Posts Tagged ‘toys’

je-2In a shocking turn of events, I have not written any more of my novel since last week. My idea now seems very slight and unimportant in light of world events. Instead, we have moved back into our house after the renovation, and I have spent most of my time dealing with an existential crisis that has taken root in the rich compost of all the stuff in our house.

I need to cull our belongings. This is a truth universally known. But I am also a sentimentalist at heart. I know how you’re meant to get rid of things: ask do I wear them/use them/need them? Could someone else benefit from them? One or two yeses and out they go. Well, that’s all fine in theory. But in reality? There are more questions than that.

Here are but two of the quandaries I have been wrestling with. Multiply this by a few hundred and you have an idea of why I am not achieving a lot.  (more…)

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bigshoesPoor May Blossom. She is the mother of a most troublesome child. Cupcake the Filthy Doll, generally known his family, friends and the local constabulary as Baby, has been up to a fat lot of No Good.

He wasn’t a bad baby to begin with, but about six months ago I began to hear tales from his mother about various crimes and misdemeanours for which he was responsible. First there was the broken wall near our local post office. (more…)

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1. You have to stay somewhere as good or better than home. My very clever friend Other Jess once told me this, and I think she is right. Once you have a child, and probably until they are at least five, for a trip away to in any way resemble a holiday you need to stay somewhere this is not inferior to your own home.

Staying in a crappy hotel when you are travelling in Mexico without kids is fine. You can eat out every meal, spend all day sightseeing, and just use it as a place to lay your mezcal-addled head for a few hours a night. Once there is a small person to consider, comfort becomes more important, because a grumpy, bored, uncomfortable kid makes everything crappy for everyone.

Look for cooking facilities, air conditioning if the climate requires it, a separate living space for your child to sleep in, if that’s what they are used to at home. Some or all of these will make your life more fun. The best place we stayed was a house we rented for a week from the family who lived there, who had gone on vacation. They had a three-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy, and more toys than I have ever seen in one place. For May Blossom, it was like living at play group, but without all the pesky sharing. It was the most relaxing week of our trip because she pretty much entertained herself while we ate chips and watched the Olympics on the massive telly. (more…)

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Shortly after we gave May Blossom her beloved new Humpty Dumpty toy, my brother Superchief drew my attention to the fact that Humpty looks a little bit like Hitler. A jovial, clean-shaven Hitler, but a bit Adolfy nonetheless. I think he is onto something.

Is it just the hair? On Play School Humpty’s hair is usually styled with a centre part, but the toy’s hair just wants to go to one side. When I do manage to part it he looks like Robert Smith from The Cure, which is definitely an improvement on Hitler. (more…)

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Wild scenes: May Blossom out of control in the moshpit. Tip her over, pour her out.

We’ve just returned from the Play School Concert. If you’re not from Australia, I ought to explain that Play School is a half-hour television program made and broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for pre-schoolers. It has been running since 1966. Each episode is hosted by two actors, appearing as themselves, and basically they mind your kid in a educational way for half an hour twice a day with no shouting and no mess. It’s amazing. Australian taxpayers each pay about ten cents a day to fund the ABC. I’d pay ten dollars just for Play School.

May Blossom doesn’t watch it every day – maybe three times a week – but she is a passionate fan. My only quibble with the show is the way they put unreasonable expectations in your kid’s mind about what can be done with toilet rolls, watercolours and paste. Nothing good, if you ask me, but they’d have you believe you can make castles and tractors and whatnot, without ending up with a very pasty, painty child with bits of foil and tissue stuck to their wrists who is furious that all their watercolours have ended up looking like spew. (more…)

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Yesterday my mum made May Blossom a playhouse out of the box from the new barbecue. By sheer coincidence, it is an exact, full-scale model of our own flat, right down to the squashed grapes and bits of Vegemite sandwich on the floor.

But this squishy little flat will soon be a much-improved palace, because the Michael the Bathroom Man, Saviour of Hearts and Minds, is coming to see us on Saturday. He is going to quote on replacing our Emporium of Mould and Dryer Fluff with an actual bathroom. We might even get a toilet that flushes properly and that doesn’t have a wonky plastic seat so flimsily attached that if you don’t sit down very carefully you skid off the pan and out the door on it like it’s a bobsled. Sheer luxury. And two competing teams of air-conditioning installers (that is almost definitely the pitch for a reality show on Channel 9), are coming to decide who gets the honour of chilling out this little hothouse of ours. (more…)

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In the lead-up to May Blossom’s birthday, the cake preparations continue. Today’s post is an homage to some of the great cakes of my childhood. The first, and in my opinion the greatest, is my first birthday cake. It was made by my mother in the shape of my brown burmese cat, Quickly. It is not, as H assumed before I resized the image so he could see the cat’s face, a cake in the shape of Western Australia.

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