Saturday, January 07, 2006

how do i put this? more ramblings from a mother steeped in pathos.

but first, some light entertainment.


okay, that's enough. to business.

i just want to thank elaine and locket for gorgeous, gorgeous words of support. of course they haven't accused me of being smothering and pathetic, they have been lovely and female and soft and understanding. which is what girls like to hear. they want to hear those soft words, the kind, supportive balloon words.

men tend to want to fix things, and rush in with their advice which can seem just a little bit unasked for, they run around brandishing their spanners-of-solutions. i know what they are doing, i get it. but it's just not what i want to hear.

but sometimes we need to hear the things we don't want to hear. don't we? it's part of being an adult. it's like, i'm ok, i can handle it, you can tell me things i don't want to hear.

chai, i know you understand too, and don't think i am singling you out here. you have been brave in standing up and saying it straight to me. (by the way i couldn't find any umbilicus pics in google image. hmmmm.)

and bevis, you too are a rock. a real rock, not a cotton rock.

i don't want to be a suffocating mother to princess. i am just working it all out as i go along. or not even really working anything out much. making it up as i go along.

but it really cheers me to have people say they think i am a good mother. i think i am. i really do. i work hard at it, and i put in. i'm not expecting her to bring herself up. it doesn't work like that. but i want princess to be a whole person. yes, slowly slowly. but whole. where she trusts her own judgment and makes her own decisions, and learns the hard way by making her own mistakes.

it's just that you love them so much, you want to protect them from everything bad.

so, to the current situation.

when i checked my emails today there was one from princess:

"hello mum i am thinking of cumming home erly because i am rilly missing you i will let you know when i know when the date is love you a lot princess"

now i got this email and i started to wonder whether my suffocation from afar had caused this.

seriously, i have been trying to not be worrisome and needy. i really don't think i have. my last two posts here have been a breeze. after the great snowstorm i've been fine. and to tell the truth, before that i was too, i was missing her, sure. but not bleating about it. (just here a bit, but this is where i let my guard down bigtime. in real life, i am as fortressed as anyone else.)

i wondered how to reply. i didn't want her to cut short her holiday and then regret it later. i didn't want her father being able to accuse me of influencing her to leave early. however, i also wanted to support her if she was really feeling bad.

had my text messages over the weekend until i spoke to her made her feel homesick?
had the phone call with karen somehow affected things? ie did karen get in touch with ali and say that i had been panicking? again, i was terse with her on the phone, not panicking.

as i was trying to compose my reply, via sms, the phone rang and it was her. they were back in san francisco.

small voice, sounding as though she might cry. she told me she was thinking about coming home. i told her not to decide quickly, that nothing special is happening here, she's not missing anything. i told her gigi was back, i was taking her for walks in the morning.

how's your work going? she asked

[shit, is she worried that she can't come back because i said i was going to do lots of work, and she thinks she will interrupt my plans?]

it's going all right, i said. i'm trying to do as much as i can.

so what's happening, darling. what does baba say about you coming back early?

he says it's fine with him. you called karen, and you were freaking out, she said.

who told you that? i said

karen said you called, she said.


i wasn't freaking out until i spoke to her, she made me worried, talking about a snowstorm, i said. she made me worried with her talking.

[princess mumbled something into the phone. something about karen and alcohol. i kid you not.]
i'm thinking oh great. now she's hanging out with drunks. that explains karen's dottiness. i remembered ali telling me a story a few years ago about karen causing trouble between him and lisa, telling her he was just using her (lisa) and planning to "go back to his wife." (news to me)

it's all just so high-school.

then karen gets on the phone. i'm thinking, don't fucking start, lady, i am this close to bawling you out.
you know, melbournegirl, princess is saying she wants to go home early, and ali's going to be really busy from tomorrow, he's got a show in san diego, and they have to drive to southern california in 80 degree heat, and he can get really obnoxious when he's working, he really sometimes is not pleasant to be around
karen, i interrupt. he's always pleasant to his daughter. always. and you don't need to tell me what he's like, i've known him for 15 years and was married to him for ten, so really i know what he's like.

[i'm thinking, how the fuck do i find myself in these situations?]
anyway, it's like i phone counsel princess for another ten minutes. it's all coming out, how much she misses me, how she is worried about her new teacher not understanding her problems with spelling and how she bets she'll be behind the other kids in the class, and she's worried about not having enough time to settle back in before school, and how she can't sleep, and she's going to bed too late to read her books, but she is having trouble going to sleep.

i know what the problem is. she is over tired because ali and lisa wouldn't be routining her. she needs routine. she will have been very busy, going full on for a week and be quite exhausted, plus all the emotional stuff. she's had a week of it, and has probably just had enough. she usually finds that when ali comes out here after about a week she's had enough of the high-octane, hyper-emotion-type whirlwind situation that he carries around with him.

i tell her again not to make a quick decision. i stress that it's fine with me if she comes home early (i don't want her thinking i don't want her), just to let me know. to work it out with baba, they can make a good decision together.

so i'll hear more tomorrow.

and another thing. can anyone tell me that i'm not fucking dreaming when i say that at 1.37pm today it was 6.37pm in san francisco A DAY BEHIND, so ie friday? it's saturday today right? we are on the phone at 1.30 this afternoon and booze-addled karen is saying it's saturday there as well.
hugs to you all, even the spanner boys.


