Monday, November 30, 2009

Attack of the Madmother

Dog 1 and Dog 2 have just encountered the local wild gang - a pack of feral dogs which roam the mountain. First I knew of it was Big Boy screaming for me as loud barks, yelps, growls and howls suddenly split the silence. Stupid animals thinking they could take on the might of this family. Pfft - team Madmother chewed 'em up, spat 'em out all whilst uttering (or growling as the case may be): "'eh, you theenk you are tough, you not tough, you are pussies!"

Don't think they expected a kick-butt Mama to leap into the fray.

They don't call me

for nothin'

The Christmas Spirit

How incredibly fast has this year flown by? I cannot believe that tomorrow is December 1st and I'll be pulling out the reindeer, untangling the lights (bah - who needs a Rubic's Cube when you have thousands of little light bulbs and wires to unknot), risking life and limb climbing on the roof to fasten Santa on, and going a little Christmas mad.

Think Griswalds in the bush, because the crazy thing is NOBODY can see all our decorations unless they are actually coming to our place! Our driveway is 500 metres long and you cannot see our house from the street. In fact we have had tradies who have lived here for thirty years comment: "Had no bleedin idea this place was 'ere!"

But it's all about the Christmas spirit, isn't it? At least that's what I tell Big Boy as he shakes his head in disbelief at another Yard Art purchase... We even have a dinosaur pulling a sleigh for near the letterbox. There are elves, Santa falling off the roof, reindeer, and more reindeer, flashing lights and Merry Christmas signs. Next on my list is one of those massive flashing stars for our roof, I am hoping it will be visible from the coast road as you can see our house on the hill from there.

Come on people - no more jaw dropping shocked reactions - why do you think they call me

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Talking to Myself

HELLO? Anybody out there? The numbers tell me you are watching but the lack of comments makes me feel very alone in here.

Hello? Hello? Somebody? Anybody?


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Boy 1 in Animation

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs

Rated G

Flint Lockwood, voiced by BILL HADER, is a young inventor who lives on Swallow Falls, a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean. His experiments don’t always work very well, and his father, JAMES CAAN, wishes he’d pack it in and join him in his fishing tackle and bait business. When Flint invents a device to turn water into food, he becomes a hero in the eyes of the opportunistic Mayor, BRUCE CAMPBELL, and catches the eye of tyro TV weather reporter Sam, ANNA FARIS.
Writer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have expanded a 30-page children’s book by Judi and Ron Barrett into a 3D animated feature which boasts intricate design and goofy humour. The thrust of the narrative is that being an obsessive, indoors kid isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as you wind up creating something useful, but the message – as always in this sort of film – takes a back seat to the inventive design and animation and, in this case, the clever 3-dimensional effects.

What can I say? Boy 1 in all his potential glory, animated. To quote the boy himself:

"Mum, it's me, look, he's just like me, HE'S ME!"

David Stratton does not mention the inadequate social skills, lack of eye contact or the brilliant, constantly revolving mind.Even Boy 2 stage-whispered early on in the film: "Flint is an Aspie, isn't he Mum."
Flint gets the girl in the end, after much bumbling misinterpretation of emotional cues. But what the whole Madmother crew loved was Flint helping Sam realise being true to yourself really is all that counts. And of course Flint coming to the same realisation about himself. I LOVE these sorts of films.

Aspies Rule!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Art of Ageing Disgracefully - Warning *Secret Women's Business Discussed*

WARNING: TMI following, not for the faint-hearted.

I have decided a lot of people are inherently deceitful. Nobody ever tells you about the effects of growing older until you are mid-crisis and then they chime in with  a gleeful "Oh, didn't you know about that?" It is not the first time I have experienced this.

There are times in life where there seems to be a cone of silence fixed in place. It is as if others want you to join them in their misery and so do not warn anyone of implications of certain actions. A little cult group waiting patiently for you to stumble in, then they pounce.

