Sunday, May 30, 2010

Salt Sista!

I have a friend. A sorta new friend, one I have mentioned here before. She is the latest bad influence (yeah right) in my life (okay: sanity saviour). The one I knew online and then went on a wild night out terrifying the locals. The one who is one of my imaginary friends. Okay, just so we are clear:

Yeah, the hot one on the right.

She has been having a rough time of late. Like many of us in the trenches of parenthood when things get tough, she is battling. And so this is for her. A little background for all you others still hanging in there on the boring, bland blog of Madmotherness...
On our first night out we discovered (amongst the many, many similarities in taste) a love of SALT. Yep, you read it right. That terrible distorter of taste, sodium chloride. The health destroyer, the bad, bad mineral, the much maligned:

Of course, being the wit she is, my friend then coined the phrase: Salt Sista. Now, me being me, EVERY time I hear this song I think of her. With just a small change of terminology it works... So here, for your enjoyment, and hopefully to cheer up a good friend on a bad day, I give you:
~Train~"Hey Soul Sister"
Listen to it in the background and in true Madmother style substitute my re-worked lyrics.

Hey Salt Sista

Hey, hey hey

The wine’s last dregs left upon old upturned kegs

Headache is quite blinding, so seedy I am finding, knock me out

Life’s hard it seems, appears it is one terrible dream we scream

Our drinking style collided, and from that point decided we’d bond no doubt

Hey salt sista, more wine will make you pissda, we’ll get drunk, on sauvin blanc, all we need is lotsa plonk!
Hey salt sista, bring Sangria I’ll kiss ya, then we’ll drink to friend

Hey, hey hey

Empathy, I'm glad you’ll drink in synchronicity with me
Dropped the online bitchin, ain’t bullshit we are pitchin, life can suck.
Yes we drink, saves what little sanity when reality stinks
We will get through, battle-scarred, world weary, and not always seeing clearly but intact

Hey salt sista, more wine will make you pissda, we’ll get drunk, on sauvin blanc, all we need is lotsa plonk!
Hey salt sista, bring Sangria I’ll kiss ya, then we’ll drink to friend

The way you skate when drunk, facebook photos show your spunk and style
Photogenic in a funk, yes we are both giggling punk
One day, the boring bland all will have to say: the derby girls are out to play
We are right here to stay our way all day

Hey salt sista, more wine will make you pissda, we’ll get drunk, on sauvin blanc, all we need is lotsa plonk!

Hey salt sista, bring Sangria I’ll kiss ya, then we’ll drink to friend

Hey salt sista, bring Sangria I’ll kiss ya, then we’ll drink to dawn... my friend

Hey, hey hey
My Friend.
Hey, hey hey
My Friend…

My friend, not one of my best, I am a little rusty, but I hope it brings a smile to your face. And next time, make sure the bloody song that reminds me of you is a little less *ahem* tricky to rewrite, okay? Just so we're clear.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Am here. Pulling myself slowly upwards towards the light. Clawing my way out of the darkness. It was wonderful to have time with family on Monday, but so sad it was to say farewell to someone so beloved. On our return we attended another funeral, one of my best friend's fathers passed on Saturday. A sad week, all in all.

And as for DERBY training last night? Pfft. You can read of my piss-weak effort on the hellion blog. Just follow the link.

I still have not been into the school, am hoping to make myself go in next week. Just pray I have the strength and can avoid any small talk. Really do not want to see any of the toxic teamsters. Wish they had a mark to show if they have been tainted. I also want to thank you all for being so supportive over the last few weeks, it does mean a lot and I am sorry if I did not acknowledge that, I was finding it hard to keep breathing let alone interact.

I also have realised I have some beautiful irl friends too, two in particular who I know read this. Thank you. In some small part of my scorched heart you gave me hope.

And now, I am hoping this is the last I need to talk about any of this for quite a while. Cannot promise, but I can only try to get this blog back to what it was about.

Lost 1 follower this week, probably bored them to death with my whining, self-focused dribble. And on that note, a question? Are there any Muse Wars running at the moment? I know Melissa had a flash, but it seemed all the regular rascals were awol. Are we up for it again? Ladies? Kakka, it was your turn to post a pic, wasn't it? Would welcome the distraction at the moment. Might just kick start me back into blogdom.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Am Here, Sort Of.

