Imagine our delight when this baby arrived in the post today:
Anonymums is now available in Germany! In German! The excitement. The title is ‘Truth Or Dare’, which is apt. And people are saying good things about us … At least, we think they’re good things, given that we can’t actually read German – but there’s a definite mention of 5 STARS at the bottom.
Speaking of reviews, we love this one at Booktopia (on the English version, we presume):
“Perfect for remembering that you are a woman/person who lived before you had children … and for maybe rediscovering her again.”
Thanks KLBundy from Bundaberg!
Let us know what you think – in English or in German!
To: Mum A
From: Mum C
Dearest Mum A,
Seasons greetings! Go down to the local shopping centre, grab yourself a carton of eggnog to get into the spirit of things and then stop into the bottle shop and get something more punchy to slosh into it. You’ll need it. Your dare begins by standing in line with a bunch of overtired and overexcited children and their overtired and over-grumpy parents. You will be going up to sit on Santa’s knee where you will ask him for a steam mop for Christmas. You must go to the proper, real, middle-of-the-largest-shopping centre-near-you Santa and not any old chain store, B grade Santa. You must sit on his knee (none of that wimpy sitting next to him on the couch business), get photographic evidence and take any toys/sweets offered.
I double dare you to hand one of the photos to your husband, and when he asks you why the hell you paid to get them done, tell him you thought that particular Santa was hot.
I must have read that email a good 20 times over. At first to double-check what I thought I’d read and then to look for the sub-text. Was she for real? Go and sit on Santa’s knee? How was that life-changing? How was I going to reconnect with the old me in the middle of my local crowded Christmas-crazy shopping centre? Hell, I couldn’t find my way from Kmart to Woolies in that place. I was unlikely to find myself.
Oh, how wrong I was. Sitting on Santa’s knee turned out to be quite the life-changing experience. Certainly, it made me think about how people see me and how I frequently hide the more adventurous me behind my children. This Christmas, the Anonymums would like to dare you to sit upon Santa’s knee. We have three copies of Anonymums to giveaway to three of our crazy Santa’s-knee sitting readers. All you have to do is sit upon Santa’s you know what and post the picture to our Facebook page with a two sentence description of your experience. Best three entries win! Entries close Monday December 19. Judged by me. Of course. Because as we all know from one of my other ‘truths’, I love to judge!
There’s this situation at the school gate. With another mum. Her son isn’t in the same grade as either of my kids, but I know her by sight. I’ve maybe said hello to her a couple times as I’ve passed by and that’s it. But I’ve heard so much about her I could fill a whole exercise book. Maybe even two. It’s not very nice stuff, either. It’s not stuff I want to know. And I’m sure it’s stuff she doesn’t want me to know. Is it true? I don’t know. Even if it is true, what am I supposed to do with this information? I really don’t know.
My daughter started Brownies this week and I was reminded of two games that I loved to play when I attended (you know, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth). The first was the chocolate game. Everyone sat in a circle and a family-sized block of Cadbury Dairy Milk was eaten with a knife and fork, one square at a time until the person beside the lucky chocolate girl rolled a six on a die. Then it was her turn to eat up until the person beside her rolled a six (what’s not to love about that game? Though, these days I forget about the die and the knife and fork and simply keep the family-sized block of chocolate to myself – you learn all these shortcuts as you get older). The other game I loved was Chinese Whispers. I adored this – with someone whispering a phrase into ear of the person next to them like, ‘Her dog barked all night long’, then the message being passed around the circle from person to person until the final player repeated it aloud, ‘We all ate dog tacos in Mexico’, or similar.
Sigh. Chinese whispers reminds me of my little school gate problem this week. Sometimes motherdom can be complicated, yes? Brownies was a lot less complicated.
Still, sometimes Chinese Whispers can be fun. Mum B, Mum C and I have all heard some little Whispers about ourselves recently. Some of them have been right and most of them have been wrong. In the spirit of how Chinese Whispers is supposed to pan out, we thought we’d come out and put a couple things right. So, here goes nothing…
True: we’re all hot
False: we’re all bloggers
Fine, okay. So maybe we didn’t hear anything about being hot (like anyone doubted that for a minute!).
Husband B and I had a difference of opinion regarding the computer today. His entire argument was based around the fact that he thinks I spend too much time on it. My reasoned response was that, no, I do not. You can see how fruitful and grown-up this conversation turned out to be, can’t you?
To cool off from our calm and considered discussion, I turned to Twitter, where I found a link to a journalist in the UK who believes that Mummy Bloggers spend way too much time on the internet when they should be with their children. I am not a blogger. You can see by how regularly we manage to put something up here that I could not give myself that title. But I took offence on behalf of all women, stuck at home with little children either by choice or providence.
