Wednesday, February 24, 2010

C'mon Kath, do it like you MEAN it!

"Kick higher! Harder girl, harder!

Don't worry about what people think, just get in there and fight!

I need to see anger; I need to see determination; I need to see the real you emerging."

The real me. The REAL me. The real ME.

Who is the real me?

Is it this 41 year old lunatic, brandishing a kitchen broom dressed in her old karate outfit and wearing the scarf from her old straw gardening head around her head? Trying to do some threatening moves in front of a dozen full and reeking wheelie bins without kicking her thongs off?

Is it the chocolate addict who really, truly does dream about the stuff and, on most days, eat it for breakfast? Who can now go all poncy on you and tell the difference in cocoa content and origin whilst blindfolded yet still crave a Kit Kat Chunky when the chips are down? Who can reverently place unwrapped blocks all over the living room like sweet brown porn but take longer to photograph it than the time taken to film an entire X-rated feature?

The runner who tells everyone that she's only doing it to keep the cocoa fat from permantly affixing itself to her arse and making her resemble a human acorn but privately loves the challenge and the solitude? Being reacquainted with pointlessly joyful pop music and managing to hear her own heartbeat above the volume and the gasping? A lonely place inside a tiny dusty workshed with a mere slab of chipboard in front to look at but where ideas and solutions always arrive?

The proud local who sometimes creeps out neighbours by whipping out her camera when she walks past? The weird woman who has taken photos of litter, graffiti, pet gravesites, TV aerials, roof gutter grass, pigeon poop, ants, elevators, weeds and historically significant buildings?

I don't generally, as a rule, photograph people and this means that sometimes there are wonderful scenes that I can only re-imagine in my head, such as last week. Sapphire and Love Chunks were playing tennis, and on the lawn outside the courts was a father and his toddler daughter. She had a pretty little dress on, all covered in bright cartoonish flowers and was wearing a pointy party hat on her head and clapping her hands.

Dad was wearing a party hat too. Just him and her; playing together, surrounded by a constant stream of innercity power-walkers, dog lovers, cyclists, tennis players and strollers. I remember thinking, "That guy has more real man in him than any roided-up wrestler or Zoo reader."

The Dummy who's now available in Germany as well as the United Kingdom and Australia? The woman who tries to be considerate and drops a fart at the front door only to have it follow her all the way through to the living room and yet can utter a serious quote or two on live radio when required to plug work-related topics?

The deranged dog lover who still gets amazed by the fact that her own canine is always - without fail - utterly thrilled and overjoyed to see her when she wakes up every day? Who, after kissing her on the head and ears, still wishes that she could take Milly's place of simply living to be admired and adored?

A wife and mother?

Sapphire left this drawing on the desk for me to find. "You're a monkey in the Chinese zodiac mum, so that's why there's one up on the top left there, you make funny faces and do silly voices which is what the happy and sad masks are for; you're a Scorpio and my Feng Shui book says you are connected to the moon but are an earth sign."

Her view of me is probably more concise than anything I've been able to figure out.
Or so I thought.

Last night, as she finally crawled into bed and awaiting her good night kiss, I walked in to an overpowering mushroom cloud of Chloe perfume.

Despite being able to rent my schnozz out as a warehouse it's not going to put any drug sniffing airport beagles out of Schmackos any time soon. No, I recognised the fug as Chloe because it's the perfume I have worn since 1989. A few dabs each day and I feel complete. No make up or fancy jewellery but smelling nice is my indulgence.

"Sapphire, have you been using my perfume?"
Her big blue eyes widened as she lay there, shaking her head No.
"Sapphire, you can't lie to me. Just tell me the truth. Why do you stink of Chloe?"
"I don't know Mum. I did use the toilet spray just before, maybe it's that."

I stood back with my hands on my hips, deliberately pausing for a few moments.
"Sapphire it's Chloe. I've been wearing it since I was twenty years old; it's part of me now. Did you spray some on?"

She shrunk below the sheet so that only her eyebrows were visible. "Ughmb gumpgh mumph yes," she mumbled. Guiltily. "I just wanted to ---- to ----- um, just look at the things that you have on your dressing table; the things that you love and use every day."

And here's where I lectured. I finger waggled. I went on about being disappointed in her not owning up in the first place; to going through my private things; to wasting an expensive item. I stormed out, not kissing her goodnight and slammed the door. High and mighty.

In the retelling of the saga to Love Chunks my eyes suddenly got misty. "I actually can't believe that she wanted to look through my things," I said quietly, softening. "I feel kind of flattered and touched that she wanted to know more about me." I remembered too doing the exact thing to my mother's dressing table, looking through her earrings and scarves, bringing them up to my face and breathing in her fresh scent. I adored her.

