Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bring On the Clowns

We had just returned from the circus.
The Mop was disappointed. she expected it to be more like Madagascar 3. I had explained it was unlikely that a giraffe was going to do the high wire, but she hadn't believed me.

The Bombshell on the other hand, was in raptures. I had spent most of the time watching her watch the circus. She was enthralled.

Even the look on her face when we got sprayed with wood chips from a prancing pony was priceless. The Bombshell had picked the little pieces of wood off her lap, cradling them in her hand like they were jewels.

‘Did. You. See. That?’ she asked. ‘That was awesome.’ She then brushed the sand off her lap into my handbag.

Yeah, awesome.

The drive home was long. As usual, it was a competition between the girls. Who got sprayed with most woodchips. Who got the better prize on the clowns. Who loved it the most.
‘I’m going to be a sparkle ribbon girl when I grow up,’ the Bombshell declared.

‘Or maybe I will do the trapeze. No, I will work with the ponies. Or the puppies, that was cool.’

She sighed happily.

‘You can’t do that,’ the Mop informed her. Just to be annoying.

‘Yes I can. Mum says I can be anything I want when I grow up. I just have to try hard enough.’

In the rear view mirror I could see them sticking their tongues out at each other.

‘I can be anything I want when I grow up,’ the Bombshell repeated under her breath.

‘Yeah,’ retorted the Mop. ‘You can be a circus animal.’
Shall I let the Bombshell be a sparkle ribbon girl when she grows up?


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How To Get Rid of an Unwanted Wobbly Tooth

Kids who have wobbly teeth are pretty cute, right? Big gaps in their smiles. Complete inability to eat apples, hilarious, right?

Except in my house, this is what I have had to look at for the past few weeks.

The worst, most disgusting, sticky-out, redneck, beer-bottle opening snaggle tooth. Ever.

There was nothing cute about this tooth.

The 4th wobbly tooth belonging to the Bombshell began in the normal way, but every day it began to stick out more and more, until it was perpendicular to the gum. It would stick out between her lips. She would chew on it.
Strangers would grimace and stare when they saw it. It was freakily unnatural.

She looked like she belonged to Cletus the slack-jawed yokel. You know the one.
'Y'all get that damn tooth out now, hear...'
[image Simpson wiki]
It was very distracting and – and between you and me – I offered to add $5 to whatever the Tooth Fairy was going to give her if she could wobble it out before Show Day (tomorrow).

For a week I reminded her to wobble it, waving the idea of $5 in front of her. I’m not proud, but I was desperate.

She tried, she did. She would wobble with her tongue. She would wobble it with her finger. She would gross out every adult who made the mistake of asking to see.


I considered doubling my offer to $10.

As I resigned myself to the freak-tooth staying forever, a miracle happened.

Baldy intervened in the only way she could. She kicked the Bombshell square in the face coming down the slide.
Blood went everywhere.

The tooth was out.

It was the best five bucks I have ever spent.
Love your work Baldy...

Food Lines


It’s one of those jobs you hate, but you have to do at least once a year. Sometimes more in my house.

The annual cleaning-out-of-the-food-cupboard.

If you’re a responsible shopper – and I’m not – you know exactly what is in your cupboard at any given point in time. You have manageable levels of tinned and packet foods, and never need to throw anything out because it’s out of date.

Let me reiterate, I am not one of those people.

In a snatched moment when the kids were all away, occupied or asleep, I battled my demons.

I unpacked and sorted. I groaned as I saw three jars of hoisin sauce, four tins of tomato soup, eight tins of creamed corn and fourteen packets, of varying sizes, of instant rice.

What? I get a little stupid when things go on sale.

And my kids really like rice. And they want it NOW. It’s a great invention.

I took the opportunity to dispose of a number of barely touched party lolly bags, snatched with such glee after a birthday, and forgotten just as quickly.

I tossed out the tub of fairy floss. My husband wanted to keep it, but I said that unless he was prepared to feed it to the kids before HE was about to spend the day with them, then it needed to go.

I threw out an obscene amount of food, and I am feeling very ashamed of myself.


Food wastage is something we battle daily as parents.

We have all cooked the meal, full of healthy things only to have the kids say ‘yuck’ and demand a vegemite sandwich.

We have all swept up piles of rice and cereal from the floor, and had to tip it into the bin because it has been contaminated with pet hair – or, at our place - foot long strands of the Bombshell’s hair.

We have all found the mummifed half-eaten sandwich under the couch; the apple with a single bite out of it in the bottom of the school bag; the lovingly made fruit platter that the kids left out in the sun because they were too busy playing.

One of the biggest food battles we have is that fine line between teaching our children not to waste food but also teaching them to not eat beyond their capacity.

The three year old Mop has a canny ability to eat exactly 80% of what is on her plate. She will eat happily and then, with only a mouthful of two left in front of her, she will stop. It’s bloody annoying, and I used to push her to finish her meal, to ‘not waste food.’

But what is worse? Wasting a few mouthfuls of food, or teaching her that she must always finish what is in front of her.

I always finish what is in front of me.

And then I finish what is on my kids’ plates. And then I often get another helping.

I am more than a few kilos overweight.

Actually I’m a lot overweight.

So I am determined to not encourage my children to eat more than they need to. I eat because I want to, not because I need to and it had led to a lifetime of food issues.

I want my children to have a happy, healthy and uncomplicated relationship with food.

So I have started talking to the Mop about what her ‘tummy’ wants, as opposed to what ‘she’ wants. She is old enough to distinguish between wanting something because it’s yummy and her ‘mouth’ wants it, and wanting something because she is hungry and her ‘tummy’ wants it.

Clearly I need to start practicing what I am preaching. It’s something I fail at regularly.

Yesterday I had lunch out with my husband and the Bombshell. I tried my hardest not to finish everything on the plates, and when we left there was half a plate of fried rice remaining. I felt proud that I had not overeaten unnecessarily.

And then I ruined it all by eating an enormous ice-cream cone that I neither wanted nor needed.

Baby steps, Shannon.


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