Sunday, 30 May 2010

Diss Function

Yesterday I got cranky at Tim. He is my almost 18 year-old beautiful stepson. Who I call my son, no step about it. When people ask me how many children I have I just say three. He has lived with us mostly full-time since he was eight years old. The age Max is now.

There were a LOT of teething problems at first, mostly on my part. Tim is an eager to please, amazingly high-spirited, wonderful giving guy.

He can also be a massive pain in the arse.

I've gotten used to him inhaling all of the food in the pantry .... leaving his workbag dumped on the ground after he gets home every day .... using my car as a garbage bin ....taking the home phone upstairs every night. I've learnt to choose my battles wisely, and I let him get away with a lot because he does a lot. His brothers adore him. He works for Dave, is in his third year apprenticeship soon, and I'm so proud that he is such a hard worker.

But the laundry situation makes me want to stab myself in the face.

With alarming regularity, he senses the EXACT time I have finished all the laundry in the house. Then he brings down his dirty washing, dumping it so that all the bits of grass and dirt from his soccer boots are all over the floor. Then he puts a load of his washing on.

And leaves it sitting in the washing machine. Wet. Forever.

I used to finish it off for him, until he started expecting me to. It's become a battle. Because I don't want to walk past the laundry and see all of his piles of dirty stuff, day after day.

I asked Dave to have a word with him, but he just said it should "come from me." I told him it already had come from me, 1,417 times in the past year.

Yesterday morning was D-Day. If I was to do washing, I'd have to get all the wet, almost mouldy stuff out of the washing machine, sidestepping all of his other mounds of week-old dirty clothes.

This is probably almost as boring writing it out as it is for you reading it, I'm sure. I'm sorry. I just needed to get to this next part - the one where I asked Tim to please stop doing this, he instantly gets angry at *me*, and I was in no mood. So I got angry back, saying to him I need to be able to tell him things like this.

And then our Lord and Master Dave, who was upstairs sitting on his throne overseeing his Kingdom while taking a dump, shouts out to ME to lay off.

I suddenly sprouted purple and black horns. It's such a shame - I haven't lost my cool like that in a long, long time. I don't think Rocco has ever seen me so cross - for the first time ever he was a little scared of me. And perhaps in awe.

I shouted the whole house down and kept shouting, until the roof and walls collapsed and Dave and his precious toilet came crashing and he sat there, blinking in the rubble.

Not really. But I did say terrible, mean spiteful things. Because as Dave kept yelling at me to shut up, I was yelling at Dave to stay out of it, stop being so defensive, I'm allowed to be angry at Tim, Tim was calmly telling me REALLY nasty things, out of Daves earshot. Tim happened to be holding Rocco at this point, and Max was sitting right next to us, listening to everybody. The only thing missing was Jerry Springer.

Ahhhh, families.

I was taught from an early age how to perfect the art of a vicious verbal attack on somebody, and I'm not proud of it. By the end, everybody was crying (except his Lordship upstairs, of course.) I felt so bad.

I took Max and Rocco to a huge playcentre, bought them McDominos for lunch, then some toys. Dreading coming home, I drove up to our house, absently thinking, "If Dave has snapped my laptop I will bash his Valiant with a golf club."

Which really surprised me, because we don't even have any golf clubs.

They had gone, away to Dave's mothers house for the night. Dave left me a nice note with kisses and hugs, hoping I can have a nice "relax." I replied by text, calling him an arsehole. Because he is and I'm still cranky.

I'm an ugly, cranky cow. And as soon as Tim comes home I will sit down with him and apologise. (I HATE when I have to apologise.)

And we'll hopefully talk calmly with each other about what happened, each stating our case.

It's hard, step-parenting. I often get no say in anything Tim does. It's hard when Dave feels so protective that he needs to step in, right at that pivotal moment when I'm cranky at Tim. I'm allowed to be cranky at Tim! I yelled out yesterday. But then things descended into yucky, I start screaming and crying, and as soon as I do that my whole credibility goes out the window and I become The Crazy Lady.

I hate being her.

So. They are due home soon. Rocco, Max and I ended up having a wonderful time together. (After I'd done three hours housecleaning and the weeks grocery shopping and dissassembling the expensive clothes hanger I've broken in my fit of rage.)

