Friday, October 10, 2008

'Salina and her terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day*

'Salina woke up this morning with all of her bedding on the floor. She wakes up with all of her bedding on the floor nearly every morning. Her mattress is too slippery, her fitted cotton sheet too old and the elastic to un.

I bet mattresses aren't slippery in Timbuktu.

'Salina came out of her room and saw it was raining. She doesn't get to go cycling when it rains.

I wonder if it rains in Timbuktu?

'Salina's aunt was visiting, but she had come in too late for 'Salina to see her last night, was leaving too early for it to be a real visit and she didn't bring her children. 'Salina loves her aunt - but her aunt's children are excellent fun to play with.

'Salina's mother forgot to buy tomatoes. This meant 'Salina didn't get tomato on her breakfast toast.

I bet mothers in Timbuktu never forget tomatoes.

'Salina's mother also nearly forgot to remind her to finish her homework she didn't finish the day before. Unfortunately she remembered. 'Salina did her homework really quickly, but 'Salina's mother asked to see it. 'Salina's mother had issues with her neatness, especially on the times table, and asked 'Salina to redo it when she got to school.

Unfortunately 'Salina forgot.

'Salina's mother was in tuckshop today. 'Salina asked her mother to go to assembly because 'Salina likes her mother to go to assembly. When at assembly 'Salina's mother saw 'Salina's teacher and they discussed neatness and the room for improvement the team of 'Salina's mother, 'Salina's teacher, V and hopefully 'Salina herself were hoping would be made this term.

It is a very big room.

When 'Salina went to visit her mother before little lunch for her fruit salad, her mother was at the office. When 'Salina went to get her little lunch, her mother was busy and didn't make a fuss. When 'Salina couldn't find her friends at big lunch and came to visit her mother, her mother only offered her left over yoghurt and fruit salad and wouldn't give her crackers and cheesesticks.

'Salina even got in trouble for chattering while her mother was counting. And she was only meaning to help.

When 'Salina got off the bus in the pouring rain, her mother was waiting at the top step of their house one door away. 'Salina told her mother it would have been nicer to have been met with an umbrella at the bus door. 'Salina's mother laughed when she agreed, but she didn't turn back time.

In Timbuktu I bet all mothers have the power to turn back time.

'Salina asked her mother and V is she could call Girl Down the Road and go and play there. 'Salina got asked to tidy her room for 20 minutes first. 'Salina told her mother Girl Down the Road's father was going to pick her up in an hour and THAT WASN'T FAIR. 'Salina's mother said it was raining and she had to tidy her room for at least 20 minutes and she might be able to talk to Girl Down the Road for a bit at the end of that. 'Salina shot a look of death at her mother that V intercepted. V asked for an explanation for the look and 'Salina told V that she didn't send the look of death at him. V said that was not the point. 'Salina cried.

After 10 minutes, 'Salina's mother checked to find out if 'Salina had used her time wisely to make the sort of decisions she could be proud of. 'Salina had not. Instead, she had chosen to take the bedding off the bed again and form a crying cocoon of dramatic intensity.

Children in Timbuktu would have been proud of the crying cocoon of dramatic intensity. 'Salina's mother was not.

'Salina used her next 15 minutes to increase the volume of dramatic intensity from the crying cocoon, but 'Salina's mother and V failed to pay any attention what so ever.

'Salina finally spent 3 minutes tidying her floor and asked her mother and V to inspect. 'Salina's mother and V were not so impressed that they waxed lyrical. 'Salina's mother asked her to empty her school bag. The first thing to come out of her bag was her homework.

'Salina's mother and V were very unimpressed with the homework not being handed in.

I bet mother's and V's wouldn't even notice homework in Timbuktu.

'Salina then started cleaning her room. She bent down to pick something up from the floor and hit her ear. She is sure the upper part of her ear will be very bruised by the encounter, but at least mum tickled the bruise away with a kiss.

After her room was tidied to a level where it passed a lowered-bar inspection, 'Salina's mother made her write out her homework 100 5 times. The first 4 times were deemed too messy and the spelling was not correct. The fifth time was also deemed too messy, but at least she had tried harder. V and 'Salina's mother then announced a crackdown on neatness for the next few weeks.

'Salina thinks she will remember to put her very messy homework in next week for the teacher to punish her rather than leave it in her bag and risk another round of this.

Either that or she will send her homework to Timbuktu.

* For my continental guests, yes, I know the Judith Viorst classic refers to Australia in your version, but as we are already there the publishers decided on Timbuktu for the antipodean print.

Oh, and for those of you who belong to the "prevention of 'Salina abuse for doing the things her mother did when she was a child" society - its okay, Mum, she is smiling now.

Oh, and for those of you who want to join the above society and think I am one mean mother - will the fact she is having Fish and Chips and Salad for dinner placate you?


Debby said...

Oh, Jeanie, how I laughed. After a day like that, followed by a prolonged whinge on the phone with Dixie, she told me about her club, The Mean Moms of America, of which she was president of the Philadelphia chapter. She made me an honorary member even though I don't live in Philly, and I received a lovely certificate, suitable for framing, from the self same group 'for distinquished service in raising these children while not pinching their heads off despite any number of really good reasons to do so'. She appointed me President of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter. I hereby extend the invitation for you to join, or create an Oz chapter.

