Sunday, April 12, 2009

Day which mothers try to buy their kids new shoes

I dreamed.  My parents invite me to join them on a cruise to Tasmania. I have two hours to make my decision and get on the boat. My dad warns me that the captain might be mad at him for trying to bring on a last minute passenger. I decide I don't want to chance it.

In the morning, Jack's ears were fine. It ended up that they had just been tickling him a bit not actually hurting.

I was thankful for that!

I thought Tracey and her family would sleep in that morning. They had gotten in late at night. But they ended up waking up pretty early.

We waited for Tyrone to pick up Alex at the airport. Then we met them all over at Hyde Park near their hotel.

It was so nice to see all of them.

It felt good to be back together again.

We all walked to Paddy's Market. I don't remember much of that.

We met Alex for the first time. He's a remarkable teenager and reminds me a lot of Tim....very charming. We all grew to adore him just as we adored the rest of the family.

At Paddy's Market, Molly and Alex went upstairs to shop at the factory warehouses. The rest of us wandered around rather aimlessly.

I remember Tim and Tracey bought matching backpacks.

I bought t-shirts for my new nephew.

I worried we'd lose one of the kids.

After awhile, I started getting bored. I usually can't shop for too long. So, I do the old trick I've done since Jack was born. I assume he must be getting bored and talk about how we should leave soon. He really might have been bored. I don't know.

I suggested that some of us grown-ups take Tara and Jack to the playground. Then I guess someone decided all the grown-ups should go. Molly and Alex could meet up with us later.

We went to Tumbalong Park. The kids played. We sat and talked. I think it was hot, and maybe we were uncomfortable.

Jack fell down at some point. I don't remember it much, but he does. I actually thought it was Tara who fell. Maybe they both did. Jack says she fell down at another point, but he can't remember when. Why do our kids keep falling?

Then we went back to the market to find Molly and Alex.

My mind is blank here. Tracey is going to have to fill things in for me.

Tim and I had suggested we eat at the nearby food market that we had gone to with the homeschooling people. There was a miscommunication. Tracey and her family thought we wanted to eat at the food court above Paddy's Market. Tim and I decided not to be picky. We followed them.

And I ended up loving this food court even more. It's awesome! First of all, I think there's more variety in terms of food. They have choices that aren't Asian. Well, I actually DID eat Asian, but I liked knowing there were alternatives in case I wanted something different. Jack got one of the alternatives. He had chicken nuggets with chips.

Most of us had soup from Mr. Ramen. Well, I think four of us did. There's eight all together, so that's half. Okay, well....I guess that's not most.

Jack and I got pearl tea—green apple flavor for him and Taro flavor for me.

The food court is really great because they don't use disposable dishes. Everything is real and washable. This is a nice change from our local food court at Hulen Mall. Not only is everything disposable, but a lot of it is Styrofoam as well. I hate eating there.

While we ate, we talked about what we wanted to do that evening. There was talk of Bondi Beach. I think Tyrone wanted to eat a fried Mars bar or something. I guess they have those at Bondi? And the teens definitely wanted to go there. I wasn't keen on going, so I suggested Manly instead. Tracey was onboard with my idea. We used our magical womanly powers to convince the others to do what we wanted.

After lunch, we were gonna head back to our hotel/apartment, but there was a problem. Tara's shoes were in distress. They could no longer be worn. Well, I guess she could have worn them, but she couldn't exactly walk in them. We needed new ones. We figured....No worries. We'll find them at Paddy's Market.

It turns out Paddy's Market doesn't have kid shoes--or at least we didn't see them. It was decided that Tyrone could just carry Tara. She's petite. He's strong. It would work. Plus, she had other shoes back in the hotel. As soon as they got back, all would be well.

Either at this point or before lunch, Tracey went to look for Molly and Alex who were shopping. We stood outside and listened to a guy play music with bottles. Well, at least I think it was bottles. I kind of forget. There was also a man trying to get money by putting sunglasses on his dog.

I don't remember the walk back to the hotel and apartment. I hope Tracey does.

We don't have any photographs to help me with this.

I do remember that we stopped at their hotel to get the clothes we had left at their house. We were very excited and thankful that they had brought them. Then we went back to our apartment to get changed. We planned to meet them at the train station a little later.

I don't remember much here. I changed into shorts, not a swimming suit. I had decided I was sick of swimming in the ocean. I didn't want to deal with it again. I figured I'd just stick my feet in if desired.

I don't remember the walk to the train station or the train ride.

I remember the ferry a little.

Molly talked about being seasick.

