Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Life Lessons From the Better Half

Life Lessons from the Pandemonious Parigi Palace.
1. I keep hearing things about how you shouldn't eat or drink, or put on make up while driving the car, because it's too much of a distraction. I could eat, drink and put on make up, all at the same time while driving the car, and it would be less distracting that having 3 kids in the back.
2. When a plaintive voice from behind the drivers seat says "Mummy, I made splashyou!", you need to say "God Bless You". And just be thankful that this time she didn't actually splash you.
3. The Lalaloopsy dolls now come in 2 packs, with a big sister and a little sister, we know this because we saw them in the shops. Apparently they are "Just like Abi and Mieki". I know this because Abi told me, and I guess she is right, apart from the pink/purple/orange/blue hair.
4. When Daddy is preparing to change a nappy, and the 18mo who rarely uses actual words, is laying on the change table very clearly saying, "It's baaaad", take her word for it. And that is why it's Daddy's turn to change the nappies on the weekend.
5. When 5 o'clock comes, and the bus drives away with the almost 13yo, who has driven you crazy for the last 3 days shopping and packing for a Music Tour to Brisvegas, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that if anything is forgotton now she will just have to do without it, or the teachers will have to sort it out. That is, you can if you are the Mummy who now has a week of peace before all the dirty washing comes home. If you are the Daddy however, who suffers from seperation anxiety, you can now prepare to torment your wife by being stressed and miserable for the next 7 days, for NO GOOD REASON. Learn to let go a bit so your kids can have a life, and get one of your own in the process. Besides, there are 5 other kids in the house you can lavish you attention on.
Unlike · · 16 June at 20:26 ·

1. As torturous as shopping and packing for your 13yo to go to Brisbane for a week is, it is far worse to go through it with a 19yo with the flu going to Thredbo for 10 days. It will probably take me 10 days to recover from the ordeal.
2. As much fun as it has been to tease Marco about his separation anxiety from Felicia, he can expect even less sympathy if he is missing Belinda. I plan to enjoy the next 10 days without an adult child tormenting her younger siblings until they scream and wake the baby, blaming her parents for every imaginable thing, (including the fact that Ray's Outdoors advertise thermal underwear as up to 60% off, but don't give the actual price, because I obviously have control of that), and either manipulating, sweet talking or just plain whinging to get other people to pay for everything for her.
3. If you tell your cardiologist that you are a poor uni student, with 5 younger siblings who sap your parents dry of all the money they should have kept to spend on you, and can't afford to come for a follow up test, he will not only offer to do the test "for gratis", he will also bulk bill you for the current appointment.
4. Gen Y's do not know what "for gratis" means, and getting them to shut up while they're ahead, without actually explaining it in front of the doctor or his receptionist is not that easy. Somewhere along the line I have failed as a parent, because "the look" does not work on my first born.
5. The scariest thing about taking your child for tests with a heart specialist, is the thought that he will discover that she doesn't have one. Turns out she does, and for the past week she has just been using it for pumping blood, and not much else. Here's hoping a holiday in the snow will thaw her out a bit.
Unlike · · 22 June at 23:00 ·

1. When you can't find Tamieka, who is small, so easy to lose, she will always be in the last place you look. According to Marco this is because once you find her, you stop looking. It's not really true though. Once you find her, you go looking for the trail of destruction she has left in her wake.
2. If you want to get flowers for the garden, tell your husband that you want to go to Bunnings to get herbs to plant. It fits in with the Food Nazi code of conduct. You will have to buy herbs as well, just so that you can slip the flower seedlings in between them so he doesn't notice just how many you have. And if all else fails, tell him they have edible flowers. Just be careful not to buy any poisonous ones. He may feed them to the kids. (That might explain all the throwing up.)
3. Some people might think that I have an excessive amount of cot/toddler bed sheets, if they knew how many I had. But if they had been here last night and today, when four seperate lots of bedding went into the wash, from two tiny people throwing up on them, they would not begrudge me my extra sheets, or blankets, or cloth nappies.
4. You know your teenage son doesn't get further away from his bedroom than the bathroom or the fridge during school holidays, when he's going to his friends for an all day and night computer game marathon (broken only by a few hours at lazer tag in the middle), and as he walks past the front garden bed that you just spent the whole weekend weeding and replanting, asks "Did you go on a weed masacre or something?".
5. Morning people are strange creatures. Getting up at 6am to start work at 7, is not that fun. Especially in June. I just don't understand why some people get up this early just because they like it, and say it's the best time of the day. It's cold and dark and normal people just want to be in bed sleeping. I'm going to write to the tax office and ask them to change the end of the financial year to September. It won't clash with Christmas, it won't be in winter, and it won't feel so awful when I have to get up early to do PAYG statements.
Like · · 25 June at 22:58 ·

