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Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places

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housework

TTT – Just what the doctor ordered

1. Doctor Who re-runs

The occupational hazard of being married to a theoretical physicist is the inevitable passion for lesser known sci-fi fare. Doctor Who is a huge franchise in the UK and Australia but I had never ‘eard of ‘im. Till we started dating. Back then, the series was about to get a major makeover and ABC was screening Every Single Episode since time immemorial. (If you understand that the Doctor is a timelord, you might’ve gotten a small kick out of that pun.) And so, I got to glance at almost every episode – from the time the aliens were nothing more than short men quivering in black garbage bags right till modern times, when Daleks fly while shrieking, “EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!”.

Summer generally means awful television programming and dodgy re-runs, but it’s the first time I recall ABC doing the Doctor Who re-runs from Christopher Eccleston’s rendition. The timing’s fantastic, because it’s on at 7:30pm just when Arddun’s gone to bed and dinner’s about ready. And because it’s Tony’s favourite series – mostly ‘cos he’s quite sentimental about the whole franchise – and my favourite Doctor is currently on (I heart David Tennant like a mad thing), it’s just lovely man-and-wife time.

2.  Like housework for chocolate

Now that I’m on welfare (earning minimum wage during my maternity leave, thanks to government’s Paid Parental Leave scheme), the household budget has tightened by mutual consensus. Personally, I’ve been playing a bit of limbo rock with myself, and seeing how low – money-wise – I can go. Already, I’ve unsubscribed to a heap of email newsletters promising luscious discounts on goods and services I don’t need. I’ve given myself a more challenging monthly budget, gone on more picnics, and embraced housework.

Why? Because idle hands can be the retailer’s workshop. The more chores I give myself, the less time I have to browse ebay.

So the first thing I did was to research cool housework apps, and then run out and buy them. But after I was done with that, I’ve started doing more chores outside of the usual list. I’ve never been house proud, so this is a HUGE step forward for me.

And of course, there’s the reward. Whenever I tackle the garage, for instance, or sort my now-too-small wardrobe, I give myself a small pat-on-the-back award. So far, it’s working really well. It’s enabled me to tackle large problem areas in the house that Tony and I had been avoiding for years. Procrastination OVAH!

3.  McDonald’s

Met up with Sal and B-saurus for a picnic at Regatta Point on Monday, after what seemed like ages. We keep in touch through our blogs of course, but nothing beats meeting the girls in the flesh. Together, B-saurus and Arddun crawled over each other, helped themselves to whatever the other was holding onto, and appreciated nature around them by ingesting it. Not fifteen minutes after Sal told me about B eating small branches from their backyard, I turned around to see Arddun with a chopstick-long twig sticking out of her mouth like an Audrey Hepburn cigarette holder.

But most of all, it was so good to chinwag with another mom on a similar wavelength – just to laugh and empathise over baby shenanigans, crazy things people say, and this whole being-a-mom-whoa experience.

As to the title – I was running late as Arddun had taken a longish nap in the morning, so I rocked up to our picnic playdate with McDonald’s takeaway. The McChicken Scorcher? Pretty darn good!

B-saurus and Arddun swap toys Sal with both babies Arddun and B-saurus on the go

What that cockroach says about you

This morning, to my absolute horror and disgust, a teenage cockroach came traipsing across my kitchen floor, bold as brass. It thought it could hide under my electric kettle, but its miserable feelers gave itself away.

It’s been ages since I’ve  had to spray anything, but I knew exactly where that Mortein was. It’s one of those “new improved fragrance” ones that try and smell like a deodorised toilet, and apparently it’s a “multi-insect killer”. It also promises “fast knockdown”. Whatever. After removing Arddun far, faaar from what I thought would be the dead zone, I found that brazen cockroach and gave it a nuclear winter. I sprayed it so hard, I think it drowned.

I think I overreacted, mostly because I felt rather insulted. And guilty. Because the cockroach felt like some living testament that I was a dirty, dirty housewife. And therefore a bad, bad mother.

Now that Arddun is half-crawling and into semi-solid meals in a big way, I’m torn between building up her immunity and sanitising the hell out of anything and everything she comes into contact with. It actually takes a degree of self control NOT to blitz anything that has touched the floor and MIGHT go back into her mouth. The worst is food. Two-second rule – do you or don’t you apply? See, now that my immunity has worn off in her, she’s on her own and there’s the whole chicken-and-egg deal about her depleted immunity and yet the need to build it up through resistance to “dirty” things.

And in the midst of all that, I see a cockroach and want to give it – and myself – hell. Because it signifies. It whispers that I haven’t given Arddun a safe and clean environment. It’s silly because it’s the first of many lessons that I’ll have to learn: I won’t always be able to shield her from the icky. As much as I’d like to Martha Stewart the house into respectability, I don’t always have the time or – let’s admit it – the care factor.

And Arddun will be fine. Because the fact is that the little bugger (pun intended) says only one thing: that it’s summer. That all the creepy crawlies are up and about and alive because it’s finally warm enough for them to get their kicks. That said creepy crawlies have probably lived in my ducted-heating vents and in my shadow for months but only had the temerity today – in 35ºC weather – to poke their little heads out and say hello. And maybe it also says it’s time I wet-vacuumed my floor again. But Arddun and I will live.

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