Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Tale of the Little Black (& White) Dress

Once upon a time in the land of Queens there was a bodacious babe named Madmother. Now this bodacious babe was also a curvaceously booby babe, an aging Botticelli-style babe who was fully in touch with the reality of her bod.

This BB was turning the mixed-emotional milestone of the half ton... yes FIFTY! And as she had some dire knee-dom issues, had decided to hold an intimate gathering of those she adored to celebrate. After much sighing and sniffling she managed to cull her list of those nearest and dearest from 140 to 50 or so (earning the ire of many in the process), sent the invitations on steel chargers, and prepared to beautify her bodacious bod as much as her curvy, curtailed, current-state-getting-bloody-old figure would allow.

Now Madmother had a favourite shopping area. One that was realistic of price, splendid in choice, and realistic in the interpretation of real women. Or so she thought. Off she and Big Boy trotted the week before the BIG EVENT, all hyped up in anticipation and with great hopes.

They huffed and they puffed up to the first shop. Snooped and scooped, tugged and tried. The one dress sorta kinda what Madmother was looking for sorta kinda would not do up properly. Mind you, she did manage to snaffle a second version of her favourite maxi-dress in said shop, but her sadness and no obvious candidates for hot-damn dress of the year translated over to the lovely saleswoman. Said sales assistant piped up "What about our sister shop across the way there? They have more designer labels and the sort of thing you seem to seek!"

So with a giggle and a grin, Madmother and her trusty companion trotted over to the other retail outlet.

Now, I need to bring in some details here.

The dress she had tried and failed with was a sorta fitted designer dress in an Aussie size 16. By Joseph Ribkoff.

The dress she had bought the second one of was an Aussie size 14 - but a casual loose style. See where I'm going with this?

Madmother drooled at the gloriousness of the designer delicious designs. Grabbed one here, grabbed one there, grabbed many, many everywhere! Size 14, size 16, even a size 18!

And cried to see how NOTHING fitted. The size 16 would (again) not go near those bodacious boobs - a 10 cm gap at top of zip testified to that. The size 18 fitted over breasts, and swam over rest of body in a very good whale-like impersonation. The size 14 (and on the sale rack), did up, slid sensuously over hips, bum and tum, and then did a pastie like impression over front of chest, barely covering up nipples.

Madmother was devastated. She had dresses she COULD wear, but nothing that matched the image in her head of how seriously hot she needed to be to convince her nearest and dearest that broken knees and turning the half ton did not lesson her Madmotherishness, not her chutzpah!

She stamped her little foot (well, little compared to her bodacious bod) and turned her eye back to the sales rack near the door.

Where a little black and white dress by, you guessed it, Joseph Ribkoff hung tauntingly. Now, we know the size 16 was a hell NO over that bust in a size 16 at the beginning of this saga, and to make matters worse, this dress a sensuously swaying in the sea breeze was marked SIZE 10-12! Now, we know things can  be misleading in the sizing in today's world, but SAME DESIGNER? A minimum of TWO if not THREE SIZES SMALLER? You can guess the reaction of the snooty saleswoman (Oh sweetie, you'll rip the seams and be liable to pay for it) and the feeling-very-under-pressure-and-in-the-line-of-fire Big Boy (Don't worry, let's look elsewhere, we will find something...) to the request to try it on!

Now, this was the first dress in other shop Madmother tried on:

Lovely, isn't it?

This is the one she tried in the smaller size:

Ah, the great sizing dilemma... but who could have dreamt of such a difference?

Size does not matter? Pfft - size does matter when you are trying to buy clothes... And they wonder why I won't shop over the internet?

What about you? Do you have similar sizing scenarios?


Saturday, November 9, 2013

So, Where The Bloggie Hell ARe YA?

Madmother turns 50!
Okay, so I have ventured back into the land of blog and am having a little WTF moment. Bloggers who were proficient and high profile have sunk below the surface, some have gone private, some have vanished completely AND some, like mine, are sitting untouched for months or years.
So, what happened to everyone? Where did you all go? And are you coming back?
Oh, and do you like my dress? Lol - I will tell you the tale of the size 10 dress in the next few days. What a farce!

Friday, November 8, 2013

I think I may be heading on back in...

Hello! How are you? Remember me? I used to be that woman who blogged and blabbed and babbled frequently. And I think... maybe I'm coming back.

Just recently I have begun to miss having my safe place, my haven of words. When I lost my mother three years ago (hell - is it really THREE years?) I also lost a lot of my voice. Words that flowed easily seemed clogged behind the huge lump of unspoken grief. My blog became somewhere the memories of Wise Woman jumped out at me, confronting and brash, a place where pain awaited whenever I ventured in. And so I rarely did. I have posted blog entries THREE times prior to this one in 2013. THREE. And this from a woman who wrote almost daily for years.

