Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Game

So I played this game in an effort to help Pea Soup with her procrastinating. I nearly gave up at Question One simply because the entire choice of photos for the name Caroline was limited to one shot of a Blythe doll and a gazillion of a squirrel. Having adventures. Mmm. I don't know why that got my back up, but it did. Maybe it was the 'adventures', maybe it was just that I had no real choice because page one was full of Caroline The Sodding Adventurous Squirrel. (Fortunately the next time I looked a tennis player had sneaked onto Page One.) But Suse nagged me, and I'm an obliging person, even if I do get my back up about strange things. A few others have done it and enjoyed it, mine was done with bad grace chiefly because my downloads are as slow as a wet weekend, not a good thing on a photographic site searching exercise. But in the end I was somewhat cheered by the image I got for Stomper Girl, check her out. I always rush around cleaning if I've got visitors coming and a sink full of dirty dishes, from now on I'm just going to wear a low-cut top, twiddle my hair and pout.

The concept:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favourite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favourite colour?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favourite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favourite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name

You can play too.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Another tooth, another dollar.

Yes, in an action-packed post I can divulge the breathtaking news that Climber lost his sixth baby tooth yesterday ( Fixit tells me he came out of the bedroom in tears last night because although he was glad to give the tooth fairy her due and get the reward, he was feeling really sad to part with such a fine-looking tooth.) Coinci-dentally [see what I did there, yep one lame pun and I think I'm a legend] the boys had their check-up at the dentist on the same day, at which we were informed that Climber has grown all four of his six-year-old molars (that's the first time I'd heard of such things, live and learn) and my lovely dentist recommended fissure sealing for them at $42 a pop. It's the buzzword in childhood dentistry, a bit like anti-decay insurance. All the kids are doing it, and who am I not to protect my beloveds against the trauma of fillings?

Six months ago when we took the boys to their first ever appointment, Cherub needed me up with him in the dentist's chair. Yesterday he remembered this and put it down to his being 3 at the time. Now that he's 4, he told me, he was going to sit in it by himself, he didn't need to sit on my knee. Clearly being 4 makes all the difference. However, he tells me next time he doesn't want to wear the glasses. I don't know why. He looked quite cool in them.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Celebrating International Tapdance Day, Melbourne style

Hey, we had a really great morning and good news, it was not too cold. Even for me and my Tap-pets, the only dancers in little skirts and tights. A good size crowd there, including some of my friends who I never see any more; so after I performed (the pre-show adrenalin & nausea mean that I can't converse properly beforehand) I was able to marvel at how their babies had grown and have a lovely catch-up. The guy on the left of the photo is organiser Grant Swift. He has made such an amazing impact on the tap scene in Melbourne. He made it a great day for everyone; a day when tap-dance and not the ego of the organiser was what we celebrated.

Sadly, my camera battery failed, so by the time we came on Fixit could only manage 3 photos. And there were a few other acts after us that missed out altogether. Here's us, though.

I think we did well. A lot of the groups in this scene are into fast and stompy tap - which I love, by the way and certainly have in my repertoire - but last year we concentrated on slow. A tribute if you will to the famous Slow Soft Shoe Shuffle by tap legends Honi Coles and Cholly Atkins. Finesse as well as slowness, harder to bring off than you'd think. And I'm not sure if we achieved finesse today, based on the 3 photos. But we can hope we were perfect and elegant for the rest of our time up there.

A more elderly member of the audience clapped us all the way off stage, clearly girls in skirts doing pretty tap was to his taste. And Grant called us classy as we finished up, so there you go, if you think of me dancing I want you to remember me as classy. As opposed to skanky.

Happy International Tap Dance Day, everybody.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

This is me tomorrow

Me and my grown-up dancers, freezing our legs off as we brave the Melbourne morning. You guys stay in your warm beds, I'll try to get Fixit to take pictures and I'll tell you about it afterwards.

Monday, May 19, 2008

You can't get a man with a gun,

For the first time in my life I went to a costume shop and hired myself a proper costume for a dress-up party. Usually I cobble something together from my mass of left over tap costumes, but you know what? It usually looked pretty cobbled together, to be absolutely frank. Whereas look at me now:

I have never worn this much pink before, given as how (a) I'm a red-head and we're not supposed to, and (b) my mother does not care for the colour. It was actually so overwhelming with the hat and all, that the kitty backed nervously away from me when I emerged resplendent, and then ran away. My boys only had eyes for my guns. Talk about hard-wired. We don't have toy guns in our house, I'm anti-them. And yet, the boys grabbed one each with joy and proceeded to have a fully authentic shoot-out across the loungeroom. And as I bent to kiss them goodnight, Cherub looked up at me with hope in his big eyes and said Mummy can I have one more play with your guns please? Boys. But when they saw their father, magnificent in his Airline Pilot costume, they expressed only approval for how he looked. Although he did inspire a fairly energetic discussion on whether he was a train driver or not. Climber was so impressed that, on first seeing Fixit all dressed up, he threw his arms around him and said, almost shyly, I love you Daddy.

