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Friday, December 08, 2006

Shell game

I reconsider my ban on straws. [translation = drinking straws] They are no longer permitted to drink every drink [translation = beverage] with a straw regardless of temperature or content. No longer will I need to explain that although they are drinking hot chocolate that a straw is compulsory, not bizarre. Enough of this lip closure hogwash. [translation = jaw muscle strengthening technique] I am single handedly responsible for three life times worth of disposable plastic straws. Admittedly as yet, they are short life spans, but threatening to be terminated prematurely. I need gain control of this environmental crime.

But in punishment for such an arbitrary rule change on my part, I now have to endure the sight of them missing their mouths on regular occasions. Additionally, the increase in laundry is another punishment to the rule changer.

I mean! How can you miss your mouth? It’s not as if it relocates itself somewhere else about your person without warning? It’s a permanent fixture. If it were there this morning, it is likely to still be there later in the same day. Possibly, if you’re very lucky, it will still be there the next day, and every other one thereafter.

Toddlers and others with ‘Learner’ plates, are permitted to have a few accidents, but those of us advanced beyond the age of five, should accept that this is a given.

I blame speech therapy myself, all this multitasking isn’t good for children such as mine. They can talk, they can drink, but not both at the same time; it’s too distracting, too confusing. It they continue to try to talk and drink at the same time surely they’ll all drown? There again, if they keep missing their mouths and filling their laps instead, perhaps I am worrying unduly.

There is no hidden agenda, your cake hole [translation = mouth] is in the middle of your face. There is no conspiracy theory here. What is the problem? Why are you making such difficulties for yourselves?

I am exasperated to the point of wrath, driven to an early grave: “here lieth a woman buried beneath a multitude of failed campaigns, and far to many plastic straws that are non biodegradable.’

I stomp away from the table to make a quick cup of coffee to restore my sanity. The coffee gurgles. My body moves on automatic pilot, a smooth, efficient flow of movement. I grab the carton from the fridge, line up the cup, but my brain fails to register as I miss and pour the milk into the sink.

A word from the Wise

The baby sitter [translation = Respite Care] arrives promptly at 6:00 p.m. [translation = always] I resist the temptation to kiss her feet and greet her cordially. She attends to the herd whilst I attend to other outstanding matters. [translation = laundry of course] 95 minutes later she seeks me out. [translation = extracts me from seven hampers of laundry]
“Aren’t you goin yet?”
“Er nearly. I’ve only got this last lot to fold.”
“I thought you said you were going Christmas shopping?” [translation = holiday shopping] I pull a face. [translation = "allergic to shopping" of any kind]
“I am. I just don’t know where to go and I don’t know what to buy?”
“Well yur not gonna find anything much if you stay here!” I concede the wisdom of her words, bid farewell to small people and skuttle out of the house on an aimless mission. [translation = doomed to failure]
I return home 90 minutes later with long trousers for the boys and one gift for senior daughter which she probably doesn’t need or want. [translation = a person who has taken minimalism to an extreme, even for a Brit] The sitter glances at my carriers. [translation = bags]

“Spose ya didn’t have that long after all that time ya wasted.” She gives me a look that tells me that I am a failure in the shopping department. She updates me of occurrences during my absence. [translation = none, they all fell fast asleep as soon as the garage door closed.] We sign forms and I bid her farewell.

I plop onto the sofa and examine the list of some 600 programmes of entertainment waiting for me on the TIVO since my last visit. [translation = oh lucky woman] I determine which murder I wish to be party to, and how much dismemberment I can cope with? [translation = whodunits] I crack open another tub of peanuts. [translation = 1lb {sub translation = short 4 ounces as a pound is only 16 ounces out here. I blame the illiterate Pilgrim fathers] I can’t believe I’ve managed to munch my way through all ‘four packs for the price of one’ purchase, already. [translation = rats to the braces]
I am in mid munch when I hear foot falls on high. [translation = rats, I thought it was too good to be true] It’s not the skippy one or the bumpy one. I leap from my seat to turn the power off the telly. [translation = just in time to avoid vision of fatal stabbing with a pen]
“Hi mom,” she sidles.
“Hello dear, I thought you were asleep?”
“I was, but then I heard you come home.” [translation = her bedroom is above the garage door = no chance of a secret life style] She smiles at me, sweetly before asking
“Is the sofa stinky?” [translation = she’s seen the towels that I’m sitting on, post senior son’s stomach eruption.]
“It’s a bit steamy, but otherwise quite fresh.” She steps onto it gingerly and snuggles in to my body, arranging my arms just so.
“So,” she adds casually, “did yah get any presents for me?” [translation = rats, I forgot she has her birthday before Christmas{sub translation = failed motherhood 101 again]

“Er not exactly,” I haver. She bounced off the couch and pounces on the bags. [translation = the ‘typical sibs’ are always short changed {sub translation = the normal brothers and sisters are neglected}]
“What! Clothes! Trousers for the boys! What about my presents?”
“Tomorrow, definitely tomorrow, if he’s well enough to go to school that is.” She slumps back beside me and we listen to the tumble drier tumbling and the washing machine washing as I try and find an excuse.
“Y’know you shouldn’t be eating peanuts,” she scowls helping herself to a couple with dextrous finger tips.
“You’re getting me muddled with Daddy, he’s the one on the diet.”
“You’re the one with the wonky teeth.” [translation = no flies on her {sub translation = rumbled by the perceptive child}]
“Isnit quiet,” she half whispers.
“You’re right, that’s what it’s like when you’re all asleep.”
“I like it!”
“Me too. Would you like me to read you a story?” I reach over to the teetering stack of books on the trunk, but she doesn’t answer immediately. I wait, my thumbnail riffling the corners. I stroke her matted hair as she nestles.
“Nope. I’m o.k. jus like this.”

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