You and me

There’s you
and then there’s me
we stand on opposite sides
and see what we see.

There’s you
and then there’s me
we stand on opposite sides
and see what we see.

I see flowers
where you see weeds

You fear wasps
when I cherish bees

I listen to music
and you hear noise

You see rubbish
I see potential elaborate and interesting toys.

You feel anger
but I, I feel pain

I see helplessness
but you? You see shame!

You feel hatred
when I, I just feel sad

I am disappointed, lost and lonely
and you? Are you glad?

There’s you
and then there’s me
we stand on opposite sides
and see what we see.

There’s you
and then there’s me
we stand on opposite sides
and see whatever it is we see.


Time for some w(h)ine(ing)

I really, really need to have a grump.

I thought about popping into that Thai massage parlour I am driving past on a daily basis at the moment. It has an anti-stress massage advertisement in the window: Head, neck and shoulders for just 29€.

The place looks a little seedy. And I felt kind of concerned in case I was offered more than I bargained for. But my husband has assured me, here, in Germany, the brothels are well signposted, flashing their red love hearts all over town.

Of course, I’ve seen them.

As have the children who were mightily disappointed when I told them it’s a place you go to pay for sex not some romantic place of lurve.

And 29€ may be a special offer, but it’s still 29€ and WordPress, on the other hand, is free.

Plus, in the last couple of weeks I’ve spent enough money to finance a luxury cruise.

For two.

Dear Husband,

If we didn’t have kids we really could be floating off right now… Instead of buying new shoes, coughing up for haircuts, bankrolling the replacement of a full forest worth of necessary books, splashing out on bus passes, not to mention the half a weeks wages we had to invest on a pair of children’s glasses…

Dear Mr Optician,

I did not appreciate you trying to guilt trip me into buying a second pair of glasses for my child. I definitely did not appreciate you telling my daughter her current glasses are old-fashioned and need to be replaced. Are you trying to knock her self-esteem? She likes her glasses. She does not want to change them. She only needs a replacement lens. And you made more than enough money out of that, charging me 41€ for the privilege. Your glasses are well-over-priced. I have British TV and I happen to know that Boots are selling two pairs for £79. You wouldn’t even give me half a pair for that! Anyway, today I found a cheaper optician than you in the shopping centre. So stick that in your pipe…

Dear Baker at the Department Store,

I am very sorry that my four-year-old stole half of your cream cake with her hair. I hope I didn’t offend you, helping myself to your serviettes, but really, the cream was weighing her head down. And I couldn’t let her walk around like that. She already had chocolate smeared all over her face…

Dear Arrogant Chemist Bitch Woman,

I know that you said you would call me when the prescription was ready. I know because the prescription was urgent, and as I told you, it’s bad enough having had to drive back and forth to the hospital every day for the past ten weeks without having to drive back and forth to your bloody chemist too…

Dear New Teacher,

In his defence, I do think my son’s intentions were good, picking up that little kid by his coat. While he was dangling him, my son just wanted to let him know that it’s not nice to hit other kids. Unfortunately the little shit the youngster did not seem to comprehend as he just ran off and thumped someone else…

Dear Dust,

Please pay rent!!

Dear Family,

My son has been back and forward to the hospital every day (bar weekends) for the past ten weeks and not one of you has called to see how he is…

Dear Bloggers,

I am sorry, I am very behind on my reading. I’ve been so busy running backwards and forwards, scowling at discussing the merits of good service with chemists, cleaning up vomit, therapizing pubescent teens, running around shopping centres begging for ice to inhibit a black eye, explaining the black eye, complaining about the cost of books, guestimating the weather, badly – sweating in excessive clothing, or shivering in short sleeves, blocking toilets…

Dear Toilet Cleaner,

I am a little bit sorry that my daughter and I ran off leaving the loo in that state. We went with the ‘save water – share a flush’ plan. And it backfired. Miserably. We didn’t stuff the loo with anything untoward. Honestly. OK, we did, perhaps, I suspect, I confess, use more than the average amount of toilet tissue. What with periods and poos. And several wipes of the seat on the loo. I am normally a responsible parent. That time the little one removed all the price tags in the cheese section of the supermarket’s fridge, I handed them right over to the unsuspecting assistant, did an about turn and left her to get on with her job.
No, I did not leave you a tip, but to be honest, your services weren’t really fully-functioning, were they?