The occasion was my friend Anna's 40th, an "A" party. Astrid and I were talking about doing ABBA with our respective fellas but when we got to the costume shop the ABBA options were crappy. So we went to Plan B which turned out to be a good thing, given that 3 other sets of 2 couples had sashayed down the ABBA red carpet. As it turned out I was one of two Annie Oakleys at the party, but she was more Wild West Annie whereas I was definitely post-There's No Business Like Show Business Annie. And you probably don't need me to tell you that my costume was way cuter.

This is some of my Mother's Group posse hamming it up:
Agnetha from ABBA, Adam Ant, Airline Pilot, Annie Oakley, Alice Cooper and Aqua Woman.

We had a LOT of fun. But if you are going to drink champagne all night and not intersperse it with drinks of water you WILL wake up with a monster hangover. Ask Astrid and me. We'll tell you.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Some months I'm quite organised.

I'm doing some in-house tap dance classes at Cherub's kinder during May. I did the 3-year-old group yesterday with assistance from Cherub. He said it was not as much fun as his normal tap class; he loves those so much he voluntarily does 2 classes every Saturday, the baby class and his own. Anyway, the kids yesterday were all really involved and having a good time. The Kinder teachers weren't sure how the 3-year-olds would go and they were a little chaotic, but I'm used to littlies and knew the things to do with them. The 4 year-old classes next week will be more my target market though. At the end of the session I gave them all a little star with my details on the back, hoping to attract some new students. There's one little girl from that group who I'm sure should be doing dancing, she grabbed my hand and said she wanted to tell me a secret. When I bent down to hear it, she looked up at me with yearning in her eyes and said I love you. She'd met me 15 minutes ago. Ah, a little bit of adoration never goes astray. And it's the closest I'll get to having groupies, I suspect.

Today I had a check-up at the dentist and an appointment with my Uncle-Mark-the-accountant to get our tax done. In an excellent outcome I discovered that my teeth were fine, and both Fixit and I can expect money back from the Taxation Department. I call that a good news day.

Friday we take this fine fellow and his impressive package off to The Bet for his operation. It's almost a shame, they really are a magnificent set and would produce many fine kittens, but I prefer a mild-mannered cat and I definitely do NOT want one that sprays. Blecchhh. I told Climber and Cherub what was going to happen and was very clear that we only did this to cats, not little boys. Wouldn't want to worry them. (Obviously their father was a whole 'nother proposition)

The Saturday morning exercise is some scheme of Climber's, he thinks it will help him have enough energy for soccer if he does some exercise beforehand. Or something. I was making the lunches when he asked me to write it up on the board.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dear Kettle, you're black signed The Pot

If we get to school early enough my kids have fun playing tiggy/chasey around the play equipment with other Grade 2 children of Climber's acquaintance. Cherub adores it, but he is rather hopeless at it (it's a size and age thing) and only catches other children if the girls take pity on him and say catch me, Cherub-ie!! (they all put an "ie" on the end of his name) and then go off to catch the boys for him. This morning a boy -from our year but one that has never been in *our* class, so I don't know him that well- was pretending to be in danger of being caught by Cherub, effortlessly dodging side to side of some chains. Each time he dodged he said, in a oh-I'm-worried, he's-going-to-catch-me tone; Shit! (dodge) Shit! (dodge) Shit! I was in a rush to leave for Cherub's swimming lesson, making me marginally hassled anyway as I ran up to grab Cherub. So I frowned at the child and said sternly Don't say shit to a 4-year-old please. To his credit the kid looked very abashed and apologised immediately.

Should I now feel bad for saying shit to a 7 year old?

In case you don't know me, I swear a lot but try not to in front of the small people...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Personal space and plain speaking

I was attending my regular aerobics class this morning, in the rather large aerobics room. Only one other participant and I, rattling round in the huge space. A third chick walked in - ten minutes late - then stood right in front of me, barely a metre away, and whichever way I moved so I could see the instructor this latecomer with the personal space problem moved back on me. Half way through the class I think she told the instructor she was from Sydney. I had a stuffy Melbournite /Nanna moment where I tsked in my brain about Sydney aerobics manners, but this made me laugh at myself. I don't really think you're rude, Sydney people. But I hope she goes back to you guys soon or my toes are in danger.

