Sunday, January 08, 2006

keeping a lid on it, just [or] phone counselling your child when she is in america

this will be brief because i don't want to become too fucking predictable.

but first, for bevis:

two phone calls today. the first one in the morning, so it was about 5pm their time. i called her. ali answered and hung up on me. i'll give him the benefit of the doubt and think it was a mistake. i called back, princess answered.

they were in a rental car place trying to organise a car to drive to california and san diego. princess told me how busy they are going to be in the next week. she sounded fine and said she thought she would stay until the 23rd. i was pleased as it sounded like she had worked it out and felt better about things. we chit chatted, she said she'd like to talk to her granny (here) and i told her i'd organise it on thursday, when granny comes back from canberra. princess also said i was right about the day yesterday, it was friday not saturday.

that was all ok. it was cheery and light. her voice got a little quiet when we said goodbye, but i make sure we don't drag it out too much, and keep it short and i don't linger, i say goodbye, i love you, and hang up.

i work today, it goes well. i brush the gigi. i swear the condition of her coat when she came back from the nashville kennel was terrible. great matted knots on her belly, and behind her ears. i brush and brush and she is so good about it. she loves me so much, she puts up with it annoying and pulling at her. i had to snip out the really matted bits, using like a funny curry comb type of thing, which is quite hard on her fur. great wafts of hair come out, and i filled a plastic bag; it was like white fairy floss.

another thing about the gigi, her collar is red and when she was at nashville, she obviously got really saturated from rain or hosing or something, and they didn't take the collar off, so she came back with a ring of pink around her neck, similar to when the cat in the hat visits the children in the snow and has a bath and leaves a pink cat ring in it, which then gets transferred to everywhere in the house and out into the snow.

anyway i had to bribe gigi to come and be washed under the hose. i had my bathers on - woo, hoo - and eventually got her to come. she was very wary of the house, whereas before nashville you couldn't get her away from a turned-on hose. i washed her, then she ran off to do the shake and slunk into the bushes and rolled and crawled to get the smell of shampoo off her. apparently dogs like eau d'snail more than eau de parfum of any sort.

just looked out the back door. she is wet, looks miserable and is filthy with dirt. fuck. i guess i'll have to rinse her off with the watering can and lock her in the laundry so she doesn't roll. bum!

then the phone rang around 3pm, 8pm there in san francisco.

she's in tears, in the bathroom for privacy. i talked her down, trying to distract her, explaining to her that she is just homesick, it's normal and happens all the time, that if she can get through the next couple of days then it will probably improve. i told her it happens at night particularly, that during the day she is fine. we talked about her routine being out of kilter (no dinner, they'd "had a really late lunch". for fuck's sake.) i said if she gets enough sleep it will make her stronger to deal with the homesickness.

during our conversation her dad came in to the bathroom and gave her a hug which i'm quite impressed by. he is good with her, but has never really been sympathetic with her tears, if you know what i mean. i think he was ridiculed when he was little and cried, so didn't know how to deal with someone else's tears. (mine included).

anyway she told me she wasn't miserable during the day, she was ok. i told her i am really proud of her, that even though i didn't expect her to definitely understand that this is an amazing experience for her, and a real life growing time, that i was sure she could sort of get what i meant. she said yes.

i told her to get into her pyjamas. she said that lisa had washed them (big tick) but that they were still wet (big cross). i told her to get onto her bed and start reading the first book in the series of four i got her to take away. she said she had planned to start that book tonight. i said good.

oh, almost forgot. she said karen is saying weird things about me. i told her not to listen to karen, she doesn't even know what day it is in her own country! (trying to make her laugh)

she did laugh. softly. and said something again about karen drinking too much.


the sooner she is out of karen's the better.

so on monday they set off to los angeles to pick up the carpets for the rug show in san diego on the 14th.

i don't know what the next few days will hold, but i'll be sure to report everything here. cause i know it's so interesting for you all....



day 10
17 days to go


BEVIS said...

First things first: Ha! Thanks for the Wonder Woman pic - that gave me a big smile! :)

Second: You are ace. I am definitely interested, so I hope you do continue to update us here ... as long as you're getting your thesis done as well? ...

Karen is a schmuck. Get that kid outta there.*

And as for Ali not necessarily being the best at handling women and children crying, he's definitely not alone there. (Prepare thyself for a potentially sexist generalisation!) We men all find it tough on occasion (to varying degrees, of course), seeing as crying is rarely 'accepted' or considered the 'norm' when we boys are growing up.**

So that certainly makes it difficult to handle when we're faced with it later in life. Personally, when I'm faced with tears, I have to fight getting annoyed, and I've only recently worked out that this is because I instinctively see crying as lame acting or a transparent attempt to get one's own way - something I know now it's not, but is how I always interpretted crying when I was younger - so that's an ongoing struggle for me that I'm happy to say I'm overcoming.

But enough about me. Hopefully Princess takes your advice and sticks with it and gets passed the homesickness. And hopefully she even tells Ali and Lisa that she needs some of her routine (how carefully does she listen to your words? I reckon very carefully!). And hopefully she tells Karen to jump off a bridge.

