke to wails of JACK IS DEAD!! Because, you see, if he doesn’t move in the middle of the night, then someone has obviously touched him and removed all his magic. And so, still bleery with sleep, I fessed up that *I* had – UNWITTINGLY – touched him, and I’m a terrible mummy (all agreed with that), and I was ordered to write a letter to Santa right now, begging forgiveness, and begging for Just One More Chance.  Letter written, chance granted, phew.)

Anyway, let all this be a warning to anyone considering Jack (or whoever) the Elf / Fairy for Christmas Future.  Don’t Do It.

I’m sure there is plenty more for me to write about to make you feel better about your own lives – my car breaking down mid-2nd-school run on the busiest road in Singapore – ON MY BIRTHDAY – perhaps?  My “orthodontist” refusing to give me straight teeth?  My losing the necklace the Boy gave me for my birthday, both the first time I wore it, and the second (the losses were temporary and permanent, respectively)?  I am, as my Text Pat wife might (ha!  does) call me, a total hot mess.  I think “hot” refers to my steam of failure, not my attractiveness. (No, not even with my new reading glasses.)

Here:  some Christmas cheer.  The Christmas lights from the local shopping mall Back Home.  (There’s just no way they could have been okayed by everyone involved in the Christmas Lights Committee, and no one noticed the obvious – is there?)

PS:  So so sad to return from my little slice of weekend paradise to hear of the death of AA Gill.  I missed his writing when we moved here, and now feel strongly that another tie with The Homeland is gone.  I think we’ll all sigh hugely with relief when 2016 is over. (Not least if you are a male over-50 celebrity / entertainer.)  If anyone reading this knew him – and he seems to have been a popular, genial man, with many friends and acquaintances - my condolences.  What an awful loss.  Fucking cancer. Can we all please agree that in 2017 we’ll do one fund-raising thing for our local cancer charity?  Please? Just one coffee morning, or run (ha, as if… But if it’s a lemonade stand you’re after, I’m your woman) or kids’ crappy bake sale, or whatever.  Because as statistics currently sit, ONE IN TWO of everyone in the UK born after 1960 will get some form of cancer.  HALF OF THE POPULATION.  Chia seeds ain’t gonna save us, people.  Research, and cold hard cash will. So sell all the superfoods clogging up your cupboards, and donate the money to Cancer Research.  Please. 

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Thank you. (Also: A Cautionary Tale involving bottoms.)

I’ve been pretty much overwhelmed by all the responses to my last post.  Truly.  All those lovely comments, emails, FaceBook messages – literally hundreds. Thank you.  From all my family.  We’re very touched by every single one.  (I also thought about responding to each of the blog comments, but it would have simply been a series of “Thank you”s. So here, instead – to each of you – thank you.  I love this little community we have.)
I also feel a bit guilty (Irish, Catholic, parent – three strikes etc), for two reasons.  Firstly, I wasn’t trying to guilt you all into condolences. It was purely for future reference, for when you find yourself in the vicinity of death and are unsure of the protocol.  (There is no protocol, really, but simple contact is never a bad thing.)
Secondly – many people commended the post, and I feel bad that I didn’t make more of an effort.  I just wanted to post something – anything - which would bridge the vast emotional space between Before and Now, so that I could get back to my usual craft of Giving Out. It felt a bit slap-dash to me, but I’m simply not a good enough writer to write eloquently and properly from the heart.  So an apology to you, dear reader, for not trying hard enough.  But thank you all, again, for your kind words, nonetheless.    
And with that:  shall we resume normal business?  Or at least as normal as I can muster? Let’s.
Did I tell you about the Baby’s recent-ish penchant for sticking random shit in her various bodily orifices?  She’s been a fan of teeny-weeny things for ever:  seeds, beads, grains, coins, nuts etc. She hoards them and calls them Seedy or Beady (or Grainy or Coiny or Nutty, as appropriate), announces that they’re her pets, and cries Great Tears Of Sadness when, inevitably, they go missing. 
Sometimes, however, she cried Great Tears of Pain if they go missing about - or more accurately,  inside – her body.  Firstly, she swallowed a coin.  SHRIEKING and WAILING – because it was sort of a big one, but also she had broken the No Putting Things In Your Mouth rule, and so had to balance her distress with the inevitable Mummy Annoyance.   “Am I going to die?” she whispered (she has a bit of a thing for death at the moment), so I put aside the Annoyance and reassured her that no (but that her bottom might hurt in a few days).
And then, a few days later, as I was dallying over what to have for lunch – because the excitement of sitting down for the first time in several hours was distracting me – I got a call from  her nursery saying She-has-stuck-something-up-her-nose-and-has-gone-nuts-and-please-come-and-get-her.  It was a pebble, and if I was creative enough, I’d be able to come up with a Limerick (‘There once was a girl who loved clothes, and sticking small things up her nose…”).  As it was, I used all my creativity on finding a solution (“stick her face in a saucer of water and tell her to snort in through her nose” – and BY GOD it worked – one sneeze and out it flew.  Incidentally we still have the pebble.  Or Pebbley, as it’s called.)
THEN she swallowed another coin (she rattles when shook) and THEN I caught her in the process of finding a home for a piece of rolled up Play Doh – in her ear.
So.  This all brings us to last night.  She was in the bath, where I sometimes dump her if I want an hour of peace, because she loves her baths.  She had about 58 small plastic toys in with her, including this little fellow:

