#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.



#560 Silly games

It was a lazy kind of Sunday – just the day I needed. Chilling with my family…

…And playing too.

I was telling baby girl at one point in the day, how she had the most fantastic bed, and if I were her, I would sleep in it all day, and all night (just an extension of her already good habits, but just wanting to concrete in that sleeping in her own bed/room is THE BOMB).

Well of course after that statement, she of course wanted to tuck me into her bed.

Of course.

I happily complied. It was a cold and rainy day. I snuggled in under the covers, she read to me, put her stuffed lion and elephant toys around me, and I pretended to sleep.

When she left the room, I sprung into action. I got out of her bed, shoved her elephant under the covers in my place, and then hid in her wardrobe opposite the bed. I heard her come in, walk over to the bed, and go “huh?”

I stifled my laughter.

Some shuffling, and then I heard laughter.

Oh God she had found the elephant. I put my hand over my mouth. I was sure she would hear my quietly escaping laughter.

“Mama? Ma! Mama?” she called for me around the room, and then asked the elephant if he knew where I was, and answered for him too – “No.”

Meanwhile I was sniggering two metres away.

She left the room calling to her Dad, telling him Mama was gone, and I jumped out of the wardrobe, back into bed, threw Mister Elephant to the side, and pulled the covers up close around my head.

I closed my eyes as she approached. “Oh! Mama!” she was smiling.

“Hey honey!”

She indicated I had been gone, and the elephant had been in the bed.

“What? I’ve been here the whole time!”

Whose the child here?!?!

I ended with the cheeky question, posing to her that Mama had tricked her – I don’t want to leave the girl with questionable freaky ideas about her mother disappearing and then reappearing suddenly – but it had been good fun, and on a quiet, low-key, rainy Sunday, we had made some fun and silly memories.

I love these games, and I love how she brings out the child in me. Why would you ever want to grow up?


#423 Playing alongside plaques

Today was a gorgeous day. After visiting Hubbie at work for lunch, I promised baby girl a park visit. She made sure I stayed on track, that I didn’t detour anywhere else, and that our path led straight to one of our favourite parks in Mornington, aptly named Mornington Park.

The park is vast, there is a huge pirate ship contraption which ideally looks out at the sea beyond it, true to its theme; there are rides and playground activities aplenty; a huge field to play sport and kick ball on; public toilets; many barbeque facilities; and just as many places to feast and relax upon. It is a truly playful, yet serene place to be.

And as we got onto the grounds, walking in the brilliant Autumn sunshine, baby girl happened across a circular brick setting holding a kind of flagpole, and in true toddler style just had to jump up onto it. Placed around the circular bricks were various plaques showcasing some of the town’s prominent people, dates and events, and as baby girl ran around the flagpole, mucking about, I read.


I just love the fact of being in such an idyllic and historic town where so much has happened before us, so many momentous occasions and historic events, and now we, were also going to be part of its long-standing history.

I also hope, in an idyllic and wonderfully momentous and historic way.

And then, playing on the grounds we went…



#396 Bonding with the ‘Godfather’

Ooooh, scary huh. Just the way the words ‘Godfather’ seem to evoke images of a suited figure arising from the shadows, with his posse of dark assistants ready to ‘take care’ of your ‘requests.’

Nothing of the sort. Because we spent the most happy and leisurely of Sundays in our Godfather’s back yard, celebrating his sons 7th birthday party.

Although the entire sunny day was supreme in every way – in the way of hospitality, company, and just all-round good vibes and conversation, our Godfather took the time to repeatedly play and interact with baby girl, despite all the other guests he could have spent time with.

He kicked the footy around with her, letting her catch and throw it when her excited shrieks grew constant; he chased her around the fruit trees, in a kind of rugby-type game where she ran almost deliriously with the ball, just missing the important touchdown!; and he took her into the vegie patch, and gave her a ripe cucumber to take home, fresh and healthy from a home-made garden.

It was really beautiful to see, and more so when I saw the ease and relaxed nature with which he did it – he wasn’t rushing through the motions, or looking over his shoulder to look for a distraction to leave the scene. He played with all his heart, happily and repeatedly, with all the kids there, and I know from the beaming smile on her face, baby girl had a ball.

