I believe I am moving into the final stage of preparations before departure. With 3 weeks to go on Monday I have amalgamated all my lists (the ‘can wait’ list, the ‘when I can afford it’ list, the ‘last minute’ list, the ‘when I move into Mum and Phil’s’ list, the ‘if I have time’ list) and I am now operating off one list – the ‘this is it’ list.
I now have a large removalist box in my bedroom as well as a Crazy Clark’s $2.00 striped storage bag. As I come across things I no longer need in the coming weeks (like freshly washed school uniforms today) I can pack them away for storage. As I was packing away something in the box today I saw a picture that I had blu-tacked to the wall. This picture, I truly believe was the instigator of the journey I am about to go on. At some stage towards the end of the year I came across it and it somehow spoke to me. I was recovering from a particularly bad bout of ill-health which I attributed solely to what I will politely refer to as a negative work environment and I was doing a fair bit of soul searching. I came across this picture which is a little ragamuffin kid traipsing down a hill with a back pack. On the picture is the words “school starts soon”. The place looked foreign and remote. The kid looked like she was going to a school that wasn’t a school in the middle of nowhere. I got the feeling that the photographer was doing exactly what she wanted to do. I pressed print and stuck it on my wall. I had no idea why, I just knew that it somehow summed up everything I was feeling.
Now almost a year later that picture is still on my wall and my world is almost packed up and we are about to head off on our adventure. Amazing what happens when you somehow put a dream out there, not that I could have articulated it at the time. Have to laugh though because when I looked at the picture and got over my warm fuzzies and my goose-bumps I imagined Rissie as that little ragamuffin child in the picture with her well-worn little pack on her back and I also imagined drop kicking her down wherever that remote hill may be.
You see in these last few weeks my daughter is driving me crazy. I want to drop kick her anywhere at the moment. I love my kids. I truly, truly do. They are my world but at present they, in particular my girl child, are driving my absolutely fucking bat-shit crazy.
Firstly, she decided she did not like pink. We were sorting through their clothes last week. A pile for summer clothes to be packed. A pile for winter clothes to get us through the next 3 weeks. A pile for the bin and a pile for Lifeline. Rissie curled her little lip up and told me she did not like pink. Effectively ruling out almost all of her clothes. In exasperation I shook my head and asked her what did she mean. She shook her little head back at me, very effectively and told me that she was a tom boy and she did not like pink. I chose to ignore her. Her fucking backpack is pink. Her day pack is pink. Her favourite sleep teddy is pink. She has exactly three weeks and three days left to rediscover a love of pink.
Another thing she is doing is retrieving things I have put in the bin and hiding them under her bed. I had thrown away two of my recipe bibles this week. Naturally I have my treasured recipes online. I found her scampering down the hallway this morning with the two recipe books hidden under her shirt and saw her shoving them under her bed. They were not the only things under her bed and I am now devising ways to get rid of things without her knowing. When she told me that she needed them in case she wanted to make some things over the next few weeks she remained incredibly obstinate and told me that it would wreck her life if I threw them out. Rissie does not normally make a habit of spending hours in the kitchen whilst she whips up a few dishes.
The final straw for me this week though was her iPad. I do believe I had my first episode of iPad rage. It was 4.30pm on Monday and I told the kids they could have some iPad time. After about 5 minutes I heard some sniffling and Rissie burst into tears and told me that her iPad was wrecked, she was going to throw it away, she had lost her password and her life was over. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I have a love/hate relationship with technology and devices. I could not believe she had lost her password and I did not know enough about bloody iPads to respond with anything apart from wildly swiping my fingers like a maniac over the screen and coming up with the suggestion of pressing the equivalent of Control, Alt and Delete or turning it on and off again. She looked at me like I was a dinosaur and told me that it was all ruined. This went on and on and by this time 5pm had been and gone and there was no preparation for shower, dinner, story & meditation so my routine was out the window and I was getting edgy.
Two hours later. Fucking two hours later I had managed to find a Youtube video which gave us a way to fix it (apparently this should have taken us three minutes). Archie was watching his own self-help videos and shouting out directions from another part of the room which was not entirely helpful and was also putting me on the edge of becoming a basket case. Eventually I had her iPad connected to my laptop. We found ITunes and loaded that onto my computer. My computer froze so we had to start everything again. Eventually though after much muttering and cursing from me the iPad was unlocked albeit with everything wiped but the iPad was accessible. A 3-minute solution literally took almost two hours.
Then the next morning at 5.17am I heard a muffled sobbing noise from the hallway right outside my bedroom door. Because everything had been wiped clean on her iPad she could no longer access her Minecraft or Block craft or whatever the hell that app is that allows kids to stare at screens whilst losing their ability to communicate and building big cities at the same time. She needed an apple id which meant me getting up, I was awake anyway as I had a creature making snotty noises outside of my room in an increasingly unhealthily loud manner, no doubt to get my attention. So I stumbled down the hallway, got my MasterCard, set up her apple ID, told her I would kill her if she downloaded anything that would cost money and went back to bed for 30 minutes whilst wondering at the same time if it was too early for a vodka.
I have no idea where she gets her sense of the dramatic from. The fact that her father and I met on the stage has got absolutely nothing to do with it. Everyone tells me how alike we are but I cannot see it. I am entirely calm and rationale and not prone to hysteria or drama at all.
God my poor mother.
Back to the picture. It amazes me that it is still on my wall. It amazes me that I saw something I could not articulate and it started the beginning of this crazy journey that we have not even started yet. I only hope that if I do come across that moment, that hill, that feeling, that ragamuffin child, that I don’t drop kick her too far.