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Ponies, meltdowns, zombies and meh

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Gecko’s birthday went well. Our friends came and made me relax a bit and everyone got along and also left at reasonable times so it was quite the success. It has taken me all friggin’ week to recover. This is the first evening that I’ve felt able to type a post and I’ll probably pay for it tomorrow. Whatever, it’s to be expected given that my body doesn’t know the meaning of the word co-operative.

But what, I hear you ask, of the pony cake? I’m sure everyone’s just been dying to see how it went. I have to say, it can be a tricky thing to explain to someone else that those two mixing bowls and one loaf tin will make an awesome pony. Beefy couldn’t picture it (or more to the point had a waaaay better way of doing it) but as I am the cake person in these here parts it really didn’t matter that he lacked any vision whatsoever. Naturally, I was right.

So, ta da!

Ah yes, these shots were taken on my phone and are a wee bit blurry. Trust me though, Pinky Pie looks best with a bit of soft focus. If you cover the eyes, which Beefy may have had to physically prevent me from retouching as guests were arriving, I think her overall body shape bears a reasonable resemblance to a pony toy.

I was quite pleased with myself. It’s taken fifteen years and four children but I am getting to the point where I wouldn’t be too ashamed to invite those other than close friends and family to one of my cake’s kids’ birthday parties. Which is a good thing because Skunky is turning 6 really soon and he wants a few friends at his party.

Oh, yeah, can I just have a bit of a moan please? Skunky and I were discussing cake ideas and we were talking things like whale sharks and narwhals (his favourite things) and I was happy. Then he decided maybe he should have a zombie cake (let’s not even discuss where he got that idea from). I just about had him convinced that the fish and whales would be a more suitable theme if he’s having school friends when in comes Beefy and tells him that a zombie cake would be awesome, thereby undoing all of my good work.

The man has no clue, seriously. Firstly, I don’t want to make a zombie cake*, and secondly, I stand by my statement that it might not be appropriate for school friends. I know that it’s likely that most of his friends would love it but I also know that some parents might not think it’s right for a 6-year-old’s birthday. Also thirdly, just grrraaaahh.

Beefy’s not one for caring what people think but I’m just not willing to host a zombie themed party for a six-year-old. It’s going to be so much fun convincing him that whale sharks are way cooler than zombies. The likely outcome is that he’ll choose the zombie cake over the school friends, which will leave me feeling guilty. Again, grrrrrraaaahh.


I know that everyone talks about the terrible twos and, well, Gecko has always had a knack for combining unbearable sweetness and cute with tantrums that are terrible to behold but what about three? I’m trying to cut her some slack because she was so ill with the flu recently but our days this week have just been one long meltdown after the other.

She gets all caught up about tiny things like, for example, flushing the toilet herself and if you make an error she has to reenact the whole sequence of events. Today she had to sit on the toilet again and became hysterical when she couldn’t manage another poo. If you have helped her into her jumper she might become enraged at the last second and undress herself completely, screaming and crying all the while, and then redo her whole outfit. She is definitely the most pernickety and volatile of all our children and three doesn’t seem to agree with her. Poor Beefy did something wrong while putting her in her car seat yesterday and had to endure screaming throughout the entire school pickup. He thinks it’s funny and didn’t mind the stares but she completely exhausts me. I keep chanting, “it’s a phase, it’s a phase” under my breath as  I step over her writhing body to get to the fridge.

If it isn’t enough that I have to deal with a full-blown meltdown machine, there’s the teenager. He’s really lucky that I try to respect his privacy here because there are some things that would make for killer blog posts. Honestly, he’s fifteen and a half, I’m sure you can imagine.

Rhubarb’s getting to the pointy end of his schooling now and the school are making a huge effort to impress upon all of the kids that study is not to be taken lightly any more. He’s lucky to be the kind of kid who can put in very little effort and pull reasonable grades but his relaxed attitude has got him into some trouble recently. His home group teacher tolerates no lateness at all. I agree with her but I also think it’s a bit excessive to be on the phone with me fifteen minutes after school starts to find out where he is. Anyway, he’s getting there with the punctuality thing but it’s taking a lot of discussion to get through to him that he has to take things really seriously now.

It’s only a few weeks until he’ll be choosing his subjects for next year and they in turn dictate which uni courses he’ll be able to choose. He’s had to talk his math’s teacher into recommending him for “good maths”, she was going to decline on the basis that he’s not serious enough until she reviewed his test scores and saw that he does really well despite his apparent lack of dedication. He had to promise her that he’ll take it seriously.  It’s heavy. Cue Moronic Ex-Husband’s interference.

MEH wants to take both kids on a skiing trip two weeks into term three. Poss has declined but Rhubarb loves to ski and is really excited. We had a nasty row about it last week. I just think it’s not a great idea for him to miss a week of school. MEH wouldn’t have a clue what’s happening at school, he’s pretty much as uninvolved in the kids’ lives as they come so it hasn’t even occurred to him that it might be an issue. So, I’ve got Rhu with his heart set on going, MEH with no clue and Beefy who thinks it’s probably okay and it’ll be Rhu’s last chance to go before school’s finished. I understand that school holidays will be too expensive but I’m just sure that they’ll be piling on the work at that stage. I’m the one who’ll have to arrange it with the school and make sure he keeps up to date. Am I just being a difficult old lady here?

Please tell me it’s not just me that thinks this is a crazy idea?

