Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Other Man In My Life...

I’m looking for a new relationship.

Not a lover. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still insanely happy with my beautiful husband. This is something completely different.

I’m looking for someone special to take things to the next level.

Someone who will listen to my needs and always do as I ask. Someone who will be quick to offer a solution when problems arise.
Someone who is honest, hard working and punctual.
Someone who will always put my situation before that of others.
And above all, someone who will not cost me an absolute fortune.

That’s right, I’m looking for a builder.

And I tell you it’s as hard as finding a life partner.

You meet a potential candidate through a mutual friend; it’s always better if you know a little bit about their background or past relationships. You don’t want to commit to just anyone who pops a flyer in your letterbox.

You make an initial date, let’s call it a ‘quote’ – but really you’re checking each other out. Do I like this person? Are they going to do a good job, on time and to budget? And most of all can I stand this person in my life for the next three months? Especially when they’ll be seeing that anxious and, lets face it, psychotic side of my personality that is saved for stressful situations such as home renovating.

Then you wait by the phone – or the computer. Waiting for a response. Can they renovate your house? Do they want to renovate your house? And if they do, how much will they charge?

Just before Christmas I met with three builders, none of whom came back with a quote. I’m starting to take it personally.

But as with all relationships you have to work at it. I have since chased one up and now he is playing hard to get. And I followed up another that gave us a quote three years ago when we initially had our plans approved. He’s playing even harder to get. Possibly because due to babies, life and lack of finance, we couldn’t go ahead with the work. Maybe he took that personally.

As you may know, I endured many single years before I met my perfect match so I’m used to bad dates, awkward moments and rejection. But I thought now as a 43 year-old, happily married mother of two that would all be firmly in the past – but here I am, still waiting for the one, well another one.

Last year my daughter listed all her future Halloween costumes up until she turns nine - ‘a builder’ popped up fourth on her list. Obviously my stress about renovating and finding the right person to carry it out has had some influence over her tender mind.

Anyway. I’m desperate. To renovate. I’m still dreaming of a dishwasher.  I just need the perfect builder to make my dream come true.

But relationships are hard. Bad ones are terrible and the good ones are worth waiting for. I’ll just have to be positive and believe that one day my building prince will come.

Maybe tomorrow is that day.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Listen More, Talk Less - an impossible dream

I’m starting to think about the resolutions I made on New Year’s Eve.

Our friends had left, I’d finally got the baby to sleep, my husband had put the five-year-old to bed and conveniently fell asleep beside her (cute picture but still…) leaving me to clean up the mess and see in the New Year with a cup of tea on our inner west back step where I could occasionally see the top of a Harbour Bridge firework.

And in my couple-of-drinks-more-than-usual haze, I wrote a list. Of completely unachievable resolutions.

One of these - which I make every year - is to “listen more, talk less”.

As I say, completely unachievable.

Too often it’s only my voice I hear in a conversation. Just when someone is offering something rather interesting, bam, I’ve interrupted, agreed and brought the conversation back to myself. Terrible habit.

My husband is always telling me I interrupt. So is my five year old. Either that or she tells me to ‘just stop talking’. I usually feel completely justified and have a list of responses in my own defense such as, I just have a lot to say, I didn’t realise you hadn’t finished, I was just agreeing with you and I’m your mother, I will always talk too much.

However I do secretly dream of being someone that listens. Really listens. Shows an interest in what other people have to say. Doesn’t give away absolutely everything. Maintains a little intrigue.

But alas someone just has to nod at me in the supermarket and I will unload everything from my toddler’s sleep patterns over the past week to the intricacies of our latest infestation of head lice.

I want to be subtle. I want to be mysterious. I want people to ask, ‘who is that woman and what’s her story?’ Rather than knowing everything there is to know. Because I’ve already told them. Plus I sometimes forget to whom I’ve told my news so there’s a chance people could have heard it twice.

So this is the year of keeping things a little closer to my chest (which may just be possible now I’ve dropped a cup size since weaning my second child).

