Have a laugh on me

We're not all in the same boat, some of us struggle to even get in the boat!


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It’s time re-discover my old mates – Willpower and Motivation.

It’s funny when I look at this pic I can’t believe a wee babe was in there waiting to hatch! (No.3 was born 2.5 weeks after this was taken).

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I’ve just realised that I need to make my body my temple – instead of using it as a work horse.

I need to make sure I’m putting in enough of the good stuff in, a little of the not so good stuff in, and just a teeny bit of the really bad stuff, (eg plonk, choc and caffeine)

This isn’t going to be an easy road but it’s one I’m slowing leaning towards, especially as my babes grow and I can’t say “Oh I just had a baby”. That was like more than a year ago! (yet the pain of childbirth seems still so fresh in my mind)

But my biggest battle is finding my two old friends – willpower and motivation.

I had a great connection with them before kids, and I know I have to re-kindle the relationship.

I know I can – I just have to figure out how!


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Mums and bums

I’m super lucky to have a mum who lives a few hours away and visits when she can.
When she is here my life is less hectic, for many reasons.

I love my mum and here’s just a snapshot of why..

* She takes over as official bum wiper when she’s here.

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* She makes the best quiche and always does my dishes.
* We have lots of giggles (and bubbles)
* She pretends the tomato sauce container is farting at the dinner table.
* Despite having three kids herself, she’ll attempt to bounce on the trampoline with kids.
* My plants always get watered and floor always swept, gotta love a Virgo.
* Cuddles and hugs are in abundance when she’s here.
* I can shower without an audience.
* If I’m super cranky and bossy still loves me.

Mwah mumma!


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Don’t call my daughter stinky!

I promised myself a wouldn’t be a helicopter mum – circling my offspring like they’re prey, keeping a close eye on their every move.

But if you call my girl stinky, me and my tuck-shop arms will come flapping in your direction.

It’s not the act of name calling in itself, because let’s face it every kid does it – it’s the fact the name calling was constant and it made her not want to go to daycare.

I’m not known for my ”thinking before I speak”, and most of the time I call a spade a spade – even if it isn’t. This isn’t always conducive to a amiable outcome.

So when No.1 was visibly upset about the continue name calling I had to have my say. It was in the form of a very long email – written at 4am in the morning after I couldn’t sleep.

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In hindsight the ”Bull in a China shop approach” probably wasn’t the best way to address the issue, but it served as a great lesson for me. A reminder to pull my head in and realise that everyone has a story – and some kids aren’t as lucky as mine in regards to their stable family background.

Needless to say the wee girl in question doesn’t exactly have a charmed home life so was probably acting out for that reason, she also had older siblings who taught her the joys of swearing (which No.1 will probably do to my No.2 and No.3)

Here’s a few extracts of my email – some of which I regret – some I think FIGJAM!!!

“Most days in her class a group of girls tell she is stinky and that she can’t play with them. It’s fine that they don’t want her to play with them as you can’t make children be friends.

“There is no hygiene problem No. 1 is not stinky and I know it’s just a cruel taunt by some clicky group of girls who appear to be allowed to rule the classroom/playground. (FIGJAM)

“We reassure her at home that she is not stinky and to tell a carer. And while she does seem reasonably happy, I’m fearful the constant taunts will whittle her confidence levels down, especially a whole year of them, and in her year before school.

“If you’re constantly being told something, you often end up believing it.”  (FIGJAM)

“Of course I have spoken to her teachers and one of them said ‘well next time I just won’t tell you’ eg when someone says something mean to her.”

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“This is not acceptable and at the time I was tempted to bring it up with you, however, for fear that No.1 would be treated differently by her I did not.

As for addressing the problem, I don’t know if her careers fully understand how devastating it is to know your child is sad because she is told every day she is stinky.

“Each day I drop her off with a heavy heart (and heavy load , thinking, here I am paying to put my child in a place where she is being picked on.

