such is life

August 30, 2011

family life

Just had the plumbers here for 5 hours.
When I signed the job sheet, the chief plumber said in his thick Scottish accent and with a grin “that will be 4 million dollars please, plus gst (goods & services tax)”.
Apparently 9 out of 10 bathroom renovations result in problems with the drainage after completion. They didn’t tell us about that. Note to self: next time I get a bathroom renovated, I will get a plumber to fixed the blocked drains the day after the bathroom blokes have finished.
Anyway, ours was particularly tricky because the little buggers at my place (that’s my children – “bugger” is a colloquial term of endearment freqently used in Australia – I hope you are not offended) dropped a ball into the system whilst it was all open during the renovations.
They were playing cricket in the hallway of course. Of course, I told them to go outside to play cricket, but they said they didn’t hear me. 
Yes, they do have selective hearing at times.
“And anyway Mum it wasn’t a real cricket ball.”
“Thanks for that fellas.”

About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

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18 Comments on “such is life”

  1. eof737 Says:

    Good lord…. but now you have me thinking. We had our bathroom renovated and the sink is shot for no reason…. Thank you for that tip. I have called in plumbers but will have the original contractor fix it once and for all…. what a bugger! 🙂


  2. InsideJourneys Says:

    I know buggers, my mom used to use it all the time!

    I love how they can rationalize “it wasn’t a real cricket ball!” Gotta love ’em.
    It’s beyond difficult to live through any renovation. I’ve lived through a kitchen renovation and a total electrical rewiring (not at the same time!). All I can say is the I was glad when it was over. The rewiring was the least painful. I know you’re glad it’s done!


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Marcia

      It was pure genius (?) on their part and total embarassment on my part. Other parents assure me that they’ve had similar things happen, so I’m glad my kids aren’t unique.

      It’s nothing compared to having an earthquake and hurricane in the same week

      but I do feel like a goldfish in a small bowl.


  3. phrogmom Says:

    ha! scottish plumbers in australia? who knew! maybe this makes me a little grateful for my ugly old bathrooms (sans renovations) which give us enough trouble without adding to it with improvements!

    my husband is always allowing washcloths to be sucked down the drain at the end of bath time, i know that is going to come back to haunt me.


    • hakea Says:

      i tell you I wouldn’t want to be that plumber’s apprentice, he’s a cantankerous fella, and the language is very colourful when he thinks he’s out of the client’s earshot. actually, the swearing is just about the only thing i can understand from him.

      yay for ugly old bathrooms. we only got ours done because everything was coming off the wall. some bathrooms aren’t built for heavy duty splashing and robust boys who climb on everything.

      i’d definitely invest in some of those drain cover thingies!


  4. cjdwhite Says:

    Well, my dad, 100% American, has always used “bugger” as a term of affection, but it does also imply (for him) that you are somewhat of a troublermaker.
    He also loves “anklebiter” and “pumpkin head.”

    Off the topic–I have been meaning to tell you that my son who had so many problems with homework last year has been evaluated and found to be a sensory seeker as well as ADHD. He is getting OT for fine and gross motor skills, but I am optimistic that it is helping, as well as a new and VERY LOVING teacher.


    • cjdwhite Says:

      Oh, that should be “troublemaker.”
      Also, I feel your pain as we just finished ripping out our living room and front hallway and finally got it back together. My husband smashed the glass top of the coffee table trying to move it himself! Thank goodness most material things can be fixed. 🙂


      • hakea Says:

        here, it’s not so much ‘troublemaker’ but more like cheeky and naughty.

        i need to get an electrician in now, because a power point melted and nearly caused a fire in the boys room. wiped out the power on one side of the house, so it will need to be fixed at some stage. another case of boys not listening to their mum.

    • hakea Says:

      Hi CJ

      Good to see ya!

      Another stereotype exploded – we get the impression here that Americans are prudish and easily offended.

      Twins often need extra support. That’s great you’ve found a good combo for him, and hopefully it will increase his confidence. Is this the boy who is anxious? ADHD and anxiety are comorbid, so maybe an anxiety programme may be helpful down the track?


      • cjdwhitecjdwhite Says:

        Hmmmm, not prudish after growing up with my father, who taught me all swear words and foul expressions. Let me qualify, though, that no one used the big F bomb or uses it regularly, especially in front of kids. My husband is way more clean-mouthed than anyone in my family. With my dad, I think it’s his way of being creative. I mean, some words are VERY colorful and say things you can’t say any other way. It makes him laugh every time he can launch an off-color description that perfectly suits the situation but is not often heard.

        I do have a vivid memory of my cousin and I lecturing my dad and my uncle about the evils of swearing as they fixed a car in the driveway. We were probably about 7 or 8 years old.

        I thinik “bugger” has connnotations in British English that it doesn’t over here…

        Yes, the ADHD diagnosis did indicate that anxiety may turn into a problem later, so I am glad that he is getting a leg up on things. I also think he enjoys the one-on-one time of the occupational therapy and driving with me back and forth to the appts. We have found loads of housekeeping tasks that tie in with the OT, and he has been so enthusiastic about helping out with those (there is money involved, but still….).

        His brother keeps all his feelings inside. He’s the one I really have to watch.
        Thanks for the kind response!

      • hakea Says:

        oh my dad was the same!

        Sayings like…

        “he doesn’t know whether he’s punched, bored, or eaten out by white ants” or
        “i wouldn’t pee down his throat if his guts were on fire”

        some are just too politically incorrect to repeat, but they really stick.

        Yes, watch out for the quiet one. Is he silently bothered by all the new attention his twin is getting around the diagnosis? Does he get angry too? I have an angry, bottle up his feelings kid, and journals and art materials help. This kid writes and draws prolifically. We spend as much agenda-free one-on-one time we can with him, which is a bit easy because he has different interests to the other two peas-in-a-pod, so they don’t feel like they are missing out. And lots of hug therapy. Actually, I should use my new Feeleez kit with him.

  5. Team Oyeniyi Says:

    “Bloody little buggers” in fact! He he he – reminded me of that Australian tourism ad that got banned in certain places (the USA springs to mind) because of the line “Where the bloody hell are you?”

    Some of our terms are just not that popular overseas!

    Like you I am waiting for both the plumber and the electrician – in fact the electrician was supposed to turn up tonight and didn’t and you have just reminded me!


    • hakea Says:

      “too right” Robyn

      encourage your boys to be tradesmen, i reckon.

      three boys = plumber, sparky, & chippy

      i think they’ve got other plans though


      • hakea Says:

        ugh, talk about gender stereotyping!

        cross out boys, replace with kids

        I wish i’d become a carpenter, how nice to be able to make useful things!

  6. countingducks Says:

    My kids once managed to put a jam sandwich in the video recorder, if you remember those, which explains why it stopped working


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Peter

      Yes, we still have one of those.

      My kids loved the action of pressing the button to pop the video out, and then pushing it back in. Who needs toys?


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