The past fortnight has taken a huge toll. There are parts of myself I worry I have lost forever. Some days I am angry, others I am, well, forlorn. I have taken some steps forward, I finally signed on for derby last night and oh, it was a joy to be far from here, away from the insidious whispers, feeling free. The skating flowed, the derby skills were rusty, but surpringly still there from eons ago. WHEN I am better I will blog and post photos in my Hellion blog, I promise.

I am dealing with the loss of my uncle, and am going home. I am so sad it is to say goodbye to someone who played a major role in shaping me, but also glad to be seeing family, some of whom I have not seen for so very long. Too long. I think the death and grief have pulled the rug out a little more, and halted the shaky steps forward I was making. I still cannot bear to be at the school. On the days I must pickup the boys, I shake, sweat and feel ill. I sit in the car, sunglasses cover my puffy eyes, visor pulled down, pretending to be engrossed in a novel or faking phone conversation on the hands free if someone approaches.

I wish it would stop. Sometimes I feel so normal I think: "Okay, now I'll jump back in, go see how the boys are doing, talk to the teachers." BUT every time I drive past or near the school the tremors resurface, and those feelings of being out of control, out of my depth leap to the forefront. Maybe I'll be better when I come back, maybe going home will give me back my emotional solidity, stop the emotional quicksand from sucking me down.

I hope so. This is quickly degenerating into one of those whiny, poor me blogs. And that has never been my style... until now.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reality 101

Our phone rang at 6.15am. It was my cousin, the one I am very close to, the one I speak with weekly especially as her parents have declined in health. My wonderful, loving uncle passed away this morning. Talk about the universe giving a proverbial slap in the face, whilst I have allowed myself to be beaten down by this campaign of hate, he has been fighting cancer. We knew it was coming, but it is still heartbreaking when it actually happens. I wrote of him here. After the initial dire prognosis he had rallied, and remained in his own home until very recently. We saw both him and my Aunt in January, at home, happy.

Of course, once he was in the nursing home and they processed his diagnosis, the morphine was pumped in. Now, after not getting much sense from my heartbroken cousin, I sit and wonder what took his life. The cancer that had seemed to slow incredibly, or the morphine they administer so forcefully.

RIP Uncle Darleigh, you were well loved and will be truly missed. Say hello to the old bugger for me, I'm sure he'll be at the gate waiting.

Now I must organise my final journey to see him. I do not know how my Aunt will go on without him, they lived for each other.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fighting My Inner Self

 At what point do you let go of all morals and integrity, the essence of who you were, and scream ENOUGH! At what stage do you spill all the truths no matter who it hurts?

Some moments I am raging inside with the injustice of it all, others I just want to curl up and die. I know I have a few solid, good people on my side, but the fact that others still believe the drivel, well it floors me and I must admit quite a few people I thought I knew well have dropped in my esteem.

Nine months of constant manipulation and bullshit. Nine months of shadows and whispers. Nine months of dripping poison and vitrol. Too long, too hard, too much. A lot of the time I was okay, fine in fact. Even though aware of the crap it did not get to me. But like all toxic bullies they have a honed sense of when to strike, when you are weak due to outside pressures and forces, when it will be most effective.

Someone suggested in a comment that I spill all here, and at times I am truly tempted to do so. But somewhere deep inside me I know if I do I become like them. And they are both so ugly inside and out I would hate to be like them.

So I hover undecided, fight or flee. The ammunition I have is lethal, if I choose fight then a lot of innocent people will be hurt as the horrific things they accused others of are revealed. Because, like I once did, these people perceive these two as friends and would be destroyed if they knew the truth.

And then there is also the biggest bombshell of all. The one that would annihilate people's perceptions forever. The one secret that only few know about the one master puppeteer.


Watch This!

Another ASD mum found this. It is perfect as is my son. It is just the other morons in the world I cannot tolerate. Still trying to breathe.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Where have I gone?

I was here not long ago...

