Saturday morning, and the alarm goes and you turn it off and you think life is beautiful because everyone is still asleep. The baby is a bit sick but is not making the hacking cough sound, and the children are silent. So you have about 15 minutes. And you wait.
Then, all of the children not contained by barred cots and an inability to walk more than six steps come in and start wailing that they have broken their curtains “to the wooden line bit”. It turns out to be irritatingly accurate. They have been swinging from bunk top to the floor, through the medium of velour curtains. The landlord’s velour curtains. The little curtain hooks are not just bent, but broken in half. I go in, and do a bit of a rant, and as my eyes scan the room for more evidence of their badness, I see this:
THAT is last week’s Tom Ford broken lipstick drawing. All over the mattress – not just the wall, as previously thought. It is, apparently, a kind of map. A kind of DELINQUENT’S MAP. Delinquents who show no respect for pigment-rich, vanilla-scented, luxurious makeup items which when used correctly, turn you into a Stylish Lady who can rise above the domestic horrors of motherhood. No. Respect. At. All.
This discovery led me on an angry-faced photographic exploration in order to document other bits of boy badness. Behold:
This is a little mural above Noah’s bed. And this:
A bit of doorframe tomfoolery. And this:
Doorknob enhancement. And this:
Sticker Vandalry. More:
Hallway felt-tip wickedness.
And on, and on, to INFINITY. Or, at least quite a few more spots on the walls, carpet (arrows, drawn in felt tip pen, pointing towards the Tom Ford lipstick map, no less), and on the marble fireplace.
My kids. They are AWESOME.
Anyway, onto Other Bad Bits That Happened This Week:
The parent council meeting was a dreadfully misguided and as dreadfully long as I feared. There were about 10 of us, a few ratty children, a cold, lightless room, pamphlets on the Church Street Lights switch-on-thing, and a man talking for an hour on how the budget affects us all. I know I should be in tune with that kind of thing, but, well, I came late to avoid his talk. Unfortunately, I thought I would also miss the next speaker, who was the school nurse, talking about Healthy Eating. I figured that:
a) the parents who bother to come (and who can…these things are not scheduled terribly well for the working parents) to the parent council meeting probably have a fairly good understanding of what to feed their kids (preaching to the converted and all that), and
b) if the parents who were hearing this talk were clueless, then it was probably too late to change them and their free-sugar-flowing ways.
Anyway, I turned up very late, hoping just to be there for the talk about fundraising and school play costumes and traffic and stuff like that but walked in just as Benefits Man was finishing up. And so the school nurse stood up, and got us to play calorie-counting games, and asked quizzed the antipodeans over what we put into the kids packed lunches, and proceeded to counsel us on the Dangers Of The Common-Or-Garden-Variety-Packed Lunch (namely, that the kids will only eat the sandwiches their mothers make. They will NEVER TRY ANOTHER PERSON’S SANDWICH AGAIN!). We had a little discussion over the crafty ways you can sneak vegetables into your kids meals. We were schooled in the hidden calories in coleslaw, and were reminded of our 5 a day. (Astonishingly, an Australian lawyer-mother thought that you were supposed to have 5 of all of the food groups a day. Ah, nooooooo….). And I went a little bit mental inside, with the barely-restrained rage chorusing through my veins. And we had 4 minutes to discuss the Actual Proper Issues. One of which was the International Foods Lunch Day Thing.
Ah, the International Foods Lunch Day Thing. This is a lovely idea, in practice, where all the (non-working) parents turn up at school in the last week before it breaks for Christmas, bringing with us something traditional (main meal, NOT DESSERT because of the sugar-filth) from our homelands. Imagine! We can all go and make kibbeh and butterfried chicken and plantain and gravlax and pizza and sushi rolls. But what, pray tell, does a New Zealand family bring along?
Hangi? No, because that would involve a lot of burning stones and digging. Health & Safety would be very anxious.
Sausage rolls? No, because 70% of the kids and parents are muslim. Big cultural fail.
Roast lamb? No, because it would be difficult to transport in a skanky double buggy along the A40.
Paua fritters? No. No paua anywhere in this cold, wet hemisphere.
So, I am at a loss. Anyone, anywhere….what do New Zealanders eat?