"Henry, have you remembered to wear underpants today?" I asked. It was only just still morning by the time he got dressed.
"Oops I forgot." he replied.
I reminded him of our trip back from France when I had PMS back in March.
Jimmy had flown back from England by himself - lucky bastard.
After a lovely time skiing in France, I had the pleasure of flying with two children all the way from Geneva via Heathrow to San Francisco. After a 4 a.m. start (none of us are morning people), we had to wait in a long security line to have the excitement of removing most of our clothes, our shoes, our finger nails, etc. Henry and Emily were fighting and screaming about whose backpack contained the most interesting contents. Henry insisted that his contained bombs and guns. I told him to shut up otherwise we would be arrested. They started punching each other at which point I slammed my backpack in between them.
A concerned Swiss woman behind me in the queue recommended that I take juniper. "I need a bloody stiff drink, not juniper." She then asked if Henry and Emily were twins. Henry was not amused as he had just turned six and Emily is only three. He pulled a really repulsive face at her. She was horrified but luckily stopped talking to us.
The rest of the journey from Geneva was uneventful I think. It was still too early in the morning for my brain to work.
At Heathrow Airport, Emily had a great time taunting the security man as she wrecked Harrods' Easter display. It consisted of a huge pink Easter bunny and a poodle wearing a pink collar and leash. Emily grabbed the poodle out of the mannequin's hand and dragged it around the store in between the racks of $1000 dresses. The snooty women who worked in the store looked down their extraordinarily long noses at her in disgust. The security man was surprisingly pleasant as he tried in his broken English to persuade her to release the poodle. I bribed her by saying we would go and get an ice-cream and so we left the poor security guard in peace. Unfortunately there was no ice-cream to be found. I did not look too hard. However, we did find a bar that sold a very nice New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
And so the three hour layover at Heathrow passed and we boarded our 11 hour flight for San Francisco. Emily was threatened with a visit by a fierce security man if she made too much noise and succumbed to sleep. I tried to doze off but Henry refused to take a rest for the entire flight. Instead he kept breaking the personal in-flight entertainment system, getting tangled up in the head phones and spilling orange juice all over my clothes and Emily whilst she was asleep. After nearly 10 long hours he decided that he needed to go to the restroom (or rather contortionist's cubicle). He had to wait a few minutes for someone else to finish. And apparently that wait tipped him over the edge because the next minute I heard him shouting. I thought he was locked in and could not get out but he sheepishly opened the door and apologized that he had not quite got to the toilet in time. The smell was incredible and as I looked down I saw that he had filled his shoes as well as having completely brown legs. I remembered that he had not worn any underwear that day because he had been wearing the same pair all week for the ski trip. He had rejected all the other pairs because Bob the Builder underwear is apparently no longer cool. So his triceratops underpants had been packed for fear of scaring other passengers with the smell.
Now we really were up shit creek without a plastic bag. I had carefully packed a spare pair of Emily's pink and orange pants with pink bows all over them. They looked great on Henry who of course was horrified about wearing them but I gave him the option of being naked or putting them on. They were capri length and just fabulous. I told him not to worry as we were flying into San Francisco and a lot of the men dress like that there but he was not convinced.
The airline attendant was very reluctant to part with his duty free bags to use for such lowly purposes as housing a pair of crapped on trousers but claimed to not have any rubbish bags or other plastic bags.
We returned to our seats after I had cleaned the airline toilet floor and packaged up the nasty shoes and trousers. The smell still exuded from the luggage locker but we only had 45 minutes until we were supposed to land. I saw a few passengers wrinkling up their noses but maybe they were Harrods' store assistants and always looked that way.
Emily had slept for most of the flight but woke up grumpy and she whined that she was thirsty. Breakfast was about to be served. Why they leave serving breakfast until the plane is just about to land is always a mystery to me. Just as they came around with the breakfast cart and blocked the aisle to the restroom, Emily needed to go. After dealing with that we returned to our seats to find that Henry was fast asleep. That was really bad news because now we only had half an hour until landing. It also occurred to me that he did not have any shoes to wear. I could not find the airline socks that we had been given so I went around the plane begging clean airline socks from people. I put three pairs on Henry's feet so that he would not be cold when we landed. The weather in San Francisco is very unpredictable in March.