Tell Salina that you've heard from Moms in America, and that she's really very fortunate not to live THERE!

Anonymous said...

That was so funny! I love that book, btw and often refer to my children and their 'terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days'! See.....another example of how you are living my life....well almost!!! ;)

Aniqa said...

Hey Jeannie

Here are some interesting points relating to your recurring use of Timbuktu that might help with young miss Selina. Let me know if you want to photos to back up my claims.

Ssssh it's just really an opportunity for me to discuss my recent trip there ;-)

I bet mattresses aren't slippery in Timbuktu. Not at all - in my experience the mattresses are damn lumpy (and that was in a hotel). You couldn't slip off one if you greased it up. And as for the pillows - they double as weights, or secret storage facilities for bricks.

I wonder if it rains in Timbuktu? According to an e-mail I got from a friend there this week, they did have some rain, but it was the first they had for many months. Fingers crossed that they get more.

I bet mothers in Timbuktu never forget tomatoes - I'm sure they don't, but remind Selina that there's only baguettes there so no toast at all. You can also tell her from me that you make much better spag bol than the lady at the hotel in Timbuktu did - you've never given me food poisoning. Let me tell you that it's not fun to be sick there.

In Timbuktu I bet all mothers have the power to turn back time. That one I will have to check on when I get there in January. What I do know is that there are far less negotiations between parents and little girls though and there are no cheese stick in Timbuktu.

Children in Timbuktu would have been proud of the crying cocoon of dramatic intensity. 'Salina's mother was not. I'm sure they would, but they'd have to share with all the other kids that would be living in their house or tent. Do you think she'd like to live in a tent?

I bet mother's and V's wouldn't even notice homework in Timbuktu. As Selina would go to the local Madrasa (Islamic school) she would certainly be doing her homework or ELSE!!!! There is no mucking about there.

Either that or she will send her homework to Timbuktu. Might be a slight problem with translation, but I'm sure they'd love to see her neat writing. We are going to buy some exercise books for a local school just near there that a friend went to.

You can also tell Selina that she can get chips in Timbouktu but she should steer clear of fish as it's nowhere near a river therefore rather dangerous - just like the spag bol.

Here endeth the Timbuktu lesson. I'll make sure to get her a gift from there this time round.

Melissa said...

I was wondering how you handled that destination question. That's one of my favorite children's books. Ever.

And my son has *never* had a problem cleaning his room like you have described. He *always* makes the right choice and tidies it in a timely manner.

Right. So back to reality. It's nice to know that this is a worldwide affliction. :)

Kari said...

Sabrina has terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day's too. I must share Salina's so she knows she isn't alone.

mommamia said...

Thanks for the laugh and I'm glad to know that neatness in girls is worldwide problem.

Pencil Writer said...

Thank you, thank you! Will all mother's (in Timbuktu, included) please give this mother, Jeanie a standing ovation? Yes! Louder! One for the rendition of the events for 'Salina's terrible, horrible, not good, very bad day and for the fact that Mum and V had the tenacity (audacity???) to expect improvement and compliance from a child they love and wish to see grow in goodness and perfection (at least growing toward perfection)! I say, amen. And Good Work. Keep forging ahead. 'Salina will be the better for it. That and all the world as well! Hip, ray! *That is the way you say that, isn't it?*

Jayne said...

Loved the post, poor Salina!

Jen at Semantically driven said...

I can just picture all of this. If I try to placate my son when he's in one of his moods he gets worse because he thinks I'm teasing him. Perhaps he and Salina can meet up in Timbuktu and compare notes about demanding mothers.

megz_mum said...

Ah yes, some days are like that! When you start off on the wrong foot, somehow it seems to last a bit! Anyway, you can join in behind me in the "mean mother's" line

Anonymous said...

She'll be thankful that she had a mean mother when she's a mum herself......

You've won the draw at my blog. If you use my contact form to send me your details I'll send you your prize ;)

Crazed Nitwit said...

LMAO! I'm sure Judith Viorst would laugh at this.

Anonymous said...

Ha, you just crack me up. Really.

Anonymous said...

LOLOLOLOL!!!! You funny. I likey. Salina would fit in well here.

MissyBoo said...

Oh Jeanie thanks for the laugh. I really needed it this weekend. Oh but I will join the prevention of 'Salina abuse because I do think it would have been far nicer if you'd met her at the bus with an umbrella ;-)

jeanie said...

My mother chose to make an anonymous comment via my email - I think I should slot it here:

"Yes Salina, I was right in there for you and about to look for one of your mother's letters for you to 'try' to read - and then I got a mention. Nice to know I make a little ripple sometimes! Oh, and you are following a master ( or should that be mistress?) in the tantrum stakes. There were some humdingers. Hope you get to go and play next week........ Lots of love Nana.xxxx
PS. You can give Mummy a hug when she is good too. "

BB said...

I see you have already posted on behalf of Mum!! Y'know, if we want to talk MESSY BEDROOMS, dear Jeanie... And MESSY WRITING Jeanie?? Ya want me to go on? Heh heh!

I guess you can take heart that you are the official champion tupperware tidier in this family!!!

Love ya darl... and remember your beautiful girl is a chip off the old block.


MissyBoo said...

Aha so the apple doesn't fall far from the tree :-)

Kari said...

Poor Jeanie, blogging the plight of the mum to a preteen girl only to be reminded that this child was her not all that long ago.