The scary part is ... Max has recently displayed signs of pre-teen attitudeness. And Rocco has been a petulant rebel since his cells started dividing.

I'm screwed.

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Unleash

This is how I felt inside, at every single school I ever went to. I just didn't have the balls - or talent, to let it out like this guy does. Bloody fantastic.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Ultraviolet

When I was all messed up
And I had opera in my head
Your love was a light bulb
Hanging over my bed


- U2 "Ultraviolet"

I do have one or two "good" habits. I always light a candle when I wake up in the mornings. Among all the crumbs from dinner from the night before; the overflowing sink; Rocco destroying something; Tim and Dave getting ready for work and Max putting his school face on .... the candle is burning.

I light the candle with purpose in my heart, sending out a signal to the Universe, inviting Spirit into the room with us.

Does that sound wanky? Probably. But if I don't live with some kind of acknowledgement that I am not controlling my life, that there are forces unseen that want the best for me and my family - well, I don't travel too good.

Whenever I walk past the candle, it centres me. Especially when I forget it's there, so that when I see it I get reminded all over again.

The past few weeks have been pretty rough, but it's ok. Rocco turned two and I freaked out. Tim and Max leaving their stuff all around the house that I just cried in frustration at them.

The work I do at home is not financially valued - if I had a dollar every time I picked something up, I could buy a LOT of the candles I need to keep reminding myself to stop sweating the small stuff. I'm not in control. Get out of my own way. Just do what's in front of me.

Even last week, when Dave had such bad stomach pains he was up all night. I don't care what he says, I'm coming with him to his next oncology appointment. Rocco can come too. Tear the place apart, make the other patients laugh. No matter how many times we go into that cancer clinic, I never ever feel like we belong there.

The truth is, nobody belongs there.

::

This morning I realised that I am so pre-menstrual, it's a wonder anybody in this house is still alive. The sound of the boys all chewing their food at the same time made me want to punch them.

But I didn't! I am *so* Spiritual!

I think finally, finally I am learning what makes me tick. When I get old and on my deathbed, I'll have a Eureka! moment and understand how to live my life.

And then I'll die.

::

Next life I'd like to come back as someone more ... together. Because I have no clue what that feels like. But I know what watching your boys eat leftovers in front of the fire feels like:





The bunny fingers, the Scooby shirt ... I love these pics.

(Even with the stupid clothes hangers that will remain there for the whole of winter.)

(If we make it through winter.)

(Because a helicopter may come crashing through that window at ANY TIME.)

Friday, 21 May 2010

Sisturds.



My sisters are fighting.

Well, not really, but kind of. Something happened - there was a big blow up recently and things between them haven't been the same since. I used to *LOVE* when this happened when we were kids, because they were both falling over themselves to become my new best friend. Sometimes I had to actually choose and it was very hard, as I didn't want to hurt their feelings.

My sisters hurt my feelings a lot, growing up. I do not begrudge them for it one bit. Kids can be cruel, girls can be very cruel. And growing up in our family was akin to growing up in a warzone, with harsh words and violence commonplace.

Being a same-sex sibling of twins is probably hard in most cases, the amount of times I wished I was the eldest! Alas ... they are two years, ten months older than me. (I am taller, louder, and stinkier HAH.)



Linda and Leigh, born eight minutes apart in May, 1969. I love my two bitches. Blood is thicker than water. It's thicker than beers, Eccies at DCM in the nineties, and heroin. Blood is thicker than any dead dad, any hateful mother, any cancerous tumour.

You two are my blood. How are we all going to have ricotta hotcakes together? Meet in Shinytown with gold sandals? Line up all our kids for an arm-fart symphony? We are each a tribute to ourselves - did you know the four of us, including Cam, are all creative? Imagine if we had been properly parented, we would have overtaken the world by now.

Instead, we have all had to un-parent then re-parent ourselves.

Hey I finally figured out why we are so inappropriate, Mark Twain told me.

"Pain, not joy ... is the secret source of humour."

We are our own Kristy McNichols, our own Madeline Kahns, our own best David Royle impersonations. I love you girls, man. I love you men, girls.

We are not normal. You both still fart in the phone and think it's funny. (IT'S NOT, BTW.)

When I was younger, a question I continually would get asked was, "Who is your favourite sister." My answer was based on who was being a bigger bitch to me at the time.

