Five a day

Saturday morning, and the alarm goes and you turn it off and you think life is beautiful because everyone is still asleep. The baby is a bit sick but is not making the hacking cough sound, and the children are silent. So you have about 15 minutes. And you wait.

Then, all of the children not contained by barred cots and an inability to walk more than six steps come in and start wailing that they have broken their curtains “to the wooden line bit”. It turns out to be irritatingly accurate. They have been swinging from bunk top to the floor, through the medium of velour curtains. The landlord’s velour curtains. The little curtain hooks are not just bent, but broken in half. I go in, and do a bit of a rant, and as my eyes scan the room for more evidence of their badness, I see this:

THAT is last week’s Tom Ford broken lipstick drawing. All over the mattress – not just the wall, as previously thought. It is, apparently, a kind of map. A kind of DELINQUENT’S MAP. Delinquents who show no respect for pigment-rich, vanilla-scented, luxurious makeup items which when used correctly, turn you into a Stylish Lady who can rise above the domestic horrors of motherhood. No. Respect. At. All.

This discovery led me on an angry-faced photographic exploration in order to document other bits of boy badness. Behold:

This is a little mural above Noah’s bed. And this:

A bit of doorframe tomfoolery. And this:

Doorknob enhancement. And this:

Sticker Vandalry. More:

Hallway felt-tip wickedness.

And on, and on, to INFINITY. Or, at least quite a few more spots on the walls, carpet (arrows, drawn in felt tip pen, pointing towards the Tom Ford lipstick map, no less), and on the marble fireplace.

My kids. They are AWESOME.

Anyway, onto Other Bad Bits That Happened This Week:

The parent council meeting was a dreadfully misguided and as dreadfully long as I feared. There were about 10 of us, a few ratty children, a cold, lightless room, pamphlets on the Church Street Lights switch-on-thing, and a man talking for an hour on how the budget affects us all. I know I should be in tune with that kind of thing, but, well, I came late to avoid his talk. Unfortunately, I thought I would also miss the next speaker, who was the school nurse, talking about Healthy Eating. I figured that:

a) the parents who bother to come (and who can…these things are not scheduled terribly well for the working parents) to the parent council meeting probably have a fairly good understanding of what to feed their kids (preaching to the converted and all that), and

b) if the parents who were hearing this talk were clueless, then it was probably too late to change them and their free-sugar-flowing ways.

Anyway, I turned up very late, hoping just to be there for the talk about fundraising and school play costumes and traffic and stuff like that but walked in just as Benefits Man was finishing up. And so the school nurse stood up, and got us to play calorie-counting games, and asked quizzed the antipodeans over what we put into the kids packed lunches, and proceeded to counsel us on the Dangers Of The Common-Or-Garden-Variety-Packed Lunch (namely, that the kids will only eat the sandwiches their mothers make. They will NEVER TRY ANOTHER PERSON’S SANDWICH AGAIN!). We had a little discussion over the crafty ways you can sneak vegetables into your kids meals. We were schooled in the hidden calories in coleslaw, and were reminded of our 5 a day. (Astonishingly, an Australian lawyer-mother thought that you were supposed to have 5 of all of the food groups a day. Ah, nooooooo….). And I went a little bit mental inside, with the barely-restrained rage chorusing through my veins. And we had 4 minutes to discuss the Actual Proper Issues. One of which was the International Foods Lunch Day Thing.

Ah, the International Foods Lunch Day Thing. This is a lovely idea, in practice, where all the (non-working) parents turn up at school in the last week before it breaks for Christmas, bringing with us something traditional (main meal, NOT DESSERT because of the sugar-filth) from our homelands. Imagine! We can all go and make kibbeh and butterfried chicken and plantain and gravlax and pizza and sushi rolls. But what, pray tell, does a New Zealand family bring along?

Hangi? No, because that would involve a lot of burning stones and digging. Health & Safety would be very anxious.

Sausage rolls? No, because 70% of the kids and parents are muslim. Big cultural fail.

Roast lamb? No, because it would be difficult to transport in a skanky double buggy along the A40.

Paua fritters? No. No paua anywhere in this cold, wet hemisphere.