Tyrone saw me reading and said I look like a commuter. I felt all I lived in Australia or something. But I also felt a little guilty; burying myself in my book instead of enjoying all the sights outside. Already I was taking the Opera House for granted. What the hell had happened to me?

When we were exiting the ferry, we had another shoe issue. This time it was Jack's. The strap on his beloved Crocs had broken.

Let me back up about fourteen months. Back in 2007, we had gone to Manly and Jack had worn these exact same Crocs. They were fairly new back then.

And they broke. I forgot exactly what happened, but it involved the strap somehow. I hadn't been too happy. The shoes were too expensive and new to break. With the way they were broken, though, we could kind of temporarily fix it. I think? I kind of remember it breaking, us fixing it, it breaking again, us fixing it..... You get the picture?

At one point, things seemed pretty bad and we talked about needing super glue. I don't remember if we ever bought the glue or if I managed to fix it some other way. But I think the miraculous fixing happened in Manly. Or maybe the breaking happened there. I kind of remember being at Coles when it broke. Maybe both the breaking AND the fixing happened in Manly.

Does it matter? Probably not.

I just think it's ironic that we're back in Manly, and the shoes break again. It's funny, because I had thought we had lost the shoes back then. I thought they had failed us. But they survived. I kept thinking Jack's feet would grow and we'd have to retire them. I brought him to the mall multiple times, ready to buy him new shoes only to end up saying. Sorry Jack. They still fit. Maybe next time.
On top of all this, I just had the conversation yesterday with my cousin about the shoes. So much irony!

This time unfortunately the strap seemed to be broken in a way that didn't seem easy to fix. You can wear Crocs without the strap. It's possible and this is what Tim wanted Jack to do. He wanted Jack to accept the shoes as is, and we'd get him new ones later. I didn't think this would work. Jack's not used to wearing Crocs that way.

Jack didn't like Tim's idea. He hated it. He also didn't like the idea of getting new shoes. He wanted his old shoes. I guess he had become very attached to those things. He cried. He wanted to keep them. With work, I managed to convince him that those shoes were old and gross. It was time to say good-bye. But he COULD keep his Jibbitz. I think that's what had worried him the most.

While the others went to the beach, Jack and I went shoe shopping. We had to search a bit before finding a place. Jack picked out red Crocs. We threw the old ones away.

By now he was okay with the change. We walked to the beach and found the others.

Tim, Molly, and Alex were in the water with the body board. I was glad to see that thing being put to good use.

I think Tara was building a sandcastle....maybe?

I kind of remember Tracey being in the shallow water. I think she was looking out for Molly and Alex, probably making sure they weren't being used as shark dinner.

Tyrone was sitting on the beach mat. I talked to him for awhile. Then Tracey came back and I talked to both of them.

There were Blue Bottles and even a sign now with a stinger warning. Jack had no interest in going in the water. I think at one point, Tim tried to convince him it was safe. I should have just put my foot down and said no. I think instead I left it up to Jack. Then again, what am I saying? He didn't want to go in so why would I need to use my parental authority?  If he had wanted to go, I probably would have forbid it and yelled at my husband.

I went in a little; I think just to get some water for the sandcastle. I think maybe I saw a blue bottle in the water. I'm not sure.

Later when we were trying to wash all the sand off of Tara, Tim told me she had almost been stung. He and some other man had seen a blue bottle right next to her. They had grabbed her just in time. I think at this point, Tim had finally been convinced that maybe Jack had been right. Maybe the blue bottles truly were a threat.

I think by now I was feeling guilty about pushing the Manly idea. One of the arguments I had used was that Bondi was too crowded. Well, guess what? Manly was crowded too. It wasn't exactly pleasant.

We were together with people we loved, though. That's what's important.

We tried to figure out what to do for dinner. We were all tired. We probably all looked like zombies. I kind of felt like one. So, should we eat in Manly or go home back into the city and eat? We decided to go back in the city.

We decided we would get ice-cream in Manly, though. Tracey had her eyes on something that wasn't Royal Copenhagen. Tim, Jack, and I were up for a change.

I forgot the name of the place. Maybe Tracey will remember.

I don't remember what kind of ice-cream I got.

All I remember is Jack got rhubarb. I think Molly was impressed with his choice.

Tyrone got the bright yellow-orange Mango. He told Jack it was pumpkin. The joke was supposed to be oh gross! Vegetable ice-cream?! But the joke was on the Australians, because we Americans actually do eat pumpkin ice-cream. I wish I had taken a photograph of the expression on their faces. And yeah. I also wish I hadn't lost the camera so I'd still have that photograph.