Here are  just a few examples:
  1. Post childbirth changes. Yes, we are all told about the pelvic floor bits, and the stretch marks and the physical change in appearance like the bigger waist and saggier boobs, but did anyone mention to you about the horrific differences at that time of the month? You know, the unmentionable monthlies? When my cycle resumed I was convinced I was suffering from some terrible complication, NO-ONE had seen fit to explain that my normally average or light period would transform into this deluge overflowing even the super, super pads. And the clots - hell, I thought I was giving birth to a residual twin or something! I foolishly assumed, after a friend had calmed me and quietly informed me it was normal, my body would gradually adjust and return to its pre-birth patterns. My youngest turned ten in August. I am still waiting.
  2. Children's sleep patterns. I was aware our lives would change, knew sleep deprivation was on the cards for at least a few years, but was floored when talking to a dear friend (or she was until this point) about the fact that my oldest had sleep issues at four years of age. She tittered gleefully before stating "Oh, didn't I mention it? Once you have kids, you can forget about regular sleep patterns for the next eighteen years of their lives. If it's not one thing, it's another and once they are teenagers you'll be clock watching until the wee hours waiting for them to come home!" Great. Just great. I am not a pleasant person when sleep deprived (refer previous posts). Is this the hidden real reason for the high divorce rates in our country? Low tolerance due to sleep torture? No, you did not discuss this with me at any point, and you know it.
  3. Mood swings. Another post birth treat. Not the baby blues, or PND, but the hormonal swings which become a part of your personality after babies. One week of the month I could quite easily murder whilst in a boiling rage. Quickly, effectively, painfully kill someone. A seething cauldron of anger bubbles just below my surface calm, and I am tipped into fury within an instant by the most inane things. My family pussy-foot around me that one week. And sorry, Lisa Curry-Kenny-Curry or whatever you are this week, those damn tablets do nothing for me. Add these lovely emotional upheavals in with the sleep loss and... I'll say no more.

Now I am discovering the joys of ageing. There are all these lovely little things going on with my body that my gentile, ladylike Mother takes great pleasure in commenting on. To her great excitement I am moving into her territory of expertise. Hair seems to be the biggest issue at this early point. No, not grey hair, we all know about grey hair, some of *us* began to go grey in our thirties, hell some I know started as early as the twenties! No, I am talking about the mutant hairs growing thickly in places no hair has sprouted before. Rogue eyebrow hair springing forth overnight, so some mornings I resemble a female Groucho Marx. Foot hair - I have never in my life had foot hair! Ah well, now I do. My normal hair line progressing slowly down my face, a widows peak - I can do an Eddie Munster impersonation without makeup! Not to mention the fine, downy fluff beginning to cover my whole face! I could support the hair removal industry single-handed... And apparently this is all normal!

Skin is another problem. I have always had what the English term a peaches and cream complexion. Very few acne issues as a teenager: clear, fair, glowing skin. We are told about the loss of elasticity, the lines, the age spots but who in hell ever knew about the pimples? And the hyper-sensitive skin allergies? I have never reacted to skin products, had very few problems at all. Now in my forties I have to tell the salesgirls "oh yes, I have an extremely sensitive skin which will react to a lot of products..." What the? Why didn't somebody mention this way back? Pimples, blackheads, motley allergy-prone complexion. I feel like a teenager worrying about who is looking at my zits!

Last but not least, are the food/digestive reactions. Or should I just say the farting issues. I am in no way a delicate little petal and quite honestly admit to being the guilty party in teaching my sons the old pull my finger trick, but the amount of gas I am producing nowadays? And the distinct odour? Well, I certainly have learned to move quickly away from the area of the offence to avoid any black looks or finger pointing. Especially as I may misinterpret said action as joining in the fun and go to pull it. According to my doctor it is still only a part of the ageing process. A part which nobody mentions. Ever.

