Category Archives: Peculiar Stories

Birth. My first one, that is. And quite possibly TMI.

I tell a lot of people in gruesome detail about my pregnancies and births. I think I may have to join the group, ‘Oversharers Not-Really-Anonymous’. Anyway I had not thought of actually writing any of it down (although Mum said I should) until I was reading a blogpost somewhere else with all the gory detail, and I laughed a lot, and thought, maybe I should do this. I even conducted an unofficial questionnaire on Facebook. The response was ‘Yes’.

Something that is a recurring theme of both pregnancy and birth, in my experience, is slime. I had my first ultrasound, the transnuchal screening, at 12 weeks, and then another at 20 weeks. The sonographer puts a lot of slime on your tummy, after tucking rather a lot of rough scratchy industrial paper towel into the pulled-down waistband of your pants. Then they play slip ‘n’ slide all over your tummy with the ultrasound gizmo. To properly see the foetus in there they have to have one’s uterus pushed up by a nice full bladder of wee, upon which they lean rather heavily. One acquires one’s full bladder by following their instructions – drink a glass of water an hour before, and don’t go to the toilet. Clearly this does not take into account the presence in one’s digestive system or the REST of the water, and the cups of tea, etc.

This prompted possibly the worst thing that anyone ever said to me while I was pregnant…
“Hmmmm – your bladder is a bit full. Do you think you could go and get rid of about 20 mils?”
Did I think I could, while busting for a wee, wipe the slime off my tummy, pull my pants UP, go into the toilet, pull them down again, wee out twenty mils (and how to measure it, one might ask?)…and then stop. Yes – then stop weeing, wipe, pull up pants, walk back out, still busting, get back on the table, pull down waistband and repeat whole paper-towel-and-slime procedure. Apparently a quick count of ten (and not one that slows down in a relieved manner) should let out the required over-fill.

All I care to say more on this subject is that I have pelvic floor muscles of steel.

I once asked my GP whether I would know if I was in labour. She chuckled dryly and said, ‘Oh, you’ll know.”
How wrong she was.

At that stage, my husband and I were doing a market stall in Sydney on Saturdays, which pretty well meant we were destined to have a baby on a Saturday (Which didn’t actually happen until next time, but it was a close call).
That meant that we got out of bed at 4.30 on Saturdays, drove down to Sydney, spent 2.5 hours setting up, spent the day until 4 standing on our hind legs making and selling coffee, tea, milkshakes, cakes and biscuits, iced tea and so on, then spending 2.5 hours packing up and packing the car and trailer and then spending 1.5 hours driving home, then doing some more market washing-up and getting dinner. It was a very long day.

I stopped doing the markets when I was 38 weeks pregnant and still shudder with the memories of the prostrate-in-bed-with-exhaustion-headache every Sunday for weeks.
(Also a number of people asked my husband where I was on the two Saturdays that I wasn’t there before the baby was born  – he would tell people that at this stage of the pregnancy, I thought I had better not risk coming to the markets. A few people said, ‘Oh yes, what is she now, four or five months?’ Um, no, nearly nine months actually.
But worse than they were the ones that said, ‘Is Rhiannon pregnant?!”
No, no, just cultivating a large beer gut.)

Anyway the second Saturday that I did not do the markets, I had lined up a couple of other people that could take me to hospital if I went into labour before Craig could pack up the stall and bring it home. As it happened, they were all either in Sydney or drunk that day, so lucky I didn’t.
I did a lot of tidying and cleaning, and made a delicious chicken pie for dinner. I was talking to a friend on the phone who had rung me to tell me that a friend had just had her baby after an agonizingly long labour, so that cheered me right up. I asked her if this odd sort of tightening feeling I was getting across my back were contractions, or just Braxton-Hicks ‘false’ contractions.
She couldn’t say.
By the time my husband got home I was getting these little back pains every 8 minutes, so I asked him if he could do the market washing up in case I needed my strength for some sort of marathon labour event, and also could he ring the hospital and ask if I should come in. Did I need painkillers? No. Were the pains bad? No. Every eight minutes…nah. Come in if they are every 4 minutes. I then pointed out that as far as I could recall, the baby hadn’t moved for some time, so they said, ‘Oooh in that case, come in and have a CTG scan.”

