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mall zombies

Throwback post from 28 Nov 2011 

I am not a Mall person. Malls make me anxious.

I don’t know if it’s due to the throngs of people who meander slowly ahead of me when I’m trying to chase down my wayward children, or a sub-conscious fear that if the Zombie Apocalypse was to happen while in a mall, I’d be trapped with a shitload of annoying teenagers and office girls enjoying an ‘extended lunchbreak’.

God forbid. I wouldn’t know whether to run from the brain eating zombies or the girls stampeding their way to Supre for a free-for-all. Either way… Though, least if I were trapped in a Mall, I could find refuge in the confectionery isle of K-Mart – no self-conscious teen or stereotypically skinny office girl would be seen undead there, right? (Edit: In the years since writing this ancient post, K-Mart seems to have become cool. Maybe not for teens and office girls, but certainly for Scandi-stylin’, geometric-loving plant-hoarding house mums. Am I trying to offend as many people as possible in this paragraph alone? It appears I am)

Wait, it’s the zombies I’m meant to be running from in this scenario, isn’t it? Damn it, I forgot what nightmare situation I was writing about for a minute there.

In fact, I completely forgot what I was writing about from the moment I typed the words ‘Zombie Apocalypse’.

Oh. That’s right. Christmas shopping.

For the most part, we’ve got Christmas sorted, but there’s going to come a time – very soon now – where I’m gonna have to suck in a big brave breath and negotiate my way through a mall teeming with crazy-eyed shoppers and brain-eating teenagers.

It is inevitable that in the next three weeks, I will find myself trapped in a unbearably long checkout line with my six rolls of gift wrap, shopping basket of ‘stocking stuffers’ and a box set of American Chopper for the Lad that no staff member will be able to find the discs for. I will worry that my card will decline, even though I know there will be enough money on it to cover what I am about to purchase (I’ll know, because I would have checked seventeen times on my to the checkout.) The children will transform into snarling Wargs and Grumkins as soon as they see the shelf of lollipops alongside them. Someone will begin to cry. It will probably be me.

The walls will close in on me as the anxiety attack takes its hold. I will consider eBay as the source for the Lad’s box set, rethink the necessity of Christmas stockings and start wondering if we really need all this wrapping paper, or if we could just upcycle the kids impressive stash of Playcentre paintings…

zombie brain splatter painting

Looks like they’re painting Christmas colours to me! Or as the Lad suggests, Zombie brain splatter patterns!

All of this will happen. It’s a scenario that’s as much a nightmare tradition for our family as leaving up the Christmas tree for the first four months of the new year and drawing a face on a toilet roll and calling it the Xmas tree fairy because we’ve lost the original. (Okay I just made that last one up. But, pfft, sounds as good a plan as all my other bad plans!)

But as far as choice in shopping malls go, I’ll have my say in that at least. And I’ll take my chances with Westgate. It’s spacious outdoor design and dead boring selections of shops should filter out most of the teeming hoardes, and if all else fails, there’s a Hunting and Fishing shop up the road, just in case I need to score myself some guns to deal with any f#%^ng annoying zombies.

The Lily Bug: I wish I was the sun so I could shine brightly.
Me: Aww you’re so cute!
The Lily Bug: Then I’d turn myself up really high… So everyone can burn. *cackles manically*

She said that. I kid you not. My sweet lovely loving (most of the time ;)) little Bug uttered those words.

In her defense, I think she had just mucked up her phrasing a little. It was a cold morning on the way to kindy, and I’m sure she was only thinking about how she’d like to bring toasty warmth into the lives of those who, like us, have a thinly insulated home and a car heating system that kicks in five minutes after you reach your destination.

And I’m sure the way she tittered gleefully at the end of that statement was due purely to the amusement of watching my jaw swing open and hit the floor of the car. I admit, I too would find that comical. In a Loony Toons kind of way.