Somebody needs to write a blunt, factual and maybe somewhat humorous account of this process. Then it wouldn't be quite as big a shock to so many of us. Especially me.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Challenge 27: Secrets of a Literary Whore

Deception permeates my pores. I reek of duplicity. I am a book slut, a literary whore. I meander wantonly in the realms of trash literature. Highbrow? Never! Umberto Eco leaves me cold and wasn’t Truman Capote the King of Queens? Maeve Binchy or Janet Evanovich are more my style. Why am I telling you this? Well, so you will know of course, and it will be our little secret. Cross your heart, hope to die, be my friend for foes I fry. Oh, do not take me literally my newfound reader, I swear on the tome trollop oath it would be naught but a tart written roasting.

Yet, still you hesitate to request the object of my latent lustful desires?  Wouldn't you like to know what latest lingering letter addiction my wanton, waning favours have fallen upon? Yes? So, what do you offer the book slut in return? Will you feed my craving for comments if I tear down my walls of self containment and bestow to you a sliver of my tawdry tastes? Throw you a measly morsel from my overladen table of tarty treatises dripping with cheap, dirty thrills? Would you be satisfied with this? And honour the promise to feed my need for annotation gratification? Yes? Yes?

Sadly, I am doomed to disappoint for now I shall reveal to you my shameful secret. This slutty story harlot has taken a brazen deviation. Led astray by a word seductress once before, I have succumbed again, tantalisingly tempted by the same wench's writing wiles. 
So, I hear you ask reverently, who is this brave, brilliant author who has dragged the infamous literary whore from her tacky, tasteless trail? I give to you:

ISBN: 9780552773157
ISBN-10: 0552773158

Publisher: Transworld Publishers

Date Published: 21/04/2008

Format: Paperback Book

Pages: 592

Language: English
Book Description:
'Who died?' I said. 'Or is it a secret?' 'My mother, Vianne Rocher.' Seeking refuge and anonymity in the cobbled streets of Montmartre, Yanne and her daughters, Rosette and Annie, live peacefully, if not happily, above their little chocolate shop. Nothing unusual marks them out no red sachets hang by the door. The wind has stopped - at least for a while. Then into their lives blows Zozie de l'Alba, the lady with the lollipop shoes, and everything begins to change...But this new friendship is not what it seems. Ruthless, devious and seductive, Zozie de l'Alba has plans of her own - plans that will shake their world to pieces. And with everything she loves at stake, Yanne must face a difficult choice to flee, as she has done so many times before, or to confront her most dangerous enemy...Herself.

The book slut had been enamoured of 'Chocolat' many moons earlier, so 'The Lollipop Shoes' sequel was always going to pose another threat to her guarded existence. Word pictures again destined to draw this barefaced booklover deeply into another place, a world filled with shadows and mirrors, magic and mystery. Where one can hide from others for a little but not from yourself.

'Chocolat', was the story of Vianne Rocher and her impish daughter Anouk, blowing in on the breeze to pit religious zeal and the Church against the velvety indulgence of Chocolate. The first phrase leapt from the page to entrap:
We came in on the wind of the carnival. 
You are then held tightly clasped by her sensual creations throughout. A literary feast. Oh, how the book slut stuffed herself on that gourmet of a book.

Years pass with feverishly few drooling distractions and then came another breathtaking bound banquet. 'The Lollipop Shoes' leaps forward five years. Vianne has another daughter, Rosette, Anouk is at school and they are living in a rented chocolaterie in the Montmartre district of Paris. Vianne has learnt from painful experience to conform, blend in. The wind has stopped blowing for now.

Enter Zozie de l'Alba, a scavenger and stealer of identities and the wearer of the lollipop shoes, blowing into town on the Day of the Dead. She appears beautiful, passionate and bohemian -  all that Vianne once was, the mother Anouk mourns. Underneath the facade lies a cold and malevolent being, powerful, insatiable, greedily grabbing the life and identity Vianne has discarded. It is the age old battle of good and evil, but also the story of choices: be true to who you are, or live the life others expect.

