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Archive for the ‘cormac’ Category

My latest column for Fairfax newspapers is here:

Go ahead and brainwash your baby. There are few enough privileges as a parent, you might as well seize this one. If you want to change the world and make it a less sexist place then this little human sponge of yours is the best chance you’ve got. Because truth is, the world is going to try to brainwash your baby right back. I’m wary of anyone being too prescriptive about either parenting or feminism these days, I’ve made my share of compromises with both, and I’m not much interested in perfectionism. But in case you’re after a starting point with anti-sexist parenting then here’s three general tips from my own experience.

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I went with the kids to stay at the beach on the weekend with our friends at their beach house. I don’t think I’ve ever arrived anywhere more worn out.

At one point my friend took my daughter to the shops with her while her teenage son took my four year old boy to play outside with him. I sat in front of a window, all by myself, looking out over the sea thinking I will just have a minute to take in the view and then I will finish reading this book I am reviewing. Two hours later I finally looked down from the sea to find the book in my lap.

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Cormac on the beach in the evening being very pensive.

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My friend’s teenage son helping Cormac cross the channel. It was deeper than we expected.

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Watching all the children swimming in the sea from my friend’s beach house verandah.

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Lauca and my friend’s daughter boogie boarding together.

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Horses in the sea.

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Cormac and one of our friends.

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Lauca learning to make twine as a form of active meditation. Yes.. that didn’t come from stressed out me.. that little intervention came from one of our friends. He’s Aboriginal and he taught her how to make a traditional form of string.

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I met up with Cristy (two peas no pod, Larvatus Prodeo etc) and her children last weekend at the beach.  We worked out we’ve been following one another’s blogging and writing for over eight years now .. and we’ve finally met in person.

Of course we got along like a house on fire. Our kids did too.

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At GOMA with the four year old, Cormac, and his sister.

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(Young children make surprisingly good company at art galleries, especially for viewing contemporary art.. because this).

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Cricket lesson from his uncle.

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Spot the ball.

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The camping trip.

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Reading Superman comics with friends.

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At the sea with my family.

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One mother is very sun smart with their child and one mother is not.

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Also in the last days of 2013:

* all my vegetable and herb gardens were either weeded, mulched and/or replanted.. or all three

* cooked a lot of new recipes including being taught by a French friend how to make his region’s dessert, boulegou

* was told by that French friend that my children are the quietest and most polite children he has has met in nearly six months of travelling (possibly my proudest achievement of the year)

* had some of my favourite conversations of the whole year in the last weeks of 2013

* friends and family provided me with a soft landing, including several Skype-ing me from overseas, like the darlings that they are

* saw a lot of shooting stars while camping with a friend… and that is surely a good omen for the year ahead.

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This year Christmas has been a somewhat strange and difficult time for me but it has also been delightful, as strange and difficult things often turn out to be. I missed the children a bundle when they left half-way through to go to their father’s but then I admit I haven’t missed dealing with over-tired children on Boxing Day. Christmas has been more organic this year, more spontaneous – friends folded in with family across the events and small nice things happened unexpectedly.

I took a punt on things this Christmas, including recipes, and it all turned out a success.

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Cormac and his baby cousin with the cat.

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Cormac being taught to play Gainsbourg by a French friend.

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The Dark by Lemony Snicket.

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Christmas Eve game of monopoly.

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Pre-Christmas dinner party with friends at my house.

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Christmas breakfast.

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Making Old Cubans on Christmas night. Man, I make a good cocktail, you can give me that.

(Christmas photo-blogging in previous years: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here).

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Into the sea.
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Spontaneous dinner in my garden.

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Sydney.

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Lauca flying. (You were very brave, little button).

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Cousins and cat.

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I like this about living with a four year old; how you draw back your curtains and find unexpected objects.

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Cormac is pairing two of his favourite things here. Men with weapons and dinosaurs.

 

 

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Cormac playing soccer as the world comes to an end in the sky. I love these afternoon tropical storms we get in summer. Such tension breakers.

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