So Craig and I hopped into the car that I had thoughtfully put a large folded-up towel into (apparently not only does amniotic fluid or ‘Lie-quor’ as the midwives call it, smell like a swamp, it also corrodes upholstery fabric)(And it is full of hair) and drove to the hospital, little bands of pain stretching across my back every few minutes.

I had cooked us a multi-grain English muffin to eat on the way as we were leaving the aforementioned delicious chicken pie at home.
Natch, as soon as the baby got a hold of those delicious blood-sugars, he picked right up, and by the time I was strapped into the CTG monitor, I was only getting tiny weak (albeit suspiciously regular) contractions and there was a lively baby jiving on down in there.
“Nothing’s happening- it could be days – nothing’s going to happen for AGES.” they said at 9.30 PM-ish.

So we got home at 10, ate our dinner, went to bed at 11. My husband had been up since 4.30 and done a lot of work and a lot of driving, and he was totally stuffed.

I was dozing between increasingly painful back twinges. Until at about 1.15 I sat bolt upright yelling “FAAAAAAAHHHHHHHCKKKKK!”

My husband blearily said, ‘Wha’?’ as I leapt out of bed like a startled deer (although, you know, a little more ungainly) and raced to the bathroom swearing rather a lot.
I turned the shower on hot at full pressure and while it was heating up (a slow process as our hot water heater is upstairs) I went to the loo.
Um. Interesting. You see, earlier in the day I had had some of what I had thought to be what they call ‘bloody show’, which is the mucus cervical plug that sort of protects everything in there. When the cervix starts to dilate, the plug falls out, or so they said in the books.
So when I had some slimy blood-streaked mucus I thought, ‘Oh ok, this is it.”
Well no. It was some sort of preliminary, let’s-get-you-softened-up-for-true-horror mucus. Remember what I said earlier about slime? Bloody show is, without a doubt, the single slimiest thing I have ever experienced.  And there is loads of it. So much…so very much slime. And then a great big huge lump of mucus. Just what you want when you in pain, waiting for the shower to heat up, and feeling very ill. I briefly turned around, vomited up all the delicious chicken pie from earlier, and sat down again. I didn’t really NEED to go, but for some reason I kept getting this feeling like I needed to push something out. (Um, not that I was in labour or anything – they told me at the hospital only  4 hours earlier that nothing was happening and it could be days.)

I got under the shower and realised that now I had all that lovely boiling water scalding my back (actually, not. Our hot-water-heater is set to responsible parenting temperatures) that I would never be able to get out of the shower, ever again, unless I had something equally hot to replace the shower with. SO I was yelling to my husband to get me a hot water bottle, which of course he then had to hunt for as it was December.

I later found out that this stage, transition, was characterised by nausea, disorientation, and irregular painful contractions. However, I thought that this was labour JUST STARTING and I was in for 24 hours more or some such, so  was slightly nervous. I had somehow missed the entire first stage of labour, which proved my GP wrong, as I genuinely had had no idea.

Getting dried and dressed and lacing my shoes up, in labour, with a hot water bottle clamped to my back was no picnic. I hobbled out to the loungeroom and thought, ‘Shit. Next time I don’t have a contraction, I had better get down our two flights of stairs or I will be stuck here forever.”

My husband was just thinking of taking a chair down the stairs so that I could have a little sit down on the landing, when he looked out and saw me half-way down, so he grabbed what he could (not including camera or mobile phone) and raced after me.

The whole time it took to get to hospital I was muttering to myself, “They are not sending me back home this time, I’m not going back up those stairs, I’m not.”

