I give up England, you win! Uncle! Uncle!

I wrote this post a while back and included a paragraph about the total lack of weather here. This was a huge mistake.

I should know this by now. It only snows once every thirty years or so in the South West, but because I kept saying that, there has been more snow here than in the 50 years previous. I reversed that trend this year, and it did not snow.

Yep, I really do control the weather in the UK. I guess this is my superpower. Sorry England!

This is great until I get all asshole about it and start laughing at the UK’s lack of weather. Then the gods punish me and everyone else who has the misfortune to live here. It has gotten so bad that the other mums on the school run automatically blame me when weather happens. I was met today TWICE with the greeting: “this is your fault, isn’t it”. Scowling abounds.

So, since that post we have much weather. It hailed. Frogs fell from the sky. We are having a week of steady rainstorms.

I have been asked (not too politely) to please recant. OK OK There Is Weather Here!! Dammit.

Mice! Half-dead mice again! (New Zealand)

I should really title this something expat related, except Sharp Kitty is throwing a mouse around my living room and it is gross.

I can not understand the new zeeland accent. at all.  I am not even sure if that is how you spell new zeeland. I am pretty sure that it is off of Australia somehow.

Do not judge me. I used to think that Hawaii was next to California. Then I moved to the UK with the handy BBC and maps. I live on a small island off of Europe now and I can find FINLAND on the map. (no that isn’t where the cheese comes from. sigh. that is Wisconsin) I can find fucking Poland and Austria and even Turkey.

But the New Zealanders? (OK  I looked  it up) I cannot understand them at all. I know three things about New Zealand.

  • They have something to do with LOTR
  • Stephen Fry likes it there
  • Their rugby team is AWESOME (no, go look here if you don’t know.)

I cannot understand the talk that they do. nope. They use vowels in such a novel way.

Masterchef New Zealand, i wish that i could love you.

I have to get manboy to translate everything that they say. I am not sure who is more annoyed by this. Probably everyone in New Zealand, but from what I hear, they do not have the internet, so it should not matter.

Napalm the Mummy Guilt

I’ve been thinking about this post from one of my favorite ‘mummy bloggers‘. I’ve decided that we need our own red dress project. One that is just for mummy guilt.

That guilt is bullshit and I am happy to call you all out on it.

Do we really need to feel bad that we are not:

  • enjoying our kids
  • playing with them enough
  • feeding them all organic foods
  • enjoying every moment with them
  • treasuring every little moment
  • putting them in all of the classes
  • making the home spotless

NOPE

I call shenanigans on this crap.

Here is where i do the justifiable ‘oh but i love my kids’ paragraph. I’m not doing that.

No, I’m just going to say that THIS IS HARD. Being a mom is HARD.

Right here ………..>  (    ) is all of the fucks that I give if you are a working/stay-at-home/republican/benefits-scrounger/immigrant. Being a mum is hard for all of us so don’t try to pull any crap.

Can we have one day, each week year where we are able to just say it?

What would we call it? The Mummy Doesn’t Suck Day? The MOMMY isn’t Guilty Day? The MOM DOES NOT NEED to feel Bad Day?

I think we need one of those days.

Let’s call it the I’m Not Wearing Pants Project. no….. how about the My kids are assholes project…no…..how’m about the:

I’m a mom and I Do My Best project

open to suggestions

Moms, I hear you out there. Do not be afraid. We are all in this together.

Gnomes and Nits, a mother’s tale

I just made myself a tea and a glass of water. Sharp kitty broke my ashtray, spilled my tea and drank my water. This is my life. I am a vessel for the taking y’all. Drink of my life juices all of creation! (great, now Cat is puking up my water and most probably a mouse for me to clean up later. huzza!)

So we have gnomes now. Garden gnomes. I am not sure how this happened. I was pretty sure that I was going to make it through life without gnomes of any kind.

Nope.

Let’s just be clear here. I hate garden gnomes with a firey passion of the christ. Unfortunately, The White Rose does not. She found some gnomes in a , tip, bin.. uh..skip? dumpster near our house. Some poor old bird died and they threw all of her ten thousand gnomes into the trash. This made both of my children sad. They needed the gnomes. They wanted to love them and give them new homes. God only knows what my British neighbours thought we were doing going through trash and gnoming it up.

