Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Science of Toddlers

Is there a proven, scientific correlation between
that steady, hot & strong water flow and toddler bowel activity?


Then WHY does Master Magoo hear the water running,
see that - yep - Mummy is now thoroughly wet or mid hair wash
and suddenly yell
"I'm ready for poo, Mum. It's cooooming!!"

I believe the equation would look a little something like this :




 Unfortunately, it appears that once the shower is hurriedly abandoned and wet footprints are traipsed right through the house, the bowel effect miraculously wears off.
The wonders of Science, hey?

Shar :-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bin Truck Bliss

Wednesday mornings are very special in our house.
The front door is thrown open at first light and a weekly vigil begins.
Breakfast is eaten in record time on Wednesdays and morning-routine-compliance is not an issue with 'bin truck privileges' at stake!

Wednesday is bin truck day for us.
As in "Mum, the BIN TRUCK, the BIN TRUCK Mum!!!!"

We would normally head out and say hello,
but the 'Lazy Song' was working it's magic
today and Mummy was in a state of undress.

The bin truck is a premier event at our place and so much anticipated.
Much like the Greensleeves touting ice cream truck of my childhood, the bin truck's approach is deceiving.
Screams of "bin truck, bin truck. Mum, bin truck coooooming!!" are usually followed by long periods of pretty much nothing but hanging at the front door.
You can hear that sucker a suburb away.

The 'bin truck man' holds high status in our house.
Ever since we gifted the 'bin truck man' a sixer of beer for Christmas,
Magoo has wanted to repeat that gifting every week.
I appreciate effective waste management with the added benefit of toddler entertainment as much as any other Mum,
but I also pay that mammoth rates bill, thank you.

Being incredibly gender stereotypical here,
but is the bin truck to Magoo,
what fairies and princesses are to his little girl friends?

And, woah, today was recycling day.
"TWO bin trucks, Mum!!!"
"Nother BIN TRUCK here!!"
Every second Wednesday is double delight, the two for one show.

Happy bin truck day to you.
Shar :-)

Monday, March 28, 2011


I'm lovin 'The Lazy Song 'by Bruno Mars at the moment.

Loving it in the way that those sci-fi fans must love their cause.
As a pure work of fiction.
It's so far removed from my reality that it captivates me.

The Lazy Song
(Songwriters Keinan Warsame, Bruno Mars, Ari Levine & Philip Lawrence Li)

Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone
So leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything
Nothing at all

Nothing at all?
Oh my - I'd have to be in traction for that to happen.
I mean, where are his lists?!

This track makes a gorgeous driving tune with it's wonderful groove and Summer vibe - but it won't make it onto my i-pod.
That could be the beginning of the end for my marathon campaign, right there.

Happy Monday(itis)!

Shar :-)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rhythym of Life

I was perusing magazines recently, champagne in hand
and reclining on a beautiful day bed.
No. Correction. I wish I was perusing and reclining.
I hurriedly glanced through a toddler mag that came in the mail a while ago
and an article caught my attention.

The article was written by special needs teacher and author Lou Harvey-Zahra.
It was titled 'Rhythym of Life' and explored the idea that
positive family rhythyms lead to calm, connectedness and family peace.
Hey, family peace. Who wouldn't want them some of that?
Family peace - it's a Mum's equivalent to the pageant queen's breathy, pouty "world peace".
"As a Mum, I just wish for family peace for all".
Cue cynical laughter at the park, pool, playgroup, table, checkout ...

In his article, Lou quotes Steve Biddulph
who knows his stuff in regards to the early childhood business.
Steve reckons that
 "75% of all discipline problems are caused by the hurry that parents are in."
 (The Secret of Happy Children)
Big call, Steve.
I would go one further and say
at least 75% of all my (so called) problems are caused by the hurry I'm in.

Maybe I'm alone here - but my life rhythym is on freakin speed a lot of the time.
I regularly have to consciously take my foot off the gas (literally & figuratively),
breathe and reprioritise.

Is completing every item on the to do list more important than
hardcore Magoo / Mummy time?
Is being on time more important than our safety?
Is a few stupid minutes worth all the hustle and bustle of 'household central station'?
Is it healthy that it takes serious planning to find a suitable, single day
to be 'grounded'  - for my car to be serviced?

