4 March 2007

half empty

Funny how on a blog (ok, this blog) one makes things all pretty and glossy and shiny.

For instance, it's Sunday here and I could quite honestly write the following things:

Mr Soup is spending the weekend with buddies, camping, swimming, exploring the glorious Prom, communing with nature, bonding with his mates and recharging his severely rundown batteries.

This gives me as much unlimited computer/reading/sewing/knitting and tv time as I wish, in addition to plenty of solitude which I seriously crave.

On Friday night I lay on a picnic rug under the trees and (with book and knitting) watched the offspring play in their final cricket matches for the season, later eating fish and chips for dinner under a fluoro sunset sky (on aforementioned picnic rug under said gum trees).

Yesterday we went violin shopping for Son #1 who (finally) needs a full size and superior "advanced student" instrument. After much deliberation we brought home a magnificent instrument for a week's trial. The boy can't keep his hands off it which is good as he now has his private violin teacher, school violin teacher, school orchestra teacher and community orchestra teacher giving him pieces to practise.

There are four boy children running around the garden playing imaginative games, communing with nature and exploring the bush surroundings.

A huge, elderly grey kangaroo has taken up residence next door and can be observed most mornings and evenings, nibbling grass, drinking from the dog's bowl and benevolently eyeing the children.

Or, it could go like this.

Mr Soup has nicked off for the weekend, leaving me to deal with the logistics of getting two children to Friday night cricket matches which start and finish at different times and a third child who threw a tantrum because he didn't want to come but couldn't stay home because, did I mention? Mr Soup has disappeared for the weekend.

The fish and chips were too greasy. Son #3 lost one of the knitting needles.

All that free time to watch films and read blogs and knit? Spent washing, driving and preparing food three times a day for four hungry boys. Two of whom are now old enough to stay up much later at night, thus cutting into that precious solitude.

Saturday was spent driving children all over the place to violin shops and violin teachers, then collecting a fourth child for a sleepover, all the while dragging all my three children with me because, that's right, Mr Soup is off enjoying himself.

Superior violins for "advanced students" are mind numbingly expensive.

The four children (the ring-in is Son #1's best friend, here for the weekend) are going slightly feral and playing a game that somehow involves throwing gumboots at each other.

The kangaroo poohed in the dog bowl, thoroughly confusing the dog next morning.

The car died on Saturday night, leaving us stranded and worried not only about how much it will cost to fix but how I am going to get everyone to work and school and uni this coming week, not to mention getting Son #1's best friend to the train station this afternoon. Because Mr Soup and his car are NOT HERE CAN YOU TELL I AM KIND OF PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS?

My mother has rung twice today. Phone calls with my mother are not brief.
The knitting needle turned up. Broken.
The floors are covered with a fine layer of dust and dog hair.
There is another load of washing to be hung out and three to be folded and put away.

I am very tired.

I think I have pmt.

[Take your pick. Both versions are correct].


shula said...

Love to talk, but my floors are covered in a fine layer of dust and dog hair.

If it's any help, I'm grateful to know that I'm not the only one.

With PMT.

butterflyrocket said...

hahaha Suse that gave me a good chuckle. I keep having to remind myself that all of these crafty bloggers can't be ALWAYS living such idyllic romantic lifestyles ;)
Hope your week improves!

Eclair said...

I'm so glad to hear your house is dusty! I know my house has dust but it is conveniently covered by laundry which fills every room and covers every surface. Archaeologists could track my children's growth and my weight loss/gain by excavating through the strata of jeans, shirts and knickers.

Big Hairy Man is mowing four acres of lawn with his headphones on and in blissful solitude (he insists that he is 'working' and will require praise and cold beer at the end of it). I'm trying to find the children under the laundry avalanche so I can feed them dinner. No-one will praise me or hand me beer. I am bitter about this.

Bummer about the knitting needle. Do you have a spare?

Joke said...


You're welcome,


Melanie said...

I for one am grateful to hear about some of the dirt :) Occasionally I start to feel like the only grumpy mother (with a dirty floor) in the world when I read through some of the parenty/crafty blogs in my list.

Hope you get a break soon.

Lazy cow said...

Exactly.That's why I want to see "Corners of my home" show photos of piles of crap, and not the carefully edited versions of people's lives.
Though there are still a few bloggers out there who 'appear' to have their um, act, together more than most. I even know people in real life who NEVER seem to yell at their children. Sigh.
Hope the car revives. And next time, farm ALL the males out of the house so you can be alone!

Stomper Girl said...

So ...absence didn't necessarily make your heart grow fonder this time, then?

