Today I had what I hope is not a foreshadowing of future run-ins with the law where my youngest is concerned.
There I was in the parking lot of the Bintang Supermarket, loading up the back seat with yet more groceries which will no doubt go 'off' or get consumed by greedy ants before we even get a look in.
Nevertheless, I was suddenly surprised by a tap on my shoulder, turning to find a rather meek but resolved looking young supermarket employee motioning towards Dumpie in the car.
"Sorry that boy take and no pay" he said, looking apologetic that he had been dispatched to deal with such nasty business - and with a foreigner no less.
"Dumpie? Did you take something from the store?" I asked, mortified, whilst peering into the nether regions of the back seat.
That's when I noticed a giant roll of jelly sweets peeking out from beneath his little thigh.
The husband roared from the front seat and Dumpie burst into tears as I grabbed the contraband sweet and shamefaced, handed it to the even more shamefaced employee. He scuttled off as I took Dumpie in my arms, consoling him and telling him off at the same time (a great parental standby that one).
What I neglected to mention of course was that earlier, inside this selfsame supermarket, I had already suffered the indignity of having to pay for an empty packet of pricey chocolate sweets which Dumpie had grabbed off the shelf and torn open with his little teeth.
This violent rupture caused the little chocolate balls to go multi-directionally airborne in the Fresh Produce section, and my guess is that this is where Dumpie likely picked up store securities attention. It came down to strict damage limitation as I tried valiantly to tear Dumpie off the dirty floor, where he was frantically trying to shovel in as many sweets as his tiny little mouth could hold.
Later on the husband and I asked Dumpie why he did it...why he left the store with something that he hadn't paid for.
"Because you give me no money!" he answered indignantly.
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Today I had what I hope is not a foreshadowing of future run-ins with the law where my youngest is concerned.
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Sunday, 27 June 2010
And there are a lot of dead around here. There is a cemetery just down the road. And this week happens to be 'Cremation Week' in the local village, where people band together, save funds and burn their loved ones together (well the ones who are already dead at any rate) in a giant cremation ceremony because....well, it's cheaper we've been told.
As if this weren't bad enough - a yelping, screaming husband rendering sleep impossible (and besides, who wants to stay up and watch your country disgrace itself yet again?) - it is absolutely pouring buckets down outside. I love the rain, but three days of torrential tropical downpour and counting and I'm growing a bit tired of the whole scenario.
Besides which, given that our Bali bathroom is 'indoor/outdoor', it sounds like it's raining in our bedroom. Not to mention the fact that should I be so unfortunate as to have the urge to empty my bladder anytime soon, I'll get drenched. Nice.
Oh - and did I mention that Dumpie has parked himself in our bed for the night?
Anyway you look at it, it's going to be a wet one....(sigh)
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, 26 June 2010
Though a somewhat inferior Indonesian vodka, spontaneous 'capful-o-vodka shots' and Lindt dark chocolate chasers add a rather festive note to what would otherwise be a rather trying imbibing experience. At any rate the husband, myself and our lovely girlfriend from Sydney had to justify the protracted journey last night in the rain, all of us huddled in the minivan, kiddies almost asleep, to all the Circle K's in the area, hunting down Mansion House Vodka like it was Prohibition.
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, 25 June 2010
For those who have been patiently following my ongoing rant about my accidental dread(lock), I have breaking news:
IT IS NO MORE.
Thanks to the ever-so-patient ministrations of my 'Angel-From-Oz' (a bestest friend who has come to visit us with her two little ones for a two-week Bali holiday), I have at last been freed from the tryranical clump of beastly knotted hair which tormented me on a daily basis.
I suppose a shout out of thanks should go out also to Kadek the Pembantu, who yesterday forewent her usual litre of extra virgin olive oil when making her afternoon popcorn snack, thus allowing me to soak my dreaded dread in it instead.
Thirty minutes, a cheap comb, and several grimaces later, not withstanding a huge sacrificial rats nest of a hairball later, my friend said 'Ta Da!' and I reached back...tentatively and felt...nothing. Hurrah!
Now I'm not about to suggest that I'm suddenly a Pantene Princess, posing under a waterfall in a too small bikini, tossing my chocolate locks to and fro...
