Tuesday’s Top Five – Things I wish I could do better…

I am constantly amazed by what the many, many very clever people I’ve discovered in the blogosphere can do, things I can only dream about doing.  The amazing crocheting here inspires my very simple attempts.  The wizardry in the kitchen here (among many) leaves me in awe.  There are those with brilliantly green fingers growing veggies of such bounty it leaves my small pickings in the dust.  I’d love to be able to do some of these things, but in the mean time there are a few things I wish I could master right now….

1. I wish I was better at ‘the transfer’, that ever elusive skill of being able to transfer a sleeping Miss One from the car to her cot.  I’ve been working on this one for 18 months and in that time I’ve successfully managed this trick ONCE!  Most frustrating is the fact that Miss One regularly falls asleep just minutes before we arrive home.  I then face a major decision, do I sit in the car in the driveway and let her sleep (only an option either if Miss Three isn’t in the car or if she is also asleep) or do I attempt the transfer knowing that if she wakes up she won’t go back to sleep for the rest of the day, quite a dilemma!  I’m not sure if Miss One is ultra sensitive or if I’ve just lost my touch because I used to be able to do this quite easily with Miss Three at the same age.

2. Remembering to actually take the shopping list to the shops.  I’m great at writing shopping lists, I have a menu plan, I go through the recipes I’m going to use and check off each item, I do a quick audit of the pantry and fridge seeing what is low or missing, I even have a look in the laundry and bathroom to make sure we don’t need anything from there.  During the week I write down things as I use them up.  My lists are detailed (just in case Mr Good is doing the shopping, he needs detail apparently), they are ordered, then they are often left on the kitchen bench.  Finding myself at the shops without the list is a constant annoyance.  I’ve developed stategies to cope, trying to visualise the list, thinking about the meals I was going to cook, trying to remember what empty packets, jars, tins etc I threw out recently that need replacing.  I wander the aisles looking for things to jog my memory.  Regardless I ALWAYS forget a couple of critical ingredients, usually one from each recipe!  I now have an iPhone…. perhaps this could be the answer to my problem.

3. Spelling….. I’m a little ashamed to admit this one being a teacher (and a sometimes English teacher).  It’s not that I can’t spell, I’m reasonably good, but I wish I was better.  There are just some words that will not cement themselves in my mind and which I ALWAYS misspell.  When I’m writing emails, documents, blogs and so on I can check if I need to and I always tell my students that you don’t have to be perfect, you just need to know how to use a dictionary.  But when I’m writing off the cuff notes on the board in front of a class of rowdy year 8s just waiting for me to slip up, then I wish I was better at spelling!

4.  Parallel parking, a must in Melbourne.  When I first got my licence I bought myself a spunky little red hatch back.  It was a manual, it didn’t have anything fancy like power steering or air conditioning, but it was zippy and I loved…. and I could parallel park it with one hand tied behind my back.  When we bought our current car (nearly ten years ago) my skills at this parking style so common in many parts of Melbourne disappeared and I’ve never managed to re-discover them.  Sadly I now avoid a parallel park at almost all costs, it’s a good thing I like walking!

5. Sleeping.  I tossed this one over and over wondering if I should write about it, because I didn’t to do the whole whinge-fest about how sleep deprived and constantly tired I am (let’s face it, I’ve probably worn that one pretty thin by now).  But then nothing else stood out like this one.  And I’m not talking here about the interrupted sleep cause by small children, I’m referring to my own ability (or inability) to do one of the basic things (and it’s a family trait so I’ll blame my mother for this one).  This ridiculous mind of mine just turns things over and over and won’t let them go so I can relax and go to sleep.  Last night, for example, I was kept awake trying to think of a politician’s name I had seen on the news just before going to bed.  It was of no importance whatsoever but I couldn’t stop racking my brain about it.  Earlier in the week I lay wide eyed wondering if I was going to lose all my tomato seedlings or just some (okay this one is slightly more important, but what on earth could I do about it at 3am?)  To rub salt into the wound Mr Good lays his head on the pillow and is sound asleep within seven seconds!  Unbelievable.  And not only do I struggle to fall asleep, but I am very quick to wake, any sound, movement, increased light will see my eyes spring involuntarily open and then I’m back to square one.  I will say though having been such a terrible sleeper for so many years, I am pretty bloody good at surviving on minimal sleep… a skill that has stood me in good stead for the last three years.

