PREDICAMENT of a MOTHER

Just a skip, hop and roll down from our rock you find yourself in a beautiful park. Playground, spray fountains, picnic tables, grass field, public washrooms- everything you need for a perfect, relaxed play time. Even a river runs through it!

Everything is fine in Happy Land – until this guy shows up!2013-05-08 14.46.42

He parks his truck in the middle of the parking lot and sounds his horn to make sure everybody knows the ice-cream van has arrived!
Pardon, he doesn’t sound his horn, he plays a wonderful, melodious, innocent children’s tune. Like the ones you can listen to at Disney.
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Oh you evil ice cream seller! You put us mothers in an awful predicament: On the one hand, we love our children and want to spoil and protect them. On the other hand, we love our children and want to spoil them BUT don’t want to spend $5.00 on an ordinary ice lolly!
Do you see my dilemma here? On which grounds do I refuse to buy an ice lolly for my son(s)?

What do you think of these ones?
I forgot my money – That’s always a handy one
Next time, it’s nearly dinner time – Try it, not bad if the child is smaller
We have the same ones at home – This is quite logical for us grown – ups. Definitely not for your child if he is hot, bothers and craves an ice lolly now!
Look over there, do you see the beautiful birds? Nice try, Whom are you fooling though?
They are too expensive! The truth is, this answer makes us look cheap in the eyes of our kids. They might even think “Mom doesn’t love me, she doesn’t buy me ice cream.”

Last year I made the big mistake of purchasing five ice creams from him at a grand total of $25.00! I even had to borrow cash from my neighbour in order to pay him! Good grief!
I did it once, I will never do it again!

Whenever we see or hear him today, I all of a sudden become blind and deaf. Thanks to the greedy ice cream man I turned into one cold – hearted, tight assed mother!

To this day I am still complaining about this ridiculous rip-off. My boys have smartened up since then. Is their anything more annoying than listening to your whining mother? I don’t think so! Nowadays my boys know better, they eat ice cream from our home freezer!

SCENES FROM OUR HOME – on a lazy afternoon

It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. The sun is out and the kids are off school.

Cherry blossom, photo by C. Waschko

photo by C.Waschko

.Today is a lazy day; life offers you time, health and way too many possibilities to keep yourself busy with. And right here is the problem: if and when I face too many choices, I find it hard to get started with one thing only. This isn’t the first time I’m  facing this dilema – but fortunately, over the years, I found the perfect remedy: If in doubt, clean the bathroom! Currently we have five of them. That will keep me busy for a while and will give me enough time to decide on my plan of action for the rest of the day!

On my way up, cleaning supplies in hand, I ran into our youngest son Cruz. Cheerfully he greeted me with : “What can I ding-dong- diddledee-dooh for you?”

This one always cracks me up. He is such a witty one (our son that is) -unfortunately, in this instance he ‘stole’ the quote from The Simpsons.

When I asked him where his Korean brother is (our exchange student) he answered:

“You mean the new species in our house, whose natural habitat is the computer?”

photo by C. Waschko

Joey loves the computer, by C. Waschko

Does that even make sense? Where did he get that one from? Still, I am his mother, I think it’s cute!.

He may quote characters from tv or borrow sentences from “Animal Kingdom”, but if you put him in front of a blank piece of paper, pencil in hand, he can be original. Check these new Pokemon cards out, I am pretty sure they will become the next big thing in our neighbourhood:.

Attack Pokemon photo, C.Waschko2013-04-26 12.16.36

Don’t you just love random chitter-chatter by your children?  Their creativity? Their innocence? Their ability to be glued in front of a computer? Just kidding, this drives me bonkers. But to be fair, our junior can still get lost in real play time for hours on end!

C.Waschko

C.Waschko

I look at my son (on the right) and my heart fills with joy and pride. Not so long ago he was a baby, and in a few more years he will be off, just like his two older brothers are at this moment.

He reminds me of the fact that our time together is only short and borrowed. At the end, all we are left with are wonderful memories of our lazy days together.

Or at the times when he reprimanded me ‘Not to buy those pants anymore, because they are so 2 seconds ago.”