Far from it.
But I WILL say that today, for the first time in many months, I was actually able to brush my hair. How novel.
Thus I solemnly swear to never again NEGLECT my hairbrush to such an extent that I accidentally join another social tribe (see: 'Backpacker Scumbag'...subcategory D7).
Additionally, I promise never again to clog cyberspace with uncontrollable rantings of an aesthetic nature...subjecting my loyal and ever-so-lovely readers to such an indulgent and boring thread (it's like dreams: if it's not yours, then who the heck cares).
I am a new woman now. With a strict bedtime ritual of not less than fifty strokes on the Mason Pearson.
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, 24 June 2010
I haven't washed a dish in weeks. I haven't done laundry in months. I haven't emptied my kitchen bin...swept the floor...mopped...or cooked in ages.
Thanks to lovely Kedak our Pembantu, domestic drudgery is a thing of the past. At least for now. And darn it, I'm going to enjoy it.
Sometimes I wonder how I'm ever going to be able to give all this up: the swimming pool, the delicious relatively inexpensive restaurants, the full-time Pembantu and part-time maid, the perfectly gorgeous, DEPENDABLE sunny weather, the idyllic scenery, the smiling locals, the wonderful school (sigh).
The husband and I are getting spoiled. And we know it.
Now when a child screams out for something, as long as it's a weekday between the hours of 8:30 and 5:30, we know Kedak's got it covered. Dumpie upends an entire litre of orange juice? No problem, Wayan the maid will mop it up later. Egg is hankering after a mid-morning snack? The husband and I are free to continue tip-tapping away on our matching Apple Macs whilst the Pembantu whips up yet another batch of homemade lemon sugar pancakes.
I suppose I should take more of an active role in things - especially kitchen related things. The other day I splurged and got a bottle of expensive extra virgin olive oil. Okay, truth be told it was a last ditch attempt to save my head from my killer dread (I read somewhere online that oil can SOMETIMES help it untangle). But it was also because I was craving some popcorn.
That afternoon as Kedak set about fulfilling her duty as surrogate galley slave, the smell of popcorn wafted tantalisingly throughout the place. I did notice with some alarm that the Balinese method of achieving a 'perfect pop' appears to involve the use of a frying pan (huh?!), but the end result was such a delightful snack, that no more thought was given to the matter and it was gobbled up in its entirety whilst still hot.
It was only as Kedak was leaving that I thought to ask her where she'd put the rest of the olive oil. I was ready to attack my dread you see.
She smiled and said, "But Miss Natassia, I use all for popcorn!"
A quick peek into the bin revealed two things:
1. The pembantu had indeed used an ENTIRE bottle of extra virgin olive oil to FRY the popcorn.
2. The tasty popcorn treat, thanks to the liberal use of oil, must have contained roughly 417 calories per kernal....or 417,000 calories. Uh-oh.
It just goes to show that a life of supposed leisure can be hazardous to your waistline, your pocketbook, and your ever-decreasing skill set.
Will I ever be fit to wield a frying pan again? Even to make popcorn?
The next morning Kedak arrived apologising profusely for having used ALL the oil to make the popcorn. She said, "I bring you coconut oil my mother makes'.
Tenses being a bit of a tricky one here in Indonesia, I assumed she meant that she WOULD bring me some coconut oil to make up for her costly mistake. I assured her that there was no need and to just forget about it.
Of course moments later, due to an unfortunate exchange with a preoccupied husband concerning a water bottle which appeared to be full of some strange liquid, I proceeded to pour out an entire bottle of precious coconut oil down the sink in full view of Kedak, who likely didn't know WHAT to make of this strange behaviour.
She had clearly brought the oil that day to appease me and no amount of explaining could render my behaviour explicable.
Uselessness begets uselessness.
All that oil has clearly gone to my brain.
I guess I should be thankful that it was re-routed from my hips.
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Thursday, June 24, 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Having spent most of the past twenty-four hours with my head down a toilet bowl, trying to brave the ravages of some mystery tropical flu, it is with mild distress that the husband and I, both weakened and feeling rather frail, stare across the table at each other and wonder how on earth we're going to pull off Egg's 6th Birthday Party tomorrow.
