7 Quick Takes 42 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

I used to love…roundabouts.

Yep – the ones in playparks.

There was something magical about lying back, with my head in the centre, watching the sky recede into a deep, blue whirlpool while the surroundings blurred around me, whizzing faster and faster until all visual information seemed to lose sense, and the beginnings of dizziness would envelop my mind, turning it into a white-noise zone, but with sparkly bits.

Getting off and staggering all over the place and collapsing in a heap was pretty fun, too.

But there was one roundabout in particular that was special.

It was in the park across the road from WonderAunty’s home (which was always a very special place to visit, as she lived so far away and was so, well, Wonderful).

It was like a round, metal spider-web, which could be climbed into (and over, and under, and clambered along while in motion) and my Sis and I used to run to the park at every opportunity, leaving the grown-ups behind. The two of us (who normally fought like cat and dog) would find peace there, maybe even enjoying one anothers’ company as we took turns to push, and the conversation flowed as easily as the scenery moved past our spinning eyes.

We’d stay as long as we could (often until dusk fell, when we knew that all too soon would come the bittersweet goodbye, the climb into the evening-cold car, the snuggle into rough, picnic-smelling blankets and the long, sleepy ride home) listening to the calm sounds of the birds in the hedgerows, the gentle engine of the occasional barge as it pootled along the canal. We’d feel the pounding in the earth as trains rushed past just beyond the canal, and we’d listen in glee as people in the nearby pub started spilling out into the garden, catching snippets of conversation and glittering bursts of laughter as the evening wore on and the drinks kicked in.

And we’d still be there, grinning in the dark, impish delight in our for-once-united hearts, going round and round and round and round.

Of course, since I’ve grown up, my vestibular system has decided to utterly reject any such activities and resolutely aims to make me sick as a dog if I set foot on such a contraption.

But occasionally I’ll still step on for five minutes with Niece and Neff, and fight the nausea as I relish once more the blur of my surroundings and that great whirlpool of sky…

— 2 —

In fact, I took Niece and Neff to the park twice today, with assorted friends and hangers-on, (I didn’t go on the roundabout, sadly, as I’ve had quite enough nausea lately without adding to it!) and on the way back, it became apparent that I’d tuckered Niece out sufficiently that she was going to fall asleep.

At 5pm.

Which would mean BIG trouble for me, as Sis would then have her awake and behaving like a live-wire long after her bedtime.

So after yelling at her calling her name repeatedly, co-opting Neff and my passenger and friend, Louise, to tickle, poke and prod her back into consciousness, I made a valiant effort to keep her awake by joining her in with some songs. Fortunately for me, she wasn’t too grouchy, and boy does the girl love to sing.

Oboy did we ever sing; aaaaall the way through a long, long, long traffic jam.

The bingly-bongly-boo song (I don’t know this, but Niece and Neff do, and they tried to teach me. Apparently it’s a ‘thing’)

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

The Wheels on the Bus (normal version)

The Wheels on the Bus (shapes version)

John-Jacob Jinkelheimerschmidt

Little White Duck

In the rear-view mirror I could see their little faces growing apathetic each time I opened my mouth to try a new song. Their bored eyes slid off to see what was going on beyond the windows. And eventually that heart-stopping phrase emerged:

“I need a wee.”

£%@&!

I talked about the desert (no dice), the cars (still needed a wee), the fact we’d be home soon (not working) and eventually suggested more songs. I could almost see their eyes rolling.

Neff requested “Sing something funny”.

Now this was pushing it a bit, because I’m already pretty hilarious when I sing – I do funny voices, key changes and sound effects, and to hear him imply that up until that moment I had been less than funny, well it just plain stung! So I mustered every bit of maturity in my body and responded at a precisely five-and-a-half-year-old’s level, with a loud and musical rendition of

“Poo, poo, pooey, poo-poo-poooooooooo”

Apparently it was absolutely the BEST thing I’d done all day.  

— 3 —

But perhaps this other action I took was the best thing I did all day.

When walking back this morning from park visit #1, we passed a row of terraced houses. The upstairs bay window was open, and loud, angry voices – a man’s and a woman’s could be heard. I glanced upwards.