* wasn't brigitte bardot pretty when she was young?

day 9.
18 days to go. maybe. maybe less it seems. we shall see.


Chai said...

Spanner boys? Single me out? Hey, I looked back at my comments and cannot find any instance where I was giving *any* advice at all. All I said was it must be hard trying to juggle the all encapsulating love vs smothering. That's not advice. That was empathy. My humblest apologies if it caused any anxiety.
But it's not about me. I think your kid just misses you lots (it's always the mum, isnt it?) and I do not think you're smothering her. Plus it does sound like you're a good mum.
And just like the 2 other girls, if I ever was to become a mum, I'd want to be just like you. Or would "I wish my mum had been just like you" sound better? Anyway...

BEVIS said...

Same, although I said a coupla times that I reckon you're an ace Mum, so Chai, I don't think MG was speaking directly to or about us. (Right, MG?) She was probably just meaning guys in general. She mentioned us as the expections to the gender stereotype she then described. (Or so I choose to believe!)


Anyway, MG - don't you worry about a thing. It sounds like you've pegged the 'exhaustion-whirlwind' thing between Princess and Ali perfectly. Whatever she decides to do, I know you'll be great about it.

BTW, does Princess ever access your blog? Maybe she's reading all this info online as you post it and perhaps it's playing a part in her wanting to come home early?

Finally: No, you're not bonkers. 1:37pm Saturday in Melbourne was definitely 6:37pm Friday in San Francisco. (I have a World Clock / Time Zones link on my blog under 'Useful Internet Links' if you ever want to use it.)

If Karen's hitting the booze before 7pm and doesn't know what day it is ... perhaps it's a good thing Princess wants to come home early ...


MelbourneGirl said...

you're right chai. i'm sorry if i have upset you. and bevis. i did say both of you understand, but i guess i was commenting on how the only one to kind of call me out was a boy (chai). then i made a leap to boys wanting to fix stuff with their practical advice which was a generalisation (neither of you gave advice). and i was trying to be funny about spanner boys.

so what was the saturday/friday thing? what the hell was going on there?

and bevis, princess never looks at the blog. she doesn't know the address, and if she did, she wouldn't know how to get here. she is not internet savvy, something i have purposely arranged. she likes to play with her bratz dolls and draw pictures of dogs. despite her adultness and bravery at getting on a plane to america by herself, and despite her maturity in other ways, i have worked hard to keep her in childhood as much as possible.

besides i swear so much on my blog, and there are people who have rude pictures on theirs. it's no place for kids...

Locket said...

See? SEE???

You are not the Smother Mother From Hell! If you were, any offer on Princess's part to return early would have been latched onto like the gigi to a bone, and never let go. Hell, you would have jumped on the net and changed her flights before she'd said "I wanna come ho-".

You're doing good mg x.

Chai said...

Dont sweat it, MG. I wasnt upset. Was just trying to help (dont believe that? Would u believe ... I left the comment in the wrong blog? *in my best Don Adams voice*).
Your kid is lucky to be loved so much.
Was having a conversation with mine and I mentioned that most parents would die for their kids. And she remarked that they should live for them instead. I dont think she meant it like I understood it but it was a moment, for me.

Anonymous said...

God, I remember so many times like this during my childhood. You're handling it in exactly the right way, Melbourne Girl. Don't stress over it too much, I went through many similar situations with my parents and I turned out just fine... well, near enough.

BEVIS said...



Shorry, I jush been hangin' out wif Karrren. Shhe shherfs the beshft vodka in town!


MelbourneGirl said...

chai that's a beautiful anecdote. just gorgeous. kids know what's what, don't they?

yours is nine too isn't she? from memory she is something like that. wow. same as princess.

surly, hi. thanks for the reassurance.

and bevis. i'm not a teetotalling killjoy, i too like a drinkipoos. but i always, ALWAYS know what day of the week it is!

BEVIS said...



MelbourneGirl said...

shit bevie, you're on like a 20-hour drunk there.

take care, okay?

[prepares cold wet facewasher, pepto bismo and puts up toilet seat]

[puts on rubber gloves]