Christina Waschko VS Sheryl Sandberg

These days it is pretty hard for me to stay focused on the task at hand – to keep you updated on our new life here in B.C! There is so much going on in media land which diverts my attention. It started off with 70 year old granddads  (Rolling Stones)  who are out to fill stadiums,- now there is a lady who gets serious press coverage for her book “Lean In”.

Who is she? Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook.

Her message: For “women to lean in to the opportunities and challenges of becoming a boss”  (Times, March 18, 2013, page 36). In other words,: Ueber ambitious ladies, don’t get side tracked by family commitments or other nonsense, focus on reaching the top of a corporation!

Her connections: She is most likely the best connected woman in the whole world and probably the most powerful woman in America (Times, March 18).

Her education: Two (!) Harvard degrees

Married: To a very wealthy man.

Her target audience: The selected few, women who are on a serious power trip already or who are planning of doing so.

Her industry: Something we didn’t have 20 years ago!

On dreams: I have no idea if she ever had any!

Why it sucks: She is preaching to the converted. A woman who really wants, does!

Who am I?

Christina Waschko: CEO of household operastions in the Waschko family.

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My message: To ignite the spark in every woman’s heart! “Stop making excuses and pursue your dream- let it be personal or business related!”

My connections: 138 Facebook friends, 124 LinkedIn connections plus my parents; They can’t be found on any IT hook-up , but I hope they still count- or not?

My education: University of Life and a degree in Common Sense.  The only way I will ever see an Ivy League School, or Harvard for this matter, is while sitting on top of the double-decker tour bus.

Married: To a very – nice – man.

My industry: Something we had forever, a good ol’fashioned, personal contact business: Running a coffee lounge!

On dreams: I have plenty!  So far, many of them came true!

On why the book bothers me: It is written for a few – but will be read by the masses.

Whereas my book is written for the masses and have been read by few – so far!

My thoughts on female High Flyers: I will bet, most women don’t really care about the whole corporate, power game. Given a choice, most of us would rather live the happy, fun life with a loving husband, kids  and working a job of our choice (which makes us enough money) than running a billion Dollar company. Please correct me if you feel I am stuck in Yesterdayworld.

The few who prefer careers over happy family life don’t need a whole book devoted to their course. They will suppress the urges of their biological clock to do what it takes to get them to the top of anything (oops, don’t read anything into that one).

If they can’t suppress their desire to become a mother, they will manage to squeeze in a baby or two in between negotiating and signing contracts. All that in turn relates to a few more neglected, spoilt, emotionally unstable children who see more of their nanny than their mother. Each to their own!

Appeal: The world needs to read about “VERRY BERRY EXTRA-ORDINARY“, written by an ordinary woman who made one of her dreams come true.

And less about jobs in higher places, written by an extra-ordinary woman who doesn’t need to dream!

Life as a -still – unknown author can be challenging at times, especially in the beginning phase. I know I can’t beat her, therefore I will join her! With this, I will lean in and get connected to people who I really should connect with: Sheryl, I will call you later…

Sophisticated Morning Talk between Spouses

If you want to watch harmonious gender division, come and visit us on any given school day early in the morning.

What you will find is the wife in action  (aka, multi tasking to make sure the children will go to school on time, neatly dressed, their lunch boxes filled with nutritious, delicious goodies)  and the husband sitting on the couch, reading his TIME magazine.

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In his mind, there is no better time to strike up a meaningful conversation with his wife than between 7.15 and 8am. The wife loves his attempt of keeping her informed and educated about bigger things in life other than the stain on his shirt and a reminder for an oil change.

It goes something like this:

Husband: “Did you know there are more than 100 million sharks killed each year?” (Times, March 18, page 9)

Wife, thinking: Did Cruz feed his fish yesterday, need to go to pet store, we are running out of fish food.

Aloud: “Mmh?”

Husband: “Hey lovey, listen to this, this is funny,  ( quote) “We make the modest proposal that the negotiating rooms should in future be an inebriation-free zone.(Times, same edition, page 8)  These delegates….”