The woman was framed in the centre of the window, seemingly kneeling down, as her arms were resting on the ledge. Her face was blazing and she was screaming over her shoulder at an unseen man, whose deep, angry tone could be heard raised in retaliation. I was transfixed.

As I watched, the woman whipped around and looked down at the street, her wide, terrified eyes catching mine for a split second before something in the room was hurled at her and smashed against the wall right next to her, seemingly spraying out a shower of bright shards.

The angry, relentless male voice continued stridently.

Sis and I exchanged horrified looks and hurried the children away, saying nothing, our minds working at a million miles per minute.

I didn’t look back.

Only two days ago, I somehow clicked through popular Buzzfeed.com articles to this one, where I saw this video (WARNING: Not suitable for work or around children)

The legend at the end reads “Domestic Violence: To remain silent is to participate”
With that message haunting me, once the children were settled back home, I called the police to let them know what I’d seen, and the approximate location I’d seen it. I was hugely gratified to later see a police car outside their house, which remained in place for most of the afternoon. I truly hope it helped.
— 4 —

In other news (and to try to rescue the mood, which I think mighta just plummeted (albeit with good reason)), that Very Bad Baby of mine has her own Facebook page. And no, I’m in no way jealous that she raked in as many ‘likes’ in 24 hours as I did for my blog page in 6 months. Not. At. All.

— 5 —

And from the baffling to the utterly hilarious, (still just about) in the week I invented the Golden Sideboob Award, my dear friend Jak let slip that there was some absolute AWESOMENESS available over at the Marvel website – you can build your own superhero! Well, it simply had to be done. Please welcome my new hero,

Her first act will be to nominate a new recipient for the award, the ever hilarious (and usually grammatically correct) Jen, from Hysterical Casserole

The rules are as ever 1 – Be brazen enough to display the award 2 – Nominate someone else

The Golden Sideboob
The Golden Sideboob
— 6 —

 Back, for a while, into the more serious (though I promise I’ll end on a lovely note). A few guest posts, writings and feedback from other women has seemed to suggest that the phrase ‘The Invisible Moms Club’ has resonated quite deeply. I’ve described it as the membership you acquire when you go through the tragedy of losing a child, at whatever stage. For me it was early miscarriage, twice. And when they hit, I felt terribly isolated and alone, until women I knew started ‘coming out of the woodwork’ with their stories of loss, and it seemed to me as though, unbeknownst to me, we were all alone, together.

So the concept has become a reality, and today a dear friend and fellow Invisible Mom, started a real group, hoping to provide friendship, support, and links to resources about loss, for those who suffer the pain of being an unwilling member of the club.

It’s a closed group on Facebook, and pretty small at the moment, but growing rapidly. If you feel you are part of the Invisible Moms Club and would like to join, please click here and find out more about us.

— 7 —
A wonderful, happy final take, I promise.

Happen you’ve somehow missed it, this week has been HUGELY exciting because we welcomed aboard

A brand new Ten Things of Thankful Co-Host
She also very kindly contributed her interview answers very quickly and was our star of the week, yesterday.
Do join us tomorrow to see what delights she has in store, and to link up with your list of Ten.

Ten Things of Thankful

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
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38 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes 42 x FTSF

  1. OH COOL! I am so borrowing that song! Nicely done 😀

    I doubt anyone will go to jail. Sadly that's *really* not the way it works over here *sigh*

    Hope so.

    She will – I have every confidence. For good reason.

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  2. We called them merry-go-rounds and they ALWAYS made me queasy. Bleh.

    When we're stuck in the car and my daughter has to pee, she sings “Gotta pee, gotta pee, gotta pee, pee, pee” to the tune of the William Tell Overture. Feel free to borrow it.

    I'm glad you called the police. In the U.S., if the police respond to a domestic call, one of them is going to jail.

    Oh, Syph…

    Lady Sideboob isn't showing any.

    Love the idea for your Facebook group. It will be a great resource.

    I hope your new co-host can pull it together and come up with a list that doesn't suck.

    Like

  3. I know, what HAPPENS to us as we get older!

    I'd advise you to double check the creepy doll pics available before you show them to sweet, innocent Violet – I think she may just be scarred for life!

    (Oh CHEERS for that :p )

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  4. Thanks Kris – I think there was definitely an 'Aha' moment with the vid. I wouldn't be at all surprised!