Dear Sore Throat, Migraine and Period,

Kindly, piss off…

Dear Santa,

I thought I’d get my list in early this year. I’ve tried to be good. Honest.

With optimism:

  • 1 – 2 Weekends away with husband but without children
  • 1 x Reasonably large Unreasonably large lottery win
  • 1 x New, improved memory
  • 1 x Large dose of patience
  • 1 x Small, painless op to remove all traces of menstruation
  • 1 x 5 x Extra hours in the day
  • Wine, a lot of wine

And I know I’m pushing it, but

  • 1 x unripped sofa

Dear Psychiatrist,

Tuesday? 9am?

I am not always good

Yesterday, I found myself shocked.

In disbelief.

I needed a few bits from the supermarket. (How can ‘a few bits’ come to 54 Euro’s?) We pulled up at one on the way home and, as usual, four-year-old Akasha needed to nip to the loo. (Perhaps you can feel my exasperation, we hadn’t even grabbed a trolley yet.)

I found the toilet door in record time (I am becoming a pro).

I saw a notice on the door, but I ignored it, (being in German and that requiring effort on my part, and it being evening and me trying to remember which few bits were actually required). I pulled on the door but it didn’t open, leaving me looking like a complete fool person with an enquiring mind.

I read the note. OK, if I’m honest, I picked out the most important looking words and got the gist that I had to go to the cashier and ask for the key.

We walked, well, I walked normally and the little one did a John Cleese impression in an attempt at holding together her four-year-old bladder.

Feeling some urgency tugging at my arm, I interrupted the checkout assistant and asked her politely for the key. She informed me that I would need to give her a deposit.

I opened my bag, a little surprised, thinking a Euro should do.

Only to hear her say, “Your car keys or your mobile phone will suffice.”


She repeated her request.

I repeated her request back again. Just to make sure I’d understood. The little one squirmed.

You may or may not be proud of me:

I did not call trading standards.

I did not squeal and laugh hysterically and look for Candid Camera.

I did not start a rational debate on why I should trust her with my phone/contact details/sim card or my car keys when she/her boss evidently, did not trust me with a roll of toilet paper.

I did not ask to see the manager.

I did not give her my keys.

I did not give her my mobile phone.

I did shake my head a lot in disbelief.

I did inform her (and anyone else listening) that I would prefer to shop elsewhere.

I did leave the shop with a husband and four children in tow. One doing some weird-looking yoga positions.

I did whip down the pants of my four-year-old right in front of the shop and ordered her to pee “there, right there.”

And she did let loose onto the stones.

Would you trust your car keys/mobile phone to a stranger in order to use the toilet?

Not the best day I’ve had

I’ve been up half the night. Not because ADHD boy has been turning night into day again. No. Because two kind of weird things happened yesterday.

And they triggered discussions and memories and thoughts that I’m uncomfortable with.

We’re attending a class at the moment, to try to help us deal with Aden’s problems. A group of parents sit together and we listen to a trained advisor and each other.

Yesterday, the advisor (I can’t think of a better word to describe her, I just know she has training and experience and has got to know our kids) asked us about our own upbringing.

She asked if our parents were more authoritative or liberal or a mix.

The question took me aback. I hadn’t expected our own childhoods to be approached at all. And I flapped around thinking what I should say.

Luckily for me, one guy decided that was exactly the right moment to pour his heart out and being on a time schedule, the advisor reeled it in and I escaped the question.

