#757 Reading books at bedtime

A small realisation today. Because quite often you don’t realise you have succeeded in a vision you used to have a while ago, long after it has come true, and you are actually living it.

I have always loved books, to read, and to write, and I knew that I would make sure books and reading were a big part of baby girl’s early life… I couldn’t control what she did later on, but I wanted to expose her to as much fun, imagination, creativity and wonder that I knew books could bring to her, as I could in this still early stage of parenthood.

And so tonight, as I finished her second book of the night at bedtime, and she then said to me “one more book?” at first I said no.

1, it was getting late and she had an early start for kinder tomorrow.

2, she had had a BIG day.

And 3, well she was stalling – plain and simple.

But, I succumbed, as I always do, because I too, love books. She shuffled onto my lap as I started to read ‘Good Night, Sleep Tight,’ by the Australian children’s writer Mem Fox. We turned page by page, and I sang the rhymes with gusto and enthusiasm, maybe a bit too much for bedtime!… and it was in this moment, I had a pull-back.

I was able to see with clarity, almost in an out-of-body experience, that this is what I had always wanted. The reading to my child at bedtime. The interaction. The fun. The genuine willingness of my child for me to read to them, again and again and again.


So when I finished that book and got out of her bed, and she asked “one more book?”

With all of the above in mind… I had to read one more 🙂



#755 Perfect Princess Pampering

Until you are a parent, I think you can’t really understand how seeing your child happy, makes you so happy. Parents are so selfless in this way, going the extra mile, making that extra bit of effort, and going to all ends of the earth, just to see a smile, on an toddler’s often temperamental, dial.

I mean, you don’t even need a special occasion. When baby girl’s cousin’s Mum (whew!) messaged me and showed me some deets for a place that does little girl pampering sessions…

Well, I was sold as soon as I saw the pink bathrobes.


OMG. Like, they could not get any cuter. Our motherly hands and feet were not touched, nor was our hair tended to, drinks provided, and no we did not have Sex and the City on in the background. Instead,


How perfect. Did they know baby girl was in the midst of a massive ongoing Moana marathon?

Watching the girls faces as they got their nails painted, their hair braided, and enjoyed a cupcake and some drink while taking in all of the princess-y comforts, well, it made our hearts sing with happiness.

And the patience? Oh, the patience! They listened and sat still and waited as their female needs were attended to, not once acting like normal 4 year olds who can’t sit still!

What gives? Baby girl, care to be like this at home with me?!

Following their session we walked around the corner to enjoy some pizza and chicken and chips, where the drawings to colour-in just kept on coming. VERY kid friendly.

It was the most perfect of princess pampering days, and the cuteness… please… I can’t, it is so damn cute.


I love it. I love it so much and I didn’t even get it.

That’s called L♥VE.

Princess Pampering, otherwise known as Harmoni, can be found at 3/5 Gloucester Avenue Berwick, for any of my Victorian friends.

They are actually a beauty bar, specialising in hairdressing, all manner of beauty and spa packages, as well as pamper parties (YES!) for kids, teens, AND adults (next time 🙂 ).


And the kid-friendly food atmosphere came from the folks at


74 High Street Berwick

If only all days were as Pretty and Pink like this…


#740 ‘Not the best’ childhood milestone

Baby girl hit a milestone last night.

Not the good kind.

As your child grows, it is ALL about the milestones. Rolling over. Sleeping through. Solids. Crawling. Babbling. Walking. Talking. Toilet training…

It just goes on and on and on.

We hit another milestone last night. In this thing called Parenthood, where the first sign of anything horrible

  • her first scraped knuckles when she fell pushing the bin up the driveway
  • her first head blow
  • the first sign of blood
  • the first proper vomit – down my leg no less

well, we ABSOLUTELY FREAK OUT, we stuck to routine and did just that last night.

Baby girl woke in the middle of the night. Crying and so upset. And then…

Dum da dum dum.


I won’t go into detail, just for the sake of her privacy as I write about this on this world wide web with almost every single eye available to stalk see, but let’s just say, it wasn’t pretty.

Fellow parents may guess, anyway.

We were horrified. Shocked. And then extreme sadness and disappointment… at ourselves. We as parents, had FAILED her.

We went to bed as she soon settled, after I had called ‘Nurse On Call’ (I should have them on speed dial) and spent a good half hour both in the silent darkness, the other half whispering to each other “how the hell did this happen?”

Relief for me this morning, as she woke happy and cheerful – nothing like the upset and crying image of the night before. Off to the docs we went, to find out…

It was not all bad news. Annoying yes. Serious, no. Apparently, for kids her age, it was very common.

A quote keeps going through my head today. My Mum on the phone, saying “you saved her.” Yes, maybe a bit dramatic Mum, it wasn’t life-threatening….

But then, gratitude came along, as it always does, especially when I am writing for this post. It was gratitude in that I decided to stop, think, pause, and pat myself on the back, because she was right.

If I hadn’t been as attentive as I was, I wouldn’t have caught ‘it.’ It would have gone undetected, and for God knows how long… I shudder at the thought.

But I did see it. It isn’t serious. There are far worse things out there, and as long as you can treat it quickly, you know your kid is still doing well.

Sure, she is growing up. She is doing 4 year-old things, learning and saying 4 year-old phrases, and also subsequently, catching 4 year old things… It’s a part of this growing up process. I am grateful for her growth, yes… just as long as it means I can buy an over-the-counter product if need be…


#720 Teamwork and vomit.

Today we f&%ed up royally in the parenting game.

When I got home from work, baby girl engulfed me in a huge hug and flurry of kisses, before going on to explain that when she swallowed, it felt a bit sore… it tickled her a bit.

Having heard her cough a little last night, I thought she might be a little run down. Nothing major.