Not sure what Liz has in store for her list this week, but as always I’m sure I’ll learn something after reading it.

PS I missed yesterday’s Harvest Monday post due to a internet failure, I’ll catch up next week with a double one.

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9 Responses to Tuesday’s Top Five – Things I wish I could do better…

  1. I can’t parallel park either. I could when I first got my license so many many years ago, but where I lived if you tried the normal parallel parking someone would be on your bumper and refuse to allow you to back into your spot. Now I can’t do it. I can teach it though. I taught both my boys and their wives how to drive and parallel park. My youngest son laughs at me, I tell him the old saying “Those who can do, those who can’t teach” is really true and he’s fortunate I can teach it as he can parallel park but couldn’t teach his wife how, neither could his brother who enlisted me to also teach his wife.

    • Barbara Good says:

      If only you lived close, maybe you could re-teach me to parallel park. Actually I think if I made some time to practice (when there’s not too much traffic around so I don’t get nervous) I get it figured out. It was really the change in proportions going from a small two-door car to a longer wider car that has gotten me stumped.

      • I’m sure you could re-learn how. I took my kids to empty parking lots and used the lines on the spots to teach them how to first judge, then when it was closer to the time for their test I took them to the DMV where they leave the parallel parking section open for people to practice.

  2. Andrea says:

    Wouldn’t we all like to do things better………….I sit with a dictionary beside me when writing !
    This year I started yoga (loving it) and have found the breathing techniques we have learnt great to use when i can’t get to sleep at night. Just wondering have you been doing any running lately ? now with daylight savings a jog in the evening may help you to sleep better at night.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Yoga is great for teaching good sleep habits I think, that ability to clear your mind, focus on breathing etc. My mum taught me a couple of yoga moves that do help to a certain extent (but I hate getting out of the nice warm bed on cold nights to do them, weak I know). And you’re onto something with the running – I ended up having to give it up over the winter, just not enough daylight hours where I also had someone to mind the kids for me. I might try and go tonight when Mr Good gets home.

  3. Ali says:

    Wow, you’re brave to do a post on this…
    1. I reckon that’s Miss One, not you.
    2. Dearest & I use this one: OurGroceries by HeadCode
    http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/ourgroceries/id325851015?mt=8
    Very easy and handy 🙂
    3. I cannot help you with that. Well I can, but that would be telling you how to suck eggs. 😉
    4. I’m not great at this. I average two attempts per park, but I get the in the end. Very rarely end up with “car kisses”
    5. I’m shocking at this (not since bub arrived though – thoughts barely form these days). But I used to try and make the time between each thought longer. I’d chant ‘wait a minute. A bit longer…’ as soon as I realised I was thinking instead of nodding off. And Dearest is just like Mr Good 😦

    • Barbara Good says:

      Thanks for the link Ali, downloading now. I’m a multi-attempt parker too, though if there’s traffic around that is being interrupted I go to water completely and just drive off.

  4. Liz says:

    I reckon Number one is Miss One. My kids were the other way round – my first wouldn’t transfer at all, my second will transfer easily pretty much every time – even when I want him to wake up. Naps at the wrong time – never good! In fact children and sleeping – never good… Living in London did wonders for my parallel parking ability, you invariably need to squeeze into a space about 2 inches longer than the actual car there.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Oh children and ill timed naps is a complete nightmare isn’t it. I came home on Monday to find Miss Three asleep at 5.15pm! Needless to say she was still awake at 11pm and then had to be woken for childcare the next morning… very grumpy! As for the parking, let’s hope I don’t have to live in London, or perhaps that would force me to lift my game.

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