“In fact, most days I hurry to pick her up, despite still having a heavy workload, just in case she is playing by herself or sad.”

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The end result was that my complaint was used as a way to apply for more money for another carer to be placed in the room and help the child and keep an eye on her.

So while maybe I overreacted a little bit – I’m kind of glad I did.

However – I’ve backed off a bit in regards to the school yard taunts and complaints – because like the Husband says – you can’t fight your kids battles.

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 No matter how much you want to!!!!


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Hey idiots, learn how to indicate at a roundabout.

How bloody hard is it to learn how to indicate around and through a roundabout people?!

I’ve had a enough of it and nearly blown a head gasket thinking about it.

Every morning dozens of gumbies fail to indicate properly at the four roundabouts I have to go through to get to the supermarket and pre-school.

Most idiots drivers have their right indicator on when they are driving straight through a roundabout, making me think they are going to proceed around it – BUT NO!!

They then drive straight through without turning on their left indicator to let me know they are exiting the roundabout.

 

Even my children now know how to indicate properly – we practice with matchbox cars.

 

IT DRIVES ME BATTY!!! The old joke ”did you win your licence in a cornflakes packet” doesn’t ever cover the stupidity I see every day.

These drivers obviously bribed or slept with their instructors to get a licence or they are missing a chromosome. Either that or they are inherently lazy f$%ers who don’t give a crap about other drivers.

Here’s the facts about roundabouts off the Department of Transport and Main Roads:

 

Turns that occur at roundabouts can be described by imagining the roundabout to be a clock face.

 

Any turn that exits the roundabout before 12 o’clock can be considered a left turn. Any turn that exits after 12 o’clock can be considered a right turn.

 

For those people who can’t read or understand simple instructions – here’s a visual.

DO NOT INDICATE RIGHT AT A ROUNDABOUT IF YOU’RE GOING STRAIGHT THRU!!!!

Learn it and use it people and please share with every other Queenslander because I’ll soon have to start taking matter into my own hands.

And in the words of Dr David Banna (aka the Incredible Hunk)  ”You won’t like me when I’m angry”.

That is all.

 


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I’ve got the guilts

So after ranting and raving about my crazy day I feel bad.

I have an amazing husband who is the best dad ever, and although he only has 1 day off a week, he has spent it with his kids – being superdad! (he did watch motosport for half the arvo, but you can’t win them all)

This afternoon I have been showered with cuddles, kisses and tickles. In fact I’ve been playing ”dino mum” for half the afternoon.

My pigsty of a house is also immaculate thanks to a team effort (and a few bribes) which means tomorrow will be a much happier day for all.

So this is more like an ‘I’m very grateful for my lot’ post, despite the fact it seems all I do is moan.

Which is also pretty much on the money.

 

 


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Just leave me alone

DISCLAIMER – I really do love my children – the love I have for them takes my breath away.
 
But today I just want them all to leave me alone.
 
If I have to stop one more fight, change one more nappy, empty the potty for the 8th time, wipe another bum, or get more EAT EAT EAT for No.2 – my head is going to explode.
 
This house is stocked from head to toe with cars, lego, half-nude Barbies, cars, My Little Ponies, games, cars, tractors, dinosaurs, tents, cars, books – but all my children want is me.
 
I’ve tried telling them that “I’m not here” today but they didn’t fall for it.
 
Sometimes they can tell when I’m completely worn down and are smart enough to play on it. They know I’ll say yes to anything to keep the peace.
 
“Yes you can have an ice cream for breakfast but finish your lollipop first” (this was a day I wasn’t particularly proud of).
 
And there is nowhere to hide in my house. Not even the walk-in robe is safe because they can reach the door handles.
 
The next house we live in I’m going to put swipe cards on each door, like a hotel. That will slow them down.
 
The only room with a lock on it is our bathroom and I’m not that desperate – yet!
 
And in a moment of weakness yesterday I promised face painting and am now being nagged every minute to do it.
 