I am awake

and feeling as if this blog is the only outside contact I can stand. Already the shaking has begun. I am terrified of school pickup, but I must do it for the sake of my kids. Ten hours away, and yet I feel sick at the thought of it, even though I am not setting foot on school grounds and my boys have agreed to come to the car.

We lay in bed last night, and laughed at something on the TV. Flashes of normalacy. He turned to me and said, "I like you" and I knew exactly what he meant with those three little words.
"I like you like this."
"I like you when you seem okay."
"I like having the real you back, if only for a moment."

Fleeting moments where it all seems fine, only to have some stupid thing set me off into full panic mode. Small sections of family life where I actually think, "hey, I feel okay, maybe it is getting better..." and then the fear and panic rise again.

Is this the beginning of my permanent descent? And in the early hours I wonder which relationship will they drip their poison into next, who will be the latest to look at me and shake their heads? How long until people realise how transparent the masks are if only you look hard enough?

To think a week ago I thought all was ceased, that it was icily civil and the lies had finally stopped. How can people be so naive to not see their guilt? If they are the ones harping on and on and on, and I am not, who is persecuting who?

And just as she accused her last hated obsession of faking her illness for attention, she will accuse me of the same. I guess mental health is easier to lie about than a brain tumour though. So more people will believe her on this one...

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Great Fraud

Big boy had friends over last night. We had cancelled it early in the week, before this nightmare from which I want to wake hit, but then two of the boys had complained of their disappointment, and he relented. In truth, he really needed this night. Watching your wife unravel is not an easy thing.

And so there were four. One was his builder mate from a bit away, and so they decided he was to crash here for the night. The other two I was to ferry home if required. It all sounded okay. I was still balancing precariously on the edge but had managed not to let the two little men staying over on the previous night get any inkling of the upheaval contained within. I just didn't interact with them as much as usual and let Big Boy check on them all. All looks good at a distance.

I had a bad moment as we headed to drop off Boy 2's friend. His mother had spoken to me the night before and could hear the panic and fear I was trying to hold in. She told me she could hear me shaking over the phone, dear Lord, was I that bad? She is the only one who has taken a stand after Big Boy let her know what the week had played out as. I did not want anyone to know, my paranoia is such that I am convinced people will point and say: "See, just like they said, she is delusional, she is the one who has started all this..." and no matter how much I proclaim my innocence I will still be seen as the antagoniser and they as the victims.

As we rounded the corner to head down her road my palms were sweating and I could not breath. I asked BB to drop me off at the corner shop, but changed my mind when I saw how very crowded it was. Crowds would undo me. And so, with my fingernails digging into the soft tissue of my hands we pulled into their driveway. I should have trusted her. After a quick hug the conversation remained light, friendly, non-threatening emotionally. We left with a smile, me feeling a huge amount of relief at not falling apart, and BB happy to have heard me laugh.

And so we headed into the evening, me thinking, "Hey, this I can do!" BB has a quick rest as I go to clean up for our guests. I am such a fool, the tiny thread begins to unravel when sorting laundry. I panic. I put a shirt in the wrong pile, and my boys walk in to see me shaking, crying, muttering "wrong pile, wrong pile" over and over. Boy 2 goes to get Dad, and oh God, my big son, my glorious boy who himself is facing so many demons, my Boy 1 puts his arms around me and comforts me, patting my back as I have done for him so many times. He soothes me,"It's alright Mum, we will help you, I will take away the stress, I love you, you are the best Mum, let us help..." Oh Christ, he steps up when unexpected and shows me what a truly precious soul is contained within all that turmoil. He consoles me until the shaking stops, and we both sort the rest of the laundry with him touching me, stroking my hair, reassuring me with little strokes of love.
A friend rang, concerned over reading this blog. I could not speak to her, I knew it would take away any chance of me pulling off this act for the night. I know you are reading my friend, and I am sorry, but the hold is too tenuous and my brief conversation on Friday night with another who cares like you, showed me that. It hurts and is too raw when the dam gates open.