One of the gnomes is a girl gnome. She has a lantern and a beard. (Don’t judge). I now have a girl-beared-gnome that has to come in at night because The White Rose thinks that “her dreams will get wet” if we leave her outside. Copernicus the homicidal monkey is less scary than this gnome-thing. I have to pretend to love it and give it naps and who knows what else the kid will make me do to it before I come unglued.

I can’t type ‘gnome’ anymore. I feel ill.

Let’s talk nits then shall we? Honestly, I am more grossed out by the …lawn ornaments… than I am by nits these days. I hear through the grapevine that kids in the U.S. do not get head-lice anymore. I believe this. I only knew one kid that had them in all my years of (primary/elementary) school. Here? England 2012? Everyone has them. All of the kids. All of the time. I swear that I am not making this up.

I have done everything but shave them bald, but they just keep coming back. I have become like a monkey-mum. I am constantly grooming them and picking at their hair. Oh sure, we do the chemi’s and the combs, but it makes no noticeable difference. I can kill them in my family, but then some nasty kid hugs my kids and REPEAT AND RINSE. Forever. It is like one of the seven circles of hell. And OMG, my kids have bugs. I cannot stress how awful this is.

But the Brit-mums? they are so calm about it. “yes, my daughter had them until she was 14. they grow out of it.” “oh, i know, you just have to keep at it until they are in highschool” “nevermind, just use the comb on them every day!”

YUCK

Since i am not allowed to spray them with kerosene or DDT, I guess this is my life now. Nits and Gnomes.

Happy Egg Day! (in witch i say chocolate vagina)

you guys, I think I have had the best Easter ever!

Sharp Kitty Doom Kitty  has been eating my chocolate.

But that isn’t the best part, no.

It wasn’t being startled awake by Stormbringer at 7AM. It wasnt seeing them open their egg-day eggs. It wasnt the fact that I don’t get to have to color eggs in the UK.

No the best part was the chocolate vagina. I got a chocolate vagina for Easter. (discuss)

The wonderful Manboy got us all the requisite egg-day-eggs. Except mine melted. I was so totally fine with this. I thought it was hilarious. Until I opened the box of chocolates at the bottom.

And then…the choclate vagina.

I thought it looked like  ‘womankindreproductiveorgans’ and I was all AAAAAAAAAAAAAA look it’s a womb!

nope.

it is a chocolate vagina

Edit to add: Manboy wishes you an happy Jebus Jombie Day!

I’m one of ‘those immigrants’

I am. I emigrated to the UK. I am here to ‘take your jobs’ and ‘ruin your culture’.

I get where this aversion is coming from. I do. It isn’t cool when you feel like you are being diluted and that places are being taken up and your kids don’t get the same benefits. I’m sorry.

Even though, as a U.S. citizen, I get no benefits here. (it’s stamped on my passport y’all) I still feel the sting when I hear this said in front of me.

It feels really yucky when I hear people chatting about ‘those immigrants’ and then they see my face, and then say…”oh, well not you…”

Is it because that I am white? Or not Polish? Or..(i don’t even know how to be an intolerant asshole, loss for words)

Or is it because I am an American and ‘that’s OK then’?

I am from Detroit. South-eastern Michigan boasts the  highest population of people from the middle-east, other than the middle-east. (33% y’all) I grew up with friends from Israel and Iraq. I grew up with friends that spoke Spanish or French as a first language. We all got along. But I never once thought; get out of my country you asshole.

My school bus was shot at by an Iraqi. His sister was one of my best friends.  I used to have a Jewish boyfriend. I taught my kids Spanish so that we could talk to our neighbors from Mexico, and our kids could play together. I never once thought, get out of my country, you asshole.

I lived through 9/11. And believe me, in Detroit, on 9/12, it was a whole new day when we all had to come out of our houses and face each other. The whites, the blacks, the Americans, the Iranians, the Iraqi’s, the Israelite’s , the shop keepers, the people on the street. We looked at each other with suspicion and dread. Then we remembered that we were friends before, and were still friends, the same people. I will never forget the look on the face of my local shop-keeper that day. He had an American flag in his window and he was afraid. But, no harm came to him and we just got on with it. (OK, Michigan is not Alabama, but still…)

You guys, it hurts my feelings when you say those nasty things about immigrants. Change your laws, restrict your building, do what you need to do. Just don’t hate us all. We are here for a better life. And we mean you no harm.