No.3 has been body slamming into me for the past 10 minutes, having just learned how to do this from No.2.
 
In addition to having three noisy, cheeky, needy kids, every room of my house has been trashed and I’m trying to muster up the energy and motivation to do it. The thing is, once it’s clean and tidy it reverts to a trash heap within hours. But I’m one of these people that get a feeling of euphoria once my house is immaculate. Sad but true.
 
And all I can hear is the sound of an annoying ride-on toy that the Husband just fixed for No.3.
 
I’m off the bathroom.


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Who’d be a nanny in New York? – me.

Being a nanny isn’t an easy gig, but the best part about it is you can give the kids back at the end of the day.

Last week’s report of the woman who killed two of the three children she was ”mummy” to have instilled fear in the hearts of all those who have a nanny, particularly those in New York.

When I was 20 I boarded a big jet plane to work as a nanny in New York. It was before, during and after the Sept 11 attacks so the immigrations laws weren’t so restrictive back then. I was allowed to stay for 3 months legally – but ended up living there on and off for three or so years.

As a nanny you are an instant mother to kids you’ve never meet before. And not having a background in childcare or teaching (I studied media, communications and journalism in fact) I found it quite challenging at times.

I managed to get the first two kids I cared for onside reasonably quickly by acting funny and making them laugh, but from memory it was bloody hard work trying to negotiate with a 2 and 4-year-old.

But I knew that at 6.45pm I would be relinquished of my duties and then I was out the door, to the gym, visits friends, shopping or hiding out in my room, hoping they wouldn’t come and find me.

Don’t get me wrong I loved those kids but it’s only now as a mother that I can see the HUGE responsibility bestowed upon me.

I had a fantastic network of friends who were nannies nearby, mostly other Kiwis, we had a reputation in the US for being some of the best workers and carers.

We also knew how to party hard and as often as we could. We were in New York and the world was our oyster!

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That’s me on the left in a little red racy number – and two of my high school friends, who were also nannies in NY.  They stayed and worked there for much longer, found gorgeous Irish men and married them and now have children of their own!

Life was just one big party really, but I still had to be mindful that Monday morning I was ”mum” again – and being a mum with a hangover ain’t pretty. ( I can speak from experience, in fact right now I’m suffering from a sore head after more than few reds with my BFF, totally worth it!).

The second family I worked for were just awesome, they had met late in life and left it too late to have children so they adopted Zachary. They loved him so much and wanted to spend every second they weren’t working with him.

As soon as they got home from work I was off duty no matter the time, this was not like my first nanny job where I was a mum from 6.45am to 6.46pm – regardless of who was home.

Everyone parents differently but I found it heartbreaking trying to explain to young kids they couldn’t go play with mummy because she was having ‘mummy time’.

But I bonded with Zack and Angel, the gorgeous golden retriever, and she pretty much became the other child I cared for and loved. Another very important life lesson learned here, owning a dog is pretty much the same as having a child, well responsibility wise.

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Because he was an only child I played with him a lot when he wasn’t at school. But not because I was paid (very well) to – but because he was a smart cookie, cute and very loving.

I also cried for him when kids were mean to him at school because he was slightly eccentric, highly intelligent and never stopped talking about dinosaurs, of which he knew every one of their names and how to pronounce them at just 7 years old.

I started to realise what being a nanny was all about, I was partying less (no hang on that’s not true) – but I felt more connected to Zack and would have done anything for him.

And that is what being a nanny is all about.

Being there to protect a small, innocent, defenseless child – and I get the goosebumps when I even start to think about those poor babies that were hurt by the person they trusted the most after their parents, their nanny.

As a person I pride myself on being able to put myself in other people’s shoes, I think it makes me a better person.

However, since becoming a mother I make a point of NOT putting myself in the shoes of mums who have had something horrific happen to their children. I consider myself a pretty strong person but it’s not something I even want to fathom.

This is not to say my heart doesn’t break for them – it does – but I can’t take it on board, call it my coping mechanism.

