Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bloody useless - all of 'em

I wasn't going to share this first bit, because I'm not really after sympathy. However, it's rather crucial to the plot, so - I'm walking around with one crutch at the moment, my back having "gone" in a very painful and inconvenient way on Saturday. I did a sort of stretching-bend move, to see what had fallen down behind the entry hall bench. And it went. It was really, really painful all weekend so I called the doc, thinking that a trip to the Emergency Room was warranted. He sympathised, wrote me a prescription for Codeine (which you can't just pop in and buy here), and bascially told me it would take "time and rest". Neither of which I have. Don't these people realise my mother is coming today and we're off to Arizona on Saturday morning, en famille? Oh, and both teenagers have informed me that they have to provide "treats" at the end of the week for their classmates. Oh, and of course, the Ball & Chain has gone out of town for a few days. (In his defence, he offered to stay, but I said I "was sure" I could manage). Hmm.

Anyway, since I'm not very mobile, I have done my nails for the first time in about a decade, and have been blog visiting. I came across a funny post at My Boyfrend is a Twat, which sounded so like our house this week, I had to add to it. She's talking about her boyfriend, The Twat, going shopping without the list, and leaving her letters on the table instead of posting them. You know how it goes.

In our house this week, the older two walked to school on their own, as they usually do. I got myself to the front door and reminded them of my condition ie. if they forgot something, they had to do without as I couldn't bring it in. (The B&C was walking the little one in about 15 minutes later.) Mr. Minimal couldn't have reached the end of the street before the phone rang. Could dad bring his baseball cap in? Click. That would be the baseball cap that was on the baseball practice list I made? Of course it would.

Me: Where are you going to take it?
B&C: I don't know.
Me: Well, how are you going to get it to him? We don't know what his first class is nor his locker combination.
B&C: I'll phone him back and ask him.

Brilliant. Except that Mr. Minimal had immediately switched his I-pod back on and was now oblivious to ringing phones (and probably oncoming traffic.) Grrr.

The B&C said he put the cap in Mr. Minimal's baseball bag, so I will just assume that it was, in fact, the right bag.

Last night the B&C instigated a new "contract" with the older two. Basically, it wrote out in about 10 clauses, what I say all the time. "If you don't pull your weight, you're not getting your allowance/pocket money". This includes getting all homework done on time, and not the morning of; practicising all instruments more than once a week; picking clothes off the floor and getting them to the laundry room; you know the routine. Oh, and there are financial deductions for infractions.

This morning all appeared to be going well. Then the phone rang about two minutes after Mr. Minimal left the house. He'd forgotten his baseball bat this time. Could dad please bring it in. (He has been waiting for years to play on the school baseball team. Wouldn't you think the bat would be uppermost in his mind?)

Me: Well that's a deduction.
B&C: No it isn't.
Me: Of course it is. He didn't have his stuff ready.
B&C: But it's not in the contract.
Me: We don't have to specifically mention bats, but he needs to have everything ready the night before.
B&C: I forgot to put that in the contract.
Me: What kind of a contract is that? He gets away with more than he used to.

B&C sheepishly gets 5 year old's coat on and leaves. Two minutes later I hear the key in the door.

Me: What's the matter?
B&C: (Barely audible voice, again). Forgot the bat.


This is the same team who valiantly went on a week's ski trip in Feb while I visited a sick/ill friend. They managed very well - and came back missing one booster seat (left in the rent car and never returned) and one cell phone (left in Denver Airport security and miraculously returned.)

As I said, bloody useless.



  1. I SO know the feeling...however, my poor children have to pack every other weekend to stay with their dad, so I sort of forgive them when they're a bit rubbish. It's a lot to have to think about. I have emailed you btw - did you get it? One came back as undelivered. If not, my address is x
    Hope your back feels better soon Lx

  2. Very Funny Expat! Thankyou for you comment over at mine, I had a fiddle with your email address (fully clothed I swear) as the one you gave me bounced back. I sent it to, hopefully you got it, if not I'll check in here to see your reply to this. Cheers MH

  3. That did make me laugh. My kids are pretty good about remembering things (although Todd doesn't seem to come under 'my kids' - he's in a league of his own) as like Lulu, they have to go to their dad's every week. Fortunately, he's not far away at all.

    Todd did once come home without any shoes on - having left with shoes on, and once lost 3 coats in one day.

    The Twat.... what can I say?

    Hope your back gets better - I suffer from back problems. Wine helps.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. I have to laugh. No amount of contracts seem to work with my kids. I hurt my back very badly about four years ago in Florida when I was visiting without hubby. The children were brilliant about helping me, but two flights -- one transatlantic -- did nothing to help me. The physio had a fine time with me when I returned. Hope you're feeling better and enjoy your holiday with your mum.

  6. Love,love, love it! Great blog! Thanks so much for the links!

  7. Ah yes, how well I remember this. My kids, my son especially, used the fact that they spent a fair portion of the week with their father to explain why he could never find anything: "Don't worry Mum, it will be at Dad's" was the music which accompanied about six years of his life.
    Sometimes he was right.

  8. Ouch, poor you.

    You seem to be carrying the stress, even if not the work...

  9. Sounds like B&C needs a contract too!!!

  10. Sheesh! I hope your back is on the mend so that you'll, at least, be fighting fit!

  11. I blame it on the cell phones; what did kids do before they could call you at anytime of the day/night to tell you to pick up their slack?

  12. PErhaps you should make their clothes out of velcro so you can stick everything they need to their coats/trousers/shirts?

  13. I'm with Mike H. The kids at my school don't bother using their memories when they have a mobile phone and a mother with a car on the other end willing to drive to school with whatever they've forgotten. Grrrrrr! I would definitely have gone for the 'deduction', what kind of contract did he write?

  14. I think it's about high time we instituted some of these rules in our house--i just went in my teen daughter's room and it's a disaster. I thought I was mesy, but come on now!

  15. Poor you, having a bad back and having to deal with all that crap! I don't know how you stay sane. Do hope your back is better now. M xx

  16. Currently holidaying in Sedona, Arizona and taking it easy on the old back.


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