My house is so quiet. September is staring at me from the calendar on the wall, the kids are back in school and as a consequence, my house is so tranquil. It’s like I have stepped in a vacuum. The only clues to show that the Albino Hulk and Little Miss Stubborn were here a few hours ago are the trails of food in the kitchen and the occasional step I take when not paying attention and plant my sockless foot on a prickly, sharp, colourful, little piece of lego or some other paraphernalia. One day, these little booby traps will successfully bring me down but until then, I grunt, curse and make ‘arrrrrrgh!’ sounds in my head. I’m supposed to enjoy the silence and this gifted time to study in peace, but in truth, I miss the kiddos not being around. One gets used to the chaos that only kids can provide and therefore I miss the Albino Hulk’s yelling. He is so loud, even when he is just telling you a story about something he ate and is physically beside you, he will recount the experience via yelling, sort of like how my parents used to yell in the phone when trying to confirm if family in Poland could hear them properly back in 1984. (….’HALO, MAMO……….SŁYSZYSZ MNIE??….HALO…JEST TAM KTO??….HALO). For those that don’t speak polish, conversations with the motherland always consisted of my dad asking if he can be heard and if anyone was on the line. I can still hear my dad yelling into the phone and it continues to crack-me-up.
Little Miss Stubborn is the quieter one of the two but to compensate, she is the one who is into itsy bitsy little toys all consequently leaves them all over the house. It seems to be the trend among girls these days-the smaller the toy, the cooler it is, the louder they will wail and protest for you to buy them the teeny tiny thing. Shopkins-have you heard of them yet? If you have a seven year old girl, you will probably soon because they are all the rage. While the Albino Hulk tries to destroy mostly anything in his path, she is the creative one, the nurturing one, and the pedantic one about all her little things being in a specific place. As I type this, an elastic band has snapped in my head and I realise, she is just like me. Holy. Shit. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?! I can’t decide. Her independence is flying high like a victory flag these days, letting me know she is the one who will be calling the shots about herself more often. She makes her own bed, dresses herself, disagrees with my suggestions for clothing when we go shopping and worst of all, doesn’t want to hold my hand anymore when we’re out in public AND has asked when I will stop walking her to school. Her independence is not a bad thing at all, but doesn’t she realise I need to be sitting down for this type of normal and eventually-expected rejection?! Anyways, this serenity in the house leads me astray from tasks I need to do as I sit here and try to read for school. In the end, the endless tangents of my mind cause me to traverse and explore the web, looking for things I don’t ever need, such as drones. I looked up where to purchase drones the other day. I didn’t know I could buy one on Amazon, with Prime too. I could have my own drone delivered to me tomorrow if I order in the next 8 hours and 6 minutes. Amazon puts the Amaz in amazing! (Even though they treat their employees awfully. WTF?!).
This is the age where Little Miss Stubborn should have her first Communion. When she was first born, I wasn’t sure I would do one for her because I felt all blah about going to church then, but now I’m thinking more and more she will she will have one and hence I’m looking up how it’s done here amongst Catholics in the UK. When I was younger, my parents stuffed religion down my throat like it was a vitamin for the soul, so in my own family space with Lumberg and our tiny troops, I’ve sort of backed off any sort of any religious influence on our kiddos while I sorted my head out. Lumberg doesn’t adhere to anything specifically either so its up to me to influence them if I want to and I’ve decided……(drumroll, please)…… I want to. (Ma, are you reading this??!??!?! Bonus daughter points!!). I want the kids to be able to make their own minds up later on in life about following a particular faith, but if I don’t expose them to something now, in a way, I am making the decision for them. We discuss all sorts of religions at home if they ask, but I may as well show them the religious ropes of something I sort of understand, (strong emphasis on the words ‘sort of’). Part of me still just goes through the motions when I go to church and though I’m pretty sure that’s the same for a good chunk of the congregation, (minus the snoozers who have tapped out entirely), back at the church I grew up in at home, I also feel ready to bring this on in our home, with our kiddos. Introducing church to them every Sunday will be a bit of a challenge, but like any parent out there, I’ve got sharp negotiation skills to back me up. If I have to buy heaps of Shopkins to send them to church, so be it. Amen.