Procrastinators that we are, we had decided to devote all day TODAY to driving around town, picking up various presents, getting decorations and constructing party games for the dozen or so children that are expected to join in the birthday festivities.
How were we to know that the sudden onset of nausea was to herald a most violent dysentry-like affliction which would have me crying in agony and continuing to heave out my innards, long after there was anything to heave. It was like some sort of nightmare, and the husband caught it just after I, rendering childcare a near impossibility. (Hats off to the husband however, for this morning managing to rustle the children off to school in between vomiting outbursts.)
At any rate, we have a mere 3 hours tomorrow morning to get everything ready. I shall hopefully have both the Pembantu and our cleaner Wayan on a balloon blowing assembly line, thus insuring that for every balloon Dumpie gleefully pops in anticipation, there shall be another two waiting to take its place.
Fortunately we live five minutes away from a giant supermarket called 'Bintang'. We are hoping, no needing it to be, the answer to our consumerist prayers. We are praying that somewhere within its aisles we shall find not just the makings of goodie bags, but potential presents for pass the parcel, party decorations and all manner of other bits and bobs. A large ask for an Indonesian supermarket.
Saying that, we have only had one RSVP. This is due we think, to the fact that this year the invites were homemade, painstakingly copied out by hand nine times, very late at night, and delivered by an absent-minded Egg. Lacking such details as address and RSVP instructions, it is no wonder that a second set of further instructions had to be handed out two days ago. And by all accounts, this hastily scrawled RSVP note seems to be the only 'invite' that made it home.
So...there is every likelihood that Egg's party shall be under-attended. But saying that, given that a local grocery store is going to be the source of all party accoutrements, perhaps this is a good thing.
He may only be turning six, but is old enough now to suss out his parents as a pair of lame-o's...
Let's hope - for the little guy's sake - that we pull it together and make it through tomorrow...with a minimum of shame and embarrassment.
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Okay, so now I have to face facts. This morning I stood in front of the mirror, cheap scissors in hand, determined to face up to my ever-growing dreadlock.
Having tried soaking it in conditioner, dousing it in a hot oil treatment, and laughably - trying to attempt to brush it out, I have now come to the conclusion that it is here to stay. It is going nowhere. And now, it is starting to ruin my life.
Where before it was a skinny dread, it is recruiting nearby bits of hair and attempting to overthrow my entire head.
Thank goodness that I had the foresight to become a hat-lover years ago. At least I can slap on one of my three hats everyday and semi-disguise the sorry state of my scalp.
From the front I look normal...respectable even. But from behind....goodness. I look like I wear a nose ring, strum a guitar and don't shave my armpits.
I thought a Google search might throw up some clues as to how I landed in this situation in the first place. A simple press of the button yielded this insight:
What are the different methods you can make natural dreadlocks?
Twist and Rip
Twist and Pin
Yep....that last line just jumped out at me. It's ALL my fault. Here I was so intent on wearing sunscreen, bug repellent, spraying my sheets with Febreze so as to be able to sleep on the same sweat soaked pillows night after night in Goa, and upkeeping my Chanel 'Vamp' pedicure, that I failed to pay enough attention to my crowning glory....my hair.
So now, like an spurned lover, my hair has retaliated.
It is pissed off.
It wants revenge for obvious NEGLECT.
I'm not sure there's a conditioner in the world that can even begin to redress the balance.
Everyone is telling me to just cut it off. But I fear I shall end up with a frizzy shelf of hair on the back of my head - much like that sported by 'Mrs. Brady' in the long running 70's American tv series 'The Brady Bunch'.
How far I've fallen. If you could only see my product-crammed cupboard of hair products back in London. Even they can't help me now.
I've seen the future...and the future's shorn.
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Friday, 11 June 2010
We have just emerged out the other side of a weekend which involved projectile vomiting, stained mattresses and evil eye infections.
It all started with a phone call from Eggie's school on Friday, asking us to pick him up early as his eye was infected and causing him some pain.
Now, three days later, with a stomach virus added to the mix, Eggie is just fine but Dumpie is still recovering from this most cursed of weekends.