 (Let’s call him “Boy-ey”). 
Once the water had gone cold and she had started to shrivel, I picked her up, wrapped her in a towel, and plonked her on the bed while I organised pjs etc.  She suddenly appeared by my side – “Mummy I have something to tell you” - and then burst into big fat tears, sobbing and gulping and howling. I assumed she’d eaten a lizard or something, but no:  Worse.  “One of the toy thingies has gone UP MY BUM.”
There followed an inquisition of which a Spaniard would be proud.  (Are you sure? YES!  Which one?  THE BOY ONE! How on earth…? I JUST SAT ON IT!  Are you sure you sat on it, or did you maybe, by mistake, push it in with your finger?  I AM SURE!  I SAT ON IT!)
So between the sobs and the howls and the terror, what appears to have happened was this: She was playing in the bath with 27 of these little things and also a bar of soap, and things got very soapy, including both the boy and her bottom, and then she sat on it and it hurt her leg so she fished it out, but then it went back into the soapy, opaque water, and she must have sat on it properly this time because IT HAS DISAPPEARED AND NOW ITS IN MY BUM….
So.  I had a look. And as you can imagine, your average just-turned-4-year-old doesn’t have the most generous of bottom-openings. She lay there, screeching and crying and saying I CAN FEEL IT IN MY BUM, but truly, I couldn’t see a thing – but then the bottom is a mysterious thing, so I could neither confirm nor deny the colonic presence of a small plastic boy.  There followed some rather disgusting measures, which made me laugh then, and again now just thinking about them, because she went fucking MENTAL – which only served to make me more dubious;  how could a toy slip into her bum without her registering it properly?   At the same time, I couldn’t help thinking of a doctor friend of my sister’s who maintained that in A&E, 25% of his work was dealing with sheepish men arriving shrouded in a sheet / blanket / bed cloth and insisting that they’d fallen on whatever it was that was now lodged up their arse. 
So I left her and went back to the bathroom and had a snoop around – maybe she was mistaken? - and then she arrived beside me and insisted AGAIN that she could feel it IN HER BUM, and was she going to die*?  But – oh thank you Lord – then we found the toy, under the bar of soap – where he’d been all along, that sneaky fucker – and, in the Baby’s words:  OH PHEW MUMMY. 
Phew indeed.  Because frankly, I’m too old for this shit. 

(*The death thing again – stemming, I’ve no doubt, from events with my Dad.  Today some stupid woman in the playground told her that the coconut she was holding was poisonous, and she mulled over this for about 4 hours before becoming hysterical at home, because I HAVE TOUCHED POISON AND NOW I’M GOING TO DIE. Tho I guess I should just be grateful that she didn’t swallow the damn thing.) 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

On Sadness.

(Spoiler: If you’re looking for something funny and uplifting – you need to go elsewhere.)

It’s been a strange, sad few weeks. 

