Battlefield Boonah

I’ve never been to war. Never stormed a beach or laid in a trench. Never been ambushed or under fire. I have never heard the soulful bugles cry over a battlefield or smelt the acrid odour of mortar shells. My limbs are intact and my loved ones are alive and well.
I am a modern woman, living in a modern world. Just a mother. A housewife. A mere civilian.
If I thought this way, I might shrivel under the weight of oppressive dullness. I choose not to. I choose to view things differently. My battleground is Boonah and I struggle to survive everyday. Weapons of mass destruction are never far away…

Picture this…
You’re 34 and you are emerging from that place I like to call ‘mummyland’.
It’s the world of 24-hour re-runs of the Disney Pixar collection. The post baby wasteland where you have suddenly arrived, having survived, so far, relatively unscathed from raising the goats.. Sorry, I mean the children. Well they somewhat resemble goats, jumping on furniture and grazing all day.

By no means have you accomplished the mission. You have a sudden realisation…OH MY GOD, I think I really need to get a life! If you find yourself actually caring that the new bathroom cleaner really does whiten and brighten. If you catch yourself humming along to the Wiggles next big hit…then you can be pretty certain that ‘mummyland’ is were you reside.

There are days, we don’t utter a word to anyone about, where the most exciting part of your day was noticing that the wind had picked up. This is where you thought ‘fantastic, all that washing will get dry…. Maybe I should do the sheets…’. I advise you insert cringe here.
Other days the most gruelling and challenging part was quite seriously planning a full-scale attack on the mince that is out for dinner. Something the children actually attempt to eat. Something the husband won’t complain about.

I am the proud owner of one of those things. The husband. Adorable creature, at times, and yet so incredibly frustrating – somewhat like the children.
The husband once said he’d love to swap places. To stay home and not go to work. I said yes, please. I’d love to go out into the field and plow that paddock. Sitting back marvelling at the work accomplished. The husband though can look forward to plowing the fields at home (washing, dishes, making beds, sweeping floors). But instead of sitting back to admire all his hard work, he must then go back to the beginning, and start to do it all over again. After which he can then repeat… Infinity.


This is my existence, I am sure there are other women out there nodding right now. All I can advise is to stay away from sharp objects…. For the love of God just step away….

Regularly I try to inject a little adventure, some excitement into my day. These are what I refer to as my little covert missions.
These missions, if you chose to accept them, do require you to keep your wits. There is imminent danger involved, traps for the unweary.
Lets start with a covert mission I like to call ‘the drop off’ or sometimes the ‘grab and run’.
The scenario begins with the simple task of delivering or picking up the children from school. An easy and non-offensive task you think? Well stealth is needed my dear friends. Awaiting daily at the gates of the school is the Mummy Mafia. It’s their turf and they are fully aware of the comings and goings. They can spot weakness at a hundred paces. If you dare to get past this mob in a pair of uggboots, 10 minutes late, well you are risking certain death…stares.

Another mission is to survive a sortie at the tuckshop. Merely making a sandwich is dictated by the Tuckshop Nazi’s.
You can uncover these operatives fairly easily. Yes, they look like normal decent civilians, but they are really the glove-wielding, masters of the tongs. They want the world to live in a sanitised, gluten free, peanut trace free, organic, low G.I., heart safe, carbon neutral environment. They can be ruthless.
‘Don’t you know the 651 tuckshop legislation and its new reforms!’
‘…Aren’t we just making some wraps for the kids?’
‘No, no, no, no, no!’

Once again, my advice here is to stay away from sharp objects, just step away.

Navigating the minefields of a shopping expedition into SPAR can also be perilous. Shopping with the children/goats can be downright dangerous. Many a sane woman has returned from service wounded. Mental breakdowns are not uncommon.
Danger befalls those who think they can just pop in unscathed. Navigating aisles of terror where strategically placed toys and lollies can motivate even the most well behaved children to turn on you. Little innocents can scream down a shop full of disgruntled fellow shoppers. There is a real possibility of starting a riot. The cashier can nearly melt your face off with her silent ire.
Simply paying for fuel can not only empty a normally well-stocked wallet, but can also reduce a hungry and bored child into terrorists acts.
Warning, never negotiate with terrorists.

A simple conversation with a child can induce madness! I was not prepared for the onslaught of difficult and sometimes rather awkward questions to come. Yes, I did think I knew everything, but who on earth knows they answer to “Mum, if all the ants got together and attacked humans, would we die?”…Pardon?
(Of course it’s really wasps you have to worry about, but still…)

Just stepping on a crack can break your mother’s back!

This is my reality. There is danger of failure at every turn. Pressure to be perfect daily. If you are not careful, if you are not prepared to be resourceful and calculating, you may succumb to the peril of battlefield antics that await the unaware.

Can you relate to this? Is it just me, or have I sealed my fate already by just becoming a parent? Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this blessed job would entail the smarts of Einstein, with the agility and cunning of 007.
Really all I demand is a warning, a manual even, for the many to follow in my footsteps as I have followed others.

Battlefield Boonah


Croftby, Australia

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Short story

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