Nobody knew last night, not one crack in the facade appeared as I briefly flitted in and out. I was the waitress, keeping out of the poker play, dropping food in, leaving quickly. I figured if my taxi service was needed I would be so exhausted by the early hours of the morning my quietness would be missed by my tipsy passengers. I prayed it would be so. At 1am big Boy comes upstairs to let me know I was not required, someone was sensible enough to drink lightly and thus drive himself and his friend home safely.

I slept fitfully from that point, but awoke this morning in sheer panic. I knew I could not face our other friend, no matter that he was not a local nor involved in any way shape or form with the dramas in my life. My act last night had cost me dearly, and I stood in the shower sobbing, shaking, struggling not to throw up.

Is this to be my punishment? Am I, the most social creature, to lose my ability to be around any other person? I am sure our friend accepted Big Boy's explanation of a migraine. I hope he did, for I would hate to hurt him. I just could not face him and make conversation, the thought makes me feel physically sick even now. God, I hate them so much for what they have done.

And as I know they read this from the horrible comments made to others, I hope you are happy. But as I have nothing to lose do not expect me to be civilised, that veneer has been cruelly stripped by your actions over the last nine months of hell. Not to mention the six months before that as the stalker ramped up her possessive efforts. I no longer care if anyone believes me, I have nothing to lose. You are such a pair of fools, I would not have betrayed your confidences even though you thought otherwise. But now, now I could not give a damn who knows. And I no longer have the emotional reserves to care if others are hurt.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Darkness.

I have been in the shadows before, but never like this. I have had those horrible black ideas fleetingly tempting me, but have not ever had to fight the craving for it all to stop so bad. I am not fighting for life, I am battling to defeat death. I am broken.

I don't get it. Why would someone hate so much that they would keep pushing, lying, pushing until you break? We were once friends, if I had been asked a year ago if I ever dreamt this would be possible I would have laughed and denied even the smallest possibility.

Right up until this week I have told mutual friends that I would willingly sit and talk this out, I have no idea why this all started, if you read back you will see that. Now I cannot. Not because I do not want to ask "Why?", but because I am barely holding the mask up. I cannot face the world, it is hard enough to face my family. I shake, oh God, I shake all the time. The tears have finally slowed enough for me to hide them some of the time.

I really don't understand. These last few months we have been fighting the hardest battles in our son's life, and we know this is the way it will be for years. Yes, years. At a time when my strength had ebbed to it's lowest point YOU choose to attack? Why? Why in hell would you do that to someone? Is it fear? Do I know too much about you? Are you scared people will know of the ugliness underneath? I have talked to some, that I do not deny, but it has been in bewilderment and I have not told any of your darkest confidences. Even this week, as I have hidden away from the world, I called no-one to show my desolation, did not let anyone in. Did NOT want anyone put in the middle. The only person told was not by me, it was by my very scared other, feeling so helpless as he watched me dissolve. Even then he did not tell all, only of the latest clash in front of my child. But I cannot fight shadows any further, and I no longer have the strength to face you. I am broken. You have won. Rejoice, feel proud you have taken me apart, laugh as you see the faces of my children who have watched what you reaped.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I am here. Just. Hanging by a thread.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Things are bad...

I think the capacity we have as humans for endurance of the untenable is incredible. I think this capacity is highly diminished by lack of sleep. As the wheels fall off and the amount of sleep permitted by a combination of our oldest sleep walking, changing beds and waking the household at ungodly hours, is reduced well beyond what is possible to function on... I am losing my ability to sleep, and in turn, my rationality.

I can see why this is used as a tool of torture.

That is all. Epic household fail.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Memoir Monday - Like Sands Through the Hour Glass...

so are the days of our lives? Yeehaw: It's Memoir Monday time again!

Oops, not that one... this one:

As the Trav says:
"Hey y'all. This little thing is called Memoir Monday, and I'd be thrilled if you gave it a shot. Just jot down a story about yourself, grab my code down there, and I'll link you up to be read by all my wonderful blog buddies. The only rule? It has to be true. I am personally doing what I can to help cure your case of the Mondays. Thanks for playing along!"

