#764 Games with our girl

We spend so much of our lives, rushing from A to K to Z, thinking of the future, reminiscing about the past, and constantly in a state of planning, that we often forget to live, engage and be in the present.

It’s synonym is gift for a reason.

I always have things to do. I guess, duh Fred, EVERYONE’S life story. I guess my point is, in my spare time I rarely am lounging about watching hours of TV on end. I try to limit my social media use when it is just aimless trawling trawling trawling through news feeds. Recently I’ve begun planning out my days meticulously, so I can get in the maximum number of productive seconds, minutes and hours out of it that I can while baby girl is at kinder. This usually involves Zumba, some kind of writing, and then doing some sort of house-related organisational activity, a work in progress that is 18 months growing following our move (still!)

But just as I am always trying to tick things off my never-ending eternal to-do list, so am I realising I need to sometimes, just stop. Sit and DO nothing, for like, 5 minutes. Go through that mag that’s been sitting on the coffee table.

Play with baby girl.

I am very aware of her words to me. I am also aware of phrases I use like “I’m too busy,” “I can’t now” and “after.” I don’t like to use them, and then again, at times you can’t avoid them. You will be in the throes of something, let’s say dinner, and if I were to stop and go and play with baby girl’s barbie dolls, well our dinner would end up being blackened chicken schnitzel with burnt mini pizzas and soggy vegies.

But as was the case today, I stopped. Baby girl asked if we could play an exciting game, and I paused – I am so used to thinking of what I am doing next that I didn’t even realise that there was nothing I had planned for that moment – and said “sure. Let’s play.”

She was to be sleeping beauty, and I was to get her Anna, Elsa, and another barbie doll, and wake her up by presenting to her the Prince. I did just that, getting the dolls to wake her up off of the carpeted floor, but she did her trademark “no, like this,” and showed me by kissing me on the nose, that she was expecting a kiss from Prince charming himself.

I smiled. Okay then.

I instructed her to stay there on the floor, then ran off to her room to get something. Back I came, with her dolls, and doing some pretend doll voices, the dolls then presented the Prince to a sleeping, Beauty. He leant down, gave her a kiss… she woke up…

And it was her Captain Feathersword doll.

The look of wild hilarity and fun spread across her face as she refused his ‘advances,’ and we doubled over on the floor cacking ourselves silly. I took the turn of being Sleeping Beauty then as she presented the feathery pirate to me, and then in my subsequent turns of finding a Prince for her, I presented to her my original 90s Ken Barbie, who honestly I thought was as good a Prince as any, but she said “yuck!” and on second thoughts and looks I realised that in his 90s bow-tie suit he looked more like a 40 year-old Dad figure than a suitor. Fair enough.

The last dude I found for her was also Wiggles themed, palm-sized Lachy doll from the latest group incarnation. “Here you go,” I mimicked the dolls, placing him on her face for a lip smacker.

“No Lachy, yuck!” she squealed, and we doubled over again in laughter, laughing more because we were there watching each other laugh and cry laughing. It was GOLD.

Tonight after all the cooking and cleaning and getting ready for the next day, I miraculously found some spare time. And I didn’t fill it with stuff on my to-do list. I turned to my private ‘me’ list, and sat at the table to read the Peninsula Kids magazine we had received at kinder that day.

Sure, I was reading articles written from fellow bloggers I knew and people who I had read about online. It was kinda like homework. But still, I was reading, I was engaging, and I was growing. And all the while a few metres away, Hubbie was creating his own game with baby girl – chasing her around the table, pretending to be distracted by something else and then running for her, until he would catch her in a bear hug, pull her into the couch, and then it would start all over again.

I sat there, reading amidst the laughter and the love, glad that she had had a full day of games, memories and love. I wasn’t in complete peace amidst the noise, but also somehow, I was.



#760 Sales

Don’t you just love a good sale? Oh, the excitement that follows an email link, a mass sms notification, or a postcard invite in the mail, telling you to put a certain day aside, because –


I got one such sale invite a while back, in the form of a postcard. And what made me more excited, than the realisation I could possibly get some things I’ve been needing to, and the fact that it was on a day baby girl was at kinder, was the further realisation that…

It was the day after pay day.


So today, after kinder drop off, I headed over to Adairs. It’s a huge shop in our town, with an ultra-modern fit-out, and very on-trend. I think even men can be supremely overwhelmed and impressed by what they have on offer (it’s true, Hubbie said so, true story) and so knowing I would be in such a store on my own, lapping up all the beautiful sights and decorative inspiration, well it made me go, ahhh.


What made me even more ahhh was the purchases I made. I was really good and only got one other thing other than what I went in for, which is a feat in itself. My main goal had been new toilet brush and toilet paper holders, and as lovely as they look, let’s face it I ain’t taking photos of toilet accessories to post online.

So instead I have for you my impulsive buy, which was really a good one since it was in a big basket of other like-things up near the counter – bargain:


A new set of pillow cases for our bed. Because what’s better than actually living more and dreaming big?

