Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!!

Fixit is home safe and sound. He saw the fire-fighting helicopters filling up with water which he said was amazing.

He says not to, but I always worry when he goes away on a motorbike ride. I'm glad he's home for New Year's Eve.

The boys are on their way to bed, after their little sparkly treat.

I've started my second glass of wine, after which I will whip up dinner for Fixit and myself.

Neither of us will last til midnight!!

These are some things I hope for in 2007 (in no particular order) :
I hope the drought breaks. I hope to get more creative with my dancing once more. I hope for my boys to keep growing safe and well and delightful. I hope to read more books. And I hope for world peace, an end to human rights' abuse and for people everywhere to be kind to each other and to treat each other as they would like to be treated.

And ... I hope 2007 is a good year for everyone. Thanks for reading, thanks for blogging, thanks for being part of our life. See you next year.

*drinks more wine*


Saturday, December 30, 2006


I've had one week of holidays. Pretty much all I've done (apart from the Christmas hoo-ha) is be a full-time mother and domestic ... I want to say goddess but it's just not true, let's say drudge instead. I appreciate the so-called rest (from work, I git no rest from mothering) and the sleeping-in (as much as you can with 2 young 'uns who don't go past 7.30am) and its nice not to be locked in the routine of school runs etc, but... have to say ... little bit bored.

The least the rest of you could do is blog a bit more to save me from my boredom.




I credit my Mum who is staying with us this week. She also gets any credit for extra-nice flavour.

Fixit is off getting in touch with his masculine side by riding the motorcycle with his mates through the bushfire zones in Victoria, he's away all weekend. Not because he wants to smell the smoke or anything, it's just that that area is full of his favourite routes for fun-filled riding adventure. Mum is at my cousin's wedding.

And I need to get off the computer and do the bedtime routine with the boys. Yikes, is that the time?


Think it's a night in with some wine and the lovely Hugh Laurie for me.

Edited to say: That would be Hugh Laurie OBE.

He can Order my Empire any time he likes.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Our Christmas

Some things were organised on time for Christmas. Like posting of interstate presents. Some of which were made by me. Can you see the little buttons on my niece's shirt? And you thought I couldn't sew ...

Although had I been a little more organised I'm sure I could have paid a lot less postage. But the main thing is they arrived in time.

We didn't quite get time to sit down and write a beautiful letter to Santa, detailing our heart's desire for Christmas. Not like last year. Last year, Climber fell in love with the kindergarten 'take-home for a week' soft toy, a large hand-puppet lamb called Leopold. Then at the Kinder Christmas party, he received a mini finger-puppet lamb, which of course he called Leopold. So despite maternal promptings that he might like to ask Santa for a light sabre sword (or life savers as we call them here) he insisted that what he really wanted was a bed for Leopold. If you write a beautiful letter and mail it in time, Australia Post makes sure it gets delivered to the North Pole and also that you receive Santa's reply.

Which means that you could get what you ask for. Santa and the elves handmade this, on Christmas Eve I believe.

Anyway, this year letter-writing fell by the wayside until Christmas Eve so we decided to just post a letter on the boys' bedroom door and hope that Santa read it on his way through. And we agreed we should just let Santa choose something suitable.

Which you will be pleased to hear he did.

Other things not organised: Well, not all my friends got Christmas cards this year. I'm sorry. And only parts of the house were cleaned, so now the place looks like a bombsite, but I'm sure it will be pretty much in shape before my mum arrives to stay. *crosses fingers*

Anyway, we had a fun, family day. The kids are the perfect age for Christmas.

Some favourite moments:

  • The boys, under strict instructions from us, coming into our bed on Christmas morning to show us what Santa brought. Climber lugged both stockings in, one slung over each shoulder like a miniature Santa-in-pyjamas, because Cherub found his too heavy to carry.
  • The delighted smile on Climber's face when his present from us (not from Santa) turned out to be a Lego Star Wars destroyer ship, complete with mini Dark Thader Darth Vader.
  • The excited exclamation WOW!!! Lookit I dot from Cherub when he opened his present from us, a Duplo James from Thomas & Friends.
  • And when he saw the other present, a Thomas mobile phone, his utter joy could only be expressed by a high-pitched squeal of excitement.
  • The boys sitting in the back of our car, en route to Grandma and Pa's, singing along to the iPod Six white boomers, snow white boomers where Boomers was pronounced with the "oo" from book, not "oo" from soon.


