Month Eighty-Eight

Dear Husband,

This was the month of the Lost Keys. The lost keys that were almost my fault but not really and the lost keys that were totally not my fault at all. And I know its not or it shouldn’t be about blame but you get so MAD when stuff like this happens that I either feel like scuttling into a corner or coming out punching. And the fact that your keys went missing twice in one week was really unfortunate.

The first time was when we went to meet your sister for coffee. When driving up to Sydney, the house keys (because you keep house and car keys separately which is just another thing to keep track of in my opinion but what do I know) were given to Boo. Then we stopped at Roselands while you made a toilet stop and I got Boo out of the car. I was so wishing I hadn’t done that later…Then we fast forward to getting out of the car on the North Shore and we can’t find the keys.

They weren’t in Boo’s capsule. They weren’t on the floor of the car. They weren’t in the bags in the car. They weren’t on the street. Did Genevieve know what had happened to them? No. Boo threw them somewhere? Did they fall out of the car when I got him out at Roselands? No, I don’t think so. But do you know? Can you categorically tell me that they are not somewhere at Roselands or even worse, in someone else’s pocket because they stole them from the ground kilometres from where we are now!?! Could they have fallen out and you didn’t notice? Were you not careful enough when you got him out of the car? Did you look at the ground specifically to make sure that none of our possessions had fallen out?…It was around this time that I was feeling particularly small.

I wondered if I had somehow missed the falling of the keys. I was pretty sure I hadn’t. I mean, when I get Boo out of the car, I generally stand him up in the seat first to adjust my hold and lift him out of the car carefully so I don’t knock him out on the ceiling. I try and be a good parent. DOCS frowns on braining your kids after all. I figured if the keys had been in the seat though, they would have fallen out IN THE CAR. The house keys themselves are also a massive bunch of metal and I thought I would have heard them clang on the ground for sure. Which I had not. I didn’t know where they were though and I couldn’t categorically say it was not my fault.

So we went to coffee. You were trying not to be openly pissy with me, we finished coffee and then we went back to the car. We still couldn’t find the keys. You searched again, pulling things out of the car. Muttering and swearing not so under your breath. I sat down on the side of the road with the kids and looked through the nappy bag with me (which I had already SEARCHED TWICE) to find something to amuse Boo and I found the keys. Which had presumably landed in the open back pocket when Boo threw them out of his car seat. And my first thought was I DID NOT LOSE THEM AT ROSELANDS AND THIS WAS TOTALLY NOT MY FAULT! You may argue that my relief was somewhat misplaced and should have been in the locating of the keys that would not result in re-keying anything rather than the lack of fault in losing them beyond recovery but I don’t care. You could also argue that a lot of stress could have been alleviated had they been found when I first checked the nappy bag but nevertheless, they were found and this was now not a terrible event in history that was going to go down as my fault.

hubbynovember-3

And then there was the second time the keys were lost. I was getting ready to go to bed. You were coming too but you like to gather up your keys and phone etc before you go to bed and did I know where your keys were? No, I do not keep their whereabouts on my radar. I can’t recall seeing them either so I don’t know. I dutifully helped you look though. Through the couches, on top of the bench, in the piles of stuff we have about the place. You searched the car and the grass in the garden. No keys. When was the last time you saw them? I don’t know, if I knew that don’t you think I would be looking there? Sorry I asked. Did you need to use them today? I gave them to Boo in the park to play with. Which is where I struggle not to suggest that had they been on the same keychain as the car keys, you would remember if they had come home or not. Did we learn nothing from earlier in the week? Apart from this is not helpful at all?

So at this point you head down to the park with a torch and then come back – with no keys. Since it is dark and late and the kids are asleep, I figure there is not much more we can do now. I am pretty sure that we will find them tomorrow so I send up a little prayer for same, go to bed and incredibly selfishly think at least this wasn’t my fault either. I never said I was perfect. The next morning you had a commitment so you were out of the house and I was cleaning up. As I went through Boo’s room, I pick up some dirty clothes from atop the column heater and find the keys. It then takes me a couple more minutes to reset my phone so I can let you know because it decided to freeze on me and the home phone had no charge whatsoever.