A lot has happened. I turned 50 last week. My sons are young adults, my husband is slowing down, the wheels of the world continue to grind on, turning, churning constantly.

Facebook has been an outlet to some degree. Sometimes I write pieces more suited to here and yet post them there. It is not faceless, and I must admit the need to be politically correct and play nice has me grinding my teeth at times. And the unspoken words I bite back almost choke me. The double standards and the two-faced nature of some make me want to scream "Charlatan! Do you not think I remember the heinous words you spewed forth about him/her/them and now you are kissing his/her/their feet with your false traitorous lips?"

Yeah, I really need to come back. Before my black and white stark sense of honour gets me in real trouble.

So, how are you all?


Anybody out there?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

World Autism Awareness Day 2013

Today, April 2nd, in fact EVERY April 2nd is World Autism Awareness Day. It is a day specifically set aside to educate, inform, share autism awareness.

The thing about having a child diagnosed with autism is beyond the grief, shock and disbelief, you get the "he/she will never" list. For this special day I thought I'd share you some of ours:

  • "Shame it was not 20 years ago and you could place him in care and start afresh" Speech Therapist when he was 3. This was less of a "He will never" and more of a "He is so badly broken you may regret him..."

  • "You are an overbearing, obsessive mother who cannot admit her son's shortcomings and is unduly scarring him in the process. He cannot learn." District Head for Special Needs for our area in a placement meeting when he was 6.

  • "Why does my child have to put up with a special needs child in his class? It is a drain on resources we could use to push him higher." Parent to teacher, Grade 6. He was 12 and puberty had hit. Anxiety and meltdowns were occurring on a weekly basis. Weekly, not daily. AND we had funded an aide OURSELVES to help and to lessen any impact on the other children

  • "No, we didn't put him in the Eduquest team because of his autism. He would not have coped." Grade 7 teacher who should have known better by then as he was achieving amazing things. As the principal of the school this competition was held at said to me a year later "You do realise he probably could have won?" ... yes, yes we do. We knew that at the time but you pick the battles you will win, and not the ones where ignorance will never be changed.

And then we come to the now. All those dark times where you wonder "Is it worth it?" "Is this making a difference?" "Are we doing right or are we putting him and us through all this stress for nothing?"... let me tell you in our case, and yes we wondered all of that many times, and other's words echoed consistently through our minds, it is a resounding "YES!"

This is what I posted on a Facebook group page earlier this week:

This is the boy who was told he could never learn, would never socialise, had an intellectual impairment, and whose sensory meltdowns were legendary and incindiary. This is the boy whose family always believed in him, treated Asperger Syndrome as differing abilities not a disability, who always set the bar higher so he could soar...

This is my now 15 year old performing a monologue in front of an audience of 60, a monologue he chose, directed, acted and blocked. This is my Super Aspie Boy:

My son. My amazing, compassionate, talented, confident just turned 15 in January son who has Asperger Syndrome.

Is it all worth it? You tell me.

World Autism Awareness Day april 2, 2013. Differing abilities, not disability.

A very, very proud and totally in AWE of her boys (cause her youngest rocks too)

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Valentine's Day Disaster - or Why We Won't Be Eating Here No More!

“We don’t get out much anymore” is the anthem of parents everywhere. Once children enter your life there never seems to be enough hours in the day and eating out goes to the bottom of the priority list. As the children grow you would think dining in restaurants could become a little easier, but it is then THEIR commitments which prevent such transpiring as you become the world’s busiest transport system for them and their mates.

Which is why, on the rare occasion you do manage to dine out, a bad experience magnifies into gigantic proportions. We had a restaurant, a favourite place to dine. One that served a choice of meals the children would happily devour - a very important requirement. One that also offered us a variety of culinary delights that made braving the night out more than worthwhile for the adults. Living in a small community we heard rumbles of discontent with the service, but figured, ‘Hey – you cannot please all of the people all of the time!’

Over the past twelve months this restaurant became THE place for us… you know; the birthday place, the anniversary place, the celebration place. Then IT happened. On one of the family nights three of the four of us dined as usual, with abandonment and sensory joy, whilst the fourth sat and waited, and waited, and waited. The head of our family, unable to eat with us as his order had been forgotten. Forty minutes after the rest of his family had satisfied their hunger, and only after we chased the waitress to ask the chef, his order arrived. ‘Okay’, we thought, ‘everyone is entitled to one stuff up’. 

It remained OUR place. The next time we were dining with another family. Laughter echoed around the table, wine flowed freely, conversation continued without falter… and my husband was forgotten once more. A little embarrassing when it was your suggestion of venue and you had talked the place up to the others. Again we waited, his meal finally arriving but by then the chatter had dried up somewhat and awkward pauses had infiltrated the scene.

