Thursday, 19 September 2013

What a sweetie!

Sometimes I feel completely ripped off.

I feel like I was duped into becoming a mother.  Because, somehow, all I ever heard were the good stories about people feeling completely fulfilled by being a mother, and about those moments when your heart completely melts when you look at your child.


I'm really glad that some people get to have that kind of experience.

And I'm really glad that the first time I laid eyes on the Little Big Fella I completely fell in love.  Because if I hadn't, it's quite possible something drastic may have happened in those first two years.

But today was completely out of the ordinary.  While there have been moments (many, actually) where the Little Big Fella has melted my heart, this afternoon has been one moment after another, which is completely unknown so far in our life together!

The morning had been pretty horrible, after a series of nights of terrible sleep.  Both of us were tired and not responding well.

But when we got back from playgroup, after a little bit of rest, and after I'd adjusted his new Green Lantern costume (thanks Angie!) to fit him, he suddenly became this beautiful, sweet, helpful little boy!

He asked me if he could do anything for me.  (He's never done that before.)

When I couldn't think of anything, he offered to go and clean his room.  (He's never done that before.)  It wasn't even messy!

He wanted to help me make dinner.  (He hasn't done that in a while.)

He told me I looked beautiful and that my new clothes (which came in the mail this morning) looked gorgeous.  (He does that pretty often.)

He ate all of his dinner, including the broccoli, without being asked.  (He's never done that before.)

He happily stopped watching his cartoon to go and have a shower.

And even though at this stage I don't dare to hope that this will continue, except as irregular events perhaps, I am really enjoying this sweet little boy of mine.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Can somebody say, "excited"???

I was feeling the trepidation.

It was kindy pick-up time for the Little Big Fella.  I'd had a really full day and was mildy stressed about not getting other stuff done.

But that wasn't what caused my fear.

You see, the Little Big Fella doesn't like snakes.

At.  All.

He doesn't like bugs or even the rubber snakes that boys stereotypically throw at girls to make them scream.

Guess what came to kindy today.

Yup!  A reptile show.

So, I was feeling nervous.

While getting my hair cut and coloured I was imagining a stressed-out phone call from the kindy teacher telling me I had to come and pick up the Little Big Fella, with blood-curdling screams in the background.

Thankfully the Big Fella was with me for pick-up.  I had moral support!

We made our way from the car, through the child-proof gates, and along the side of the kindy building.

I couldn't hear anything!  No singing, no playing, no stories.

Sh!t!  The guy had an anaconda and ate everyone!!!

But, no!  We got around to the closed doors and the other parents were waiting patiently.  All must have been well.

The teacher opened the doors and the Big Fella walked over to get the Little Big Fella.  Out he came and ran into Daddy's arms.

Okay.  He's alive!  This is good!

The Big Fella motioned that I was there as well and the Little Big Fella pelted over to me and gave me a BIG hug.

And then it started.

The non-stop, high-pitched, high-decibel, excited talk about dragons that don't fly and 7 meter snakes and baby crocodiles and turtles with long tongues and... and... and...

It went on until we got to McDonald's (Daddy needed coffee).

Throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening there were sudden outbursts about various reptiles, generally in the high-pitched, high-speed, excited tones.

We had dinner and the Little Big Fella headed off for his shower.  When he got out I could tell he was tired.  His eyes were practically hanging out of his head.

"Yes!" thought I.  "He'll be asleep in no time!"


As soon as I went in to say goodnight (the Big Fella had already headed off to work after dinner) the excited stories began again.  They began with him showing me all of the reptiles and telling me all about them.  Then then turned imaginative.

These snakes (the mummy, the daddy and the babies) each had their own little beds up and down his body.

This dragon can't fly because he doesn't have wings, but he can breathe fire!   And the turtle can breathe ice so that he doesn't burn when the dragon breathes fire at him.

The cage for these crocodiles only opens when I press this button on the wall and click my fingers.

I can magic this cage from over there.

I need a drink of water.  Can you watch my pets so they don't get scared from being along?

And on, and on, and on!  I don't think he took a breath for at least 15 minutes!!!  Eventually I was able to suggest that it was sleeping time.

The Little Big Fella lay down on his pillow and pulled up his covers (for the 100th time since coming in to his room), but the pets needed a story.

"One story" I agreed.

Up he jumped again to choose a book from the shelf!  (Honestly, I wish I had a fraction of his energy at this time of day!!!)

So the story was read and the child calmed enough to potentially sleep.  And I was left with a brilliant sense of my son's imagination and excitement about something I'd thought would bring fear.  I can't wait to see what happens when he goes to school!!!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Have a laugh!