Even so, when Hubbie came home from work, together we asked her if she was okay to head out, or if she wanted to stay home and chill. Not only was it a Saturday afternoon, but it was the beginning of our holidays together, and we had been wanting to check out this Boho Luxe festival at Carlton… because, going BOHO.

She was first this way, and then that… before finally deciding “let’s go.”

I wiped her nose in the car as we drove the hour there, and then she fell asleep.

I gave her some snacks upon arrival. She was good. We walked around the market – it was not so good. Sure they had things like homewares and jewellery and tents and caravans, and clothes, ALL the clothes –

Wait. Hold up.

They had kids clothes, yes some gorgeous stalls. They had women’s clothes aplenty. 

But the main reason we had come, after Hubbie had been busting me for weeks about it…

The men’s clothing?

Practically NONE.

A couple of shirts here, and a small rack down one end that looked like second-hand wear… that’s it. How you could promote and create a Boho Festival, say that Byron Bay is coming down to Melbourne, and then NOT have men’s clothing, is beyond me. Ridiculous. Very, very disappointing.

But we had driven all that way, and baby girl was whining, so we headed towards the food trucks to get her some chips. But nope, that would also NOT DO.

Fine. Did she want a happy meal on the way home? (see we were horribly failing the parenting game even before the peak nightmare moment of the night).

Yes, she did. She was tired and dragging her feet, and we thought best we don’t push it, so we left for home… another hour drive.

Into Maccas we went, to be met with a 20 minute wait at the drive-through. Why we didn’t walk in and order was beyond me… oh that’s right, we were crabby from having driven into the Boho Luxe festival for nothing, and just couldn’t be stuffed.

It only got worse at home, when she then wouldn’t eat the happy meal, she just nibbled at some bread… and when I felt her head, she was hot… and then guess what?

The digital thermometer wasn’t working, and the kids Panadol meant to reduce the fever (that I wasn’t even sure of since I couldn’t get a reading, but a mothers touch just knows) was out of date, from November 2017.

Sigh. What else could go wrong?

Lots apparently. I sent Hubbie off on a wild goose chase, where he went to the supermarket to find they had no kids Panadol. No nearby chemists were open at that time either. While he was out and baby girl was lying on the floor complaining of being cold and watching Nick Jr, I called the ‘Nurse on Call’ and got some numbers of ‘kind of’ nearby places that were open then.

And off again Hubbie went. But by the time he got home, it was very late, and now baby girl was beyond reasoning.

She would not have the Panadol.

She was crying, and crying. Absolutely impossible. I tried to tell her that she was too hot, and that if she didn’t have the sugary sweet liquid, she’d have to go to a doctor. Nope she didn’t want that… or the Panadol. Sigh.

And when I went to check her temperature under her arm, she was so freaked out by the pointy shaped thermometer, thinking it to be a needle, that she pressed herself against her bedhead as I brought it near. I somehow convinced her it was ALL OK, and came back with a reading of 37.6 celcius. Not quite too high, but getting there. And after much tears, I got her to drink some of her Panadol…

the sticky and sweet liquid went down her throat… she wretched…

she gagged…

a little bit of the liquid bubbled up from her throat and out of her mouth…

she gagged again…

“No, no, have some water, you’ll be okay…”


She vomited, all down to the floor, somehow missing herself but getting my pjs and a whole leg covered in the gunk.


Oh man. Could this day get any worse?

After cleaning her up, we left everything as it was, and she fell asleep.

So what the hell am I grateful for here?


Our stupid trip to the massively disappointing Boho Luxe festival made our sweet little girl even worse as she exhausted herself walking, and by not eating anything fell into an even deeper spell of fever.

We felt horrible. We still do.

But even so, through the frustration and phone calls, the running here and there for Panadol, the “get me more paper towels!” and getting cranky with one another, we came together for the most important cause, and somehow got to the end of it all.

For one day anyway.

It’s called Parenthood, it’s called survival, and it’s what all parents experience at one time or another, the true test of a relationship – kids.

If you can practice teamwork through kids, bohos and vomit, and get through – you’re doing well.


#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.

#678 Carols in the Park

From carols in the car, to carols in the park…

If you’ve just tuned in, clearly we are in the midst of Christmas season.

I knew there might be a decent show of people at the local carol-fest down by the beach this evening, but until I arrived there with baby girl, I had no idea how much.

There were people and cars, EVERYWHERE.

They had brought with them rugs, chairs, takeaway food, picnic hampers, blankets, jackets, and to top it all off were sipping bubbly in champagne glasses.

There were even food trucks lined up nearby for those who hadn’t come prepared or weren’t ready to give up decent coin for an average sized-meal.

Even the park playground was packed out, with about 30 kids trying to go down the slide at once, no joke, and there was an ongoing line of children trying to use the swings too.


It was an amazing vibe, and I vowed that next year, we would come prepared AND with Hubbie too, who was today working late in the busy lead-up to Christmas. But none of the above was the real reason why we came. They were all bonuses, but nothing compared to the main event drawcard…


Why, Jimmy Giggle of course!

The ABC Kids entertainer, of ‘Giggle and Hoot’ fame, was born and bred in the Peninsula, hence his regular appearances along the bayside, including tonight of all nights. Our timing was perfect as we arrived, as no more than 5 minutes passed and he appeared on stage, and we were right there for it, singing “Hoot Hoot, the Giggle-mobile!”

Ahh the things you do for your kids. You start becoming a critic of children’s performers, like you’re reviewing Grammy awarding winning artists, instead of a dude that talks to an Owl for most of his day.

But having said that, he rocked the stage, and owned his presence, delighting the kids in the process.

Baby girl was rapt.

And I couldn’t want more than that 🙂