Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dear Susan 1st July 2010

Dear Susan,
Rosie's baby started school this year . Do you remember when our babies started school? I never realised how traumatic it would be. I' d dealt with the cat getting its tail caught in the blender, there was no panic when some weirdo rang me at 3am and offered to perform strange sexual acts in the phone booth while I hummed Bolero. I was more than well equipped to handle most of life's bad serves. But packing Eloise's lunch box really broke me up. I mean how can you send a kid off to school with a sandwich consisting of devon ,Smith's crisps and tomato sauce.

Anyway I left her in charge of Miss Smith, a child of indeterminate age who was now responsible for Eloise's well being between the hours of 9 and 3. She didn't have the decency to cry, protest or even kiss me goodbye, (Eloise , not Miss Smith.) Off she went as though she had lived her whole life for this moment.

After nine years of being followed to the clothesline, the toilet and up and down the aisles of the supermarket, I just couldn't adjust to being on my own. I kept looking over my shoulder expecting to see someone... anyone. For the first hour I sat by the phone waiting for the school to call and say she needed me. Apparently she didn't . I whipped through the housework in record time and thought "what do I do now?" I came up with some suggestions which have helped many mums cope with this crisis.

You can spill orange juice over your newly polished floor, so you have to wash it all over again. You can search under mattresses for chewed apple cores. You can replay recordings of your children's voices fighting over the last Tim Tam. You can look through old photo albums so you won't forget what the kid looks like when you go to pick him/her up from school.

I remember surviving that first day and I thought the next one would be a breeze. I went shopping. Alone. By myself. Without anyone else. Halfway through the expedition I looked around and Eloise was missing. I reported a lost child to the manager. "Five year old girl lost in the store, wearing blue skirt and top and carrying a school bag." Suddenly I remembered where I'd left her.
The manager suggested I seek some sort of professional help.

Without a little hand reaching out to topple the baked beans, or a little voice yelling "but I WANT some Twisties," I just couldn't concentrate on the shopping. I kept looking longingly at other mothers pushing their pre-schoolers around in their trolleys. It all became too much for me, so I approached a young distraught looking woman who was struggling to control her groceries, a three year old and a new born. I asked her if I could borrow her three year old until I finished my shopping. She looked puzzled, then frantic, then threatened to call the police.

It was about then that I realised I would have to adjust my lifestyle. I would have to organise this novelty called "freedom".

At the time I thought I would paint my nails ,shave my legs, read books, paint pictures ,write novels.

Now here I am with my fourth grand child starting school and I just remembered my legs need shaving. I hope Rosie is coping better than I did.

Trust all is well with you. When does Anthony start HIGH SCHOOL?

Love Janet xxx

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dear Susan, June 27, 2010

Dear Susan,
Here I sit with a blank screen in front of me, staring at it until my eyes bleed. I mistakenly
thought that I had something to say

In a week that saw an Australian woman not only break through the glass ceiling but stab her predecessor in the back with its shards, there seems little else to talk about.
There was the story in the paper about a south African man who was jailed for thirty days because he stole a blanket from a German tourist at the World Cup. The blanket in question had been given as a gift to the tourist because he had enough money to buy a ticket from Germany to South Africa and a ticket to watch his team play. The South African on the other hand merely lived in the country that was footing the bill for this extravaganza while its citizens fell about from Aids and malnutrition.

God I'm getting so old and grumpy. Remember when I used to write funny stuff? Can you please remind me about it? I know. I could resurrect an old poem;

I think I'll write a "pome" she said
So down she sat, and to her head
Rushed visions of her unmade bed.

She tried to think an inspired 'think'
Then saw the dishes in the sink
And Rosie who required a drink.

She saw the floor that should be waxed
An ironing basket overtaxed
And plants that looked just too relaxed

The rhymes ran quickly from her dome
She cried "a fool can write a pome"
And so could I, if not for 'HOME'

Maybe I should stick to bleeding eyes and blank computer screens.

Love Janet