How to raise boys

They have gone rock climbing with their dad. One will be scared, distrustful of the ropes and buckles, the hired shoes. He might cry, crack the shits and demand they come home after ten minutes. One will be too confident, arrogant even, annoying everyone with his bravado and swagger. It’s hard to say which will be which. They operate in relation to each other, like yin and yang. One up, one down.

At a Christmas party, I am given a pair of inflatable plasticky logs, meant for play fighting in a pool. I plan to save them for our next river swim, but the boys grab them from my hands and puff out their sweaty cheeks, before passing me the nozzle, gummed with their saliva. They circle around my legs like excitable fish. ‘As if you need another reason to fight,’ I laugh, and they both lift their arms in the air, cheeks red. They take them onto the trampoline and belt the crap out of each other, screaming, and I keep running to the back door thinking one is hurt, but they are red and sweaty and laughing.

I had an acupuncture session this morning, to strengthen my uterus. I have too much fire in my heart, the therapist tells me. Too much heat, too much excitement. More yang than yin. I think of the nights spent awake in the dark, thoughts racing. I promise to drink the herbs and teas she has prescribed.

In the night, one will climb into my bed. His head is permanently damp with sweat. He brings an armful of teddies: Sophie, Frankie, Blue Bear, Snoozy, Baby Bear, Dusty Martin, Fluffy, Bubble Bear and Bunny. He sleeps with them all every night. Their faces are squashed and the fur is matted where he rubs it in his sleep. I wake up face to face with the enormous eyes of a pink Beanie Boo.

I am on the toilet when the door is pushed open. There is a scramble of muffled giggles, and then a chicken named Jack Riewoldt is thrust into the bathroom and the door is slammed shut. Hysterical screeches from outside the door. The chicken and I eye each other, then the door opens again. They want to surprise me but also to see my reaction.

‘We put a chicken in the bathroom! While you were on the toilet! And shut the door!’ One states the obvious, the other rolls his eyes. Both are red faced and giggling maniacally.

The chicken shits on the floor and I wonder if you can die from laughing too much.

What I've Been... Almond butter explosions, Fringe Furniture and new rides

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Eating... Brioche french toast with rhubarb and ricotta. What now? Obviously I didn't make it. Lee and I had a breakfast date to A Boy Named Sue and god knows I can't go past french toast EVER. It was gooooood. They don't have high chairs so I was eating it one handed and wrestling a hyped-up toddler determined to empty the sugar bowl on the floor. It was still totally worth it.

Reading... Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga. He also wrote The White Tiger, which I think won the Booker Prize a while ago. That book was like a punch in the face while eating garlic naan, but in a good way. This one is a bit slower, but it creeps up until you find yourself wanting to go to bed at 7.15 to read it.  And it totally makes me want to go back to India one day. God, that place is crazy.

Cleaning... An entire jar of almond butter out of my handbag. Last Friday we went to playgroup as usual, and after we left I stuck my hand in my handbag and pulled it out covered in sticky brown gunk. My first though was POO! before I realised it didn't stink like Archie's usual baby turds. It was, in fact, a jar of almond butter that had somehow come unscrewed in my bag and emptied over everything. And god knows I have a ridiculous amount of crap in my bag (this morning when I was stuck in traffic I cleaned out three bottles of bubble solution, a harmonica, a toy hammer, four unmatched baby socks, all the usual diary-keys-wallet crap, a mini first aid kit and a very old cheese stick that concerningly still looked edible).

And so obviously, I just cleaned off the important stuff then ignored the situation until I got home six hours later and it had concealed into a solid musty lump of toys, tissues, lip gloss and hairpins stuck together with almond butter. High five, mama.

Visiting... Fringe Furniture. On that same Friday as the above incident, we went to Abbotsford Covent with my mate Sam to visit another friend who was managing the Fringe Furniture exhibition. Lee put a piece in Fringe Furniture a few years ago, and it always has cool stuff made by super-talented peeps. I like that because most of the stuff is not really commercially viable, there is more of a focus on awesome techniques and well-designed pieces.

Archie loved the Play Cube by Little Green Room, a plywood cubby-type-thing which I realised is actually designed and built by one of my old lecturers. Very cool.


I was pretty impressed with the series of gorgeous hand-veneered skateboards by a designer whose card I promptly lost. They would look great up on a wall as an art piece.


Excited about... My brother has bought a new house not far from our new house, which is RAD because we can ride to each other's houses and I can eat pizza with him and his flatmates and he can come to our house and do the gardening. Yippee!

Building... Speaking of new houses, Archie has some new digs and a new ride he would like to show you. Check out the awesome dashboard detailing...



Forget Me Nots #2

photo 2 photo 3 photo 1 (3) Little things I don't want to forget about Archie at this age...

  • The other day he made me sit on his little chair and fed me a plateful of strawberries that I had cut up for his snack. He giggled the whole time and then gave me a big drooly kiss once he'd finished smooshing them into my mouth.
  • He also likes to feed me his lunch, then try and eat it out of my mouth, using his own mouth. As in, he goes in for the full-on pash. That is as gross/cute as it sounds.
  • He has learned to bend over in the bath and blow bubbles on the water. Sometimes he gets excited and starts lapping at his bathwater like a kitten. Cute, but probably not the healthiest thing to do. He has also started doing it in the pool, which is preeeeeety gross.
  • His teddy, Brian, is his absolute best mate. He takes him to bed for every nap and all night. I give Archie a kiss and say "nigh nigh!" then do the same to Brian. He grabs Brian, throws him over his chest and give him a huge cuddle. When he is at daycare, he hold on tightly to him the entire time and does not let go.
  • I found these little gumboots at Big W that look like dragons. We randomly spotted them in the women's sock section and he grabbed them and was enthralled. I had to leave them in the bagging area at the self-serve checkouts because the stupid machine was beeping at me and they were just out of his reach. He threw a massive wobbly until I could finally pick them up and leave. He carried them the whole way home, then wouldn't take them off once they were on. He spent the afternoon wearing a nappy and his new gumboots, and proudly showed anyone who visited buy marching up, stopping still and pointing at his feet. So freaking cute.
  • A few weeks ago, Lee and I were home alone with Arch and decided to have a family pizza party as a special occasion. I am the mealtime Nazi and only let him eat from a proper bowl in his high chair or at his little table, so eating sitting on a rug on the floor was a pretty big deal. It was super-fun and I was feeling like mum of the year until he realised he could walk around while eating and proceeded to walk all over the pizza, leaving Napoli footprint all over the carpet.
  • He is really into people's backs at the moment, like he has just discovered that if he stands behind someone they can't see him. So he thinks it is hysterical to come up and poke me in the back, or give me a bear hug from behind while I'm sitting on the floor. And I obviously always act super surprised and he dissolves in a puddle of giggles.
  • He has a few clear words, mostly duck, dad, mum, hat, yum, cat, and things like that. His favourite by far is to yell DAT! while pointing at stuff. He gets up the morning and I carry him out and he begins the commentary of pointing at the window. DAT! The fruit bowl. DAT! The cutlery drawer. DAT! When he wants something he points and waves and shrugs in a huge performance shouting DAT! DAT!!! as if his whole life depends on me passing him a piece of my toast. What a cracker.