Yes, The Horror Of Trump, etc, but also - my father died.  It’s the event all expats – all children, I suppose, but particularly far-away children – dread: that phone call, the one saying  “You Need To Come Home”.  So I went home, at a stage when we didn’t know much and thought “There’s always hope” – and then found out that sometimes there’s just no hope at all. 

On Tuesday 11th October my lovely, kind, good-natured, fantastic Dad was told he had aggressive liver cancer, and 2 months to live.  He died at home, with his wife of 53 years  and his four children by his side, eleven days later.

It was horrible and special, in equal measure.  Horrible because – you know, your much loved father dying, so quickly and so unexpectedly;  special because for eleven days we withdrew into a bubble and nothing else in the world existed except for the six of us.  

So, for what it is worth, this is what I have taken away from it all:

Nursing a dying person is not unlike dealing with a newborn.  You have no fucking clue what you’re doing, you cry a lot, and there’s no time to shower, eat or sleep.  Also, explaining to non-involved parties what you have been doing with all your time is impossible.  

If you’re thinking about having more than one kid, but you’re not sure -  because Agh!  Multiple Children! When will I ever sleep again?  My body! – and you’re lucky / fertile / financially comfortable enough to be able to do it and maybe even survive it – then do it.  The only thing that has stopped me being a puddle on the floor through all of this has been my sisters.  Knowing that someone else knows exactly what you are going through – it has saved me.  (Although I concede that making a major decision based on a hypothetical eventuality when your children are in middle age could perhaps be viewed as something of a long game.)

There is something very strange about living somewhere where nobody – apart from your nuclear family, and one other person – knew or ever met your father, or knows that he’s died.  For this reason alone, I’d like to propose that we restart the wearing black tradition.  (That way maybe I wouldn’t have gotten that speeding ticket?  Or irritate people when I stop, mid-step, in the middle of a busy crowd?  Or cause multiple eye rolls when I break off, mid-sentence, and stare into space?  She’s wearing black, give her a break.)   

Vanity trumps grief - at least if you are middle of age, and droopy of flesh.  Even in the plummets of despair, when pain is tearing at my soul and my face is contorted with emotion, a niggling voice reminds me that these facial calisthenics are doing nothing for my not-very-youthful visage.

If in your lifetime a loved-one of a friend, or a colleague, or a client, or even an acquaintance, or any of the above pertaining to your partner, dies, this is what you do:  GET IN TOUCH.  You don’t have to call, or speak, or tie yourself up in knots – texts, or emails or IMs are your friend in your discomfort.  Don’t know what to say?  “So sorry to hear your awful news.  I’m thinking about you.”  That’s it.  I got heaps of these, and with every single one I thought:  How kind.

(As a corollary, this is what you don’t do: Nothing, apart from squirm in your own awkwardness.  Even those messages I got which said “I don’t know what to say…” were lovely.  Truly.  Honestly, how much of a cock-up can you make?  Unless, you’re thinking of “I’m glad he died”,  there’s nothing you can say which won’t make the receiver touched at your efforts, however clumsy.)

Three weeks away from your children is an absence which makes even the saddest heart grow fonder. (Although not more patient, it transpires.)

And connected to the above, if you find yourself in a swampy bubble of grief (these bubbles tend to pop up without warning) and unable to move or think or do much else other than stare into space – get yourself three small, wild children who were meant to have left for school ten minutes ago, and watch that bubble pop.  (And even once they get to school, you’re unlikely to be left alone to sniffle, as I ranted about over here.)

If possible, time your grief with a shocking public event, which will serve as a distraction to your sadness – or at least give it a new focus.  The ruination of America / World Order / General Decency / the Office of POTUS might seem an extreme step in the assuaging of grief,  but it worked.  Thank you, Mr Trump.

Mostly children are really shit at death - "Why are you crying?" on a loop, followed by blank stares, and I just *know* they're thinking that I'm finally losing it.  But sometimes, a slice of sweetness from nowhere, which makes me think - perhaps they are not totally empty vessels: "Would it make you feel better if I took the love Pops had for you and added it to mine and loved you twice as much instead?"  Yes.  Yes it would.  

Monday, 17 October 2016

Out of the mouths of babes (into the ears of gargoyles).