Screaming masses of stalkerish fans join this blog hop sorta thing of the fisherman. If you want to be in the kewl group then leap on over and join in. Just make sure the tale you tell is one to captivate and, of course, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

And so on with my Monday Madmother Mouthing Off.

Friends often tell me: "You should write a book." Not because they adore my turn of phrase or written prose, nor due to any underlying adulation of my ability to spin a tale. No. Merely because my life has ALWAYS seemed to lurch from crisis to crisis. Just like a soap opera.

So, for today's Monday Memoir, I am going to tell you a story from my overly dramaticised youth. In standard subtle soap script style of course.

Scene 1:  Crowded Ballroom.

Our heroine, Bad Girl (prior to Madmotherdom), has just had a confrontation in the ladies room with Old Wife, who was formerly married to The Crush. Bad Girl and The Crush had enjoyed a brief relationship during a break in his marriage. The Crush had since survived a failed reconciliation attempt and now was with Boring as Batshit Woman. Bad Girl, unused to defeat, was still nursing a badly bruised ego and a lingering lust for The Crush. These unrequited emotions did not stop her from starting a new sensual adventure with the aptly named Toy Boy. Toy Boy has crashed the Ball to seek out his partner in the carnal.

TB:  "Hey. Thought you might need me, so me and Offsider decided to drop in and crash this joint."
BG: "You told me this was not your scene, you told me you weren't coming to some boring formal crapshot place."
TB: "It isn't my scene, but you are. I figured with The Crush, Boring as Batshit Woman, and Old Wife being here it might get a bit difficult."

BG: " *Sniff*, she said "Here it comes, would you look at what it's wearing!" Then her bunch of witches sniggered at me. *Sniff!*"
TB: "Whaaaaaat? Look at her? Come on - really look at her! She is a scrag. You are looking so hot tonight, how can anything she said worry you? What, didn't they have a mirror in the toilets? Do you not know how good you are looking?"
BG: "You're just saying that to get me to take you home with me."
TB: "No I am not. You look amazing. Come on, let's dance."

All eyes upon them, they take over the dance floor. At one point TC tries to cut in but is rebuffed, OW scowls from her seat, BaBW, well, is just boring as batshit.

Cue theme music.
The end.

And yes, I did take him home that night, but it wasn't the first time, nor was it to be the last.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The God of Little Ironies - A Mother's Day Special Event

i·ro·ny (r-n, r-)
n. pl. i·ro·nies
a. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
b. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
c. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect.
a. Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs: "Hyde noted the irony of Ireland's copying the nation she most hated" (Richard Kain).
b. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity.
3. Dramatic irony.
4. Socratic irony.

Someone once sent me this sweet little interpretation of how God allocates children. It is called:
"The Special Mother"
 by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressure and a couple by habit. Many become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how these children are chosen?
Somehow I visualise, God, hovering over the earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation. As he observes, He instructs His Angels to takes notes in a giant ledger:
"Armstrong, Beth, son, patron saint, Matthew"

Brown Marjorie, daughter, patron saint, Cecelia

Rutledge, Carrie, twin boys, patron saint...give her Gerard

He's used to profanity"

Finally, He passes a name to an Angel and smiles, "Give her a handicapped child". The Angel is curious, "why this one God, she is so happy." "Exactly. Could I give this child to a mother who does not know laughter? That would be cruel."

"But does she have patience?" asks the Angel.

"I don't want her to have too much patience, or else she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off she will handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child I am going to give her has his own world, she has to make him live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."

"But Lord, I don't think she believes in you."

God smiles, "No matter I can fix that. This one is so perfect. She has just enough selfishness."

The angel gasps, "Selfishness is that a virtue?"

God nods. "If she cannot separate herself from her child occasionally, she will never survive. Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child that is less than perfect. She doesn't realise it yet, but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says "Mummy" for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and see will see it as few people ever see my creations. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see - cruelty, ignorance, prejudice - and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be by her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here my by side."

"And what about the Patron Saint?" asks the Angel.

God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

Altogether now: awwwwwwww. Can someone please bring me a bucket? Come on. You have to be kidding, right? Last time I looked in the mirror it almost cracked under the strain!

I have decided that my God has a seriously twisted sense of humour.

