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Showing posts from September, 2012

It's not easy raising boys...

Sometimes I feel I'm on the frontline of a war.

I have four boys to raise in a world when boys and men are often viewed as 'the enemy' and if not the enemy then certainly, 'persons of questionable repute'.

Almost every single time I tell anyone I have four boys for the first time, the response is one of feigned shock or concerned. 'Four boys?!'

I laugh it off. I say, 'Yes, four boys!' and look excited.

To me, they're not 'boys' per se. They're children.

I don't know what it is like to have girls, I imagine it's just as full-on, just as noisy, just as much fun, and just as challenging in many ways.

I am the first to agree that there are undeniable difference between boys and girls, and I will openly laugh at anyone who tries to tell me boys and girls are exactly the same. Their very make-up on a biological level means there has to be difference. Hormones affect all of us. Testosterone and Progesterone are not the same hormone …

Living in the Nexus...

I sat with the Grumpy Old Man and Erik this afternoon while they watched Star Trek: Generations. In this Star Trek movie Jean-Luc Picard's Enterprise is consumed by an astral phenomenon call the Nexus. Within the Nexus Picard finds himself inhibiting a world of his greatest desires. The Nexus is a wave of bliss within which all the inhabitants have their dreams come true. I guess it is what people commonly belief Heaven or Nirvana would be.



I couldn't help but muse on what my experience of the Nexus would be.

In the Nexus our family would always get along and all the boys would be kind to one another and they would listen to us. In the Nexus the weather would be sunny during the day and a constant 25 degrees with a light breeze. It would rain at night when rain was needed and the nights would be 10 degrees cool.

We'd do things as a family without stress and bickering.

The house would always be comfortably tidy (not so tidy we didn't feel we could relax, but tidy enough…

Men!

This catch cry irritates me.

Yes, it's a well established fact that I am rather easily irritated. All the same, whenever I see someone - and by someone I mean women - started a vent with 'Men!', I immediately wonder what element of womanhood this woman is tapping into.

You see, I'm married to a man and I'm raising four men. In our society men are believed to have the lion share of the power. Ironically - if you believe television shows and advertising - they are also believed to be rather useless. They are believed to be low-brow. They are believed to be at the mercy of their impulses; boys will be boys, men will be men, etcetera. Men are believed to be lazy and selfish and base.

When a woman says, 'Men!', other women know this is short for, 'Just wait until you hear what my man has said or done now!' What ensues will often be quite frustrating. It'll be a story of a man who has been selfish or thoughtless or childish, or mean. Men can be all of…

When you don't like one of your childrens' friends...

Has your child ever been friends with a child you just don't like?

My son Lukas has made friends with a child at school this year, and that child's approach to making friends is to isolate a popular child and belittle their friends. It's actually the inverse situation to what has been happening with Bryn (in that Bryn is one of the children being disparaged) - oddly enough.

I get that these kids are new to the school and it's difficult to make friends in groups of previously well established friendships, but what is it with kids who break into groups of friends by pitching those friends against each other?

So, in Lukas' situation, the new child decided Lukas would make a good friend (Lukas has always been quite popular amongst his cohort), but this new kid didn't just try to make friends with Lukas and be part of the previously establish group of friends. Instead he made friends with Lukas and started disparaging all of Lukas' other friends.

To our great di…

It's all happening here.

The Grumpy Old Man and the two older boys left for mother-in-law's about an hour ago. They have a full day of helping MIL clear out excess stuff from her house. She has told the GOM she wants to put the house on the market in November, so I'm expecting the next few weekends will involve the Grumpy Old Man and the boys regularly being dispatched to 'Nanna's' in this fashion.

I've chucked Bryn and Ari outside. Ari has been cooped up here at the house all week. We have a marvellous big back yard full of outdoor equipment but he won't go out there on his own for long and neither the GOM or I are inclined to sit out there with him - I know, we suck as parents, I have been suffering some unusual parental guilt over this, but we honestly have a lot of do inside the house, too. It was so much easier with the other three. Erik and Luey had each other and Bryn was always happy to potter around on his own. Ari is a different sort of kid, he wants lots of interaction w…

All that is wrong with this country! Trolling and a sure sign I'm getting old!

Here is a sure sign I'm getting old. I wrote to a regional paper this morning to complain about all that is wrong with this country. Yes, yes I did.

You see, I saw a link on Facebook. My cousin posted it. It was an article about her new fiancé.

I've never met the man. I know his name, and I know he's engaged to my cousin and that is all I know about him.