I was sitting next to Cherub at the kitchen table when he glanced over at me and said oh you're not in your jarmies. No, I said, I've had my shower. He gave me the once over and then casually and slightly contemptuously stated I don't like you when you're in your jarmies. Sheesh! They're posh Peter Alexander ones and everything. (you can see a bit of them in the kitten pic below) But upon further questioning we established it's a hair thing. He prefers it when my hair is in a ponytail. When I wear my pyjamas my hair hangs loose, and this is not to his liking, apparently. So much for my crowning glory.

I have a deal rule with Climber about the Harry Potter movies; he's not allowed to watch them until after we've read the book to him. This is because I love those books and I wanted him to have the experience of picturing it all in his mind's eye first without the movie doing all the work for him. Anyway, we've recently completed The Order of the Phoenix and on Sunday morning I mentioned that he could watch the DVD, at which he made to disapparate into the lounge room. So I had to call him back and tell him he'd have to watch it at a time when the Cherub was not around, as the HP movies are too scary for the little boy (not to mention the whole book rule thing which I'd quite like to implement for the Second-born but may have trouble enforcing). He agreed politely, but as soon as humanly possible, when Cherub was elsewhere occupied, Climber slipped away very quietly and put the movie on. When I later walked in on him I thought I'd reinforce the No Watching While Cherub's Around agreement so I asked what he would do if Cherub came in, hoping for a turn it off reply. But kids are honest, aren't they? Looking at me as though to check he'd got the right answer he said tell him to get out? I bet he would have, too.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

You are the best mum ever love Climber

The best presents on Mother's Day are always the ones they make themselves. Although the smelly soaps - gardenia and freesia, yum! - Fixit provided are pretty nice and the mother's day breakfast box put together by our school canteen was also a lovely touch and made extra sweet by Climber's determination to keep it secret from me through the whole complicated business of note home, money returned in envelope, and box brought home in large bag from local supermarket on Friday.

Cherub's kindergarten gave us a jar of home-made chutney and had I not picked him up early on Thursday I would also have had a special card with his drawing -of me!- on the front. But I did pick him up too early on Thursday, so I made sure I went home and had a little whinge to Fixit about how sad I was not to get my special card. The next day I was telling a friend how I'd probably need to do another whine Saturday to make sure he got the message, but later that day Cherub piped up that he'd made me a card. And writed my name. And drawded some love hearts, three. Good old Fixit. As for Climber I received no less than 3 declarations of love and good wishes for Mother's Day from my little note-writer, embellished with thoughtful touches like purple love-hearts...
But wait, that's not quite right. Those things they make are nearly the best. The actual best present on Mother's Day is of course the two lovely boys smiling at me from the end of my bed as they proudly display their gifts of love to me.

Happy Mother's Day.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Daydream Believer

The other night I had this dream that I was at a fancy dress ball and I was dancing cheek to cheek with one of the Weasley twins; my dream says it was Fred and maybe there's a whole subconscious thing going on there about how I need to send my copy of Deathly Hallows back to JK Rowling because she's made a terrible mistake and *spoiler!* killed off Fred when she really meant to take Percy, Bill or Charley and I would like her to fix that up.
But anyway, in my dream, I was being held close by Fred and it was all a bit flirty. And then I noticed his luscious abdominal muscles and I experienced what can only be described as an inappropriate response. Then the dream went tangential and I don't really know what happened next but that was the part I remembered when I woke up, feeling all cosy and what-an-awesome-dream. Until my reality metre kicked in and I came to earth with a jolt of terrible realisation:

That I can no longer have the sort of daydreams where my wit and beauty so bedazzle the handsome charming famous guy that I am swept off to live a life of luxury (seeya kids! seeya Fixit!) with a man the rest of you fantasise about.

Because my reality-metre lets a lot of things slide, like for instance just how witty and beautiful I actually am, but it will not let me imagine that a lovely boy of 22 would experience inappropriate responses about me. Or my abs. And when you think of the Harrison Fords of the world running off with the much younger and thinner Calista Flockharts, you - okay, I - realise that my chances of captivating a handsome charming famous guy are not good, and declining exponentially.

And when I thought some more about this, I realised a whole lot of my daydreams, to do with artistic achievements or lifestyle, are now laughable and not even remotely achievable. Whereas in my 20s and 30s, anything was possible. So even if I wanted to stare out the window having a jolly good imagine abut how my latest tap routine was so fantastic that I got to tour it to New York and then I was so in demand that everyone wanted to interview me and I took the kids on tour before returning to our lovely house that we owned which had a proper bathtub; even if I just thought wouldn't that be ace? the stupid you're old and past it part of my brain is preventing me from a joyful escape from the daily grind of mediocrity.