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Wife has water running, concentrates to make orange juice out of concentrate. Is thinking to herself  “what was this all about?”

Aloud: “Mmh, interesting.”

Husband thinks this quote is hilarious, wonders why wife isn’t laughing and gives in to his desire to read it again. Still, no response from wife.

Somehow this reminds husband of an article in the PROVINCE from a few weeks back: “What about the story on gentrification in downtown Vancouver?”

Wife is thinking: I need to remember to write the cheque for school, how much was it again?

Husband rambles on, “Listen to this, this is quite interesting, “All you need to know about sequestration but were afraid to ask…”

Wife, aloud: “Boys, you need to give me your thermo containers back, hurry.”

Wife is cooking lunch, ravioli in pot is heating up, starting to boil and all she hears is this:

“….pulling out of Iran over next 22 months.”

Wife thinks “What is going on in Iran, who is pulling out? Is America pulling out?

Wife is brave (or dumb) enough to open her mouth to ask this question to her well informed, well read husband.

All he does is looking at her, shakes his head in slight desperation and thinks, Help, whom am I married to.? Aloud he says:

“Iran? I said Afghanistan – do you remember, it is the longest mission ever Americans were involved in?”

Wife thinks “Oops, need to get my ears checked, why is he talking to me now anyway, I am cooking lunch?”

This is the one that nearly killed her: “Lovey, can you get this, listen up  The record for continuous gum chewing is 135 sticks over 8 hours. Assuming he chewed one fewer stick during the final hour than each of the previous 7 hours, how many sticks did he chew each hour?” (Times, Feb.25, p.53)

Wife thinks,  He must be joking.   Aloud: “Mmh, clever question!”

Isn’t my husband a sweetheart? I consider myself a lucky woman, being married to this fine, young, well informed man! As I said earlier, he makes sure I am in the loop of what’s going on around the world. Unfortunately, most of the time I have no clue what he is talking about; and I mean literally. I have no clue what he is jabbering about, I have never heard of these words before! He is a native speaker and therefore comfortable with the TIMES vocabulary, not me!

Still, I appreciate his efforts and hopes that after all these years some of the more sophisticated words may have rubbed up on me – or not!

This reminds me of an incident from a long time ago.  I did my PADI diving course in Byron Bay, Australia. On the first day of the course we were discussing what you can’t do under water, wetsuit and all. One of the things you can’t do is fornicating! Did I know what that means? Of course not. I was the only foreigner amidst a group of Australians. They swore themselves to secrecy and kept me in the dark for the whole week – meanwhile my brain was working overtime about the action called fornication. What is it you can’t do under water with your wetsuit on….?

 

SUNDAY’s BEST, ALWAYS ABOVE THE REST

I have to hand it to my mother: This lady knows how to dress for any given occasion! I don’t know of anybody else who owns so many Sunday’s Best outfits. My mom has an obsessive obsession to label the week days and match her outfits accordingly. E.g. Monday is ‘meet the girls’ and swimming – day, Wednesday is market day, Saturday is ‘let’s clean the house and party – day’, Sunday is always Sunday’s Best day!

Mom went as far as putting me into that white, lacy number on our visit to a horse farm, because – you guessed right,- it was Sunday.

For good measure she keeps an extra special ‘something’ in her wardrobe. It is well protected, wrapped up in plastic. My guess is as good as yours: At their age, “Four weddings “are over. They are slowly approaching the “Funerals”part. One never knows when the next, unexpected invite arrives..

Not only does mom matches outfits with days, she also orchestrates wardrobe choices according to the seasons. God forbid my dad or brother show up without their allocated, goofy Christmas tie for Christmas dinner!

I also recall early memories of Easter egg hunts, dressed in my bunny PJ’s.

Our mother didn’t stop at clothes. Next to our Sunday outfits we had our Sunday – best-dinner-plates, or the plates for Easter, Mothers Day or Christmas. We had plates for our own family and for our visitors. Depending on their status or relationship to us (friend, close friend or very close friend) our mother pulled out “Villeroy and Boch”or “Woolworths own”. (She still does!).

