Television journalism-ing, like her aunt.
Cormac in his window seat.
Television journalism-ing, like her aunt.
Cormac in his window seat.
The two kids and I just had a holiday in Melbourne staying with my brother and his partner in their lovely Melbourne warehouse apartment.
Hide and seek – Cormac looking for his sister. Yes, it is rather a huge apartment isn’t it?
Not in the garden.
Searching up the ladder to the third floor.
I spy me.
Board game to celebrate finding his sister.
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.
Posted in aboriginal australia, cormac, goddamn craft, i like walking, lauca, motherhood, motherhood bliss, school kids, slow parenting, teenagers, work and family (im)balance, your guide to perfect play dates on April 9, 2014 | 2 Comments »
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.
Cormac on the beach in the evening being very pensive.
My friend’s teenage son helping Cormac cross the channel. It was deeper than we expected.
Watching all the children swimming in the sea from my friend’s beach house verandah.
Lauca and my friend’s daughter boogie boarding together.
Horses in the sea.
Cormac and one of our friends.
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.
My column this week for Daily Life is out:
For weeks this year, before that night, I dreamed about snakes. On and off I’ve had these dreams since childhood and they always look like Pierre Roy’s Danger on the Stairs (1927). Recently people tried to tell me that the dreams were a sign of healing but Google that old surrealist painting and tell me if you see any good omens there.
Before I tell you what happened that night I want to tell you what happened a little further back, which is that I suddenly became a single parent. My partner and I, after more than a decade and a half together, decided to end our relationship. Doesn’t matter how a relationship ends — whether you leave, are left or it happens mutually — there’s still a moment where you take a breath and jump. It’s a moment of acceptance that this is your new reality.
We grow old in fits and starts, it’s not a linear progression. I don’t know why but I stay looking the same age for about two years and then one day I suddenly look three years older and then I plateau for a time and on it goes. I’ve just noticed we grow up in fits and starts too. I gave Lauca a day in the city with me for her ninth birthday. She skipped school and went to my salon for an encounter with my very good looking, perfectionist hairdressers. Then she ate sushi in my office while I tended to something urgent before we strolled together through an art gallery for the afternoon and finally, off to dinner in a restaurant with my family. I think she turned into a teenager in the process.
When I started this blog Lauca was not quite two years old. As with all change I seem to feel both happy and sad about that.
In the lift at my work.
And at the art gallery. Right now Lauca is fascinated with European history so this exhibition was perfect.
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.
I don’t want to brag or anything but, you know, I grew my own fucking honey. And it tastes divine.
With the help of some good friends I robbed my native bee hive for the first time and I have HONEEEEEEEY!
Behold! Some of the honey. It has a consistency a bit like maple syrup.
These particular Australian bees don’t sting so the hive is right in my garden where the children play and near the table where we eat outside.
Removing the top level where the bees store the ‘surplus’ honey.
Hundreds of native bees trying to figure out what is happening.
After the cells are punctured you turn the tray upside down and drain it into a tray. Then you take the tray and pour it through a sieve into jars.. sadly, there is some loss of bee life in the process. Lauca, the eight year old witnessed it and rather than finding it all an amazing experience to see our very own honey being collected, she was instead appalled by the bee destruction and is now refusing to eat honey – therefore rapidly moving from vegetarian to vegan.
And then I made a thank you lunch for my friends.
Reader, do you have any advice for this email I received? I keenly await your reply because I still struggle with this with my daughter. Lauca is now eight years old and not only does she still refuse to brush her hair but she now uses my arguments with her about hair maintenance as a way of calling me out for what she sees as feminist hypocrisy. Reader, your thoughts?
You mentioned on your blog that you had trouble getting Lauca to brush her hair. My daughter has lovely thick curly hair which is usually in dreadlocks because she never lets me brush it. How can you convince a girl to let you brush her hair without using beauty as an incentive (eg “it will look so pretty!”). I tried “spiders will start living in it” but I don’t think it’s ideal. I refuse to tell her to do anything just because it will make her look nice!
Do you have any suggestions at all?
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.
Cormac and his baby cousin with the cat.
Cormac being taught to play Gainsbourg by a French friend.
The Dark by Lemony Snicket.
Christmas Eve game of monopoly.
Pre-Christmas dinner party with friends at my house.
Making Old Cubans on Christmas night. Man, I make a good cocktail, you can give me that.