Time to eat

It’s cricket time of year here. There’s no escape from it on Channel 9, and most weekend days and some week days there’s cricket being played on a local oval. JJ and I had a discussion about it and being the encouraging parent I am I told him that it takes a long time to play a game. I’m not real keen on him developing an interest in playing the game purely because I don’t fancy spending half my weekend watching him.

He obviously understood that a day is a long time because he told me he didn’t think he’d play cricket because they wouldn’t get time to eat. He loves his food and the thought of not being able to eat whenever he likes obviously worries him.

A few days later we were discussing the occupations of bus and train drivers. I told him they’d drive to the end of the bus or train route and turn around and come back. He then informed me that he didn’t think he’d become a bus or train driver because they don’t get time to eat. I tried to explain that both cricketers and drivers do get time to eat but it didn’t sink in.

I’m thinking he’ll always do something where he can eat when he likes.

Addition – I meant to mention at the end of this post. Despite JJ’s obsession with food his memory lets him down. Yesterday at work I got a phone call from his vacation care director. They were at the pool and JJ had forgotten his lunch after being asked to put it in his bag. He had to miss out on food for various reasons and didn’t get his lunch until mid afternoon.

Still sleeping with sharks

I’m detecting a bit of a theme in regards to JJ sleeping with various toys in various states of action. He obviously starts playing with them and they wear him out so much that he just falls asleep while still playing. Here’s the latest in the series, a shark puppet.

In bed with a shark

It was a particularly hot night here too which is why he sleeps without any bed coverings. I usually put a sheet over him but that ends up all twisted around him or just completely off.

To see other photographic evidence of what he ends up sleeping with, see him with his other shark, sleeping in the batman costume, sleeping with my old doll.

I guess I’ll have to stop this practise of taking photos while he’s asleep when he’s a bit older and starts sleeping with real live people. That probably wouldn’t really be acceptable.

Goodbye trainer wheels

Today was the first day JJ rode his bike without relying on trainer wheels. Truth is, he had to, or not ride his bike. This is the third set of trainer wheels we’ve had and they just aren’t robust enough for a 23kg boy who relies on them, because they bend. The trainer wheels were’t aligned with the bike wheels, they were more at 45 degree angles so if he did lean on one of them, he would inevitably fall off.

This morning he wanted to go for a ride and I tried to bash the trainer wheels back into alignment but it just didn’t work. I said to him why don’t I just put the trainer wheels up a notch so that they’re there if you need them but I don’t think you do need them. Fortunately he was confident enough to give this a go. We walked the bike over to the school and after a short amount of instruction from me about how to start off with one leg resting on the ground to start with, he was away like a pro.

I was so excited, actually we both were. I was so excited I even ran alongside the bike with him here and there. Unfortunately the chain came off the bike twice. This has happened before and our friend had fixed it for us but it must be a bit loose again.

JJ has a bigger bike in the shed that’s relatively new so I might dust that off, pump up the tyres and get him going on that if this smaller bike keeps losing it’s chain. It’s had a lot of wear and tear from its previous owner, my nephew.

Now, I have to get myself a bike. I promised him that when he stopped using the trainer wheels I would get a bike for myself and we could go riding together. That day has come my friends.

Getting crafty about dinosaurs

During our six week school holiday break I am having three of those weeks off with JJ so I need to find things we can do together so we don’t tear each other’s hair out with boredom.

On New Year’s Day I wasn’t suffering from a hangover or a severe lack of sleep so I decided to find something crafty we could do together with bits and pieces we had around the house. I’m not that creative when it comes to thinking of things like this so it’s just as well there are websites like Kiddley to draw inspiration from.

I actually didn’t find the activity we ended up doing on Kiddley, but found a website called Kids Craft Weekly where we found out how to make a dinosaur from a paper plate.

We didn’t have a paper plate so I found some cardboard and used one of our plastic plates to draw a circle.


We were then supposed to paint the piece of cardboard with acrylic paint. The only paints I have were cheap acrylic type paints and didn’t cover the surface very well so it looked a bit cacky but it still gave it a green base.


I then drew on the back as instructed to cut out the legs, head and tail, luckily found some stick pins in the toolbox and put it all together.

We didn’t have the suggested embellishments but had some bright cardboard small dinosaurs which we stapled to our stegosaurus and some feathers for good measure and we had a finished product.

We were both pretty pleased with ourselves. Here is the finished product. We’ve borrowed the image from the Kids Craft Weekly website.


Along the dinosaur theme I bought tickets to go to the live ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’ show on in March. It’s supposed to be pretty good and hopefully we’ll both enjoy it and JJ won’t get too scared. The dinosaurs are lifesize and pretty noisy so it could be a bit scary. I won’t be leaving the show if JJ gets scared so perhaps I’ll take some earplugs if it freaks him out too much.

Cactus flower

Last night after work I went out and I felt a bit like I’d blossomed just like this cactus flower. 

This is the first time for a long time that I’ve been able to do a drinks after work session with colleagues for a very long time (since I’ve been a mum actually) without having to rush to childcare to pick up JJ. And I must say it brought back some good memories of being able to do this type of thing.

My sister picked him up from his vacation care and brought him back here. Mind you this wasn’t done with Christmas love. I was threatened to be back home for a certain time otherwise she said she wouldn’t pick him up.