And to that end I have *ahem* reworked the piece above. It is aptly named:

"The Mad Mother"
by me

Most women become mothers by design, some after a contraception stuff up, a few when their biological clocks start screaming at them, and a couple because, well, they really shouldn't have had the last few drinks at the pub.

In my more delusional moments, I swear I envision God stroking his long white beard, mumbling and cursing over the earth selecting his latest breeders with great glee and snickering. (Sometimes I even see him as an Aussie God, Akubra perched on the long, gray hair, Bond's singlet stained with sweat as he mutters "Bloody Hell"  as his calloused fingers run down the breeding ledger. Picking his stock with an eye on winning best in show.) But back to this ditty, as he plays God He instructs His Personal Angel (PA) to post His plotting success rate on His giant public blog.

The God Blog:

"Armstrong, Beth, toss her a boy, patron saint, Bluey, he likes a blonde.

Brown, Marjorie, she'll have a pink one, patron saint, Harriet, she can handle the nervy ones.

Thompson, Karen, twin boys to join the other two sets. Jeez, IVF is a wonderful thing, patron saint...give her Johnno. He's used to profanity and that sheila swears like a trooper. Can't really blame her, I'd be cursing too with that lot. Six under four, I think she's after her own reality show."

 Finally, He passes a name to the P Angel and throws his head back with a loud laugh, "Give her this child, a different type of kid." The Angel thinks to himself "Well, He's finally lost it this time" but keeps it under his hat and instead diplomatically asks, 
"Why this one God, look at her. She's surrounded by friends, life of the party. She is loud, funny, a babe in total control herself."

"Exactly. Teach her a lesson to have a kid who hates being in crowds. 'Bout time she settled down a bit! All this running around partying hard. "

"But does she have patience?" asks the Angel.

"Not a bit. Wants it all, that one. Well, she'll get it all, just not in the way she thinks. No more cranked up music playing day and night, this kid'll freak out at any loud noises. And just to serve her right for pumping out the Midnight Oil to that poor babe in her belly, I'll give her one that dances like Peter Garrett.  Hell, she probably won't even notice cause she herself dances like Garrett  after a few too many vinos. With this little one's sensory issues it'll be the closest she gets enjoying that roaring rock for quite a while, but all those years her mother told her she would lose her hearing have helped to train her for the endless hours of screaming meltdowns." 

"Oh Lord, don't you think you are being a bit tough on the poor broad."

God gives His PA a wolfish smile, "Nuh, all the times she blasphemed and blamed me for her inadequacies, this one'll teach her. Put her anger to good use, fighting the system to try and get help. Might teach her to appreciate me a bit more, hell she may even start going to church! And because she has always been an ornery one who prides herself on her brutal honesty, I'm gonna  give her a kid who is more self-focused and black and white in opinion than she could ever be. She'll learn the value of compromise and choosing her battles the hard way now."

The angel gasps, "Does she have anything going for her?"

God ponders a bit, stroking that long beard dripping with yesterdays luncheon soup. "Stubbornness. She will fight for him to the death, never take no for an answer, be loathe to accept any doctor's dire declarations. And grit. She'll be able to survive not having a moment to herself, not even to shower, she will never be allowed a minute alone. For someone who loved to sit and read a good book in solitude this will really suck. It'll piss her off, but she'll get through it."

"What poor sucker then for her Patron Saint?" asks the Angel.

God smirks. "She doesn't need one. When her feet hit the floor of a morning even Satan trembles and says "Oh hell, she's awake!"

For all the Mums of the *different* kids:


Mother's Day 2010 - What Else Would I Blog About But...

A Wise Woman?

Mum and I

I know I talk about my Mum a lot. She is an integral part of our family, as Boy 2 says: "There are five in OUR family." She is the only grandparent our children have left, and really the only one they can ever remember having in any detail. This year she turns ninety-one, but you would never know it. In my mind a ninety something year old is doddery and vague, their life light dim and fading. Not Wise Woman. Wise Woman is still more than capable of putting me in my place (Big Boy relishes these exchanges when I am in trouble), she is sharp of wit and mind, retains her sense of humour and the absurd, and although frail in body, she is quite spritely. We share a slightly offbeat sense of humour, and spent many hours doubled over in hysteria as my late father, Grumblebum, would be getting madder and madder, calling us a pair of fools. Which of course made us laugh all the harder.

