22 February 2013

Anti-Social Media

Facebook - it's a funny thing.

I held off for so long before getting an account, but since then I've been able to keep in contact with so many lovely people - close friends I see in real life often like Justamum, distant friends I've only met through blogging like Sue Ellen, Penny and Tracy, and people from my past with whom I'd been sad to have fallen out of contact, like Jannine, and 134 other lovely people who I am proud to call my friends.  One of my biggest regrets was that each time I added a new friend, I didn't do a little status about who they were, how I met them and how special they are to me, just to introduce them to my other friends.

So what happened?  I found that I just wasn't posting anything - I had a birthday, did a Horror Kids Ministry injury, my children went off to Year 3, Year 1 and kindy and my baby remains adorable, but none of it made it onto my Facebook wall.  Mr de Elba and I have so much fun watching Buzz, Jessie and Woody riding their bikes in our cul-de-sac and I could easily post pictures of that, or at the very least, of our food.

But I just didn't.  I assumed that all my friends were less interested in my trivia than I was in theirs and I let Facebook get one-sided.  Then one day I was tagged in a friend's post and was treated to the ensuing discussion on a matter close to my heart between my friend's friends and it kind of consumed me.  These people needed to be set straight!  They were arguing a completely untenable position and if only they could see the light, their life, my life and the lives of thousands of others would be turned around!  (Pfft.  Changing the minds of ignorant Friends-of-Friends on social media?!)

I had trouble crafting a reply.  Then I turned to the expert in knowing about social media while not actually using it: Mr de Elba.

"How does this Facebook thing WORK?!" I raged.  "Do those blessed with ignorance and arrogance just mouth off on Facebook and fill the Internet with stupidity, while those of us afflicted with intelligence and wisdom quietly sit by, not entering the fray, leaving the stupidity hanging in the air?"

"Yeah, that's about it," he said.

"Well that's impossible!  I can't have any piece of this nonsense," I huffed.  And I deactivated my account.

That was about a fortnight ago, and since then I've been surprised at how many more hours God has put in a day for our enjoyment.  Did you notice He has done that in the last fortnight?

I decided to use some of those extra hours doing some phonics with my kids at home.  I am seeing the results of "learning" to read and spell in a phonics-poor environment and I am feeling more and more guilty for not stepping in two years ago and questioning the whole-language approach that their school is using.  I hope I am turning things around one phonics principle at a time.

But here's a conundrum.  With my Facebook-free time, I've also been clearing out the laundry and the play room.  They now look so clean and clear and wonderful that societal pressure tells me I should be taking a photo and putting it on Facebook - "Look what I've done!  Cleaned my house!"  I'm sure I'd easily get at least 15 Likes and 7 comments all saying "".  But I can't do that on a deactivated account, so I'll clean something else instead.  I believe that if you clean something and don't announce it on Facebook, it is still clean?

I'm missing the communication with my friends and I'll certainly reactivate my account one day, but at least for now, I'm going to plough on with phonics (I suspect it would be easier to plow on with phonics if we were American) and keep on cleaning.

19 February 2013

Don't touch the yellow leg

Let me tell you about my Horror Kids Ministry Injury.  Since my last blog post on stupid injuries I've done Horror Sticky-Tape Dispenser Injuries and Horror iPad Injuries but this was something else.

One Sunday morning in January, Mr de Elba and I were running some kids ministry activities at church.  The deal was I would lead some songs from the stage, and then Mr de Elba would present the story and activities.  Our first song was:
which you might notice has quite a long introduction.  I used the introduction to move around among the kids encouraging them to dance and clap (while looking quite lame myself I am sure, but I care not) and then before I knew it, the first verse was coming up fast.

I moved to the front and gracefully leapt up onto the foot-high stage ...

... except I didn't.  I found myself face-down on the stage with a terrible pain in my shin.  During that bit where kids are supposed to be singing, "He's the one who makes the sun shine..." there was instead a shocked pause while kids and attending adults put their hands to their mouths and whispered, "Is she okay?"  I knew I'd missed the step and done a howler of an injury, but there was little to be done except jump up with a false smile plastered on my face and see the song out.

I stood up, shrugged my shoulders and sang, "He's the one who hung the stars" while commanding myself not to look at my shin until the end of the song.

