Call in Scully and Mulder…

truth

Call in Scully and Mulder because I want to believe…

I walked downstairs on Saturday morning and, stunned by the scene in front of me, became convinced I was in the wrong house.

Something woo-woo had happened in my sleep, causing me to astral travel to another woman’s home, even though it was disturbingly similar to my living room. Even the kids were identical to mine.

But despite the similarities, it couldn’t possibly have been my house because…

There were three children sitting at the table in complete and utter silence…

doing their homework…

Voluntarily!

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Da-da- dahhhhhhhhh!

I know! Shocking, right?

Completely freaking unbelievable?

Immediately, I whipped out my phone to record the moment for posterity, because surely this was a once in a lifetime event- never to be repeated, ever again in the history of the universe.

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I snuck around behind them and looked at their screens, the cynic in me too suspicious to truly believe my own eyes.

Expecting to see ‘Lego for kids’ or bloody ‘Minecraft’, I was stunned into silence when the screens displayed ‘Mathletics’ and ‘Reading Eggs’- their assigned homework sites.

Holy crap!

Did the ‘homework faerie’ come to my home last night and sprinkle his magic dust over three of my kids? (the eldest was still snoring in his bed- he’s not a morning person).

Were they hypnotised into obedience? (is that even possible?)

Had my husband bribed them with sugar, salt and grease laden treats the night before?

No, no and no. They had simply decided to do their homework before breakfast so that they could have the rest of the day to themselves.

Utterly shocking. A miracle worthy of canonisation.

Those of you who have children will smile when I say ‘it’s usually very difficult to get my kids to do their homework.’

And by ‘difficult’, I really mean impossible; requiring more bribery than the FIFA World Cup drama, more tears than a screening of ‘Beaches’, ‘Step Mom’ and ‘The Fault in our Stars’ combined. More objections than the entire 20 seasons of ‘Law and Order’, and a level of eye-ball rolling, pouting and groaning that would rival the entire teenage population.

And that’s on a good day!

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Yes, parents – you know exactly what I’m talking about. Homework = nightmare.

It’s possible that every parent hates homework more than their kids do. The act of getting your kid to sit down and do their homework is a trial, a torture and threatens family unity. It ruins that lovely parent-kid bond that you’ve worked so frigging hard to achieve.

And the worst part of homework is that for their entire school career it never ends! It starts in Prep and finishes 13 years later when the graduate high school – and that’s without them going on to University!

So, you can imagine my aneurism inducing shock at the image of the scholarly endeavour in front of me.

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I can’t explain it, and more importantly, I don’t even want to. Whatever happened was perfect – like all the planets aligned and combined with the ethereal powers of the universe, Jedi force and magic ju-ju.

Will it happen again next week?

I’m an optimist, not a deranged lunatic. I’ll leave my homework-performance expectations where they are- somewhere around the soles of my shoes.

Instead I am going to take this victory as a baffling, but extraordinarily wonderful, phenomenon of magnificence. It will be stored in the recesses of my mind and brought out while sitting around campfires telling stories of the eerie and inexplicable. It will take its place in folklore and fable, nestled amongst Big Foot, Nessie and the Min Min lights, and there it shall remain- a distant, yet glorious memory in my mummy mind.

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The Angel Mother…

She knew, from the very first moment she held him.  The small, helpless bundle she cradled so lovingly in her arms, the tiny little boy was so much more than a gift from above.  She’d waited, so long, and with such heartbreak for this moment, and it was even better than she’d ever imagined.

And now they were finally  together, she made the promise never to leave him. Not ever.

The sleepless nights spent nursing him were a joy, because she had lived the alternative – a full night’s sleep on an empty heart; a heart waiting to give so much love to the tiny person to whom she now belonged.

His first smile brought tears to her eyes- happy tears for a moment in time shared between just the two of them.  A moment in time that would forever be locked away in her mummy box of treasured memories and later recalled with such clarity, that each time it was retrieved, it felt like the first time, again and again.