I sometimes appreciate the way Magoo can get in front of me and weave drunkenly at his own pace - forcing me to take it down a notch.
The way he'll say "just play, Mum", "come sit, Mum" as if it's the
most important thing in the world (which it is, really).
I love when he wakes up and pats his bed for me to jump in (the list of tasks floating away)
or when we randomly sit on the kitchen floor and really cuddle.
How he always wants to "help" and how letting him "help"
is more valuable than the time it costs.
I love that he's switched on enough to know when I let my mind wander to my damn lists during stories and how he wants to stop and look at every. little. thing. along the way.

My little man is my metronome.
He manages to tame my orchestra when they threaten to rush ahead 
into a cresendo of crazy, dramatic tempos.
 He gently (and not so gently) restores the steady, calm rhythyms in our life
 that are so important for him.

Bravo to that!

Shar :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Worst Mother In The World

My neighbour and I regularly have 'Worst Mother In The World' conferences on our front gardens. These are often accompanied by an alcoholic beverage and the children going feral around us.

Some of my entries have included
  • Sleeping baby Magoo in his pram outside my bedroom door for a couple of nights because I couldn't get him to settle anywhere else.
  • 9 week old Magoo getting very sunburnt in a big stripe on his little face from sitting in peak hour traffic with a dodgy car window shade.
  • Swinging baby Magoo in his outdoor swing for ridiculously long lengths of time because I couldn't find the motivation / energy to do much else and it was one of few places he was content.
  • Discharging Magoo from hospital because I really couldn't take being there another second (um, twice).
  • Little Magoo rolling off our bed where I had popped him (safely?).
  • Allowing baby Magoo to play with and chew (wrapped) tampons regularly so I could have some bathroom time.
  • Ignoring Magoo's "Mum, mum, mum" from the backseat after a particularly challenging morning, to finally turn around (waaaay down the road and through an intersection) and see him holding his car seat straps aloft.
  • When Magoo fell backwards into a tub at playgroup. He was wedged in and wailing. So I ran to him - and took a photo. (Your honour, in my defense, the camera was already in my hand.)
  • When I force fed Magoo baked beans against his will until his allergic reaction became really apparent, ugly and scary. Hmm - who said Mum knows best? 
  • When this early childhood teacher who is passionate about early literacy & language acquisition told her little cherub to "just shut up for a minute"
  • Letting a toddler Magoo sleep while covered in his own excrement. I wasn't going to wake him and then deal with two different types of shitty. Better rested and foul, than foul and foul.
  • Magoo's fascination with "woine". As in "Mummy want a woine now?" "Mummy go the woine shop today?" "Woine is sistee two dollar at dis shop Mum" "I have pees a woine Mummy?"....
  • Forgetting to change Magoo's oh-so-full nappy until the poor Huggies could take no more and leaked all over Magoo's little friend's bed.
  • Neglecting to change Magoo's swim nappy to a proper nappy once we left the beach and moved up onto the grassed playground. Not so sinful - until he pooed. Out of the stupid, useless, waste-of-money swim nappy, through his bathers, down his little legs, into his socks and shoes and ruining our fish n chips experience completely.        I eventually realised that me, Magoo & nappies were not a good combo. Woo hoo for toilet training!.
  • The time I said "nobody leaves this table until you eat something". That was a looong night.
  • Taking a few moments to realise that poor little 'fish' Magoo was waving his arms & legs like a madman - not for entertainment - but because he was trapped under the little table in our pool and couldn't breathe.
  • Leaving Magoo in 'time out' a little longer than absolutely necessary because I was enjoying some 'time out' too. (And maybe forgetting the reason he was there in the first place!)
  • Overdoing 'manners' so much that Magoo likes to tell me about anybody and everybody, anywhere, who is "beeng a lil bit wooed Mum" on the top of his voice.
  • The whole of last week when poor Magoo was shipped between daycare, in laws and friends to accomodate my (temporary -thank God) crazy work schedule.
And this is with one child!
It may well be come illegal for people like me to have any more if I don't hurry up!