The article was a local-interest story about him because he had set up camp outside his local Apple store yesterday morning to await the Australian release of the new iPhone 5. He's obviously a fan of iProducts, he was depicted sitting there with his Apple laptop - and well, yes, he was willing to queue all day and all night to be the first to get an iPhone 5. He's also obviously a man with a sense of adventure. He hoped others would queue with him (I don't know whether they did or not), but he wanted the experience of being first in line.

There is a long history of people in Australia and around the world queu…

If we survive the end of the Mayan calendar...

2013 is set to be a very interesting, exciting and profitable year...

The Grumpy Old Man's mum called this morning to say the insurance company was willing to pay $2K toward replacing her asbestos filled roof after a tree limb put a small hole in the roof a couple of weeks ago. This means her cost of replacing the roof would still be $18K. If she decided against spending that money and just had the hole patched, that would be fine - until the next hole in the roof, which the insurance would not cover at all until she had the roof replaced.

So, she's determined to sell the house at this point.

The GOM and the two eldest boys will be at her house this weekend helping to shift items to the nature strip for council pick up.

I've learned something new about mother-in-law. When she dithers or is indecisive, it's a sure sign she just doesn't 'want to' do whatever you may be trying to persuade her to do. I've learned this because now that she's decided to …

My child is hurting... Parenting impotence.

Today Bryn's teacher called me into the room at pick up time.

Yeah, that's never a good sign, is it?

It seems he's been randomly bursting into tears in class over the past few weeks. He's been upset because his house doesn't have a second floor or stairs and other kids in his class does. He's been upset because he got a lovely amber necklace for his birthday and kids asked him why he had a necklace on. He's been upset because he's the only kid in his class with a name starting with B and when the class plays dodgeball (I think) he doesn't have anyone to run with (this also happens to the only child with a name starting with I and the only child with a name starting with L, as well).

He's been telling us these things at home as well, so we already knew about the things that were upsetting him, but until this afternoon, we didn't know about the common denominator.

Apparently, a new kid joined the class this term. Bryn has mentioned this kid a …

So excited!

Today was the 'Meet and Greet BBQ' at Erik's high school!

Every time I go to this school I'm impressed!

There was a sausage sizzle followed by a brief introduction about year seven curriculum, and then the children were sorted into their school houses. There are six houses, all named after constellation. I knew five of them (Aquila, Centaur, Orion, Pegasus and Phoenix), the one Erik actually got into I didn't know - Dorado - apparently it's a constellation above the Antartic. That house's colour is yellow.

There was an introduction to each student, basically stating their interests and from that we discovered that artists are not particularly common, only two or three besides Erik. lots of kids listed Minecraft amongst their interest and most of those ended up in the same house as Erik - so he'll be very happy with that. One student was also into Art and Doctor Who and is in the same house as Erik, woot! Apparently none of the kids in his house went to …

Flexibility and inner peace?

Today day is the first day since Sunday that my left leg hasn't felt like it doesn't belong to my body.

All week it has been horribly painful to sit, stand, lay down and walk. My right leg has been less affected but also very inflexible and sore.

So, why have I been experiencing all this discomfort? Well, because last weekend I tidied the back patio. Tidying the back patio entailed scrubbing moss off the stone tiles and I should have crouched down or knelt to do this job, but the ground out there is very rough and was very wet as well.

I've always been very limber so I chose to bend at the hips and scrub the patio that way.

Yes, wrong move, that!

All the muscles and ligaments at the back of my legs became strained and agitated doing this. I didn't feel any of it until Monday around lunch time, by Tuesday morning I was in agony, and Wednesday was the worst day. Yesterday was a bit better and finally today I was able to actually cross my legs and sit with a little pressu…

Yesterday was a GORGEOUS day! A.K.A I can't think of a title for this post...

Gosh, yesterday in Melbourne was beautiful and today is shaping up to be the same way.

Beautiful weather always helps to alleviate my mood.

That is not to say that I don't still seethe - I do - I'm trying really hard not to. For example, I have a reader who checks in here several times most days and this is someone I know but who I'm no longer friends with. Someone who swore to boycott my blog but just can't seem to stay away - particularly from posts which might be controversial - and I feel the urge to make cutting remarks about this person. Instead I'm going to send this person love and hope they find the closure they are looking for and are able to move on from visiting my blog; possibly gloating over my challenges or looking for disharmony. I've moved on, it wasn't easy, but you can move on, too. You know who you are, and I see you there in my 'visitor pathways'. Pax.

I feel a strong need to feel love and compassion for people around me. I thin…

Deciphering Anger...

Do you ever feel angry and just don't know why?

At the moment everything irritates me and annoys me. I'm a little concerned because I'm feeling very uncharitable. I don't seem to have a lot in the way of compassion or sympathy for other people. I really don't like this feeling at all.