On Boxing Day, I tried to watch my new dvd from Fixit, but the boys were too noisy. So I christened the nice new electric frypan from my father with a batch of pancakes.

Now I just need to clean up. Hope everyone had a great Christmas too. And aren't you glad it comes but once a year?

Oh and ps. The Cherub is toilet-trained! Yay!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

A Christmas Card

We hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas.

love from Stomper Girl, Mr Fixit, the Climber and the Cherub


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Where did that baby go?

Today is Climber's last day of his first year at school. He's no longer a little Prep kid.

Next year he will be in Grade 1K. For the second year running, he will have a male teacher - our school appears to have more than its fair share of male teachers. It's great for the Climber's grade, anyway, because the boys outnumber the girls 2 to 1. I like the mix of kids he has in his new class (those that I know). They've shuffled the existing 3 prep classes into different groupings. His latest girlfriend, Angelina, is in his class - cuddle? My biggest beef is that a large proportion of the parents I got really friendly with will no longer be in my class. It's not fair.

I think a little year in review is in order.

When Climber started school I cried. Like a great big sook. Look at me.

Not only was Fixit comforting me as I tried to hold back tears but so did another parent, our new teacher and the School Principal.

Although Climber is one of the youngest in the class, he was ready for school. He's a nice kid, sociable, articulate, mature, and I cried not because I feared for him (though of course I did a bit) but because I had to let him go. He's my baby, my first-born, and sending him off to let others shape him was hard on that first day. And then, not hard after that, because he goes to a lovely school, he had a fantastic teacher, and like I said, he was ready.

This is us arriving at the school on the first morning.

This is Climber with Tim in the class on the first day. Totally at home, ready to settle in.

We'd sent Tim a letter in the holidays.

When we arrived in the classroom, it was displayed on the whiteboard and Tim read it out to the class and Climber felt so proud.

When I picked him up at home-time, he ran straight to the monkey bars.

I asked how his first day went. Well I didn't learn to read, he said. But I did lose my drink-bottle.

However, in the course of this year, he did learn to read. Which is just the best thing. Fixit and I got so much enjoyment from watching him progress through the levels. At first he found it hard work. He has perfectionist tendencies, so if he fears he'll get it wrong he's hesitant to try. But Tim saw this and guided him through it. And suddenly one day the penny dropped and instead of labouring through each word, he was reading! What an amazing, beautiful process it was.

And he learned so much else of course. Turns out he's very good at maths. And he maintained his passion for art. Sometimes he just talks a bit of Italian at home, just 'cos he likes it. He made friends, we had play-dates, he learned new tricks on the monkey-bars. He went in a concert which made this stage mother just about want to burst with pride. There was Pyjama day. He lost his first tooth.

We had a great year.

And now here he is at the end of his first year of school.

With Tim at the end-of-year party in the park...

... where we gave Tim another letter.

Of course he played on the monkey bars on his last day, with some of his friends.

And if you could see me as I write this you would see I'm crying again!! You've come a long way, baby.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Four Things Meme

4 jobs I have had...
1. Tap-dancing Go-Go dancer at a truly terrible Comedy Festival show.
2. Cast member of Stomp , a truly fantastic show at a previous comedy festival.
3. Tap-dancing Spice Girl (Sporty) at a 13YO girl's Bat Mitzvah.
4. Assistant Manager to a quite well-known Australian band.

Which all sounds quite glam but jobs 1-3 were all very short gigs, so actually I've spent far more time waitressing, scooping icecream and being generally very handy in an office. As well as teaching tap-dance.

4 movies I could watch over and over
1. Peter's Friends (First developed insanely big crush on Hugh Laurie in this)
2. Love Actually
3. Top Hat (Fred & Ginger)
4. Chicago

4 places I have lived apart from where I live now
1. In utero
2. Canberra
3. Wollongong
4. New York (well, sort of. My mother's husband had a posting so she was living there for 6 months and I got to stay in their apartment for 2 weeks)

4 tv shows I love
1. Black Books
2. House (still with the Hugh Laurie crush)
3. Black Adder (oop! there he is again!)
4. New Tricks

Hard to stop at four!! What about the Goodies, Spicks and Specks, Red Dwarf, Doctor Who (new series and Tom Baker/Leila episodes from the old), Absolutely Fabulous, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Absolute Power, Bleak House and a million others I've loved and can't bring to mind now.

