Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween is evil, yes evil I tell you

Actually I logged on and expected someone else to have beat me to this particular rant... Why I hate Halloween:
1. Ruin a perfectly nice pagan tradition by hyping it up with marketing
2. Completely appropriate in the US, I'll even go so far as temperate northern hemisphere countries - not subtropical southern ones
3. Teaching children that bullying complete strangers for lollies (sorry) candy is OK
4. Eating your own body weight in candy in one night is ok
5. Marketeers jumping on the bandwagon - thus "creating" a new market through pester power - there is an answer - it's NO

Maybe others think that it's cute and inocuous... I consider it evil and insidious... but hey - I don't like Australia Day either...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Persephone is not popular

At least not as a name anyway.But I kind of thought this was cool

You know that pole in Pers' room? It's not a structural beam...

Actually, I have no idea why it's there. But hell, at least it'll save me having to trawl the net looking for one of these when it is time for Persi to commence her pole dancing classes at the tender age of 5. Dressed as a skanky ho.


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

not a real baby

no, really

only a couple of things give it away - the lips, and some of the dimples and folds around one of the hands aren't quite right. also, the other hand is in a real but not sustainable pose, so it looks a little wrong in many poses.

but the skin... bloody hell. holy jeebus, that's talent.

I find the 'reborn' stuff alternates between touching, astounding, and bit freaky.

but, wow.
also: wow.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I believe I can fly

Ready for to taxi down the run way. Requesting permission to take off.
Right Mum, ready to fly. If only I knew how...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Whinge about holidaying with kids

The Good Weekend Magazine has just published it's annual 52 weekends away, 21 of which are in NSW. Of those 21, 11 welcome children, two are okay with children 'by prior arrangement' and two are not suitable for small children. Of the ones that welcome children the prices vary from $140 per night for two people, plus $35 for extra adults and $20 for each additional child to $829 for a two night package for two people (0 - 12 yrs free if using existing bedding). So you are looking at a base cost of $160 for two adults with one child if you want one of the featured weekends away. So now starts the bitch. I find $160 a bit steep personally and I'm never going to want to spend $829 for a weekend away, even though it's a Peppers Resort. Where is all the nice weekend away accommodation for parents with kids that doesn't cost the earth?

Victoria is more child friendly,of the 21 featured 15 guest houses welcome children, and 4 accept children by prior arrangement except for the one that only allows children if other guests won't be disturbed - why not just say no children and be done with it? I know that my kids aren't everyone's cup of tea, screaming toddlers do tend to do your head in, that's why I need a holiday.

Prices are much the same as the lower end of the NSW scale, although some of the accommodation looks and sounds quite flash. I especially heart the one that provides a cot, high chair, change mat, linen and baby bath. I could almost pay the $180 per night high season, especially since it includes bed and breakfast basket, and would definitely be tempted by the $150 per night low season just because of the thoughtfullness of the proprietors for families with children.

I'm sure that there are places out there that cater for kids, are budget friendly and in places you want to visit. I just haven't found them yet. If you have been anywhere nice lately, make a comment. Please I need a holiday. Or if you think I need a reality check about quality accommodation and kids please let me know that as well.

Attatchment Parenting

So, did anyone see the segment on 60 minutes last night? I didn't, but I did hear about it on the radio this morning. So, what's the go? Were the people featured picked out for their fruit loopyness, are they the one or two twits or is it all like that?

Personally, breastfeeding until they're five is just wrong on so many levels I mean would you really lunch swap at Kindergarten? Yeah, I'll have the breast milk...not... and what about inviting your friends around after school? Milk and a cookie, anyone?

And I don't know about this not wearing a nappy business either... sorry, but I much prefer the sanitary approach to it all. Yurk. Not on my garden!

Those were two of the examples I heard about. Now I'm hoping that maybe 60 Minutes were a bit sensationalist about it all and that maybe there is more to it and that maybe it's not all fruit loopy. I took a look around and the websites didn't seem to go on with all the fruit loopy stuff. Sure, infact some of the information I looked at seemed logical and some of it seemed a bit hippy new age tree hugging sort of stuff.

But meh, it's one of those water cooler conversation points, I spose...

Friday, October 20, 2006

"Corporate Paedophilia"

Go and grab a cup of tea, this is a long one...

Thank goodness someone's given it a name - and, trite as a catch phrase can be, "Corporate Paedophilia" is a lot easier to say than The "I'm really sick of seeing all that Skanky Ho crap in the shops, aren't you? And what's with all the suggestive posing of little girls?" Phenomena. I know some of us have been bemoaning the hideous 8-year-old bralettes in chain stores. At least we're not alone.