LC arched an eyebrow. "Then that's what you need to tell her."

So I did. Gradually Sapphire's face emerged from under the sheet and a giggle or two slipped out when I told her how Mum knew I'd been in her room when my attempt at applying lipstick had extended to my chin and nostril edges in fire engine red.

We've made a date with each other for tonight. She wants to see my wedding jewellery, hear a summary of the ten books that are stacked on my nightstand and for me to show her the dresses that I keep but never wear. I'm really looking forward to it.


Vanessa said...

A great read Kath. The scrapbooker in me wants you to stick your non people photos in an album and journal your thoughts. Guess that is exaclty what you are doing on your blog. Have a special night with Sapphire

Pandora Behr said...

I love how you've just encapsulated one of the unspoken joys of motherhood - haven't we all done the same - I forgot about that. i wish my mother could have seen it that way.

River said...

Which is the REAL you?
All of the above.
Now you have a date with Sapphire? Holy Donuts Batman! That girl is growing up fast! I love how you two get on so well and LC was certainly displaying one of his wiser moments when saying that you need to tell her "that". Perhaps you two could make a later date and go shopping, to help Sapphire find her own signature scent.
Now of course I have to haunt the perfume section of a major store and find out what Chloe smells like. I usually wear no perfume in the summer and the Body Shop's Vanilla Oil in winter. I used to wear Venezia, but it was discontinued years ago and I've never found an acceptable substitute.

Kath Lockett said...

Thanks Vanessa. I hadn't thought of the blog in that way before, but I guess it is a cyber scrapbook of sorts.

I wish that *my* Mum had seen that side of it too, Pandora. I think I was sent outside to crack almonds until the coffee jar was half full - at least two hours' punishment!

River, you may hate the scent. Sapph already uses the Body Shop's White Musk which is close to my all-time favourite perfume. I think she just wanted to have a sniff and a look around and didn't know that the lid was loose and that her pyjamas were going to get soaked in it.

drb said...

Congratulations on your German release of your book!!!
Next time will remember to get the duty free Chloe for you. I love the bottle shape.

Helen said...

I will have to go and find Chloe now!

I did that once too, thanks for the reminder, I remember getting in rather a lot of trouble when I higged my dad hello nad left lipstickc on his fancy new workshirt...

And congratulations on the German book! That's so exciting!

Baino said...

Aww Kath we have all done it. Secreted away in our mummy's room and checked out her secret box, smelled her clothes and opened that top drawer. I love your kid, I really do. She's a gem. This is the beginning of a wonderful relationship.

My 'little' girl just took me out to dinner and let go her own Pandora's box. Special that's all I can say, very special.

JahTeh said...

That took me right back to my mother's make-up drawer and the bright 50s lipstick that would never come off completely no matter how hard I scrubbed.

I save make-up for my granddaughters but they never need to use it.

Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kung Fu Kath,

Does LC have to be on his best behaviour when you have your broom, Kung Fu suit and "thongs" (I *still* can't get over that word - "flip flops" that's what they are)?

I like the idea of having a "who is the real me?" post, so much so that I might steal it - if you don't mind of course.

If I do, you can guarantee one thing - there is no way you will see me even attempting a martial art.




deepkickgirl said...

We are all made up of multiple parts, multiple facets of ourselves, trying to live harmoniously in the one body. It's not always easy.

You have a wonderful daughter, a very special girl. This was obviously not a moment of childhood naughtiness but a moment when a maturing girl wants to explore deeper into who her mother is. She is thinking about you as a person with their own personality, ideas and interests, not just "her mother". (I think I was well into adulthood before I started considering my own mother in that light.)

I know you'll savour these moments together.

Kath Lockett said...

PlasMan, you might not ever be caught doing a martial art but I bet a martial FART is a bit more likely!

Thanks DrB. Actually, I think Chloe is often cheaper online, but if you're offering.... :)

Helen it might not be funky enough for a young groovy student like yourself but I found it, loved it and have stuck with it.

Baino, if Sapph and I can have what you and your daughter have I'll be so grateful. And honoured. And relieved!!

Thanks JahTeh. I also have memories of being given the tiny white Avon sample lipsticks which I *loved* but they don't do them any more, do they?

DeepKickGirl, you've made my eyes go a bit stingy and moist now... :)

LJP said...

That is so wonderful that you were able to convey to Sapphire exactly how you felt and provided understanding as well. She is very lucky and so are you! :-)

Rowe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rowe said...

Love the way you tell your stories, Kath. You include all the important things and like that Drumstick ad said, no boring bits.