Please don't call DOCS. Despite all of my failings I adore my little man and he still doesn't know any better than to adore me. He is healthy, happy and very forgiving.

Shar :-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Today is a good day.
A brilliant day.
Today I win.
(Not Lotto or any competition, I just get to feel like a winner!)

Today is a good day.
The "my kid is happy, therefore I am happy" kinda good.

Maybe it's a good day because my MIL drove over here early this morning
just so I could go for a run.
(In my world, that is a lovely thing - not a mean thing)

Maybe it has something to do with being clean and dry,
I repeat, clean and dry for over 24 hours now.
(Magoo and I, thank you very much)

Maybe a free day of fun activities has made it a winning day.
Magoo played the drums, bounced, dug sand, saw a fire truck, played with a wonderland of toys, kicked soccer goals and fed "manimals" courtesy of Playgroup WA.

Maybe it is the handsome fireman giving out stickers that makes it a winning day.
Just saying.

Maybe it's because I get to be married to the one on the left for
infinity and beyond!

Hope yours is a winning feeling kind of day.
If not, I broke my sunnies today - does that make you feel any better?

Shar :-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


The chamber
Has toddler toilet training been recognised by the UN and other folk for the liberty depriving, instrument of torture that it is?

If not, why not?

Is having your senses regularly assaulted by another person's waste not inhumane enough?

Is scrubbing unmentionables out of your carpet, clothing and household surfaces not depraved and disgusting enough to warrant global sanctions?

I love my boy more than anything.
I am madly in love with my beautiful, gorgeous Magoo.

But hey, love is not that blind.
It can see what it don't want to see, smell what it don't want to smell.
Even worse, it can feel what it don't want to feel.

It's time to take action, take a stand.
Fight for a mother's rights.

Oooh - gotta go. Poo calls.

 Shar :-)

Monday, March 21, 2011


I am hereby nominating my gorgeous man for
my 'Father Of The Year' award.

(I'm slipping this in as he takes off to China for a coupla weeks, leaving Magoo and I to kill creepy crawlies and scoop dog poo for ourselves.)

(I may also be hoping that Hubby reads this before he receives notification that the police photographed his company issued vehicle exceeding the speed limit approximately ten minutes after I dropped him at the airport this evening. Love you babe.)

Hubby really is an amazing father. No deadbeat Dad here.
He's such a hero in our household, it can be just a little stomach turning at times!

Magoo's faces just lights up when his Daddy enters the room. 
The daily celebrations that erupt when this FOTY nominee comes home from work are sensational.
He is idolised and hounded!

Magoo regularly likes to perform a little ditty that goes
"Daaad's a builder. Can Daddy fix it? YES he can!"
Magoo believes that his Dad works anywhere that looks remotely cool to him, that his Dad is featured exclusively in the 'Avon Descent' promotional material and that he is also the sweet looking surfer rocking the 'Waves' billboard!

In Magoo's own words his Daddy is a "boolder" and a "rockstar".
Think 'Bob The Builder' meets 'Robbie Williams' and that's our guy.
Luckily for me, I'm a serious fan of Robbie.

Hubby is just so, so very patient - he actually spent a good part of his own birthday constructing a (sent to test) model army jeep that Magoo had gifted him.
He will tell pathetic jokes over and over if Magoo responds and happily lets him wear / play with anything that he owns.
Hubby is so unselfish he used part of a birthday voucher to buy Magoo a tennis racquet to match ours. (He's also a bit corny where Magoo is concerned. See previous post for 'matching hat exhibit a')

Our nominee for FOTY doesn't ask for much - edible meals, some beach time and a few minutes privacy in the toilet.
(We can manage the first two fairly easily, the last one is a work in progress.)

Even after a day at work he always finds a bit of energy to build great Duplo constructions, fix broken toys, throw Magoo around the pool, kick the footy, do puzzles or dance around like a maniac.  After a few too many beers with the boys, Hubby will still try really hard to read' Wombat Stew'.
No walk in the park.
Which,incidentally, Hubby also does with Magoo and I most evenings.

