Posts Tagged ‘christmas’


Proper homemade gingerbread house that I had absolutely nothing to do with. Grandmothers are where it’s at.

Good New Year to you, dear people of the internet. It seems to be week three of January. I haven’t written since well before that dark and dreadful time back in December when everyone was mainlining candy canes and behaving like juvenile Hunters S. Thompson, coming up with insane demands and changing their minds about what was on their Christmas list every eighteen seconds from dawn until dusk, which in December in Australia is about 16 hours.

This year I spent December dangling Santa over my children’s heads like a jolly fat stick shaped carrot. I punctuated the long idle hours with threats to inform on them to Santa for all their wrongdoing.  The irony was lost on me until now of the time I shouted at them that if they didn’t stop dobbing on each other I would tell Santa they were dreadful and that he shouldn’t come. After Christmas I had to change tack and I began threatening to throw away their presents if they didn’t behave. This threat was rendered entirely hollow by me spending the rest of the time complaining that there was no more room in the bins because of all the toy packaging.  (more…)

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img_1639Hooray, December is upon us! Like a crushing weight in your heart! Upon us like a thousand years of late tax returns!

I don’t quite know what it is about December that makes me so down in the dumps every year, except oh yes, maybe I do. Maybe it’s the way the end of the year looms like a horrendous deadline for all the things you promised yourself you’d achieve this year and didn’t. Maybe it’s all the things you have to do and buy and attend and make a costume for and take a plate to. Maybe it’s because you have to decide on a Christmas tree.

Historically, choosing a tree hasn’t been a problem in our family. Because historically we’ve just bought a massive chopped down tree if we are going to be at home for Christmas, and used a large plastic tree if we are going away.

But this year, although we are home for the holidays, H has come over all Sting and doesn’t want a nice chopped-down pine. He’d rather we have a tiny potted facsimile of a Christmas tree that you decorate, leave inside for a fortnight, then banish to the garden, before you go to haul it out next Christmas and realize it is dead, just like the lovely big purpose-grown Christmas tree you passed up this year. He thinks he is saving a Christmas tree life, but he is wrong. All Christmas trees are meant to die. That is their purpose. They are the gladiators of the tree world. We kill them for our sport. (more…)

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Last week Garnet turned three. He’s not a hundred per cent ok with that. The boy has a complicated relationship with the ageing process. He likes being three, but he wants to be a three-year-old baby. In all the games he and his friends play, he must play the baby. The baby pirate. The baby brother in Peter Pan. Baby Cottontail in Peter Rabbit. He’s dipping his toe into the world of superheroes with a character he has invented called – you guessed it – Superbaby. He gets strangely cross when people call him a big boy.

About a month ago he toilet trained, and apart from a small amount of unorthodox backward loo sitting and a misunderstanding about where you are supposed to stand during a standing-up wee (tip: not on the toilet seat) it went off without a hitch. I heaped praise upon him, as you are supposed to, telling him over and over what a good big boy he is now and wow, what a grown-up fellow, gosh. He didn’t respond with ecstatic pride like I expected, instead getting very quiet. After a day or so he finally said, ‘Mummy, can I please not be a big boy? Can I just be a little boy who wears underpants?’ Sure, be a little boy who wears underpants and MAKES HIS MOTHER’S HEART EXPLODE WITH THE CUTENESS. I think the subtext there was also ‘Please could you shut up about my undies and my age and just let a person’s toiletting habits be his own business?’ And of course I can. You know, except for blogging about it, obviously. (more…)

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Tomorrow is the first of December, which means today is the perfect day for good parents to fire up Pinterest and check out some of the inspiring things other good parents are doing with advent calendars. Because you’ll realise, your children only just having come down from the sugar high of Halloween, that those Cadbury ones from the supermarket are not really good enough anymore.

All over Pinterest, parents are tucking little messages of hope and goodwill into tiny handmade brown paper envelopes, and numbering them in their best hipster font handwriting. They’re pegging these with tiny little natural wooden pegs to a grosgrain ribbon, or a little pine sapling they’ve raised from seed. Then they’re photographing the living daylights out of it and putting it all over the internet to make everyone else feel bad.

