Thursday, 15 November 2012

A Matter of Time

It was the Mahjong Nazi's birthday today, 69 years (and we love her even when she is not playing Mahjong).

 Tonight, we celebrated the Majong Nazi's birthday, we celebrated her seven cancer free years. This is incredible, we all love her and as a registered nurse she had diagnosed her own death quite a few times.

I got a phone call telling me that my last breast MRI showed something concerning. I received this notification last Thursday, my appointment is tomorrow. My issue is that somehow it has taken approximately one month for my MRI results to go from the 1st floor of the hospital to the 2nd floor Breast Centre.

Have we moved so slowly in the area of breast cancer research that it now takes a month to send the results from an MRI which is abnormal to the next floor and a doctor to analyse them?'

Personally, I actually feel quite sick right now, and if I do have cancerous breast cells, I would have wanted to be informed earlier, if only by a month!
I don't want to sound like a drama queen, but actually I am frightfully afraid. My thoughts tonight are torn between getting hideously drunk, or mildly drunk. I'm going with mildly...

Monday, 10 September 2012

From the Petri Dish

Somedays when I try to spend a few hours after work getting the house in order, I realise that I am actually living in a scientific laboratory. If I open the fridge, or look at any table or bench space I will see either one of Riley's science experiments, or one of his rock collections. Sometimes these things really annoy me, especially when they grow mouldy and smelly in my fridge. Feeling particularly zen, today I did not get annoyed. Topday I appreciated Riley's incredibly creative mind.

Here's some of what I found, here's hoping he's onto something.
 This is a helping potion, apparently a few drops (good in wine I'm told) and you will get all of the help you need.

This is a potion for curing baldness, just a few drops and voila! I'll test it on my husband tonight.

Riley dreams that this pigmelon will have pigmelon babies and that one of them will be so big, he will win a prize at 'the fair'. I hope that the sand is so bad in our front garden that even a pigmelon won't grow.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Trying for Free Range

I was excited when I heard about Lenore Skenazy via a friend. She is the woman who wrote the book "Free Range Kids" and has a blog by the same name. When she wrote a newspaper column about letting her Grade 4 son ride the subway home in New York, there was mass criticism worldwide, but there were an equal number of people applauding the act. I know I wouldn't let Riley catch the bus alone at eight year's old, but a part of me wishes he could.

I love the idea of free range children, that is how I was brought up and it was magical. I remember walking to school with an older girl who lived around the corner and then when I was in Grade 3 I no longer had to walk with that girl, but got to be the responsible one and take my little sister to school. We crossed two roads, and there were no crossing guards, there were not a lot of cars either because all of the kids walked to school. The only time you were driven was if you were heading off on a camp and even then some kids still carried all of their stuff instead of being dropped off. From memory there wasn't even an area for parents to park because it was not needed.

At high school it was a much longer walk, probably 25 minutes, I never walked with my sister, we didn't care so much for each other in those days. Some days a friend would pick me up, others, I would pick a friend up and sometimes a friend who lived 25 minutes on the other side of the school would ride her bike over so we could walk together. I was a latch key kid and so were most of my friends and this was normal. We never had crossing guards and there was no law to slow down to 40 kilometres per hour.

Don't get me wrong, it was about time that the above measures were introduced. I remember my first ever "boyfriend" was killed in a hit and run when he was in Year 8. I can't imagine the pain his parents felt and would still feel. Whenever I drive past his house I think of him, he died on the road in front of it. The typing teacher gave me his work file, it had 'Mark loves Colleen forever" on it. Sadly it was true.

I have heard that statistically the risk of child abduction is the same as it was 50 years ago, so I feel safe in the assumption that the world I grew up in is the same as the world that Riley will grow up in, yet we cloister our children so much these days. I have seen young children walking to school on their own and wondered where the parents are, yet that was me 30 years ago (I'm being generous about my age). And where are those Beaumont children?

I want to be able to trust that we live in a relatively safe world and I want Riley to grow up being able to explore it like I did with mine. I want him to be able to catch the bus to and from high school (my dad did it on his own from six). I want him to know how to cross the road without an adult there. How else can
I do this without giving him some free range?

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Riley is eight, but his bladder does not seem to know that know that. At least once a week, usually more, we reach the end of the street that his school is on and he declares he is, "Busting!". It is quite a small street, so from the time that he gets into the car and we get to the end of the street is about one minute tops. A minute prior when he has got into the car there is no sign of busting and then 60 seconds later it is a matter of urgency that we stop immediately so he can get out and wee on the verge.

