Archive | May 2012

Kookaburra Sits In The Old Gum Tree

Birds are causing a problem in my life at the moment. A baby magpie has discovered how to fly into our house. He’s making it a daily activity swooping through the open sliding doors, pooing on the clean washing and departing. Trying to remember to close the doors, but need one open for the dog. Magpie even worked out there was access via this second door and starting flying across an inner deck to make his grand entrance.

It’s like living in a Hitchcock thriller as we all screech and duck  while maggie swoops and weaves through the house.

Luckily the kookaburras haven’t yet learnt the trick.

Kookaburra photo by David Fitzpatrick

A bit peckish? Photo by David Fitzpatrick

Mother of Daughters

I am the mother of daughters. I don’t know how you raise sons. I remember watching friend’s sons leaping over lounges, wrestling on the floor and kamikaze body slamming each other and I would wonder “can’t they just sit down and do some drawing? I have some pretty glitter pens here”.

Instead we have lived in the world of Bratz and Barbie.We’ve drowned in fairies and sparkles. A world of cuteness and light … and then they grew up.

Our house is a seething mass of hormones “why are you crying?” “I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M CRYING”. My husband hides in the kitchen. “I’m cooking dinner, a very important task, everybody needs to eat, see I’m helping here, please let me stay in the kitchen, don’t make me go out there, DON’T MAKE ME TALK TO THEM”.

The dog hides under the table too afraid to venture out.

Unfortunately, I too am a girl. So I bring to the party my own ovarial complications. Just ask my husband, “I’m just mad alright, you are an idiot. I wouldn’t get this angry if you weren’t an idiot. MENTION MENOPAUSE AND YOU WILL DIE … DO YOU HEAR ME DIE”. (BTW I know ovarial isn’t a word, I made it up, it’s my blog and I can do that … don’t even think about pointing it out. Right just Googled ovarial it might be a word sorry I overreacted).

Right today’s a new day. Moving on…all is good. It wasn’t that bad. Then I catch husband marking the calendar, he’s planning fishing trips for the next 12 months but only on particular weeks. He’s going to be away a lot.

 

Life Before Children

Last week somewhere between finding lost socks and transporting children to endless activities I was struck by a thought (just one, my crowded mind can’t cope with more than that at the moment).

I realised I’ve got no memory of life before children.

Is it some sort of parental dementia designed to help your fragile brain cope with the post-traumatic onslaught of raising children?

I simply cannot remember what I DID with all that time I had on my hands.

When every waking hour wasn’t devoted to the care and needs of others how did I fill those endless hours of “me” space?

In a second between arguing about who was going to feed the dog and creating a meal out of left-overs (I’m turning the spag bol  into chilli con carne just adding a can of beans and a sprinkle of curry powder – see it’s a completely different meal) I wondered what life will look like when it’s just me and Mr Shambles rattling around in this big unfinished house.

What will the conversations be when they no longer revolve around finding money for braces, who’s responsible for the soccer pick-up and why we’ve run out of toilet paper AGAIN?

I have a vision of the children heading out into the big, wide world to lead highly successful lives … leaving behind a shell-of-a-woman, clutching a wine bottle and yelling “oh yes they are great NOW, you have no idea what it took to get them there”.

Life after children, what does that space look like? Perhaps endless, uninterrupted blogging accompanied by chocolate?

Imagine you have one child-free day to yourself, how would you spend the time?

Weekly Photo Challenge – Summer

While I sit here rugged up in my winter woolies, the Weekly Photo Challenge asks me to cast my mind back to the summer. It was a soggy season, lots of rain and not nearly enough hot sun. However during one warm day Princess Child got out into the front yard and proved you can never be too old for a bit of fun with the garden hose and sprinkler. She even managed to convince her sister to join her at one point, well she squirted her with the water and she had to retaliate.

When was your last water fight?

Hope you are keeping warm wherever you are.

Exploring Port Macquarie – Whale Watching Season

It’s time for whale watching again. Every year from May to November the giant humpbacks migrate along the east coast to the warmer waters of the South Pacific to breed.

They then journey with their newborns back to the colder climes of the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic.

My brother captured these shots from the headland at Tacking Point. The two whales were greeted by a pod of 30 dolphins. They provided an escort welcoming the visitors to the area and playfully launching themselves toward the duo.

The whales seem to enjoy the company – it’s always nice to meet the locals when you travel!

My brother declares it was an amazing experience to watch the interaction and see first-hand these absolutely awesome creatures.

A Year of Last

Youngest children thrive in an environment of benign neglect. They have to, it’s all they have available to them.

Eldest children enjoy a parent’s undivided attention, they are the prototype of our parenting and as such we relish every moment, recognising milestones, throwing ourselves into this brave new world.

When my eldest started school, I was sooo into it (I even wore lipstick on the first day). I was at reading groups, supervising maths activities, on the P&C, hell by a series of defaults I even ended up President of the P&C! Every event I was there, camera in hand, recording every single moment.

By the time the youngest was in Grade 1 I was back at work. I juggled and managed to make it to most of the prescribed activities but when the athletics was rained out I couldn’t arrange to take another day off, when the band playing at assembly clashed with work meetings I couldn’t wangle it to be there. There were other faces in the crowd, sometimes Dad, sometimes Nana, sometimes Aunt Dorothy but sometimes not me.

Yesterday was our last Primary School athletics carnival. Next year Princess Child will progress to High School and I won’t be wanted at the carnival.

Standing in the sun, watching the Year 6 kids, they all looked so grown up. They are tall, growing into their features, cheering for each other, laughing at private jokes, hugging each other in victory and handing tissues to the sobbing losers – hormones suck girls – I know you don’t understand why you are crying – I know it’s not really about the sore knees and ankles or the fact you lost – but it will be many years before you realise just what made you cry on the warm autumn day back in 2012.

I remember our first athletics carnival, when we were still keen, manning the fundraising BBQ. I had a three-year-old clinging to my legs and a queue of hungry people. There was chaos and laughter as we got the folks fed. We lost any desire to ever eat another sausage again. We raised money and were part of the school community.

Today it’s a different school, we don’t help out much, too tied up with work. Thethree-year-old is a lanky 12-year-old running the anchor leg in the relay. Holding her team’s lead, to cross the finish line in first place, the crowd goes wild (well OK her Mum and Dad go wild). Hastings doesn’t usually win the relay, the girls leap into each others arms, jumping up and down,  faces alight with excitement. I’m glad I’m there (and I even remember to get a photo).

We are heading into the final stretch of a year of lasts. The swimming carnival, the cross country, the athletics carnival. The Mother’s Day assembly. The Father’s Day assembly. We are ticking off each one marking the end of an era. Our last year in Primary School.

There will no more standing at the school gates catching up with other parents on my day off, waiting for excited children to come running out. Instead when we do venture to high school we won’t leave the car, our self-sufficient teens will plonk in the vehicle with monosyllabic answers to our enthusiastic questioning about their day.

There will be no more calls to man the reading groups.

It won’t be cool to have your parents come to too many things, we’ll manage to bully our way into a few, but it won’t be same.