It took me a long time to realise that they are two completely different people. Recently I have realised that they are noticing this too.

That's cool - it's good! I have red pubic hair, for goodness sake. I know what being different is!



::

One day, a few years ago, Linda and Leigh and their families were all staying up at my house. The three of us were making a quick cheeky shopping getaway one morning, but Leigh and I had to wait in the car while Linda ran inside to do ANOTHER poo. (Linda has toilet issues when she's away from her house. Constipation then roids, in quick succession.)

So me and Leg were waiting in the car; Linda swans out, jumps in, announcing:

"Man! I'm having a six-turd day!!"

Leg and I just lose it, *pissing* ourselves laughing.

And right there, on the spot, I made up the "Six Turd Day" song. Lyrics, medly, everything.

We sat, in the car, laughing SO LOUDLY that Dave came out and asked us what the hell was going on.

Girls, I love you. Let me love you. Let me - help you - love each other.

::

Marriage, kids, and step-parenting has taught me a lot. One of the biggest is that the people you love the most will hurt you the most. Because you love them. Then you forgive them ... and when they hurt you again you just forgive them again.

The only way I know how to fix this is to write the remaining lyrics to Six Turd Day, and sing it for you both. Us blood done gotta stick together - we may have been through a lot, but MORE LIFE IS COMING. It's freaking me out. Stupid life with its stupid twists and turns.



Now I'm off to google "How to get a recording contract and become an overnight sensation."


Oh look - I'm in the middle again. WHAT A SURPRISE.

::

Lyrics to Six Turd Day (Copyright, obviously)

When I have, those
Six turd days.
Makes the roids, come out to play
I wish they'd all just,
Go away.
When I have those
Six turd days.

(New lyrics I just wrote) -
Friends may come
Friends fade away
My sisturds
They're the ones who stay.
I need them close
Need them to play.
So we can have more
Six turd days

Bow-bah-dow-bah-dubba-dow-dah dow.

::

Umm, I think I just wrote my favourite post ever.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Not One



Last night, after a long day of hovering on the edge of anxiety attacks, I held Rocco close to me before I put him in his cot. He snuggled up, pressed himself closely to my body. I asked him:

"Rocco ..... are you a baby, or a big boy?"


It was his last day of being one. He looked straight up at me, paused for a second, then answered:


"Bart Simpson."


And went back to his cuddle.


(Swear to God that is exactly what happened. I was shaking with laughter).


::

Last night I was icing his cake, wrapping his presents .... so grateful and amazed that we have all made it through. Together.




Two years, man. A lot can happen, in two years. Rocco has had a gazillion presents and ran around and had a mini-party at his daycare. A bath with dad, his favourite meal for dinner (beef stroganoff) .... and extra dessert afterwards. He has four pairs of new shoes, remote control car, a Buzz Likeyou, and his most favourite present of all ..... a garbage truck. With a realistic BEEP BEEP that sounds when the bin is being lifted up.



And throughout it all I went inside myself, today. Annoyed the crap out of myself in fact.

Rocco said his first sentence: "I see you, daddy" ... at the dinner table. I nearly burst into tears.


My tearaway, my dictator. My patience-teacher.

I'm still learning all the gifts he gave me, this strong, stubborn, tough, eccentric, beautiful and brash little boy.

::

Two years ago I was shaking really badly from the shock of the pain of the c-section .... they hadn't given me enough painkillers afterwards and I was too embarrassed to ask for more. Until this one kick-arse nurse came on duty and demanded heavy drugs for me pronto. Two days later she took Rocco for me in the middle of the night. I bayed at the moon like a wolf, in that hospital bed. Thinking of Dave in his hospital bed, wondering if I would ever see him again.

But I did and we're here and it's cool.

Way cool.

::

Rocco sweet I'm sorry that your arrival into this world was clouded with such heaviness. Don't take it personally, mate. It had nothing to do with you. It's important for you to know, that some things in life have no ryhme or reason. At all.

In fact, I believe that you are the one who saved us all.

