August 18, 2011

Flying And Punishment

Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I have recently returned from the United States. Those of you who don’t read my blog regularly really should. It’s very funny and it will make your hair lush and your skin glow (which isn’t true, but I can promise you that it definitely won’t hurt).

I had a wonderful time overseas but have been paying the price since I returned home. For one thing, I got my Visa bill, which gave me an immediate panic attack, and caused me to reach, shaking, for the Valium. Unfortunately, though, I had already taken my last Valium, when I had woken in a claustrophobic panic in our terrifyingly miniscule hotel room in New York, and had to either calm myself down pharmaceutically, or run to Central Park in my pyjamas.

(I did consider going to Central park, but a) according to Simon and Garfunkel you should not wander there after dark, and b) despite the streets being numbered, I wasn’t at all sure I could find it without my map. And I couldn’t find my map because it was night time.)

I truly hadn’t realised how much money we were spending in America because it was all so very cheap. I mean, how can you resist buying a top for US$60 which has been marked down from US$400, and works out to be more like AUS$55 after the conversion?

What I failed to grasp, of course, is that the US$60 is before tax, so that the final price is closer to US$70, which is over AUS$60. And what I also failed to grasp is that $60 is still $60, and works out to be more like $6000 when you spend it a hundred times. Still, I certainly grasp that now.

Since arriving back in Australia, I have also been paying an emotional price. Now, I’m not talking about jetlag, although it is most inconvenient to have to drop everything at lunchtime each day and sleep for a couple of hours (not to mention unpleasant for my kids, who are picked up by a mummy whose skin is pale and grey and who is drooling from the side of her mouth).

I’m talking about guilt.

Not my child. But a good likeness.

We went to the States without our three children, because – although we were desperate to take them with us – our work commitments precluded it. (And if you believe that, you’ll believe that my blog makes your hair lush, because we really just wanted to go alone.)

My kids were well looked after by their grandparents and babysitter, and behaved beautifully the whole time we were away. And the two older kids have been wonderful since we’ve been back, no doubt because they missed us terribly, although it may also have had something to do with their numerous gifts, also known as ‘Any excuse to visit the M&M store’.

Three year old Boo, on the other hand, has been rather less wonderful. Though she insists that she is ‘very happy’ to have us home, she has expressed this joy rather oddly, by crying when I don’t give her six chocolate wafers, crying when I pay attention to her siblings, and crying when asked to do a wee. Apparently, this is known as ‘punishing us for going away’.

As if the Visa bill wasn’t punishment enough.


  1. My Visa bill has not yet arrived. I am dreading it. Please can you send me a Valium?
    As regards the offspring's response to coming home? Snap!

  2. True story: once when my son- the most easy going toddler EVER- was about 3, Craig &I went to Sydney for the weekend and left him with his nanna. On the evening we returned, he smiled, kissed us, and then- in front of our very eyes, while we stood in the doorway with our bags- took a huge dump on the cream hall carpet, then bent over and rubbed it in.  With both hands. He had been toilet trained for a year, and never ONCE had an accident.

    Welcome home, huh? Still, I'm guessing that mess was easier to face than your Visa bill.

  3. Welcome home. No, really.

    Kylie's comment is a total crack up. I'm actually sitting in a briefing session at our ad agency right at this moment. Obviously it's not riveting stuff. I was blogging a bit to relieve boredom, but now I'm tempted to whip down my daks and say 'do I like your brief? THAT'S what I think of your brief. Any questions?'


  4. Our kids basically rip the giftbags we are holding out of our hands when we come through the arrival gates.  I envisage a beautiful reunion, they are just after the goods.  Little ingrates.  

    I kinda wish one of my kids would hold a grudge that we went away without them.  

    Funny stuff and oh wow, my hair look s amazing - Thanks!

  5. Just for being a neglectful parent, next time you go away, you should put the kids in first/business class, while you and The Architect, ride in economy. All your guilt feelings, will magically disappear......

  6. To have grandparents you can leave your kids with! If my parents were here, we'd be going on a holiday on our own too!

  7. Your Valium is in the mail!  I suspect Boo is wise beyond her years & there may be a few more weeks of this left.  I'll put some more Valium in in the mail. 

  8. I haven't even gone anywhere and my Miss 3 punishes me daily!

  9. That is hysterical, Kylie. I'm actually in a briefing right this minute and I'm tempted to drop my daks, do a number and say 'THAT's what I think of your brief. Any questions?"

    Oh to be a toddler. 

    Welcome home indeed, Kerrie. x

  10. Oh , it should be a hard time to travel without kids - I have one  baby - one year old , and I have never left her till now... But if I have to - just do not know how I will do it!

  11. I think I should revisit this blog in about 6 weeks and then actually comment. At that point I will be able to tell you if dealing with the punishment for leaving them behind is as bad, better than or worse than taking them with you.

    Comment is therefore, pending...


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