We pulled into Emergency and he grabbed me a wheel chair as I could barely walk at that stage – the people on reception wouldn’t listen to my husband, and just kept talking over him, telling him to move the car until he said, ‘YES! I will move the car – if one of you could please take my wife up to delivery, she is in labour now.
“Oh, well then, of course.”
In the lift I felt something horridly damp and said that I thought my waters had broken.
When the reception nurse had wheeled me into Delivery, the exact same midwife was there whom I had seen 5 hours earlier – ‘Looks like something might be happening now,” she said laconically.

“My waters have broken, and I am wearing a new skirt!” I said, irrelevantly. (Hey, I had taken the admonitions that amnio rots material very seriously!)
When I took my undies off, the midwife could see by the sodden maternity pad that there was meconium (foetus-poo) in the water, so she said that the baby might be in distress and to get up on the bed and have a cervical exam straight away.

I hate cervical exams. I mean, I really hate them. They are worse than pap-smears. I’m sure midwives and nurses don’t much like them either.

So there I am, knees apart, feet soles-together, with a midwife-hand stuck up there, and she says, ‘Oh. Well, you’re fully dilated, any time now.”
Oh-kay. I hope my husband gets here in time.
He walked in and the midwife said, ‘Just in time!”

Meanwhile, as I had had a strep infection way back in the first few weeks of the pregnancy, duty-of-care means they have to stick a canula in my wrist and mainline antibiotics into me in case the infection has randomly come back.
Even though they were saying while they jabbed my wrist with a big fat needle ‘This is too late, of course – the baby won’t be in the birth canal long enough for this to have taken effect. ” JAB JAB.
The fact that I was gripping the edge of the mattress with my wrists twisted around the whole time they were jabbing needles and taping up tubes into my veins made it rather more painful than perhaps it should have been, but it paled into nothing compared to my surroundings.
I had read the sort of baby book that wittered about how ‘these days’ maternity and delivery suites were decorated in a nicer, homier style, friendly, calm – not like a hospital at all.
Well, I guess if glaring bright yellow walls and a big poster directly in front of me with the charming slogan in 3-inch high letters –
If it’s not Mud in your eye, it’s Blood.’
is your idea of nice and homey, then…well…um…you’re welcome to it.

Anyway, my husband kept looking at the business, end, which I’m glad I could not see, and telling me ‘You’re doing really well!”
I have such a sense of occasion, I merely accused him of reciting the list-of-things-to-say from the ante-natal classes, and went back to groaning a bit and worrying about how would he hold up with so little sleep?

About 50 or so minutes after I arrived at hospital, and when I had a moment between taking off clothes, getting cervical exams, CTG monitors, and canulas, I basically gave a little push, and they said, ‘Oh, you’re crowning, now a few nice big pushes, that’s the way AAAARGH!”
A big push (and realised that the expression ‘trying to shit a watermelon’ is dead accurate) and out came my baby’s head.
“Was that it?” I said, to probably universal condemnation from anyone who has had a difficult labour.
“Yes, that was the head! Argh! We barely caught it in time!”
“Oh. Unnnghhhh.” and out slithered the rest of the baby. My goodness, nothing feels quite as….slithery…as the rest of a baby. It’s like pulling a squid out of one’s lady-bits.
I had a little rest for a minute while they all rushed around hoovering mec-stained amnio from out of the baby’s mouth and nose, and I casually pushed the placenta out as they handed me the baby, or ‘purplish-white squiddy-thing’ as he looked like.
(My husband swears he was beautiful from the first second. I disagree. He was covered in vernix, the white waxy stuff that protects the baby from becoming totally waterlogged in there, and he was purple and squashed-looking.)

Anyway, that whole process took an hour from the time I got to hospital, and he was born almost exactly 2 hours after my first agonised ‘FAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHCKKKKKKK!”

(BTW they said they could tell I was not a smoker from looking at the placenta. Apparently smoker’s placentas are all grainy-looking. Ugh.)

My husband was asked if he wanted to cut the cord. ‘No way!’ says I,’That’s disgusting!” “Of course I do!’ he said, ‘It will be wonderful!”
He certainly got into the spirit of things more than I did. He even asked to take the placenta home. I objected. A lot. He swore it would be buried with tree planted on it before came home. It was. The second one however….