So, school is back in session and that means, school duties are flying high which I LOVE. However, this is the time of year I sort of panic a bit about the parents I will meet, not because I am shy, but because I suck at remembering people’s names. I always have been and my most startling example was back in Uni when I referred to a guy as Rafiki for three weeks. ‘Rafiki, did you get the physics done?’…’Rafiki, how was your weekend?’…..’Rafiki, what’s for lunch?’. One day, he caved and told me his real name wasn’t Rafiki. I felt like an effin’ fool and apologized to Nikesh profoundly. We lost touch after that. At a meeting at school today we used name tags which put a skip in my step and made me feel like I was wearing a super-cape because I wouldn’t make any embarrassing mistakes. However, that being said, should a parent from school read this and I call you by the wrong name, correct me on the spot and don’t let me go on for weeks calling you Mufasa (to keep with the Lion King theme),when your real name is Harriet. Name tags and labels are my saving grace. They’re my little pill to stop me from blushing and stammering apologies when I refer to people by names that I decide to christen them with, and not the names their parents gave them. Labels rock and since I’m on the topic, My Nametags are stupdenous. I ordered some labels there for the kids last year to identify each of their specific items as they got sent into the blue and white sea of uniforms at school. I preferred the iron-on type but was skeptical at first, fearing the kiddo’s clothing would be left abandoned in the Lost and Found bin at school because the labels would easily fall off. Oh, Ye of little faith that I was. Like a designated driver for fabric, these labels are serious about working hard to make sure your kids’ sweater, scarf, and socks get home safely with them everyday. They are my salvation and hence the title of this entry, borrowed from a song by Langhorne Slim whom I saw in concert a couple of years ago in Zurich while they were opening up for the Lumineers. (Considering I touched on the topic of religion in this post, the title of this entry applies to that too!) Anyways, the labels. They’re priced well, they do their job and best of all, you can customise them yourself via heaps of options regarding font, colors, and pictures on them. I highly, highly recommend them. They also have stick-on labels which are perfect for identical twins if you’re a parent like me and suck at names. Ta da! I solve problems everywhere.
To end, this week the Queen celebrated her reign by officially surpassing all other rulers of the English land. She was crowned Queen at 25. Twenty-five! Her crowning prompted people in England back in 1953 to go out and buy their first television set so they could actually watch the ceremony from the comfort of their own home. I wonder what my BFF, the Duchess Kate, got her grandma-in-law for such a gift? What do you get a person for such an occasion? Does Paperchase even have a card for that?? (I love Paperchase by the way, and could buy everything in there). Apparently she celebrated her reign with a low-key dinner at her Balmoral castle, but can a Queen ever do anything low-key??! I’m pretty sure you can’t put the words Queen and low-key in the same sentence. Either way, it must feel royally groovy to hold this title and it makes me wonder how she feels. Was she calm and reserved and commented ‘well, this is lovely!’. Or, perhaps when in private, did she look in the mirror, wink at herself while she made two guns with her hands, make a click sound with the corner of her mouth and say ‘You got this!’?! Do you think she ever practices her wave in the mirror? Sigh. So many questions regarding a milestone that the common man will never, ever get to celebrate. The first woman to be a monarch in England was Empress Matilda in 1141, so as far as gender goes, she is to be saluted for this milestone too, even though she had a bad temper…… and probably wouldn’t have many friends on Facebook because no one liked her. Regardless, it’s an exciting time to be in the UK as far as the Royals are concerned. Rumours are fluttering about that the Queen is thinking of abdicating the throne and passing on the torch to her son and you know what that means…….Mints in the Commonwealth will be busy making new coins with an effigy of King Charles if this is true. Stay tuned.
For now, I’m off to study and listen to Langhorne Slim. I forgot how much I liked his tunes and can’t wait for my next concert, which will be Florence and the Machine. I’m dragging Lumberg to that in 2 weeks-weeeee!. Good night, sleep well, and long live the Queen. (cue the Queen’s wave here).