It’s been a while.  Suddenly it’s the Baby’s birthday tomorrow.  Four! Almost grown up.  (Certainly too grown up to still be called the Baby.)  I’m not with them at the moment – I’ll miss the traditional “surprise” breakfast, and the family day out, and her party – which breaks my heart a little bit.   As well as being away from them, I will also be away from you lot for a while  (although my Textpat wife will continue to post our inane telephonic witterings over here) - but don’t go away!  I will be back, soonish, with more parenting humiliations to brighten your day.

Speaking of which, here’s something I wrote a couple of weeks ago – just before God decided to laugh at my plans.

Aw, kids.  Aren’t they sweet?  Don’t they say the darnest things?  And you know, the more time you spend with them, the more little nuggets of wisdom you can glean from them.  Here, for example, is a (non-exhaustive) list of some the things my kids have said to me this week:

·        Mummy, stop singing. SERIOUSLY!  Your mouth is all weird and wrinkly.  It looks like an old dog’s bottom.

·        Mummy, please can you stop breeving on me wif your disgusting stinky breff?

·        Oh Mummy, that hat looks lovely on you!  You can’t see your face. You should wear it all the time. 

·        You’re going OUT?  But… You’re not allowed to go out!  You have to stay here and look at me while I sleep.  That’s your job. You don’t want to get fired from your job, do you?  [um….]

·        That lady reminds me of you.  [Pointing at a picture of Ozzy Ozbourne.]

·        Do you drink wine with your dinner to make it taste nice?  Because *this* [pointing at food I’ve just made her] might taste better if I was drinking wine.

·        I love you Mummy, but sometimes you’re a bit… [pauses, searches for accurate word...] Screechy.

·        Mummy, do I *have* to look like you when I grow up? [Said not so much with disgust as with fear.]

·        Daddy sexed you? [Said with 100% disgust.]

(Looking at this list I realise there’s a lot to be said for not spending too much time with one’s children.) 

Clearly, my kids view me as nothing short of a hideous gargoyle. Assuming I am not alone in this offspring insult-fest, what delights - intended or otherwise – have your children thrown at you this week?   (Alternatively, if you *are* a gargoyle, how do you minimise your disgusting-factor?)

Friday, 23 September 2016

How to talk so noone will ever listen (but successfully build up a giant thirst for gin)

Parenting is hard, isn’t it?  After particularly challenging days / weeks (months) I usually turn in desperation to this book, and read it AGAIN, and swear that this time I’m actually going to retain the information and, you know, use it. 

But obviously, I never do.  Because if I did, maybe my 6 & 7 year old would not have RUN AWAY FROM HOME last week.  Oh yes.  They’d been sent to their rooms for beating the crap out of each other, and such was their objection to this that they decided, on balance, that they’d rather face the miseries of the jungle at night than stay ONE MORE MINUTE in their family home. 

The rookie mistake they made was (a) to run away in the middle of the afternoon and (b) to come and tell me of their plans.  “We’re off!” they announced gaily;  “Running away!”   I was actually totally amused by the whole thing at this stage.  Because, really – how far were they going to get in their school uniforms, with their baskets and shopping bags, and wearing worn-down old flip flops?  So I suggested they apply some insect spray, because it’s very buggy here at the moment (plus there’s the small matter of us living in the jungle) and had they packed their toothbrushes?  (Yes, they had, but they were grateful for the insect spray suggestion.)  And so off they went. (For the record, they had also packed, respectively:  6 t-shirts, 4 stuffed animals, a book, and $3;  and 2 tutus, a pair of pyjamas, a pair of slippers, 1 stuffed  animal, and an angel figurine – ‘to watch over me’…)

