Not The Cucumber!

Car journeys lasting longer than an hour, when the boys were small, used to be my definition of hell.

As we pulled away from home last week, I looked at them in the back, surrounded by enough electronic devices to stock a small JB-HiFi, and remembered the bum and mind-numbing journeys of my childhood. I tried to tell them, but they just looked at me with pity while inserting their earphones. Sigh.

Judge away, but the peace these electronic devices brings cannot be underestimated. Once we are sure it’s safe (i.e. no eavesdroppers) TS and I have some of our best chats.

But best of all is gazing out of the window, watching the breathtaking Australian scenery go by, the rhythmic sound of tyres over tarmac lulling me to sleep.

Obviously, this tranquillity never lasts.

Pulling over to change drivers, I marvelled again at the scenery, chanting my usual “Can you believe we live here?” mantra.

(Which frankly, TS is bored with hearing.)

I readied the camera.

TS announced he needed a pee.

Expecting him to dodge behind a tree I took aim with the lens.

Bad move.

Here was a man in need of some communing with nature.

He peed next to me.

Face pressed against the car window, CM exclaimed “Urgh…look at the mess he’s making!” (He is his father’s son after all).

Racing back to the car, narrowly avoiding the piss pool spreading out on the dusty ground, I lamented again my existence as the lone female in the House of Trouser.

(TS was to the left of me as this was taken)

Another 2 hours passed. The boys eyes were now fully rectangular and they were whingeing intermittently…”how much further?”, “can I have a snack?” etc.

I returned to window-gazing hoping the peaceful landscape would help me drown out the moaning.

We began to pass signs about fruit flies…What the what the?

And then we saw the road block.

For confiscating fruit and vegetables.

I tried to banter with the “fruit officer” as I handed over our apples and bananas.

Unsmiling, she barked: “Do I need to search the rest of the vehicle?”

I was borderline hysterical with giggles as I said no.

AND THEN  I spotted another contraband item.

TS could not have sounded more English as he exclaimed:

“NOT THE CUCUMBER FOR THE GIN!!!!”

The fruit officer’s face was a picture.

Poms on the road, eh?

Do you love or loathe road trips?

Sleep Deprivation – Where The Hell is Mr. Sandman?

Oh god I miss a good night’s sleep. Before the boys arrived I could always catch up at the weekend, but now? No chance (although I am quite good at a nana nap on the couch).

We all know how much sleep you get with babies (if your kids slept through I hate you), but as they got older I thought it would get better.

Sadly not. There are night terrors and nightmares to deal with, plus the fact that we seem to have bred early risers.

Sometimes, it’s just me. I wake at 1 or 2 with a nagging bladder to play “Shall I or shan’t I get up for a wee” game. Or to go over my to do list again. SHUT UP BRAIN!

Or at 4am for no reason (except maybe the birds. Australia your birds are so darn noisy!). TS invariably gets up as I am dropping off to sleep again. Gah.

In an effort to shut out external distractions (kids, birds, TS breathing SO BLOODY LOUD) I wear ear plugs and an eye mask.

In my head I look like this

Ha!

Valerian was suggested. Herbal. Non-addictive. Great.

Oh deary me!

The Walking Dead wanted me as an extra. I was so buggered I didn’t dare drive.

Now I self-medicate with chamomile tea (mixed results), gin (awesome, but not sure about sedative qualities) and wine (see gin).

Forget baby sleep clinics, I’d pay top dollar for a grown-up one for shattered parents.

What are your tips for a good night’s sleep?

Play Nice!

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. Oh Yes, Tammy, I hear you!

I’m not talking about unequal pay, tits in family newspapers, or arseholes making it unsafe for women to walk the streets at night.

I’m talking about the unrelenting bile that some members of my sex think it’s ok to project over their peers.

Yesterday one of my friends went to watch her daughter complete in a sporting event. She overheard one of the other mum’s declaring,  “I don’t like that mum in the mini skirt”.

My friend was the mum in the mini-skirt and had never spoken to the woman making the comment. Ever.

What the hell*? (*you know what I really said, yes?)

A few years ago, I was a little on the heavy side. Ok I was fat. I thought I was happy.

The Saint wasn’t complaining, but one day as I was pegging out my jeans next to the The Saint’s which were half the size, I decided I didn’t like it any more. I wanted to be healthier.

Please note, I did not wake up thinking “I’m going to get skinny, make the rest of you feel bad and steal your partners”.

However, the reaction I got from some women as I began to lose weight made me think I was wearing a t-shirt bearing that very statement.

Women I considered friends were openly looking me up and down in the playground, asking “How much weight have you lost NOW?”,  barely concealing their disdain.

My favourite comment came from another woman in my social group “You don’t want to lose too much weight at your age you know, because it will go off your face and that’s not good as you get older”.

Gob.smacked.

If you ask any woman around you, on any given day of the week, she will have similar stories. Of judgement, scorn, bitchiness and unreasonable dislike received from the so-called “sisterhood”.

Is this behaviour hard-wired into us? Are we biologically programmed to compete against all other females in the pack in our quest to find a dude with A grade sperm? If so, you can have him.

It’s the 21st century. We can have babies by ourselves if we want. The competition for the eligible caveman is over.

So Ladies, I asking telling you to stop. Pour a bloody gin and get over yourselves.

Let’s not make it any harder to be a woman than it already is.