To Rescue A Shirt (Zero to Hero challenge six)

Today’s assignment asked me to write a post to my Dream Reader – a specific someone I hope will read my post. I’ve picked a friend of mine who is having trouble smiling right now. I’m writing to her in hope that reading about my antics will help shift a little more of the dark cloud around her heart and that her sunshine will burst through again soon.

I wasn’t sure what to write today. Then inspiration struck in the form of a lost item of laundry. The other part of the challenge was to include a new element to your blog to mix things up a little. Tonight I’ve elected to write this post as a script. I hope it makes you smile.

PS. I haven’t missed days four and five of the challenge. They were more to do with creating a community and refining the look of my blog – not something I felt inspired to write about.

Scene: the top floor balcony of a small apartment building. It is approaching midnight. Looking-glass mama is hanging out washing with her husband.

Looking-glass mama: where do you want me to start?
Husband: I’ll do the kids’ stuff, you start with those piles of shirts that I’ve carefully sorted and draped over the edge of the balcony.

LGM goes over to the piles that her marvellously organised husband has carefully sorted and draped over the edge of the balcony. With the grace of a club-footed bear LGM moves over to the pile and picks up what she believes is the top t-shirt. It soon becomes apparent that it is not the top t-shirt as the real top t-shirt flutters down to land on the edge of the balcony of the flat immediately below them. What follows is the exact language used in the official transcript of the occasion.

Looking-glass mama: (peering over edge of balcony) oh golly gosh.
Husband: what’s the matter, oh darling wife?
LGM: um. It seems to have come to pass that I have ever so clumsily knocked one of your most oft-worn t-shirts off your carefully sorted pile.
Husband: that’s no matter. It can be retrieved from the ground at a time after the present moment.
LGM: it did not make it to the ground. It appears to be artfully displayed on the edge of the balcony below us.
Husband also looks over edge of balcony.
Husband: oh golly gosh. How on earth did you manage to achieve such a miraculous occurrence? You must be in possession of great talent.
LGM: you’re too kind. But that is beside the point. How will we set about retrieving the shirt when it is almost midnight?

Silence.

LGM: we can ask our downstairs neighbours to retrieve it in the morn.
Husband: that is a most excellent plan with but one flaw.
LGM: what is that flaw?
Husband: no-one resides in that dwelling at present.

Silence as both peer over the edge of the balcony.

LGM: that does indeed present us with a challenge.
Husband: have you any superior brain processes that might provide a solution to said challenge?
LGM: Hmm.

Long, definitely-not-pregnant pause

LGM: might there be a strong wind on the morrow?

Both check their i-Fruits.

Husband: it is not so. Let me put my grey matter to the task.
Exits stage left; returns with a broom.
Husband:I will attempt to dislodge it using this common household object.
Begins to lower broom over the balcony.
Husband:Alas, it is too short.
LGM: we need to lengthen it. It would be my recommendation that you halt any further attempts until we resolve this issue lest you cause either the broom or your kind self to fall three floors.
Husband: thank you for your concern for my well-being. I shall indeed do as you suggest. A new potential solution has entered my mind.
Again exits stage left; returns with LGM’s baby sling and proceeds to attempt to tie it to the broom.

LGM: I would strongly advise you to cease and desist if you value your presence on this planet. Allow me to suggest another alternative.
Exits stage right; returns with a pair of stockings.
LGM: these are a fraction of of the cost and will most assuredly ensure the broom will reach.
Husband glances at them doubtfully.
Husband: I respectfully question your intellect in this instance. Surely an item of lingerie does not possess the tensile strength required.
LGM: ah, you doubt my mental acuity? I shall make a believer of you yet!

Husband shrugs and takes the stockings from LGM.. He attempts to tie them to the top of the broom handle. The hook is missing, causing the stockings to slip straight off.

Husband: I love you with an undying passion. But sadly I must again question your sanity in suggesting this absurd solution!
LGM: fear not, husband.
Produces large roll of gaff tape.
LGM: there is no problem that may not be overcome by the liberal application of this legendary adhesive.
Husband: ne’er was a truer word spoken.

Working as one, they wind four times the amount of gaff tape around the stockings and broom handle. Husband carefully lowers the broom over the balcony guides it towards the t-shirt.

Husband: huzzah, it has sufficient length! How fortuitous that you are a woman of great height.
LGM: beware! There is a significant chance that you may lift the shirt off the balcony edge and cause it to descend onto the balcony proper. It would thus be lost to us forever.
Husband: well, at least till the next open house. Your warning is duly noted.

They both watch with baited breath as husband hooks the broom underneath the t-shirt and carefully lifts it from edge. A deft flick of the broom sends it fluttering safely to the ground below.

Together: most joyous result!
They celebrate with the highest of high fives and husband lifts the broom to safety.

LGM: ah, what a happy ending. Will you now journey forth and retrieve your prize?
Husband: nay, I shall not. I thought to leave that honour to you. I see by your withering stare that will not come to pass. It matters not. There it can lie safely till the sun peeps gently o’er the horizon.
LGM: a most wise decision. Shall we to bed?
Husband: an excellent suggestion.

They both exit stage right.

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How NOT to get pee in your face in four easy steps

Here’s a How To with a twist – it’s actually a How Not To. Start with one beautiful, ticklish baby that you are drying off after bath time.

1. Do not wear your beautiful new teething necklace for your baby to grab, lest your cooing infant wave his arms in a deceptively innocent way and ‘accidentally’ grab hold of your necklace.

My, how clever, you will proclaim. You may then begin planning the party you will throw after he completes his first PhD at the age of 16, oblivious to the fact that you are now trapped.