I will endeavour to do the following:

  • ·      Remember people’s names the first time they tell me – we’ve just started school and I’m already behind in that department.
  • ·      Not finish other people’s sentences – they’re relaying information, not conducting a guessing game.
  • ·      Make sure I hear other people’s voices more than my own - should I ever get invited to another dinner party.
  • ·      Not tell everybody every singe thing about me – I mean really, who cares if I have hemerrhoids this week?

Plus I will wait for my husband to finish what he has to say and also wait for my daughter to finish what she has to say.

Thank goodness for my baby who at 18 months only has a handful of words and lets me talk as much as I want. Not only that, when I do talk, she looks at me with such love and admiration as if she finds everything I say so interesting and amusing.

I’m great company for the under twos. Now I just have to work on communicating effectively with the rest of society.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

School is the Best!

Well we survived the first week of school and my daughter is still enthusiastic. As for me, about micro second after my initial tear, I adjusted to my new lifestyle like a duck to water. The school is a five-minute walk and my toddler sleeps three hours a day. Life doesn’t better than that!

People have often told me how quickly the school day flies by and before you know it, it’s time for the pick-up. But I’m finding it heavenly to have three hours to write. In a row. Everyday. Five days a week. As I say, life does not get much better.

However by Saturday, I was relieved that I didn’t have to get everyone out the door by 9am. Previously, it was not uncommon that I would still be in pajamas, watering the garden with a second cup of tea in hand. But last week, everyday I was dressed and out the door. In actual clothes. Even a bit of lippy. The effort is tiring me out and I’m sure my standards will slowly drop but for now I have to say I’m quite enjoying getting ready like a normal person that doesn’t either have two kids to look after or a thousand words to write.

Anyway on Saturday we decided to head to the beach. Which meant the equivalent of packing up for a three-day camping trip, crossing town in weekend traffic, finding a park about within at least a 30-minute walk from the water’s edge and manoeuvering the pram along narrow footpaths, dodging all the childless hipsters who either are too cool to acknowledge a pram or don’t really know what one is.

But we got there!

And it was beautiful. Worth all the pain that was to come from spending too long in the middle-of-the-day heat and missing the toddler’s day sleep.

Then we struggled back home and after I did the shopping, got a (much-needed) leg and upper lip wax, we went up to fabulous local cafĂ©/restaurant that has been full since it recently opened. And just so we could feel like we do occasionally get out and about after 5.30pm, we completely exhausted ourselves, and our children. So much so that we had to make a hasty exit after our meal before we were asked to leave for causing a disturbance.  

Sunday was swimming lessons and a birthday party and now…

Well quite frankly I’m exhausted. Thank goodness it’s Monday and it’s back to school. I understand why some parents can’t wait for the start of the week. I thought getting to school everyday was going to be hard - but after the weekend, school is the easy part.

Especially if I can just find a way to make pajamas fashionable attire for the school drop-off. And maybe the pick-up too!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Well, my baby has started school today...

Except she's not a baby, she's five years old. And very ready. 

It was me who was in a state. I was so busy getting everyone else out the door, I was still in my pjs at 8.30am. No breakfast, un-ironed dress. Still I managed to get it together and we got to school on time. 

I wasn't planning on crying and I felt absolutely fine until the moment we had to say goodbye. I asked her teacher if we should go and she said quite firmly that we should.

"But I haven't showed her where the toilets are!"

The teacher said in a quiet calm voice that is obviously reserved for first time parents, that she would show them all where the toilets are and that there was also one in the classroom.

Of course the teacher would show them the toilets. She has obviously down all this before. What was I thinking! And she would explain when lunch would be. And what recess is. Everything I've forgotten to say. In fact she will be teaching my daughter all sorts of things from now.

So we said goodbye to our happy and excited daughter who was already busy colouring something in. A picture of a snail I think.

And yes, when we walked away, I had tears in my eyes. Of course I did. I never cried much before having children. Now I can't watch the news without having a weep. I saw the trailer for The Impossible with Naomi Watts and sobbed through the whole thing. 

We all went off to a cafe and after my first coffee of the day, I started to feel normal again. I was going to be ok.

So here I am. The toddler is asleep and I have time to blog. It's definitely a whole new world for all of us. 

I just have to remember to pick her up at 3.15pm!