We landed with an almighty thud but Henry stayed fast asleep. I waited until all the passengers got off the plane including all the ones with sticks, crutches, wheel chairs, extra large and awkward hand luggage and the ones that wanted to get extra conversation with the tired air stewardesses.
I shook Henry and woke him up but he fell asleep again. Emily tried shouting in his ear but to no avail. I tried three times and had to lift him out of his seat. I tried to get him to carry his own backpack but he shouted that he was not going to carry it. The bombs and guns or whatever that he had filled it with made it feel heavy enough to be full of weapons. I was starting to lose any patience or composure that I had managed during the flight. I pushed him along the aisle, laden with bags, because Emily would not carry hers either.
As we walked the five miles along the hallway in the airport to immigration Henry decided that he did not like the airline socks that I had put on him. He had complained about socks and underwear constantly on the ski trip and now he was crying and screaming. I told him to take them off but he did not want to do it himself. He howled and wailed and I completely snapped.
"Did I shit in your shoes? Did I shit in your shoes?" I screamed back at him. "Did I refuse to wear any of my other underwear all week in France?" And once again, "Did I shit in your shoes?"
We had just approached the line for immigration and were ushered to the front of the queue by an officer who asked if we had enjoyed a pleasant flight. "Shit!" I said holding up the bag of stinking shoes and trousers.
And the final delight was trying to push two luggage carts laden with car seats, oversized suitcases, several zoo animals, and all of our hand luggage. Henry managed to push one trolley in Geneva and I pushed the other. But he was still not cooperating in any way. Poor little Emily started to push one and she could not see where she was going. As we walked through customs I felt like declaring that Henry was not mine and would they mind impounding him. A few passengers looked twice to see how the seemingly self-propelled trolley was moving along. Thankfully a very nice man took pity on me and took charge of the second trolley until Jimmy met us in arrivals.
From now on I will always carry spare underwear for both children and for myself and plastic bags on transatlantic flights.
And I will continue to remind Henry of the importance of wearing underpants.
A very nice, patient man at eBay - God knows how he coped with a drunken woman who could barely see the screen, let alone steer the mouse around it - helped me to unlist and relist my auction on eBay with a more realistic shipping fee. It is now $20 instead of $3000. Thanks to a friend for bidding on my ridiculous item previously. She even offered me her dog in lieu of the hefty shipping fee.
I think the $3000 fee was in violation of eBay's shipping policy anyway. I have put a reserve of $20 on the tray table + $20 shipping. I am not calling that poor man again.
And, actually, I don't really want a dog, although the dog in question is a very nice one.
So the auction is here now. Get your bids in - only 6 days left.
I am wondering why nobody is bidding on my eBay auction item. Maybe it is because the shipping is $3000.00? Please read on to find out why.
Item Condition: Highly Used and Harassed by Children Just Like Seller
I am selling my most beloved piece of baby gear, a mother’s memoir, with reticence.Don’t all mums get desperate and turn to ebay when hubby says, “It’s time you went back to work.”?
Jimmy, my husband, came home from work yesterday evening and our conversation went,
“Have you got your period again? I thought you just had one.”
“No, I’ve got PMS, you insensitive moron.”
“Have you started looking for a job yet?”
For some strange reason, he does not think that looking after kids, blogging, and publishing an eBook constitutes a proper job.
"Why ever not darling?" I ask him.
Actually, I scream at him and swear. I tell him that I am going to get an evening and weekend job in a bar. He gets to put the kids to bed every night and have the entire weekend by himself in their company. On the other hand, I will be bought drinks by lots of men in the bar, because my boobs are bigger than those of the other barmaids.
And so I am preparing my resume or curriculum vitae, which is Latin for "course of life". Isn't everybody's course of life the same?
Dribbling and crapping, bullshitting to get a job / wiping up dribble and crap, dribbling and crapping.
(Come to think of it, this tray table has seen its fair share of those activities. It not only clips onto a Jeep umbrella stroller and, no doubt , other brands, but also onto the bassinettes on British Airways transatlantic flights back to the rainy U.K. This tray table has seen more turbulence and flatulence than your average tropical cyclone. But it is robust. It is a survivor!)
Power verbs are an essential part of any resume and indeed they have got me jobs in the past.