4 places I have been for a vacation
1. Sri Lanka (with my ex)
2. Rottnest Island (with the band. Yeah)
3. New York/Europe (Twice. Once with my Mum and once with my ex)
4. Barwon Heads (my children's sole beach experience)

4 Websites I visit Daily
1. Bloglines
2. Go Fug Yourself
3. My bank account to check we're not overdrawn.
4. Mine, to see if I've got any comments. (Not that I'm sad, pathetic or needy in any way.)

4 Favourite foods
1. Goat's cheese on roasted capsicums with a side of pesto, as made by my Uncle.
2. Sticky date pudding with toffee sauce
3. Roast anything with all the veg, and gravy (but not gravy made by me. I suck at making gravy)
4. Chocolate - with a nice hot cuppa

4 places I would rather be
1. London, high society in the 1920's. I could have been a flapper..
2. An artist's studio somewhere in Italy, during the Renaissance.
3. A jazz bar in the US, when jazz was hot, and people tap-danced all the time.
4. In a fabulous beach-house, living off a huge windfall with my lovely family.

I'm supposed to tag 4 other people to do this meme now, but I'm too shy to name people. Well not not shy exactly, maybe paranoid is a better word ... because what if I tagged someone and they didn't wanna? You know, 'cos they NEVER do memes. Or because they've done this one ages ago. (Although. I was really flattered to get my first tag, thankyou Joanne!)

So if you like doing memes and you haven't done this one, sign up and tell me you did. But no pressure.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The joy of shopping

Em did a meme a while ago called how much of a stereotype are you? Which looked too hard for me to do. Especially since I already know that I'm pretty girly. I don't like dealing with mice or spiders, I prefer to let Fixit do the mowing of lawns and putting out of rubbish, I like wearing frocks and hair accessories, I can plait, I find car-chases in the movies a dead bore and I love costume dramas.

However, despite these girly attributes I am sadly lacking in the area of shopping. Christmas is a hard time of year because I am forced repeatedly into shopping malls where parents are beating or berating their screaming children and I always pick the wrong queue at the check-out and the background music drives me nuts. And when you need just one specific thing, like for example a size 2 plain white t-shirt, you can never find it so you are forced to walk round in circles at Best and Less because there must be one there somewhere. Even when you leave the mall, there is still the feral carpark to negotiate - miles to walk with aching arms, a raging headache, and a vagued-out expression to wherever the #### you left the car.

These days the so-called January sales start.on.Boxing.Day. And I know there are great bargains and that anyone with a grain of sense would take advantage of them.

But I don't care. You can't make me go back in there!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Musings from a Crowded Mind

Bushfire sun. Melbourne sky 8am Wednesday 13th December 2006.


It is my firmly held belief that all aspiring agents at Real Estate School are missing a crucial subject in their curriculum; to wit, proper usage of the English Language. I admit that I might be unable to spot a split infinitive at 50 paces like some bloggers. Notwithstanding, my fascination for real estate boards has given me plenty of material in support of my belief. Here is the latest one bothering me.

I keep wondering whether to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this IS the place one needs if one has slapped a demmed blaggart across the face with one's glove, issued one's challenge and made the all important decision between swords or pistols? Who knows? But I suspect this has more to do with upstairs and downstairs toilets...

Lots of blogs are featuring their lovely Christmas trees. I thought I'd display our scrappy and chaotic one. Notice the lovely handmade star on the floor next to the tree? Yeah. That should be on top. The boys are a bit fascinated by the candy canes, and a few decorations have hit the floor as they hide and seek them. My excellent eye for detail meant that I only noticed that 3 days after I took the picture...

I have a thing for the smell of real pine-needles at Christmas time. The downside to the heavenly Christmas-sy aroma is of course the cleaning up of the dropped pine needles in January. As the original I-hate-to-housekeep girl, I'm not sure why this doesn't bother me too much. Possibly I live in hope that Fixit will deal with it? (Fingers crossed!) Last year I'm pretty sure Nell took care of it for me, but she was living with us then, I surely couldn't expect that again this year ...