Since Magoo has become more 'fun' and less like 'work', Hubby often plans his training (and own lima lima deltas [little lay downs]) to coincide with Magoo's sleep times so he can maximise their boy time. That Daddy has shown Magoo how to do all sorts of sensible and not-so-sensible things. From building structurally sound block homes, to flicking rubber bands, to driving remote control cars, to driving real cars in our street, to changing a tyre in 12 minutes flat...

Our prospective FOTY rarely complains.
Lord knows, I probably do enough for the both of us. 

He's a super proud Papa bear, Hubby.
He genuinely - and mistakenly - believes Magoo to be the smartest kid in the whole world and the best junior junior ski paddler for that matter. Sometimes, he has had to be reigned in and quietly reminded that "dude, all kids do that at this age"

As we embark on a couple of weeks of the 'Mummy only' show, I just hope this woman can be man enough to fill these shoes. Logic would show a deficit of about 6 shoe sizes, but if I can rise to the occasion, maybe I too can earn my own Magoo style show tune.

Shar :-)

NB : I herby reserve the right to revoke this nomination should the nominee neglect to make contact with his son each day whilst in China, and leave me to pick up those smashed little pieces of toddler heart.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hats Off

I would like to take my hat off to all those full time working Mums out there...

but I can't lift my arm... too too tired!

How do you do it?

Somewhere along the line I missed the unit titled
"How To Do It All - And Not Put Your Cranky Pants On".

One week of working every day, keeping the family clothed, fed and relatively clean, parent interviews out of hours, a school presentation night last night
- and I'm a broken woman!!!

So much so, that I chose not to go to my beloved running group this morning.
Shock, horror.
Truth be told, I'm sure I would've been fine once I got there,
but I didn't want to go.

I've missed my Hubby, my Magoo and my dog.
I've felt like a useless, over committed mother and wife all week.
A family morning cuddling in bed, trading toy cars, eating breakfast together, walking the dog and reading the paper outdoors was just what the doc ordered.

Again, power to you Supermums.
I think I'll just stick to my cushy lifestyle - and give all that extra guilt the flick.

WARNING : Excessive family guilt may just
 lead to ridiculous  'family hat' wearing

Shar :-)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Through A Child's Eyes

I may or may not have mentioned that we took our first overseas family holiday recently.
One of my concerns, cause I tend to always have a few on the go, was that Magoo would not cope with the air travel.
Aeroplanes are glorified torture chambers. Fact.
One cramped space for hours on end, limited access to your 'stuff'', the toilet, exercise, fresh freakin air.

I was just hoping Magoo wouldn't cotton onto these inconveniences / life threats and lose his little mind (cause two of us would be at least one too many for me to handle).
The lead up to the flight was full of fake excitement concealing fried nerves (on my part) and absolute sheer delight at what was ahead (on Magoo's part).

But once we arrived at the "planeport", I had little choice but to be caught up in Magoo's infectious enthusiasm. He was literally jumping out of his skin with excitement. He continuously asked where our plane was, if our plane was ready, who was on the plane, when the plane would be coming...
(I could choose to be irritated - or succumb to the magical wonder of the "planeport'.)

Magoo's eyes would widen and his little ears prick up every time he heard the "bom, bom, bom" of an announcement.
'That my pwane? Pwane ready?"
His face lit up like Christmas when our plane finally made it's appearance on the tarmac and he was joyously adamant that he'd seen his stroller being thrown onto the plane.

He told every person in the joint, quite smugly, that he was going on an "aeropwane" (as if they weren't?!) and proudly showed them all his aeroplane out there.
Feeling Magoo's sweaty little hand trembling with excitement and being tugged down the air bridge, I just had to be in that happy place too (while silently praying to the God of sleep to have mercy on us at some point.)

That's what I just love about kids.
Why I choose to spend my working life with them and why I always knew I wanted children.

The world is an awesome place through a child's eyes.

A child's eyes see the beauty of nature when we see a garden that needs this or that.
A child's eyes see the everyday miracles that we take for granted.
A child's eyes look for the fun while we look for the danger.
A child's eyes can see past the superficial and right to the core of someone.
A child's eyes believe when we want to disprove.
A child's eyes see fascinating detail while we take in the big picture.