All the sisterly love aside, it was great to go out after work, chat to my colleagues like I can’t chat to them at work because everyone’s so busy all the time. It was also our last day of work for the year so we were all very merry even before we started drinking.

I could have probably stayed longer but being the responsible parent I am, and mindful of not incurring more of my sister’s wrath, I got home to a house of resentment, waved the resentment goodbye and went through the motions of putting JJ to bed.

Just as well I’d had a few drinks as it didn’t burst my bubble. I think my bubble’s burst now though. I don’t want the sort of attitude my sister has to wash over me whenever I ask her to have JJ (which isn’t that often) and I don’t want it being absorbed by him either. I think we need to sit down and have a chat about this as it’s driving me nuts.

This post wasn’t going to turn out like this. It was going to be more about what a great couple of hours I had last night after work, but this sibling stuff is a tough business. I know one shouldn’t post what they don’t want other people to read, and I’m not. If she ever does read this, then I’m sure she’ll let me know what she thinks as she’s that type of girl.

Bit of a love/hate thing going on

Just about all blog posts I read at the moment are themed around Christmas and this one is no different. In short, I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas.

My main hate bit is the hype surrounding christmas and the associated commercialism. Here, the christmas decorations are put out in the shops in early October from memory. Every year people comment about how the decorations are available already and that it’s too early.

Partly, Christmas for me means I buy presents for people because it’s expected of me. I like to give gifts but I don’t like to buy gifts just because it’s Christmas and I feel I should. And it’s really painful going shopping when everyone else is out there doing it. I’m not organised enough to have it all done before the madness starts either.

It gets harder and harder to buy for my parents every year as they have every material thing they need. Ronni over at Time Goes By recently wrote an article about gift giving for elders. I’ll have to try and remember this for next year and consult with my sisters because I’m sure they have the same problem. I’ve resorted to alcohol for them this year and a photo of JJ I took, printed and put in a frame.

Christmas for me nowadays is more about my son than about me. It doesn’t bother me so much about receiving presents for myself or not, but looking at the joy JJ has when he opens his presents. I don’t go overboard on him and spend thousands or even hundreds. Some years I do spend more than others though depending on what I decide to get. He’s looking forward to Christmas and we’re marking the calendar with crosses until 25 December and I remember the anticipation as a kid was excruciating.

I’ve put up the tree, there are some presents underneath and a stocking hanging near the fireplace. The stocking will have to come with us as we won’t actually be home for christmas day so hopefully I’ll remember that.

As I said he’s looking forward to Christmas but then he’s also looking beyond that to the next time when he’ll get stuff at easter. And that’s what I hate about these holidays, the expectation. I alluded to it earlier about being expected to buy gifts for people. I try not to get my Christmas gift recipient list get too long. I used to buy for a couple of friends and we’ve mutually agreed to put a stop to that as it can get out of hand.

Last week JJ and I bought a gift for a boy about his age and put it under the Kmart wishing tree for charity. We shopped together and chose a present for someone who isn’t as lucky as him so they have something to open on Christmas day. He was really great about it but I don’t know how much it sunk in about who might end up with it. I’d like to make this our yearly tradition.

The Christmas card thing gets me though. I send off some cards to people overseas who I have very intermittent contact with and it’s a way of maintaining those contacts. I also send some to people within Australia I don’t see that often for the same reasons. I do not, however, give a card to all my colleagues and friends I see all the time because I think it’s ridiculous. I do feel a little guilty when I get one and I know that I won’t be giving one in return. Is it expected? Do these people feel put out when I don’t send them one? Too bad, because I’m not going to start doing it. JJ got given cards from his school mates. I didn’t go down that path either as it would have been something extra I had to do. When he can write, and when and if he wants to do it, that’s when it will happen. It’s in his hands.

I’m lucky in that I have family to hang out with at Christmas time but that’s fraught with family politics as I’m sure lots of families are. If I didn’t have family I guess it would be really hard and if I knew a Christmas orphan I’d love to include them in what I do. So while my family are all still around I try and make the most of it because I know I’d miss it like mad if it changed.

So Christmas looms every closer. I still have some presents to wrap, food to buy to contribute to the various places I’ll be visiting during that period. That brings me to one thing I do love about Christmas, and that’s holidays. I get to have just over a week off – yee hah!

When you want to stop a pointless argument with your child

To stop a pointless argument with your child, you leave the room and get a brown paper bag to put over your head then you walk back into the room.

I tried this for the first time last night. It was tea time, he was tired, he was really grouchy and it’s nearly the end of the school term and that’s gotta be getting to him. We started arguing about something so minor I can’t even remember it now but it was just escalating and escalating. It’s really hard to calm down when you’ve got your child just focusing on what their beef with you is at that particular time and won’t be swayed. Add the tired bit in, and it can be very volatile.

I picked up the paper bag idea from my the woman who massages me. I hadn’t had time to cut holes in it but me walking back into the lounge with my arms out in front hoping like hell I wouldn’t trip over anything made him laugh and it made me laugh and hey presto, pointless argument forgotten.

Here’s the famous brown paper bag with some eyes cut out of it and a drawing of an ugly cross face with the tongue poking out. I never said I could draw.

Paper bag over head