Actually, that last one wouldn't be very lady-like of her.

Hopefully she tells Karen to stick a bottle of rum up her yo-ho-ho. (I think I've got the terminology right - have I, Elaine??)

* Out of Karen's house, I mean. Not the entire country. I think you're doing well to encourage Princess to stay on there if she's willing to try and get passed her current ill feelings (with the benefit of time).

** Which is fine in itself; there's stuff about how boys and men are raised that's lost on girls and women, too.

BEVIS said...

Hang on a minute ... I think you'd better re-read the first four words of this post of yours!!


Magical_M said...

I was just reading your backposts on Karen.

So she's American. And obviously likes a drop of the juice.

You know who came into my mind? Karen from Will & Grace.

I hope she's nothing like her for Princess' sake. Although it could be vaguely entertaining.

I'm impressed at how strong you and the Princess both are being about all this.

Just think what a wonderful reunion you'll have when she gets home!


Gianluca Di Milano said...

what means gigi? That one you was brush. Is the austrian name for the pussy (cat)?

Dxxxx said...

Phew... back at work today and just caught up with all your back posts.

I think you are doing pretty well MG - it's normal to be having a few nutty moments while your baby is on the other side of the world, but you are definitely coping with grace, class and bravery and I am proud of both yours and princess' efforts.

Hope the next 17 days pass by easily for you.

And yes. You are a brilliant mum. Almost makes me want to breed just to emulate you!


elaine said...

firstly, Bevis - I do think that's the correct terminology but we wouldn't want Princess to be using it. Not until she's old enough. That is definitely not now.

secondly, mg, *hugs*
because I think you need them. Princess will be fine but you need some love. time you go away I will look after the gigi so she doesn't have to go to the Nashville kennels. Grrr.

gianluca, the gigi is a dog.

MelbourneGirl said...

hey everyone. nice to see you.

i too realised that my first four words were made irrelevant fairly quickly. i hadn't intended to write so much, but got a bit carried away?

who, moi?

about the crying bevis. i know a lot of men have iss-ews with it, and that's fine. i myself get a bit pissed off sometimes when people cry, it's like a defence (the pissed-offness) because maybe you feel you've done something wrong...

and it made me laugh, you turning on karen. last thing i read you were having a quiet voddy with her!

magical_m - i haven't watched will and grace but is karen the one who isn't will or, er... grace? the brunette. i saw one ep where she got married? or something when grace was married to harry connick junior? or someone got married, was it one of the gay boys? anyway. i haven't met karen but she's old (like in her 60s apparently) very wealthy (lives off investments) and single (and has a dog arne that she rescued off the street) so i don't think she is a bitch, she is just addled. and it didn't help when my princess had been driven off into a snow storm. but i have heard she has caused trouble in the past. maybe just because her alcohol-soaked brain doesn't work properly. which i kind of feel sorry for her about.

on a reunion - we organised what we would do when princess comes back the night before she left. we are going out to eat japanese at a funky looking place down the road. i reminded her of it yesterday.

ah gianluca, the transparency with which you were setting up your next comment is breathtaking. lucky elaine stepped in to diffuse it. yes, the gigi is a dog. a big white pussy-cat of a dog. just to confuse you more...

hey dstah, nice to see you back. hope you had a good festive season and thanks for the messages!

elaine, thanks for the hugs. i am getting some love, plenty of it from john (travolta) he is very patient and understanding and supportive and gorgeous and knew just how to behave when i cracked up on the snowstorm day. he is beautiful.

and thanks for the offer of looking after gigi. yes, nashville was horrible. i think she might have been a little traumatised, but she is coming good. i reckon they just locked them up in a cement prison. but i still can't understand how her coat got so bad. i had given it a really good brush before she went.

i'm booking her in early to a decent place we have used before, so i don't get caught out again like that ever. but if i ever do, i'll take you up on it. thanks sweet.

and that's it until tonight's update.

to thesis. to thesis.

wonder woman out.

sublime-ation said...

Hi, MG...lots been going on...I've been away from computes.
I think Locket's comments are so true, you are handling it really well, and stick in there.


Locket said...


I remembered what I wanted to tell you. My friend Scarlett is going to VCA this year, and she is like a dog MANIAC, she loves them (but not in that special way, cause that's just GROSS) anyway, she will be moving to Melbourne, and I may have metioned-slash-shown her a photo of the gigi (the cute one, where she's looking up at the camera and her ear is kind of bent?) and she fell in love, and I may have offered the gigi up for pats if she gets lonely in Melbourne.

Oh... and you... I may have offered you up as well.

I used to love washing our doggy (she is now digging holes in doggy heaven)

I used to shake the towel like a matador and she'd charge at it like a bull, and then it would get stuck on her head and she wouldn't be able to see and she'd run into the garden furniture, and once she ran right into the pool... so I had to wash her all over again. Do you use Martha Gardener Wool wash? Our doggy didn't seem to mind the smell as much as other stuff.

Keep busy

Gianluca Di Milano said...

I'm also like the doggy style.