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.
Bullseye was sequestered from the family last night. We had a makeshift gate blocking off part of the yard because we wanted her to stay there for a few days for long involved reasons that don't matter here. She didn't like being further from her people, but I planned to take her for a walk (her favourite thing) every morning of her isolation, and we played with her all yesterday, throwing the ball for her to fetch (her second favourite thing) and slipping her treats whenever we passed (her third favourite thing.)
Last night, a few hours into her incarceration, I saw her at the back door. She had escaped from her fence and come to join us and this made me feel sorry for her, but not enough to give up and let her back with us just yet. I put her back in her fenced area where I'd put her kennel, sleeping mat, and food and water bowls and told her I would be back to walk her early in the morning.
Poor Bullseye. As I lay in bed later, I heard it begin to rain. I worried that she might find that particularly depressing, but assumed she would recover from that as soon as she heard me coming with her lead to walk her in the morning. I went to sleep and didn't think much more about her.
I woke up early in the morning and went out to her, thinking she might be at the gate already, but she wasn't. She is a deep sleeper and she's not really a Morning Dog, so sometimes the waking and stretching takes a little time. When I rattled her lead, she woke up and poked her head out of the kennel.
Instead of her usual leg-extending morning stretch, she staggered out of her kennel and fumbled towards me. Thinking she must have been wrenched from a deep dream, I told her to take it easy until she'd properly woken up. But the next few metres of staggering told me she wasn't okay. She was lame.
Now at this point, the fact that she'd never been sequestered from her people before matched up pretty neatly in my mind with the fact that she'd never been lame before. I remembered how she'd been so desperate to rejoin us that she's escaped the night before, and I remembered my concern about her mental health once it started raining.
A big psychosomatic sook causing her legs to cease working, I thought.
We gave her a nice place to rest, plenty of water to drink, and lots of love for the next few hours. But instead of getting better, she started getting worse.
It was then that we suspected that she may have a paralysis tick, and the rest of the day proved that she did. Adding humiliation to insult, the vet shaved her from head to tail in order to find the tick that had attached to her neck under her collar region. Tonight she is recovering in hospital and we are all feeling a little easier about the poor little hound.
But is it any surprise to you that Little Miss Jessie, she of the never-ending drama, awoke from her nap this afternoon moaning and complaining and grumbling, "Oh no! I'm lame! My legs don't work!"
She has been clambering about on her knees, grabbing furniture and walls for support and asking to be lifted up onto chairs because of her lameness (when she remembers she is supposed to be lame, that is.)
It seems that Lame is the New Black.
It started off quite cute, but now it's getting on our nerves. What are the chances that next season, Mute is the New Black?
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.