Archive for the ‘lauca’ Category

1. This morning was perfect: the six year old crawled into my bed first thing, as he generally does for a cuddle when I’m awake but sorta meditating but sorta just thinking because I’m not good at meditation, and then he fell asleep against me.. and so this morning was even better because after I’d basked in the sweetness of him sleeping I got up and the ten year old and I had breakfast as just us, and we talked about nearly everything, in the kind of way that you can only do as two people together.

2. Cormac, the five year old making sense of his good fortune when his health-conscious mother bought him McDonald’s fries on today’s road trip – “Mum it’s ok because a) you were really, really hungry, b) there weren’t many other options, c) you didn’t want complaining kids all the way home and d) you just …couldn’t help it”. (Am not as judgey as Cormac makes me sound. I love hot chips).

3. The ten year old, Lauca, who comes from politically obsessed Labor families on both sides confessed to secretly testing herself on the voting compass. Me: really? Did you manage to understand the policy trade-offs being asked? Her: I think so. (Guilty expression). But I came out more a Greens voter. Me: We all do.

4. Cormac (age 5): When I grow up I’m going to be a parent who stays home with the baby.

Me: Really?

C: Actually no. My partner will look after the baby.

Me: What will you do?

C: Go to Bunnings and pick up some stuff.

Lauca (age 9): Have you asked your partner about that?

C: I haven’t met her yet.

L: Good luck making that relationship last.

5. Tucked Lauca, the nine year old into bed. Asked her what’s this latest book she’s been reading all night. Siblings Without Rivalry. A parenting book I bought and meant to read ages ago. “It has some good ideas but I don’t know how much you’ll find they can apply to Cormac and I”, she said.

6. Cormac lost his second tooth tonight and is insisting on cleaning it with toothpaste before putting it out for the tooth fairy. Never too late to fake cleaning your teeth regularly.

7. Me: Cormac, go and clean your teeth. Cormac: All you are about is cleaning teeth and looking pretty.

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.. was about the Productivity Commission’s report on childcare and early childhood. (Whoops, I forgot to tell you).

I snuck in some talk of universal minimum incomes, too.

I don’t regret being a work-outside-the-home mother. There are many advantages to having parents in the workforce – higher family income and social capital opportunities, to name a couple. And as a, now, single mother I can attest to the benefits of staying attached to the workforce in terms of the longer term security it provides me. (Which is why it can make economic sense to work during the early years of motherhood even when part-time work and childcare costs mean you may not lodge a profit. Think of it as an insurance policy). But if we’re going to encourage higher participation rates for women, and quite frankly our economy now depends on such, then we need to think about how we incorporate care into economic systems rather than segregating it outside the system. We must recognise that love and reciprocity are drives as fundamental to us as self-interest.

File all of this with notions like a guaranteed universal basic income and other economic possibilities for happiness that might actually be a real option if we were ready to consider them. Because, we are not talking some stagnant old debate here between capitalism and communism. We’re talking about ways of better organising our economy and care. And it starts with framing the debate around the understanding that children are in many ways a public good and warrant public support accordingly.

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This weekend we had a child to stay for a sleep-over and I am really a bit worn out and I wondered what we could offer in the way of fun things to do at our house. Because I can’t even get movies to play on the TV at the moment. And I don’t have the spare energy to figure it out nor the spare cash to pay someone else to figure it out.

But it was Anne Lamott who said something like you play to your strengths as a parent and this is what I’m good at… pulling unusual ideas out of my arse. So, I remembered an abandoned house I’d noticed on my morning walks and I asked the kids if they wanted to explore a haunted house and … bingo!

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Doesn’t it look like something out of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road?

“Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire.”

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Back at my home..
I have exceptional taste, yes. I bought the arse tea cosy here.

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Last month my father came back to Australia and stayed with me for a week. He was exhausted on the first night and after he went to bed I stayed up and wrote my column at the kitchen table. The next night I was incredibly tired and he stayed up alone for the very sad task of writing his mother’s obituary.

He read that obituary at the funeral the following morning. His writing was beautiful. It was all about how accomplished and yet unappreciated his mother had been for her domestic talents. My column about being accountable one day to my children’s future therapist was published that same day, and in a way, I realised my father and I had both written about feminist motherhood.

Every time I look at my kitchen table now I remember how we both sat and wrote our words there, one night after the other.

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A doctor friend collects these little empty bottles from his surgery and gives them to me to use as tiny vases. Morphine and Ketamine can be the name of our hipster home decorating shop.

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Giraffes galloping.


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Television journalism-ing, like her aunt.

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Bela luta.

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Cormac in his window seat.

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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?

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Not in the garden.

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Searching up the ladder to the third floor.

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I spy me.

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Board game to celebrate finding his sister.

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