1. If Dad is home, it is his duty to help Abi go to the toilet. It doesn't matter that she can do it herself, and does when he's not here. When she says "Dad, come on", he'd just better come. And as soon as she is on the toilet, he should "Get out and shut the door, Dad".
2. In desperation at being told to hurry up and drive, when stopped at red lights, Mummy taught Abi all about red lights and green lights, and policemen and jail. When Dad is driving now, and goes through orange lights, "NO DAD, you have to STOP! You need to wait for the green light to go. You are so naughty Dad, you didn't wait for the green light!"
3. When Tamieka gets her head stuck in the arm of the chair, you shouldn't pull her out and say "Oh you poor thing." "She's not a THING Dad, she's a Mieka! Don't call her a thing."
4. When Dad has a headache, a cat or dinosaur sticker on his forehead will fix it. Stangely it seems to work. Makes me think Marco is either secretly taking anelgesics, or was just faking the headache for sympathy. Either sympathy or he thinks he looks good with a kids sticker on his forehead.
5. And for the greatest wisdom of all, when the Food Nazi is trying to make you feel guilty for eating ice-cream, and tells you that he will be so disappointed if you eat it, this is the answer I intend to use in the future. "You won't DIE, Dad.", said in a tone of exasperation meant to infer that she is entirely over his attempts to use emotional blackmail to control her diet.
Unlike · · 1 July at 17:40 ·

1. Parenting is all about bedtime and dire consequences. You spend the morning threatening dire consequences if teenagers don't get out of bed, and the evening(and often well into the night) threatening dire consequences if they don't get back into bed. And I would very much like to know why the parents of the teenagers talking to mine on vent in the middle of the night aren't making their sons go to bed.
2. It would be better if all the kids in the house were either morning people, or night owls. I wouldn't mind getting up a 6am, if I had gotten to bed before 1am. As much as I like school holidays, I look forward to much better sleeping patterns once school restarts.
3. Townsville seems to be having winter with a vengence. I think it must be because all the expats who moved south are coming home for the high school reunion, and bringing the cold weather with them. Just make sure you take it back with you when you leave.
4. Cars should be serviced in summer, not winter. It's not right having to leave the house at 7am when the temperature is 10 degrees. Try to remember this for next year Marco Parigi.
5. I am not a fan of car racing, and would rather watch grass grow than watch cars drive round and round a track to see who goes the fastest. Normally I have "you live your life your way, and I'll live mine" policy, but frankly when a ridiculous sport puts up road blocks over half the CBD, and has ugly buildings erected, which get used one weekend a year, I become less tolerant. If the V8 organisers were to decide that there is a better place to hold their race at the end of the 5 year contract, I would not be unhappy.
Unlike · · 4 July at 18:59 ·

