23/02/2011

Expressions of madness


Kronos devouring one of his children
Francisco Goya
Painted on a wall of his house between 1819 and 1823.

Not exactly one of mine... I know. 
But the expression of murderous madness and fear that leads an old tyrant to tear his own children to pieces is so evocative of what's going on in Libya, that I could not resist.



Terrible twos (and ones, and threes)

Mama's Losin' It

For this week's writer's workshop at Mama Kat's fantastic blog, I chose prompt #2: 'What did they get into now? Describe a time your toddler got into something they shouldn't have.'

I have two children. The eldest, Alexandre, barely did anything forbidden or exotic during his toddler years. Granted, he did swallow one of my rings while jumping on the bed with the ring in his mouth, but it didn't hurt him, he just got it out the natural way - and boy was I glad that it was my husband who digged for it, I'll spare you the details. Alex is not that kind of boy. However, he will make others do crazy stuff, he'll enjoy the planning more than the doing.

My youngest, on the other hand, seems to have a special gift for doing crazy things. She's a little monster. Sweet, funny, smart but the girl has no limit. I think she's already done everything that could be done. Of course there's the usual drawings on the wall, the applying my very expensive make-up to her dolls and herself, carrying the new kitten by its tail to show it around the house, showing me, very proudly, one of its whiskers pulled off with her fingers, pouring my shampoo and conditioner into the cat's bowl, putting all the toilet paper down the toilets because after all, that's what it's for, isn't it? - amongst other things. All between the age of one and three.

A few weeks ago, I heard her cry in her room. I ran -O.K., three steps, but still, I managed to run into the wall and hurt myself - stupid, stupid small Parisians flats - and I found her choking. I did what any mother would do: I panicked. I tried to make her swallow whatever it was, or spit it out, but it was obviously stuck in her throat. Her life was in no danger, she was breathing by then, but it obviously hurt. I called the firemen and there they came, two and a half minutes later, all three of them. My boy was all excited, needless to say.

Roxane had swallowed a coin. A small one. She had totally swallowed it by the time the firemen were here but they still wanted to take her to the hospital to check her out, make sure it went down the right tube. Alex was excited about being in the truck, so was I (oh come on, three firemen, a truck and a child out of danger, you gotta enjoy things a little) and it was then that my adorable son chose to tell them about the time he had swallowed the ring. One of the guys asked me if I made a habit out of having kids who swallowed the wrong things. Hem.

Roxane turned out to be fine and it was at her daddy's place that she got the coin out, the same way her brother had. I am pretty sure she'll keep on doing crazy things. One day, she and Alex will team up and then, the serious stuff will begin.

I do wonder why she does all that. I also wonder why my whole family keeps calling her Marianne instead of Roxane. Beats me.

Oh, one last thing. If you liked this post, would you mind terribly clicking on the RSS feed, here, or the Google connect buttons (top left)? And if you didn't like it, you might still want to look around. There's three of us, you know, so you're (almost) bound to find something you like. And then, if you've still got time, you could share this post or stumble it, or both and get in touch with your local tv station to sing our praises. We'll love you forever.

20/02/2011

Cleaning up

I don't like cleaning, but I like a clean house. Since I still haven't won the lottery and cannot afford a maid, I do it myself.

This morning, as my ex-husband came to pick up the kids for his week's vacation, I started cleaning as soon as I locked the door behind them. I cleaned and cleaned, washed the sheets, the towels, the dishes, opened every window, made myself some coffee and sat on my couch with a funny feeling. I realized I do this everytime they leave and I put their toys away in their bedroom and close the door.

I also changed pictures in the frame hanged up on the wall in the hall to replace their father with pictures of me and them. I then went to my Facebook account and deleted all the pictures he was in. I have albums as old as 2007 in there, it took me quite a while.

Not that I hate him, not at all, I have no hard feeling whatsoever, but I felt it was necessary and wondered why I hadn't done this before. I realized moving on takes quite a lot of time, there are phases, even when you're the one making the decision to leave. You can't erase 15 years that easily, and I have no intention of erasing them, for that matter. But it's a new life and I want to start fresh, clean.

Now I'm done and I feel better. Sometimes a little cleaning is all it takes.

Oh, one last thing. If you liked this post, would you mind terribly clicking on the RSS feed, here, or the Google connect buttons (top left), or by email at the bottom of this page? And if you didn't like it, you might still want to look around. There's three of us, you know, so you're (almost) bound to find something you like. And then, if you've still got time, you could share this post or stumble it, or both and get in touch with your local tv station to sing our praises. We'll love you forever.

19/02/2011

A Valentine's day *special*

I was sort of planning to ignore Valentine's day this year. It seems a lot of hype for not very much - it's just a meal, ain't it? And pressure.
But then my lovely husband brought flowers AND gave me a present. A heart-shaped box with heart-shaped chocolate inside!

