I am the Mum. If life was a circus, I would be the plate-juggling lady with monkeys on her shoulders who stands on one leg on a horse's back as it canters around the ring.
I am the Writer. I use too many commas, dashes and dot-dot-dots, and I often start sentences with conjunctions because I like my blog to look the way it sounds in my mind.
I am the Hero. Life is a bit like a superhero action comic, except that the superheroes are tiny children dressed in super-suits who possess no actual powers, while I just get them food, break up fights and clean their super-suits.
Buzz is the Superhero who saves my day. He is a faithful friend and brother, willing to lead his sidekicks into intergalactic adventures ... to infinity and beyond.
Jessie is a feisty cowgirl who knows her mind and is willing to give anyone a piece of it. She is wild and spirited, she loves large animals but is terrified of small harmless critters. Jessie would rather find a rattlesnake in her boot than have her hair washed and brushed.
Woody loves rounding up his gang and charming the crowd. He's not keen on the war-whoops of the other varmints or on being smothered with too much affection, but he loves seeing the lay of the land while riding high in the arms of his Sheriffs.
Rex is the much-awaited newest member of our outfit. He joined us in July 2012, and is therefore too young to have much said about him. He drinks a lot of milk and all he can say is "Rarr!"
"No, Buzz, I AM your father."
Mr de Elba is dark and handsome with a loud laugh. He is a fun and loving father who enjoys spending time with his children. He's great at computers - this means I have my own personal IT Guy, but also that he often falls asleep in front of computer games at night. He makes great coffee, does the best Chicken Tikka Masala, cooks a mean barbecue and plays guitar frightfully well. He is, however, no good at doing accents.
Bullseye has been contributing to Blue-Tongue Lizard and Bandicoot Attrition Rates since we moved in to a new house which backs onto some forest. She either moves in quantum motion or possesses the power of ubiquity. She can often be seen, apparently simultaneously, at both the side door and the back door. Her arch-nemeses include dogs and other animals smaller than her. She harbours a deep envy of aeroplanes and birds who possess what she so desperately craves: Altitude.
To be honest, our beach holiday only finished yesterday. My last post was written as if our holiday was in the past tense, because I didn't want mythical thieves knowing we were not home and popping over (as if they knew our address! I even photoshopped our house number out of the final photo in this post to be on the safe side - the number is supposed to be in between the two garage doors on the bricks there) ...
Where was I? Oh yes. I didn't want thieves who presumably know where we live popping over to ransack the place, finding nothing to steal, tripping over the Christmas stuff and deciding to stick around to do a spot of cleaning and tidying. I would have felt guilty.
Anyway, I wanted to make a confession. It's embarrassing. I have only just realised that I talk things through when I'm out in the surf, waiting for a big wave. As in, I talk out loud. Go ahead. Judge me.
Many times during our holiday I caught myself saying to nobody in particular, "Ooh, this wave looks good," and "Oh no it doesn't," and "What a wuss," this last referring either to the wave if it was small or to myself if the wave ended up being big and I failed to catch it.
I noticed that when huge waves were coming up, after pondering out loud about whether I should try to catch it or not, I'd shout out, "I want it!" before jumping off and swimming like crazy to catch it. Or, "Argh! I'm going to die!!" if it was bigger than expected, just before diving or ducking down to try to avoid being tossed around too much.
Predictably, after a while I noticed that people were looking at me.
Apparently, it's not good form to talk things through when you're swimming alone.
I should have thought about this before letting myself get overly verbal about the surf. I found myself in an absurd situation one day involving a father and his kid on a bodyboard who were 10 metres further out than I was. A big wave came and I knew I was, sadly, about 10 metres too far in to catch it, but I saw the dad getting ready to launch his kid off to catch it. It looked like a good wave, and I couldn't help saying, "Go for it!" in their general direction. Forgive me. I was sort of imaging it was my kid, and I was encouraging him.
I probably would have got away with it if the dad and his kid hadn't bailed out of the wave at the last minute and instead of riding it to the shore, they were pushed 10 metres in by the swell. They ended up floating right next to me. I mean, literally two feet away.
There they were floating two feet away, looking at me, trying to determine:
(a) if I knew them,
(b) if I was saying, "Go for it!" to myself, or
(c) if I was just plain barking mad.
I did the only sensible thing. I didn't make eye contact, and hoped they'd forget I'd just loudly encouraged them to "Go for it!"
It appeared that they were in no hurry to forget that a Strange Lady At The Beach had just shouted, "Go for it!" to them, and seemed in no doubt that I didn't in fact know them. This only left the possibility that I'd shouted to myself or I was plain barking mad. Both of these options of course equate to my being plain barking mad.
But my surfing self-talk continued unabated. On a few of the days we found ourselves at Dicky Beach which many of you may know. The beach is named after a shipwreck and the remains of the SS Dicky are still standing there today, greatly eroded since it was wrecked on the beach in 1893.
The surfing to the right of the wreck was pretty good, but the presence of the wreck seemed to have influenced me. I noticed that as I floated in the water waiting for good waves, my commentary had taken on a distinctly Pirate-like accent.
"Arr, this be no good forr surrfin'," I'd say. Then, "This be a good'un!" and I'd ride the wave in. Once I was back out there, I told myself sternly that there was to be no more commentary but I couldn't stop myself.
"Arr, the seas be gettin' a bit rough," popped out of my mouth. "Scurrvey!" Then things got rougher. "Arr, shiverr me timb ---" I shouted as I got dumped. I spluttered to the surface only to be met with another wave, "Arr, pieces of eigh---"
I think I should always keep a friend, husband or child with me when I surf. At least then maybe people will think I'm talking to them.
I am a part-time speech pathologist, and try to cook, keep a garden alive and take photos that don’t make us look like we are pharmaceutically affected or dangerously homicidal.
I often suffer from Mumfail but I keep hanging on to the One who picks me up when I fall. If you email me, I’ll answer.
And if all that is too much, just read my “Best Of."
I know. It seems crazy to go back to pseudonyms now that Mister Internet knows our real (first) names. I blogged for 8 months with real names because I love the names that I gave my children, and I wanted my friends to know us better! Now that you do, I'm ready to go back to my original blog genre using pseudonyms, so here we go.
This does mean that "Jessie" is onto her fourth Blog Name. What can I say? I've never found the perfect one.
Jones quips, "Hence the expression - Givin' ya the Elber!" (giving you the elbow, i.e., pushing you around.) I thought that Givinya de Elba was a half-decent pseudonym for someone who likes to joke and push people around, and I stuck with that.
"Er, sweetheart, killing a fly with a ukulele is probably the wrong thing to do ..."
I thought it sounded like something I'd say; something that summed up the parenting experience quite well. A bizarre yet offhand, languid suggestion that pest control was best achieved without the use of musical instruments.