I love British comedy!

The other night the Big Fella and I stumbled across a British panel comedy show that literally had us in tears.  And a comedy movie that stands out in my memory is "Keeping Mum" - a black comedy starring Rowan Atkinson and Maggie Smith.

One of the things I love about British humour is the wit and intelligence.

The Big Fella and I often find American comedy makes us cringe because of the uncomfortable situations the characters are put in.  You can see the discomfort coming and you feel for them.  It feels too much like awkward teenage years!!!

But witty humour is clever and you can laugh without that undercurrent of feeling like it's at someone else's expense.

The panel show we came across the other night had a section where the panelists had to do stand-up comedy about a topic on the spot.  These comedians were quick!!!  They were funny and entertaining and clever.  And I find that entertaining.

In the Australian scene, "Good News Week" and "The Chasers" have tickled my funny bone.  I guess political humour suits me too, again because it's clever and witty.

Maybe I'm a humour snob????

Friday, 13 September 2013

Where is the love?

I've seen two programs about trans-gender people recently.  In case you're not sure, trans-gender and those who are born with a male or female body, but internally believe themselves to be the other gender.

Let me say, right up front that I don't know any trans-gender people (that I know of), so I am not talking from a position of experience.

The thing that's struck me the most about both of the programs I've watched is the pain of the trans-gender person, and that of their parents.

The trans-gender people suffer from feeling like they're in the wrong body.

They suffer from being so completely different to the majority of society, in a world where difference is awkward or even a cause of abuse.

They suffer as they decide whether to try to make their body match their internal life, and if they do, they suffer from the operations and recovery of the physical changes.

They suffer guilt for feeling like they're deceiving those around them if they don't "fess up" to who they "really" are.

And the parents suffer too.  They suffer grief for the loss of the child they thought they had, even if they support them.  They suffer as their child is rejected by a cruel world.  They suffer for their child as they face complex relationship questions.

I watched a mother on the program this evening, standing with her arms crossed across her chest, telling her son-who-feels-like-a-daughter that she wouldn't call him/her a female name.  And I saw the child's soul crushed.

Later in the program the mother took that child shopping for girl's clothes in an attempt to rebuild the bridge over the chasm between them.

And as I sit here writing and reflecting my eyes are welling with tears.

Life is nowhere near black and white.  And whether you believe trans-gender people are who they say they are or not, the reality is that they are people.  And in all probability, they have suffered.  Greatly!

And my tears are not only for trans-gender people, but also for gay and lesbians.  Because, although they are much more accepted in society these days, there is still a great deal of fear and loathing.

And whether you believe anyone other than you is born that way, or whether you think their lifestyle is an abomination, or just plain weird, surely the thing that's most important, the issue that is first and foremost, is that they are human beings who suffer pain just like you and me.

You don't have to agree with them.  You don't have to join the Mardi Gras parade.  You don't have to do anything except treat others as human beings.  At the very least, be civil!  "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all".

Because by simply holding our tongues, or acknowledging the pain of another, we can make the world immeasurably better.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


It's the early part of September, which is the first month of Spring in this part of the world.

Given that little bit of information, can you guess what this is?

I doubt you'll need it, but would you like some thinking music?

Maybe a little elevator-style?

If you're frustrated, you might prefer a little head-banging, double bass-drum pedal, metal-style music.

Okay, enough guessing time because it wasn't that hard, was it?

You got it!  We have our pool up already!!!

And yes, the Little Big Fella played in it for ages before asking me to move it into the sun, so it is warm enough for it.

Coming originally from Victoria, I'm used to it still being rather chilly at this time of year.  The sun starts to show up and the flowers are starting to bring a bit of cheer to the long, grey winter, but the thought of swimming is just ridiculous!!!

There are a couple of bad things that go with the start of swimming season.

The first, and mostly likely to be dramatic in the next few weeks, is that our pool has a hole and won't stay up.  And we can't put an awful lot of water in it either, because it just makes the air go out faster and then the water pours over the side and floods the yard.

The second, and most likely to be dramatic over the next few months, is that our local pool (in the next town) was discovered to have been built over about 200 (now)skeletons.  Given the history of Australia, it seems likely that it's an Aboriginal burial, quite possibly from a massacre by white people.  Yay!  (Yes, that was definitely sarcasm.)

At the moment, it means that the pool won't be opening for a while.  Which also means no swimming lessons for the Little Big Fella this summer.  And he loves swimming lessons (well, swimming in general) so that's a pretty big bummer.