I could barely stand.  I put my weight on the other leg for the whole song while doing the actions, and at the end I finally looked down.  There was a huge scrape extending up most of my shin, with rapidly swelling mauve-ness covering both the bone and muscle.  Mr de Elba didn't know how badly I'd been hurt and suggested we do a few more songs.  I saw out three songs while standing on one leg, trying not to cry or say something terrible, then I hobbled off to find some ice.

In the furthest reaches of the furthest freezer in the furthest room of the church I found the only ice in the town (or so it seemed) - a lone orange icy-pole.  I wrapped it in a dishcloth, hobbled back to the kids room and elevated my leg while moving the icy pole every minute to ice parallel strips of my rapidly swelling purple leg.  The stage had messed up the bone and the muscle and both were radiating an angry painful heat that made me wonder if amputation could be of any help.

After church, I knew I'd done something awful.  I considered medicating with (A) paracetamol, then (B) paracetamol+codeine, but settled instead for (C) a nice rose Moscato. And because you really shouldn't go mixing your Moscatos with your codeines, I was unable to try option B as things worsened.  (Option A was discarded as a complete waste of time.)

That night was painful, and I began my week-long love affair with ice packs.  The next day, as Crazy Sister will bear witness, I was quite incapacitated.  But it wasn't until the day after that I woke up and found I couldn't weight-bear.  I grabbed doors as I staggered down the hall to the bathroom, I only got the children their breakfast by using Rex's wheeled high-chair as a zimmer frame to help me stagger around the kitchen, and I begged Mr de Elba to work from home to mind the children while I went to the doctor.

My lovely doctor made me scream.  He sent me to a radiologist who also made me scream.  I begged two lovely friends to take over the child care and went back to the doctor who looked at the x-rays and said the most amazing thing I'd heard in a long time: "It's not fractured."  I felt like a big hopeless sook with my hobbling and screaming and boo-hoo.

I went home to abstain from Moscato so I could focus on codeine and ice, lie on my couch and be hopeless for a week while reminding my children to "MIND THE PURPLE LEG!"

The bruise, which certainly SHOULD have been violent shades of purple, blue, green and black to lend credence to the level of pain I was experiencing, only ever got to "mauve-ish" on the Colour Wheel of Bruising.  After a week I could weight-bear, by which time it was changing to yellow and I spent the next three or four weeks reminding my poor children to "MIND THE YELLOW LEG!" This sort of smash injury to a muscle can be painful for quite a long time at five and a half weeks post-humiliating injury, it's still pretty sore.  Swimming has helped a little, and I can walk without trouble so the residual pain doesn't bother me too much.

It is a mark of my commitment to kids ministry that I didn't change churches, but stayed on to face the same children and, more humiliating, the same parents who saw me do it.

Now, would you like to hear about my Horror Sticky-Tape Dispenser Injury or Horror iPad Injury?  Or just see pictures of Buzz, Jessie, Woody and Rex variously starting school/kindy/swimming/ballet/looking adorable? Or none of the above?

08 February 2013


(Buzz, Jessie and Woody are sitting in the car, waiting to go to school.)

Buzz & Jessie:  Thiiirtyyy… twenty niiine ... twenty eeeight …
Me:  Oh come on.  What are we counting down to?

[I go to the bathroom, grab my shoes and return.]

Buzz & Jessie:  Twenty oooneee ... twentyyy …
Me, putting Woody’s shoes on:  What? Are we still doing that? Pfft.
Buzz & Jessie:  Niiineteeennn …  eeeighteeennn …
Me:  Guys. That’s far too slow to be actual seconds.

[I go and grab Rex, return and click him in.]

Buzz & Jessie:  Fooourteeennn … thiiirteeen …
Me:  This isn’t even a countdown. It's too slow!  
Buzz & Jessie:  Tweeelve …

[I dash back and make sure there are no bags, hats, lunchboxes, water bottles or homework folders left in the house, and return.]

Buzz & Jessie:  Seeevennn … siiixxx …
Me:  Can you guys stop? [To myself] This is the dumbest, most pointless countdown I’ve ever …
Buzz & Jessie:  Fiiivvve … fooourrr …
Me:  You’re wasting your breath.
Buzz & Jessie:  Threee … twooo … oooneee …
Me:  *sigh* We’re going.

Buzz & Jessie:  Sit in the caaarrrr …

[I sit in the car.]

Buzz & Jessie:  Staaarttt the eeenginnne …

[I start the engine.]

Buzz & Jessie:  Aaaand … LEAVE!

[We roll out of the driveway.]

- pause -

Me:  Um - how did you do that?