His first step, his first word, the first time he said, ‘I love you mummy’. The bond that had formed between them was one that could never be broken.  All precious beyond words.  Sacred moments.

She kissed away every little tear that rolled down his rounded cheeks, soothed away every scrape and bump with a special mummy kiss and a bandaid that restored a smile to his sweet little face and huge brown eyes.

She came running when he called out for her in the middle of the night, frightened by a bad dream. She held him in the safety of her arms until his breath slowed and he returned to slumber.  Then she sat and watched over him as he slept; because she had promised never to leave him. Not ever.

His first day at school was a jumble of emotions. The pride at seeing him take his place in the world, and the fear of having to let him go.

At the end of the first day she wrapped her arms around him tightly, as if she could retrieve every moment of his day and store it in her heart for the next day, when they would again be apart.

She attended every school athletics carnival, swimming day, and award presentation. She spent hours sewing costumes for dress up days; every thread laced with love and gratitude for the gift she had been given.

She spent hours in the wind and the cold, cheering from the side-lines during football season, until her voice croaked, her pride swelling each time he got close to the ball.

During the relentless Australian summer, she would bake in the heat to watch him play cricket and give him a cool drink and piece of fruit at each break.

His first part time job – delivering news papers and milk before school. Her beautiful mummy heart bursting with pride at how responsible her son had grown up to be and at all the promise the future held for him. The excitement at what magical times lay ahead.

The first girlfriend, the first broken heart. A feeling of helplessness as her words and love gave no relief. His pain endured. It had to. She knew this, for him to learn, to grow, to mature.  Her heart was heavy with the burden of this knowledge,  but she knew  that she too must endure this pain so that she could learn, and grow and mature into a mother of a teenage boy.

Then, the unthinkable happens. Her body is ravaged by an incurable disease. But she doesn’t think about herself. Her only thought is for her son.

She fights with all her strength to stay because there is still so much to do. So many memories to build.  So many milestones yet to reach– graduating from school, the start of a career, falling in and out of love, a wedding day, and the most magical day of all, the birth of his own child – the grandchild  that she would give anything to hold in her arms.

Within only a few short months, her body is broken. No matter how determined she is to stay, no matter the love between mother and son, it is not enough.  The disease takes her life, and the boy’s life is changed – forever.

The years pass and the boy grows into a man.  He achieves his professional dreams. He falls in and out of love.  His wedding day  is just as beautiful as his mother could ever have imagined.

He experiences the miracle of new life as he welcomes his own little boy into the world. The heavenly mother watches over the baby each night,  as his chest rises and falls in time with each little breath.

She has not missed a single moment of her son’s life.  Not one. She has been there for every milestone, every day of happiness, every day of sadness.  She has watched, beaming with pride, as her son grew into the man she always knew he would be, because even death itself could not break the bond between a mother and her child.

She will continue to watch over him, and his family, because she is his mother and she promised him that she would never leave.  Not ever.  And one day, when it is his time to leave this life, she will once again wrap her arms around him and welcome him home.

Please, ladies, remember to get a pap smear and breast examination every two years. If your instinct tells you that something is wrong – please seek a second opinion.

In loving memory of all the Angel Mummies.

xxxx

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‘Cookies for Dinner’, guest post and book review…

What do airplane toilets, a crow-fearing husband, engorged breasts, creaking floor boards, toilet-clogging poohs and animal sanitary products all have in common? Believe it or not, they are all elements of motherhood as described by Pam Johnson-Bennett and Kae Allen in their new book, Cookies for Dinner.

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The book covers the period from pre birth/adoption to around five years of age, and each chapter is divided into stand alone anecdotes, which is a perfect structure if you don’t have the luxury of devoting hours to your reading habit.

