Tag Archives: insanity

Kids and Kitchens

Have you ever wondered what Little Brother gets up to while Big Brother is asking me life and death questions, making up fairy tales , and driving me crazy? Well, I stumbled across Little Brother a couple of days ago after he’d just unpacked half the kitchen cupboards on to the floor.

This is what happened next.


Filed under Opinion

Did You Know…

Did you know that ‘Did you know’ is currently Big Brother’s favourite phrase? Did you know that he can carry on entire conversations where every sentence begins with ‘Did you know’? Did you know that every time I hear the phrase ‘Did you know’ it makes my insides quiver and my muscles clench?

Did you know that after dropping my husband off at work the other day, I had a twenty minute conversation with Big Brother that went something like this:

“Did you know lots of people have dogs as pets?”


“Did you know that dogs like lots of different things to eat?”


“Did you know dogs can live anywhere where there are trees?”

“I suppose so.”

“Did you know that dogs can’t live in the Wild West?”

“Why not?”

“Did you know that cactuses are a type of tree?”


“Did you know that some cowboys are zombies?”


“Did you know zombies come from China?”

“Why China?”

“Did you know that some zombies are good guys and some zombies are bad guys?”


“Did you know skeletons are alive even when they don’t have any skin on them?”


“Did you know that when I lived with my four uncles in Dinosaur Land, we had to fight zombies and skeletons but my four uncles got killed and then a T. Rex came and ate the zombies and skeletons and then my four uncles were okay?”


“Did you know  the Tyrannosaurus Rex is the meanest dinosaur?”


“Did you know some dinosaurs have feathers?”

“You’re right, they do.”

“Did you know you buy pets at a pet shop?”


“Did you know some birds can be pets?”

Did you know, I was incredibly grateful to get home.


Filed under Life With Kids

My Son is a Monty Python Sketch

“Alright, Big Brother. While Little Brother’s having a nap, I’m going to go have a shower.”


“You stay out here and do your colouring in.”

“Okay. I’ll just come in if I need to go to the toilet.”

“Sure. Do you need to go to the toilet?”


“Okay. Then you stay here, and just come in if you need to go to the toilet.”

“Or if Little Brother starts crying.”


“Or if I want to show you my colouring.”

“No. Please don’t come in if you want to show me your colouring. I’ll be back soon. You just stay here and do your colouring, and only come in if you need to go to the toilet, or if you’re hurt, or if Little Brother is crying. Okay?”

“Okay. Or if I want to check on you.”

“No. Don’t come in and check on me.”

“Oh. Why not?”

“Because… Look, I’m just going to have a shower. You stay here. Don’t come in unless you need me, okay?”


“I’m going now.”

“Where are you going?”

“With you.”

“Wha- Why??”

“Because I love you.”

“… But… You… We…” Sigh. “I love you, too. But I’m going to have a shower.”


“So, you stay here and do your colouring.”

“Oh. Okay. But what happens if Little Brother wakes up and he starts crying because he wants to know where you are?”

Pause. Deep breaths.

“Look, I won’t be long. If Little Brother is crying, come and tell me.”

“Or if I need you.”

“Yes. If you need me. But not if you just want to ask me something, and not if you just want to show me something, and not if you just want to check on me, and not if you want to say you love me, and not if you remember a joke you want to tell me. Okay?”

“Okay. I’ll just come in if I need to go to the toilet or if I’m thirsty.”

More deep breaths.

Are you thirsty?”




“Are you going in the shower now?”


I have this conversation more often than I really care to admit. Does it sound familiar to anyone else?

How about now?


Filed under Life With Kids, The Inner Geek

The Three Little Pigs and the Big, Bad Dinosaur

A couple of days ago, I asked 4-year-old Big Brother to do me a favour and entertain 10-month-old Baby for a few minutes. “How?” he asked. “I don’t know,” I said, desperate to escape to the bathroom. “Tell him a story.”

Two minutes later, I returned to find him telling the story of the Three Little Pigs.

“Shhh,” he whispered when I walked in. “I’m making up my own words. My story has a dinosaur.”

This is that story.

Three Little Pigs and the Big, Bad Dinosaur

Once upon a time there were three little pigs. When they left home, they built houses. The first pig built his house out of straw. The second pig built his house out of sticks. And the third pig built his house out of bricks.

The houses were all next to each other, because they were best friends. Then they built fences with sticks all around their houses.

One day, a dinosaur came. The dinosaur was a sharp-tooth dinosaur. He went to the first little pig’s house and said, “Little pig, little pig, let me in! And if you don’t, I’ll blow your house down by huffing and puffing!”

“Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!”

So the dinosaur huffed and puffed and blew the house down. And the little pig ran to his friend’s house, that was made of sticks.

Then they found out the dinosaur was allergic and started sneezing when he smelled flowers. So they built a garden around the stick house, and it was a trap for the dinosaur.

