May contain profane language and distateful ideas. Spoiled Charlotte is in no way affliated with the FBI, CIA, ASIO, French Foreign Legion or the Governments of Australia or Guam. The views expressed herein are in no way endorsed by Pfizer, Woolworths, Monsanto, Arnotts, Oprah or Miley Cyrus, which is a shame. We would have been so good together.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


Sunday means pack up and haul ourselves back into town after a weekend of fun on the farm.
For those of you not intimately acquainted, my husband Humphrey is a shepherd. 
He lives on a bit of a plot about ninety hundred miles from everywhere and tends his sheep.  The Things and I lived out there too until our youngest was diagnosed with autism and we decided that in the best interests of him not turning into a strange hermit during his teens it would be prudent to get him into school - where he can learn more bad habits and anti social behaviours from other children.
The plot is too far out of town to commute daily so we squat in a derelict cottage during the week and hitch rides home on any passing camel trains each Friday. 
Ninety percent of the time this arrangement works perfectly well.  The Things and I get to spend a bit of time with Humphrey, and Humphrey gets his bathrooms cleaned, his laundry done and enough mutton roasted to keep him in sandwiches for a week.  Most of the time I don't mind slapping around a bit of Jaysol and using a chisel to remove soap scum and man grease from the shower cubicle, but filthy toilets just. make. me. yeeeeesh.
How in the name of Sweet Baby Jesus this man manages to crud up two toilets in one week is a mystery and horror worthy of Hitchcock.   What to Expect When You're Expecting, the Post Toddler Years did not inform me that owning boys would make it necessary to don a hazchem suit in order to hose out the toilet every two days.
It has also come to my attention that since I moved out all manner of mammal and insect has moved in.
The back verandah has been chewed to the rafters by termites and mice are nesting in the ceiling insulation, behind the fridge, in the wall cavity and the laundry basket.   Poison and traps are terribly effective, but Humphrey needs to remember to remove the bloated carcasses (and no Humphrey, plugging in the AmbiPur an hour before I'm due home does not mask the odour of slimey, decomposing mouse corpse).
The timbers on the back verandah are lurching precariously into next week and the guttering is guttering in name only.  Humphrey doesn't seem to notice. Men just don't rate things like...oh I don't know....creative decor, secondary colours and having a rain-proof roof.
In fact if I suggested we leave the homestead and pitch a tent he would probably be perfectly happy, provided he could bring the satellite dish in order to watch the AFL grandfinals.
God love him.

Child Discipline From The Book of Revelations

Today the Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse rode into the lives of my children.
The Gates of Hell unleashed all kinds of ugly from about 8.30am - coincidentally the same time that I fell over a cricket bat artfully tossed across a family thoroughfare and impaled my knee on a Transformer.
Whilst I truly do want to be a Mum who makes their home into one great Montessori experience .... pffft!

You know that saying ... the one where boys always grow up to marry someone who reminds them of their Mother?  Well, if that's the case my boys are each going to bring home Big Hal the army drill sergeant.

Lately most exchanges between good self and progeny have been prefixed with;
"If I have to say it ONE MORE TIME....."
"ONNNE....TWOOOO......THR....THR....." (because by this time I've dived into a vat of moonshine and can't count past thr...)
"Where do dirty dishes live? No....not on the floor of the TV room...." (or under your bed, or next to the dog's bowl, or under the couch...)
or suffixed with....
"....right THAT'S IT!" (and they're thinking "oh yeah...that's WHAT???")
"...I'm telling your Father." (because I'm ineffectual).
"......Gahd...you kids drive me...CRAZYYYYYYY". (because I'm ineffectual and I like a bit of emotional blackmail).
"....you'll be the death of me."  (because I like conjuring my long dead Irish ancestors, and a bit of emotional blackmail).
All the while I'm actually fantasizing about lobbying for legal suffocation.
The fact is, sigh, I'm just sick to the gills with having to remind the Things to do/or not do the same things each and every day of the year.....
Just last week, cleaning under Thing One's bed, I found a dust bunny the size of a dugong, petrified chop bones and a quivering Viet Cong.

Each morning:
"Gruntley, have you done your homework?"
"Bratley, where are your shoes?"
"Have you made your beds yet?"
"Eat your breakfast..."
"Gruntley, have you done your homework?"
"Bratley, where are your shoes?"
"Have you made your beds yet?
"Eat your breakfast..."
Eventually this discourse degenerates into...
And ultimately......