I volunteered to do an open and honest review of this book for ‘Chick Lit Plus’ and the main reason I wanted to read it was because of the title – Cookies for Dinner really appealed to the mother in me. I was curious to see just how honest other mothers would be about their experiences on Planet Mum, and I wasn’t disappointed.

This book is a MUST for all  to-be mums, first time mums, experienced mums and grandmothers because it is not only hilarious, but heart warming, open,  honest and bridges the gap between being a ‘text book’ perfect mother and a real mother. Even Dads will get a laugh out of it, and an insight into the true world of motherhood.

I laughed until I cried, numerous times, not only because of the humourous writing, but because I could relate to the vast majority of these experiences. Whose child hasn’t suffered diahorrea at an inconvenient time or place? Who hasn’t had to pre-empt an oncoming tantrum in the shopping centre? Who hasn’t battled toilet training, breast feeding, and long family drives encumbered with various crises? The difference is that Pam and Kae write about their experiences with nitty gritty, open, all out clean honesty. There is no cookie left unturned here.

But what impressed me most about these ladies, was the innovative and unconventional ways in which they solved their varied crises. Duct tape. A garden hose. Re-engineered jumpsuits. Sippy cup envy.  I’ll leave you to connect the dots.

There’s something very special about this book, something that crosses cultural differences, geographical boundaries, religions, political views, age and even the great divide between working and stay at home mums. This book brings us together as mothers – women who do the hardest job in the world, who give of themselves every day to the people we adore. It allows us to laugh, relate and feel a little less alone in our struggle to be the best mums possible.

If it’s Gross and Disgusting, We’ve Touched it!

Hi Pam and Kae, and welcome to the blog. Can you tell us a little about motherhood from your pespective?

From Pam: If you know me then you’re well aware of the fact that I am a germophobic woman with just enough OCD to provide my family with hours of entertainment as they watch me attempt to sterilize the world. My journey during the writing of “Cookies for Dinner” was really an eye-opener for me and I have to pat myself on the back (because no one else will, I’m sure) because as I started working on the stories I realized I have touched a lot of gross of disgusting things as a mom!

When dreaming of motherhood I knew there would be diapers, scraped knees, some amount of blood, sickness, crying, tantrums and other unpleasant things but I wasn’t prepared for how much. When preparing my sweet baby for bed at night I had no idea that I was holding a child who was planning to decorate the walls of her room with her own excrement. I had no idea that my initial response to a child throwing up on my sofa would be to hold out my hands in order to limit the damage done to my furniture. I certainly wasn’t prepared for pulling dead spiders out of my daughter’s tangled hair (the spiders were a present from her brother) with my bare hands while trying to avoid hearing damage due to her intense screaming. I have had boogers shot at my face from the nose of a sneezing child while he lay in my arms and have landed flat on my butt on the bathroom floor due to poorly aimed peeing attempts by my potty-training son.

Ahh yes, motherhood… I love it… blood, vomit, pee, poop, boogers and all. Ok, maybe “love” isn’t quite the right word there.

From Kae: When I was pregnant with my first child, Matthew, my grandmother pulled me aside at a family function and told me with intense sincerity, “Just remember dear, everything that comes out of a baby’s body is good for your complexion.” At the time, I thought it was an odd comment, but I accepted the advice even though I had no idea what she meant. It only took a couple days of motherhood for that saying to become my mantra during gross motherhood moments.

I thought of it when I had to wear a washcloth on one hand like a catcher’s mitt every time I changed Matthew’s diaper because the cold air on his “fire hose” always made him pee. I used it when Christina would nurse a full meal and then inevitably proceed to projectile vomit down the front of my shirt while I attempted to burp her. With three lactose intolerant kids, one of which has intense motion sickness, I have cleaned up more than my fair share of gross messes. Once it involved a garden hose and once it involved the hot air hand dryer in a restaurant bathroom. Funny thing is, since I had my kids I have never had a break-out of acne. My grandmother must have been right. It seems that everything from snot to faeces was good for my complexion.