.....or should this be titled 'Little Bonii' ?
So far this month I've prattled on about the big things - you know, chocolate, dogs and the telly; and now it's time to waste some words on the little things. Life's little bonuses that, as the title suggests, you don't expect.
No, not like that weeping cold sore and cornflake eyes you got on the day of your year eleven class photograph, but nicer, simpler and less scary things.
For instance, last week I dragged out my Target Men's black coat which is the warmest thing I own and is only thisclose to walking around in an oversized blanket but for the fact it has a long snazzy silver zipper down the front. After Milly and I walked Carly to school, I put my hands in the pockets to find a twenty buck note that had obviously been hiding there since last winter. Unless it was placed there earlier that morning, with Love Chunks deciding that he needed to financially thank me for services rendered....
Also last week Good Old Genki started working again. The Genki Treadmill had inexplicably been giving me the exercise equipment's equivalent of the Middle Finger Flick Off when it would stop dead without a second's warning only to restart again after much turning off and on at the powerpoint, swearing, fiddling with the techno Engrish 'PEASE PESS PLAUSE TO MAUNAL START' keyboard clam thingy and begging it, out loud, to behave itself. It was only my stooped posture that enabled me notice exactly when the screen would quickly flash an 'EO EO EO' and switch istelf off so that I could in turn leap off the contraption saving myself a godawful face scrape or being painfully flung into the back wall of the shed via the art-n-craft table and weights bench.
Love Chunks could see that his attempts at trying to convince me that there were other exercises in the world besides running were to no avail and got out his screwdrivers, rubber soled-shoes and hammer (as a last resort, for bashing it to smithereens) to have a tinker. Whatever he did (probably with the hammer and the bashing) worked and the Genkster hasn't let me down since. A nice bonus, seeing as it was bought off the internet by a friend who then gave it to me and we've found out that not one gymnasium, sports shop or equipment repairer or importer in our entire nation has heard of the brand or wants to touch it.
Another little bonus has been the ACME beaters shown above. Jenny and Mimi gave this to us in 1995 as a joke wedding gift. We loved the Road-runner brand name, and wondered if it had the guts to cope with splitting the yoke of a single egg, let alone stick out for twelve months before the warranty expired. To our surprise, ACkers is still kicking on, through more than 13 years of transforming egg whites into merinque, churning through cheesecake fillings, creating quiches and ploughing through pudding mixes. Not bad for a bit of a larf and nine bucks ninety-nine from Cunnos Warehouse.
As some of you know, Sapphire's pester power (and extremely good behaviour) over the space of twelve months eventually got her a rabbit for her ninth birthday whom she named Skipper. I wasn't holding out a lot of hope for him making much of a positive impact on my life - even though he certainly has for Sapph - but, somehow he has. The sneaky little bugg--- I mean bonus.
Bunny beans no longer shoot out of his butt like machine gun fire as he's now secure and relaxed in his new home. He sits up to intently gaze at the TV, endures Milly's 'kisses' (licks to his head and ears), flops out under the coffee table and has a wonderful time running amok in the study whenever its raining. He patiently sits through Sapphire's recorder, guitar and ABBA singing sessions in her bedroom and been quite the socialite on her regular playdates as he's handed from giggling girl to giggling girl.
Sure, he's nibbled the spines of a few books and chomped all the handles off my eco-shopping bags, but it was 'Common Ground' by Malcolm Fraser that was the worst affected (and I never wanted to read it anyway) and I've got more bags than I know what to do with...... He's also lovely to cuddle and snuggles up on my shoulder like a cat would. He's better than a cat though because he doesn't scratch, catch native birds or bother the dog. So yes, he's a bonus.
Other happy surprises have included:
- Getting ten showbags a month early and for free in order to 'road test' them on radio - I was the coolest mother in the world when they arrived home (but didn't feel quite so wonderful a few exhausting hours into a frenetic sugar-high supervised playdate with her friend Selene later);
- Finding one kilograms' worth of peanut butter M&Ms from US army chopper pilot Scott, who felt sorry reading about my pinings for them on chocablog;
- Meeting Garry at Bracegirdles, spending a morning drinking Belgian chocolate-laced mocha and shootin' the breeze about us both chucking in teaching for chocolate worship;
- Cracking the 10 kilometre mark - for the first time in four years - on the Genki Treadie in 52 minutes and at a cost of 600 calories;
- Moving on down the scale from 79 kilos in January to 69 kilos yesterday; and
- Sitting up until 1am engrossed in a fantastic book whose only payment will be a 200 word review.
My final bonus is one that may initially seem rather cruel to categorise as a bonus but it was. A couple of weeks ago, Sapphire was the first in our house to get the cold/flu/chest infection/asthma/tonsilitus lurgy that has since smacked us all flat. We're still getting over it in fact.
She had to spend three days home from school, which isn't a "Yee-hah, no school!" moment for her because she loves her class, enjoys her learning, PE and music lessons and her mates and only reluctantly admitted - after her fourth lot of ventolin in one night - that she wasn't feeling too well.
Sapphire insisted on watching the Olympics, and Milly sat on the floor next to her as is her usual modus operandi when one of us is sick. I sat with them, doing the usual motherly thing of getting pillows, blankets, tissues, soft toys, drinks and books and getting to spend time with her without having to coordinate playdates, meal times, housework, writing duties or anything else.
The lurgy wasn't pleasant for Sapphire of course, but it didn't dampen her spirit, sense of humour or fascination with the sporting endeavours she witnessed and I, for the millionth time, marvelled at just how on earth I'd managed to cook this wonderful creature inside of me for forty weeks. She entertained me with her eerily accurate 'Get some nuts.....Fool!' Snickers/Mr T impression and I her with my 'They disssscovered the ssssourccccce in sssseecondsssss' Ultra tune Statesman Owner's imitation.
On the Thursday she was fine to go to school, armed with her puffer and a big box of tissues. She held my hand, hers still so very tiny and soft in mine as Milly trotted proudly in front of us; our brave dog, leading the way. "I hated being sick, Mum, but it was nice being with you."
The word 'bonus' doesn't quite cover it, does it?