Soon, the dinosaur came to the second house. “Little pig, little pig, let me in! And if you don’t let me in, I’ll blow your house down and I’ll huff and puff!”

And the two little pigs said, “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!”

Then the dinosaur started to blow, but then he started sneezing. He was allergic to the flowers that were a trap. But it didn’t work. All his sneezing blew down the stick house, and the two little pigs had to run to the house made of bricks. They went there because their brother was their best friend.

The pigs used lots of rope and made a big trap for the dinosaur.

Soon, the dinosaur came. But he got caught in the trap, and the rope tied around him. So he started running away. And then the pigs went running after him and chasing the dinosaur.

Suddenly, the dinosaur remembered his sharp teeth. He bit through the rope, and then he turned around and started chasing the three little pigs!

The pigs ran as fast as they could back to the brick house, closed the door and locked it. Then the dinosaur said, “Let me in or I’ll blow down your house by huffing and puffing!”

But the pigs didn’t say anything, because they were laughing. The brick house was too strong and the dinosaur couldn’t blow it down.

So the dinosaur used his sharp teeth to bite the house. But it didn’t work!

Then the dinosaur had sore teeth. So he had to go to a dentist.

The dentist said, “You really hurt your teeth. You’re not allowed to bite houses or try to eat little pigs anymore. Otherwise you’ll have to stay here for a hundred years so your teeth can heal.”

But the dinosaur said, “I’m going to go and eat those three little pigs! Ha ha ha ha ha!”

So the dentist locked him in the room. And then the dinosaur realised he was on a plate, but he was too slow to escape. So the dentists all ate him for dinner.

And the three little pigs lived happily ever after.

The end.


Filed under Flash Fiction, Life With Kids

The Problem with eBooks

The industry’s changing, that’s what they all say.
People don’t want to read paper all day.
They want to read Nooks and Kindles and phones
They want to read eBooks when they’re not at home.

“You can take your whole library to here and to there!”
“You can buy a new book without leaving your chair!
“You’ll never again be with nothing to read!”
(Unless you read books with astonishing speed.)

The hype is all good and the net is a-buzzing,
The lines between “indy” and “trad” are a-fuzzing,
It’s got to be good news for authors, they say,
There’s so many ways to be published today.

But a book is a book is a book is a book,
On paper or Kindle or iPad or Nook,
The story’s the same, however you read it.
(And if there’s a sequel, you’re still gonna need it.)

But back to the topic at hand for today,
eBooks are clearly not going away.
But the problem with eBooks is easy to see:
An eReader doesn’t just grow on a tree.

You actually have to go buy one, they say,
If you want to read eBooks when you are away.
I don’t have a Reader or laptop that works
My phone is not smart (but it’s got other perks).

My desktop is piled up with eBooks galore,
But I’ll never read them, it’s too much of a chore,
To sit at my desk and read into the night
When I’d rather be reading in bed with a light.

I promised I’d tell you the problems I see
With eBooks and iPads and technology
The answer is clear and I’m sure you’ll agree:
As it turns out, the problem with eBooks is me.


Filed under Opinion, Random Stuff, Reading

Monday’s Top 5

Author Kristan Hoffman celebrated her 26th birthday this week. I’m not sure what she did out in the Real World, but here in the blogosphere she wrote a Letter to Herself. It’s a great read for everyone, culminating in these words of wisdom:

Don’t try to predict what will happen, or put your life on a schedule. Just work hard, have fun, and be kind. If you do that, everything will follow in its own way and its own time.

Today Call Me Lucky, says Julie of byanyothername. But after reading this post, I’d have to say that I’m the lucky one — for getting to bask in her beautiful, inspiring writing. Although I read nigh on one hundred Thanksgiving posts, this is the one that really stood out.

Have you been to Taryn’s blog, Mama’s Got Wanderlust? She’s a brave woman, travelling the globe with a toddler in tow. After living and working in Moscow for a while, she and her darling daughter have moved to Beijing. Unfortunately, her amazing husband has had to stay in Moscow for a while to complete his work contract. But no matter how exciting it is to be living in China, and how settled they get, there’s still something missing. Her House is Not a Home.

Stephanie from Momma Be Thy Name has a great post this week that struck a chord — and, I’ve no doubt, a nerve — in a lot of people. She mourns the Devolving Friendships and Other Consequences of Having a Family. This is certainly something I’ve noticed, especially since the birth of my second son. Having children changes your outlook, your interests (by force if not by choice), and your vocabulary (Suddenly talking about breasts isn’t X-Rated, and half your conversation revolves around bodily functions.) Although it’s natural to want to hang out with people who have the same interests and speak the same language, it’s sad to experience the end of an era.

My last pick this week is brought to you by Emma of Mayfair Mum. She’s written a fabulous post titled Tribute to the Choir: Military Wives – May Their Courage Never Cease. She talks about her reaction to BBC’s The Choir, and the bravery shown by the wives of deployed soldiers.