I'm not exactly sure why I feel this way. 

The quick answer might be that life is stressful, but that's not really very helpful because life is always stressful. As far as I can see everyone's life is stressful (and they don't seem to be irritable all the time). Life has been stressful in this house for a long time and that is not set to change any time soon.

Or maybe that is the reason. 

I keep waiting and hoping for things to change and they don't and I resent it because I feel we deserve a break.

Then again, life is not as stressful as it has been.

I'm finally figuring out how to live on this small income and even put a little bit of money aside each fortnight (for…

At a loose end...

I'm at a loose end, and I'm really not good at it.

This is why I wouldn't make a good buddhist or meditator. I'm far to restless and these four competing channels of thought in my head are so noisy and distracting and frustrating - and right now they're all clambering for something to work on, to nut out, to pull apart and reassemble and examine and theorise  about.

Having submitted my application and with no other 'project' to occupy my mental spaces, I'm feeling agitated and hungry for stimulation.

The internet doesn't it do it for me - yes, it's entertaining but mostly it's just a time suck, filling my head with superficiality and pureed ideas that are more palatable to the masses - and no one had better suggest housework, because I'd probably not be able to resist the urge to scratch your eyes out.

I've been biting hooks, which is no good.

Not actual hooks, just the kind of hooks you find on forums and Facebook. You know, someone…

Starting high school.

I lay awake for a long time the other night.

Next year is going to be a big one for us. There is a good chance we'll have to move at some point and all of that (the how and where) is still very much up in the air. Then again, I always think we're going to move 'next year' and for the past couple of years, that hasn't eventuated. So, moving wasn't keeping me awake.

Ari is starting kindergarten next year. The Grumpy Old Man and I realised he has never been anywhere without us or one or more of the boys. Erik and Lukas never went to kindergarten. Bryn went, but he'd already spent a year at creche (three hours, once a week) with our friend Jayne and her daughter. So, he had a smooth transition away from the family and out into the wider world. For Ari, kinder will be his first experience of being 'out there' on his own. I'm sure that won't be a smooth transition, but I'm also sure we will manage to navigate it quite well. So, Ari starting ki…

Red: A Doctor Who Motif. Oh, and my thoughts about what REALLY going on with the Doctor.

Gosh I've had a lot of traffic here this month already. Hi to all of you who visited my posts on vaccination and leggings as pants - forums are a boon to bloggers, aren't they?

Today, I thought I'd talk about something completely different.

I've been watching the first episode of series seven of Doctor Who: Asylum of the Daleks. I've watched it five times since Sunday morning and am seeing a pattern. (Yes, well, if you watch anything often enough you'll begin to see patterns, that's how conspiracy theories come into being).

Ever since the introduction of Amelia Pond, way back when Matt Smith first graced out screens with his hyperactive, Peter Pan view of the world, the colour red has featured strongly. In the very first episode of fifth series (modern) 'The Eleventh Hour' we meet red-haired Amelia (Amy) Pond, in her white nightdress with red hearts and red buttons on it. Her cardigan is red, the blanket/shawl she packs in her suitcase is red, her b…

The Happy Family.

What does it look like?

I've seen questions surrounding the idea of a 'happy family' in the past couple of days. The first was asking for the opinion of people who had a 'happy childhood' about what made their childhood happy, and the other - just now in my inbox - asked, 'Is your family as happy as you would like it to be?'

I imagine if I clicked through from that email in my inbox, I'd received a list of things I could do to make my family happier if I didn't feel they were as happy as I'd like them to be.

Can a family ever be as happy as we'd like them to be, I mean for more than a moment in time?

The other night I watched 'Deep Impact' for the fifty millionth time. At one point Tea Leoni's character is reminiscing with her dad about 'one perfect day' they had together during her childhood before her parents split up.

A single perfect day?

I wonder how often I've tried to make this happen with my family. Creating a…

I want a political party to offer me THIS.

I was having a conversation with the Grumpy Old Man last night about politics. Not really current Australian politics, or world politics but about the problems I have with the political parties and how none seem to quite meet my needs.

Not my financial or spiritual needs, but my understanding of societal needs.

I thought I'd try and explain what I'm on about - I'm not certain I'll be successful at doing this, but here goes...

I'm no fan of capitalism, and 'sustaining the economy' as Howard used to bang on about makes me think The Economy is a beast we need to feed. A hungry and heartless beast which doesn't understand the emotional needs of humans.

I'll never be a Liberal (if you're not Australian, I need to explain that here Liberals are the same as American Republicans, our Labor Party is like the Democrats, our democrats are a party that used to be, but are no more, and then we have The Greens, who started out as environmentalists but are no…