Baby girl had a ball, bonding with her Godfather 🙂


#370 50 + 1 Play School years

It’s definitely a milestone. Growing up in this fair country of ours, if you are about 60 and under, you most likely grew up watching this show. And if you are anywhere near the 70 and above mark, well then you probably watched it alongside your kids.

It’s a pretty sweet deal, when your child ends up watching what you did growing up.

And even better, when she gets to see it LIVE, on stage.


I am such a sap. Today at the local theatre, I got all teary-eyed as Teo and Emma jumped onto the stage to greet the kids watching with wide eyes below… and baby girl was ecstatic, almost couldn’t contain her wild energy, as she crazily waved back at them.

I can’t be the only Mum who gets emotional at these things… am I?

Maybe it’s because I’m a deep thinker. Maybe it’s because I want to bring as much childish, innocent and joyful times to her life as I can. Maybe it’s because as time goes on, some things stay the same.

Like the staying power of Play School in young children’s lives.

And that in itself is a wondrous and amazing thing, that amidst a world of new technologies, changing lifestyles, and the fast fast fast, busy busy busy pace of life, that children can play, jump, clap and take great joy in song and dance, all while learning about life, and everything around them in it.

Play School celebrated 50 years on our screens last year. And live shows such as the one I saw today, along with their constant on-air presence, inspired to teach and help children have fun, well, I think it will be around for 50+ more.

From baby girl, Big Ted, Humpty and I – cheers Play School.



#363 Play-doh

You end up doing ALL kinds of things when you are a parent, and participating in ALL kinds of activities to amuse the little ones.

Often you do this, kind of chaperoning and looking out for them during these times, because they are still quite young and naïve, and just need a watchful eye over them as they –

draw on that a4 sized paper with red texta as they lay on your carpeted floor


throw the ball wildly around in the backyard as two of your birds watch above from their cages in slight horror


practice riding their new bike on and around your steep driveway.

You hang around, for their safety, for other’s safety, and also, for cleanliness.

That’s a BIG one for me.

Many of the times I hang around and make sure baby girl is in line is simply to make sure she doesn’t make more mess. Sure, she is rapt and thinks “Mum is playing with me!” And, I am. But I scold myself that I don’t live in the moment more and appreciate the time spent with her, instead watching warily to see if any mess will be made.

I just can’t handle the thought of having more stuff to clean up, when already I am the primary person who cleans up SO MUCH. It bothers me to an infuriating point, to think there is some kind of mess or disorganisation made, and to someone who already spends so much of their day doing it, to do extra when it could have been avoided…

well it just really gets my goat.

Play-doh is one such activity I have to be right there, next to her, ‘helping’ her make creations. I get all OCD and make sure she doesn’t mix up the colours so she can use them again. And then I think ‘these things are dirt cheap, I could buy more tubs at the supermarket if she blends them all into one dough-y heap!’

But then today, after promising her for half the day that we would take out her play-doh, when we did, I found myself not just getting into OCD mode, but Lego mode too.

‘Lego’ mode is when I get soooo into the Lego making, that when she deviates from the instructions and wants to make her own block creations, I get exasperated and exclaim “baby girl! why do you want me here if you don’t want to do it properly!”

So OCD, I know.

But, we had a lovely moment with our play-doh date. I lost a bit of my OCD, and though we were keeping the colours separate, we both got really into the art of making play-doh flowers, play-doh icing, play-doh fruit, and other kinds of cupcake toppers using some tools from a recent set she was given.

She loved it, and I really loved the creativity we both got into, expressing ourselves with colourful, dough. I actually lost myself in the moment, several times.

Doh! Appreciating the Doh.





#203 First kinder visit

In amongst hard, and long, and trying days, I think it’s really important to try and pinpoint something worthwhile, something positive, something to be grateful for amidst the madness.

I can speak like this because I have had a very trying day.

However, in taking my own advice, I’m sitting here exhausted on the couch, and thinking of what tugged at my heart strings earlier today. And it was baby girl’s response as we walked into the first kindergarten as part of our mission into choosing a school for her next year. I can’t wait until she starts kinder, only because I believe she will thrive, and she LOVES playing with kids and exploring new things. And as she cast her eye over the room, picking up random toys, a train from Thomas the Tank Engine, exclaiming in joy as she discovered the painting corner of the room, and a boy from the current 3 year old group decided to befriend her, I must admit I got a little teary.

I’m holding onto that thought, that image, as that is the only one serving me any good right now. So I’m grateful for it.