I've included a close-up shot to display the handmade decoration I won from Kirsty, just for knowing the name of Suzy Quatro's character in Happy Days. (Leather Tuscadero, sister of Pinky)

On Saturday night I will be performing with 4 tap-dance students (including Nell! Go Nell!) at the Darebin Council's Carols by Candlelight . This is what I'm wearing. Yes, yes, with a shirt underneath and some Yuletide accoutrements. Wonder if this is what all the other tap troupes will be wearing this time next year?
(Don't mind me, just my little bitchy private in-joke.)

The boys will be having a sleepover with Grandma and Pa (and they are very excited!) Fixit's got his work Christmas party. So I hope the photos and video footage work out so I can show the performance to my family later. And also obviously that we are really good and steal the whole show.

Last Saturday it was waaaaay too hot to cook, so we ordered in, and as a special treat, we ordered in Japanese. Yum. You'd think. But we won't be using that so-called restaurant again. Everything was slightly under par but this was the last straw. Check out the Yakitori Chicken. They've used Birds Eye (or equivalent) frozen veg, the bastards.

How did it taste, you ask? Well, I'd prefer a meal from a food court to this.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Everyone's A Winner, Baby

So I was a winner. And my prize was a lovely handmade Christmas decoration from the lovely Kirsty. Which arrived yesterday, cleverly disguised as a Christmas card. Can't wait to put it on the tree.

Just waiting for Fixit to come home from work so he can rush out and buy the tree for us. He might be coming home with a new car. Well. I say new. I mean he might be buying his mate's old Commodore station-wagon, which is unregistered and in need of work. As long as it's air-conditioned. Our first family car. Currently we get around in my cute little white Corolla which I love. I'm having pangs actually. I know in my head that we need a bigger car because those little boys grow every time you take your eyes off them. But still. No more squeezing into little parking spots. And I'll have to relearn the whole reverse-parking thing with a big ole wagon. Plus its a bloody V8. With gas, I hasten to add. But I'm a bit scared of the grunt potential of a V8.

I bought some things for adorning fabrics recently; crayons, textas and glitter paint. Because I decided Cherub needs a shirt that says "long-haired BOY" to stop confusion when we're out and about. Then I did a present for a little girls birthday party tomorrow. And a request for the Climber.

So here's my handiwork. Don't look too closely, the crayon stuff is a tad smudged.

And here's my glamorous model, the Climber. Who was extremely difficult to photograph because he'd been eating a blue lollypop and had blue teeth.

While we're modelling, the boys here give you "Wild" and "Shaggy"

But then came the haircut.
(At his request. I liked the shaggy look.)

So now we have "wild" and "neat & cool for summer".

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

You know it's nearly Christmas when..

I think it must be time to take these down. Cards (displayed magnificently on the high-tech double string card hanger) from Fixit and Cherub's birthdays which were a couple of months ago now. *ahem*. See the vehicular theme on Fixit's line?

Because these arrived yesterday.

Both from aunts. One of mine, one of Fixit's. At first I thought Fixit's aunt had forgotten to sign hers. She did this once, sent a totally blank birthday card to Fixit. But she was moving house and feeling poorly, so we understood. When I opened this one I thought this is ridiculous how hard is it to write love from Aunt X and co?

But actually she's had them printed up specially and the printed message says that bit.

Which just goes to show that I never read the printed bit in a card. (see My Float? Not a Details Girl at all)

I just skip straight to the hand-written and hopefully heartfelt message. Luckily I double-checked.

Here's one for you. A new invention. Its called a Nell-icopter.

On Sunday Nell and I drove for an hour to catch the end-of-year Dance School show at Glittery Tapping Wonderland. The Principal, The Original and Glamorous Miss Lou Lou, is a friend of mine and was also my first tap teacher. (We are the same age because I was an adult learner. Which should give hope to any of you still hankering for a tap career of some description.)