On the one hand I wanted to give the guy a comforting hug but on the other I felt relief that I didn’t have to revisit my past.

Then, at home, the new Facebooker in the family (my second eldest is finally allowed an account) received an angry message from my brother.

I’m presuming that he must be pretty angry, why else would he include this sentence in his message to a 13yo (who had not contacted him at all):

“Unfortunately the bevaviour of your mother and the callousness with which she has treated your nana and grandad, your aunty L and myself means that this situation will never be resolved.”

The ‘situation’ being that we’ve all fallen out.

To be honest, I’m fed up of being depicted as the bad guy.

I am many things: untidy, forgetful, clumsy, sometimes selfish, and emotional. I panic on motorways (even when others are driving) and I think my laugh is too loud. I embarrass myself when I’m drunk. I get really stressed and think about things too much. I forget people’s names (even my own on occasions) and I have a tendency toward obsessive behaviour (though unfortunately not in the cleaning and tidying department). I can also get pretty damn cross.

I am battered. I am worn out. I’ve been abused.

I am the black sheep of the family. I am different. But I am not, I repeat, I am not, callous.

Last night I could not sleep because that’s unfair. To me and to my daughter.

It all has to STOP. Now.

Otherwise, I’ll also be broken.

ADHD and the awful mummy

At this very moment I feel like throwing my dummy out of the cot.

Or crying into a rather large bucket.

Or taking an axe and chopping random things up.

Or just having a really, big, massive, enormous hug. And a schnapps.

Why? It’s homework again. And it’s not working. Despite the increase in Ritalin. Despite breaks. Despite having sat in the same room with him for more than three hours.

The table has been continually head-butted. Tears have streamed. Disturbed scratching has been observed. The throwing and hiding of work materials has taken place. Lying on the table, complaining, scribbling and continuous fidgeting have taken over the afternoon.

I have encouraged, answered questions, offered rewards, called Papa and I have really, really tried to stay calm but in an instant my patience left me and I exploded.

I told him to leave the homework, leave the table, leave the room.

To sit in his room, read a book, do whatever he wants except play on the Wii (as was the agreed reward for actually doing the work set for him).

Now any professional would no doubt tell me I’m doing it all wrong. And I probably am.

I am annoyed. Very annoyed. I am upset. Positively distressed.

If I never saw a piece of homework ever again, it would be too soon.

I hate homework more than that poor kid does.

To be honest, I would happily cut up all of the exercise books and all of the sheets and pop them into an envelope, with a little note:

Dear Teacher,
From this moment on all homework is banned!
Yours tumultuously,

Of course, I’m too compliant to actually do that. More’s the pity. Although, evidently not everyone thinks so. A teacher with whom I found myself in an argument with, recently informed me that my son is, “Let off with far too much!” in her opinion.

Don’t worry. I made it quite clear I don’t give two hoots about her viewpoint.

Some days I feel like I can deal with my sons ADHD reasonably well. Others I just feel like shit.

Shit motivator. Shit educator. Shit negotiator. Shit pacifier.

Today has been one of those other days. Unfortunately.

The light in the deep, dark tunnel is flickering though. He came downstairs and apologised to me. Sat back at the table for around 45 minutes, struggling to keep focus and completed the 8 remaining sums. Of course, he also looked continuously out of the window, babbled like a hyperactive Mr Chatterbox and stabbed himself with a pencil.

But by night-time, his work was complete. And of his own free will.

Well, with a little stimulation from a well-known friend.

Thank you Nintendo for the invention of the Wii.


Mr. Pat Lettermann
Human Resources
Deutsche Post AG
Poststr. 222
12345 Berlin


Dear Mr. Lettermann,

I am writing to apply for the position of part-time Post Person – Indoor Sorting at the Distribution Centre, South Germany. For your perusal I am enclosing details of my previous experience.

