Back To School

Today is the second day after the first day of school, so I’m (we’re all??) on a come-down from the giddy celebrations of handing my kids over to professionals for the next few months, or until the next public holiday.

It’s almost like a hangover because I’m focusing on how much water I’m drinking and if I can squeeze in a nap. But it wasn’t any old party yesterday, it was something we’ve looked forward to (and sure, I enjoyed 85% of those kid-filled days) for three whole months. It had pride of place on the social calendar and everyone had a particular outfit to wear, even special shoes, in some cases.

Disclaimer: I’ve never been to a rave BUT! yesterday was like a parenting rave, and here’s why:

✔You don’t know everyone but you smile anyway.

✔Everyone is in a good mood.

✔People ask for directions outside the actual event.

✔ You eat something to be polite, even though you might not know what it is.

✔ You feel like dancing all of a sudden.

✔You love everyone you see and feel like telling them.

✔ You lose the people you came in with.

✔You make new friends and probably invite them to your house.

✔Not always sure where the bathrooms are or if they’re miniature or just look small.

Basically I’m down for a rave. Hit me up, after we’ve finished helping with the homework.

Why Is It Always Me

I could have said “turn off the tv and let’s get to work” instead of losing my shit. But honestly, after taking the kids to a concert they wanted to see and people sleeping in, I don’t think it’s about them being tired. I slept in, I don’t feel tired.

We were gardening until it was just me because “this is hard work” and boo friggedy hoo and similar excuses.

It’s not just me. Of course, it’s partly me but I’m not a slave. It’s not my job to keep the house super tidy. We all make a mess, we’re all busy, we all clean it up. I’ve got fun ideas but if people are just laying around then they can piss up a rope if they think I’m doing all the prep and they get all the fun. I’m a person, not a pack-horse. I’m also a raving lunatic but guess who made me that way.

Survival Camp

Surely 3 months *is* Survival Camp? Three whole months of school holidays. Sheesh.

Last week was Music Camp since the boys performed in Make Music Day (international day of free musical performances on the streets of participating towns). They came, they rocked, they got tips!

At home we have a varied “curriculum” for the summer and this week is Survival Camp. If we make it through (spoiler: trying to light a fire had us at each other’s throats) we can write, sew, bike and film our way to September.

Survival Camp follows on from an emergency consultation we had at home over the weekend. Bottom line: we need more prep but we’re on the right track, that didn’t stop me panic-shopping the next day, though.

Last night was the first night – started fine but it ended up a bit rough. There was a full moon, I think, because it was light when I opened my eyes but it was only 2.15, and then 3.15, and 5.25 and 6 something. The kids all talk in their sleep and it’s super convincing! The inside of the tent was soaked from monkey breath and we couldn’t light a fire for breakfast ir lunch. We have a flint to make sparks but nothing wants to start a flame. 9yo was under the impression one or two sparks would have us roasting our dinner… At least with eventual matches, we could boil water.

We’ve been hiking, wood-collecting, foraging and did some knots for an additional shelter. We did go back to the house for water and the hammock, but refrained from the oreos and chips in the spirit of it all.

We’re hoping to fashion our own arrows and try our hand at a snare but it’s all a bit daunting since the fire illuded us for so long. I’ve got a solar charger and am cutting my losses but survival is survival, right??

It’s Adventure Time Again, Huzzah!

It’s not raining; there is blue sky and the birds are chirping. The roosters are also hollering themselves hoarse. Earlier, I sent the boys off with water, oranges and clif bars to either die or walk up and down the driveway a few times. I just saw the middle child traipsing into the backyard so I’m assuming the latter applies to all three.
It’s Sunday, post daylight-saving clock fuck-around and here we are. I woke up in the middle of the night because my bodyclock apparently lost 4 hours. After doodling pointlessly for that amount of time, I woke up after a nap feeling refreshed and relieved. I filled the boys’ camel baks and patted their heads on the way out the door to sit on my ass in peace and quiet for as long as they would be gone.

It got me thinking about what I was doing in terms of adventure at a similar age, and also about the articles of crazy crackdowns on parents who are punished by society (or police) for giving their kids different amounts of independence than what people other than their parents think is appropriate.

Cue the Wayne’s World guys doing the doodley-doos with waving fingers…

We lived on a flat street that was U-shaped and the sign at one end said Pelsart St and the sign at the other end said Pelsart Ave. I didn’t think this was a big deal until a teacher told me that Pelsart St Ave was not a thing and it had to be one or the other. Live a little, people! My sister and I rode our bikes up and down the street with the neighbour kids and were supposed to stay in view of the house but, you know. Sometimes when we thought our parents were in the backyard and I was feeling particularly daring, we would ride around the whole block. So adventurous! Mum and Dad never liked that. 

There was a house just past the Pelsart Ave sign that was not lived in. The path to school inevitably went that way and people talked about that house. There were holes in the windows from rocks (can’t remember if I threw any; I might have dared myself a couple of times on the insistence of other kids but I knew it was wrong) and some holes in the walls. We went in there once or twice, too. I think I was petrified that other kids (or teenagers) would be in there and dare us to do things. There was graffitti and probably poo in the toilet. There were bits of rubble and I can’t remember about condoms or clothes. Positive the parents would have whipped us if they knew – maybe they did, I can’t remember – and my sister would have been either shitting her pants because she was 2 years younger than me, or instigating the whole bloody thing because she was daring when you least expected it.