The Lily Bug is going to make a fantastic Global President of the Entire Planet some day. I think the evidence speaks for itself.

Don’t hate on my awesome Paint doodling skills.

Manutewhau Walk

We love our usual local West Auckland playground with its large reserve and native bush area, but it’s always way more fun to stumble across ones we’ve never been to before. Just the other day we tiki-toured down a few neighbourhood side-roads, and came across a new (to us) playground with a small scrap of bush to adventure through.

Manutewhau Walk

Manutewhau Walk

We had no idea where this track was going to lead us, and then it opened out onto our road! I’ve lived on this street 12 or so years, and never even noticed this particular slice of native bush. You know, despite the “Manutewhau Walk” sign and wooden walkway leading into it… (Admittedly, we’re usually paying attention to the larger reserve on the other side of the road.)

A couple of weeks earlier, a friend introduced us to Oakley Creek Falls – tucked away down an Avondale side-street where I never would have thought to ever find a forest. Or a Waterfall for that matter.

Oakley Creek Falls

Oakley Creek Falls

Seriously, people who think Auckland is all about traffic congestion, arsehole BMW-driving JAFAs & high-density housing, just really need to get out of the house more (And head out to West Auckland.)

auckland playgrounds

Fortnight in review: I even managed to get a pic of the Teen in here! Not that I took it myself, no she usually hides her face behind her hair and grumbles about how she’s having a bad face day whenever I wave the camera in her direction.

 

 

 

children on a rampage

The kids had a friend over today and they spent much of it busy playing and ignoring me completely (except for when I was required to mop tears or wipe mud from feet). Initially, I had this plan to spend my day “getting stuff done”, but short of having the assistance of Rumpelstiltskin, it is pointless – POINTLESS – to try and get anything done when there is not two by three little whirlwinds in the house. A play date gives children the perfect excuse to trash the house in ways they’d never think to do on their own.

children on a rampage

An adaptation of the laundry tornado

Scenario 1 – the muchkins, bored despite a house full of toys.
The Lily Bug: “Hey, should we tip out every single toy box we own, and toilet paper the walls?”
Guy Smiley: “Monster trucks!”
The Lily Bug: *tips out one box. Is bored by lack of accomplice, gives up.*

Scenario 2 – the munchkins + friend, bored despite a house full of toys.
The Lily Bug: “Hey, should we pull the toy boxes out from the wardrobe, scatter the contents all over the bed and then bounce on them until we hear cheap plastic snap beneath our feet?”
The Friend: “Yeah! Then we can take half of them outside and dig a hole and bury them – along with as much stuff from the cutlery draw that we can carry!”
The Lily Bug: “Yeah!”
Guy Smiley: “MONSTER TRUCKS!”
*Cue wanton destruction*

It usually takes a few weeks to locate the last missing monster truck, and I’m still missing teaspoons. No doubt the lawn mower will find those…

Don’t get me wrong. I love it when the kids can busy themselves all day by dreaming up creative new ways to use toys as stepping stones in order to cross the great lake of lava that is the entire floor surface of the house! I just wish it didn’t mean having to spend the next week approaching very short people and offering my first born if they’ll help tidy up the aftermath. :/

There’s really only so much a four-year-old needs to know. And in our family we sometimes tend to answer questions far too readily, and without always stopping to think about the appropriateness of the originally overheard conversation that prompted them to make inquiries in the first place.

Take this snippet from tonight for example:

THE LAD: Yeah! I can get suicide bombers for my game now!
THE LILY BUG: What’s suicide bombers?
ME: No….
THE LAD: They’re people with explosives strapped to them –
ME: Nooo…
THE LILY BUG: What’s explosives?
THE LAD: It’s –
ME: Jarrod! No!
THE LAD: It’s, uh… licorice.

Fortunately, the Lily Bug was spared from nightmares involving suicide bombers tonight. Instead she may dream of a Willy Wonka type land involving licorice straps as personal clothing items.

