January February 2012
Angelina discovers that the truth is always out there – and mostly overrated.
I have just come back home from dropping Mini-Me back at school after her grade 2 Piano exam. We are feeling total relief now that it is done, after nearly a year of hearing her massacre the same pieces over and over, morning, noon and night. Actually, that's not fair at all. She's really very good and at least I don't have to nag her to practice. I'm just really grumpy after a poor night's sleep. I had a nightmare about the exam which featured my getting lost on the way and arriving late, to find that all the music exam candidates were lying in hospital gurneys, waiting to be anaesthetised. I spent most of my sleeping hours arguing with an administrator over whether it really was necessary to hook my daughter up to a drip before her Piano exam!
I don't have to search for a Freudian explanation for this bizarre scenario. One more practical one exists quite plainly in sight. I have been visiting my sick mum in hospital every day for the past 2 weeks. When I first started the routine, Mini-Me was a bit perplexed as to why I had to go every day. Cue major mistake on my part: telling Mini-Me the no-holds-barred truth while driving home from school and not being able to see her face to gauge her reaction and therefore not shutting up before realising I had gone WAY too far.
“Well, darling, Nani needs us every day because she's all alone in hospital and quite scared. Her arms are full of plum-coloured bruises because the doctors keep poking her to get blood samples which they can't manage because there's not enough blood in her. So they had to take it from her wrist! Anyway, they've given her two blood transfusions and a bag of something called platelets. Then they had to stick a camera down her mouth to see what's going on in her stomach. And then they had to drill into her hip bone to get a sample of bone marrow. And -”
“No! (SOB!) What are they doing to my Nani?!”
“No, it's not a pneumatic drill, like they use on the road,” I backtracked. “It's a teeny weeny drill. And they're doing all this to help her and make her better. ”
“But they are damaging her in the process!”
So, in light of this HUGE Mummy-on-the-Edge-shaped gaff, I am resolving this year to make an effort to re-package things positively as well as lie sometimes, to Mini-Me; and even more so, to myself. Who needs abject truth anyway? As Friday O'Leary says in Mr Gum (which you really should read to your kid because it's funny), “The truth is a lemon meringue!”
Changes are afoot. They always are, but being the beginning of a new year, it makes it more fun and a bit more justified. I'm engineering a house move, and this is the culmination of much re-packaging of the concept for the benefit of uber-sentimental little Mini-Me, for whom this is her childhood home and the only one she has known. I reckon I've done such a good job of this that she might actually think it was her idea to begin with! I've spent the best part of the last month chucking stuff and convincing Mini-Me to chuck stuff and convincing Mini-Me to convince me to chuck stuff. Because frankly, I'm terrible at it.
She helped me clear the toilet of the stack of half-empty contrasting paint cans procured 3 years ago from a blind lady on Freecycle. And I have passed on the huge, framed Richard Franklin print I bought as a wedding anniversary gift (before Mini-Me was born) featuring a Roman-type couple looking lovingly at each other. Mini-Me liked to think of this as her mum and dad, so of course it HAD to go. I've re-packaged the kitchen cupboard with the door missing as “open shelving”. And re-branded the defunct lock on the downstairs loo as “voice-activated” (“No one come in the loo-oo!!”) Together, my ever-enthusiastic sidekick and I have achieved a lot. And this is just the beginning...
I would love to know your thoughts on diminished truthfulness and re-packagement. Is it really the way forward or am I actually just totally dysfunctional? Visit mynotesfromtheedge.blogspot.com and leave a comment.
For more Life on the Edge visit mynotesfromtheedge.blogspot.com. Angelina runs award winning Sing and Sign baby signing classes. More info at www.singandsign.com.