I hope you have a similar escape planned for yourself! Scheduled for a non-PMT week of course.

Susan said...

Yup! Love blogland!

Don't mean to worry you, but keep an eye on the kangaroo. They are beautiful, but ultimately wild creatures. My grandfather was attacked by a big male during one of the droughts in the 80s. It was drinking at his dam and he startled it... he got off lightly with deep scratches, bruises and broken glasses.

Kim said...

do you know how reassuring it was to read your version 2, as I only ever have the version 2.

Ash said...

Lovely to see your version 2. I have a version 2 of son #1's birthday yesterday but I can't post it for fear of upsetting the happy memories I'm trying to propagate. I'll just take solace in yours :)

Violet & Rose said...

What a hoot! I am SO with version 2, but sometimes I need to remind myself that there is a version 1 out there, that I need to chill out and enjoy it! But yes, far too much version 2 in our house for my liking.

Em said...

Yes, yes, yes and YES!

telfair said...

This is going to sound selfish but I'm so glad that you gave us both views to see. I'm SO SICK of reading blogs with beautiful artistic photographs of the clever, beautiful things they've done, and rambling monologues about how smart / artistic / romantic / perfect their lives / husbands / houses / children are. My own floors are covered with dust and cat hair and my husband is about to nick off to Ontario for several days. So, hats off to you, Suse, thanks for telling it like it is.

blackbird said...

...been up since 3:20, there are three loads of laundry to be put away, we are late for church, scrubbed the kitchen and dining room floors yesterday and the dog found one last patch of mud to walk through and bring in the house...

lk said...

I'm thinking PMT is the same as our PMS. Yep. The nursing strike has had two lovely consequences, the mass exodus of my hair, and PMS. :>

Love the kangaroo poo.

Badger said...

I am a version #2 blogger, myself. I figure I provide a nice balance to all the #1 types out there in the blogosphere.

Hope your week ahead is better than the weekend, Suse!

MsCellania said...

Ah, same here, Suse.
I find I have an hour after each meal to get our entire lives in order, 3 times a day.
I knew something was afoot when you indicated the elderly roo was 'benevolently eyeing the children'.
And I'm too tired to post either the good or the bad that is occurring

But I loved the laying on a picnic rug under the tree bit. As we've just had 9 weeks straight of a bitter, snowy winter. And as I looked out today at our receding snow drifts (Yes! Warm weather slated for the next 10 days!!!), I saw tulips poking their noses out.

meggie said...

I would suspect version #2 rules in most households where there are children.
It always did in ours.
But I am a slob, who prefers to not notice the dust or mess!( I use the excuse I am 'creative'- you knit, so use it too!)
Now, we dont have kids to make mess, just GOM & I & the dogs.
We wont ever win good housekeeping, but we do make people feel comfortable, & perhaps superior! haha.

Surfing Free said...

I'm more interested in the second version with it's warts and all life, but for you I wish it had gone as per version number one.

And husbands who take weekends away just remind me that more wives should do it more often! I think it's just a matter of saying 'next weekend I'm going to go to blah blah' and let them deal with it.
(I can say this because I am taking off ON MY OWN this weekend!!!)

Little Jenny Wren said...

I must say that version 1 gives me something to aspire to because I'm already living version 2. When people do occasionally show the piles of crap in the corner it's not nearly as interesting as the edited, cleaned up and dusted version for me because I already have a house full of crappy corners to look at. I love imagining what the rest of the room looks like, all that stuff piled behind the photographer, children shut out of the room so that everything stays perfect. That's the best thing about a blog , you only have to show or say what you want, when you want.

Katya said...

I wouldn't dare show pictures of corners of my house -- someone might report me to social services.

Because my life is almost always version 2, I take off on my own sometimes. It doesn't make hubby happy but he has no idea what his life would be like if I didn't do it.

herhimnbryn said...

Version 2 for me!
Our floors are hairy and dusty and with more of the aforsaid being traipsed in through out the w/e, what is the point of vacuuming?
We both live in a bush environment and are saving energy by leaving the bloody thing in the cupboard!

Next time Soup man goes on a bonding whatsit, maybe he could go bond with his four gumboot throwing offspring? Then you could welcome them back with open arms after much needed solitude.

Hope the car is not too costly to mend.

sueeeus said...

I think you should treat yourself to a smashing new laptop right this instant to regain some karmic balance. Then sit yourself down under a shady tree with said new laptop and blog blissfully away. :)

bluemountainsmary said...