There was a football oval down the road and around the corner from the Pelsart Ave sign, too, which, incidentally, Husband used to play on as a kid. When it rained for days, the oval occasionally flooded and sometimes I went there with a friend from school and we hunted for frogs and tadpoles. She warned me about Electric Eels. 

I was skeptical because the water, you know, would conduct their electricity, but she was older. My folks have told me about the stink of dead tadpoles at the front door where they made me leave the large containers of stormwater we’d bring back, and the occasional frog hopping around the steps.

Flashforward to today: I tell the boys to leave outside animals alone, to only look and not touch too much because I don’t want other living things in the house and because I don’t want them to become  blasé about fawns and be trodden or gored to death by deer or fucking stags.  We live on a hill with no sidewalks and fast drivers so they don’t ride bikes on the road but they do do BMX riding which is fucking rad. They go “hiking” in the backyard and today they found bones down by the old treehouse. 

I think they’re doing just fine.

Mother’s Loads

Mothering is a tough gig, and I say that as only a mother can whilst saying nothing at all of people who may or may not be fathering, parenting or child-rearing in any other form. I am merely speaking from my own experience and blah blah blah.
My kombucha mother has been fading away into despair and desolation for a few months and I have cast mine eye upon her only occasionally when rooting around the pantry, but only today did I act on my thoughts to rehydrate the poor thing. And not half an hour later, she started to revive. We’ll see if she produces anything worth drinking any time soon, or if she punishes me for a few weeks first with piss and literal vinegar.
I experienced the same forlorn malady this afternoon after a long day with my excitable children and my first cup of wine, so revived!
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The only one bigger is the novel by Stephen King and a big tent in middle earth.
My parents are flying back to Australia tomorrow and they did us a solid amount of babysitting – grandparenting, if you will – and so tomorrow we bid them adieu.
Someone else who is gearing up for babysitting/parenting/stealing the younguns is Mabel, our resident grandmotherly chicken. Princess Fiona has been nurturing her eggs for about two weeks I think, so soon enough, the boys and I will be listening at the doors
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for the pitter patter of tiny feet and adorably small chirping, whilst simultaneously trying to keep Mabel occupied in the yard so the littles can get acquainted with their mother rather than the mother being edged out by a clucky Mabel, even though she won’t sit on any clutch of eggs of her own. Anyways, we’re all very excited at the probability of babies, except for Husband because he’s all about mouths to feed and other whatevs economies and etc. 5yo was telling me today all about where the eggs come from and where they go and how they grow, and when he was a baby and I brought him out to see the baby chicks. If for no other reason than that, I am excited for the babies. Lifecycles, that’s what my peeps are talking ’bout!
Here’s to the mothers!

The Handbag Monologues

Ways Handbags Are Like Vaginas:
In your 20s, your vag is young and fresh, and associating not at all or occasionally with whatever is cute at the time. Your bag is small or even tiny, and is so exclusive that only half of what you want to take will fit inside at any given time. It is clean and the zip works properly.
In your 30s, you are not so young, or so fresh because of the use and abuse of the previous decade. You probably have kids and so, your vag is merely the exit ramp for the fruits of your husband’s loins. Your vag needs maintenance, and often an audience is involved. Your handbag also has quite a few similarities that you might not be happy about: it’s bigger, it’s heavier, there are leavings from children, it has stuff on the bottom of it that you don’t know what it is, you worry that your husband can’t find what either of you needs inside it. The zip is broken, the strap a little frayed, and the whole thing is faded even though it’s not really that old because your husband bought it for you just before the baby was born.
Heading towards your 40s, there are less kid leavings, if any, in your vag as well as your bag, and you might be friends with your gyno because you visit less often for a gloved inspection, you hopefully get more !hello! and less child-related hullabaloo when it’s supposed to be bedtime. Your handbag might also have shrunk, with only a few things inside and not many things for the kids because they are old enough to carry their own junk if they can for one minute leave their junk alone. Your handbag might even be a bit cheeky again like your younger self.
I can’t think beyond 40s because right now I’m sticking with my super cute striped Betsy Johnson, and I’m not telling what’s inside.

Working for the Man

5yo starts kindergarten in September and so it will be daytime soap operas and martinis for me, or will it? Maybe I end up getting a job. It wouldn’t be the end of the world but it’s hard to imagine working for the man when I’m still working for my men right now.
My kids have ruined me and now I can’t imagine working for a boss that’s not myself, or someone who isn’t necessarily much shorter and younger than me spouting ‘tude and asking for a smack on the butt without challenging me on sexually appropriate behaviour in the workplace.
What would happen if I did stuff in an office – which is where I used to work – like what goes on at home?
? Swearing under my breath – someone would hear it and understand it and I’d get in trouble.
? Not doing jobs – laundry and etc piling up – I resent getting interrupted to have to do chores and I’m not sure I make that work in a situation where I’m getting paid in more than hugs and kisses and Darwinian satisfaction without having to actual work.
? Staying up late to be adulting rather than parenting, I’d be tired at work just like I am now, except that whole getting paid in more than thing again.
? Googling personal shit instead of what I’m really supposed to be doing. I’m pretty sure it’s harder to do when not reclining with phone in hand on a couch.
? Turning up late and letting coworkers to take care of their own shit, eg boys getting dressed and breakfasted and occupying themselves while I sleep in. Actually that sounds like a promotion and a payrise. Maybe getting out on the workplace won’t be so bad after all.