At least that’s what it felt like from the other side. Now I know both sides. I hope it is OK to call the UK my country. I hope it doesn’t offend you.

Stemming the bleeding (not Rasputin, just not Ice Cube)

When I first moved to the UK, was so steeped in US culture that I could not comprehend anything about life here.

One of the things that shocked me was how the youths here try to be ganstas’. You guys, there is nothing funnier to me than hearing young people with a British accent try to be fucking Ice Cube. No, just no.

You are from Devon. You are not packing, You are not holding. You can wear 3 hoodies and not scare me. You are a 14-year-old weakling. My 7-year-old could kick your ass. The nice nine-year old, yeah her too. Your staffie might frighten me, but you don’t. But you do crack me up. (I hope that I don’t regret this laughter y’all..pray for me)

Oh and there was much blood today. Thank the gods that I am an Old Mum and that I know that a head wound bleeds. Thank you England for NHS Direct, that I can call and talk to A Nurse-Person whenever I want to. For Free.

You see, I am a horrible mother. I make my kids clean up after themselves and clean their rooms. I suck. I know.

Little Stormbringer was sent up to do 15 minutes on her room. The horror. Except that it turned out to be just that. A huge picture frame fell off of her wardrobe (closet in the U.S?) and hit her on the head.

She came down crying. Now, my kids do this whenever I make them tidy anything. I didn’t think anything of it. Until the blood ran off of her hair and onto her hands and puddled on the carpet. I went into calm mother mode. “Ok Bunny, lets just go into the kitchen ok?”

Isn’t it amazing how calm you get? This must be what soldiers go through in combat. You just reach the zone and do what needs to be done.

Lucky for us, no stitching was needed. What is it like for you? Do you get like this when your kids are really hurt for real? Are you disdainful of youths that try to be scary?

I am going to hug my little girls and teach them not to be afraid of fake-gansta’s and teach them to be not-sucky teens.

It’s easy: Don’t break glass in parks. Don’t  litter. Don’t talk back to your elders. NEVER lie to the police. (and for the sake of all that is holy, do not have any babies)

Is there a whole lot more to teach them before they reach double digits? I hope not. This is all I have for now.

Peace out homes.

Life in the UK is Awesome

There are some definite advantages to living in England.

(Obviously, we have free health care. Including dental. This rocks y’all. Sort yourselves out.)

The weather is fine. Always. Most places in the U.S. have weather that can kill you. This is not the case here. It doesn’t even rain. I know, I know but hear me out. The air gets wet sometimes, and occationally water falls gently from the skies, but it never RAINS. There are no tornadoes, hurricanes, snow storms, earthquakes…nothing. There is no weather here. It is always just fine. It doesn’t even got hot. I don’t have air conditioning. No one does. I fucking love this lack of weather. I’m from Michigan, which means that it is either boiling or freezing or bug season, or a tornado is ripping up your lawn. Here? I don’t even own an umbrella.

There is no candy in the check out aisles. THIS IS SO BRILLIANT. There is nothing there at all. Just a line, and then a slow moving Brit to scan your groceries. This is a huge bonus. I used to make my brood repeat the mantra “nothing in the check-out aisle, nothing in the check-out aisle, we buy nothing in the check-out aisle” until we got out of the store. This means that I am totally unprepared for shopping when we visit the States. Write to your congress-person because this is something to unite every parent on the planet.

We have the BBC. I cannot stress how awesome this is. If you are British and you complain about paying the license fee, I hate you with extra pain. The “news” in the U.S. is making everyone hate everyone else and not even giving out news. That sucks. Y’all don’t get the kind of quality world view that we do. I know what is going on in every country, all day, everyday. I read news form the left and the right and then I go and see what the BBC has to say and then I feel all better. I wish I could give this gift to you, America.

So there you have it.

No weather + No Candy + Sanity-In-The-Media = RockingAwesome

I’m a dork and my kids are racists. Help me.

We got to go to the pound shop today! (dollar store/pound shop I don’t know how to speak anymore)

No, really, I left the house. And went somewhere. With clothes on and everything!

We stocked up on things for the school holiday. Sidewalk chalk, ball, frisby, markers, craft stuff to wreck the house with etc. What did I treat myself to? I bought a feather duster and some tea towels.

WTF? When did I get so freaking boring?!? Really? I didn’t buy any absinth or a peyote tequila worm? I didn’t buy a jaunty new skirt or get something pierced? No. I bought a fucking feather duster y’all. Holy Christ. I must be the lamest person on the planet.