Anyway, she is a truly creative and wonderfully (self-admitted) kooky person and I leave you with pictures from some of the crazy dance routines in the show, and a warning:

THESE ARE ADULTS DRESSED UP LIKE THAT. But if you'd been to the show you wouldn't think that was strange.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Minor Annoyances

More from the Ill-fated Cooking Chronicles. Wednesday night is my night for making a bit of an effort, cooking wise. I teach Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays, and Fixit generally has beer night on Fridays so Wednesday is the night where theoretically we could sit down, enjoy the meal with a glass of wine and no rush.

This Wednesday's menu plan was based on some rather fine looking steaks, (possibly New York fillet? but lacking a real cook's eye for detail, I can't be sure of that) to be served with raw carrot matchsticks, oven-roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary and a red wine and mustard jus.

It's all going quite well. Like I say, I do try with my cooking. But Fixit is much later than usual. So what with the boys' bedtime looming, I leave it all sitting on the benchtop ready to serve when the kids are down.

Anyway. There I am reading Climber the Secret Garden when Fixit finally gets home. So he assumes that I've eaten and as the boys are in control, he goes off to look at the dinner situation. There's a few pots and pans scattered everywhere, so as the chief dish-doer in the household he rinses and stacks a few of these. Bam, good-bye red wine jus, down the sink. When he sees 2 steaks sitting there he doesn't click that I'm still unfed. He assumes there's a spare for his lunch tomorrow, so he packs it away in a lunch container with some of the potatoes. Then he cuts into his steak and finds it too rare for his liking so he sloshes a liberal amount of oil back in the frying pan and and re-cooks, achieving a medium-rare interior but a greasy, slightly burnt exterior. And then proceeds to knock off all the carrot matchsticks. I of course ruin my steak the same way when I return to the scene of the crimes.

But at least I had a glass of wine.


Yesterday the Climber's school was closed for industrial action. I considered doing the "Fill the 'G" - I love a protest rally as much as the next person - but I didn't fancy being in a large venue full of stairs and Jimmy Barnes with 2 little 'uns. Call me crazy.

We had a great time at Scienceworks instead, it is a fantastic museum; very hands-on and lots of fun activities.


On our way there, we passed a car where I noticed a youngish looking mum talking and cooing and adoring her baby in the back seat. Isn't that nice I thought. I used to do that when I had only one child.

A bit further on, I am stopped at the red light. I glance in the rear view mirror and realise its the same mother approaching us, and she is still so busy cooing backwards at her baby that she is going to run up the arse of me. I just have time to get my foot off the brake when biff!!

We jump out to inspect the damage. Letting go the brake has minimised the impact. I am just thinking of something soothing and nice to say, like aren't kids distracting? because I wasn't angry, although I was a little bit jumpy, when we noticed a scrape of her paint on my bumper so I leaned closer to look, as did she. Which resulted in her head-butting me. Which hurt. So instead of saying something soothing and nice as intended, what actually came out of my mouth was:

Oh, fucking hell!

So this poor chick thinks I'm being aggro now, and says I didn't mean to do that you know which of course I knew and I say I'm sorry I'm jumpy you've just hit my car and now you've head-butted me.

I was thoroughly unnerved by the whole thing and the lights had changed so I said I wasn't going to pursue anything because there was no damage and I jumped in and drove off.

And so did she, but I know that she would have had to pull over again almost immediately because she's got a lovely delicious baby in the back and all she was doing was loving it and it all went horribly wrong because of the grumpy bitch in the white car, and she would have felt guilty and unnerved and jumpy and wronged and she would have burst into tears.

So I feel good about myself.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Cherub's Day

The Cherub was at creche today. We're driving home, and I'm asking his big brother the Climber about school when a little voice pipes up.

Cherub: Max hit Timberley in the face
SG: Max hit Kimberley* in the face?
Cherub: Yeah. And Timberley drumpy wis him.
SG: Kimberley was grumpy with him? Did she say No Hitting Max
Cherub: Yeah. And Max cried.

Fast forward to later tonight. Both boys have been in bed for 30 minutes.Climber has crashed out immediately (school is very tiring). Cherub is taking his sweet time about falling asleep. He calls me. He needs a drinky watter. Fixit comes in too because he loves this time when Cherub is placid and adorable.