We choose our perspective, as adults.

We can choose to wear those rose coloured glasses (that make us look dumb and socially ignorant) or them black, badass shades (that scare the baby cheeses out of anyone who dares to come too close).

We can choose to see that glass half full or half empty
(or in my case see that the glass has smudges and doesn't match the other glass).

What shall we see today?

Shar :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Next Best Thing

What is the next best thing since sliced bread?

This one-off, full time working week
(how do you do it, Supermums?)
I would have to send my vote the way of pre washed, bagged lettuce!

But, is it really disposable nappies?

Or cordless telephones?

Or the hook that Hubby drilled into the brickwork that holds my screen door open?
Small pleasures, I tell you.

It's fairly safe to say it is not the gadget that warms baby wipes before use.

Or the 'AbRoller KingPro' and it's acquaintances.

Nor is it outdoor blower vac things - don't get me started.
Would I vacuum my carpet and then proceed to blow the barrel's contents onto my neighbour's carpet??? Huh?? 

What is your 'next best thing'?

Shar :-)

Monday, March 14, 2011


It's no secret Mother Nature has been in one seriously foul mood lately.
Like the last twelve months.

Not to make light of tragic, catastrophic situations, but I've been thinking that Mother Nature is suffering some real terrible PMT  - with far worse consequences than a bit of chocolate abuse and spousal snappiness.

But, this evening she has tried valiantly to redeem herself in our household.
While people in other parts of the world are still feeling her raging outbursts,
here in our tiny patch, Mother Nature has shown great mercy.

Last Tuesday our playgroup activity was planting some seeds.
We had a ball haphazardly throwing sweet corn seeds, watermelon seeds, soil and water into a pot.
Once we got home, we got busy.

A rubbish excuse, I know.
I admit, I am running for 'Worst Mother In The World' at the moment and very convincingly too.

So, I plonked the little seed pot on a ledge in the garage with an invisible, cute little sign that read 'not right now' or 'get to you later' with the intention of giving that pot a home, some attention - maybe even some water with Magoo.  
Um, that was last Tuesday. 

Being that I shoved the pot in the garage, I have guiltily remembered it's existence many times in the last week - but each time I happen to be getting into the car with a destination (and fast approaching estimated time of arrival) in mind.

After work this evening, Magoo and I went out to take our 'Energizer bunnydog' to the park (trying to cross at least one thing off the guilt trip itinerary today).
I happened another sheepish glance at the little pot on the garage ledge on my way out the back - and did a double take.

Lo and behold, the darn thing had ruddy well sprouted!! (How's that Alf Stewart?!)
I dropped everything (not Magoo, DOCS) and ran over to squeal in genuine delight.
Not the faux 'it's for the children' excitement, but real deal enthusiasm and disbelief.
We clapped and cheered and shook our heads! We have ourselves some little seedlings.

Magoo looks as astonished
as I was!

I'm not sure that Magoo has learnt anything constructive from this 'treat em mean, keep em keen' approach to gardening.
But hey, he has seedlings and he's happy.

 Thank you, Mother Naure, really.
But I'm sure there's a few other people who could do with an apology while you're feeling charitable.

Shar :-)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In Law Love

Firstly, I am vey sorry to my sisters, my dawgs, my peeps -
you know - other daughter in laws.
I know I'm letting the team down. I know I'm a traitor, a disappointment,
a crossing-the-line disgrace,
I love my in laws.
Genuinely, truly love em.
(While I'm 'fessing - I have never and will never watch Glee. Lord knows, I have put hubby through some stuff over the years, but I would never do that to him.)

Anyway, my in laws are fantastic people (and I'm pretty sure they'd be 'anti-Glee' too).
I look forward to seeing them. I love to share a drink and have a laugh with my mother and father in law. I don't 'endure' family gatherings or send Magoo and Hubby over to his parents' place without me on weekends.
Shoot me now, envious, seething DILs !
Me, my Mum & Mum in law
I don't pretend to be anybody else around them (thank God, cause I am crapola at that stuff) and only censor my language a bit. Conversation is easy and we're all very aware and tolerant of each other's peculiarities!
 Read - they know I have neurotic tendencies and don't hold it against me.
I have absolutely nothing to contribute when the women around me get their ticket to ride on the 'in-law bitch express'.
I just stand at the station, wave and smile.
Oh, I've tried to join in. Recounting this one time a couple of years ago when my mother in law cuddled Magoo to sleep when I had worked my butt off to push 'self settling to sleep'. Yeah, that little token tidbit doesn't even get me to the next station! Talk about grasping at straws!