    I hope it gets up and running…it's definitely the kind of resource I would really have liked for myself when I was still new to the club. I hope it can help.

    And Big Plans, yes, probably, but the ones I hoped and dreamed for? Who knows…there's still a lot of adjustment.

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  5. Amazing how God shows us things that don't seem to have relevance at the time, but he uses them later…like you randomly seeing that video about violence and then using it to help convict you (at least that's how I interpreted your words) to act. I pray your actions were helpful…I am certain that they were.

    Great news about the Invisible Moms Club…what a blessing you will continue to be! I know you wouldn't choose it if you could, but be encouraged that God has big plans for you, Lizzi! 🙂

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  6. Yes – I only thought of it as I sang it to them! Fortunately they were laughing so hard she forgot she needed to go – I had to remind her once we got back to their home.

    I really hope it does! And yes – I think community's where it's at – we all need to look out for one another.

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  7. That was a sketchy song to settle on when someone was in need of a wee. Think you got lucky there LOL. Hopefully all works out well for the woman in the window. Great thought about it taking a village not just re: kids!

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  8. That's kinda how the advert left me, too! I was so glad I'd seen it BEFORE the incident and not after!

    I guess the love of spinning isn't a genetic one 😀

    (are you gonna make your own superhero?)

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  9. OH. Meh. Gawsh! I just spit food into my lungs reading the Golden Sideboob award. Funniest award I have ever gotten! Must, call for help, can't breathe! Heeel……..ppp! hahahahaahha Helllllll… *passes out*

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  10. OMG that had is…wow…you must always speak up or you are helping to let it happen. I never liked those spinning things and now my son loves to go on them, crazy right?

    what a rocking superhero.

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  11. I'm glad that was a happy childhood memory for you, too. I still feel a little envious when I see Niece and Neff on the roundabout and can't join in for long.

    Thanks…I think I did the right thing. I just so hope it didn't make the situation worse for her.

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  12. I KNOW! It sucks. I can now lay claim to one wrinkle and a dodgy vestibular system *sigh*. I am laying up store for later in life when I need a list to remember all the stuff which broke!

    Spinning around and around used to be absolutely the best fun! It's a shame we don't get to continue those experiences (though, as I mentioned to Clark, perhaps the answer there is in the bottom of a bottle…)

    It's a great, technical term; as much fun to say as to know about. #TotalLanguageGeek

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  13. It's been a good FTSF this week.

    I don't really remember being spun round by a parent-type, perhaps it happened and I've forgotten. But the game where you spin around by yourself like a top and then collapse in a heap is also great fun.

    Also (and for this, any suggestions about 'admitting' or 'bin' will be deleted) lying back on a pillow and shaking your head so rapidly the little lights go on behind your eyes. That was always a fun bedtime trick when I was little.

    I suspect your deep, metaphysical answer may be in the bottom of a bottle…

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  14. Yes, it certainly stayed with me! And thank goodness! I felt utterly compelled to act, whereas before I might've just admitted it was a tragic situation and (shamefully) done nothing!

    Ahhhh g'wan – you surely don't call them 'spinning things' at home? What's your name for them? They're super fun, but intended for the kiddies, I fear.

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  15. I love the visual of spinning around, looking up at the sky! It takes me back to childhood. 🙂 Also, good for you calling the police. Seeing things that that is so scary and it's hard to know how to help, but I think you did the right thing!

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  16. Yeah, what is that about the vestibular system getting shot as an adult? Such a bummer, because I too lament the lose of enjoyment that was once obtained from spinning round and round! And I love that you used the term “vestibular system”, and now I get to use the term “vestibular system” too! Thanks!

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  17. “Getting off and staggering all over the place and collapsing in a heap was pretty fun, too.”

    the challenge of remembering (one's) youth. The parent-things loved to spin us around and watch our gleeful expressions. But when we got older the focus of 'wonderment' shifted from “I am spinning around' to….”hey! what do something *really*… spin around and then close you eyes and try to stand still!”
    I suspect there is a deep. metaphysical insight into the gift of childhood and the never-ending attempts to re-capture it…but I have to go to work. (Thank you Kristi (www.findingninee.com) I will refrain from spinning around in the parking lot before I go into my office.)

    very fun FTSF

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  18. That ad was so disturbing and powerful. It's true – to be silent about so many things (bullying, domestic violence, cheating) is to participate. On a lighter note, I used to love those spinning things too – now I'm pretty sure I'd puke!