1. We won't need to water the garden for a while, now that the winter monsoons have set in. Those are the monsoons you get without risk of a cyclone, although it has been a bit windy.
2. Men should stop writing lists of instructions on how to be good housewives, or women may start writing lists of instructions on how to be good husbands. They will be headed up "How to be a real Man". That one is for you Jia Zhang.
3. A really good day is the day when your house is reasonably clean (we could stop there and that would do it, but not today), and both your toddlers take a nap at the same time, and so does the uni student on holidays, enabling you to take a nap too. And yes, I've been a mother long enough to know, when miracles happen, go with them.
4. A really bad day is when the fan belt in your dryer breaks, and the kids at one of the highschools started a rumour, which spread like wildfire, that school is cancelled today because of all the rain. Now my reasonably clean house has washing hanging all over it, trying to get dry.
5. Crazy Clarks sell really good, cheap rain guages. Only $2. Don't bother getting one. They don't hold enough rain. I would like to tell you just how much it rained last night, but the rain guage overflowed, so you'll just have to look in up on the net. Or go with my very accurate measurement of "lots".
Unlike · · 10 July at 22:24 ·

1. You know kids these days are growing up too fast when your 3yo rolls her eyes at you, with the same level of skill as your 19yo.
2. You know kids these days have less respect for their elders when your 3yo says "Dad listen to me!" and after Dad says, "ok I'm listening", responds "I told you to SHUT UP DAD!"
3. You know kids these days watch too much TV (or IView in this case), when your 3yo goes around all day snorting, just like Peppa Pig.
4. You know why kids these days have all these character flaws when your listen to the example being set to them by their teenage siblings.
5. You realise that you can forgive them anything when your 3yo and 19mo get up in the morning, and seeing each other for the first time since they were forced apart the night before, throw their arms around each other and start kissing as if they thought they might never see one other again.
Life Lessons from the Pandemonious Parigi Palace. (I've been putting this one off as sometimes you don't want to admit to all the lessons you've needed to learn.)
1. Drinking too much alcohol is bad. It's bad for your liver. Bad for your brain cells. Bad for your blemish free reputation. It may however be good for your husbands reputation. If you hear any rumours about mine, I may be responsible for starting them, and they may just be true. But don't anyone out there get any ideas. I've been putting up with the out-laws for 20 plus years, so ladies, he's mine!
2. 25 years ago, Marco and I were blessed to go to school with some really wonderful people, and we are really thankful for that. But don't let any of them tell you they are grown up mature people. In fact some of them are downright ratbags and degenerates. Those are the one's we like the best.
3. Sometimes in life, when we least expect it, we get the opportunity to meet new people who will make an enoumous difference in our lives for the better. We should grab those opportunities with both hands and not let go. Life is short, and some of us hide behind our own fears and insecurities. I have done this for most of my life. (until you add alcohol and stir - then anything's possible). On the weekend I made a new friend, and some new old friends. If it looks like I'm creeping back behind my wall, someone knock it down and drag me out.
4. There is a reason people our age don't go clubbing. Young people look at you funny at first, and then with a growing level of annoyance. The noise level in clubs is way too high, and bar staff don't really want to serve us. I did meet the most diplomatic bouncer at Flynns though. When I asked if he wanted to see ID, he told me it wasn't necessary, I had an honest face. Honest = wrinkled.
5. We should all aim to be the cool, non-judgemental type of parents, who willingly pick their kids up at all hours of the night from where ever they happen to be during their growing up turning into adult years. That way, when we regress back to those years ourselves, they will be the cool, non-judgemental type of kids, who willingly come to pick us up at all hours of the night from where ever we happen to be. And if you are as lucky as me, they won't even lecture you on your behaviour, or lack of shoes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mad Monday and all that.

Monday the 9th was dubbed mad Monday due to the solar tariff reduction deadline. It was the biggest test of my principled stance against solar tariffs. My only way of personal protest is to avoid taking advantage of them, but the bombardment of ads leading up to Monday was incessant. Half the population lined up to get their applications in before the midnight deadline. I failed to get a valid application in, and last night I had nightmares about having missed out. It's still just a type of investment, and my instincts are always to zag when everybody zigs, so I may get solar when nobody else is, without need for subsidy.

I definitely think that a sudden reduction was not the way to reduce the financial burden of the scheme. The main risk is from the long guaranteed tariff amount. It would have been a much smoother ride if the term of contract were reduced in stages from 15 years down to 5 years, thus reducing the long term risk.