I used to be cool, I swear. Now I buy tea towels as a treat to myself. This is not cool. Is this what my life is going to be like now? I might as well get a hair-net and a mobility scooter. Jesus.

Before this exciting adventure I was looking at the girl’s baby books with them. So cute. The White Rose was sitting on my lap and looking at all of her milestone stickers. Being the second child, she has a far thinner baby book to look at, but I did manage to get all of the stickers stuck. You know the ones: 1st Dr. visit, 1st Halloween, Says MAMA, Finds Toes etc.

(it’s been so long since I had a baby…is it really a big deal when they find their toes?? wow.)

In an attempt to be The Best Mom Ever, I used ALL of the stickers. So she has a sticker for “1st Hanukkah”. I don’t know why. I guess 1st x-mas and 1st winter solstice weren’t enough for me at the time. Don’t judge.

This kid looks up at me and says:

“I’M A JEW? You made me a JEW? You Jerk!!”

Now, I know that I have never, ever used that word that way in front of my kids. I know this because never in my life have I used that word in that way. It would never occur to me to do so. Seriously.

But because I am a total asshole and a terrible parent; I laughed my ass off. This did not help. I’m trying to now have a serious discussion about being inclusive and multicultural and tolerant and ‘we love every colour, shape and creed’ while I am doubled over with laughter. Not cool at all.

Finally I regain some semblance of self-control and ask her where the hell she learned that shit why she would say something like that and why would it be bad if she was Jewish. I mean, in this house we do all of the religions. Well, all of them that I know anything about. But most of them. This is the girl who told me last month that she wanted to be Buddhist. It’s not like we are intolerant assholes. I explained why that was not ok to say and helped her find a place in her mind where she would never think a thing like that again.

Turns out that she just “wants to be like Cartman on South Park” when she grows up. Yikes! The Fuck? What do you even say to that? (other that you are not even allowed to know what South Park is, let alone watch it!)

Where, why….how are…South Park? I mumble. “yeah, on the TV mumma!”

Oh. I thought they were watching Little Bear and SpongeBob up there.

PASS ME THE PARENTAL CONTROLS!!!

Ooops. Massive mum fail. Let’s just chalk this one up to a teaching moment and move on.

Come closer!

My children have many wonderful qualities. The ability to eat ice cream in the sun, pick me flowers, draw me pictures. They can hang upside down on the monkey bars, make up jokes, and swear like motherfucking champions. (hey, it’s a life skill! How many interesting people do you know that never swear? Thought so.)

One of their most outstanding qualities that they possess is the ability to turn into psychic vampires that feed off of my very life force.

Given the fact that neither one has been nursing for over 4 years, this seems impossile. I assure you that it is not.

Everyone, especially children, needs to be touched. My children and I have always had a very close physical bond. I love squeezing them, kissing their eyelashes, stroking their hair. (remember when I had my first baby and I wore her in a sling and Attachment Parented her like an obsessed tree-hugging idiot new inexperienced mum? yeah. i’m over that.)

But as the Giver of The Loves, I sometimes have an uncontrollable desire to NOT be touched. Just for like 15 minutes. I have 2 children, 3 cats and a manboy to fawn over. I touch a lot of mammalian life-forms in any given day.

In a fruitless attempt to guard my sanity and my personal space, I sit in an armchair in the evenings. By 7pm, I am ready to have a bit of breathing room. It’s almost bedtime, but not yet time to drink all of the wine take off my mummy hat. Little Stormbringer can not abide this. No, she can not be having with it at all. So she sits with me in the chair. I say ‘with’ but it’s more like ‘ON’. She perches her bony behind on my right hip. She then cuddles me and comments on every web page that I visit.

This is great for a few minutes. Then it becomes painful. Her butt-bones have now embedded themselves into my flesh. The muscles on the right side of my body are groaning in agony. Half of my leg is asleep and the rest is on fire. She is leaning her head on my shoulder and her ear is now sweat-stuck to my skin. She needs to possess my soul, squeeze out it’s meaty juices and devour them with her never-satiated heart-hole. It’s excruciating.

I do love our little moments together, but I think maybe squeezing into the same chair every evening is crossing the line a bit. Do I feel bad when I make her get off? I do, I really do. Hell, half of the time I invite her back. I am an idiot.