Anyway, they took my as-yet-unnamed baby off my to wrap him up and put him under a heat lamp, as apparently the whitish-purply-squiddiness and the fact that he came out asleep and hadn’t properly woken up yet meant he needed some extra warmth so I gratefully jumped (slowly) up and had a loooooooooong hot shower with loads of soap.
My one objection to home-births (for myself) is – in hospitals you can bleed on as many towels as you like and just throw them in a  linen bin, to be dealt with by someone else.  And boy, did I.

Baby Number One spent the first 12 hours in Special Care nursery with various indifferent and/or bossy midwives telling me what I was doing wrong, so I was most grateful to escape to Maternity where the midwives were nice and caring. They ALL told me different things though. ALL.

Anyway that was my first birthing experience, apart from having been born myself, and I rate it – not anything like as bad as an infected gall bladder.
Second one in a later installment!

Update
I forgot to mention – when the midwife was cleaning me up after the birth, I asked nervously if I needed stitches, as I had pushed him out as quickly as I could to get it all over and done with. She ummed and ahhhed and told me that I had a little tear, about a millimetre long, and she would check up in a little while to see if she thought it needed a stitch. It didn’t. When I hear the horror stories of nine-month’s vomiting, 36 stitches, emergency caesareans – I am soooooo incredibly grateful that my body just seemed made for all that  – almost no morning sickness, easy labour, easy birth, no real tearing issues – it took me nearly a month to really get the hang of breastfeeding but even that turned out to be very uneventful for me. Very grateful.
I recommend bellydancing!

Guest Post from Tom – ‘What Shit’s Worth – Literal Edition.’

Here is another guest post from my brother Tom – which made me laugh very much indeed – it was awfully familiar. (Possibly because I grew up in the very same family) (And have had the same experiences with culture shock and housemates.)
Anyway may I present Tom’s  ‘What Shit’s Worth- Literal Edition.’

“In this article I’m turning my attention to the other end of the hungry/food/me/contented spectrum.

Poopin’.

Now before you click ‘back’ on your browser in a fit of shit-related panic, I’m not concentrating on food waste. More the waste generated by what we as Australians choose to clean ourselves with afterward.

My housemates and I are from differing cultural backgrounds:  They were all raised in loving, supportive families that presumably were concentrating on staying fed, clothed and educated to worry to much about the peripherals, whereas my upbringing involved the sort of love and support that makes you love your family, but tread everywhere with a sweaty, guilt-ridden footstep, hyper-aware of the damage you cause with every footstep, every action, every foodstuff. As you might have guessed, my parent’s belief in education extended to having a thorough knowledge of the political world, and the ramifications of how you live.

So, despite the fact that my dad runs a heater from the first of march to the 30th of November, We clean with safer products, recycle everything scrupulously, turn off lights, shut doors, compost our food scraps, buy local, think about the nutritional impact of our food, the environmental impact of its wrapping, and the footprint our lives make on the world. You know, the things most people do without acting all self-righteous and smug about it.

So I have always wiped my bum with post-consumer recycled toilet paper.

Which brings me back to my housemates: they are great people, and I have few, if any, criticisms. But it was still a bit of a cultural shock to find that not everyone was raised with a view to using pre-loved poo tickets.

Recently I used some of the toilet paper a housemate had bought, A six pack of “Sorbent: Kids”.

First off, I had no idea there was a difference in child and adult toilet paper, but the main difference seemed to be that Sorbent passively teach you about your relationship to the natural world by getting you to smear crap all over pictures of adorable puppies.

The thing I couldn’t shake was a feeling of discomfort made ironically by something altogether too comfortable: It was like wiping your arse on a doona. You couldn’t help shake the fear that whoever owned it was going to come back and be justifiably furious.

But the final thing that got me thinking about what we do to eliminate waste as neatly as possible is log 98 million trees per year worldwide purely for the manufacture of toilet paper.