By this time I am quite dextrously banging my head on the kitchen wall and setting up an intravenous drip of vodka.
After I drop them at school I head to the post office, for stamps.
I think one to each forehead and no return address will do the trick.
Then I reconsider.....
Later in the evening, after I've tripped over more Lego and stubbed my toe on Thomas The Tank Engine I quickly browse through ebay....then type:
"Two boys....aged...."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Could You Give Me A Hand With The Spike In My Buttocks?

You know those big round cacti that look like spikey pumpkins?  Yeah, well Humphrey adopted one.  He calls it our "naughty" chair.   That's where I'm sitting.  Right now. For Conduct Unbecoming. You know, about my last post....the Smurfs and their reproductive organs
The words "juvenile", "delinquent",  "oh-my-God-what-if-Mum-reads-it", "limited-vocabulary", "humour-of-a-six-year-old-boy" and "lack of commonsense" made up most of our  his most recent exchange  monologue, so I stand sit chastised chastened. 
Apparently I'm a questionable role model to the Things and I need to "reconsider" my vernacular degeneration. Obviously I'm at risk of reverting back to my pond-slime type. (Damn O'Callaghan genes).
So I now kneel here before you....begging forgiveness and promising to never again use profane language gratuitously and/or in the same sentence as animated characters.
Before you start sending sympathy cards to my long-suffering husband......I know where you live.

Bet You've Never Been In a Smurf Vagina

It would seem that some of us (me) are destined never to grow up....to be Real Ladies.  I do try to have some decorum just like The Muminator taught me, at least in public, but unfortunately at the best of times my mental and emotional age is somewhere around, oh, I don't know.... about twelve.  Mix me with alcohol and there is a whole lot of three-year-old happening.  This might be amusing, if I was three. Of course I find myself hugely amusing, especially if I'm holding my third glass of champagne and drunken strawberries.  Others? Well, maybe not so much.
Case in point:  Had a bit of a girlie Christmas get-together a couple of nights ago at a lovely local establishment (their crispy-skinned salmon is to DIE for).  We had just quaffed the first in a long line of beverages and were making our way back to the dining room with the female owner of the establishment.  This journey involves a stroll down a hallway that takes the term wall-to-wall carpeting to a new and literal level. Bright red carpet blankets the floors and runs halfway up the walls.  The walls and (possibly) the ceiling are covered in electric blue carpet.
"Oh my God,' I exclaimed in my drunken extremely loud stage whisper, "This is like being in a giant VAGINA!"
My friend, who is equally as inept at speaking quietly, replied, "Yeah, a big SMURF vagina!!"
We fell about laughing - almost high-fiving our comedic genius.......until we saw the disapproval of our host. Ahem.
Friend (lets call her Gladys) and I were the first to arrive.  In the intimate dining room a long table festooned with Christmas decorations awaited us. 
It was then that I saw them.....
There, tucked away in the only remaining space was a tiny table, flanked by two diners.....two MALE diners. These two poor innocents had now idea that their worst dining nightmare was about to descend upon them.....a room stuffed to the gills with drunken women.  What do you call a group of women.....is it a "gaggle", no, that's geese......a flock? No.  Oh, I know....a BITCH ....a bitch of women.....hell yeah! But to these two man diners I'm sure we were simply a "nightmare" of women. 
Following the air-kissing (because we are so VERY Continental), and making approving clucking sounds about outfits (that shade of cerise just REALLY suits you) and so on the table began to fill.  I needed to bring out my ear trumpet because I just couldn't hear anything above the babble.  The man-diners, with expressions of abject terror, scurried away with their plates to eat....oh, I don't know, under the stairs or something....anything to be away from the squawks, squeals, snorts and gaggling of our private barnyard.
For me, an evening of lip-reading ensued and cemented my plans to learn sign language.
Conversation began intelligently enough....with politics: "Oh no, I just don't trust him, his eyes are too close together," and quickly degenerated to potty-mouth "Male flatulence is scientifically proven to be more olfactorily toxic because.....because....."
By the end of the night the quiet girl sitting next to me had left - because I think she was sick of my snorting and had to find an after-hours chiropractor due to my back-slapping her everytime I heard something funny.  We had solved the Global Financial Crisis with muffins (don't ask, I can't remember) and solved the mystery of Lady Gaga's popularity (haven't a CLUE).
Was kindly dropped home by Gladys' lovely husband at a terribly reasonable hour, only to find Humphrey in one of his coma-sleeps (from which he is usually only roused with an air-horn at three paces).  Fifteen minutes of me hammering the door-bell and swearing at the potplant finally woke the sleeping bear and had me sober enough to ...... I don't know.....embroider or something.
So that, my cherubs, is a typical night-out with the gals! (Not ladies).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Calling