SG: You tell Fixit. What did Max do to Kimberley at creche?
Cherub: Max hit Timberley in the head wis a spade.
SG: Was Kimberley cross?
Cherub: Yeah. And she say No Hitting Max (pointing his own little fat finger, emphasising each word)
SG: And what did Max do?
Cherub : He have to say sorry to Timberley. Max cried. And Max sit.
SG: And were you grumpy today Cherub?
Cherub: Yeah. I sad.
Fixit: Were you grumpy?
Cherub: (points to his eyebrow) Yeah. And dis go down. (pushes eyebrow down to show us)
Fixit & SG : (exchange doting glances with each other)
Cherub: (by this time standing up in his cot and feeling pretty pleased with himself for keeping us in there, embellishes the "grumpy" face by frowning the eyebrows , closing his eyes and smiling his widest cheeky grin)
Fixit & SG : Good night Cherub.

Recorded for posterity because I just want to remember these moments when he's a surly, smelly teenager.

*Creche carer. Lovely girl. Cherub adores her.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Happy me, Stomper Girl. As opposed to happy mother of gorgeous children or contented in my personal life. Because I did something quite cool today and it went well and I'm quite excited. Me, in my professional capacity. A guest artist.

I am not above grumbling its not what you know but who you know when I think someone undeserving has got a gig that I might have done. But I am also quite happy to benefit from the same system, believe you me. Having my cake and eating it too. That was me today.

I was a bit nervous but they were all so nice. Took a few takes. Completely dried up on the first one!

But I think it sounds good!
*pleased wriggle and happy smile*

Sunday, November 26, 2006


This is the little haul of books I got from the election day fete thing at the school down the road. They wanted to charge me $2 for the lot, but I talked them up to $5. My friend Nell says I don't understand how haggling works.

Today Nell and I went into the city for my first stab at Christmas shopping this year. We had one of those letters giving families and friends of Myer an extra discount on top of the big sale already on. Not that I fall into that category but I know someone who knows someone who does if you see what I mean. I wish I'd taken my camera, it was such a good Melbourne experience. Could have had a visual record of the lovely hologrammatic stars they've decorated the tram lines with this year, the Myer Christmas windows and the nice little laneway cafe where we had lunch for a start. Anyway, you'll be pleased to hear that I saved a lot of money today with all that shopping! And Nell and I had a nice time, we shop well together.

I find this part of Christmas weird and stressful. Having to do this mad amount of shopping, making, feeding, partying and consuming. And this huge emphasis our society places on "stuff" - get the latest, get the designer version, get it with bonus features. We already have a mountain of stuff in our house. I can't keep up with it all from a housewifely point of view. But in a month's time we'll have even more. Madness. And trying to do it on a shoestring budget gives me a tension headache.

I'm trying to make sense of all this blatant commercialism and consumerism by:
  • imagining the pleasure on the faces of people when they open the gift I chose specially for them. (Fingers crossed!)
  • giving people charity presents (like a year of school supplies for a Bangladeshi child) along with their Myer-sale booty.
  • trying to do a little making/baking of some presents to make them personal.
  • explaining the story of Christmas to the kids (even though we are not a religious household).
The part of Christmas I love is the creating of the Christmas atmosphere in our house. I like making my own Christmas cards, and last year we decorated our own wrapping paper. I love putting up the tree (a real one so the house is full of that gorgeous pine smell). I love wrapping the presents and putting them under the tree. I even loved making the kids personalised Christmas stocking which involved sewing. I love helping the kids do a letter to Santa. I love leaving beer and carrots out for Santa and the reindeers. I'm just a big kid.

There's so much more to do. It's not even December.

But at least I've started.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Angelina Angelina please bring down your concertina

If I could afford it I would be a regular purchaser of trashy mags. This is frowned upon by several people like for example Fixit, but I say how can I be expected to perform well at Trivia Nights if I'm not well-versed in popular culture? Anyway, when I have spare cash or if the cover story grabs me, I will slip one in the grocery shop. My last one
(NW featuring Britney Spears:
how she dumped loser Kev by SMS and lost 25KG)
came with a free tote bag - my choice of "I lost my boyfriend in Paris" (tacky) or "Angelina Stole My Husband" which I thought was quite funny, so sucked in, I bought the mag.