Until very recently I used to stop on the side of the road and let him get out. I did this because there is nothing I hate more than busting to go to the loo and because I didn't want to have to clean up the mess if he didn't make it.

Yesterday, like clockwork, there was the cry of 'busting' and after the frustrating conversation of, "Why didn't you go before you left school?", I didn't need to.", I thought I would test him, because when I'm busting it is because I have consciously held on for too long, this is not the case with him. Miraculously he made it all the way home, although I could feel the car bouncing as he tried to keep it in. I had a serious talk with him about going at the end of school. Yes mum, he agreed.

Today, as we got to the end of the road the school is on, what did I hear? "Busting!"

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Happy Days

Sometimes Riley's cuteness and innocence makes my heart really soar. Today I got home from work and he and Cliff were searching for 'gems' on our front verge. His idea of a gem is basically any rock, mostly bluestone. He is pretty convinced that with a good whack from a hammer a beautiful gem will appear and then, he says, we can drive around in a limo with a spa in it. Oh Riley, I really would like to see that vision!

He asked our neighbours, who had spent the day sanding down the weatherboard from the front of their house if they had had a good day. He asked if they were going to paint their house red. He has absolutely no idea and it is so very cute.

The thing about parenting is that you are always thinking about your child, sometimes you are worrying, sometimes sad, sometimes indignant, so the days when you are happy and laughing are pretty sweet.

Friday, 17 August 2012

A Little Star

I love picking Riley up from school. I only do it twice a week due to work and they have a kiss and drive which I also love as I am quite antisocial.  I really feel a huge surge of love as I see Riley running over to my car with his big bag bouncing behind him.

Every time he gets into the car I ask him about his day, he always says it was 'great'. Sometimes I get more information, but more often than not, 'great' is all I hear. I always ask him what the best bit of the day was and he always say, "Seeing You". This is sweet, but after 400 plus days I would like to hear a different highlight.

Today when I picked Riley up I could see that he was clutching a piece of paper about the size of an award certificate and he was smiling the biggest smile ever. He got into the car and yes, he did have an award. He was so excited, he said he got his award, two stickers, a round of applause, a stamp and a rubber from the special award box.

This might sound pretty standard to many people, but we have spent the last three years at a school that does not believe in awards, so aside from pre-primary, this is the first award he has received. As soon as we got home he ran to the neighbour's house to show her his award. Cute, but even cuter given that fact that we barely know this woman. Fortunately she kindly read the award and told him well done.

When we got inside he took a photo out of another frame and placed his award inside.

He is so proud, we are so proud. Sometimes its the small things.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Back on the Wagon

I fell off the blogging wagon, I can't even blame the Olympics, because I watched about, three hours of it in total. I just kept thinking that I didn't have anything interesting enough to write about. A friend keeps telling me to start blogging again, she tells me that she misses my blog. I thought for a while that I might just stop, I wanted my blog to be big and important, and it wasn't.  As I have thought this over for the last few weeks, waiting for something big and important to come along, I realised the fact that amazing, newsworthy things probably won't happen on a daily basis. My life isn't big and important. There will be times when things happen that are more interesting than others and I have realised that I can still write even when the exciting stuff isn't happening. I live a small and generally uninteresting life, and this is my record of that life.

I was going to write about my new iPhone app, picfx, which I totally love and makes me feel like a professional photographer (see above and below), but just then I saw something more worthy of sharing.

I just went to pick up the clothes that Riley had strewn through the house pre-bath and noticed that he did not wear underpants, again, today. This happens more often than not. Now he did announce that his penis was named Buzza to us a few weeks ago, so I wondered if perhaps that was why he so often went sans undies, but I just asked him and Buzza has nothing to do with it. He just forgets.

I did have to tell him to put his polo top on the right way this morning as it was on back to front and he had not realised, so clearly, the fact that he is not wearing undies would not register.

I still have the occasional dream about turning up at school and discovering that I have no top or bra on, this dream was quite common through high school and uni. I now fear that one day Riley's pants may be pulled down at school and the kids around will discover that it was just him and Buzza in those pants, no undies! My child struggles enough, we would definitely have to change schools, again, if that happened.