…has taught those of us complacently sitting at home that even while we live in peace with our neighbours and without the threat of imminent nuclear war, there are brave English forces and their families who trained to be the best, do their best, and give the ultimate sacrifice for our country.


Filed under Top 5

R.I.P. Giant Spider: You’ll be Remembered

I didn’t know the spider long. Only a couple of weeks. Not really enough time to even get around to giving it a name; we just called it The Giant Spider. But it certainly made an impression.

It was just after 5:00am when I saw it the first time. I awoke to the familiar sound of 9-month-old Baby calling for his bottle, and opened my eyes blearily. I’d had a late night, and didn’t want to climb out of so early. I rolled over and woke my husband gently.

“Sweetie? Can you feed Baby this morning? Wow. Look at the size of that spider.”

He woke up much quicker than usual, and I stared at the Huntsman sitting on the wall opposite our bedroom door. It was big. How big? Look at your right hand. Now, splay the fingers out as though they were legs on a spider. That’s how big. I watched it for a few minutes, sure that it was watching me back with its eight black eyes. Then it ran and spider-jumped away, the way Huntsmen do, and secreted itself somewhere safe for the day.

Huntsmen are not your typical spider. In fact, they’re quite handy to have around the place. (Which is good, because there’s no possible way you’d ever rid your house or yard of them in this part of Australia.) And although they may look a bit like a tarantula to the untrained eye, they’re really quite different.

Adult Huntsmen don’t spin webs. They eat by doing exactly what their name suggests — hunting prey. During the day, they flatten their bodies and hide under rocks, or behind bark, or in various hidey-holes around sheds or homes. At night, they emerge to hunt down insects, invertebrates and small lizards through the use of an extremely sensitive sense of smell.

They rarely bite people (preferring to run and hide) unless it’s a female protecting her eggs, or you pick one up by mistake. And even then, their bite isn’t particularly toxic. So there’s no real harm to having them around the place. Plus, they keep the cockroach population under control.

My general stance is to make a deal with any Huntsmen I see. If they stay out of my way, I’ll stay out of theres. Bedrooms are off-limits (if I see them there), but other than that they’re free to roam the house and eat insects at will. If they do wander into a bedroom or I find them in odd places, I’ll carefully trap them in a plastic container and transport them outside.

You can’t blame a spider for being a spider.

But in all the time I’ve lived here, and all the deals I’ve made, I’d never seen a Huntsmen as big as the Giant Spider.

That didn’t stop me rolling over and going back to sleep, though. My husband nobly got out of bed (apparently the adrenalin had woken him up anyway) and fed the baby. The Giant Spider was nowhere to be seen.

It was a few days before I saw it again. It was late evening, and my husband and I were in the office. He asked if I’d like a cup of tea, and wandered out towards the kitchen to boil some water. He was back a couple of seconds later, a little freaked out that he’d nearly stood on the Giant Spider. I looked out the door, and there it was: sitting in the middle of the hallway floor, staring back up at me.

We locked gaze. My four eyes against its eight. And then it scuttled away from us, under the linen cupboard door. “How about that tea?” I asked.

A few days later, 4-year-old Big Brother came wandering out of his playroom to find me. “Mum,” he said. “There’s a spider. I’m a very good boy. I didn’t touch it, I just came straight to tell you.”

By the time I made it to the playroom, the Giant Spider was just secreting itself behind a bookcase. “The spider’s behind the bookcase. You keep playing in here, just don’t stick anything behind there. Especially your hands. Okay?”


And that was that.

Almost a week passed with the Giant Spider showing up again. I was starting to wonder if it had moved on; found another home. Then, last night, the unthinkable happened.

It was late. It was hot and humid. I  went into the bedroom to turn on the air-con in preparation for going to bed. I pressed the ‘on’ button, and had only had time to take a couple of steps back when the front louvres of the air-con started to open.

There was an odd crunching sound.

I looked up to see small pieces of …something… come flying out of the unit, barely missing my face. I took another couple of hurried steps back in case it was a cockroach. (I hate cockroaches.)

It wasn’t a roach.

It was the Giant Spider. And three of Giant Spider’s legs, now detached from its body.

It landed hard, but then scuttled behind the bedside table.

(Look at your splayed right hand again. That’s exactly what the spider looked like now.)

Now I had a problem. (1) The Giant Spider was next to my bed. (2) He was wounded. (3) I had a voiceover in my head: “This time, the humans had gone too far. This time, it was personal.”

There was no choice for it. I couldn’t catch the Giant Spider where he was. I was going to have to kill it.

I sprayed it with Bug Spray, but that just slowed it down. It kept moving. Towards me now. I apologised. Profusely. “I’m sorry, Giant Spider. I really didn’t want to have to do this. I’m really sorry. I’m really, really sorry.”

Then I bashed it over the head with my husband’s shoe and vacuumed up the pieces with the dust-buster.

R.I.P. Giant Spider. I hope your next life is filled with slow cockroaches and fat, juicy lizards.


Filed under Random Stuff, The Inner Geek