The book slut has now bowed her head in supplication. The tarnished truth revealed. I await the judgement and wrath of my peers for this dismal disappointing debacle. I am worthy of your disdain and sit head bowed to be disciplined. At your leisure. of course.

Humbly yours.


Literary Whore

Living on the Mountain

I do try and keep things reasonably anonymous here. Having survived the experience of someone becoming a little too keen on being me, I do not wish to tempt fate and open the door to any more slightly obsessive, needy friends. But on such a glorious mountain day it is hard not to sing to the masses about our wonderful life here.

I was born in the country. Spent my first eighteen years there, then moved to the big smoke. It was not until I had my own children that I began to appreciate all I had been blessed with during my childhood. Freedom to run, play, explore and grow.

My boys now have the same freedom with our three acres of heaven, away from bustling roads and noisy neighbours. They run around the lawns with Dog 1 and Dog 2, explore hidden nooks of our 3/4 acre of rainforest, climb the huge avocado in which they and Big Boy are building a tree house - complete with flying fox I might add. They go adventuring to the secret stream, digging in the mud for all sorts of weird and wonderful creatures. Giggles and squeals echo back to the house, which both boys would stoicly deny, of course. Boys do not giggle, they laugh in a manly masculine manner. 

When they tire, they sit, heads together in the shade of an eons old Morton Bay fig. Uninhibited laughter floats over our valley, as do the quiet whispers of awe when they find native animals or birds hidden away.

We are very lucky to have found our own slice of heaven.

Cleaning for the Cleaner

Yes, I am one of those women. I have a cleaner, with my life it is a necessary evil. I could run through all those numerous justifications I have stored at the ready, but I'm not going to. I save them for the many in real life who look me up and down and sneer: "YOU have a cleaner? Well, some people have it easy."
The funny thing is that I often wonder if it is more work getting ready for her arrival than it would be just to clean myself. Logically, I know that is not true, but in the midst of frantic picking up and putting away on a Friday morning the thought does get muttered underbreath more than once. I live in a manic household. Besides Boy 1 and Boy 2, Big Boy and I also have to contend with Cat 1 and Cat 2 (both long hairs) and a maniac cockatiel. Add in the numerous visitors for playdates and this house always seems to be in chaos.

And it is a big bloody house. So, here I am, Friday morning yet again and I am freaking out trying to get laundry away, toys and games picked up, cat litter changed, paperwork sorted (though everytime I do that I seem to lose bits), and generally create a false impression of a completely organised and efficient Madmother household.

It is worse at the moment because she is new. I try to ease our workers in gently, not have them walk into disarray and turbulance in the first few weeks. Lull them into thinking this place ain't so bad, and then slowly, slowly introduce them to the reality. Well, a limited reality because, let's face it, I sure as hell wouldn't let them see the real state of this crazy home! One day I am going to have a housekeeper who will organise my life whilst I sip cocktails and write on my laptop by the pool. One day I am also going to win the lottery. One day I will seek help for my delusions.

Cheers. Off to frantically clean for the cleaner.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


If you have read my previous post and want to know more about our lives and the way it feels please go to my other blog where I have posted my
"Life with Autism" piece. Many of you would have read this on Essential Baby when I posted it in 2007. But maybe some have not.

Please read, comment if you wish.

Madmother: Little Woven Words

Oh Man, Wrong Day to Read This - Warning Strong Language.

Wow, the posts sure are flooding out today. In this case it is probably not such a good idea as when I am exhausted my impulse control is gone. But I need to get this out or it will fester inside.

I have a new follower, and I always go have a look and a read. I am a great believer in mutual blogging and simultaneous comments. Liked her blog. Until this.
Why We Suck

Now, I have no issue with her review, in fact I agree with most of it. However, as the mother of a child on the autism spectrum I take great offence at someone writing about something THEY HAVE NO LIFE EXPERIENCES WITH.