Given the prodigious amounts of wasted office paper generated worldwide, this seems not only absurdly wasteful, but an extremely flawed business model.

Unfortunately in most cases, making the ethical choice usually means laying out wads more cash to buy a product you can only hazard is as ethical as the manufacturer claims.

But recycled bum fodder is substantially cheaper than its doona-violating brethren, and even comparable in price to the arsehole shredding nasty cousin of the family – the budget toilet paper.

Despite the cheeky (totally on purpose!) pleasure of imagining you’ve destroyed an enemy’s valued comforter, the shocking amount of wasted resources involved means shit is most definitely not worth it.”

(I completely agree)

I guess you may have noticed I haven’t been writing much lately…

I have had a cold. But lots of things have been happening – I had a party for my son’s 4th birthday – the good kind of kid’s party, in which the kids play and eat home-made sausage rolls and fairy bread, and the parents and friends sit around and eat sausage rolls and butterfly cakes and drink seemingly-endless-supplies of Long Island Iced Teas. It was supposed to be at a playground, but it was wet, so we had it at my house, which was better in many ways as it didn’t matter when people showed up, and the food could be made hot in relays, rather than all at once and transported soggily to the park.
I made an extremely easy and delicious rich chocolate cake which is the excellent kind of recipe that doesn’t have a lot of difficult ingredients such as corn syrup, sour cream, dark chocolate, etc – it just had butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking SODA and cocoa. All of which I generally have about the place.

I was given this recipe from the blogger at http://thylacinthine.wordpress.com/ but not on her blog.

Put half a cup of cocoa into a bowl, and stir in a cup of boiling water. I use Woolworths home brand cocoa (for which I specifically go to Woollies, as I never usually shop there – but their cocoa is superb, much better quality than Cadbury’s and cheaper.) Add 2 tsps vanilla. You are supposed to wait until it cools down to add the vanilla, but I forgot. It turned out all right anyway.

Beat 185g of butter in a mixing bowl until it is fluffy, or as fluffy as it gets – it’s butter for crying out loud, not egg white. Add 1 1/4 cups of sugar, and continue with the beating until it is light and fluffy…or a grainy-ish paste which looks sort of curdled – depends on how much effort you want to go to.

Add 2 eggs and beat it some more, and at this stage it may even have a chance at the Light And Fluffy Award.

Combine 1 1/4 cups of flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and a little salt if you used unsalted butter (but I always use salted as that is all I have in the house).
It sounds sort of counter-intuitive to use baking soda, not powder, as that normally leaves a horrid yellowish colour and a metallic taste unless it is balanced by an acid of some sort, so all I can assume is that cocoa is acidic. Because it works like a charm.

Alternating between the floury mixture and the cocoa mixture, add 1/3 at a time, beating well the whole time until it is a sort of pale chocolaty satiny goop. It will look a lot paler than one would hope from a chocolate cake mix, but fear not, I have made it twice now and it is AMAZING how dark and moist and rich and chocolaty it turns out.

I baked it in a (I think) 9-inch round aluminium cake tin (I use the old-school aluminium tins as they have perfect heat distribution and then cool down rapidly so as not to leave a tough crust) lined with Multix or Gladbake or similar baking paper. Seriously good texture. Oh, at about 170-180 C – it all depends on what your oven is like.

I covered it in very vanillary buttercream icing, and crumbled a flake bar all over it (my five-year-old was asking me why, in pictures of ice-cream, was there sticks in it. I thought he meant, you know, paddle-pop sticks but no, he meant flake bars – so I bought one to show him what the were like) and lots of smarties. At four-year-old’s request. It was delicious and got completely eaten up.

Yesterday morning, after nearly three weeks of miserly doling-out of smarties in the fives and sixes, five-year-old staged a smash-and-grab raid on the pantry cupboard and finished the bag.

