Each year, the changing seasons bring with them a change of rhythm, and new cycles in the life of a family. Despite the weather behaving like it’s Endless Summer (though in our house there’s less surfing and more skidding on abandoned pyjamas) it seems that we have moved into our typical autumn pattern of all being fucking sick.
Here’s how it goes: the kids catch a cold from school or kindy or licking a parking meter, they spend four or five days being snotty and gross, waking us up many times a night because they feel crappy, which sends H’s and my immune systems into meltdown. We go into panic mode, cramming handfuls of vitamins down our throats, but to no avail. We both come down with it just as the kids bounce back. The crossover point of my downward trajectory and their upward one was Monday, when they both cried ill and I let them stay home from school.
By 11 o’clock they were as fit as fleas, and bouncing off the walls. I tried making them stay in bed for a few hours, but finally the thumping sounds from their room – because leaping from one bed to the other technically counts as staying in bed, apparently, became too much and I let them come down and watch TV, which I interrupted quite often to perform angry retellings of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ and assure them that only if they were vomiting out of their eyes and ears would I ever let them stay home from school again. Continue Reading »
Posted in Motherhood | Tagged colours, Life, painting, Parenthood, renovation, sick | 4 Comments »
From top: gun, sword, wand. AKA ‘kindling for Granddad’.
I’ve never thought brandishing a stick was a good idea. We were always told by our parents that it was dangerous, which I could see was theoretically true, but only in the same way I could see that it was theoretically possible to break your arm falling off the monkey bars. It could happen, but only if you were an idiot who didn’t know what you were doing.
Then when I was in Year 1, my friend’s big sister, Naomi, was speared through the cheek by an idiot who was running through the playground with a stick. Oh, properly realised every kid who knew her. It is dangerous to run with a stick. If you have a great stick, but it’s stuck in your mate’s cheek, you will not be getting that thing back. Don’t risk your best sticks by running with them. Continue Reading »
Posted in Accidents, Children's books, Discipline, Garnet, Motherhood, My life, Safety, Uncategorized | Tagged childhood, Harry Potter, Parenting, Safety, Sticks | 9 Comments »
This seems lovely, doesn’t it? Until you realise that is not the ocean Garnet is wallowing in but actually self-pity. See the ripples of misery he is causing? See how they threaten to knock H off his stand-up paddle board?
The school holidays are over. May Blossom went back to class this morning, creeping like snail unwillingly to school, after we’d located her lunch bag and drink bottle, and wiped the slug trails off her hat.
The family Gusto spent a good part of these holidays on a tropical island in Vanuatu, which was, as always when you travel with a three- and a five-year-old, roughly equal parts so good we never wanted to leave and so bad we wished none of us had ever been born. Continue Reading »
Posted in Awful things, Bright sides, Family, Fear, Fun, Garnet, H, Kids, May Blossom, Motherhood, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged Motherhood, Parenting, Travel, Travel with kids, Vanuatu | 1 Comment »
Today it’s H’s and my seventh wedding anniversary. According to some website or other the appropriate gift for seven years of marriage is either made of copper (traditional list) or wool (modern list). I’ve been trying to find a good gift for H. You’d think wouldn’t be that hard since copper is currently very much In Fashion. For a year every catalogue and homewares website I’ve seen has had nothing but bloody copper: clocks, beds, kettles, prismatic vases and picture frames. But do you think I can find one solitary knitted copper jumper? I cannot. And I’ve left it too late to knit my own.
Maybe I’ll just leave it. Last year the suggested gifts were iron and sugar, and H is still a bit grumpy about the bits of toffee that remain stuck to our ironing board.
Today being our anniversary means that two days ago was my birthday. H pulled out all the stops to make it a truly wonderful day. Unfortunately, he was working against the combined forces of birthday ruination, our children, so all his good intentions were for naught. Continue Reading »
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Birthdays, Humor, kids, Parenting | 2 Comments »
Another long weekend, another virus or two lay waste to the House of Gusto. The past four days are best described as ‘not at all in any way resembling how I made it look on social media’. The illness struck the extended family this time, with nine of us coming down with some or all of nausea, vomiting, fevers, coughs and body aches. The kids added a common or garden variety cold to the mix, to keep things fresh, and so on Easter Sunday night May Blossom ended up screaming in pain from an infected ear, and barking the house down with croup. Because we were at my parents’ place in the country, we set the bush telegraph to work and located a vintage 1980s humifier from some local friends, which got her through the night, along with regular doses of Panadol and Nurofen. First thing Monday morning we hightailed it back to civilisation and steroids and antibiotics. Today we have applied a heavy dose of sofa and Netflix, which seems to be helping.
Continue Reading »
Posted in H, May Blossom, Motherhood, My life, Sick, Uncategorized | Tagged chickens, Craft, easter, kids, Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Sickness | 4 Comments »
I’ve been so tired and befuddled this week that I have just realised that there are only four days left to threaten my kids that the Easter Bunny will take a flying leap past our house if they don’t stop that immediately. I don’t know how I could have been so remiss. And it’s been the perfect week for it because Garnet’s been sick since Friday – first vomiting and then coughing – and he has been about as easy to reason with as a chipmunk with rabies. Rabies and gastro and a cough.
This week he has been brought to howling tears by many and varied injustices. There was the fact that I would not go under the house to drag out the old double stroller to push him the half block to pick up May Blossom from school. Why the double stroller? Because he wanted to ride in it with his friend Charlie. Charlie who lives on the other side of the city? Yes. We never do school pickup with Charlie. Yes, that was understood. This was some sort of protest against never doing school pickups with Charlie. It was the filthy Maclaren stroller version of the empty chair representing the imprisoned writer that PEN International always have at events.
There was misery because he couldn’t find his green watch and H and I disagreed that an appropriate way to deal with a missing green watch is to bite your sister on the bum. Continue Reading »
Posted in Dreadful puns, Garnet, Motherhood, My life, Sleep, Uncategorized | Tagged easter, Humour, kids, Life, Motherhood, Parenting | Leave a Comment »
Lately Garnet has been behaving in a way that has challenged me as a mother. That is, I believe, what we say these days when we mean our kid is being a gigantic pain in the bum. He calls everyone names, all the time. He is like a two foot tall random insult generator, stuck on the ‘scatological’ setting. All day long it’s ‘You big nappy!’ ‘You giant poo bum!’ ‘You nappy-throwing baby!’ You nincompooping nappy head!’ ‘Nincompoop fart bum poop!’ ‘You underpants!’
Occasionally he makes up a word (‘You nuckus!’) or just pops something that’s not an insult at all (‘You big sandwich!)
None of it is true swearing but the intention is there. He just doesn’t have the actual profanities in his vocabulary. How this is possible, living with H and me, is something of a mystery and perhaps a sign that he needs his hearing checked. It’s tiresome in the extreme. Continue Reading »
Posted in Discipline, Friends, Garnet, Motherhood, My life, Uncategorized | Tagged discipline, Life, Motherhood, Parenting, swearing, Three year olds | 4 Comments »