You said that you did not put the keys there, however, you had been sitting on the floor there with both kids the previous day. You had given the keys to Elliot to play with (again) in the exersaucer and Genevieve must have moved them to the side…in your presence…I am saying nothing…

After all, its not like this kind of thing happens to us all the time

hubbynovember

I can’t however keep silent on the following. Every so often, you berate me regarding one of your apparent pet peeves which would not nearly be so bad if I had any idea of its coming. And if it wasn’t the pot calling the kettle black. The other day I was getting a piece of toast. I cooked the bread, spread on some butter and vegemite and went about doing my thing. At which point I got can you please JUST USE A PLATE!?! Do you not THINK that you are spreading crumbs everywhere and that this is what attracts insects? Can’t you just eat over a PLATE?

Um, I’m sorry? You are picking now after 7 years of marriage during which I cannot even count the times I have eaten toast without a plate to tell me that you think I am being dirty and unhygienic? You who frequently leave things like the peel of fruit sitting on the couch overnight without even resting it on a plate? You are unofficially insinuating that I am going to be the sole cause of a potential insect infestation because I can’t eat toast over crockery? Sure, if it means that much to you, I can make an effort to eat toast such that crumbs should never touch the floor but you might want to tone down the vitriol…

And then there was the hardly done by can you please just FILL THE KETTLE TO AT LEAST THE MINIMUM when you pour water out of it!?! I should just be able to turn it on without running the risk that it doesn’t have enough water to boil…So you’re saying that I am the weird one because I always take a quick glance at the kettle before I put it on and if it is in fact not holding enough water, I fill it in the sink that is like 40cms away? It’s me that has the problem and the lack of all common decency since I have failed to think of my fellow man in the household? You NEVER do this yourself? Oh wait, you do, so you totally just opened up a can of worms. I now make it my mission to check the jug every time I finish with it and every time I go to put it on the boil and it’s too empty I ask can you please JUST FILL THE DAMN JUG!?! Should have thought about that one, shouldn’t you…

And what was the whole defrosting bacon thing about!?! We were calmly discussing what to have for dinner one night and I was thinking along the lines of something easy, you know, like breakfast, and suggested bacon and eggs. You then informed me (I want to say snootily) that we didn’t have bacon. I said I thought we had some in the freezer and by extension figured that we could just defrost it cause we have a microwave with a defrost setting which is what it is there for. This was apparently the WRONG THING TO DO. For reasons completely unbeknownst to me, in this family, seemingly, we do not defrost bacon. Or rather, just to clarify a point, we do not defrost bacon when I make the suggestion, perhaps as we all know that I do none of the cooking in the house so therefore I should not stick my oar in where it is not wanted? Which is the impression I got when a week later you needed bacon for a recipe and HAD TO DEFROST IT!

So I’m sorry if this month you feel that you have been a little ganged up on. It just so happened that a number of things that might have been smaller in and of themselves seemed to pile up in one month or perhaps you reacted more strongly or vehemently than usual and what would normally have been a smile and nod from me became a thing. And the “things” in our house are totally not restricted to you as the initiator. I know this. I do plenty of things that drive you insane because they are absurd, nonsensical and or unprovoked but I can’t write them from your point of view so you would have to do that one yourself. I love that you put up with my crap as well as call me on it occasionally though.

Non-crappily yours,
Your Loving Wife

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What’s Wrong With A Dozen?

Dear Woolworths and Children’s Cupcake Manufacturers,

My husband mentioned this the other day and I am inclined to agree with him – what is it with the mixes that only make 10 cupcakes? Are you both too cheap to let us make 12? This number makes more sense to me. I mean when you get out your cupcake tray to make it easier to get the little suckers in and out of the oven, you don’t have a tray of 10. You have trays of 6 or trays of 12. I’ve never seen one with 10. I’d say that baking just makes you lean more towards the dozen but a baker’s dozen is actually 13. That’s still more than 10.

I find it hard to believe that in a mix of cake ingredients where you only need the purchaser to supply an egg, some butter and some water that you are unable to make a mix that will facilitate an extra 2 cupcakes without the need for another whole egg. Its not about the extra patty cake papers either because there are always extras of those in the packet anyway. And the current provision for icing could definitely stretch another 2 but no. You have the dumb number of 10.

Why would you only want to make 10? Recipes don’t make “10” serves. Recipes make 4, 6 and 8 serves and you double recipes where required to make more but who wants only 10 cupcakes when you could make 12? If you have 2 kids, you could divide that number in 2 but with 3 kids, you’d be stuffed. To divide evenly at that point, you have 1 left over and most families have 2 parents so again, dumb number. 4 or 5 kids (with or without token leftovers for parents) “might” work but if you have that many kids, they’re going to be energetic and boisterous together and 2 measly cupcakes are going to do squat. And if you have 1 kid, theres no way you are letting them have the whole batch of refined sugar there and you’re still doling it out to 1 kid and possibly 2 parents so someone still loses.