Yet still we returned; until the 14th of February this year. We do not traditionally celebrate Valentine’s Day. Like many, we feel it is an over-commercialised American money-spinner, but this year, with one of the kids’ after school commitments ending at 7pm, we figured why not? Booked. Arrived. Ordered. Being a school night, and as one had a mass of homework awaiting his return, we opted for the quick choice on the menu, or so we thought. Pizzas. Not that difficult or time-consuming, right? Wrong. Entrees came, though mine was only lukewarm, not good with prawns; kids’ meals came. After quite a bit we asked the waitress how long the pizzas would be. It became very obvious they had not even been started as we watched her race to the kitchen, grab our order and run it out to the pizza chef. She returns to say they won’t be long. “How long?” I ask. “Five minutes.” she replies, “The oven is hot, it will be quick.”

Five minutes pass, then ten. I tell my husband to take the boys home to let the fifteen year old start on his homework, and I will ask for them as takeaway. He leaves, I move from the table to the front counter. And wait. Another five minutes goes by, the owner’s wife asks me what am I waiting for? “My pizzas”, I tell her. The waitress comes to the front, and I ask “Where are they?” She grabs the order which is still THREE BEHIND on the pizza bar, and tells the chef it is urgent. He mutters something about the others in front of us. She tells him we have been forgotten and should be first. At this point I tell them not to bother and that finally we have had enough and will not be returning. The chef then turns and grabs two plated pizzas and tells her to box these as I am saying we are never coming back. The waitress grabs them and telling him he cannot do this. They are not even what we ordered.

During this farce not once did we get an apology from the owners. The waitress yes, it was obvious she was mortified, the pizza chef/owner nor his wife did not appear to give a damn. As I said in the beginning of this article, once you become parents you become time poor. A restaurant is a customer service driven business, and it is an industry where many fail. No matter how good your food may be, total disdain for customers and the arrogance in believing you can treat people anyway you want and they will still be your customer is not only unacceptable, it is sheer stupidity. You will eventually fail.

As for us and our Valentine’s Day dinner? We came home, made tasty, home-cooked pizzas which we devoured whilst like any good, modern day writer I vented on Facebook. Then I sat back and read and read of other’s bad experiences at this same place. But this time I understood exactly why those rumbles had begun, and why they were turning into a roar.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

ASD Awesomeness

I should have thought up a better title, I should have been writing of this earlier. Actually, no, I couldn't as today is the first of the performances and who knew where this would end?

My son, my oldest, my glorious 14 year old Aspie has one of the main roles in his youth theatre group's play.

My oldest son has seven performances in this very professional production. Today, tonight, tomorrow, tomorrow night, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.


Did I mention his role really is one of the most important in the play?

He plays The Beast.

To top this off, starting Monday he has EIGHT exams - his finals for Grade 8.

Pressure? Hell yes, for any child. For one on the autism spectrum? Overwhelming for most.

But not for this boy.


He aced the first performance, and as we walked away when I picked him up two little girls were talking to the director and excitedly whisper "Is that The Beast? We liked him best."

I cannot wait to see him in action tonight, but even without having witnessed him in action yet I could not be on a greater high.

And he is self-assured and calm about his exams (which strangely is how he has been all year - stresses over assignments, relaxed and  confident in his intelligence and knowledge for exams... go figure) without a sign of anxiety.

This was undreamt of EVER!

 ~Refer early years posts~

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oh Dear Lord.

Today was meant to be a day spent with my partner in life, my husband.

The first day after the school holidays, the day school went back.

Dropped both boys, went and had brekky together, found message on mobile on return to the car (yes, I should have taken it with me).

Boy 1 frantically calling, trying to find one of us (Big Boy had left his mobile at home charging) to tell THERE WAS NO SCHOOL UNTIL TOMORROW!

Whoops, parenting fail. But hell, you know, every other school on the planet, including Boy 2's, WENT BACK TODAY!

So off we trot to humbly pick up our child. Our son, who thought it hilarious we had stuffed it so badly. Our son, who once upon a time, would have been in massive meltdown mode for hours because of this.

Our son, who came home, got changed, and happily came down the coast with us.

Where, in one of the shops, a lovely lady who meant no harm spoke of her teacher husband and dealing with these kids. You know, these autistic ones with PROBLEMS and ISSUES and as much as she meant NO HARM, it was really quite harmful to hear, and listen to her condescending words.

Ignorance still runs rampant in this world... Next time I just may comment about how lucky it is for someone like her not to have to worry about their level of intellect or any real challenges in her sweet little shop job.

Yeah, ignorance is not pretty to deal with.