Thankfully, several people have written lucidly on this. To start, check out the summary of Dr Emma Rush's report from The Australia Institute (TAI), the media release, and the ammendment they made when they pulled some of the images of children from the report at the request of the parents.

Tigtog posted on the topic at Larvatus Prodeo (cross posted here) and her own site; there's an article on 'sexy kids' on the ABC site and a transcript from the 7:30 Report about the legal action against TAI by David Jones; a short but pertinent article I found interesting; and finally Phillip Adam's article from back in 2003.

The site that I pulled Adam's article from, Young Media, is a great resource, by the way.

To be able to see some images which have been talked about go to Tig's post, or try here, there, and everywhere (also try this and that). Most catalogue sites have been pulled, but even though the front page was pulled, once you've got a link to a specific page, you can see the whole collection. Some photos I think are fine; some I don't.

The P-word is certainly provocative - but as with many touchy topics, you have to overcompensate and make headlines in order to push the envelope. Perhaps there should be an alternative, but what should be used instead? Any ideas?

In the defense of some of the skanky merchandise, it has been pointed out that children like to copy their parents and role models. So why shouldn't they want to dress like, and imitate, their elders? Of course they want to, and they should. Role playing, and dress ups, are an enormous part of children learning who they are. However -

Dress ups are meant to be children dressing up in cast-offs, and playing pretend. Mum's old nightie, dad's old waistcoat, a policeman's hat, long sparkly gloves, enormous cloppy shoes, nanna's wigs, a tool belt, a hard hat, mum's cast off makeup that she's still got at the back of the draw (a big thrill when I was about 5 was getting some old makeup from a lady down the street. she was very groovy, and her makeup was amazing!).

You dress up, you play, and then you get back into your normal clothes. Children's clothes. You do not, by default, wear a tiny denim mini skirt which shows your knickers and a crop top which says something charming like "Get It Here", then pester mum endlessly for your own tweenie (I hate that word) makeup like the range you saw in K Mart.

Most of the stuff being written is about the objectification and sexualisation of little girls. What of little boys?

Well, I know that lately, walking into a chain store leaves me pretty cold. The girl's fashions are pink, pink with a bit more pink, oh, and would you like glitter with that? And don't forget the ponies. While the boys fashions are just fine, as long as you want khaki, mud, slime and puce, printed with tanks, helicopters, and violent robot-on-robot action.

I'm sick of seeing little boys in head-to-toe cammo. The Delightful Nanna(TM) found an old army jacket at the Salvos and it's going straight into the Dress Up Box because - it's a prop. You can pretend to be a soldier, little Dinghy, but you won't be dressing like one every day.

Reading 'Raising Boys' by Steve Biddulph recently reminded me of another thing which really gets my goat (btw, thanks again for the lend, DV). I remember when I was working in child care, there was one teacher who'd always, when she saw a little boy holding hands with a little girl, giggle like a freakin' schoolgirl and say, "Oooh, is X (little girl's name) your girlfriend?"

Little boys hold hands with little boys.
Little girls hold hands with little girls.
Little girls hold hands with little boys.
Little boys hold hands with little girls.
Can we get that straight?

It's about friendship. It's not about bloody sexual relationships. They'll come sooner than most parents want. Can children be children first? The realisation of gender occurs early enough, but the sexual connotations can occur much, much later, thank you very much. Realising that you're a girl like mummy or a boy like daddy doesn't mean that you need to be attractive to the opposite sex. It means you're a girl or a boy, now get on with being a child.

There's an older lady I know who always looks at the Dinghy and says things like, "Ooh, he's so sweet, I'll bet he gets all the girls when he's older." I know it all sounds innocent while they're babies, but I don't like it much when people flatter children like that. Giving and receiving compliments is an art we should all cultivate, and you can say a child has a lovely feature - but why add that this is the way they'll attract the opposite sex?

Why is that the way to define a baby? Why is that the way to define anyone???

I want to extend this to the way some boys get called "Little Man." I know some won't be with me on this one, but sometimes, I don't like it. My baby is a baby. He's not even a boy yet, although he is male. He's a baby. Then he'll be a toddler, a little boy, a boy, an older boy, hopefully never a tweenie (have I mentioned I hate that word?), a teenager, and finally, a man. But at the moment, I still dress him in handknits and booties. Because he's a baby.