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  19. I was so cross! Well, not really, but you know what I mean – all that EFFORT and all they wanted was a poo song! What are they LIKE!

    Thanks. I do hope she knows that and finds a way to get out of that situation. Really unpleasant to witness and to think what she might be going through.

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  20. The singing cracked me up. I remember those years of having a small child in the car, and doing whatever.it.took to keep her awake so she did not mess up her nighttime sleeping pattern.

    I am glad you called the police. If nothing else, you let that woman know she is not alone, and someone out there cared what happened to her, and that is a very powerful thing.

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  21. Ohhh Niece likes to push – at one point yesterday there was Neff, 4 Big Boys and even a MAN standing there on the roundabout while she (tiny, powerhouse three y/o) pushed the lot of them.

    That merry-go-round pic you provided was HILARIOUS.

    And yeah, a really horrible moment to witness.

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  22. Owwww! I bet that was sore!

    They have a new, accessible version of them now, with a base sunk into the ground so it's level with the floor, and large curling arms stretching from the centre so that kids in wheelchairs can get on them as well. They present their own hazards, as evidenced yesterday when a little girl tried to wander onto the moving roundabout and got clocked in the head by one of the arms as it went past. Sad but a little hilarious. She was fine.

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  23. Oh cool! A merry-go-round here tends to be a larger, motorised version, usually with figures (often horses) that you sit on. Also called a carousel.

    I can stand watching it as long as I'm not too close! Otherwise nausea! Biology clearly only wants us to be 'spinny' as little kids!

    And yes, that phrase seems to have made sense to a number of people now, and as I'm going to be using it in various upcoming pieces, I thought I'd get in there first with the real group.

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  24. It was horrible. And it'll be a while before I get that fleeting moment of eye contact out of my head. I'm sure the ups and downs of everyday life will eventually erode the memory, but for now…I just keep hoping she's okay.

    I intensely dislike how easily it can be hidden, and how little can be done when a woman (or man, because it happens the other way too) is complicit in the cover-up.

    Perhaps it 'takes a village' not only to raise children, but to keep one another safe, too.

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  25. (*whispers* much as I hate to admit it, I think it must be 'an age thing' and I don't really want to admit I have one of those yet)

    You are, as ever, very welcome – and thank you for hosting.

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  26. I think (?) that we call them merry-go-rounds here which sounds more magical in some ways, yes? But yes they were wonderful. My son is just now discovering their magic and prefers to push them rather than ride…which I get because these days, they make me dizzy. Even with spotting. The Caption That photo I recently provided was of a mom at a merry-go-round. I guess kids get hurt there now though…
    And holy crap to the scary fight. Ouch.

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  27. Ahhh roundabouts! We played on one all the time, except it had more of a floor you sit on and someone pushes you while you spin about madly. Once, my cousin was holding our baby cousin so tightly she forgot to hang on and flew far off into the air, landing on her behind with a thud, baby cousin still in tow, squwaling. I think it must have hurt, but I couldn't help but laugh my face off. It looked hilarious!

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  28. First of all, I am so glad somebody started the Invisible Moms group- I loved that phrase when I read it, and it fits so perfectly. Good for you for starting something so great! And second, those whirly guys are called Merry Go Rounds here, and they are nearly obsolete, which is fantastic in my opinion. My family happened to find one at an old park on vacation last week, and my girls of course played on it and I thought I might have a heart attack or vomit just watching them. Shudder.

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  29. Wow, what a frightening thing to see just walking home. I am so glad you called the police and hopefully the woman is able to get help. It's interesting because domestic violence, “back in the day”, was much more talked about and reported because walls were thin and everyone in the village knew everyone's business, and as we've moved into large, spaced out, private homes, it can become so much more hidden. Bless you for calling and not staying silent.

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  30. It is funny you posted about that ride in the park, because I must admit after going on one adult ride at the water park this past weekend, when I got off of it, I was so dizzy and seriously felt old. So, yes apparently my equilibrium does not like these types of rides as much as I still do. Go figure and thank you for sharing and linking up with us as always!! 🙂

    Like

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