Oh that’s right. Having it imprinted onto your face while you sleep.



#739 Kinder days (amped up!) no. 6

“Hello Zumba my old friend

I’ve come to dance with you again…”

Simon and Garfunkel came to mind as I was walking baby girl into kinder today. It had been months since I had done any kind of workout, and if by workout you think I mean work out what the hell I’m going to wear in this temperamental weather, then you are WRONG.

As soon as she was settled I was back home getting ALL worked up.

“Within the sound of silence.”

Yep it was quiet alright. With the only sounds in the house being that of my TV Zumba instructor and his two female support acts, I jumped around ’til I was content I had completed a modest entry-level exercise routine.


(Not me – I don’t look so cheery working out)

I looked at my beloved ever-changing to-do list.

Do washing.

Iron shirt.

Upload photos to Drive.

Download photos to back-up.

Write letter.

Sort desk.

Fill out form…

I looked at it, my eyes skimming over it wildly, trying to work out the next best job for me to tackle. How could I go about it so I could achieve them all? What was the most important thing to do right NOW?

A couple of moments of this intense deliberation, and then I calmed down. I wasn’t going to get everything done in one day. No one can.

I remembered. It wasn’t only this day that baby girl was at kinder… She attended 3 times a week now.

My heart sung!

There were so many things I needed and wanted to do and catch up on, but with approximately 15 hours a week to find the time to do them, I had a pretty good start to get my shit together.

And it was the best realisation EVER 🙂



#718 The beginning of 4 year-old kinder and freedom

Today was baby girl’s first day at 4 year-old kinder, good and proper. We got out of the car 10 minutes before drop-off time, I plopped on her backpack, and then prepared myself for 5 hours of ‘me’ time.

But then, I saw another car. People were coming out of this car too, getting ready for kinder, too. The Mum. The Dad. The little girl kinder-goer, and her little brother, still too young to attend. And then the clincher, the grandparents.

I hadn’t expected it. The wave of emotion. I was happy to see such a beautiful family, all-encompassing supportive sight. But it made me immediately think of my own parents, and how far they were from us, and how dropping in to see off their grand-daughter as she attended her first 4 year-old kinder session, was a difficult endeavour to see through.

I blinked past the emotion, and charged on through, following her inside.


I mean, this was the same kindergarten she had attended last year. One of the teachers was the same. As it was, there was no difference to her in this year and last – okay sure, there were new kids, and a new teacher… but that was much of a muchness. Nothing was really different.

Except for the beginning of 3 kinder sessions a week. She was starting a proper routine.

I had to turn away from the picture of happy families inside. Sooo many Mums and Dads abound. I kept thinking of Hubbie, and how he was at work, and not there. ‘It’s ok,’ I told myself. ‘He was here last year when she started 3 year-old, and she didn’t give a shit when we walked off, and then I bawled my eyes out in the carpark while he went back to work.’

He had been there, sure. I just wasn’t expecting all those parents. It gave me wobbly feelings.

I followed her around the yard. Watched her slide down. Swing. Jump. Played shop with her, exchanging bark food, for bark money. Paint.


She drew the water from the beach. I felt myself choke up as I asked the teacher to take a shot of us together, and soon after that I asked baby girl “is it okay if Mummy leaves now?”

“No!” she said. I told her I would then let her decide, and sure enough not even a minute passed and she said “you can go now Mama.” That’s the truck with her you see. She has to be in charge of everything… her terms, even if you mentioned it a moment ago.

We engulfed each other in a flurry of hugs and kisses. And as I walked out the door, I looked back and gave her a little wave. She waved back… and then I watched as she turned away.

See, the ‘freedom’ in the above post title? It’s not mine I’m referring to. It’s all HERS.

I walked back to the car, trying to suppress the sob rising in my throat, not understanding why I was acting this way. My face screwed up in protest.

It was simply, the act of growing up. She was becoming a big girl. I was grateful that she had walked into the classroom easily, as too often last year she played the ‘reluctance’ game, hanging back while other parents and kids walked on by, while I played good cop/bad cop, trying a variety of tactics to force, beg, reason with her to go inside.

Is that why I was so up and down? My nervous emotions at her entry going into today? Everything was the same, right?

No. She was older. And only a year away from prep. I can say now with certainty, I won’t be able to cope when that day comes.

I have all this extra ‘me’ time on my hands now. I should be ecstatic. I was initially. But now all I can do is think how I have even more time to think, about my girl, still so dependant on me, becoming more independent as the year goes on.

I took her straight to the bathroom as we entered the house in the afternoon. Stood her in the bathtub, shoes and socks off. Explanation? Sand pit. Say no more.

She stood there, one hand against the tiled wall, the other hand washing her foot of debris, and then alternating feet, the other in the air to be washed. I went to hold her steady, to help her.

“Noooo Mama. Leave me alone.”