So, I am at a loss. Anyone, anywhere….what do New Zealanders eat?

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14 Responses to Five a day

  1. Anya says:

    Bacon and egg pie? That’s all I can some up with sorry.

    Think of the vandalism as little artists in the making.xx

  2. PaisleyJade says:

    Your boys are so naughty and cute!! How about making some possum pie or white bait fritters? haha – feeling for you. Check this out:

  3. Cath says:

    I too say fritters. Little mini ones. Make them with corn and courgette and say they are ‘pretend’ whitebait fritters. Failing that, do sausages in bread. Yours will be the only one all gone.

  4. Sarah Clayton says:

    Mini (beef) mince and cheese pies. Yuuummmmmmy.

    Loving the artful vandalism. Looks like 2 colours of Tom Ford lipstick were involved in the mattress art. They will be tagging the streets of Bayswater in no time. Charlotte is my little vandal but it generally involves crayons or ink stamps and walls – not makeup – she knows the correct usage of lipstick even at the young age of 2.5 years.

  5. Alison says:

    Fairy Bread!! Failing that, marmite sandwiches.


  6. I am guessing that whitebait fritters are also out due to unavailability of whitebait? The problem with just about everything we think of as “Kiwi”, we get from the UK really – Marmite sammies, fish’n’chips, sausage rolls, roasts, bacon and egg pie, etc etc. Of course, hangi food is the exception. But you can’t do that, as you say.
    I think mince pies might be the go. Use lamb mince if beef mince is not PC enough. Little ones. You could do potato-top ones, perhaps. They are so easy, especially if you buy ready-made pastry. Do it!!

  7. Crocheted Fedora says:

    Screw the No Dessert policy. Dessert is what we do. PINK LAMINGTONS!

  8. Amber says:

    go for the easy option: vegemite sarnies (only make them with marmite and use Nigella’s nifty idea of food processing the butter and marmite together for spreadability) . Then, the piece de resistance (sp?) provide salt and vinegar chips for the kids to stuff inside – behold a kiwi feast.
    Shame about the deserts cause pav would go down a treat. What happened to all things in moderation?

  9. I’ve got it! Do something with kumara. They have sweet potato in UK supermarkets, right? Do roast kumara served with kiwifruit chutney, or kumara wedges served with tomato sauce. Hell, there ain’t nothing more Kiwi than that!
    P.S. Next year, tell them that sweet things MUST be an option – how else are you ever going to roll out pavlova, afghan biscuits, hokey pokey biscuits, feijoa loaf, or super-easy Anzac biscuits?

  10. Alison Cross says:

    Hmmm – can’t really help here, Harridan – FERN cakes? Not made out of actual ferns, but with a fern decoration in the icing. Tis part of your national symbolism. Or something.

    This led me to wonder what we Scots could contribute to such a day if I was a mother at your school…..Haggis? Porridge? Deep Fried Mars Bar? Irn Bru?

    I just pray that our local school never hears about International Foods Lunch.

    love the wall art. Nothing that a spot of emulsion can’t fix. Well, not the mattress obviously.

    Ali x

  11. Merann says:

    Ha ha! you walls look like mine did in all the units that we rented. It wasn’t until we started living in our own home that it became boring to express art on the walls. Now the girls express theirselves in other was such as sticking chewing gum to the carpet/lounge/furniture and leaving rubbish everywhere….

  12. Jaywalker says:

    This post, and your comment on my blog, fill me with comfort (well, sadness for your ruined lipstick too). You are the only one who Tells It Like It Is.


  13. Heather (Wellington) says:

    How about cheese and vegemite sandwiches? Sorry I can’t stand Marmite (even though I’ve spent all my life in NZ) – too sweet and gluey! But Vegemite is just right for these sandwiches. Would they mind fruit (not really dessert, as part of the 5 a day thing)? Although kiwifruit may well be prohibitively expensive where you are…?

  14. theharridan says:

    Thanks all of you lovely cooking geniuses. I have figured out the most brilliant idea, with help from Fiona from remuera. It is such a good idea, you might FREAK OUT.
    Beef sausages
    Buttered white bread
    Tomato sauce
    Call it a barbecue!

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