The opportunity presented by this position is very interesting to me, and I believe that my keen eye for valuable content will give me the edge at protecting your customers’ precious parcels.

I believe that my dealings with the postal service have already educated me with the inner workings of the centre, thus making me a very competitive candidate for this position.

The key strengths that I possess for success in this position include:

  • I am a quick learner
  • I am able to seize an opportunity when it presents itself
  • Should accidental ripping occur, I am a dab had with a roll of tape

I would not require a high salary, as I’m sure that the job itself will provide ample reward.

I would appreciate you taking the time to read through my enclosed experience.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity.


Sars M

Outraged by the Post

I am really annoyed. Scrap that. I am totally and utterly pissed off.

The reason?

We’ve been robbed.

Or at least my children have.

My son answered the door to the postman who handed him (he’s ten) a small parcel and asked him to sign for it. He did so, then bounded excitedly into the room with the jiffy bag.

I thought it odd on turning over the bag and seeing extra sellotape stuck to the opening. I hoped that somewhere through its travels the original tape had just been damaged and that the contents remained untampered with inside.

My optimistic self rearing her head again.

I opened the bag and found a letter informing me of the EUR 100 for each of my children from their estranged father. Christmas present time finally arrived. Two months late. More than eight weeks of waiting. Remembered at last.

Then: four envelopes each labelled clearly with the name of one of my children. Each torn apart. Each containing its original greetings card. None containing its promised EUR 100.

I felt sick.

I looked again.

I saw their shocked then sad faces.

I wept.

I piled all of the children into the car and spotted the postman. I confronted him with the envelope and expressed quite clearly that a ten-year-old should not sign for a parcel.

He knew nothing of the missing money. Or so he said. I raced on to the post office.

I explained. I showed the ripped envelopes. The one torn card. My twelve-year-old deflatedly wished for a whole card. The one she’d awaited for several months.

They told me it couldn’t have happened in Germany. Because it’s traceable here. I told them I know damn well it happened here because in the last 15 months not one nor two but at least four parcels sent to us, have not arrived. That they all came from different post offices and one was even sent in Germany. They gave me a free telephone number.

I raged all the way home and then took the phone. The customer services assistant had no idea about customer services. My complaint did not fall into her computer categories and therefore could not be dealt with by the German post.



It’s not acceptable to me, I argued. This is not the first time my post has been stolen, I battled. My children are so distressed they could not even eat their lunch, I divulged.

She adapted my complaint to fit her computer.

She noted the torn envelopes. She typed in the details of the ripped card. She recorded the missing EUR 400.

Then she told me money should not be sent in the post.

Why not? Because the German post cannot be trusted?

I asked her to make a note of my other missing parcels but she refused. They have to be reported by the sender and not the receiver.

To inform you: when the sender in Scotland, for example, reports a missing parcel to the Scottish PO, they only start the investigation three months after the post has not turned up. Add to that they cannot investigate in Germany. Even if the parcel is posted recorded delivery, the receiver can do nothing. The sender in the foreign land has to chase it up and they can do nothing here.

So, it seems to me that if you can hook yourself up with a job with the German Post Office then you’re sorted. You can help yourself to whatever you want, if you know where the enormous loopholes are i.e. if it’s a parcel from a foreign land.

I asked the unobliging customer service assistant if I should tell people that they should not send my children birthday and Christmas presents any more, because I couldn’t trust the German post to deliver them.

She told me she could understand how I felt.



My trust is broken. I am sick of the pass the buck, “I can’t take any responsibility” culture in which we live. I am completely fucked off that some people, despite decorations and massive advertisement campaigns don’t actually know when Christmas is. I am distressed by forlorn children’s faces.

I am exhausted.

Is that how she feels?

ADHD, Parenting, Ritalin and the Do-Gooder Brigade

To All It May Concern,

I don’t need your mumbo jumbo.

Last night I received another call from another innocent do-gooder who wanted to tell me how to bring up my ADHD son.

