Thursday, April 26, 2007


Grumpy Old Woman at Home.

Just lately (and a lot of the time if I am honest with myself), I'd fit in rather well with the Grumpy Old Women of that British TV series. (Those of you who know me well would know how much I identify with the Grumpy Old Women at Christmas!)

It must be the age... some of them are only in their 40s - so I qualify. It's just that there are a few things around here that are driving me nuts. Yesterday, despite it being a public holiday, I felt myself sliding insidiously into Grump Mode. Partly the weather.. which came over all cloudy, rainy and, yes, cool. Nothing like the cool that other parts of the world get, but it's change of season 'cool' for me. I am sure that doesn't help one's mood.

So today? I am Officially Grumpy. And it's basically the little things that are setting me off!

** The Middle daughter is currently in a phase of doing handstands (as opposed to the headstands pictured right... I just haven't managed to catch this latest.. habit.. on camera.) So she is constantly doing handstands. In the loungeroom. It is not a big loungeroom area - a 2m x 3m rug, basically. There is no doubt she is pretty good at them (I confess I could never do handstands), but the legs flail around a bit. Sometimes a lot. And cause a bit of a breeze... and a flickering shadow because of the wall lights on the far wall, and ffs, it's just so bloody annoying!! It doesn't matter how often I tell her to stop, she is driven to it. (She has been like this before... years ago it was cartwheels - so she started acrobatic lessons that a dance teacher was running, so the cartwheels in the house eased off. But then she learnt headstands, so it was headstands everywhere... as pictured...) This latest habit is doing MY head in though! It is only a matter of time before she hurts herself or someone else. Or smashes into the TV. Last night she abused Zoe for putting the recliner on the lounge out while SHE was doing handstands. (Guess who copped an earful?!!)

** While I'm on middle daughter she's also taken to whistling. Tunelessly. Arrrghhh.. it drives me insane. I am such a horrible mother I just growl at her to stop it!! I can cope with the flute and recorder practice. But the whistling!! No!!

** Eldest daughter can't whistle, but learnt how to make a hooting noise by blowing through her hands. The other two soon caught on, so when all three start... I go demented. I also got a bit stroppy when eldest was doing it on the back of the tandem!!

** And why is it none of the girls can turn the tap in the bathroom off properly? Anytime that I go to the loo on the middle floor after they have gone to school, guaranteed, I'll sit on the loo (usually I've bolted up there for a visit of the longer type duration!!) and then I hear it *plink, plink, plink* And I have to endure it till I've finished what I went in there for. Yep.. it drives me nuts.

** While I'm in the bathroom, we have a bit of a flushing issue with our loos at the moment... (we do need to replace the cisterns, but it's all on hold now till we extend - we once went to look for replacement cisterns and there was some ridiculous issue and complication and expense involved...) So the deal for now is, when you flush you have to hold the button down till the flush has finished, otherwise the cistern cock won't reseal or something, and the cistern just continues to leak water into the bowl. So, yes, it's a bit of a pain, but it's a doable workaround, and takes, what, an extra 5 seconds? The eldest in particular is so chronically lazy, that she refuses to do it properly, and will just leave the toilet unflushed. The number of times I go up to the bathroom in the morning, and find it like that... full of paper and *ahem*... GRRRRR! And she is unrepentant. It's all OUR fault because we haven't provided her with a 'properly working' toilet, and far be it for her to have to spend 5 extra seconds of her precious time!! (I'll add in here that toilet bowls in Australia are different to the north-american style - To quote from a Wikipedia article about a Simpsons episode: "Whereas toilets in America flush with the bowl being first emptied of its wastes and then refilled with fresh water, Australian toilets are flushed by having fresh water rush into the bowl from all around the inside rim, and displace the waste by washing it over the S-bend and down the drain." Just in case you're trying to imagine it from your own loo experience.)

** What else do they do? Or not do, more to the point. They can never hang their towels up. Can't put clothes away.. At the moment there is a pile of stuff - clothes, books, etc - in the middle of the room that Alison and Zoe share. Zoe's doing I gather. "What is this for? I asked this morning. "A bonfire?"

** They have also taken to blaming me and my laundry system for when they can't find items of clothing. Despite the fact that all the dry laundry goes straight up to my room. (Only other place it could be is in the cabinet dryer in the laundry if it's been raining.) It will then either be still in the basket, unsorted, (or, ok, maybe in a pile on the floor, unsorted.) If sorted it will be either in the ironing pile or in 'their' basket, ready for being taken down to their room and put away. Not hard to guess that in this house those baskets get pretty full (then they rummage through them...and grrrrr!) But somehow, if they can't find things it's MY fault. Last week when they had friends around and I succumbed to taking them to the beach, my younger two couldn't find their rash shirts. Mum's fault of course. I found Zoe's stuffed in a bag she'd taken shopping? (Hmmm... must have been one of those clean up jobs where you just shove things out of sight...) And after Alison wore a falling apart old one, the next day I remembered that she'd actually left hers at her friend's place the weekend before. So whose fault is it? Hmmmm.

This morning, with cooler weather, she couldn't find her school jacket. 'Do you know where it is Mum?'. Nup. And not interested in looking for it either. She found it eventually (after missing the bus). "Someone stuffed it up the back of the cupboard." Indeed? Someone? Mr Nobody I suppose.

** And to finish up - for now - there is one question I get asked that is guaranteed to make me really really cranky. "What's for dinner?" My usual response is to snarl back "What you're given." I mean, why ask? Is it going to affect whether you grace us with your presence at the dinner table? Are you going to go out instead if it doesn't meet with your approval? Unless you are asking because you want to HELP prepare it, then JUST DON'T ASK!!

So is anyone else a Grumpy Old Woman, even despite your age? Like the women in the series, I am tempted to just accept it, and even revel in it. (So stay tuned for more grumping!) I'm working on the theory that it helps to get things off your chest, no matter how trivial!!

So I'm now off to do the supermarket shop. I have just realised it's a Thursday which is likely to be pension day (every fortnight I think) - so it will be more crowded than usual with pensioners of all ages getting in my road, so given my existing grumpiness, I will probably get even grumpier. Alas, I need to stock up on a few things, so today it is.

And, so help me, if anyone asks me tonight what's for dinner, they'd better watch out!

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Oh Trace - hugs honey!!!

Yes I get grumpy but today, despite roadworks out front, Paradise is doing great.

Yesterday may have been a different matter, however.

Today I have just cleaned out a pantry so am on a high!
Sympathy not required! I'm using it as a means to an end!! Actually I got through the shopping in an ok mood. Had a good laugh at a REALLY grumpy old man going off at a poor checkout girl at Big W because all the checkouts had queues of 3 or 4 people. At least I don't (usually) take out my grumps on people in shops who can't help a situation.

I haven't done my cleaning job for the day yet... and I have to race out again shortly to be the kids' taxi driver... I might find some time in there somewhere I guess. This mutual inspiration society (cleaning sub-committee) is a good influence on me....
I've been a bit of a crabby old bag in the last few days if that's any consolation and it's not PMT
sometimes a good solid grump is satisfying.

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