In other news – my husband is starting a new job on Monday, which we are all very happy about as it is a LOT closer to home. One reason I have not been writing a great deal is that as a six-month red P-plater I still find driving quite exhausting and have been doing lots of dropping-off and picking-up, and what with these endless colds I seem to be having this year I am so tired it’s all I can do to cook, do laundry and make vast quantities of sandwiches for my ravening hordes of two children. And occasionally do some vacuuming, and also do my important work of reading endless ‘Pure Poison’, ‘News With Nipples’, ‘Politically Homeless’, ‘Dances with Fat’, ‘Fat Heffalump’ and ‘The Failed Estate’ blogposts. No, really, it’s important. True.

Yesterday I dropped off my four-year old at the pre-school and as I walked back through the car-park my nose was caught by that warm, strange (for a person who grew up inland) salty sea-water and mangrove smell that appears when the sun is warm enough to set it going – Woy Woy is so flat that you can be quite a distance away from the water and still get occasional olfactory ‘glimpses’ of that exciting holiday smell. I remember discussing the smell of Woy Woy train station with a couple of friends – one of them loved the smell of mangroves and silty mudflats, and the other hated it and loved the smell of diesel trains. Diesel trains! And train brakes! I ask you! What is that compared to rotten vegetation, pelican shit, decaying crabs  and salt water?!
I did mention that I was an inlander, didn’t I? I LOVE the smell of mangroves – it’s like having one’s nose away on childhood summer holidays, all the time.

I am currently thinking of becoming a business analyst writer – this is the next Big Great Idea after becoming an electrician, or a pilot. Who knows. What I DO know is that anxiety has turned my brain into a terrified hamster on a permanent wheel of self-doubt, fuzziness and zero-self-confidence. I suppose come to think of it, that’s self-doubt. Also my formerly-excellent memory seems to have carked it. I am so tired and un-motivated all the time, I seem to be sick most of the time, my neck is stuffed and at the moment I can’t afford a new pillow OR an osteopath and so the thought of getting to grips with even looking into doing a TAFE course, let alone actually DOING it, let alone seeking gainful employment seems daunting and intimidating and frankly terrifying. But I really do need to do something with my life, other than reading detective stories. Speaking of which, I have an historical detective novel to read and review, which I shall get onto next week, and let you all know.

So that’s me roughly caught up. Sorry for the long delay since my last post, which was, let’s face it, cheating as I didn’t even write it. (Thanks again Tom!)

Guest Post from Tom – What Shit’s Worth

This is a guest post from my brother, who has a range of amusing jobs, including juggling hats for money.

What Shit’s Worth, Volume One by Tom

As it happens, I am somewhat of a connoisseur of food bought from a petroleum dispensary. As a voracious consumer of both poor scheduling and a lack of preparedness (two of the key ingredients in a servo pie), I feel suitably educated to offer the best in choice and value for the hungry and cold late night employee.

From best to worst: SevLev’s ‘Munch’ range, especially the brief but delightful run of Lamb and Rosemary, but not discounting the Chicken and Mushroom pie for edibility. A suitable alternative title for the latter is ‘Paste with White Chunks’.

Special mention goes to the ‘Munch’ veggie roll for actually producing a mass produced baked good that tastes nice, is a decent alternative for the starved, half drunk vegetarian, and is pleasingly spiced with a healthy shot of pepper. Surprisingly edible.

Mrs. Macs rocks in a tough second for goopy richness and a delightfully rock hard crust that only improves with the addition of microwave cookery.

Four ‘n’ Twenty last for the audacity to claim that puree of testicles and organ meat compares to 24 whole roast blackbirds, beaks feathers ‘n’ all in taste.

In terms of health, I think we can all agree that wolfing down preserved meats in a commercial crust provides no nutrients of any kind, but keeps your protein levels high, staves off hunger, and adds a 50% stronger bouquet of awesome to your output.

Averaging at around $3-$5, depending on the particular clip joint you happen to be loitering nearby, shit is totally worth it.

What Shit’s Worth, Volume Two

I’m going to expand on an oft argued point of mine and decry the ever-present food that is the music festival pizza.