As for all those nannies in New York, I really feel for them. Life’s about to get much harder for them, and for some maybe it should.

Then again I also feel for the mums who have to leave their babies with someone they think they know and hope they’ll be loved, cared for and made to laugh every day.

But how well can you really know someone?

 


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Children of the Corn

It’s the freakiest thing to wake up in the middle of the night and find a small child hovering over you, saying nothing but staring at you blank faced.

In a scene scarily similar to the Children of the Corn, my kids just appear out of nowhere and scare the bejesus out of me in the middle of the night.

I’d almost wish they would come screaming in the room or tried to shake the shit out out of me instead of just being quiet, still and eerily peaceful – waiting for me to feel their presence, which I always do.

This morning after poking around in the pantry I stood back and there was No. 3 – right behind me – just looking up at me with his big blue eyes, staring. I got a hell of a fright. Not to mention I nearly stood on and squashed the poor wee fella.

Kids have a way of just being there, creeping up on you when you’re trying to hide in the pantry and scoff chippies or a few chocolate biscuits without them seeing.

Or they quietly glide across the room to listen to your phone conversation and then later ask you what a ”stupid son of a bitch is”. This usually happens when the husband is home, typical.

The strange thing is my children are almost never quiet, still or peaceful and so to wake up and find them in a trance-like state is very off-putting.

Perhaps I should put a bell around their necks at night time.

 

 


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Sneaky sneaky

I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature/nurture debate recently – but not for the reasons you might think.

For the life of me I can’t understand where or how No.1 learned how to be so sneaky! Aside from the blatant lies that flow so freely from her cherub lips, she’s super crafty.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t been crafty or sneaky around her for the past few years, so she can’t have picked it up from copying me, but maybe she’s picked it up from my husband 😉  (Okay, so it’s more likely to be from my DNA but it’s so much easier to blame someone else don’t you reckon?!)

Since we could communicate with each other my motto has been that if she tells me the truth she won’t get in trouble – but it seems to be getting harder to stick by that mantra. Mainly because she never seems to tell the truth!

And now she has two younger brothers to blame things on she has really mastered the art of sneakiness. I mean it’s not the end of the world by any stretch but it does bug me.

The funny thing is, being her mum I know what she’s thinking before she does it and can often cut her off at the pass. For example, the three slices of apples she was asked to eat just magically disappeared in 30 seconds. When she delivers me an empty bowl, I smile sweetly and ask ‘ which rubbish bin or couch did you hide them in?’ The look on her face is priceless and she proceeds to fish them out with her head hung low.

Or then there’s the ole’ I’ve got eyes in the back of my head and can see everything you do” – if this doesn’t work I pull out the old Santa card, just perfect at this time of year.

“Remember Santa sees everything and you really don’t want to be on the naughty list so you’d better start telling me the truth”.

She even has a knack for the ole’ Winona Ryder and Lindsay Lohan trick, yes that’s right taking things that aren’t hers because ”I really want them and I don’t have them”.

A few years back I even had to scoop out a potential contraband item from underneath the stroller at a department store. She was a lot younger then but was on the cusp of knowing better, and she saw something she wanted and just took it.

Thankfully before the mean door lady, who thinks all mums are shoplifters, found it I fished it out. I then proceeded to gave her a lecture about how mummy could go to jail for stealing etc etc.

Imagine that – being fed three times a day, not having to do the dishes, or washing, tidying up, and I’d even get a quiet room all to myself, this is sounding better by the second.

But dreams aside, I’ve realised that even if you try to be the best role model you can, sometimes there’s not much  you can do to stop nature from taking its course.

And it’s probably best that way anyhow.


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Sanity at the washing line

I think the neighbours believe I’m borderline schizophrenic or have tourettes.

Not for the fact that I often wander aimlessly out to get the newspaper in some pretty bizarre fashions or that I can just stand on my front lawn and stare blindly into the mountains without blinking.