Bullet points are also important, but I have not quite mastered those on my new computer (which my husband bought me seven years ago).
My key achievements to date:
*Managed to get stuck in a lift (elevator) for two hours during a fire drill.
! Proved my team playing skills, by writing a bogus report for the director to present to our sister company in Hamburg. The rest of the sales team was coercedinto collaboration. The director, who did not speak much German, read our report, word for word, to our German colleagues and managed to call the manager there a garden gnome and a dysfunctional cocksucker. Apparently, German factory workers did have a great sense of humour (humor) that day.
. Minimized postage costs for the department by losing all of the names and addresses on the database.
# Liquidated my computer by throwing a cup of coffee at the keyboard when it lost my entire research project.
; Disproved the theory that German cars are superior by winning an off-roading race in my British company car in Germany.
@ Restructured that company car so that it was unrecognizable.
+ Administered a very painful blow to the groin of the taxi driver, who tried to grope me when he finally found me sitting by the smouldering remains of my company car.
? Fabricated a great story about what happened and why I needed to fly back from Germany and abandon the company car.
" Distinguished myself as the most reckless worker that the company had ever had the misfortune to employ.
007 Investigated the affair of my boss and the director and bridgedthe gap between being fired and obtaining an expensive, brand spanking new vehicle for my next trip to Germany.
I am currently studying for a Ph.D.
"What will you be a doctor of?" you may ask.
Why, Bullshit of course - what other kind of Ph.D. is there?
Now what sort of job would I like to apply for?
Nothing to do with kids or animals.
When I lived in rainy England, my ambition in life was to retire somewhere sunny (obviously not Britain) and sit on the beach drinking wine. That pretty much summarizes my current situation, so in that respect, I have been one of the most successful people I know. I have achieved my goal. The careers advisers and life coaches are not going to get any business from me. In fact, I am at the pinnacle of my career.
Like the course of life, my resume remains a work in progress.
And so I am going to try my hand at selling our discarded remnants to others in a last plea for freedom from evil employers, who can only be less oppressive than my current mini managers.
You may ask why the shipping on my objet d’aft is so high.
Isn’t that how all sellers make money on ebay?
Actually, I have a more poignant reason. I hate (“hate is a very strong word Mummy”) waiting in queues in post offices more than anything in the world except, perhaps, tarantulas. I would rather be carried, covered in curry by cannibals, through the Congo on a bad Ebola day than waste my life waiting for service from a tortoise in a fusty smelling, antiquated GPO.
And don’t get me wrong, this is not a racist slur on U.S. post offices. I despise these institutions on a global scale.
It is not so much the way I have to chat to old ladies, who have lost their pension book and are hopping around on their fifth hip replacement. Nor is it the way the postmaster has seemingly run out of stamps, which is tantamount to a winery running out of wine, but not quite as serious.
It is more the way I always seem to have my kids with me and they shout questions like,
“Why does that old woman smell of dirty nappies?” (“diapers” to you locals).
“Is that dog with the man with the white stick deaf too?”
And then when I get to the counter, I have forgotten what I was going to buy or send. My kids inherited most of my memory cells, the minute they were conceived, leaving me with fewer than a retarded barnacle.
International Shipping: This stroller tray table has already travelled all over the world. It is immune to vomit in many different countries. One more journey abroad probably won’t hurt it. Just don’t expect me to explain all the stains to the customs authorities.
If you are unfortunate enough to lose this exciting ebay auction and not get this precious piece of memoir art, then please purchase my eBook from Amazon. It is called “Laugh in the Face of PMS Diary.”
Love, hugs, and irreverence to all you super buyers and the cuddly staff at ebay.
And here is the advert itself, but hurry, only 8 days to go!
I woke up this morning with a huge scratch on my forehead and a hairdo that made me look like a crested eagle, according to Henry, who is studying birds at school.
"How did that get there?" I thought in my usual morning stupor.
That is the problem with drinking a glass of wine too many and thinking that your cat is your hairdresser. He started off quite gently but got a bit excitable when his claws got all tangled up. Why haven't I managed to write my blog since May 13th? What do I do all day? Why don't I have a full-time job? What exactly have I achieved in the last month?