Saturdays are her boring day, so we made yesterday the "Nanna Mother Day". We had a wonderful day at her lovely home, cleaning up the garden, spoiling her with presents, chowing down on fish and chips and just laughing and enjoying each other's company. I even did some mending. Big Boy had never in our seventeen years together, seen me with needle in hand. Shows you how much I adore my mother.

After nearly losing her last year I will never underestimate how much she means to me and our family.

My Mum, my wonderful Mum. Most people are a little stunned when they meet her for the first time. Wise Woman is every inch the refined lady, a truly gentile woman, softly spoken and NOTHING like her brash, loud daughter. Most friends swifly glance at both of us in disbelief. Her? Me? How?

The infamous 1990 NZ trip. Geyser probably about to blow...

Only those that know us well, and have seen us together over the years see the hidden similarities. Or maybe, not so hidden but just a little below the surface resemblances. My mother, my best friend, my rock. Every day I thank the very compassionate God that granted me longer with you.

I love you Mum. You are as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Imaginary Friends (Or I See Unreal People)


Most of us who write or contribute on internet forums and blogs will at some point or another make the ghastly mistake of mentioning something to irl (in real life) friends or family. The conversation may go like this:
Friend: "My friend told me that there is a new therapy for kids with ASD, you inject them with sheep's liver and it clings to the heavy metals and helps purge them from their bodies and will cure them."
MM: "Ah, yes I was discussing this with cybermom just yesterday."
Friend: "Cybermom? That is a cute nickname, do you know her from school?"
MM: "No, we are on a parenting site together, I've known her for a few years now. She is really clued into all the cutting edge developments with ASD. I tend to ask her about anything new I hear on the grapevine."
Friend: "Ooooh. One of your imaginary friends *cue condescending little laugh*. Not a real friend. I've always found people on the internet to be a little strange, don't you?"
MM: "No. Do you think I'm weird?"
*Crickets chirrup in the otherwise dead silence
or the longest conversational pause in history*
Friend makes lamo excuse and leaves, quickly.

I have discussed before how I have made some wonderful friends here in internet world. You may have read of the fantastic night I had a couple of months ago with a friend I had known or known of for several years but had never before spoken to or met in the flesh. She only lives a little away, and I would class her as a new but good friend. Since our initial foray (and after bumping into her at the local shopping centre once) we have now caught up a couple more times, the most recent being last weekend at a local winery. Who leads who astray I am not sure, but I do know we laugh a lot when we are together, and never have those awkward silences that sometimes litter conversations with new people in your life.

Yes, I am the old fat one on the left...

Personally, I think she looks pretty good for an imaginary friend, don't you?

I also have another friend of many years standing. We met irl for the first time in 2007. We have since kept in constant contact (she lives interstate, though I am working on changing that), and I would class her as a very close friend. So close we would happily take on her son for life, should she need us to do so. She has stayed with us, with her wonderful son, and we really click. Our thoughts on our boys, very close in age, and how the world treats them, is on a par. I must admit though, she is the more rational one in on-line arguments and tends to allow reason rather than emotion to flow in her posts. I hope she moves here as she wishes, and we can support each other on a constant physical basis, rather than emotional support over the miles (not to belittle how much it means to have this).

Then there was the amazing coincidence when I stumbled across an irl Mum at our little local school whose photo I recognised in a comment on a blog I follow. After much deliberation I approached her, and have begun to get to know her a little more each time our paths cross. She is a lovely person, and funnily, is a close friend of one of my close friends. Her busy life has taken her away from blog world for a while, but I am hoping it is not for too much longer.
 *Hi Waffler! You are missed!*

And of course I now add the wonderful Ro onto this crossover list. Although she too is many miles away, I can see this long-distance friendship will evolve over phone lines, and hopefully into face to face in the not too distant future.