In the wee hours this morning I was brutally torn from my slumber by......The Calling....
I reach over to George Clooney's shirt and.......
rip it open....buttons fly across the room..............
Oh my God, my child is being murdered!!!
Awake now....."What? Whatwhatwhatwhat?"
(this better be good 'cause I probably won't be able to channel George when I go back to sleep).
"Bratley is being sick......." (no, that's not his real name - except at three o'clock in the morning).
"Oh gross. Muuuuum, Bratley is being sick ALL OVER THE BEDROOM!!"
I stumble into the lair whereThing 1 and Thing 2 nest and am promptly slapped in the face with the acrid odour of vomit.  I switch on the light and then proceed to slip on masticated lamb chop and chocolate pudding.  Poor kid tried to make it to the bathroom, but got as far as swinging his legs over the edge of his bed.  It was a real Power Vomit.  We're talking splash marks on four walls and the window blinds.  I trapse into the kitchen to get the paper towel and an adequate vomit recepticle....leaving a trail of slimey germesticated vomitty footprints. 
"It's ok baby," I coo, "You can't help being sick.  Did you get it on your sheets?" (please god, not the sheets, I only changed them yesterday morning...nothing like having to change sheets at three in the morning with a shivery sick child forlornly watching.)
Sheets are clear, God bless the considerate invalid.
With lavender and eucalyptus oil liberally sprayed, mopped and high-pressure hosed throughout the room and Bratley proclaiming he felt "all better now" I shuffle back to bed to sleep.  With one eye open and ear tuned to flea farts.  George has vacated for the evening.
Perhaps he'll come back tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Diamonds, Fat Farms and Financial Armageddon

For my up-and-coming 26th  birthday (ahem) I've asked Humphrey to send me to a fat farm. (No, nothing so altruistic as rendering tallow so that children in third world countries can have lamps by which to study at night) just a simple wire-the-jaw-shut-bootcamp type fat farm.  (Actually, whilst I was thinking along the lines of a tropical getaway full of well-oiled Norsemen and Bircher Museli Masterchefs, Humphrey was thinking more of the one-way-ticket-to-a-Pacific-atoll accompanied by a packet of protein bars).
Ah bless the Humphster he is a fiscally responsible individual (goddam tightarse).  Many of you more prudent readers are probably nodding in agreeance that Humphrey sensible surgically sewed his wallet shut (years ago) in preparation for the financial Armageddon I intend to wreak on it in the coming weeks.... coming up to Christmas and all.
Sitting at the dinner table the other day we were discussing what would be a good present for Things One and Two.  In their minds anything that doesn't involve books or underpants or education in any way shape or form is a good present.   In fact anything that is plastic, has lights, sabres, lasers, is able to fly, shoot or do homework is a good present.   So here lies my dilemma.  I pretty much leave my kids to their own devices throughout the year.  I might half-heartedly throw a cricket/basket/foot ball every day now and then or even pretend to be the Fat Controller to Thing Two's Thomas The Tank Engine regularly once or twice (actually I'm sure the boys secretly call me the Fat Controller all the time).....and I think I need to be more, you know, involved.  Two girlfriends of mine are probably the (angels singing and trumpetting fanfare) BEST MOTHERS OF ALL TIME - and I feel hopelessly inadequate in their immaculate homes watching them gently deal with whiney kids and set up face-painting and personal discos for their cherubs.  I just can't be fagged.  If my kids whine I snap at them and threaten to leave them in their room until cockroaches start to look appetising; if they say they're bored I tell them I'll give you bored now get your arses outside and kick a ball, catch a butterfly or something. So I'm a bad Mum.  Social services are probably on their way over right now.
(Actually I do feel slightly better since I met Sandra over at Absolutely Narcissism.  She is possibly my twin - apart from the fact she has ripped abs and is possibly the best blogger in all Christendom.  Sandra and I have similar attitudes to everything, except exercise, but that's another story.....head on over and give her a visit, http://www.absolutelynarcissism.co/  she pays the shyte out of her husband....just like me!).
Anyway ADHD girl, back on track.....oooh shiny thing....stop it!! Ok, Christmas presents.  The Responsible Parent in me wants to give them e.d.u.c.a.t.i.o.n.a.l. toys...you know things that will stimulate the correct hemispheres and have them chatting about quantum mechanics.  The Imbecile Parent wants to give them fun things that have lights, sabres, guns and shiny bits - because I'm such a shyte mother 90% of the time and get really impatient when they're reading and can't sound out the word r.a.b.b.i.t. after reading it six times on  previous pages.  I think we'll compromise and get them something like a ping-pong table - you know, sport, coordination blah blah.
So I asked Humphrey what he wanted, thinking he would look at me with a glint in his eye and say..."Just you baby, with a big satin ribbon around (what was) your waist".  But no.  I received the same reply as last year, and the year before that, and the year before that;
"Oh, just something chromey and tooley that has the word SnapOn embossed on it."
Oh.........silence.......I'm waiting for him to say "What do you want for Christmas my gorgeous love goddess?"....but instead I get.......silence......
I hate silence during conversations.....it forces me to blurt out things just to, you know, fill the void.......
"OK, what do I want for Christmas? Why thanks for asking Humphrey....."
Before I get to finish Humphrey sighs and in a completely defeated tone says, "I know, I know.....you want something I just can't afford..."
"We'll don't you want to know what it is?"
He just looks at me with huge puppy eyes like I'm about to beat him with my studded truncheon (again).
I just don't have the heart to do it to him so I just sigh and say, "Well, I guess I'm going to buy my own present again this year."
For crying out loud it's not like I unwrap a new house every Christmas, or even a new car......I would like that little forlorn boat that I see when I cross the bridge each morning.....not that I can sail.
I never claimed to be sensible.
Perhaps just a little trinket....a shiny little something....that rhymes with "triamond"

