....on discovering fat-free blueberry muffins (with moisture and taste) at my local supermarket!
Sad, isn't it, what I've become in my lateish thirties? To get so excited at discovering that an overgrown cup cake called a 'muffin' is fat-free, when really I should be leaving it for childrens' birthday parties and eating porridge for breakfast like a grownup.
It gets worse. Today I weeded our entire front garden and actually enjoyed doing it. The little orange dog was sniffing around me as I softly sung under my breath and surveyed my handiwork. Unlike the Annette Bening character in 'American Beauty', I was not colour-coordinated (in fact I was downright filthy) but I didn't care. My floppy sun hat would not have featured in any fashion magazine but that didn't matter - I was protected from sun burn and was sensibly dressed. Eeeek - what would my former 18 year old self have thought if she'd known that, at nearly 37, I'd be a) gardening; b) in unfashionably daggy clothing; and c) enjoying myself?
A quick survey of some of the other mums at school pick up today was comforting in the fact that I was not the only one to find pleasure from inexplicably dull things. Tori told me her husband took advantage of the rain on Sunday to stay indoors and clean the bathroom. Really clean it - he removed the showerhead and scraped out the gunk, got rid of two years' of ceiling mould, stripped the screen back to clear glass and scrubbed every single tile and strip of grouting. It took him the entire day, but it was worth it, Vicki thought, because the bathroom was gleaming. "He was stuffed afterwards but I shagged him senseless that night anyway," she laughed.
Joanne had recently held a wine night with 'no bloody kids' written on the invitation. As a mother of three, she'd long given up the idea of either staying up late or risk having a hangover. Because, as we all know, kids have inbuilt sonars and somehow choose to wake up at the inhumane time of 5am like overly-caffeinated oompah loompahs, screaming "Mum you promised me you'd set up the marble run today - let's do it NOW!"
Their wine night went smoothly and quite late so when Joanne got up the next morning she was not looking forward to cleaning up the mess. She discovered however, that there was no mess to clean up. "Ah yes, you're party guests are all parents now, so we all know what it's like," I commented. "Absolutely," she replied, "The dishwasher was stacked with glasses, the leftover food put in the bin and the bottles were already out with the recycling. It made me smile for the entire day." If it had been an eighteenth birthday party, she would have woken up at 3pm to find cigarettes butted out on the carpet, guacamole on the walls, smashed bottles in the garden, a blinking hazard light in the lounge room and a passed out stranger in the carport.
Mary, on the other hand, got her jollies from the installation of her new sink and plug. She and Anthony had been living in the house during a major renovation and for the past few months had been using their old sink with a bucket underneath. "I can't describe how happy we were to empty the bucket for the last time and to see a gleaming silver sink actually connected to the plumbing. Wait, there was more. "We're getting the smeg oven in today, so I'm hoping to slide in a pizza to give it a test run - maybe even bake a cake on the weekend - Woo hoo!"
Speaking of food, Sandy commented that we're now at the age where we no longer giggle and talk about sex but instead do it about food. Constantly. As three of us sat on the benches watching our six year olds in their after-school swimming lesson, we realised she was right. Every single time we'd been there we'd each asked each other what we were cooking for dinner that night!
Love Chunks and I saw Kent's new leaf-blower and were very impressed. "Hmm, it would sure be easier than having to sweep up the back pavers all the time, wouldn't it?" said a very interested Love Chunks, who then spent his birthday money on a similar model. So this is the age we're at, when:
- leaf blowers impress us more than i-pods (who's got the time to download and burn and label all those songs);
- having a drawer full of clean, line-dried underwear is more thrilling than seeing the boy next door in his underwear;
- sleeping in beyond 6am is a luxury worth having rather than arriving home from a night out at 6am;
- we look at a luxurious bed and don't think "Where's a naked Mel Gibson when I need one' but instead think "Oooh, to have some sleeeeep" and
- you have the smug the joy of knowing that you are in a position to spend more money on clothes than you would have dreamed of in your teenage years yet choose to spend it on your child and home.
Small thrills yet important ones. Seeing a drawing of me by Sapphire is thanks enough, for, in her eyes, I'm tall, slim, glamorous, trendy and beautiful. Let's make the most of this stage before she becomes ashamed to be seen with me.