In  fact, you know what? I think it is my internet connections who have gotten me through the dark days, it is my on-line friends who are my safe haven, the place where I come when life is too damn hard, and my stupid pride won't allow me to let others in. It is you bunch of people commenting, cyberholding my hand, and invisibly patting me on the back as I brokenly spill my guts, who pull me back from the brink time after time. 

So, to all those nay-sayers who think these are not real friendships. You are right. Seriously, you are.

These are unreal friendships! The best there is.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Memoir Monday - Wandering with a Wise Woman

After a couple of more serious Memoir Monday's I am reverting back to type... And so here is the tale of the Wise Woman and Madmother Other Worldy Adventure.

For those who do not know Wise Woman is my now 90 year old mother, the matriarch of the Madmother family. In 1990 I was invited to a friend's wedding in Wanaka, South Island,  New Zealand. Wanaka, no Wanaka... not WANKER, WANAKA!

Anyhoos, Wise Woman and I decided to make a real adventure out of the trip and booked a hire car for two weeks to explore both North and South islands. Now not many people in their late twenties would relish a trip trecking around with their mother, but for me it was a great opportunity to share the joy of travel with someone as warped in humour as myself. As it turned out it is lucky I was with her because anyone else would think I was completely crazy-nuts-lost-the-plot insane.

All was going well as we checked in for our first night in a Golden Chain motel in the outer suburbs of Auckland. Have I ever mentioned the poltergeist who follows my mother and I around playing rather impish but embarrassing tricks on us? No? Ah well, I will now.

Several incidents had preceded this trip: walking past a table of handbags, not within touching distance, we both looked askance as one by one each bag dropped off the edge of the table. Sorta like watching a big stack of plump dominoes fall if you get my drift. Or handbag suicide.

And then there was the time a glass cube covered shoe display (you know, one of those on those tree like things all fancy, schmantzy, looking artistic, balance beamish set-ups) decided to fall apart. Not the glass bit, but the shoes. Falling in a heap, looking decidedly unglamorous lying forlornly on the bottom of the stand. Neither of us touched the bloody thing either. Of course, as the shop assistants looked on scowling we pair dissolve into hysterical giggles. Making us look all the more guilty.

Oh, and the Christmas wrapping debacle. Standing in K-Mart, in the stationery section looking at wrapping paper. Unbenownst to us we are under a whole large group of kamikaze rolls. We look up as dozens of tubes flow like a bunch of logs in the rapids off the shelf and onto our heads, and then the floor. Damn those nasty sprites. Some mischievous spirit took great pleasure in that one.

But back to our travel tale. So, there we are, relaxing after our flight and drive, short as it was, when Wise Woman needs to use the amenities. No issue, we are in our room, shouldn't be a problem. Then, as I sit watching TV, she flushes the toilet.

Ever heard the noise an old truck makes as you stuff up the double clutch changing gears? Sorta like a grinding, groaning, put your teeth on edge moan? Well, increase the volume tenfold and then draw it out for about ten minutes, add in a sound similar to a waterfall in the wet season and you have the cacophony which enveloped our room. We didn't know whether to run for our lives, ring the desk for help, or dissolve into slightly hysterical laughter. Of course we chose the latter, and by the time we had ourselves back under control the noise had ceased. After much deliberation and mirth, we came to the conclusion that this was how New Zealand toilets sounded.

Our next incident was in Christchurch. Same sorta scenario. We settle in to a quiet night, deciding to have some toast for a late night nibble. Put bread in toaster, push down lever... Pow - room descends into darkness! Cue giggles as we fumble around in the dark, stumbling over each other in our attempts to find the door. Open door, to more darkness, whole motel is blacked out. Oh crap, only us.

Then we realise that as far as we can see is in pitch black... Uh-oh. At this point the manager comes out to chat, and tells us that a transformer has blown and blacked out the whole area. Whew, didn't think a little toaster could blow the whole street, even with the help of the WW/MM poltergeist.

I could mention far more, but then this post would go on forever. But you get the idea. Most of our trip was spent in laughter, and it passed all too quickly.But now you see why I prefer to travel with the WW. After all, only those close to you really get it when you are a slightly twisted person with your own family spirit...