I am trying to be reasonable. It’s possible that I find it slightly annoying that Mr “my income is way less than $20,000 a year so that I don’t have to pay proper child support” is having trouble choosing which new car to take on his annual ski trip. I really am trying to not let that colour my judgement but I guess I’m struggling. We could take what he’s spending on this trip and use it to buy things the kids actually need. It makes me grumpy. Before anyone mentions making him pay more. I just want to add that a) it would be very difficult as he is self-employed and works in an industry that sees him paid mostly in cash  and b) there are several other reasons why this isn’t the best option for us. Doesn’t stop me from being grumpy about it though.

So, please give me some perspective. All of my friends and family will agree with me because they have a lot of experience with MEH that colours their judgement so unbiased opinions would be most welcome.

I need to find a way to post more often because every time I post now it ends up being uber, mammoth, mega ramble post. Sorry about that.

*Actually, that’s not true, I’d love to try making a zombie cake but not for the 6-year-old’s school friends, I think I’ll have to try it for Beefy now.


6 responses

  1. Maybe you should try a zombie narwhal? I’d feel the same way about the zombie cake for the party. I’m seriously impressed by Pinky Pie though. Very cool.

    You’re little girl sounds a bit like my big girl, except four was the really awful year for her. She is still very emotional and volatile, but better since we sorted a couple of her food issues out.

    I don’t know about the ex and the trip (homeschooling is a whole other kettle of fish), except maybe to say that he should have the respect to run it by you first.

    Also, what little blogging I do, I tend to do in bed from my iPhone, because I really never get time to sit at a computer now. I’m using an app called Blogger . It seems to work okay.

    • I blog in bed too. I have the iPhone app for wordpress but I hate the little keys for typing and find that I prefer a big screen so I can see things “properly”, which is just weird personal preference really. My hands/wrists/arms/shoulders are sore after an evening on the laptop but I feel much less frustrated afterwards. Beefy is looking into some voice software so that’ll probably help a lot. The other thing is that I can’t think well when I’m in a lot of pain. I can’t seem to find the brain space to manage really bad pain and actual thought. I often end up asleep, kind of, it’s weird, when my pain is really bad Beefy will find me semi asleep and not able to wake up properly, it’s like it’s just all too much for my brain to cope with. Sometimes this state persists on and off for a few days. Then we go back to insomnia again, which I much prefer, sleeping when you don’t mean to is disconcerting. There’s probably some complex cycle of insomnia/over-activity/injury/pain/exhaustion there but it’s a bit hard to unravel. So, I don’t even get my laptop down from it’s storage space for days at a time. I even find commenting on peoples blogs from my phone too hard. Small screen again, I do it occasionally but prefer not to.

      Zombie narwhal. awesome. I think we’ve come to an agreement that I’ll do a whale shark out of red velvet cake so that when you cut into it it’s bright red. He was pretty stoked with that.

  2. Okay, my opinions and mine only, so can be ignored.

    re: exhaustion and blog posts, do you have a laptop to lay in bed? I recently sorted myself out voice recognition software and while it takes a bit of getting used to, it has been saving my hands on the bad days. I will email you about that though.

    Zombie cake: Make a regular sheet cake and just colour it in with red and black and greyish bits to make it look zombieish, without being terribly scary? OR, you could do a zombie whale shark (again, just with red/black colour for that undead look?).

    Meltdowns. No idea, but I hear you. We have similar issues here and it’s exhausting.

    The Ex. I can see a bit from both sides (yours and Rhu, not MEH). Rhu wants to go and it sounds like it would be amazing fun, but the time away from school at this time of year = ack. Hard decision.

    • Yeah, I am a laptop in bed woman all the way. Beefy’s been mentioning voice software for a while but I think I’ve been in a bit of denial about how much I need it. Not only would it save the hands and wrists, It would mean I don’t have to have the laptop on me. Like today, I walked around the shops and hurt my hip so I’m struggling to find a position to lie in that’s comfortable and reach the keyboard. Any recommendations would be great.

      I think we’ve decided on a red velvet whale shark. Your comment triggered something in the brain that made me think of it actually. So thanks!

      At least I know I’m not alone with the meltdowns.

  3. Impressive Pinky Pie, I am sure you would do a killer zombie cake but I can see all the judgmental folk having issues with a zombie party – perhaps if it was a haunted house theme and the guests wore costume…?

    As for the tantrums, my monsters used to throw doozies, mostly around bath time. I would skype a mate, turn the web cam on and ‘share the love’. I have had many a day where I have stepped over a pint sized tantrum making machine that has tantrumed themselves to sleep on the stairs! The did grow out of it – now we have petulance, eye-rolling and smart-arsedness. Starting to think the tantrums weren’t so bad.

    Good luck with the ski trip dramas. You are stuck in a crappy place where you are going to be the bad guy no matter what. Maybe if you give Rhu some of the responsibility to talk to teachers about the trip with you so that he can get a balanced perspective and be aware of the real consequences of missing school. Good luck!

    • Yeah, Poss threw only one or two tantrums ever and so she’s our only basis for comparison with girls! The boys both threw a few (hundred) here and there, but were a bit more easily placated than Gecko. She is non-stop, all day, anything might kick it off crazy person. She is still recovering though so she’s tired and I’m hoping that she’ll be a bit better soon. Which is completely realistic, naturally.

      I think we have the Rhu thing sorted-ish. I asked him to talk to each of his teachers about it and said we would give him a note to take around in his planner as well. I hurt my hip today though and was struggling to stand and roll out pizza bases so he might have been feeling bad for me and just agreeing to everything so he didn’t have to argue with the woman in frightful pain who’s also holding a rolling pin.

      I got Skunky to agree to a whale shark in red velvet so it’s gory but not too gory.

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