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sock search

Garnet searching for his socks.

We’ve been on a holiday. A driving holiday, and while I’ll try to write about that soon, and tell you all about the long car trip to Melbourne and the long car trip back and all the in-between parts that involved snow, alpacas, honey prawns and a new tyre, today I can only write about socks.

Because I have realised that it’s not the pram in the hall that is the enemy of creativity. It’s the fact that as designated Chief of Socks in this family, 98 per cent of my Random Access Memory is occupied with being a geolocater for hundreds of tiny fucking socks. Continue Reading »

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Sample bookshelf from my parents’ attic: Just one of the many collections of books that tells you probably more than you need to know about my family.

Our renovation is about to begin. We have packed everything from one half of our house and jammed it into the other half. The builders are going to knock out few of our walls, fiddle around with the layout a bit, and put in a new kitchen. The house is very overdue for some care and maintenance, but knowing the renovation was approaching we’ve treated it like a teacher treats their class in the last weeks of the academic year. Gradually everything has fallen apart, and we’ve stopped caring and worked around it. It’s been the domestic equivalent of the teacher putting on a video of ‘Behind The News’ every day for two weeks and reading a book while the class flicks spit balls around and braids each other’s hair.

Continue Reading »

 

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Portrait of Garnet by his sister or Smiths album cover?

In lieu of a proper post, today I have a fun game for you, dear readers. It’s called ‘Are These Songs By The Smiths or Things My Three Year Old Said Today?’. First neat and correct entry on a postcard wins a trip to my house. Second prize is two trips to my house. Continue Reading »

Sticker Shock

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Part of a Lego exhibition we saw on the weekend and in no way a freakishly accurate representation of our bedroom when it’s my morning to get up at dawn with Garnet.

The last few weeks have involved a lot of of autopilot mornings. The kind where everyone has played musical beds all night, and when you realise there is finally a crack of dawn in the sky and there is no point hoping for sleep any longer, you get up. In this house, H and I alternately get up with the earliest riser in the morning. This civilised turn taking is like a gently teetering see-saw upon which our happy marriages rests. Recently those mornings have begun around 4.55 am, a time known to normal people as ‘still night’.

That is too early to think, so the only way to manage when things get like this is to have a system. Order and repetition are your friends. Here follows my system, which is pretty much transferable to any household with children under six, I think. Feel free to borrow it. Continue Reading »

wewillrockyouMy dad is not a fan of musicals. He has long professed that his favourite musical, if forced to pick, is Westside Story, because all the noisy people get shot at the end. So it was with some trepidation that I went to see We Will Rock You with him last night.

We Will Rock You is a musical by Ben Elton, based on the songs of Queen. When arranging the tickets I made very sure Dad was aware that it was a musical. With musical numbers in it. Sung by people in character. It’s a singy play. You know, like an opera but less in German, and with more drums. There’s going to be dancing. There’s a high likelihood of the audience being bullied by the cast into clapping our hands above our heads in certain parts. Are you really sure you want to come, Dad? Because Mum does want to see it, and if you’re just going to come and have a sitting-up nap or fume all the way through, please allow me to not get you a ticket. Continue Reading »

IMG_6093Each 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 »

 

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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 »

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