Mrs P.'s summation on her blog of the chapter I am referring to is as follows:

In a chapter entitled Autism Shmautism, where he talks about his suspicions about the rise of autism diagnosis in the US (parents looking for a way to excuse their own poor parenting and their child's general dumb-assed-ness - he does acknowledge that there are genuine cases, no disputing that) he uses the stories of how he became a published poet and how he learned to act (he wouldn't take no for an answer and never gave up) and finishes the chapter with some choice words of wisdom gleaned from his parents and his own experiences. One of my favourite's was -

No one owes you anything and being born into a free society means you get to say whatever the hell you want but it doesn't mean anyone has to listen.

And one of the things his dad taught him

The harder you work, the luckier you get.

I am sorry, but what a crock! What in the hell does working harder have anything to do with an affliction you have to live with. Shit - should I tell Boy 1, who amazes me with his strength, purity of heart and inherent belief in the goodness of all, "hey boy, you know all those things you find so hard? You know how other kids look on you as a freak, ridicule you behind your back and even sometimes to your face, you know how truly terrifying you find the world to be most days? Well, shit, if you just work harder then it will all be okay! Why can't you control that stimming that makes everyone look at you? Work harder! And your phobia about insects that makes you cry in fear? Work harder! Hell, ignore your psych and other specialist because Denis FARKIN Leary knows what he is talking about, even if he is a B list actor and a failed author!"
Do you know why today he is home? Oh, he is tired alright, but also one of the very few boys who would spend time with him in the breaks has moved away. And he is lonely, so very lonely. And sad. So now I am sitting here in tears to think that some will read this absolute bullshit and dare to think ANY parent would want this for their child. EVERY parent I know with a kid on the spectrum fights tooth and nail for help for their child. LAZY? Hell, I am exhausted from nearly nine years of FIGHTING for EVERYTHING.
I am at my wit's end as I watch my beautiful oldest struggle with the everyday, my heart breaks when he sits fighting back tears because he knows I will cry, and asks me: "Why is my life so hard? Why does my brain make me do dumb things? Am I a retard like the other kids say?"
I struggle to help my youngest son as he wrestles the dilemma of loving his brother and the pressure of helping him. The internal fight he has with himself as he sees his brother alone and sad in the playground when all his friends want him to go play with them. Without his brother. How hard he is finding life trying to fit in to a society that ridicules disability all while coming to the realisation of how very different his brother is.
And I am sitting here crying because some idiot failed american actor has decided in his wisdom, that he needs to dribble more shit into an already unendurable situation. And I am tired. Tomorrow I will pick myself up, dust myself off, put back on my optomist glasses and keep on putting one foot in front of the other. But not today, today I need to allow myself to release the pain. Because if I don't it will drown me. And I am tired. Too tired to swim.
I just didn't realise they gave doctorates out for bullshit.

Bits N Bobs

We have already established in my last post that my mind is weaving around like a punch-drunk boxer today, so please excuse any monumental stuff ups, typo's, or stupid statements.

I am shamelessly using this post to pop in all the little bits I keep thinking "oh, I should have included..." about post post!
  • Point one - NaBloPoMo. How on earth do I put the badge on my template? With the link? I need very basic baby steps please.
  • Two - my signature. I keep forgetting to add the code when I post and have to come back and edit said post. There must be someway to have this added automatically to each post?
  • Three - comments. Views are nearly hitting 300. And that is only in the last few days since I added the counter. Now when I go read a blog I usually comment, umless it has totally left me cold. So is my blog so totally yawnworthy that 99% of people couldn't be arsed even telling me so? Yeah, I'm being a delicate little petal, but I'm bloody tired and I need to feel the love people!
  • Four - have I mentioned I am really tired? Bone weary, thought processes in the toilet? I have? Sorry.
Oops nearly forgot it AGAIN:

I Just Knew It,

It is going to be one of THOSE days. Today began at 4am. Boy 2 had stumbled down to me late last night complaining of being ill. He had an incredibly emotionally turmoiled day at school, so I popped him into our bed to cuddle, console and hopefully sleep. He awoke at 4am, and commenced tossing and turning until I could stand it no more. I NEED MY SLEEP.
He is 10 years of age, and prefers his mother not sleep deprived, so before I could utter the "back to your own bed" statement, he ups and mutters it for me. "I better go to my bed, Mum, I know you need your sleep."  Of course, I then lay awake trying to doze but not managing it.