I stood back. “Awww. Honey you can’t say that to me, not today of all days.” Still I let her do her thing, and as she finished her foot slid a little in the bathtub – not dangerously so, but enough to make her jolt a bit.

“See?” I said matter-of-factly, my eyes welling up again. “You do still need me! You’ll still need me for another 15 years at least.”

And then I smiled, as I again tried not to cry. “You’ll always need me,” I whispered.

That afternoon, I called my Mum.


#716 Fading light of Port Phillip Bay

I showered. I took my time. It’s the one time I demand being alone – even in the toilet I am often in the company of baby girl – so shower time, is ‘me’ time.

Thoughts flow. Suddenly you remember EVERYTHING. You reflect on the day. That funny time in high school where you couldn’t stop laughing. You argue with someone in your head, someone you’re too scared to confront.

You plan the next day. You think of the upcoming holidays, baby girl starting kinder, and then suddenly you are imagining your child at primary school, high school… what kind of person will they become? What will they like? Who will be their friends?

And suddenly, you are driving your child and their friends to the movies, the way your Mum used to do when you were a teen.

I stepped out of the shower, and felt like I had travelled 20 years in the past and future. But I still felt refreshed.

And then, I walked on over to the balcony window. Whenever I see a startling beautiful view out of it, I can’t help but reflect how in our last house, I used to look out our then bedroom window, wondering if our next house, would bring us views other than suburban homes and brick walls and tall gum trees. House after house after house.

Tonight, I thought of that AGAIN.


Because I could see the light fading across the Port Phillip Bay. There was a ship far off in the distance, beacons of light flickered in the water, and there were some other dark shadows, possibly small boats, scattered here and there.

The horizon showcased how the endless sky, and endless sea, married together as one.

Houses went dark as their insides turned on, creating a splattering of fireflies all around, and the cars moving beneath it all shone the way forward as their headlights illuminated the way.

It was all very picturesque. The world was going to sleep, and yet in its fading light, it was beautiful. The bay looked mysterious, and unknown… but still beautiful.


#691 Sleep-ins with my pre – 4 year old kinder girl

Something dawned on me just this week.

And it wasn’t the pretty colours of the sunrise kind either.

You see, as we are getting closer and closer to the time, a month away now, when baby girl starts to attend three 5 hour sessions of kinder a week, my dominant phrase has been this:

“15 free hours a week! YAY!”

ALL THE TIME. Anyone who asks if baby girl is at kinder, I apply with an immediate “yes” and then an almost as fast incomprehensible “15freehoursaweekYAY!”

Sure, I will have a whole lot of adult responsible life things to do in that time, like bills and grocery shopping and house stuff, and then there is Zumba that I want to return to, and those 1000s of photos I want to place chronologically in photo albums, and then print out the 1000s more I need to get up to date.

But then, the realisation.

I was in bed with baby girl the other day, after 9am, and we were just snuggling, chilling, doing a whole lot of nothing, as we laughed and giggled and talked about how we slept, and I kept trying to will myself out of bed, but I just couldn’t.

Something made me stay there longer.

Yes, I was getting these 15 hours of child-free time a week. But to get there, I would be getting up at 7am three times a week too. Gone were my sleep-ins with her past 9am, the lazy relaxing mornings, even my 1:30am bedtimes… yes, I have gone THAT FAR.

Suddenly, her three sessions of kinder, my Wednesday and Saturday work days, and Fridays usually spent catching up with appointments, that only left ONE definite day to sleep in…


I was going from sleep-ins MOST days, to sleep-ins… 1 DAY.


And there was no stopping it. Even with another child, it didn’t matter – because baby girl would be going from kinder, to primary school, to high school – the wake-ups would only become harder and more frequent and demanding!

So this morning, as baby girl came upstairs at 9:15, and I slept on and off another 30 minutes, before opening my eyes properly… and she asked me “you have good sleep Mama?” and we hugged and tickled each other, and talked about what we would do today, and I took a good 15 extra minutes to haul my behind out of bed…

I relished. Because these days won’t last forever. In fact, their days are numbered…


#674 3 year-old kinder – Tick

And just like that. A year almost gone.

And a school year gone with it.

I can’t believe how quickly the end of the year has arrived. More so that it signals the end of 3 year-old kinder for baby girl. Today I watched the 4 year-old kinder group at their special black-robed, square-hat graduation in lead up to primary school, while the younger group, including baby girl, watched on at what awaited them next year.


A year already! It felt insane. My girl was growing up too fast. It wasn’t fast enough in those early, early days, of sleepless nights, odd schedules, intense confusion about everything… and yet now each day Hubbie came home from work and said to her incredulously “did you grow again?” and she would stand against the wall to show how tall she really was.

I am grateful that she completed this year of kindergarten, through all the ups and downs… and next year will be the real deal, 4 year-old kindergarten.

15 hours to spare a week? What will I do with myself?


I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at baby girl’s increasing independence. Maybe for now, I’ll try the upward smile…