But because my washing line is where I can be alone and let everything out, including swearing my head off and ranting and raving about ”why can’t my kids just leave me alone for *&%@ 1 minute”.

(No 2. just ran up to me and said No.1 just farted in his face. I had to hold myself back from saying ‘good job’ )

Anyway, it’s so important to have a mental break from the constant demands of life in general, even if it’s just staring into the horizon for 30 seconds without having to patiently answer questions from an inquisitive chatterbox.

Or going to the toilet without an audience of 3 – now that’s wishful thinking.

I do know that for those 5 minutes when I’m hanging out clothes I completely ignore everything that’s going on inside my house. I ignore the screaming and fighting and just hope like hell No.3 hasn’t decided to throw more of his toys down the toilet.

But for those precious moments I have a place of my own and some peace and quiet – well, if I’m not cussing as much as Gordan Ramsey on a good day.


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It’s not a democracy it’s a dictatorship!

There is way too much free will in this household and it’s all my fault.

As a first-time mum a few years ago I thought it was a good idea to give my children some say in their early years, BIG MISTAKE!

I should have never given them any options and stuck with the ‘it’s my way or the highway approach’.

For example, at breakfast time I’ve just realised that I ask my children what cereal they want? What a bloody idiot! Because the one they ask for isn’t the one they want and I end up with half a dozen bowls of soggy slop that I feel obligated to eat (out of respect for all those starving children in Ethiopia).

I no longer make anything for myself to eat because I know I’ll be eating what my children didn’t.

But I digress. I now give them two options and the one they pick is the one they eat. If they don’t eat it – well tough bloody shit and that’s it. But really if I was smart I would just put what I buy for them on their plate and say ‘eat’.

The point is I’ve given my children too much say in their early years… but I just don’t have the heart to be hard ass, although that appears to be changing.

This has been made much easier by the arrival of No.3. Everything I used to worry about, including my waistline, has gone out the window.

For example, if my children bail me up for a biscuit not long after they’ve refused breakfast, I give them one because I can’t STAND the shit fight that ensues.

And when we’re out in public I no longer cringe when they do inappropriate things, I simply turn a blind eye and pretend they’re not mine. Often to the point of nodding my head disapprovingly at the child.

I can go to bed at night and sleep – despite knowing there is sink full of dishes and an overflowing basket full of clothes that need folding.

It’s also a major win if we are all wearing knickers when we leave the house.

I’m just saying some things just aren’t worth worrying about anymore – or more to the point, I just don’t have the energy to give a shit.

In saying that, today I did manage to avoid procrastinating and have completed 5 articles, I have also sent a few dozen emails, done a grocery shop, folded and put away 4 loads of washing, cooked dinner, comforted my screeching baby, done the dishes, been nice to the husband (sort of, and so far) and watered the garden.

Same shit, different day!  🙂


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Working from home isn’t all shits and giggles but it does have its advantages.

Not having to get dressed properly, not having to hold in my stomach all day, not having to be nice to annoying, nosy or bitchy workmates and not having to wear shoes – EVER!

And if it’s stinking hot I can look inappropriate in a singlet top without worrying about my tuck shop arms knocking out an unsuspecting person who passes me by.

I can also go for a swim in my birthday suit – too much information? Well my kids are always telling me that sharing is caring.

Then there’s the fact I can sneak in watching an episode of Revenge in between interviewing clients, hanging out the washing, doing the dishes, starting dinner, changing sheets and writing press releases.

Of course when husband arrives home I make sure I’ve got a HUMUNGOUS pile of washing to fold and make a few remarks about how I just didn’t have time to get it done during the day (because I watched two episodes of Revenge not one!!!)

As for the not so great parts about working from home – I NEVER GET TO LEAVE WORK!

And because I don’t actually attend an actual place of work I swear people just think I sit on my bum all day and do nothing –  well they are right about the first part.

It also requires a much higher level of motivation to work from home that being at an actual place of work, where you are watched and it’s frowned upon to sing out loud to your favourite song in your birthday suit (after just getting out of the pool!)