So I did start to think more kindly on the holiday (as it's called in America - until recently, I thought a holiday was when you didn't have to go to work).
So I read people's valentine's posts, articles in glossy magazines, to find something we could do (apart from the obvious). And I found that nowadays, people watch films together on Valentine's day. Not just any film, mind you, but Valentine's day films.

Hmmm.

I went to a couple of shops which seemed to confirm this. Bookshop and supermarket alike had binfulls of 'romantic comedies' on special sale for Valentine's day. Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts galore.
I nearly went back to my previous negative attitude to the whole thing. Why pick a day which is supposed to be about the love you and your partner share and then irritate the hell out of it by watching bad movies?

But we do like to watch films together, and we don't get to do it often (you know, one of us is always too tired, usual drill).

So we did watch a film this week. But it wasn't from the Valentine's day special bin. We watched Night of the Living Dead.

So, happy, belated Valentines' day!


Ooh, and I bought a red heart-shaped cake.

13/02/2011

Silent Sunday





Silent Sunday

Alphabet Taxi Boy

Today Max thought he'd build a set of doors for his taxi. He decided we'd drive to the library and the supermarket with it. He also decided that he'd tie his scarf once around the neck and once around the body of the car, to make a safety belt. We undecided that one together.


The doors kept falling apart.


So, after a very short while, he decided to revert to the old design.


Much fun was had by all (well, him, mostly).



10/02/2011

Let them bleed

I've been following the anti-abortion debates in the United States with a growing sense of horror - which is why I was grateful for some light relief from The Feminist Philosophers' blog with their cartoon: The Mombies!!!
But what are these people thinking? Do they really think it's ok to sacrifice a mother's life in order not to kill a fetus, even though the fetus will probably die if the mother dies before the fetus is big enough to survive?

08/02/2011

Trolley Madness

Note to philosophers: not going to bang on about the trolley problem.  No: 
this one is about Supermarket Trolleys!

So I hate shopping. I normally didn't use to do the weekly shop: it was 'Im indoors' job. From when Max was a baby, and all through his unmanageable years, he'd take him to our local superstore, and battle the crowds to bring home the necessities of life (booze, toilet paper, and a few vegetables). I would contribute by occasionally doing an online shop ('Im indoors isn't that good with computers: but don't tell him I said so ...) and producing a really snazzy shopping list on which all you have to do is highlight the things you need.

But things have changed.

06/02/2011

SUNDAY "FOOODY" SUNDAY





I'm back !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, actually, let's say I'm here this week...
So here's my entry for Tara's gallery week 45
The theme is "24 hours"


















Suddenly I see

O.K. so I've been single for the past seven months. Not single per se (hem), but basically single as in, not part of an item. I've had time to think of who I was, who I didn't want to be, who I didn't want to be with, what I wanted in life -well, this one still needs more thought, and what I didn't want in life -that one I sorted out pretty easily.

It was time. I'm 33 years old and I cannot believe I didn't take that time before. I think some sort of retreat should be compulsory, say, in your mid-twenties. For people like me, that is. People who want to make others happy, who are stubborn enough to try and make things work when the whole world tells them that it will never work out, people who go through life as if we were given second chances, as if it would last forever, as if choices did not have great consequences or collateral damages.

I feel sad that I only realize that now. Not that I'm old -I'm at least way younger than my evil sisters, not that I made that many mistakes, but jeez, I should have thought more about things before throwing myselves into them, should have held my tongue more often instead of saying things because I thought them at that exact moment without wondering if those thoughts would last.

Now I know better. I am still pretty spontaneous, still big-mouthed, still a pain in the ass, still throwing myself into situations but now, I take the time to think a little bit before I take big steps. Not only because I am a mother and a grown-up, but because I respect myself, as a person and others, too. I treasure my freedom as much as I treasure others' and that, my friends, is a huge change.

Suddenly I see, as K.T Tunstall sang so nicely. There's a new life ahead of me. There's a new life ahead of us all. Second chances do exist, you just need to take the time for a break. I'm ready now. Throw it at me, the happiness, the pain, the excitement, the terror, I'm ready. And this time, it won't be a fight, there will be no struggling. Because I strongly believe that all that is to happen to me, from now on, will happen because of a choice I made. And I am determined to make those choices with all my heart, to be as true as possible. There will be mistakes, but I honestly think it will be O.K.

Everything will be fine.

Oh, one last thing. If you liked this post, would you mind terribly clicking on the RSS feed, here, or the Google connect buttons (top left), or by email at the bottom of this page? And if you didn't like it, you might still want to look around. There's three of us, you know, so you're (almost) bound to find something you like. And then, if you've still got time, you could share this post or stumble it, or both and get in touch with your local tv station to sing our praises. We'll love you forever.
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