It was funny.

In America, pumpkin is more of a dessert food and it's usually very seasonal. We have it in Autumn around Halloween and Thanksgiving. The main event is pumpkin pie. But we also have pumpkin ice-cream, pumpkin shakes, and pumpkin bread. The one savory dish we have is pumpkin soup. Oh! And we even have pumpkin beer sometimes. Do they have that in Australia?

Anyway, we ate our ice-cream on the way to the ferry. I think? How did Jack manage to walk and eat at the same time? Maybe we sat for awhile? I'm lost. Maybe Tracey will remember. (Am I saying that a lot?)

We went into the ferry terminal and waited.

I must mention here that Alex was awesome and held the body board almost the whole time. That was very helpful of him.

Back to the ferry.....

Suddenly, there was a strange announcement. They said the next ferry was canceled.

Oh well.

That sucks.

We sat there looking annoying and disappointed.

Then they told us to get out of the ferry terminal.

How annoying. I figured it was so kind of bureaucratic bullshit.

We started to exit.

There were police there and they were rushing us out.

It seemed we were in the midst of an emergency.

I remembered that disaster show we had watched in Seven Mile Beach. This inspired me to act fast. I rushed Jack out of there.

Maybe there weren't police? Maybe it was just the people who work for the ferry. I don't know. Somehow we found out that there was a bomb threat. I figured it was probably a false alarm, but I still was a little scared.

Tyrone was missing. Tracey was scared and frantic. She rushed in after husband. Then Tim rushed in after both of them. I was with all the kids feeling a bit like Fraulein Maria.

Before I could worry too much about what would happen if they all died, Tim, Tyrone, and Tracey came out.

I was thinking if it had been Tim missing, I wouldn't have gone in after him. I would have waited for him to come out and then yelled at him for being so irresponsible. But then Tyrone said the reason he had still been in there was he was looking for Tracey. Incredibly romantic on both ends here. She goes in to rescue her husband and all along he was looking for her.

Jack figured out something was happening. He kept asking questions, and I answered him honestly. I tried to do my best to not scare him. I said there was a bomb threat, but these things happen a lot and usually there's no bomb.

There was no bomb. This was figured out by the authorities very quickly. The next ferry was ready to go quite soon. Unfortunately, we didn't get the memo. We waited outside wondering if we should change our dinner plans.

Finally, we realized the ferry was back open and we headed home.

The men all went to get Indian food.

Tracey went with Molly to get her and Tara some fast food.

I stayed with Tara and Jack. They played with Jack's little toy animals.

We ate dinner and then everything went down hill from there.

I won't go into details, because it's embarrassing and not a memory I want to describe.

I'll just say it involves one of my phobias and a fight with Tim.

Jack got upset to see us fighting. Plus I think he was traumatized from the ferry situation and sad about his shoes.

He eventually fell asleep. Tim soon followed.

I was up most of the night feeling really awful. You know how some people have delusions of grandeur? I'm one of those people. But also....every so often I have delusions of complete shittiness. I get in these moods where I decide I'm worthless, should never have been born, do not deserve to be a mother, etc.

I decided no one likes me. They all just love Tim, and I'm the crap that comes with the package.

I cried myself to sleep. And I didn't sleep much....maybe four hours at most.

It was a bad night.

I had a feeling tomorrow would be even worst. I'm worthless as it is. With only four hours of sleep, I'd probably be super duper worthless.


  1. What a dream, fried mars bars and all but what happened to the Tim Tams?

  2. I am a bloke, so I don't cry myself to sleep over relationship problems. But relationship problems certainly make sure I am not just someone who writes, but a real person with real people in my life. It ain't easy at times. Did you mention in the last post that Tim wanted to go home and to work? Better that he spoke up earlier about how long the holiday to Australia was going to be. Do it with good grace or don't do it at all. Hungry now, and there is some cold roast potato and pumpkin in the fridge.

  3. Blue bottles are a bastard and you won't get me near the water if there is a sign up warning of them. They have great long tails that can be metres away from the main body and it's the tails that tangle around you and sting you.

    I also won't eat a friend mars bar - though my bro got many requests for them from customers when he owned a fish and chips shop lol

    I hope the worthless feelings passed quickly

  4. Judy: lol. I think I've confused you. The Fried Mars bar wasn't part of the dream. I might be wrong, but I remember us talking about Bondi and our friend mentioning we can get fried Mars bars there.