Monday, 17 May 2010

The Stories Not Shown in the Photo:

I bought these pants in the girls section. There's something about leggings on little boys that make my heart sigh. Dave clocked them and got all suspicious. I feigned exasperation. "As if, hon! They're boys tracksuit pants." (Heh) -


Speaking of tracksuit pants, Dave and the boys bought me a black Adidas trakkie for mothers day. Which I've worn every day since. I finally washed it today. I give it about three months before my armpit man-glands ruin it forever -



I cleaned Rocco's room. 6.7 seconds later this happened -


After destroying said clean room, Rocco gave birth to an 8-year old boy -


We daringly took the boys out for brekkie on the weekend. On the way there we stopped at a garage sale and bought this wooden toy for $2 which kept Rocco amused until our eggs arrived. Score! -


So annoyed at everybody in this house drinking all of my skim milk with gay abandon, I clearly marked my territory in permanent pen AND a skull and crossbones -


Mysteriously, all the milk was gone when I went to make a coffee the next morning.

Q) How do you piss mummy off so badly that steam comes out of her ears before 6.30am?

A) Put her skim milk container back in the fridge. With no skim milk in it.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Blogging about writing about blogging. About writing. About blogging.



I've been blogging for three years. It's a hobby. An obsession - one of my favourite things in the world. It's equal parts narcissism and reflection. It's so damn FUN .... looking back, looking forward, and the best kind of blogging .... looking within.

Lately I have been telling more and more people that I have a blog. Only because they ask me what I "do", my goodness I hate that question. I was in a really bad place a few years ago and Dave dragged me out to a party. The guy next to me turned to me and said, "So, Eden. What is it that you DO?"

My reply, verbatim -

"Ohhhh, I dunno. Stuff. Eat. Shit. Things like that."

Nobody except for him heard me, thank goodness. I never told Dave what I said - that guy must see me in town and think "FREAK."

So I have started to tell people that I blog, because it gets me off the hook when they ask me how my writing is going. (My writing isn't going anywhere in a hurry.)

My motivation of starting a blog in April 2007 was to document my IVF process. And I ended up meeting all these really cool women, online.

Something has happened in me, since then. And I am about to sound like the biggest wanker in the world right now - but I found my voice. What is it about this medium that so enchants me? Maybe, it's that I can say whatever, do whatever. The options of what you can do in your blog are only limited by your imagination. It's so fucking creatively cool.

Personal blogging is not that big in Australia, yet. I tell people sometimes and they laugh, before mocking me. True. But I don't care ..... I have found life on planet earth to be extraordinarily cruel and hard, for a lot of the time. So anything that feels good and does not harm myself or others, is fine by me. I love blogging so much that I soon have to write up wills for both Dave and I, in case we die in a plane crash on our way over to BlogHer in New York in August.

Blogging through some of the worst times of my life has given me some of the best friendships in my life. I will always blog, hopefully even when my hands are gnarled and wrinkled like layers of cling wrap.

When Max was born, over eight years ago, I had to write my occupation on his birth certificate application form. Ummmm, loser? I wrote "writer." I knew I was an absolute fraud, and when we got his certificate in the mail, Dave scoffed. "What do you write hon?"

"SHOPPING LISTS."

My secret is that ever since I was little, I have wanted to be a writer. My grandmother really encouraged me, always told me how well I wrote. At any school I ever went to, all of them - I kicked ARSE in creative writing, but failed everything else miserably. In my early twenties, it was the one thing in my life that gave me hope. I would think, "What if nan was right? What if I make it through this all, and then I can write?"

I get embarrassed when I get complimented on my writing. You know my theory on being a writer? Two things:
1) You must be a good noticer, and
2) You must be a good describer.

That's all. Just pick up the pen (keyboard) ... and write. It's that painfully simple.

These days, when I go to parties and get asked what I "do" ... I say I'm a writer. And I am. And there it is.

I recently decided to delete my old blog, forever. I hadn't poked my head in there for many moons, so I did before I bid it goodbye.

Oh the words. And stories, and all who I met.

I can't bid it goodbye! So I read through every single post - backwards. And edited it. Wow - do you know how many times you use the word "cocksucker" when you are blogging anonymously? A LOT.

I only had to take down a few posts, ones that, you know - people could sue me for. So here it is ...... Indisputable Topcat. It's like, a museum now instead of a lonely ghost town. I've disabled comments on it, mostly to eliminate the spam.

My early posts are cringeworthy - like a fricken Dear Diary. Poorly written and stilted, and all my dark past and early childhood dysfunction accidentally came out. But, I own it. One of the biggest and best things that blogging continues to teach me is that we all have stories. And fucked-upness. And very, very hard times. And love and hope and stinky armpits.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

POTATO

Rocco is passionate about his food. Can you tell?

Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Real Story of the Garden of Eden

Interesting conversation overheard in the Garden of Eden:

"Lord, I have a problem."

"What's the problem, Eve?"

"I know that you created me and provided this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals, as well as that hilarious comedic snake, but I'm just not happy."

"And why is that, Eve?"

"Lord, I am lonely. And I'm sick to death of apples."

"Well, in that case, I have a solution, Eve. I shall create a man for you."

"A man? What is that, Lord?"

"A flawed creature, with many bad traits. He'll lie, cheat and be vain. He'll be bigger, faster and will like to hunt and kill things; all in all, he'll give you a hard time. But I'll create him in such a way that he will satisfy your physical needs. He will be witless and will revel in childish things, like fighting and kicking a ball about. He won't be as smart as you, so he will need your advice to think properly."

"Sounds great, but... what's the catch, Lord?"

"Well, you can only have him on one condition."

"Oh. What would that be?"

"As I said, he'll be proud, arrogant and self-admiring - so you'll have to let him believe that I made him first. And it will have to be our little secret . . . you know, woman to woman."

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

The Plastic Syringe

This morning I woke up to Rocco peering at me from the side of my bed; his chubby hands holding up a syringe and spoon. FREAKY. I realised he'd somehow found the baby Panadol plastic syringe, I vaguely remember shoving it under his bed this morning at 1am after he'd woken up crying for the fifth time and I decided to give him a dose.

The first thing I felt this morning when I saw said syringe and spoon was ..... EXCITED. Woo-hoo!! Happy morning to ME! Then I realised, I am not a junkie anymore. I believe there were some traces of disappointment. Then Rocco did a poo in his nappy and Max begged me for a day off school for no reason. I was running late and had to choose between breakfast or a shower - I left the house with awesome hair but an empty stomach.


The boys were all fed and washed and clothed though, because that's what you do when you're a mother ... take care of everybody else before yourself. I'm fine with that. Concentrating on the kids keeps me from obsessing on myself. I'm too hectic to ponder my place in the world.


But man, I have felt strange all morning. Random thoughts tumbling, while I did a Pump class, went grocery shopping, did some writing.


The last time I ever went to rehab, I went in with huge bruises on my arms. Beforehand a friend organised for me to get a massage, the girl noticed my bruises and said, "Oh, did you hurt yourself?"

I didn't understand what she meant, but I just said yes. Because it was the Truth. I probably shouldn't blog about such things but I can't help it. I'm learning to not be so scared of the Truth. Something happened to me when Dave got cancer. I truly know what it feels like to really live each day. You know how, when something bad happens, everything else falls away and only the important things remain? And it's so simple? Life is so fragile, man. You never ever know what's around the corner.


I heard a joke in a recovery meeting once: "How do you make God laugh?"


"Tell Him your plans."


There's a sense of exhilaration, not knowing what's happening next. It's why we must enjoy the now .... now.


One of the recurring themes in my life is redemption. And restoration. I am not who I used to be. It feels like I got a Get Out of Jail Free card. It feels like I messed up my life so badly, that I died, but got a chance to come back again and live it properly. And all the people I used to know have fallen by the wayside. Why am I still standing when they are all back out in the wilderness again?


I don't know. I don't know as much as I used too ... but man I feel wiser.


So.


In conclusion: The Truth isn't scary. Taking care of others takes the focus off yourself. And if you're an ex-junkie and your toddler wakes you up with a syringe in his hands ... you think really strange thoughts all day long.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Can't Touch This

They have to be all lined up perfectly. Nobody is allowed to touch them .... there is hell to pay if you touch them. He drives them all from one end of the house to the other, criss-crossing the floorboards.




He sees me snapping photos of his kitchen-garage, walks up to smile at me. I see what he is thinking. These are mine! Look what I did! You can't touch these mummy!!





Driving cars is thirsty work, you know.




Later that day, he walks up the street. Straight up to a bearded, tattooed guy drinking coffee. He tries to crawl into his lap. The guy laughs ... "Well well! You're not scared, are ya mate!" I laugh and say no, he's not scared of anything.


I ask the man can I take a photo, he agrees.





If Rocco had a wallet, this is what it would look like -

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