Last night, at bedtime, he tugged on Dada's shirt and said, "I going to throw up Dada."
"No you're not Dumpie...now brush your teeth for bed," the husband said, just before executing a panicky side-step to avoid being targeted by a sudden gush of projectile vomit.
As for me, I now resemble a rat. A brown rat to be specific. I've got two swollen eyes which no amount of 'eye-enlarging' white eyeliner is going to fix.
It also means that I can't put in my contact lenses. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, for it means that when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I don't inadvertently freak myself out with the 'Bride of Chucky' thing I've got going on.
Still, I got off lightly compared to the husband I suppose, who spent the better part of the weekend wiping off perpetually dribbling white gunk from the corners of his eyes, and even managed a close call reactionary gag himself whilst cleaning up one rather pungant offering from Egg.
This weekend having been a total write off, we now only have three days (only three days?!) to somehow construct a fabulous little boy's 6th party from scratch...
I'm going to have to take my squinty self back to bed for a power nap/brainstorming session, and see if I can't come up with a better idea for Eggie than my current one, which involves a load of pizza's, a ton of ice-cream and the husband resurrecting his amazing 'Kiddie Disco', thereby helping facilitate the reenactment of a Roman feast, as a dozen or so children hurl themselves around to Abba before festivities culminate in an en masse puking extravaganza.
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Eggie is in heaven. Kedat the Pembantu (nanny) we hired this week makes homemade lemon pancakes on request.
The husband is also in heaven because Kedat likes to fill spare moments by painstakingly (and pointlessly if you ask me) folding all of our clothes razor sharply in the wardrobe.
And she doesn't nag whilst doing it.
As for me, the jury is still out. I can't decide whether hiring a nanny and a separate cleaner for a space consisting of two bedrooms, and an open-plan kitchen, is inspired or downright ridiculous.
The husband and I literally sit here at the big wooden table during the day, plugged into our laptops, whilst two Balinese women tiptoe about washing dishes, clearing up messes, rustling up dinner, dusting, mopping, supervising the monsters...
So now we don't have to even lift a finger most of the time (dishes? what dishes?) or deal with our laundry (Wayan scooters off with our dirty laundry twice a week and returns with a cellophaned packet of clean replacement clothes) or deal with the screaming matches between Dumpie and the little girl who lives next door.
In exchange for an 'easier life' we hand over a wad of Rupiah every week and let someone else deal with the domestic drudgery which used to be cause for near-constant bickering.
"Can you PLEASE rinse out the porridge pot right after you've finished making it? It turns into cement and then I can't scrub it off"
"Don't you think there are more important things to be getting on with? Why do you always issue instructions?"
"Because I'm standing here trying to scrub off YOUR porridge and I'm hot and tired and it won't come off!"
"Then just LEAVE it for me and I'll do it later"
"But if i LEAVE it for you to do then the ants will get into it - it's disgusting!"
"I don't care. I'll clean it when I want to clean it"
"But I DO care."
"Then YOU clean it"
So you see, technically, having domestic help here in Bali should spell out the end of 90% of our bickering.
That's the plan anyway.
But the reality is that having our solitude disrupted by two additional people within the confines of our rather 'cozy' abode, makes for acute self-consciousness and leaves us nostalgically pining for our former privacy...so we can get back to bickering about porridge pots.
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Yesterday morning i woke up with a tap to the shoulder and there was Dumpie, his big greeny-brown eyes solemnly staring at me from a mere inch or two away. 'Hi Mama' he said, kissing me awake, before walking out of the room, pausing only to wave goodbye.
Friday, 4 June 2010
Last night we went out for dinner with some friends who have a daughter Dumpie's age. Midway through the meal there was an excited shriek and we all glanced over just in time to see Egg literally climbing the walls. (They were made of bamboo poles set just far enough apart to prove irresistible to a five year old.)
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Friday, June 04, 2010
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Yesterday the husband told me a story about a Korean couple who were charged with manslaughter after their child died of neglect. They were apparently addicted to the internet and the poor child never got a look in (gulp).
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Posted by "Moaning Mum" at Tuesday, June 01, 2010