I’m not entirely certain if it’s nature or nurture, but sometimes our lovely kids come up with some strange stuff, right on their own accord and without any prompting from us at all.

Take this snippet of crazy for example: The other morning I woke to the Lily Bug standing beside the bed, growling beneath her breath while wearing this mask (painted by Guy Smiley the night before).

I won’t lie – I nearly shat a hole in the mattress.

 

On a brighter and completely unrelated note, here’s a wee gem that sprouted from a different conversation a couple of nights ago.

ME: You kids are geniuses.
THE LILY BUG: Wow! Really!!!
(I’m surprised at her excitement, and wonder how she knows what a genius even is. Until she turns to her brother and yells…)
THE LILY BUG: Guess what!?!? Mum said we’re GENIES!!

supermarket anxiety

I don’t want to blog about my supermarket misadventures – I don’t want to be that tedious. But if we’re going to be honest here, I have been driven bat shit crazy and I have to get this off my chest: My last half a dozen trips to the supermarket have been like a trip. A bad LSD trip from my long lost youth. Except this time the chocolate bars aren’t talking to me.

You know those contests where a person is given 60 seconds to race around and fill their trolley with as much random crap as they can throw in it? My shopping trips are like that, except I don’t get to win my groceries at the end. Nor do I end up with anything I actually want and/or need. I just get a small child who tries to climb the confectionery shelves at the checkout while I shove my random stuff onto the conveyor belt and pray I’ve slung together enough groceries to actually prepare at least one complete dinner for the week. Because Gods help me if I have to come back to this damned place again today.

supermarket panic attack

The terrorist here is Guy Smiley, who, at the darling age of two-in-three-months, is at this charming stage where he rebels against any kind of constraint. Car seat constraints are where the trouble begins, but that’s a halfway manageable problem. With enough perseverance and brute force on my part (gentle-applied brute force, I might add), he will eventually consent to being buckled into his seat. It’s the battle for the supermarket trolley’s toddler seat that I absolutely cannot win. Not even with chocolate bars. Talking or otherwise.

Being constrained to stay at my side once we enter the supermarket sparks insurgency. For approximately five seconds, Guy Smiley will pretend to hold my hand, until that exact moment when I think to myself “yay, he’s going to be placid toda – aaahhhfuckit!” And he’s off. Legging it at the first opportunity, as fast as his chubby lil legs can project him. Then as an added blow to my will to live, he’ll drop to a thrashing dead weight when I try to pick him up. It’s guerrilla warfare, and I’m throwing canned missiles into my trolley in the futile hope of being able to strike some kind of culinary taste-bomb once I get home.

But if Guy Smiley’s the terrorist, then The Lily Bug is the evil mastermind behind him

At the tender age of four-in-two-months, she has the boy trained in the field of Stealth Militiary Tactics. She’ll say “I’ll go get him mum!” and the next moment she’s hot on his heels, tugging at his hand and squealing “come on, let’s go this way!” The supermarket has become my children’s training ground for total anarchy.

As the Lad helpfully offered, “really Kelly, your trips to the supermarket are pretty fucking pointless.” And the Lad would be right.

Though, I challenge him to do a better job when his son is rocketing through the store like a runaway pinball and the walls are closing in on him as he’s caught in the grip of what could be an acid flashback of ’93 but is most likely a really bad anxiety attack..

My dreams are still filled with the disapproving frowns of disapproving shoppers with their disapproving head shakes and their disapproving mutters of .. well… disapproval. Bastards.

Please, if you see a blue-haired lady dashing through Countdown in pursuit of two wee Che Guevara’s… Please throw some grocery staples into her trolley. She always forgets the sugar, flour or toilet paper, and it’s it’s been about two months since the bathroom last had a light bulb.

messy play

Cornflour, water, and food colouring make for the BEST messy play material! Easier to clean up than mud, and nowhere near as smelly.