I tell you, 10 cupcakes is a cop out number. Plus, those suckers are not the large light and fluffy cupcakes that mums used to make for birthdays. Those mixes only just scrape the number they are morally and legally obliged to provide as per the packet advertising and not a skerrick more. The only way you sucker people into buying the product in the first place is Disney brand recognition. My 3-year-old is in love with Cinderella and Frozen and as perhaps overly indulgent parents, we have purchased them for her. Only when they are on sale of course because perhaps they don’t sell as well as other products since everyone else knows that they are an overpriced and under catered option for your table!

So I guess more fool us for getting suckered in on more than one occasion. Perhaps next time though, we will just walk a little faster down that aisle and whenever we have the urge to do some baking, we will come home and really be wild by, you know, reading a recipe book. One that is going to give us a mixture for more than 10 cupcakes. Just saying.

Hungrily yours,
A sweet tooth

Washing Woes

Washing_Line,_Iceland

Dear Husband,

Moving really does bring out the best in you doesn’t it? I mean last time we moved, a completely able-bodied woman was regarded incompetent in terms of moving furniture and taking due care of a 60 year old house. Albeit with brand spanking new polished floorboards. If I so much as walked on those floors with heels or threatened to lift (not drag) a piece of furniture without sufficient felt padding underneath, a torrent of admonition would rain down upon my head. Probably to scare me into never doing such an idiotic thing again.

Of course, fast forward a couple of years and we have a great dane with claws. A hound who liked to let us know that he would either like some attention…now…or he would really like to get on our bed by scratching said polished floorboards. I was the one that then tried to pad the area with bits of carpet and would get madder at him for destroying the finish.

Now however, we have carpet. So we have thankfully avoided a repeat of the original problem. Although having sad that, all of our furniture now has bits of felt on the bottom of it which tends to come off as it is moved across carpet…Anyway the new doubt in my ability seems to be in regards to the washing. A task for which I have had the responsibility throughout our marriage. Now, all of a sudden you are concerned that I am going to place a wooden spoon in the dishwasher. Nope, not me. I’m pretty sure I knew that was a dumb idea at 10. My mum is way better at scaring me into not doing something than you.

Also, after blithely chucking all your woollen jumpers into the washing machine (yourself for once!) the other day, you eventually turned to me and asked you’re not going to put them in the dryer when they’ve finished are you? Which you then followed up with I don’t know if you actually take care of my clothes and pay attention to what goes in the dryer and what doesn’t! If you are not careful my friend, I will never wash another item of your clothing again!

So a couple of things that are now going through my mind:

  1. For your information, I wouldn’t have shoved all those woollens in the washing machine in the first place. I would have put some inside of wash bags and others would have been hand-wash items…because I take care of our clothes.
  2. I never put anything woollen in the clothes dryer because I prefer not to shrink things.
  3. I actually refrain from putting clothes in the clothes dryer that can be put in there if I think that they are good / favourites as it prolongs their life…and some of them I might add are yours.
  4. Thank you so much for your apparent faith in my ability to perform the task I have been expected to take care of for years. Did you just never care before that I might have been surreptitiously (or inadvertently) ruining your wardrobe or has it just occurred to you now that I might be clueless when it comes to clothing care? Just wondering.

The domestic house goddess,

Your Loving Wife

Allied Pickfords

Dear Allied Pickfords,

Man, is my husband pissed at you! But can you really blame him?

As a relationship, it started out so well. You sent someone out to quote and they arrived on time. A great beginning. We got several other quotes and some of the sales reps were tardy. Then we were happy to accept your quote. We arranged for your guys to come and pack our house on a Tuesday, pack your truck on a Wednesday and unpack at our new residence on a Thursday. Simples. Or it should have been.

The packers, I have to say, were awesome. I mean I was not quite prepared (washing was still out in baskets, washing up was not yet finished and well, our house was never actually going to be tidy, was it??). They also put up with the fact that AH Beard had to pull out a king mattress and bring another one into the house when it was being stacked high with boxes. I did get the feeling that they were a little peeved at me for that one but even so, they packed everything they said they would. They ran out of boxes part way though and had to get more but they packed what they said they would.

