RBO “GAAH! There’s no TIME!”

One day when I was about 10 or 11, my Mum came home from the supermarket with, among other items, two big bottles of Schweppes Tonic Water. When I saw her putting them in a cupboard I said, “ooh, is Grandma coming?!”, and when she was able to breathe again after an extended laughing fit, my Mum confirmed that her own mother had indeed just decided to visit and would be arriving on Saturday. Twenty five years later, I have just stocked my own fridge with 12 cans of Schweppes Tonic Water and some limes* – because my parents arrive tomorrow! They’ll be around for six (yes, six. S-I-X) weeks, on and off – they have two or possibly three side-trips planned, as usual.

  • Not bought yet: groceries (including very specific types of breakfast cereal, orange juice, and bread – I had my orders over Skype last week); beer for Dad; wall-mounted TP holder to replace the one that broke last year and we never got around to replacing; wine; shower curtain to replace the one that faded horribly when I washed it last week; more beer; mini garbage can for bathroom to replace the one that we unaccountably lost last month. WE CAN’T LET THEM SEE US LIVING LIKE THIS!!
  • Not done yet: deep cleaning of the kitchen to (hopefully) parentally-approved standards; cleaning of all floors to a better than “oh, just run the Roomba and then Swiffer it” standard; attempting to teach cats better manners re: pawing at guests, repeatedly demanding snuggles from non-cat-lovers (i.e. Dad), following guests into the bathroom and staring at them while they use it, etc.
  • What we’re doing tonight: my work leaving do
  • Hours in which to accomplish all of the above tomorrow, assuming we get up at 7 am: 5
  • How this happened: beats me
  • Number of items on work “to-do before I leave” list at beginning of week: 33
  • Number of items crossed off by end of week: 12
  • Items added to list during week: 11
  • Days left at work after today: 4
  • Number of days off before starting new job: 0
  • Work trips for new job I will be going on while my parents are still with us: 1

You might not be seeing much of me until mid July…

*I have gin already – duh. Gin and tonic is my “family drink”, inherited through the maternal line. We might not have a fancy name or pedigree, a family crest, or any lands or titles – but when we get together, the women in the family all follow this long-standing and proud tradition. When I am bereft of all female relatives, I usually just drink beer, although a G&T is hard to beat when sitting on a patio in the summer.

About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
This entry was posted in career, drunkenness, family, food glorious food, furry friends, personal, silliness, travel. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to RBO “GAAH! There’s no TIME!”

  1. Nina says:

    reading this, I realize perhaps it is a good thing that my parents think NZ is too far away for a visit. Just imagining getting the right cereal and yoghurt and having prying eyes through all the cupboards makes me shiver. At least I am the deep-cleaner of the family so that wouldn’t be a problem. (although my brother is worse (better?) at deep-cleaning – perhaps obsessive)

    Enjoy the G&T though!

  2. chall says:

    ah… the special food 🙂 I remember that from my arents’ last visit. However, 6 weeks?!?! Well, don’t get me wrong I love my parentals but I would hpe for all ours’ sake that those weeks would be broken up with some travels or hotels or something…. then again, I’m currently remembering 3 adults (ok, them and I – their child) together in a one-bed-room for more than a week… we all came out alive 😉

    Enjoy the G&T!!! And the visit. I’m sure it will be great. Oh, and good luck with the cleaning 😉

  3. Grant says:


    Where in NZ are you? (I’m in Dunedin.) As for to-do lists… arrrrrrrgggghhh. I wish I hadn’t come here. I was happily procrastinating from tackling the next few on the list. Sigh

  4. Deep cleaning….aaaaargh. Does not compute! My mother lives next door but I visit her mostly because she finds the 35 steps between her and me to be a little much (heart condition). But I admit to missing the unspoken look when the floor was less than perfect or the house looked more like a hurricane had visited.

    viv in nz

  5. Mermaid says:

    I also buy ‘special’ cereal, milk, juice, peanut butter, etc when my parents visit. I would have assumed that most of us would continue to use the same basics we were raised with, but it doesn’t seem to work that way. My parents often stay for a couple nights on their way to or from someplace else, so I stock up the fridge and then they leave without eating it all and I throw it out. Then they come back a month later and I do it all over again. I once tried to just feed them what I eat, but there were so many pointed comments and heavy sighs during breakfast that I never tried it again. As for cleaning, I usually try to have my ‘cleaning fairies’ visit the day before they arrive, as it takes the stress out. My Dad hates animals, and my black cat seems to shed excessively just before a visit, so in my opinion it is a worthwhile expense. Yes, I am spoiled enough to admit to having help cleaning my house.

  6. cromercrox says:

    How unlike the home life of our own dear Queen.

  7. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Update: we got almost everything done before they arrived. Everyone is well and happy despite some jet-lag and some initial disagreement about the need for endless questions about how to use the TV and computer while people are frantically trying to get ready for work.

    Nina, the first time they came to our current house, my Mum said “isn’t it always so interesting to look around someone else’s kitchen? You can see where they’ve put everything and think how you might have done it differently”. I did not ask her to elaborate on what she might have done differently, and it hasn’t been directly mentioned again… but various comments have been made by both parents over the years since that day…

    Chall, yes, it’s great having the guest bedroom at the very back of the house! I just wish we had more than one bathroom – I’m not very good at sharing, especially when I’m trying to get ready for work.

    Grant, you should have put “read Cath’s blog” on your list, then you would have felt better about it.

    Knutty, it’s all about the unspokens, isn’t it?!

    Mermaid, not all the brands I grew up with are available here, so they understand some of the differences in food – but less so the differences in methods / systems / routines, food-related and otherwise!

    We used to have a cleaning fairy, but she went on vacation telling us that she’d be back in two weeks, and was never seen again (although she did stop by one day to put the key back through the door). We’ve had a hard time finding someone new – a few of our friends know people, but none of them are looking for new clients. Does your cleaning fairy need any additional work?!

    CromerCrox, you’re assuming that our own dear Queen never stocked up on gin when her mother came over… I assume otherwise 😀

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