Anyway, we bid our farewells, then I waited a couple of minutes before I too sprayed up and set off in their wake – because while I might be a failure at talking so my kids will listen, I’m pretty successful at spying on them. Well, they surprised me with their fortitude, by walking for at least a mile down the windy, pavement-less road, stopping every so often to pick up the various bits and bobs that kept dropping (the Girl in particular was laiden down like a donkey) – and each time they stopped, I leapt into the bushes so they wouldn’t see me. By this stage my curiosity – where are they going to go?  How far will they take it? – was being overtaken by dehydration and thorn scratches.  Anyway, they took it as far as the pedestrian crossing at the big scary main road which the jungle road meets;  the big scary main road which is also known as The Road Of Certain Death, comprising as it does 6 lanes of terror, along which Singaporeans blithely hurtle their Machines Of  Critical Injury. At that point – just as the Boy was putting his foot on the pedestrian-crossing-of-death-or-disablement (because truly – drivers here could CARE LESS about either pedestrians, or their crossings) – I leapt out from behind the (blessedly thorn-free) bus stop  and intercepted the fugitives.  The Girl’s face lit up – clearly she was a reluctant runaway – but the Boy?  Less so.  Furious might be a better way to describe him. 

So I bit my tongue and instead TALKED SO MY KIDS WOULD LISTEN – and lo!  They listened! Although it’s possible that the bit they listened to was: ‘If you come home now you can have an ice-cream’.* 

So I’m thinking of writing a parenting manual.  “How to bribe so your kids will capitulate.”  It’s going to make me millions.  (Or at least enough to buy a few padlocks.)

Look – here they are mid-escape – MILES AWAY:

And here they are post-rescue, ignoring me completely, while I talk and talk and talk... (and carry all their crap).  

*The Boy and I talked later and he divulged his runaway plans:
1. If anyone asked, he was going to say that they were 11 and 9.  Because apparently that's ok.
2. They were heading to the shops to buy mentos.  $3, remember?  A pack each for dinner, and a pack to share for breakfast.
3. Breakfast would be taken in the random garden where they had slept, using some newspaper as a blanket.
4. After their healthy, leisurely breakfast, they were just going to 'hang around', and 'maybe do some begging'. 
5. He thought he might - might! - come home after 3 days.
6. Oh, and he's in trouble in school so please can he stay at home tomorrow?

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Smut and stuff

It’s been a while since there’s been any smut or indecency here, so let’s do what we can to change this, shall we?
First up, the Girl, always a reliable source of smut-hilarity.  She got off the school bus last week and asked “What is sex?”  So I told her (or rather, reminded her), to which she replied:  “Oh.  I thought that was ‘fuck’”. 
And my jaw dropped a teeny bit, proving I am not as cool or unflappable as I’d like to think I am (actually, I know I am neither.  It’s important to own your weaknesses.) and I said “Oh.  Where did you hear those words?” (while thinking “Whose turn is it to DIE?”) and she said “a boy in school told me I was Sex Girl”, to which I could only say, again “Oh” (while thinking “Please do not let you be known as Sex Girl, now or EVER”), and then “…and you, Mummy, told me Fuck.”    Ah.  Indeed I did, in an effort – vain, it transpires – to embarrass the word out of the 6-yr-old Girl’s vocabulary. Another example of a great parenting strategy which bites me on the arse.
Speaking of arses, this weekend we found this place, which I think might be the only naturalist spot in Singapore –   
(apart from our house, of course, which isn’t so much a naturalist spot, as a spot where children appear to think clothes are optional. I quite love it actually;  nothing makes me happier than the sight of my children’s dimpled bottoms.) So anyway, we get to this place – which is on a farm in north Singapore – and the Boy reads this aloud, and immediately, in the blink of an eye, the kids have ripped their clothes off and are frolicking through the shrubbery, while I am HORRIFIED, because no matter what the sign says  - IT IS STILL SINGAPORE.  And also, look at the people depicted on the sign – they’re not exactly hanging loose.  And so I hissed and glared and eventually shouted PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON, and of course I was roundly ignored, until – joy of joys – an ant climbed onto the Baby’s torso and she went mental – thrashing and screaming and having total conniptions, so much so that, from my hiding-place-of-shame behind a banana tree I assumed she was being attacked by a naturalist monitor lizard.  Anyway, they all put their clothes on then, and the Boy suggested that the picture on the sign be amended to show the dangers of local nudity.
One final offering of smut:  this, over at Textpats.  I find it hilarious, but also somewhat quaint, that a grown woman didn’t know that there’s a word to describe shagging in car parks while being watched by strangers.  Pfffff.  Even your average 6 yr-old knows that.