Thank god for version 2. I love getting my daily fix of the magnificently gorgeous blogs out there (and we all read the same ones) but we almost (almost) have to thank the Soupster for this reality bite!

Yours in PMT..

shula said...

Don't worry bout the roo.

They're pretty used to people up your way.

Sometimes, they even used to let me pat them, but maybe don't tell the kids that.

tut-tut said...

I gave the Prom link a look; seems Mr. Soup won't be lonely there. As for posting the true truth . . . hmmm; a bit sticky, perhaps, sometimes.

simmyb said...

I love version 2 and it's just the way I'd tell it. Well done you for being so honest. I reckon you deserve a weekend away too.........

capello said...

mmmmmm... sweet, sweet reality.

Anonymous said...

Version #2 is real life. Version #1 is always there, but you must look for it. It is tooooo easy to just focus on the second version, especially during PMS. (I can say this as a first hand experience!) Unfortunately, for me, it didn't really get "better" as the children got older, only different. Five of my six children are adults. What gets better is your ability to to focus more on version #1. When it is over I try to laugh at version #2.

jorth said...

I'm opening a nice bottle of red for you right now. Sit down, relax, and, as you sip your wine, make plans for your own weekend away (you've got batteries too!)

Susan Morgan said...

Only dog hair and dust on the floors? I'm impressed. Because I'm a sucker there's dog hair on the couch and cat hair on the beds - and dust EVERYWHERE. I was mightily refreshed to read version 2. I was starting to get a complex about my less-than-perfect life, family etc. I takes me hat off to you.

Iona said...

Love version 2. Two weeks ago, my husband way away for a week working on a science education show. Very worthy (free for primary school kids), out the back of Burke (well, Horsham) and rather hot. But that was the week of atrocious heat and humidity in Melbourne, just started new school for both kids, and full time work for me. We slipped in and out of version 1 & 2 as the week progressed; that sewing I was going to get done during my 6 evenings of solitude? Yeah, right.

nutmeg said...

It's true - both versions are "right". It's the way you look at it. Version 2 comes to the fore when we are tired, over-worked, have pmt! etc etc. The work comes in "relocating" version 1 - we know it's there - just hard to find sometimes (all the time on those really bad days). Love your honesty and your "mind" Pea Soup :-)

sooz said...

And isn't that just what's amazing about life - that both can be true? Endless lessons in learning to take responsibility for one's attitude.

sooz said...

God, I just read that and I sound rediculously self-righteous. I'm sure you know what a joke that is. I'm with Lazy cow really. And I always yell at my children. Otherwise they just don't listen.

tamara said...

House is now quiet after a 2 1/2 hour bedtime tantrum. That kept the baby awake too. The Daddy of the house has to get up before the crack of dawn to catch a plane to go away, ostensibly for work. Somewhere sunny with grown up people who hold whole conversations and without 3 year olds who scream blue murder at bedtime.

I get to stay home and have quality moments of luscious parenting. Not all of them occurring around bedtime. Ahem.

String Bean said...

Thanks for the laugh. If I was in any way a sympathetic person I wouldn't be laughing at your trials and tribulations, but how can one resist? :D

I can't decide which version I like better. If it's any consolation at all, I can't remember the last time I scooted a duster across the floor.

Isabelle said...

Love it! The point is, as you say, that both are true. It all depends on one's point of view.

It sounds indescribably exotic, by the way, to this reader in Edinburgh, in chilly Scotland, to have a kangaroo at the end of the garden...

Windansea said...

hahhahaha.....That's so funny - one of my friends told me my blog makes it look like I lounge around in glamor, knitting beautiful things and cooking gourmet meals - but she knows my chaos in person!!!!

BabelBabe said...

my god, dear. I am comment forty. I hope it was more version one than version two, but suspect it was a bit of both.

thinking of you, and sending hugs.

carolyn said...

awesome post! :)

elena jane said...

it's good to know that everyone else in this blogworld also has a version two. sometimes that shiny version one makes me aim too high.
thanks....from the mom whose washer was running at 1am from sick child!
we all deserve and merit praise so let's do it ourselves! :)

erica said...

I so understand the both stories being correct thing..
and why is it 13 yr olds can't go to bed EARLY.. why must they stay up late? That is MY time. oy

My float said...

You gave me my first big laugh of the day. It's almost midday. Well done you!

I love love love this post.

fiona said...

hello, finally somebody who lives a life like mine!arnt we lucky, no i mean arnt we REALLY lucky, so blessed for the kaos!!

Yeswanth said...

Excellent read. I like your style...have a good one!/Nice blog! Keep it up!
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