So I decided this morning, I’ll make it official. Put my statement out there into the world.

On behalf of myself, my son, my husband, my other three children and all of the other mothers in my position:

I am not interested. I do not care. So sod off.

And in particular, I am completely turned off by what your neighbour (who has not once met my son), the old woman you met in the chemist (she definitely doesn’t know me), or your mother-in-law’s dead cat has to say on the matter.

  • A blockage in his neck? – Nonsense
  • He’s allergic to something – tried and tested
  • Mineral/vitamin/oil supplements – got the t-shirt
  • He just needs more affection – I am the official cuddle monster, but thanks for the insult
  • Just to make it quite clear I have absolutely no faith in your astrology, numerology, natural remedies, table tennis theory, or back to nature camps
  • And yes, for your information I absolutely do discipline my son, let him watch only a little TV, don’t allow him to play aggressive computer games (he’s rarely on the computer), do send him out to play and have tried to help him through sport.

In the early days of diagnosis, I did indeed try alternative therapies. Concerned about the effects of strong medicine on my son. I consulted different doctors and begged for help.

After much waiting, talking, reading, educating myself and trying and testing, my husband and I decided to try our son on Ritalin.

My son’s life changed.

Our lives changed.


He now hits his head on things (tables/walls etc) as an occasional instance, rather than on a daily basis.

He has not landed in hospital due to an impulsive injury since he started taking the tablets.

He no longer disrupts the class constantly: wandering around, climbing out of windows, sitting under the desk or in the waste paper bin, or fighting.

His concentration is still poor, but his writing is more legible, he can read a book and eat a meal at the table.

He has had no more tics. That is, his body doesn’t jerk, his shoulder doesn’t bounce up and hit him in the face and he doesn’t suddenly jump up at the dinner table then look confused, because he doesn’t know why he’s standing up.

He can sit next to a classmate in school and have friends.

It is also true to say that we have to be extra careful when the medication wears off. He’s still somewhat impulsive and is certainly challenging to bring up.

But the difference is undeniable. Incredible. Amazing. And I am truly thankful.

So Dear Do-gooder, why the fuck, would you call me and tell me Ritalin is a drug, and I should instead try him on X, Y or Z?


Part 2 – Anger

Times up
I’ve had enough
The wait is long
Far too long to stay
In the huff.

It struck me at some point today
That I have played right into your hands
You have all the cards, tight to your chest
And I am left
And distressed.

No more
I say
All loud and clear
You will not have the power
Any more
Mother, dear.

I am not alone
I am not afraid
I stand quite strong
And feel the pain.

I am not a child
I will not be pushed
I will stand all brave
Never to be crushed
By you

Decision time
Has arrived
At last
I’m taking control
Yes, I’m taking it back!

No longer will I sit by the phone
Waiting for that call to come
To apologise for all the destruction
You cause with your life.

You may all leave
All go out the door
But you know what?
Where you were,
There’s more.
I have children see
They love me dear
Because I know
How a mother should not just appear.
But be.

Everything, everything
Is finished
Between you and me.

The anger that has filled me in my breast
Will come out now and do it’s best
It will make me strong
And guide me through
The punishment
You’d have me ensue

I am not bad
I am not evil
I am not your reason to always be sad.
I am not your incarnation of the devil.

I’m sorry that you will never see
The pain and anguish you’ve caused in me
I’m sorry that you’ll never know
The scars and wounds that you have sown
I’m sorry that you happen to be
The mum of me.

I hope that you will be able to let go
And have a happy life
With your family
You know,
The ones you turned against me.
But I doubt
That one so bitter
And warped
Can ever be
Truly happy.
Unlike me.

I see beauty everywhere
You see boredom
I hear laughter
You hear emptiness
I taste wonder
You taste bitterness
I feel love
You feel anger.

Decision time
I have to let you go
Let you be you and me be me.