Understandably, I think, I've been slightly grumpy about this. How can I maintain my sunny optimism if I no longer have recourse to outrageous flights of fancy? And let's not even open the can of worms that is the whole ageing / invisibility / loss of identity looming before me now. Which, dammit! Ought to STAY OUT OF MY DAYDREAMS! Because it's bad enough it might be impacting on my Real Life soon.

Sometimes I wonder if my being such an accomplished day-dreamer might have held me back from actually going out to achieve - why put in the work when you can have the happiness of the dream in under 15 minutes?

And then I wonder that if the boring reality-metre is going to prevent me being the focus of my fabulous daydreams, that maybe I should channel my visions into a really great novel which would go to Number 1 and everyone would want to interview me so I'd have to take the kids on tour before we returned to our lovely house that we own which has a proper bathtub.

Oh wait. Maybe I've still got it. Maybe I just need to readjust the handsome charming famous guy. George Clooney would probably quite like me if he got to know me.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


After a bit of sweet talking, Cherub agreed to wear gobbles this week at swim class. At the end of class he rushed out to tell me excitedly that he could SEE UNDER THE WATER. Yes sweetie.

Cherub's art work is coming along. The kids are watching Louie in the mornings,
... a sweet program that teaches drawing. Climber calls out at 8.15am Mummy can you get me some paper? (and I yell back Get it yourself!) and a few minutes later he produces a very competent drawing of a sheep or a crocodile. So I encouraged Cherub to get in on the action with this result:

Oh and we bought the boys some glubs. Modelled for your viewing pleasure by Cherub.

Just after he sang this little ditty for us:
Nick pack giddy whack
Gib a dog a bone
This old man came rolling down the hill

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I Miss The Good Old Days

In the Good Old Days, I began every weekday being woken at around 7.30 by Fixit bringing me a cup of tea. In bed. The boys would be eating their breakfast in the family room, and chances were that Fixit would have been doing the dishes before he left for work. This meant that I could have a glorious 15+ minutes 'coming to' time where I stared out the window, sipping tea and arranging my thoughts. This also meant that I was nice to my family when I arose, graceful and refreshed, from my slumbers. I still had to organise getting the boys dressed and make the school lunches, but this was not too arduous and I was generally pleasant about it.

In the Good Old Days, I knew I was blessed. I knew other Mums with non-tea-bringing husbands were deeply envious. But everyone has their saving grace, don't they? Maybe they earn more money for lovely holidays, or have a cleaning lady, maybe their partner cooks or maybe they have a child-free weekend every so often. This was my saving grace, and I appreciated it from the bottom of my heart.

In the Bad New Days, Fixit has to start work much earlier. He still brings a cup of tea but it is so early that some days I prefer to ignore it and take the extra sleep. If I do stay awake and drink it, I can't really relax because I know I'm In Charge; so instead of arranging my thoughts, I am listening for what the little people are doing. And in the Bad New Days I have to stagger disgracefully out of bed to plonk the breakfasts on the table, switch on ABC Kids television, make a fresh cup of tea and womble back to bed. Well. I could stay up and read the paper but I am clinging to past glories, don't you know. Despite the fact that the restorative staring out of the windows is not really working because I'm already up and grumpy. So when I do re-emerge for the shower/dressing/lunch-making, I am not that refreshed. This means the poor boys are currently dressing themselves to the accompaniment of the Grumpy Mother Soundtrack, featuring such classics as I said stand UP and I'm turning the telly OFF and Come ON!!! And I am not kind or understanding about accidents (avoidable or otherwise) such as tossing pyjamas onto the kitchen table (why??) which knocks over the glass of water. So the groggy 7-year old has to clean it up himself whilst the morning harridan spits recriminations and conflicting instructions at him. Weirdly, the boys seem not too fazed by the Morning Growl-Meister and still attempt endearing bum-dances and little chats about Harry Potter.

In the Bad New Days, two extra household responsibilities have crept onto my side of the job page; the breakfast shift and the dishes (although I am trying -quite hard- to reject the dishes), and my page was already pretty full. The kickback is that sometimes Fixit is home early enough to peel potatoes for me, and Lord knows, I really don't like peeling potatoes.


And this is how a sign of how I feel about this.

I would rather peel potatoes than have the Breakfast Shift. For a start we don't have them every night.


In the Good Old Days I were 'appy. Tell that to the kids today etc