    Andrew: Hey, blokes can still cry over relationship problems!
    The thing about Tim wanting to go home was a dream. He was happy with taking the 4-5 weeks off. But NEXT time he feels, he will have to return to work early. He won't have the luxury of taking a full month off.

    I feel I'm confusing people with my dreams. Maybe I need to put the dreams in bold or italics.

    It reminds me of what happened with my BIL. He mentioned reading my blog and said something about me not always telling the truth. I obviously lie sometimes. I said NO! I'm always honest on my blog. If I'm not sure about something that happened, I'll say something like "Maybe this..." or "I think...." I never purposely present fiction as fact. I have very strong feelings about being honest.

    He looked at me with skepticism. Then said what about that whole thing with the scam artist? I had no idea what he was talking about. Then I finally realized he was talking about a dream I wrote about.

    Mistress B: Thanks. The feelings did pass quickly.

    Yeah. I think the blue bottles should definitely be avoided.

    I haven't had a fried candy bar yet. Maybe one day ; )

  5. Just discovered your blog. I live in Sydney, recently moved down from Queensland, and have to say I have never heard of pumpkin beer!

    Can we swap places - I want to become an America citizen so I can ... wait for it.... work at the IRS. I'm slightly obsessed with tax law....

  6. Another,


    And I thought I had crazy obsessions! Tax law????

    No, actually that's pretty cool : )

    How did you get interested in that?

    I really wish there was a trade-places visa! I think there should be.

  7. Funny dream :-) You probably didn't get on because you knew in reality we were in Sydney and didn't need to go to Tasmania!

    The walk to Paddys Market was filled with us all talking and talking (umm..well really the whole time was spent with us all talking and talking!!) It did feel great to be back together again. I have to include here something signficant for our family (did I mention this before I have no idea?). Alex (my step son) and I do not get along. At ALL. But here in Sydney with Dina, Tim and Jack I was so happy and so relaxed I just went with the flow and Alex and I got along really really well. The best we ever had in ten years. I really credit Dina, Tim and Jack for that. Seriously it made our family so happy that we could bond not only with others but once again with ourselves. Anyhoo.. Another shoe story. Remember Molly being obsessed with wanting to buy her shoes??? We stopped at a trendy sports shoe place at World Square on the way so she could price them.

    Yeah, I didn't think much of Paddys Markets. I am spoilt I guess and think that the Vic Markets in Melbourne are much better. I also wasn't really in the mood for shopping. I just wanted us time with Dina. I was a bit nervous to leave the big kids behind but I also knew that they were ok and wouldn't leave the shopping place. After we got back there to pick them up I just remember trying to find them. I didn't realise that there was confusion over where to eat, sorry. That Ramen soup place was delicious and Tim had Korean and Tyrone had ummm..I think Indian?

    The walk back was when you and I talked (perhaps when you say you don't could just say we talked because sure enough that is what we did!!). I remember talking about Alex and all of his problems with you.

    The ferry. I was so annoyed that Tara didn't want to go and see the bridge and Opera House..she wanted to act like a Sydneysider who had seen it all before!! lol. I love that ferry ride. It's my favourite in all of Sydney and one of my favourite things to do.

    I remember being extremely tired and worn out by the time we all went to hop back on the ferry. I remember wanting someone else to make a decision about dinner because I was tired. And then the bomb scare! I was so panicked. I knew Tara was safe with you but I had to find Tyrone. I didn't even think twice about it really.

    More shoe related business: Molly saw the bomb scare as the perfect opportunity to do some shopping whilst we were in Manly waiting to find out how the hell we'd get back again. She had seen the same shop as the one at World Square and wanted to price her shoes again and see if they had any different ones. She ummed and ahhed over it all. I think she even went back twice. I was getting extremely annoyed with her. But she is nearly 16 and for her (from a small town) Sydney was all about shopping. I had to make allowances for that I guess.

    The Indian dinner was lovely and I won't talk about the end either only to say that I love you so much and accept you for who you are as you do to me.

  8. Tracey,

    Holy shit! I forgot about Molly and her shoes! What was the deal with our kids and shoes? I didn't even connect Tara's and Jack's shoes until very recently. I think there must be something symbolic there--all our kids needing/wanting new shoes.

    It was a very special weekend. I think the thing with you and Alex was a lot like Tim and me. I think you said it very well. "Seriously it made our family so happy that we could bond not only with others but once again with ourselves." That's EXACTLY how we feel.

    I don't blame Molly for wanting to shop. I used to feel that way about food when visiting big cities.

    I love you so much too!!