A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spent 10 minutes in Woolies...

looking for SPAM.

I'm not sure how supermarkets organize their shelves but there doesn't seem to be any kind of intuitive logic at times. It seemed to me really odd that the SPAM was stuck between  noodles and something else that wasn't tuna or canned veggies.

Some thoughtful store assistant noticed that I was completely baffled and asked me if I needed help. That surprised me as I really didn't think big supermarket chains cared about customers except in some obligatory way. An advantage of shopping on a Tuesday morning, I suppose, when there's hardly anyone about.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The other day we received a call from the school office...

While at work a few days ago, I got a call from the husband telling me the school had rung him.
My first thought was "Oh... oh... which child is it? What did she do now?"

Apparently the second child -- was determined to undertake an after-school activity after I had said "no" -- had put in a form and money at the school office.
Fortunately the lady at the office had her wits about her and tried to contact us about it (I was in classes at the time and only found out later) because she thought it was strange that the form was filled in with crayon and the money wasn't quite right.

When I picked her up from after school care, I confronted her about it and she denied vehemently that she had done such a thing. Riiiiiiiiiiiight... sure...
And then there was the mysterious $20... where did that come from? She didn't have a cent to her name.
She claimed it came from her "piggy bank". Riiiiiiiiiiiight... sure...
So I invoked the fear of Dad into her. "If you don't tell me where you took the money from I will ask Dad to talk to you."
The response was immediate. "Okay... okay. I took it from [Big Sister]."
Which I had already suspected was the case.

They didn't prepare us for this sort of thing during ante-natal classes.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Opposites Attack

I am both fascinated and dismayed by the how different our girls are. It's terrifying enough to observe the best and worst of our own traits emerging from our offspring but to watch their differences at play is the stuff of horror films. Well... I exaggerate. But only slighty. :D

This is the kind of thing that makes parenting ridiculously hard... it means that you can't really have pre-conceived ideas about any child. Just when you think you've got a handle on things, the next child makes a liar out of you. It is, I expect, God's gift to parents... to shake off any notions of complacency and sense of superiority out of our system.

So what do you do when one child needs constant pushing and the other has so much energy that just looking at her is exhausting? Quite frankly it's exhausting either way. The child that needs pushing is just as strong-willed as the child who is constantly on the go.

It's frustrating on a certain level but it's a good kind of frustrating... thought I say it grudgingly... because it compels us to face them as individuals and not blank sheets that we can jam into some kind of quick and easy template.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Haven't blogged in a while...

and I'm not sure if I should. If I start again
I um-ed and ah-ed about blogging off and on during the past 14 months. I was tired, sick, stressed.... tired, sick, stressed... you know how it goes... A never ending cycle of feeling horrible. During  the winter months last year I was barely surviving... staggering into work, back into the car and into the house. Blogging was the furthest thing from my mind.

I also tend to write what I think, which is probably not too great especially when I'm something of a public servant. I didn't... and don't want to talk about work... not just for fear of being indiscreet but also for the fact I'd just be inflicting pain on others. Suffice to say I love and hate my job at the same time. It can be an all-consuming thing if I'm not careful but so far, the "love" part of the job has not been subsumed by the "hate" part. Strong boundaries is the key remedy for the chaos that I go to three times a week and the notion that I work for God and not for man is another thing that makes the thing more palatable.

I took up Jazzercise just over a year ago because I was desperate to feel better. I was ready to try anything. In the early days it felt like a self-inflicted form of masochism with loud music blaring in the background.The loud music is still very much a feature of these bi-weekly sessions but at least now I know why the hands go here and the legs go there. Now if only I can get them to synchronize a bit better...

I've also gone back to Uni. I use the expression "gone back" rather more metaphorically than literally as I'm studying online for a Masters in Education (what else?). Now that I've finished the Cert IV in Training and Assessment and realised a few things about studying online, I'm taking the plunge again.
My first Masters was many, many moons ago but it was mostly research. I was going to wait a bit but the truth is, I ain't getting any younger.

I do miss blogging and writing in general. I was dabbling with fiction from time to time last year but the horrifying truth of life is that I'm not getting any younger. Youth is really wasted on the young.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mischievous Kiss 2013 (Jap: Itazura na Kiss -- Love in Tokyo)

Last Saturday (Aussie Time) saw the end of Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo, a Japanese live action, television adaptation of a ridiculously popular manga of the same name. I gather that it’s the Pride and Prejudice of shoujo manga as this is the fifth version to grace television and computer screens worldwide. It is, to all intents and purposes, a farcical rom com that begins as an unrequited high school romance and then moves into angst territory.  It is loads of silly fun and features characters with personalities at opposite ends of the spectrum. The fact that I liked it surprises me... I’m not a fan of high school romances as a rule... and I’m certainly getting too old for egregious slapstick. Nonetheless, I was charmed almost instantly by the plucky (though underachieving) female lead who has a talent for getting things wrong and who has a penchant for stalking the object of her affections. With admirable fearlessness, she sets herself the mammoth task of winning the heart of the smartest boy in school, whose icy declaration that he doesn’t care for “dumb girls” becomes the catalyst for a rollercoaster “will they, won’t they” journey.

Okay...  it sounds fairly pedestrian as romances go but the familiar can be oddly addictive. Especially if it is oozing with all manner of cuteness. Before you know it, the show seduces you into rooting for the most unlikely couple in Dramaland. At first, smart boy maintains his distance and disdain but much to his own surprise, dumb girl turns out to have an unexpected streak of deviousness and determination. In spite of himself, he begins falling for her while still maintaining a facade of disinterest. Oh, he likes her... it leaks when she's conveniently not looking but he’d go to hades in a hand basket first probably before admitting to it. Not helping the course of true love, however, is his somewhat overbearing mother whose tireless insistence that he marry dumb girl pushes all the buttons of his already well-developed rebellious radar.

The moral of the story in Itazura na Kiss: Love in Tokyo, it seems to me, is that mother knows best. No matter how ridiculous her machinations and plots are, no one knows her children like mum does. Mama's heart is always in the right place. Before anyone else has twigged, she knows deep in the recess of her motherly instincts that dumb girl is just the one for her supercilious, overachieving boy. She knows something that only mothers are privy to. Apparently dumb girls have their uses... they can teach smart boys a thing or two about humility and that thing called love.