Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pushiness of parents

Just had a good conversation with a fellow comrade on the battle field known as the playground. I didn't know I needed this conversation, but it would appear I did.
I have overcome my worries of the eldest child and what book levels / reading group etc etc etc she was in, by disassociating myself from those conversations. (I still smart at remembering the mother who accused me of grading folk, how little she knows me - how little I knew her...) I do love to know when someone's child has done well. But something they have done well FOR THEM and not in comparison to someone else.
But today I was shocked to discover, at least one parent had bought the school reading scheme and is interrogating other mothers about which book their child is on. Oh jees. It doesn't matter what your child is reading, so long as it's pitched right for them, not what their mate is doing. But apparently this is not the case. I have misjudged the world again. It does matter. And that is why my children when they hit P1, become obsessed in what level they are on.
This on top of an army of Mums who have conscripted their offspring to at least one activity after school every day, in order to "create" rounded children. I can't keep up, I confess, physically, financially and any other way you look at it, I cannot do it. And neither can my children, who believe it or not, like to go and play.

So again, I realise in competitive parenting, I fall way short of the expected norm. I'm probably disadvantaging my children. They probably hate me for it! But heck they have to hate me for something :-)

Oh and whilst I am having a moan - sponsored activities. But I guess that is a whole new post!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Search Engines - they're a bit dull aren't they?

Search Engines - they're a bit dull aren't they?

I am like an overexcited 5 year old when it comes to birthday, Christmas, gadgets, things that are sparkly and these interactive websites, you know the ones that other people TALK to you as well. So when asked to delve around at Cofacio BEFORE everyone else got a look in, well I was they there like a, well erm, with a click.
My initial thoughts were "Ooo this is SIMPLE". I hate websites that take ages to load because they just have TOO much going on. This doesn't. It gets straight to the point. What do you want help with? What can you help others with? It's all terribly polite.
I resisted the urge to say "I want help with my cleaning" and, "Can anyone suggest a good place to take the children in North Yorkshire", but realised as the site gets bigger, as everyone discovers it, THAT is EXACTLY what I can ask, after all I used another well known social media to find a lady who can do my ironing. But it still left me with questions. Why don't I just use google (bing, yahoo - disclaimer any other well known search engine). I answered that myself, internet ain't what it use to be back in 1997. Now companies are internet savvy and doing a quick search yields the companies that have the best people, sat in student like bed sits, doing the stuff I don't understand - you know bumping them up the search listings by writing codes and stuff. What we need, like we always did, like that ever so knowledgeable bloke down the pub (when we were all allowed to go to the pub), is someone who knows a guy who did this or another gal who did it *that* way or quite simply just knows.
So, I have no idea what it is you need help with, nor what you can offer (and knowing you OFFER that expertise wondering if I need it too...). Cofacio will be the place we can all congregate and discuss. And you won't get shouted at for butting into a conversation and giving your 2 pennies worth (so long as it's relevant and you are not truly BARKING mad).
And the nicest thing of all, you actually get rewarded for participating. Well not you, but one of the charities... and the next round of charities could be your little local one - how cool would that be? Cash and publicity for them? Brilliant.

So are search engines a bit dull? They quite probably are but this is more than a search engine, it comes with real people - erm, you and me! So CLICK HERE and try it

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Houses

They do say that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do. And right now, I agree. We've have the stress of no-one wanting to buy but what felt like the WHOLE world wanting to have a nose around. We then sold and it fell apart. And we sold again and we are moving. In 4 weeks to be precise. We have to go, that is that. That is the Scottish way.


As for housework, even DH said "Shall we ignore it now it's not going to be ours much longer?" Duh! Yes! Sunshine. Sea view. Do you REALLY think I want to be cobwebbing and mopping?

So this housewife may need an adjustment in her job description, cos if I ain't got a house, I'm more a fraud than I was before.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ironing out the maritals

You've heard me moan on and on about the volcano that lives in my house. It isn't a gently smouldering one like one would visit on a tourist trail. More a dangerous suddenly ERUPTING without warning and spilling its guts into every corner of the house and into every crevice it can find. I find dirty pants in the lounge, socks (hundreds) in the car and the clean washing, I put away the day before, trails out of the middle child's bedroom.

But ironing has never entered my soul. Even when I taught textiles and the first homework I set to enthusiastic Year 7's was ironing, the only ironing I did was to fix fabric paints.
Once upon a time I attempted to iron his shirts, I got a call he was off away to some country for something terribly important (meeting some President or sommit). So I ironed for him, he looked at my efforts (which took me 30 minutes per shirt) and re-did them. Not so much as a thank you.
When I graduated to the world of housewivery, I made it very clear to the husband I would do everything. But I would not, NOT EVER, iron his clothes. I got on my high horse and told him it was IMPORTANT that our girls saw that all chores were not gender specific.

Over this winter, his hours have got longer and I have noted that the poor ironing board has gathered dust. He confessed, he likes winter, he wears a jumper, he need not iron his shirt. Fair enough it is HIS choice.
So, in order to maintain marital harmony, now the weather is getting warmer and his colleagues will see his sleeves, we have invested in the services of "a lady who can". I hope it will not be the shambolic events of our attempts at getting a cleaner. I am confident that he will enjoy having his shirts beautifully pressed and most importantly, I don't have to do them.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year. New me?

AH! you're thinking another bloggie post about how someone is going to be all singing all dancing and so much more in 2010 than in 2009.

No, not me, actually, although I moan grizzle and rant. I quite like me. I quite like my life. I have no desire to farm my children out to folk of little training so I can jolly off to the shops / do housework / get my nails painted. Yes, I would like time to paint and sew, but I have suddenly become very aware that it's not that long we get to look after our children. So excuse me all, with your ideas of high flying careers, becoming the top artiste in the world, blah de blah de blah.