My in laws care for Magoo once a week when I am at work. They have converted their house into a practical wonderland for their three granboys and have a new toy (home made, thank you very much), gadget or activity to enthrall Magoo every week when he shows up. They also do their everyday stuff with Magoo in tow, taking him shopping, out for "babytunas", to the library, down the park, to the beach...
They spoil Magoo rotten, but are sensible and have even been known to say "no" once in a while (okay, just Nanna actually!)

My in laws have been clever enough to 'deny thy son' and take my side (more than once) when Hubby and I, let's say,  haven't seen eye to eye. :-) They often take digs at the poor guy on his husband shortcomings - and so they can, after thirty nine long, happy years married!

My in laws have bailed us out of a number of 'situations' that we have foolishly gotten ourselves into and don't hesitate to lend a hand when we are humble (smart) enough to ask. When Hubby travelled regularly for work, I would often come home at the end of a day to freshly mown lawns, repaired retic, a clean pool or very happy dog. I kid you not, I could tell by my dog if his Grandad had visited and played with him! I can, and have, called them in the middle of the night when heavily pregnant and convinced that my dog had been drugged or killed and I was being watched through the windows by a prowler outside. (Long story, but our dog is apparently a canine Houdini.)

My in laws are only a phone call (and a few minutes drive) away at any time, yet I have never felt smothered or controlled (my two biggest, heart quickening, sweat inducing fears) in our time as a family. I am usually the one to instigate dinners, drinks, swims, visits or holidays. We don't think twice before inviting them to our parties, out for yum cha or to see Magoo's latest trick. They don't think twice before rejecting half of our invitations either!

Although, my own family all live overseas and I miss them like crazy, I feel very much at home in my extended family. I know how blessed I am to have such fabulous people in my life and am very happy sitting here quietly at the station.

What's not to love!
In my smuggest moments, I do like to gloat and even suggest that other less fortunate women have obviously chosen their life partner, and therefore, in laws foolishly. As if my great fortune in the 'in law lottery' is in fact excellent life planning on my behalf.

Excuse me, think I might just text my mother in law and see how my homegirl is doing.

Shar :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I'm scared.
For some reason I have been appointed the 'chief judge / finishing marshall' at tomorrow's school swimming carnival.
Be warned - these are the kind of things that happen when one dares to escape
the daily grind and lose oneself in island life for a week.
I think I will be more like the 'chief indecision maker / finishing marshmallow' - soft and easily manipulated!
I'm one of those "I'm sorry. You don't like it? Please let me change it. I'm so sorry" types.
Not one of those "If you don't like it, kiss my ass" types.

The only decision I want to be making poolside is which cocktail to try next.
I'm scared. Did I mention?
There are students, and moreso their parents, who take this business quite seriously.
I know. My Dad was one of them. My husband will probably be one of them.

If I can sleep tonight, I will dream of fathers coming at me with accusing, angry stares and "sweetheart, you got it wrong - what were you looking at?".
Or worse than that, groups of mums.
We all know that a group of women have the power to bring whole nations to their knees, should they choose to do so.
Hell hath no fury than a Mum whose child was robbeth of a placing.

And they will probably be justified in their wrath.
I'm easily distracted.
One smile from a friendly parent, waft of hot chips or wave from a cute kid and I'm engaged - oblivious to who touched that god forsaken wall a tenth of a second earlier than whom else.

But rest assured, in my absence and obviously acknowledging the pressure of my morning task, my colleauges have given me a lovely role for the last, more casual part of the day's events.
I get to be the 'rescuer'  - in the pool with the children for the afternoon.
Kill me with kindness.

Happy Friday!
Shar :-)

By the way, it would have been a strawberry dacquiri - that I would've tried next.