Poor little mite. He is sometimes deeply troubled with social issues. I must admit, I do find it strange that two of Boy 1's friends, who are so patient, supportive and understanding of my oldest Aspie boy and his quirks, can be so vindictive and downright nasty to Boy 2. Now, I know Boy 2 is out there, he is an incredibly quick, smart boy who can be plain hard work, but he is also one of the most compassionate, kind children I have ever seen. When you grow up with a brother on the autism spectrum these traits are sort of pounded into you by life. Thus, when these two rip into him (and I have seen it myself), I am torn. Boy 1 has a very limited social circle and these two are important in his life, but how can I have children in my home who try to intentionally hurt my youngest's feelings? It was one of these children who upset him yesterday. So sad.

Sorry, have drifted off track again, thinking out loud I guess.

Pan back to this morning. Both boys tired, stressed, worn down. Complaining of headaches and other pains. Which now resulted in both boys home for the day. Madmother tired, trying to work from home as I was meant to be at work. On computer. Check e-mails. One of my friends has sent one of those stupid chain letters which make threats of dire consequences if you do not forward it on! FARK! I hate these things and find it insulting that someone thinks I would be dumb enough to buy into it! And I am amazed that someone I know well, and know to have a brain, would be stupid enough to be sucked in! Not my day. And it is only 10am. Arrrrgh!

Sleep deprivation is an evil thing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yes, It Is Missing Deliberately

It is not a typo. Put it down to my warped sense of humour, and the little bit of countrified lass left deep inside me. Could have been worse. I could have called it Meaninless Meanderin and totally dropped my Gs. My Grandmother would not be amused.

The Fragile Hold we have on Life

Recently I have been forcibly reminded again of how very fragile life is. A member of a parenting website I have frequented for the last 3 years awoke to find her husband deceased beside her. How on earth can I put into words what a truly devastating, tragic loss this must be? It is not the first. In fact only a week before a young Mum lost her life to an embolism. In the last 12 months two other mums lost their partners under equally as tragic circumstances. One to senseless violence, the other to the farce we call our health system. All gone in the blink of an eye. It could so easily be any of us.

The latest heartbreaking loss was to sleep apnoea, something most treat lightly unaware it can have tragic consequences. One of my close friends in real life suffered an almost identical loss. She awoke to find her otherwise fit 30 something husband lying passed away beside her. Their youngest child was 15 months old, their two daughters were 3 and 4. Sleep apnoea. Snoring. A silent killer, creator of widows and fatherless children.

Today I look at my husband through different eyes. How would I go on without him? He is my rock, my soulmate, the one person I have ever yearned to grow old with. He loves me, flaws and all. And I love him. He is the most incredible father to our 2 boys, and so wonderful with our oldest special child. But like many, I am guilty of taking him for granted. This is not the first time life has booted me up the arse as a wake up call, and yet we seem to drift slowly back into old habits and learn nothing.

Somewhere in Western Australia there is a woman mourning. She will never have the chance to say what was unsaid, to hold her husband close, to laugh and love and live their life. NEVER.

I do not know what my point is here. Maybe it is just hold your loved ones close, tell them all you have been meaning to, stop doing the cleaning/cooking/washing and go sit in the sun and listen to your children's laughter. And when your husband is home, or when you get home, look into his eyes and speak from your heart. Because we are never guaranteed a tomorrow.