Then the next day, a new crew turned up. These guys were all set to “smash it” like the previous crew had the day before. In the end though, I think the only thing they got near to smashing was my husband’s self-control. Why the hell did it take you eleven hours to pack a three bedroom house and one car garage into a truck? Your guys arrived at 8am but you didn’t leave until after 7pm! And this was after the following:

  • you told us you couldn’t fit all our stuff in the truck and would need to get a second load to us over the next couple of weeks
  • you called the national sales manager back from sick leave to come and assess the situation
  • the national sales manager ordered the back of the truck be unpacked and re-packed a crap load tighter to try and fit everything in – which you still didn’t quite manage
  • you walked through the property with us to confirm what needed to be taken and you failed to include things you should have in your load

You’d think after that, the unload would have gone a little smoother wouldn’t you? After all, you had some disgruntled clients who just wanted their stuff. My husband even thought he was being generous by saying don’t bust a gut to get down here from Sydney by 9:00am. Take your time. He didn’t mean take the entire morning! It started with the phone calls…We’re just filling up the truck before we get there (apparently in Goulburn). Then you couldn’t find the property. Then you did and you opened the back and you stopped for smoko. Just a word to the wise, at 11:30am when your clients are cooling their heels in the driveway waiting to get a hold of their stuff that they can now see, sitting in your cab and eating McDonalds does not go down well.

Then it took you bloody forever to unload the damn thing. You put boxes on the gravel driveway and picked them up, complete with gravel underneath which you wheeled into my house and deposited on the floor. You managed somewhere along the way to break the beer fridge. You cracked some of the glass in my framed prints. You also managed to rip a canvas tent pole bag that has survived 30 years of repeated camping, to shreds. You were still unpacking the truck 7 hours after you started. I had to get you to move the truck out so that I could go and pick up my daughter for dinner because she had been left with my parents for over 10 hours. You guys advertise with the tagline: “The Careful Movers”. Careful my arse!

And to add insult to injury, when my husband complained, not unduly, you suggested that this situation was our fault. Like maybe your guys had to move more than was originally quoted. Because sure, we asked you to come out and look at our possessions and then went and bought more stuff. To be perfectly blunt, we actually got rid of more than we said we would and ended up having you pack slightly less than you originally quoted on relocating.

So all in all, it was not a positive experience. We will never be using your company again. We will not recommend you. We will actively discourage anyone we know from hiring you. We found you unprofessional, unhelpful and unable to deliver the service we were offered. I will concede that we were underquoted but to be perfectly honest, that is not our problem, its yours. You couldn’t deliver on what you did quote on and this is terribly unfortunate. I love that we made the move we did but you were far and away the worst part of the transition experience and that’s saying a lot.

Your regretful customer who will never be a repeat customer.

Added several months later…
PS. Dudes, we moved in August and immediately sought recompense for the fact that you couldn’t deliver the service you were supposed to. This issue was finally sorted in December! Talk about bad service…

Counting Sheep

Koala (1 of 1)Dear Sleep,

If you were a person, you would be an asshole. You are like a dodgy car salesman who talks you into buying something that doesn’t really fit your purpose knowing full well that your purchase is going to crap out on you on the way home anyway. You are like the corrupt CEO that cuts corners in production and turns out an inferior product just to make a buck.

If you were my employee, you would be fired. You are like the PA that looks great on paper but turns up to the office and spends the majority of her day gasbagging on the phone to her friends, doing her nails and checking Facebook. You are like the phone carrier that doesn’t invest in infrastructure to adequately service its clients and ultimately leaves you disconnected.

If you were online, you would be defriended, delinked, delisted, deleted and otherwise removed from any connection that you might share with me. You are like a troll with nothing appropriate, considerate or valuable to say. You come with spam and malware that leave me exhausted and unable to operate at full capacity. Your degenerate cousin, Fitfulness, is not welcome in my house and those other louses you associate with, Nightmares and Lucid Dreams, can go and get stuffed.

Or do I have this ass backwards?!?

Do you sub-contract to Sickness and Health? Are you only allowed to operate with their permission? Are you like the poor cousin to Worry and Stress with the firm position of last in the pecking order, subject to their benevolence? Are you just trying to do the very best job that you possibly can under some recurring and ultimately restrictive circumstances??

When my toddler tosses and turns and cries out in pain is it because you are losing the tug-of-war with Illness? Are you trying to give her rest to repair herself? When my husband seemingly tries to run a marathon in what should be a restful state, is it because that cow, Angst, is throwing her weight around? Were you trying to give him peace? I only ask because I have been missing you this week…A lot.