Finally, someone found this horrid piece of clothing. I'm not going to put the image up here, it annoys me too much. I think it's urban kiddie culture gone too far, a shame, because some of it is clever and bloody funny. If you don't know what the acronym means, try here.

"In honour of all the beautiful mothers out there" - my arse.

Okay, enough rant. I like a good cathartic rant sometimes, and I hope you got something to think about out of it. Even if it is just, "Oh dear, Speedy is a humourless loony, isn't she?"

Heh. Bugger orf.

Monday, October 16, 2006


What do you think?? good, bad, hideous or the loveliest template you've ever seen.

Also, if you don't know how to add links in, send them to me and I'll update the page.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

North v South...

Back home today after the meeting in Copenhagen... The airlines managed to lose my luggage again so I had to go shopping in town to get stuff to wear (always fun - but at least I know where to go in CPH and what the money actually means...) which had me walking through the inner city suburbs about 10-11am, and I realised with a bit of a start that i was wandering through a public park where the school kids were playing, supervised by a few teachers. It took me a moment, cos school kids don't wear uniforms... and i bumped into again that if Australia was serious about the whole sustainable development of cities/suburbs and encouraging workplaces to be family friendly and for people to have more kids they should take a closer look at common things in the Danish way of life.

  • special spots on buses with lower entry for prams - tick
  • space to secure pram and the mum to sit down next to it on buses & trains - tick
  • all train stations with lifts or ramps - tick
  • tricycle and buggy style carts for lugging kids around with your bike - tick
  • bike lanes (real ones! safe enough for kids to ride in) - tick
  • teachers and child care workers respected and paid decently - tick
  • paid maternity leave = 1 year - tick
  • accessible childcare - tick
  • lots of parks and playgrounds, walking, cycling, picnicking etc - tick

It's quite a different way of life in many ways - catering to families as part of the package, not just as an afterthought. There are of course down sides (9yr olds wearing maek up to school) - but even a few of the small changes (eg the bus thing) would make it so much easier for young families to use public transport instead of the car...

Wouldn't trade it for the beach though!

Friday, October 13, 2006

If anyone ever wants to make this blog look better than it does, please, feel free...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Charlie makes brek-skist

Charlie made me brek-skist. Raspberry jelly and Special K. Yum.This is what he had planned for lunch, but we had chicken nuggets instead.
This is the cute little outfit that does up at the back that I decided to put on Gemma yesterday. Then while playing with her on the floor I happened to glance down the back of her outfit. Oh my goodness. On the left, that dark shadow? It's not a shadow. It's brown and sticky and all up her back. Fortunately the cute outfit that does up at the back was much easier to get her out of than I imagined. So practical for everywhere poos, but impractical for a wet nappy because you have to strip the baby to get to their nappy.
Then I went under the house and had the bejezus scared out of me by a spider. Today is going to be a better day. Or else.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

v. v. funny

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Stuff to do...

Hi All

I realise this may be a little ways off for some... however just thought I'd pop my 2c worth in about stuff to do, places to go etc as I am yet again faced with school holidays (arrrgggghhh).

If you haven't already invested in the Sydney for under Fives book (Seana Smith) - stick it on your Xmas list - it's bloody brilliant (or ask for a lend of mine). Lists a fair whack of the attractions/parks/beaches/play centres etc of Sydney & surrounds geared to how easy to access with prams or clinging toddlers, how close the nearest decent coffee/loos/food/transport is etc. Have found a number of great parks/playgrounds tucked out of the way with this book. Also http://www.sydneyforkids.com.au/ is handy (but for a slightly older audience).

This hols I'm also trying out a few new vacation care options - as I was deeply unimpressed by the vacation care program run at the local childcare centre. They managed to lose 4 kids at the zoo on the first day - including mine! Only for 2min and nothing dire happened... but the whole thing did not inspire confidence let me tell you. For names - send me an email as I don't want to be sued for slander... So I will report back on the others!

The new playground at Queen Elizabeth Park in Concord is great for your 3-8yr olds. Climbing frame, swings, twisty pole, water pump, wobbly bridge, fun paths with interactive bird noises & crazy mirrors, fantastic chime made out of old tyres plus in-built mini-soccor goals. We spent 2 hours there this afternoon. Bayview Park (end of Burwood Rd, near the water) is also great, though parking can be a pain...

Shall stop blathering now and see if I can search out the web address for the under 5s author as it seems to have disappeared...