For the first 20 years of my life I shared a roof with my parents. This is a long enough time for certain idiosyncrasies to rub off – if I want to or not!

Our own kitchen contains a ‘to-look-at-only-unit. It is filled with beautiful, under used, 100 year old dinner plates, inherited by my grandma. Do we use them? Of course, once a year, come Christmas.

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What about my beautiful tea set? Has there ever been a special occassion worth sharing it with the rest of the world? Of course, once or twice!

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Do I have a Sunday’s Best? You bet I do. In my case this translates to stored away, under used, forgotten dresses.

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On February 17th I will host my official book launch party in the company of our invited guests. This is reason enough to pull out all the stops. Unfortunately, I inspected my stash this morning – my former Sunday Bests are either too sexy (no,no, I am an author now), too tight, have the wrong style, wrong colour, are eaten by moths or still display shoulder pads. Oops, isn’t Joan Collins the only one still allowed to wear them?

Coincidently, my chosen date falls on “MY WAY DAY” which gives me the official permission to launch my book my way- regardless of Sunday’s Best or not.

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It’s off to the shops again. I will splurge out on another Sunday’s Best.  But this time around it will be a timeless piece. After the launch I will follow the example of my mom: It will be wrapped in plastic and stored away! What can I say, I am her daughter, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

NO SEX IN THE SUBURBS

Written by  Miss Kitty, Suburbanville, BC, Canada

Here she is, my first guest contributor: Miss Kitty!

She is a self proclaimed expert in the field of cosmetics and beauty products! This is something I don’t know much about and therefore her assignment was simple: What are the hottest items on the market for both men and women at the moment?

But as you can read, Kitty had something else on her mind!

Happy reading!

Loss of libido is a common thing that happens to many women in long-term relationships.  Forty three percent of us have experienced this at some point in our lives. As you’re reading this right now, I’m willing to bet that the majority of you would prefer a nice glass of wine and a hot bath to a romp in the sack most nights.

Better than sex?

The question is: Why does this happen? I know that when I was in my twenties, (With far less of a hectic lifestyle) I couldn’t wait to play a game of “hide the sausage”. My sex drive was turbo charged. I thought about sex more often and was insatiable in my partner’s opinion. In fact in all of my relationships before I met my husband were like that.

So in spite of thinking that I know what has turned me off sex, why are so many other women in the same position?

Children, pre-imenopause, medication, and stress can transgress into a loss of libido while emotions are usually the culprit for younger women. When I was younger with my first real lover, he messed around with some bimbo in our parking lot. I was so angry and hurt that things were never quite the same after that. I kept analyzing all of the things about him that turned me off.

Moving forward ten years, my libido went into a complete funk after my son was born. I poured all of my emotion and affection onto him as I grew up in a very non- demonstrative family. Five years later when my daughter was born it became even worse, the thought of sex just seemed way too much of an effort and time consuming. Days were long and hectic with a full time job and having two young children. When I got home, I just wanted to relax and not have to think about pleasing another person.

When the physical side starts to fizzle in many relationships, the person who is wanting more activity in the bedroom, usually then will start lashing out, possibly having affairs, or think about leaving the relationship. Many of our couple friends in the last year split, a few had affairs, and some acquaintances even started swinging!

Not that I’m into that kind of thing, but I can only imagine that if I tried it, I’d end up with a balding guy with a ponytail and bad breath! Nope, not my bag, but it seems to work for some people! Honestly though I don’t really know the answer. Because so many women that I know in long term relationships feel the same way, I wonder if  mojo just fizzles out after seven years or so. The famous seven year itch…

Some women have had success with hormone therapy and have lit the sheets on fire once again, but am I on to something when I say that human beings just aren’t meant to be monogamous?

Signing off, Miss Kitty!

Hello again, this is Christina writing!  With this note I like to say a big “Thank You” to Kitty for sharing her ‘dilema’with us! Here is my thought: Isn’t it sad that sex in a long term relationship is the (extra-ordinary)  exception and not the norm?  Having sex should be like ageing: The older we get the better we become!? Just a thought…