One evening, Henry came hopping and screaming out of the bathroom, where he was alternating between bathing and making full use of the toilet. He looked like a distressed walabi, and was clutching his private parts in agony.
The bathroom smelled delightful, thanks to my air freshener, which is a beautiful, natural blend of citrus fragrances. It was a veritable fiesta of freshly squeezed oranges and grapefruits.
But we had no idea why Henry was in such distress. He was hopping from foot to foot, still holding onto his particulars, as if somebody was about to cut them off. "Oh you didn't spray it on your willy did you?" Jimmy eventually fathomed it out.
Henry admitted that he thought that you had to spray the product into the toilet, and had done so whilst still sitting on it. I am writing to customer service at "Pure Citrus" to advise them that their product should carry a warning and directions for what to do if you spray it on your genitals as well as if you get it in your eyes, which incidentally Henry had also done a few weeks ago.
Last week was an eventful one for me and not in a good way. In fact, it was pure pain.
I spent all of Tuesday in the Sherriff’s records office and on the phone to various police departments in LA and other places, that I have never visited or heard of. Somehow my Driver’s License was suspended and I only found out because I had applied for my record so that I could drive for Emily's field trips. The suspension had been on my license for several months and if I had been stopped by the police, I could have been put in prison for driving on a suspended license and my car would have been impounded.
It turned out, after a lot of investigation, that somebody (probably the most intelligent and articulate staff at the Department of Motor Vehicles) had made an error of one digit in license numbers and some bloke in LA should have got the DUI (driving under the influence) on his license!
Anyway, hopefully that is sorted out now.
At the weekend, I had a conversation similar to the one below on Facebook ™
Me: My poor sore pussy! Urinary tract infection.
Me:If I stroke it, it seems to feel better.
A friend likes this.
Another friend: OMG lmao .... U r hilarious :0)
A different friend altogether likes this
A friend in England who has got out of bed (8 hours time difference) says:
Not nice, drink plenty of water and cranberry juice and keep stroking!!
A very rude friend in England, who has also just got out of bed says:
Well that's what happens when you do too much fanny fiddling!! Cranberry is recommended by our continence nurse consultant !!
(And for the Americans who are reading this, the word "fanny" in the UK does not mean "bottom," but rather "front bottom". Only women have fannies in England. We Brits think your word, "fanny pack" is absolutely hilarious. )
An old boss of mine (not old in age) joins in the conversation: Adding to the general consensus of opinion, definitely cranberry juice and a hot water bottle between your legs (but be careful - no scalded pussies please!)
Me: I took him to the vet yesterday and the antibiotics seem to be helping. Apparently, it is difficult to get pussies to drink cranberry juice. But he has run off to catch some mice now.
Old boss says: Lol!! You really should be more explicit Susan! X Me: I don't know what you are talking about!
A Welsh friend who lives here: Front to back dear!
My sister in law: my first reaction was one of shock as I couldn't believe your public notice and then I remembered what you're like and realised it wasn't you! x
Me: Yes, well frankly I am sometimes amazed by the things people write on Facebook.
A friend of a friend: I LOVE your sense of humor! Me: Maybe the cat sprayed Pure Citrus on his dick too.
The pain of paying the vet's bill was relatively minor in comparison with the rest of the week's events.
(Apologies for the weird paragraphs in this blog. Something crazy and slightly painful was going on. A weird force kept grabbing my text and placing it wherever the fuck it felt like.)
Mother's Day in the USA is on a different day than in the UK. That is confusing. Here, they call their mothers "mom" and in the UK, "mum".
There are many differences in the way mothers are celebrated all over the world.
Some people go to the horse races, wearing fruit laden hats. Others go out for a fancy family picnic; some go to an exclusive restaurant for brunch, or they send mother to a spa for a massage.
So on Saturday (the day before Mother's Day), Jimmy decided that he was going to prepare a special treat for me. I would take the kids to the beach whilst he spent some quality man cave time, delving in fossilized turds and marker pens which had been maturing in the caverns of the old toilet since before we moved into our "new" house ten years ago.
Our "new" toilet had been sitting patiently in its box for four years, next to the every time you flush you play "Overflow on your feet Russian Roulette" model. Now, the "new" toilet was to reach the pinnacle of its career as it was finally being plumbed in.