There are two types of festival pizza; the first being your standard McCain’s or similar frozen garbage heated up in a bain-marie. these aren’t worth commenting on, as you know well in advance what you’re gearing up for, and the results are always as expected.

No, my problem is a deep, deep river of discontent gushing towards the entity known as the gourmet pizza stand.

See the biggest beef I have with these is the whole argument of gourmet in the first place.

These vendors aren’t wise old Italian craftspeople, dedicated to perfecting the simple, though hard to perfect meal that is pizza. these are people who argue that a pizza with no toppings on it isn’t “Plain”, It’s now “Gourmet Margherita”. You know it’s gourmet because it has flecks of dried basil on it.

What pizzas there are that aren’t plain are a silent claim by the purveyors that they are fond of the Nullarbor plain, or the diets of the Spartans. If one treks across the surface of their pizza, after days spent without sustenance they might stumble across a stream of yoghurt drizzled across a sad looking piece of tandoori chicken.

I would be cool with this to the extent that all festival food tends to be overpriced, and not super worth it. I am also acutely aware of the huge amount vendors pay for overheads, site rental, and tithes to the festival management, but pizza? seriously? there’s got to be what, like a buck thirty-four spent on materials, and you’re charging me $10? It’s a slice.  A Slice. I can’t emphasize that enough. and when it isn’t a slice, when they generously dump the whole whacking great pizza on your super absorbent serviette that sticks to the base and provides much needed roughage, it’s the size of a slice.

No way.

Shit ain’t worth it.

(Tom – you forgot that they also have to factor in the nine months necessary to produce a first-born-child for appeasing Festival Management. That drives up costs, man.)

The Pizza Shop

My two kids were playing pizza shop this afternoon. First O was the customer and walked along with an exaggerated air of nonchalance.
“I’m looking for a pizza shop. I wonder where one is?”
C frantically waved his NAIDOC Week flag that the kids at his preschool were making this week and said ‘Here is a pizza shop, sir!”
O walked up and C said, ‘What sort of pizza would you like SIR??!!”
O asked for Pineapple and Vegetable Pizza, a boy after my own heart. Or tastebuds. Or something.

Then O asked if he could be the pizza shop person, and C had to be the customer.
C wanted a salami pizza. No vegetables. Iggle Piggle wanted a pizza too – or was going to be cooked in a pizza – I couldn’t work out what was happening.

Anyway. C did the whole elaborate nonchalance, but didn’t say anything, so O got impatient and said,
“CUT! You have to say, ‘I am looking for a pizza shop. Is there one around here?”
That scene took many, many takes.
While O alternately frantically waved the Aboriginal Flag (Or the pizza shop flag, depending on what dimension one was inhabiting) and told Cadar what to say.

O gave on up the game eventually, but C was still involved, and when Craig got home from work, C pulled out one of the most perfect specimens of Customer Service – he walked up and said in a perfect surly monotone,
“Go to my pizza shop and buy a pizza. You can sit on a stool and read a newspaper.”
‘No. I don’t have chocolate pizzas.”
So Craig asked for an anchovy pizza. Both C and O asked what were anchovies, and when Craig told them, C looked surprised and said, ‘But you wouldn’t like THAT would you?”
Yes, yes he would.

I hope that Iggle Piggle didn’t get cooked.

Shopping for Crocodiles.

My second son has a very peculiar taste in jokes. (As well as being an embryonic D.O.M., and no, I have no IDEA why, as is father is the soul of chivalry.) (And not in a creepy way.)

“Why did the crocodile cross the road?”
“I don’t know, why DID the crocodile cross the road?” I replied.
“To get a new girlfriend.”
“What?!” I said.
“Because his old girlfriend died. So he needed to go to the girl shop to get a new one. You can get a new girl at the girl shop. Like, a crocodile, or a elephant, or a kangaroo! You can even get a baby at the girl shop.”

Really, I am not bringing him up to think you can buy replacement girlfriends (or replacement crocodiles)(or children) from shops. Also – he is not quite four yet.