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Story of The Night

I spend an extraordinary amount of time staring at the ceiling - at two o'clock in the morning.
Falling over my eye bags every morning reminds me that this nocturnal activity is possibly not healthy. There appears to be no antecedent to this behaviour as even the street louts who like to drink cans of bourbon on my front fence are usually in bed by two, or have stumbled onto someone else's front lawn for a bit of shut-eye. The hoons in their lowered suped-up nitro-fuelled muscled-up penis substitutes have gone from doing circlework at the intersection outside to laying rubber on the highway, or smoking crack.  The residual trash have taken their domestic disputes from the street to behind their trailer doors.  So all is quiet.  And yet, I'm awake, watching shadows ebb and flow across the ceiling rose.
I rise to check the children as I'm certain that my wakefullness must be because my sleeping children have been spirited away by kidnappers. Or perhaps one of them has stopped breathing. I must get some perverse kick out of frightening myself.  Humphrey just thinks I'm weird.
All is well.  Their room is quiet and close.  They sleep, open-mouthed, with their limbs flung asunder and bedclothes hither and thither.  I kiss their warm little faces and wonder if it is possible to infuse them with a sense of love and well-being with each dry little peck.  I also become acutely aware that these precious little people are only mine for a short time and I don't want to miss a minute of their lives.  This makes me want to cry.  Instead I shuffle into the kitchen and flick on the kettle. My eyes scunch up in protest at the bright fluorescent lights.  I look like Gollum's mother.
Stirring the decaf I wait for the computer to boot.  At least ebay is awake at this hour of the morning. I check emails and half-heartedly spy on facebook.  I shuffle back to my bed.  One side of it remains unrumpled.  I realise I am lonely, missing that great warm lump of Humphrey - who should be in my bed each night, but for reasons beyond our control is not.  It could be worse, I say to myself.  Yes, it could be much worse.  I pick up my cheap supermarket reading glasses. One long-broken arm waggles uselessly, but I deftly flick it up over my ear. We have an understanding.  I won't sit on them again, provided the arm doesn't completely separate from the rest of the frame.  Settling back into a pile of pillows I smooth open a tattered page of David Copperfield.  It has been read many times, but still the characters can be conjured into my bedroom - the dumpy, apple-cheeked Peggotty, ominous Murdstone and pathetic Clara whom I'd like to pummel with a steak tenderiser.  It is 3am.  Should I make school sandwiches or should I try to sleep? Perhaps I should go and clean behind the washing machine.  Have been meaning to do that for some time.  I decide instead to settle David Copperfield on the bedside table, switch off the light and roll over.  I run my hands over the cool smooth sheets that should be warm with Humphrey....and wait for sleep.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Queen of Blurgh

Urgh.  Blocked nose, sore throat, thumping head and tired.  No, it's not conjugal duty time, its my man cold.  I don't get the sniffles, I get full-blown ebola-flu.  It is always worse when its hot outside.  Why is it that nasty little biological warfare bombs explode during summer? It's so damn hot up here that even cockroaches curl up their creepy little raspy legs,  but not our friendly neighbourhood ebola-flu.  It lurks on library door handles and shopping trolleys waiting to make your mucous membranes its cosy new home.  To make matters even more inconvenient the Charlotta sat an exam today. sigh. wish. me. luck.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kim Kardashian, Seventy Angry Lawyers Weilding Seventy Breached Contracts and The Starving Children in Africa.

