The day after yesterday

I stressed myself so much after yesterday, maybe needlessly as I tend to dwell on things when I should just move on and get over it but all I could think about was JJ trying to choke one of his friends and what awful consequences that could have had.

Last night I spoke to JJ about the ‘incident’ and he finally conceded that he hit his friend on the neck quite hard. I explained to him that she was really upset and that it really hurt her. I think I know who it was that he ‘hit’ but I’m hesitant to approach her mother (we are friends) just in case it’s not her. Who knows if he understood that he hurt his friend. What I am doing now is taking a harder line on the respect for me and for others so if he lashes out at anyone there will be immediate consequences, rather than me just say, ‘don’t do that’.

So after all of this I sat down after I’d put him to bed and just started feeling really sorry for myself. What I really would have liked is for someone to talk over it with right there and then, ideally his other parent. But that is not to be, so even a boyfriend – but I’m lacking one of those too. I also really wanted reassurance that I’m doing ok as a parent and I really wanted a massage to release the tension build up in my neck and shoulders. So I sat down and watched the rest of School of Rock and luckily that ends on a feel good note so that just had to do for me.


This morning when I dropped JJ off at childcare one of the childcare workers asked me to come and have a talk. I thought oh oh, this must be serious if we have to move away and have a talk as usually they will just talk about stuff whereever they catch you.

We went and sat down and she started telling me how JJ was seen trying to choke another child yesterday. Apparently this has happened once or twice before but wasn’t witnessed by any adults. It was a friend he tried to choke and it was hard enough that this child gagged and was left with a red mark on her neck.

I was devastated. I couldn’t think of any times he’s seen people try to choke each other. I’m pretty strict about what I let him watch – no Simpsons for him – just ABC Kids and tame kiddy videos. I have also never witnessed him do this to any other kids and I haven’t seen any other kids do the same sort of thing.

After a bit of a chat I left childcare and walked down the street while thinking that I’m raising a potential child murderer and thinking what an awful parent I must be. Totally worst case scenario stuff, but he is a big boy for his age and stronger than many of his peers so has no concept of his own strength.

I rang the Parent Helpline after I got to work and they suggested I find out more about the context of what happened and do some pretend play with my son so he learns more about what is and is not acceptable. Of course choking other kids is not acceptable not that I want to pretend play choking. Apparently childcare hasn’t seen this happen before. There’s plenty of biting, hitting and kicking, but not choking.

It was an awful way to start the day and when I got into work a meeting reminder came up. I was supposed to be helping out at a training session and I just couldn’t go. The choking incident on top of a blister on my toe making it hard to walk wasn’t conducive to sitting down with a bunch of people helping them to logon to websites.

I have issyooos with the Dooones Hotel

I was listening to myself speak, or more to the point, pronounce a word – issues – the other day. Ever since the lovely Kath and Kim have graced our screens with their unique way of talking I have been pronouncing ‘issues’ without a ‘sh’ sound. So instead of saying ‘ishues’, I say ‘issues’ without the ‘sh’ sound and an elongated ‘yoos’ sound.

This got me thinking the other night about the English language and about the time that I went to the USA. It was my first overseas trip and I was going to be travelling by myself. Ah the brashness and courage of a 25 year old youth ey? I think I would be more hesitant about doing that sort of thing now. For some reason I’d always wanted to visit the States and I thought it would be a relatively easy country to travel in for my first port of call and to make it that bit easier they speak English and so do I.

Of course, as I know now, there are many different variants of English which I found out when I tried to go somewhere on a bus one day. I was in Las Vegas and wanted to go from the Strip to Downtown – near The Dunes hotel in fact. I got on the bus and said to the bus driver, ‘I’d like to go to the Dyoons Hotel (Dunes Hotel) please,’ as that’s the way we say dunes here in Australia. The bus driver gave me a questioning look and asked me to repeat it. I said a few times that I’d like to go to the Dyoons Hotel downtown please. He still didn’t get it. It then occurred to me that I needed to say it the way the locals say it and that is ‘Doones Hotel’ without the ‘y’ sound. He got it then and I was on my way. Just as well I’m fairly observant and knew how to say it so it made sense to him otherwise I’d still be there.

An Australian friend who lived in the US for a few years told me a similar story about her attempt to buy a word processor – a bit before the advent of the personal computer. We generally say ‘word’ (without the rolling r sound) and ‘prohcessor’. She ended up having to pronounce it ‘worrd prucessor’ before they understood what she was trying to say.

So we obviously get so caught up in the way we speak that when someone throws something different at us our mind doesn’t compute the real meaning. I wouldn’t have thought Dyoons and Doons is that much different but to this bus driver it was.