I don’t mind saying that the internet has saved my life on more than one occasion. And possibly my children’s on several. If you’ve never stayed home all day every day with small people, you have NO idea how very, very long such days can be. You will never understand how it is possible to actually feel your brain turning to mush. And you will never get that, really, there is only SO much craft that one mother can cope with in any 24 hour period. Yes, children watch television sometimes. As far as I’m aware, that’s not illegal (not yet anyway… given the way things are going, I give it ten years or so).
I wrote in our book about how one of the first things I missed about having children was a space of my own. Give birth and suddenly everything you hold dear, including your breasts, is shared property. It’s like a commune gone horribly wrong. I could have carved out a room of my own within our family home, but I knew that I’d never have time to go there.
The internet on the other hand is always there. Always open. Always friendly. There are blogs and Twitter and Facebook and countless other places where people gather. People. Grown-up, adult people who will debate politics with you if you want or make wisecracks about reality TV shows if that’s all you’re capable of doing at the time. You can pop in for five minutes and emerge refreshed, ready to face another round of pipecleaners and cardboard. It is my space. A place where noone in the household can follow me, and where I can be myself.
Who needs a room when you have a whole internet to immerse yourself in? And who would deny any mother that?
Do you spend too much time on the internet?
It occurred to me today that I am my own worst enemy. I’m sure that every mum has self-revelatory days like these. They’re not pretty, but probably necessary. How did I come to this conclusion? I enter, as case for the prosecution, the following points:
1. I shout at my children every morning because we are running late. But it is me who gets dressed at 8.25am, having spent half the morning faffing about on the computer.
2. I complain to Husband B that I am putting on weight. But it is me who introduced the Lolly Jar to the household – and me who buys the $8 worth of lollies each week with which to top it up.
3. I whinge about the amount of work I have to do. But it is me who has an apparently innate inability to say no to my bosses. Ever.
4. I wish I could see more of my friends. But it is me who often can’t be arsed leaving the house at the end of the day because I am too tired or it is too cold or… [insert excuse of your choice].
5. I complain that I never have time to read my teetering, towering pile of books. But it is me who chooses to spend time at night faffing about on the internet instead of delving into a work of fiction.
And so on. And so forth.
I am my own worst enemy.
Are you your own worst enemy? Tell me why.
I used to really enjoy listening to music. I’d be out to see live bands three nights a week, out dancing two nights a week, and the other two nights would feature music at home. This, of course, was Before Children. Now, the only thing I really want to hear is silence. Played nice and quiet.
When I’m at home with children, the last thing I want to do is to add another layer to the chaos and cacophony that surrounds me. On the rare occasion that I’m at home without them, I want to revel in the quiet. Bask in it. Roll around in it the way that Demi Moore rolled around in that cash in that movie where someone paid a million bucks to sleep with her. Unfortunately, I don’t look that good in my Silence.
Husband B feels that I am letting the side down. He feels that I should have music on in the house all the time, exposing the kids to different styles, types and tempos. I get that. The parental influence on our musical memories should never be underestimated (Neil Diamond, anyone?). But I refuse to feel guilty about it. I feel that I’m responsible for so much right now, that introducing my kids to the formative works of Nirvana and Lady Gaga can wait a little bit. Besides, I’m teaching them to appreciate silence. That’s good, right?
Are you a music On type, or a music Off type? What do you think your kids will remember most about your music collection when they all grown up?
Well, we’ve been hung, reviewed and vlogged. And we have to say we’ve enjoyed it greatly. It all began with one of the special cover-toting t-shirts from our Twitter launch being won and hung from the lovely Susan of http://www.readingupsidedown.com who promised to wear our book cover emblazoned across her breasts with pride. In fact, her breasts loved the book so much, she gave us not one, but two, stellar reviews!
The fabulous Cate threatened to out us next. Or not.
We appeared on TV. Sort of. That is, Valerie Khoo of the Sydney Writers’ Centre did…
We were then duly vlogged by Karen, which didn’t hurt at all.
And Pease Exchange threatened to gift a copy to every baby showering new mum on her radar from now on (we like this idea muchly).
It’s been an exciting, review-filled fortnight, that’s for sure. And there’s plenty more coming up, including excerpts and opinion pieces in some of our favourite newspapers. We can’t wait!
Mum A did an interview this week where the interviewer confessed that the book had almost put her off having children.
This wasn’t our intention at all when we set out on our writing journey, but it did get us thinking that perhaps the book is slightly skewed this way. When we had a chat about it, we realised it’s probably because we spend a lot of time in the book divulging the truth. The real truth. And a lot of these truths are truths we have never divulged before. To anyone. They’re the things we’ve bottled up inside for a long time . Things we’ve pushed down beneath the other stuff that it’s easy to admit to. Some of these truths are things we haven’t even been able to admit to ourselves until now.
At the end of the interview, Mum A joked that each copy should come with a free tubal ligation. The lovely interviewer thought this was funny, but didn’t seem averse to the idea (again, oops).
So, how about you? Do you have people in your life you can admit the bad stuff to, as well as the good stuff?