If you make one of these advent calendars, every day until Christmas your children will get to experience the wonder of the festive season. One day they’ll receive a pair of new Christmas pyjamas, or a judgemental spying elf. On other days they will dance to Christmas music, make marshmallow snowmen, bake Christmas cookies or dip candy canes in hot cocoa. Importantly, they will do a bit of unto othersing, perhaps donating toys to the less fortunate or singing carols for the neighbours.

The rest of you might like to borrow from the advent calendar I’ve made for my kids this year. (more…)

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IMG_2310Oh shit, it’s happened again. I blogged and then I turned around to pick up a few toys and scrape the homemade yogurt out of the cup that held milk a few hours ago and make a trillion Vegemite sandwiches and what have you and all of a sudden it has been two months since I have updated this poor site. Sorry about that. If it’s any consolation, there’s not much to report from my end.

Well, I say not much, but I guess there have been some fairly important milestones for other people around here. Garnet has learned to talk. He seems to have downloaded English into his head overnight, which I know is impossible because our internet connection can’t even download an episode of House of Cards without taking six hours and crashing the computer and generally carrying on like a pork chop. So he must have learnt it some other way. I suspect his sister is involved. ‘It’s May Blossom’s fault!’ he says, when anything goes wrong, regardless of whether she who loves to blame is anywhere near him at the time. ‘Wow! Dat ‘mazing/cute/booful!’ is a standard reaction to flowers, rainbows or pizza.

May Blossom herself has gone and turned four. She is deeply obsessed with Transvision Vamp, an English band from the 1980s, and nothing makes me happier than hearing her analysis of the lyrics of ‘I Want Your Love’. (‘Gosh, she really does want that man’s love quite a lot, doesn’t she?’)


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Our little boy was born ten days ago. Sorry it’s taken me so long to put him down and write a post to announce it. But if you smelled his head you’d understand. He is, like a Christmas blockbuster novel, unputdownable.


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1. Is it a book?

Yes: go to question 2.

No: Select again and go back to question 1.

2. Does it have endnotes?

Yes: Go to question 3.

No: Select again and go back to question 1. (more…)

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Hello there. Did you survive Christmas? Are you still speaking to any of your family? Did anyone lose an eye when the top button of your pants pinged off and richocheted around the room after you forced one too many ham sandwiches down on Christmas night? Have you broken all your gifts yet? Did you like anything anyone gave you? Were you convincing with your present face when you opened something that was, shall we say, not to your taste? Me neither. (more…)

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The place was gone to rack and ruin. Only the Lighthouse beam entered the rooms for a moment, sent its sudden stare over bed and wall in the darkness of winter, looked with equanimity at the thistle and the swallow, the rat and the straw. Nothing now withstood them; nothing said no to them. Let the wind blow; let the poppy seed itself and the carnation mate with the cabbage. Let the swallow build in the drawing-room, and the thistle thrust aside the tiles, and the butterfly sun itself on the faded chintz of the arm-chairs. Let the broken glass and the china lie out on the lawn and be tangled over with grass and wild berries. (more…)

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Decorating: done (yes, all my bookshelves are this pretentious)

There are but three shopping days left until Christmas, dear reader(s). You’re probably sitting back smugly upon reading that fact, thinking ‘Well those are three more days than I need, because I am very organised and superior and all my gifts are bought and wrapped elegantly and sitting under my real Christmas tree which is tastefully decorated with charming and whimsical ornaments and soft white twinkling lights. All there is for me to do is sit back and peruse my Christmas menu, most of which I have already prepared and which is macerating, marinating, steeping, gelling and otherwise improving itself in my walk-in pantry and my huge fridge.’

Well bully for you, reader. Things ain’t looking so pretty around here. A few minutes ago, in a new  low of parenting, I procured a Christmas stocking for my child from a printer toner shop. For free. Basically, I begged it from the window display. (more…)

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