But just like that our swimming/summer is here.  Thankfully our lounge room airconditioner is being collected by a friend today and will be installed some time soon.

Which is particularly good news for my Fellas, because I can get rather... cranky when I get too hot!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

A Rambling Catch-Up

Obviously I haven't written a post in a while.

But, because it's not "work" for me, I don't have to!  And I find that I get on a roll and want to write about everything sometimes, and other times nothing seems good enough to share, or is just too hard to write down.

However, I do like to provide the opportunity to allow people (especially family in other states) to keep up to date with what's happening with us.

So, what has been happening with us?

Well, we've been for a visit to our old town and hung out with my grandparents, sister and nephews (and briefly saw my brother-in-law - sucks to have to work for a living!).

I've collected the enrollment forms for the Little Big Fella for school.  I just need a few signatures and a copy of his birth certificate and I can drop those off.  Some time next term he'll have a day or two at the school in preparation for next year!  It's all very exciting and a little bit trippy.

The Little Big Fella's best friend had his birthday party.  It was a great day for all the kids and I met some wonderful women too.

Speaking of birthdays, the Big Fella turned 40 last week.  But, being the Big Fella, not a big fuss was made.  He hates cakes and cards and balloons and fuss.

Having said that, we had dinner with his mate the night before, dinner with a great couple on his birthday night, and some friends over for the afternoon/evening a couple of days later.

And the Big Fella and I gave each other rings.  He gave me an eternity ring and I gave him a new wedding ring (his old one has been beaten and chipped and now sits, surprisingly sentimentally, in his drawer).

And although the Big Fella doesn't like fuss, I think ceremony is important.  So, on the day he gave me my eternity ring, I gave him his ring (I'd had it for several weeks) and read out a page I'd written about our lives together so far and how much I love him.  I guess it was our own, private re-commitment ceremony in our car, in the parking lot of a shopping centre.

Which is kind of funny, given that we got engaged in a car, too!  (Just to set the record straight, we'd been out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and had driven up to a lookout but it was raining.)

What else?

Oh!  We got a shipping container delivered.  No, we're not moving.  The Big Fella calls it our drug lab, but it's got all his workshop tools in it.  We now have so much more room under the house!!!

We had a stressful couple of days after the kindy teacher mentioned that the Little Big Fella might be lacking in some social skills, and possibly have sensory issues.  After talking with her, and reflecting ourselves, we decided that he probably needs a bit more direction (most often in the form of play) from us.  We're going to see how he's going in a couple of months and go from there if need be.

The CWA had a special morning tea before Father's Day.  They play a game called "bug" where you roll dice and draw a bug based on what you roll.  It's played in teams of 4 and is very fast-paced, and thus exciting.  It sounds strange and kind of boring, but it really isn't.

The school had a big garage sale and I shared a "stall" with another lady to sell some of the playgroup's extraneous equipment.  And baked some yo-yos (a traditional Christmas treat in my family) for the school's P&C to sell.

And, just this past weekend Australia had an election, so there was all the annoying advertising that goes with it to wade through in an attempt to make an informed decision.  Ha!

Then there's the normal work, play, shop, fix, garden, de-clutter of our lives.  And there you have about a month in a few short paragraphs!

Hopefully that will help me get back on the blogging horse for a while ;-)

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Tea towel fights

When I was about 4, my family lived in a large, 2 story home.  It was my parents, myself, my two sisters... and a bunch of teenagers.  I don't actually recall how many "extras" there were in the house, but there was a girl's room upstairs and a guy's room downstairs and I think there would have been at least 4 or 5 at any one time.

I have a strong memory of that time.  I remember sneaking out of bed one night and sitting at the top of the stairs, watching a bunch of these teenagers washing the dishes.

Except, they weren't washing the dishes.  They were having tea towel fights.

I have no idea how long I sat there, watching them all laughing and screaming and threatening.  Eventually I was noticed and sent back to bed, but the scene obviously had a strong impression on me.

This evening the Big Fella was drying the dishes for me, while I washed.  He walked into the lounge and tea towel-flicked the Little Big Fella, who started bawling his eyes out!

"But I didn't do anything wrong!" he cried.

The Big Fella then grabbed another tea towel and proceeded to teach the Little Big Fella how to flick a tea towel.

The obvious next move was to attack Mummy!

We spent the next 5 or 10 minutes running around chasing each other, flicking tea towels, trying to hold limbs still whilst inflicting tickles or flicks as seemed appropriate, and laughing till our sides hurt.

And now I'm wondering if this scene will impress itself on my Little Big Fella's mind in the same way that mine did at his age?