Your number one girl, Blissful Slumber, who I thought was my friend has been notably absent. And in my resulting fatigued state, I am oscillating between what the hell did I ever do to you – I wish I could kick you to kingdom come and please, please come back, you are sorely missed – I will do just about anything. As I slowly drift further into Loopy, I am really hoping that a) you are not in fact a malevolent bastard, b) if you are currently on holidays, you will be back soon and the moron temporarily in charge will be sent to Siberia or c) you win lotto and can afford some heavy artillery to start whipping a few more butts…you know, tell all those undesirables to BACK OFF!

If its not too much to ask, everyone in my house could use a whole night’s sleep because it would make everything SO much easier. Don’t leave me hanging here…

Respectfully yours,

Someone Sleep Deprived

* Photo taken on a recent trip to the Zoo – at least some of God’s creatures get regular rest…

All in a dog’s work

Reuben (1 of 1)

Dear Reuben,

You are pretty damn brilliant at following the four paws on the floor rule of this house. So congratulations. I am never concerned that you are going to randomly jump up on any of the other inhabitants of this house or indeed any guests that you might deign to allow into the house. I think there are a few other points that we should have a little chat about though…

Number One
You are not now, nor have you ever been (or will be) a lap dog. I’m not quite sure how this apparent confusion has come about. You are not welcome to reverse into my lap and plonk 50kgs of Dane butt on me any time you choose. How would you like it if I did that to you?

Number Two
I am not a stool. I am not a seat. My shoulder is in fact not as strong as you seem to think it is. Do you see where I am going with this? I don’t take kindly to you just depositing yourself willy nilly on my person. You have ample beds around the place and you are also, you know, a DOG. You have four working legs and I am not a human easy chair assisting you to lower yourself to an appropriate place to rest.

Number Three
Doorways are not for standing in like a statue. They’re just not.

Number Four
If I am walking forwards, standing directly in my path will not endear you to me. When I change my path, moving so that you will still be standing directly in my path is not my idea of a fun game. You do not need to fulfil the position of Mobile Live Obstacle Course…

Number Five
When I am hanging washing on the line and my arms and hands are not able to swiftly shift to protect my vital organs at a moment’s notice, it is not playtime. Ramming a solid rubber chew toy into my torso will do you absolutely NO favours if you persist.

So I know that’s a lot to remember, and you probably feel as though you are not getting enough love at the moment but maybe if you work on even a couple of those points, we might be able to come to some sort of compromise. Yes?

Yours,

The Old Lady You Let Live In Your House

Chicken Tonight?

chicken

Dear Genevieve,

I made a rookie mistake. I thought we were safe. After blatant and empirical evidence however, it has been made perfectly obvious that we were not.

I did actually think about it beforehand. A little. Although in hindsight my reasoning was a bit naive. I figured that we had already ticked the fast food box (because sometimes as parents we were really not prepared, sorry) and we had also ticked the pre-mixed bottle and packet food options (because sometimes as parents we are just lazy – probably should apologise for that one…). So for some reason I thought that meant we were fine…generically.

What I apparently failed to take into consideration however, was that we have most likely never before fed you the particular type of maniac serum that I am pretty sure is the additive 160B or Annatto. This is the thing that is supposed to make foods redder or yellower or something and is responsible for making children around the world into complete toads. You were no exception. In an extremely poor decision on my part, we fed you Chicken Tonight and in our house we have now decreed that it become Chicken Never Again!

To be clear, it wasn’t the chicken and the problem may only be with the Butter Chicken jar of the brand but mark my words, it was a problem. You went WILD. You were hyperactive, aggressive and a whole level of crazy that I have never before seen (nor wish to for that matter). Your dad got to enjoy the benefits in the shower and then I got to see first hand the particular brand of horrible you had become afterwards as it was still working its way out of your system.

Firstly, I couldn’t get a nappy on you. I couldn’t even get a nappy underneath you. You twisted this way and that with a fervor of one convinced the world would end if you so much as touched such an absorbent article. So in order to regroup and gather reinforcements, I decided to plonk you in your cot for a bit. Behind bars. Which didn’t phase you in the least as you ran round and round in circles, touching one end of the cot and then the other before stopping in the far corner. This was where you paused for a minute…looked up at me…laughed and then peed!

So then I had to wrangle you into a nappy (which was only really technically on – it was hardly a proper job on my part), change your sheets and finally beat a hasty retreat leaving your dad to put you down because I am a coward.

Now I don’t know about you but I never want to do that again. You seemed to really like the meal but I hardly think it was worth it. I’m sure we will go through something of the like again as we inadvertently contaminate you with crazy juice at some point in the future but hopefully that’s not for a long time!

Alles Liebe,

Lexelah

Ps. I shamelessly stole the image and have no rights to its use whatsoever.