2. Do not – under any circumstances – lean in to kiss your baby’s naked belly.

This will be torturous. You will be tempted by that chubby, ticklish, round pookie just begging you to blow raspberries on it. Resist the urge to look into his deep blue eyes that are daring you to release the siren song that is your young child’s giggle. Be strong.

3. Do not have hair.

It sounds extreme, I know. I tried to find a way around it, but I just can’t. Short hair, long hair tied back – it just doesn’t cut it. If you have kids, you may as well just start shaving your head immediately. It might feel a bit weird at first, but it will save much heartache in the long run.
Disclaimer: please consider your own circumstances before making any drastic fashion decisions.

If you do not heed my sage advice that I have totally ignored myself, do not be so distracted by your child’s gleeful squeals of laughter that you are unaware of his mischievous little fingers moving from your necklace to your hair. Then you will be like the fly entangled in the web, your futile struggle a useless waste of energy as you finally realise the peril you are in.

Don’t be foolhardy enough to think your offspring would never do such a thing knowingly. Your baby has a full bladder and a plan, and is preparing to unleash both in your face, so I’d shut your mouth and close your eyes.

Yet all this could have been averted if you had completed one simple task.

4. Always always ALWAYS put the nappy on first. Don’t argue. Just do it.

Picture This (Zero to Hero day three: A penny for your thoughts)

Picture this.

It’s the end of a lovely day out for a special family event. The kids are in bed and you settle down at the computer with a cup of tea to review the day’s photos. You congratulate yourself, the unofficial family photographer, for capturing some truly special moments, and take pride in knowing you took a photo of everyone present.

Except yourself, of course.

You won’t admit it, but the true reason behind your eagerness to take on the role of photographer at these events is not because of your incredibly awesome DSLR with the zoom lens. No, even though you’re adventurous enough to take your camera out of automatic mode and play with the manual settings, deep down you know why you do it.

Brushing that thought away, you smile as you see the excited smiles of your kids…the expression of your husband’s face as he makes a great catch…the arty landscape shot of your outing’s backdrop. Then you wince as you catch a glimpse of a new figure in the photo. Someone else clearly got a hold of your camera, and there are unauthorised images of yourself on the screen.

Ugh, my arms are huge in this one. Delete.

How many chins do I have in this one? Delete.

Seriously? I’m about to sneeze in this one! Delete.

…and so on. Before you know it, all evidence that you attended the event is gone.

Sound familiar? It’s not that you don’t like being in photos, it’s just that…well…not right now, you think. Wait until you feel more confident about yourself – once you’ve lost weight/gained weight/toned up/grown out this stupid haircut/insert your body image issue here.

The next family occasion is the same story…as is the next on and the one after that. Suddenly one day you’re looking at your photos and marvelling over how fast your babies have grown. Feeling nostalgic, you begin to flick back through old photos. You begin to realise that – other than the initial squishy newborn pics – you have no photos of yourself with your children when they were babies. And now it’s too late.

I get it. Really, I do. The thing is, though, while you refuse to be photographed until you’re ready, your kids are growing. They have a habit of doing that. You only get one chance at their childhood (some days that makes me sob, others it makes me somersault with joy).

If that isn’t enough of a reason to take your finger off the delete button, consider this – these photos aren’t about you. Okay, I’ll rephrase that – they’re not just about you. There’s a few things in this, so I’ll go through them.

Firstly, when you delete the photos because you don’t like how you look, you’re denying others the chance to look great in them. Sure, you think your backside looks enormous in this – but your daughter has the most amazing look of joy on her face. Deleting the whole image means you lose that.

Secondly, you’re denying others the chance to love you as you are now. Let’s be honest – you may never be content with your body image. You’ll probably always have aspects of yourself that you dislike. You automatically assume no one wants to see pictures of you, despite loving your family through their imperfections. Give them the benefit of the doubt and let them love you and your imperfections. Let them see photographs of yourself.

Thirdly, deleting the photos assumes they are for your benefit, and yours alone. This was my biggest mistake. The photographs you take now are a record of these moments for now and future generations. They belong to your children as much as they do to you. In fact, as their future custodian, I’d wager they have a stronger claim to them. Your children won’t look back and see your minor (or major) imperfections. They will hopefully look back and see a parent that loved them and cherish a precious memory of their childhood.

So challenge yourself and get in front of the camera. Hold off deleting every image of yourself. You have my permission to delete photos of yourself sneezing though – no one looks good sneezing. If you don’t want them appearing on your screensaver, either print them off for safekeeping, or put them on a flash drive and delete the files. Just be brave and smile.

Zero to Hero: Say Your Name

Anyone else singing now? No? Uhh…okay.

Day two of the Blogging 101 challenge is here! Okay, so I know I only just posted the first bit, but the posts are being released 10am daily in America, which is rather late here in Australia. That said, I am kind of nocturnal and do my best blogging at night, so really I’ve got nothing to complain about.

Right.

You may have noticed the address for the blog has changed. I now live (digitally) here at lookingglassmama.wordpress.com. Why the change? I wanted to get away from a personal username, mostly. There’s a bit more to it than that, though.

I’m a big fan of glasses – they’ve stopped me (more or less) running into solid objects for the last 25 years. I had a period when I swapped to contact lenses so I could work out who I was without my glasses, but I’m pretty sure they’re back for good. I’m content with them. Without my glasses, life is fuzzy and doesn’t make sense. When I put my specs back on, things sharpen up and I can focus.

Writing here is similar – it helps me make sense of my world and see things in perspective. It’s helping me appreciate the often ridiculous nature of being a mum to two boys. I am beginning to approach the chaos with a sense of fun and the hope that something insane will happen so I can tell you all about it.

In a sense, I’m letting you see life through my lenses when you visit. I hope you enjoy the view.