Paul reckons that all humans are descended from one single lady monkey, and that all monkeys are descended from her sister. I don’t know their names, and nor does he.
I don’t want to sound like an evangelical preacher from a royal wedding, but we started with Hello Fresh this week and it has CHANGED OUR FUCKING LIVES. We’ve gone from a family who throws ham in the kids’ general direction at 5pm and calls it dinner, to one that SITS down at a TABLE and eats a MEAL featuring colours other than BEIGE. And the kids are eating the food. They are EATING the FOOD that we put on the PLATE in front of them at the TABLE. Ben ate a green thing yesterday, which didn’t even come from his nose. It’s a holy miracle, if I may sound like an evangelical preacher from a royal wedding for a moment. It wasn’t a freebie, either. I just got a discount because my cousin used it the week before and it changed HER life, too. To be fair, my cousin’s family always sits down together for dinner, even though their kids are small. It’s because my beautiful cousin-in-law is French. It’s a French thing. They’re quite a civilised bunch, the French. When I told her that Paul and I usually have our dinner after the kids have gone to bed, on our laps, watching Dragons’ Den, she rolled her eyes in a beautiful Gaelic fashion and said, “Oh, you are so ENGLISH.” (We are. We don’t actually call dinner “dinner”. We call it “tea”, as is right and proper.) If you want to try Hello Fresh you can use our code SHEARON and you’ll get, like, a $50 discount or something. It’s fucking ace. And I swear to god, they haven’t asked me to promote this or any of that shit. They don’t even know that The (famous) (not really) Notorious MUM ate their dukkah chicken with roasted veggie toss last night and died and went to food heaven.
Every time Ben (12) has a shower, I have to tell him to wash and brush his teeth. Yesterday he got out of the shower dirtier than he went in, and I was, like, DID YOU WASH, BRO? And he goes, no, you didn’t tell me to. DID YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH, BRO? No, you didn’t give me my toothbrush. Every. Fucking. Day.
I tagged my mum in a competition on Facebook to win a beautiful concrete planter filled with succulents that I’d love for the front porch. I asked her to tag two of her friends, and straight up, on the comment thread, she’s, like, HOW DO I TAG? I’m, like, just write their names, and they’ll pop up. So in the next comment she’s just written the names of a few of her friends. For fucks sake. My mum is a wildcard on Facebook. She comments with gay abandon, chipping in on random conversations here and there. You may have noticed her on my Facebook page. I’ll be chatting to a lovely human about, say, their husband leaving them, or something, and mum will chip in with: “I’ll bake you a cake.” But of course, the other person doesn’t know it’s my mum, because she’s not “mum” on Facebook, she’s “Yvonne Amphlett”. So, to the casual observer, it looks like a strange, friendly lady is offering cake and wisdom across the Facebook platform.
Paul (45) asked Frankie (6) if he considered him to be a superhero. Frankie mulled this over for a while, before answering: “Yeah, you are a superhero, but you’re, like, the worst of the superheroes. Like, yeah, you are one, but not a good one.”
Alice asked Frankie to list his favourite vegetables. Frankie said broccoli, pumpkin and peas, in that order, before asking Alice the same question. She answered, authoritatively: “Tomatoes, rice and ham.” Alice is a fool.
The little kids were off school sick yesterday. I joined in my weekly work meeting via GoTo, over the internet. Alice licked the webcam.
I’ve been having batshit mental dreams, which leave me feeling discombobulated (good word) and headachey (not such a good word) in the morning. Every morning. I’ve analysed this, and I believe it to be a result of being out of routine. Like, I’m going to Sydney on Monday. I don’t go to Sydney on Mondays. I go to work on Mondays. I drive on Mondays. I don’t go on planes on Mondays. There’s lot of shit like that going on at the moment, which is in equal parts exciting and unsettling. Actually mainly unsettling. I think this is how Frankie feels when he has a different drink bottle for school.
I’ve only recently realised that Frankie is what you’d call an anxious kid. That word – anxious – that wasn’t really around when I was a kid. Kids didn’t have anxiety; they were just highly strung. A school mum – a really kind, thoughtful school mum – hesitantly suggested a book for me to read the other day. She sidled up to me at school pick-up and said, “Frankie’s got anxiety, hasn’t he?” It was the first time anyone had labelled him as such, so it took me by surprise, but she was being so genuinely kind about it that I was okay with her statement. Turns out, she’s got an anxious kid, too, and she recommended a book that I’ve now forgotten the name of because I was so surprised that Frankie has a “thing”.
Later, I was talking to Paul about the fact that Frankie has anxiety, and we were both, like, where the fuck did he get that from? And then I remembered that people used to call me a worrier, and I was, like, FUCK. I was Frankie, but we just didn’t call it the same thing back then. Man, I worried. My earliest memories are of lying awake in bed, worrying. I worried that I didn’t speak the same as other kids, and I remember – aged around 5, I reckon – teaching myself to say “y-ear” as in “ear” rather than “year” as in “purr”. I worried that no one would love me like Gilbert Blythe loved Anne Shirley. I worried that my cheeks were too red, that my pigtails were mismatched, that the tops of my arms had this weird, dry skin. I worried that my parents would die, that people didn’t like me, that my belly was big and round. I was – I have every reason to believe – an anxious child. Sorry Frankie.
I’m sharing a room with Brooke in Sydney next week. I’m worried that I’ll talk in my sleep. More than that, I’m worried I’ll swear in my sleep. More than that, I’m worried that I’ll threaten explicit violence in my sleep. I do this a lot. Ask Paul.
As I was making the kids’ breakfast this morning, I heard a man cough, LOUDLY, and I shat my pants, because as far as I was aware the only man in our family had left for work two hours earlier. Then I did the exact thing that you shout at the dickhead in the horror movie for doing, which was go and search for the coughing man. I found him in Alice’s bed and PHEW, it was Paul, my husband. Turns out, he’d got up at 5am, left for work, felt like shit, picked up our bin that had blown over in the great storm of 2018, felt even worse, came home and crawled into (Alice’s) bed. Alice – you’ll be relieved to hear – was already in my bed, because GOD FORBID anyone in this family should sleep in their own motherfucking bed.
Oh my fucking god. Paul has given Alice a whistle to blow for fast and immediate service. She keeps blowing it and demanding ham sandwiches and sweet, sweet, sweet orange juice.