The Climber has been doing school swimming lessons. And I'm very underwhelmed by them. Climber does weekly swim classes at another pool and he's getting very good. He has a fantastic teacher Simon (and I don't mind perving on one of his colleagues, a spunky peroxided tattooed Adonis who is so cool he looks attractive in the budgie-smugglers and yes, I've caught myself trying to check them out but the water level is too high)... Anyway. Where was I?

Oh yes. So. I've been a parent-helper, coming on the bus and assisting in the changerooms on Cherub's creche days and on the days when I have Cherub at home we tend to turn up anyway, bring the car and lend a hand so I can watch the class. The school told us all about the benefits of 2 weeks of classes for the preps and I suppose most of the kids have really improved, particularly those who have never done any swimming. But I feel like its been the worst $85 I've spent recently. This is why:
  • Climber's teacher (lets call him S) clearly dislikes young kids and looks tired and frustrated when they chat, play or muck around. Hello, what does he think 5 and 6 year-olds do in the water?
  • During the first week there was this ghastly incident involving Andrew, the weakest swimmer in that class, who was clearly being asked to do things outside his skill and confidence level and S started hounding him, barking in his face "get off the wall Andrew, we're not stopping this till you get it right" for almost half the class while the rest of them were virtually ignored. Andrew kind of took it on the chin at the time, being a nice little kid, but he was apparently in tears till 10.30 that night and adamant that he wouldn't go back to class.
  • A few discussions took place (I ended up telling the school the next day after worrying about it all night) and things never got that bad again. But now Andrew's parents and I attend EVERY class.
  • Because of the Andrew debacle, S started to teach by standing on the edge of the pool rather than getting in with the kids.
  • This meant Climber stopped listening because he responds much better to face-to-face teaching as opposed to orders barked from on high.
  • I think that S decided Climber was a troublemaker because of the not-listening thing so S started ignoring Climber. Well that's my theory. I know he never seemed to see the fact that Climber would be doing the wrong stroke up the pool or was 'cheating' by pulling himself along the wall.
  • I had a talk with Climber saying this is not good and if you want to improve you need to listen and try hard.
  • The next day he did and he swam the lap as asked, got to the end looked over at me and said "Did I do good?" and S barked at him "No you did NOT do good because you are not listening to me."
I'm just so unbelievably frustrated by this. I feel like bursting into tears when I watch it. And the crazy thing is that because Climber is exhausted from these daily classes, we haven't been able to attend his regular classes (despite still having to pay for them of course) where he gets quality tuition and is achieving like gangbusters. But there's only one more day to go and I can't be bothered, I'm not going to watch it and put myself through the stress. We'll be back with the lovely Simon on Monday. And the cute blondie.

On a nicer note, turns out Climber has a new girlfriend, made during the bus-rides to and from the pool. Her name is Angelina. They love to hug. They find each other in the crowd, smile and then ask "Cuddle?" and then wrap their arms around each other. It's just so nice. I looked at him today as he stood there tall and handsome, with his arm casually and affectionately round her shoulders and was staggered by how like his father he is!!

The class is at the end of the day, so when I have the car there is the option for him to come with me back to school rather than ride the bus. He said today that he wanted to come in the car, but then in the line-up, he and Angelina found each other. I said "are you coming in the car with me or do you want to cuddle Angelina on the bus?"

He chose the bus.

So Angelina stole my husband. And now she's after my son.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hey Jude

Our boys have many good friends in their life.
Jude is one of them.

Jude is in the boys' extra-good books this month, because she was kind enough to send them a copy of the dvd of Cars. Jude quite often sends them cool presents like this, because not only is she a very kind and thoughtful person, she is also quite well connected in the relevant trade.

So lately we've been obsessed with all things racecar in our house. All the matchbox cars we own are on the floor or being clutched by a small pair of hands when we leave the house.

The artwork has changed.



The games have changed. There seems to be a constant hum of screeching tires or crash noises emanating from one or both of them. Somtimes they race each other on foot, or on the bikes outside. Other times they sprawl on the floor and let the matchboxes do the talking. Climber can quote quite large chunks of Cars dialogue verbatim.

It's been what you might call a smash ! Many, many thanks to Jude for making 2 little wheels-freaks very happy.