I'm going to be content that I am me. Lucky to stay at home with the children. With my two pairs of trousers (1 ripped) and my pair of comfy trainers. Holidaying in the caravan and moaning that the husband never does anything to help.

I'm not giving up facebook, I'll continue to Twitter. I'll drink far too much coffee and regret too many drinks the night before. These are all things that make me, well, ME! But *please* can I continue this steady, not trying weightloss that is naturally happening? Quite like that! :-)

To here's to you and me in the New Year and cheers to all and stay just the way you are! HUZZAH!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Friendships

This blog is written for the first person my girls chose as a friend for me. I wish I could bottle whatever insight they have now that gets lost when you get older.

Heck is it just me, or is there nowt as WEIRD as folk?

I spend my life in a state of paranoia. (What do you mean, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they are not bitching about you?! :-) ).

Being a bit of a Hobo, I've had the opportunity to *start again* on the making friends front a few times. I've been in this town for three whole years and think I'm getting the hang of it now.

First few months, desperately talk to anyone and everyone, but beware, the Jehova's Witness will become *totally excited* they've converted. So don't do it. Take stock and analyse the availabilty of potential friends out there.

The Locals. We know them. They've lived in that house forever, they were conceived in it, as were their parents and theirs and so on. They are all related. Find a good one. Befriend, ply them with their chosen poison (cake, alcohol, latte macchiatto...) and slowly the others will stop sneering at you as you enter the local deli. (OK, maybe not, the bakery would never surrender wholemeal bread to me and I was the only one who WHOOPED when it closed)

Or option B, let your children to it for you. You have the embarrassment of going up to total strangers and saying, "Please, my little Fleur would love your little Blume, to come round to play." But blow me, we have a 100% success rate so far! The ones my children BEG for me to get round, happen to have really nice Mums too.

But what do you do when you meet a Mother from hell. The wannabe Matriarch of the community but with total disillusion of grandeur? Have you met yours yet? I'm not talking about the ACTUAL matriarch, the one everyone loves because she is so bloody nice. The one who you want to hate but when you get to know her, realise WHY she is so well loved and want to be able to click *fan* next to her, like on facebook, but this is real world...

I am talking about the super bitch. She gains POWER by undermining everyone and anyone. Her best friends are not immune but for some inane reason, they remain loyal. (Are they scared that without her they are nothing? Has she scared then that she IS there only option?)
She will pick and choose what she does according to her whim.
She believes everyone wants to spend time with her, and why would anyone not want to care for her children? They are perfection personified. But not perfection enough for her to waste her own precious time with, she is too important for that mundane task and will delegate with the efficiency of a top human resources team.
She will drop at a moments notice a meet with Pope if she thought Robbie Williams would see her.
Empathy is not in her part of her emotional literacy.
She will SHOUT from the roof tops, "Where has the community spirit disappeared?" when she needs help, however, suffers total amnesia about her promise of help when she sees the opportunity of a social networking opportunity gathering on the horizon instead.
This woman has the better radar than the RAF, she'll have smelt the leather and body lotion before you entered the building. But, don't think you'll be safe wearing your scruffs, she has the ears of a bat and x-ray vision. She will know within seconds you live on the decent side of town and zone in on you! After all, her values are determined by the old *kerching* in your pocket.

When you meet her. Evaluate. Look about. And walk away, knowing that however desperate you are for friendship, you are better than that. Because you are a nice person who values people for who they are.

Friday, October 2, 2009

How to Fake the Perfect Stepford coffee morning.

Come on! You want serious advice here! We can pretend that for a short while we can pull of the impression we are the perfect housewives.

It's all in the preparation. Oh, SOD that! In real life you will wake up having been awoken by all children through the night. You will have at least one set of pee soaked sheets to wash, last nights pots in the sink, dishwasher full and then you'll remember that you have invited the hardcore Stepford's round for coffee.

The kitchen is a doddle to fake, whip out all dishes from the washer and chuck all dirties in. Wait until children have thrown breakfast all over table and throw clean tablecloth over the top. If you need to occupy smalls, send them into the garden to pick flowers and pop them (the flowers, not children... never ever pot children)) in a jam jar on your kitchen table. Doesn't matter if they pick weeds, it's part of the plan! And it must be a jam jar so then you can say "Oh aren't the children dah'ling, popping them in this old pot they found." The truth that you don't actually own a vase need never be revealed.

You will totally impress your guests by offering a variety of different teas and coffees. When you've looked in your cupboards and found all bare and the only milk in the fridge is the best of breast, you will have to be creative. At this moment, announcing to your guests that you have started the lasted ionic, diotoxic, organically maintained and would they like to try your new drink is advised. A touch of luke warm water, a couple of leaves stolen from the weeds your children picked up earlier and a drop of jif lemon will have them gushing! (If you're creative, bottle it in your left over wine bottles from the night before and sell them it at a tenner a pop!)

Hate to tell you home baking is essential. It has to be done. But never fear. This can and should be totally faked the bad housewife way. You have 2 options, buy plain cakes the day before and let your smalls decorate them in a primitive manner. But for the brave faker, leave out ingredients and let the visiting smalls makes scones or cakes for your guests. This way, when they taste foul, you'll not be criticised, because A) You've done baking with their cretinous children and B) Anything their cretinous children have produced will be beyond exquisite!

And MOST importantly, have a VERY important lunch date you must get to (here is where you blatantly name drop, if in doubt use some celebrity you once spoke to on Twitter), and you usher them out of your door.

Job done. Coffee morning bad_housewife style done and dusted!