"What is so special about Jesus?" Henry asked at breakfast before I took him and Emily to the beach.
"Oh God, the nuns at my convent are turning in their graves now," I thought.
I did try taking the kids to church for a while, but not a Catholic one, shame on me. But as I told the pastor in the pet store, when he commented that he had not seen me at church for over a year, I did not think that dragging Henry across the hall at home and into the car, whilst swearing at him, was a very healthy way to start our Sunday. Henry also told the pastor that he thought that God was a bearded dragon.
Jimmy walked past the breakfast table, hands full of shards of porcelain, fingers shredded, dripping blood, another offending marker pen, and other festering toilet debris.
"Eww, what's that terrible smell?" screeched Emily, nose up in the air like a sniffer dog.
"The back of the cooker looks like the back of the toilet. The common denominator is you," commented Jimmy as he stomped through the kitchen, complaining that my spicy curry has kept him awake all night.
In preparation for Mother's Day, when he knew he would have to be nice to me, he was venting all of his pent up gripes. In true red neck fashion, he had thrown the smashed up, retired toilet out of the upstairs bathroom window, narrowly missing the cat, who was sitting in his special hunting spot down below.
So Mother's Day arrived and I was given a guided tour of my new toilet, which was dressed in a pink ribbon. It looked like a royal throne, amidst the grunge of the rest of the bathroom.
"Maybe next year I will get a shower or a new sink," I thought, optimistically.
The bathroom had been devoid of a shower or bath for four years. In fact, calling it a "bathroom" is a bit of an untruth. It should be called, the "cat litter and mouse shit room" or the equally appropriate, "discarded and hidden irritating toy room."
Henry and Emily gave me some beautiful crafts that they had made at school and preschool. My, the teachers must have been busy.
Jimmy took us for lunch at my favourite restaurant and the manager gave me a free large glass of wine. I had already had one and was feeling a little tipsy by the time we left for the garden centre. I had my chauffeur so it did not matter. The children wanted to buy me some new plants for our deck.
We drove past the church and Emily asked, as usual, "When can we go to the church again?"
By the time we arrived, I was feeling a bit wobbly. Emily grabbed a garden trolley (cart) and climbed in and I pulled it. Jimmy and Henry had already disappeared into the plants. I proceeded up a small hill on the path between the newly planted bonsais and the marigolds. We had just reached the Bougainvilleas, when Emily screeched suddenly and fell backwards out of the trolley, in which we had already put a few pink potted plants. The handle of the trolley whipped around under my legs and I fell back in the opposite direction into some particularly prickly bushes. I felt a patch of freshly watered soil creeping into my pink shorts and underwear. At least it numbed the pain, caused by the large thorns, that were piercing my behind. As I staggered up, I saw a member of staff appearing, shaking her head.
Emily was screaming and was covered in soil from the pink pot plants that had been covering the sticker which read, "Children should not ride in cart."
Jimmy was peering over the top of the tomato plants at me, also shaking his head. Henry came rushing round the corner to see if he was missing out on any excitement.
We loaded up the trolley with some new plants - I did not wish to pay for broken ones. Emily finally stopped screaming and we paid and then went to the potting soil area to get something to plant the new flowers in. Emily and Henry were clambering about in the bags of soil whilst Jimmy huffed and puffed and lifted a few bags onto the flower-laden trolley. I lifted one bag on and then decided to have a rest. After all, it was Mother's Day and I had a very dirty brown patch on the back of my pink shorts. Jimmy mumbled something about me thinking I was the queen, but lacking the required decorum.
Suddenly, Henry started a kerfuffle (commotion). He was stuck between some bags of potting soil. Emily was squealing at Jimmy to help.
Whilst Jimmy helped Henry to extricate himself from the "castle", I tried to load one more bag of soil onto the already full trolley. I am not going back to that garden centre again. The whole cart tipped over once more, squashing the plants which we had already paid for.
Jimmy was in a real rage by now and he flung bags of soil and plants into the van like provoked Popeye.
On the way home, Emily said again, "Eww, what's that terrible smell?"
I glanced into the back of the van and realized that one of the bags of potting soil had burst open and was liberally scattering its "real fish heads and organically raised chicken manure" onto the floor.
"How can a simple trip to the garden centre be so awful?" was Jimmy's response.