Sometimes after reading the news headlines I fold myself into the foetal position and weep.
No, I'm not talking about the impending financial collapse of the European Union and the fact that by 2014 we will all be living in dumpsters and selling our children as spare parts.  My latest news-induced physical and emotional implosion happened after I heard the tragic news of Kim Kardashian's impending divorce. 
On my knees arms beseeching the heavens I wailed "Where, oh where did the love go?"
All that effort...... THREE wedding dresses (because when you're really in love one is not enough)....three hundred and seventy six carat diamond rings (again, he loved her three hundred and seventy six times more than the average guy), .eleventy million dollars for photographic rights  and the blinding, radiant all encompassing LOVE....gone....just...gone.
I ...just.....can't....believe....sob.. i...it's.....over....blub...sniffle.
How our Armenian princess gets through the day after this personal armageddon is beyond me  How she drags herself out of her swag each morning to administer food and medicine to the starving Sudanese....How she squares up and pokes her finger into collective chest of the UN about war crimes in Sri Lanka....How she works in soup kitchens on Hollywood Boulevard....How she personally oversees the health and wellbeing of disabled Romanian orphans.  All of this.....and her marriage has crumbled.....it was all just. too. much.
What's that?  She actually doesn't do anything?  ANYTHING?
Well what's she doing splashed all over the media all the time?  Of course it's a bloody good question.....
She sells handbags? Handbags? And clothes? Oh.
You are kidding......she actually charged people who had already bought her handbags $160 to get an autograph......in Australia?  She wasn't mobbed or spattered with rotten tomatoes?
But what about the starvi......
Humans are stupid.  I want to be a dog.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

When a Red Ribbon is Just a Red Ribbon and Not a Metaphor for Psycho-sexual Mind Games

Hell-oooooooooo! Phew, I'm finally back after being whisked away by George Clooney for three months in Sodom and Gommorah.  (Don't even know if I spelled tha' proper-loike).
Or I could have had my head stuffed so far up a criminalistics textbook that when I emerged I found my children have left home, I've three grandchildren, my husband has run off with a one-legged rastafarian mandolin player and I live within a fortress of newspapers - and ninety seven cats.  Which is most likely? Nevermind.

There is much to be said for hitting a certain age and discovering that your neurons fire about as fast as Telstra's internet dial up network.   I can run faster than the connection at my Mum's place.  Anyway, what I'm trying to say in my typically verbose fashion is .... I've been studying to the exclusion of everything....(except Thing 1 and Thing 2).  The way I hit the books you would think I would've actually sewn up string theory, or at least next year's Nobel Prize. sigh.
Unlike some, I can't learn via osmosis.  As much as I'd love to place my faith-healer hands on a textbook and feel all that knowledge stream into the draughty cavern that is my craniobrainio bit.  My brother-in-law learns like that.  He's a super dooper mergers and acquisitions lawyer who studies for his masters by just THINKING about blowing the cobwebs from his textbook - while he surfs.  My sister is the same....the memory of a steel trap, although admittedly it is generally confined to irrelevancies such as the fact that I borrowed $15 from her in 1982 (she's working out the interest as I write) and my plethora of other crimes and misdemeanours dating back to her birth in 1974.

Dreamt of exams the other day.  Usually it's me walking into a gymnasium looking at the eleventy million desks lined up for an english exam and ...*lightbulb*.... "Oh. I forgot to read the book".  Actually that wasn't a dream, that was true. Almost.  For practically all of my year 12 exams.
Modern European History: Medici's, yeah, weren't they hairdressers from Milan?
Religious Studies: Exodus, I'm sure that's an English boy-band.
Legal Studies: the snail in the bottle....the snail....in. the. bottle.  Yep, that set a precedent that resulted in Schweppes always making  sure there were never. any. more. snails. in. bottles. 
English:  A red ribbon always means a loss of viginity (Tess of the Durbervilles) and seagulls flying into a sunset means new life (Fly Away Peter).  God help me! When can a story just be a damn good yarn and not sneakily woven with symbolic trickery?
I failed. 
The latest exam anxiety dream was loaded with obvious neuroses.....my subconscious knows it needs to s.p.e.l.l things out for me otherwise I will meander in blissful ignorance into the next disastrous quagmire.

Sometimes a red ribbon is just a red ribbon.

(Coming up:  The Kardashians (good grief) and Living the High Life).