This happened to me to a certain extent when I was on a train from Prague to Budapest about a year later. I’d been surrounded by Czeck speakers all morning and when I heard two men speaking English it took a while for me to work out that they were saying someone was sitting in their seat. That someone was me and I’d been sitting in a reserved seat the whole way from Prague and nobody had been able to communicate that to me. One of the men was lovely and I spent the next few days with them but that’s a whole other story.

Four nights in the clear

First of all, apologies to JJ when and if he ever reads this as I’m going to talk about bed wetting. He is only three (well three and three-quarters) so bed wetting is mostly par for the course.

I wrote a while back that we were completely nappy free but there was a relapse last week. For three nights running he wet the bed in the middle of the night. He seemed to do it when he was asleep and it would only be a little wee that didn’t wake him up so the consolation for me was that I didn’t find out about it until the morning. The not so good thing for him was that he got to sleep in a damp bed for half the night.

He would come into my room in the morning, about 6am, and inform me that he was wet. First of all it’s half an hour before I normally think about getting out of bed but I can’t tell him to just wait so we’d walk down to the bathroom get him out of his wet clothes and I’d give him a wipe down with a warm, damp face washer. I’d get him dressed and let him sleep on the couch for a bit until it was time for me to get up. I have a psychological barrier about getting up before 6.30am.

Then I’d get up and change his bed. He’s got a car tent on his bed that’s a pain to get off and put on as there’s four elastic bands for each corner of the bed and his bed is up against the wall. Then of course I’d have to strip the bed and wash the sheets and hang them out before heading off to work so the mattress protector would be dry when I got home that night. A normal cycle on my washing machine takes about two hours but luckily there’s a quick wash which takes a bit less than half that.

Then the process would be reversed before he goes to bed that night. By the third morning this happened I was getting very sick of this process. Luckily I’ve got a newish washing machine and luckily it’s still fairly warm outside. If it was winter I’d be stuffed.

By the fourth night I couldn’t face another day of unmaking then remaking the bed so I said to JJ – do you want to wear a nappy tonight? He did, so I put one on him. I thought we were back to square one and that he’d be in nappies for another year.

But it was shortlived. The three nights were Sunday, Monday and Tuesday so he wore a nappy to bed Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday we were at a friend’s place and he slept in her bed till 10.30pm and I thought we’d be safe and if we weren’t then I’d be very apologetic and help her change her bed. Things were fine though and when I got home I steered him to the toilet and put him to bed without a nappy. No wet bed.

Saturday night he slept at another friend’s house and I put a nappy on him but it was dry in the morning.

Sunday night I said do you want to go to bed without a nappy? and he said yes. Every morning since then he’s said I haven’t wet myself.

So I freaked out for nothing – it was just a lapse. I was pretty pleased with myself that I didn’t get annoyed with him. I knew it would be counter-productive and of course it wasn’t his fault that he was having sleeping wees. I’m guessing there will be other relapses but we’ll get through them. I just hope he’ll save them for next summer.

Defining gender roles already

Over the last couple of days JJ has said things to me like, he can’t work in that shop because he’s a man, or she can’t drive a truck because she’s a woman.

Where has he got these things from?

I know he has a couple of old books that talk about jobs like fireMAN, policeMAN, nurse (woman) and so on and I try not to encourage him reading these. I probably should just take them away but nowhere in my vocabulary is there any mention of only women working in shops or only men driving trucks.

I made sure to tell him that women can drive trucks and that men can work in shops.

I know he wasn’t absolutely convinced.

Fabulous and funky

It’s a good friend’s 40th this weekend and on the invite she’s got ‘Fabulous and Funky 40th’. This friend always makes an effort to be fabulous and funky when she goes out to a do so I couldn’t wear just anything. The beautiful purple sparkly number I bought last year that I’ve worn three times just wouldn’t cut it this time so off to the op shop I went yesterday and found this, which had just come in that day.

Goodwill – Hindley Street, Adelaide

Price $5.00



Unfortunately two buttons on this dress were broken so I commented on this when I took the dress to the counter and the woman behind the counter got out two big boxes of buttons that I rummaged through and found some more. It made my collection of buttons at home look quite paltry.

These are the old buttons. The picture isn’t very good as I’ve realised that my Kodak 7330 digital camera is pretty crap at taking quality pictures but two of the buttons are missing the green pearl bit.


To replace them I bought the boat buttons. They probably aren’t what I would have chosen but they are a bit different and there were six of them. And as it turned out they came with the dress so I didn’t even have to pay extra for them.


The dress also has pockets on either side, that are inside the dress. I’m sure there’s a proper dressmaking term for these type of pockets which I can’t think of, but the pockets are going. Pockets like these on an a-line type skirt just don’t sit very well and there’s enough room on the original seam to sew it up as if the pockets did not exist and simply cut the pockets off. I’ve already replaced the buttons and shall drag out the sewing machine tonight and get rid of the pockets.

Then I shall be ready to be fabulous and funky on Saturday night.