Sick days don’t exist, you don’t free cake at morning tea time and you can’t show off your weight loss to peers (okay well not that I’d be doing that, but I’m working on it)

And with 3 kids there is always a helluva mess to clean up somewhere, whether it’s food smears on the wall that catch your eye or a half eaten carrot under the couch (which I’ll probably leave as it’s only been there one day and No.3 is teething at the moment and he might enjoy that later).

And don’t even get me started on the numerous ways to procrastinate on the internet, eBay, social networking, email, banking.
And let’s not forget those cheap discount websites that offer daily deals for suckers like me who buy something because it seems too good of an opportunity to pass up!

Right now I have 4 articles to write, but I’m going to finish off breakfast dishes, put a load of washing on, pick up Makka Pakka off the floor and try find a home for 25 matchbox cars I’m sick of tripping over.

The thing is I’ve a little secret weapon, it’s called a deadline! So no matter what happens I have to get the work done by a certain time, and I do. This is because of another little trick I like to call ‘working well under pressure’.

This comes from my years on a daily newspaper, where if you didn’t get it done, it didn’t get published and shit would hit the fan, and your rival paper would get the scoop.

And I hate that because I’m extremely competitive.

I’m not as bad as I used to be though, I once got an ‘F’ for sportsmanship at primary school because if I didn’t win I’d have a meltdown.

Over the years I’ve become a lot smarter and have learned to harness the power of competition for good not evil. Now it only comes out when it matters and when I know I can triumph!

Must get back to ‘work’….

 

 

 


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Spaghetti

If you’d walk past my house or been unlucky enough to visit at 5.30 this evening you would have been wondering how I was allowed to procreate!

For starters we were watching Christmas DVD’s so loud the neighbour’s dogs were trying to join in. Next of all, I had just asked No.1 to find No.3 in case he had found the lollipop he had dropped outside yesterday, and yes he had discovered it in the dirt and was making short work of it.

No.2 was running around without pants shouting wee,wee, no poo poo and trying to body slam No.3 any chance he could.

With husband stuck in traffic, we sat down to eat messy Spaghetti, with Wiggles Christmas still playing (kill me) but at least there was some peace. I was just about to take a HUGE gulp of medicinal compound (wine) when said husband arrived, crap.

Just as my hard working, easy going, tired husband arrives home, No.3 decides the dinner on his plate felt lonely, so he threw it down on the ground to play with its friends, on my recently mopped floor.

While no-one was looking I did the most sensible thing someone in my position would do, take a BIG sip, okay it was a gulp!

Who knew that dinners, in fact every meal, would be such a horrific experience with children. I thought they just ate what we ate, did what we did, and smiled nicely and said nothing.

But unfortunately times have changed and we can no longer scare our kids to be quiet like many of our parents did!!!

Not that I would want to (insert sarcastic face), in fact I love being asked to read No.1’s recently received Santa mail letter from Westfield 7 times (yawn). But it’s true, back in the days kids were seen and not heard.

I don’t agree with that necessarily, but that is a subject for another day. Gulp, night night!


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HOMEWORK!!

So it seems I launched into this blog thing without a thought as to how to set it up – luckily I have a BFF who knows what a widget is – sounds like something you don’t want to get bitten by to me, but watch this space and I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it and make my blog a masterpiece soon enough.

First rant of the day – receptionists at doctor’s surgeries who give you the evil-shit eye for breathing. They’re up there with the ladies that answer the phones at schools and couldn’t be more cranky if they tried. Share the love peeps, life is hard enough without having to rain on someone’s parade all the time.

One a more sunnier note, No.2 is on way the way to being nappy free, which means instead of changing 70 of them a week, it’ll be a more manageable, and cheaper, 35, give or take. Another interesting fact is that by the time No.3 is outta nappies I would’ve spent 8 years of my life as a professional bottom wiper and wrapper.