Somebody save me from my children?!

I have had one of those days.

TJ had 2 friends for a sleep over for his birthday last night (they were picked up at 10am) so he had a late night and is tired and cranky today. Understandably, he's wanted some space to chill out and play with his new toys, only instead of taking his space in any of the 3 or 4 places where the other kids won't bother him, he's been playing with his new things on the floor of his bedroom - which he shares with Mr R - and getting annoyed and aggressive when Mr R comes in and wrecks whatever he's doing. I gave him 30 minutes where he was allowed to shut the door and lock Mr R out - for which Mr R screamed indignantly the whole time - then he had to open the door again and instead of moving, he stayed on the floor and got even more angry when Mr R returned with a vengeance.
I eventually had to give him a time out because he pulled Mr R's legs off and threw them in the rubbish bin!!

The girls have turned into obnoxious little teenage monsters and are picking on each other like there's no tomorrow. Miss J said to her twin, "I am sad when I look in the mirror because I see you and you are ugly!"
Miss F retorted with, "At least you're not sad like me because I have your brain and it's stupid!"
Then they each retaliated by sneaking scissors from the other's home learning desk and cutting strips in their twin's favourite dress, before each trying to blame it on the other when they were discovered!!! When I told them they were to do their best to repair the damage in the other's clothes, Miss F said, "Fine. And I will turn it into a dog jumper because she is a dog!"
And Miss J came back with, "Fine! And I will turn it into toilet paper because you smell like POO!!!"

Miss V is annoyed because her siblings won't do what she says 100% of the time and she ends up screaming red faced at anything that moves. She landed herself a time out when she told me my vagina was stupid because it suffocated the intelligence out of her sisters...
I told her that she too, came out of my vagina.
She rolled her eyes at me and said, "Yeah, well OBVIOUSLY it was already STRETCHED by then!" ... Hence the time out!
She scored herself another one when she hid a piece of TJ's new jigsaw puzzle while he wasn't looking, causing him to meltdown AGAIN when he had finished his jigsaw except for one last piece that he couldn't find, and why did Miss V think that was so funny? (Because she is a little monster, TJ, that's why!)

In between all this Mr R has been doing his best dog impression and peeing on the floor all bloody day just to get a reaction

And possibly worst of all - the dirty lesbians used my dishwasher to clean their sex toys!!!


The Teddy Tour

Some of you fabulous readers may remember from this post, that I am a survivor of childhood sexual assault. It is something that has shaped my life in many ways, and thankfully, it has turned into an experience that I was able to take something positive from in the form of educating my children and empowering them with self protection knowledge and skills.
Even though it is an experience that I have come to terms with and no longer feel uncomfortable about discussing, the topic of childhood sexual assault in the wider community is still one of those things in the "don't go there" basket. It seems that for a lot of people, the thought of children being sexually assaulted is far to awful to even contemplate, let alone actually speaking about it... And I agree that childhood sexual assault is an awful, gut wrenching, unthinkable crime against children... But NOT speaking about it only gives power to the perpetrators and adds to the feelings of shame and guilt that so many survivors experience, even though it is not their fault, and they have nothing to be ashamed of.

A very good friend of mine, Megan from Imaginif, used to run a website called the Teddy Tour, where survivors could submit a tag anonymously that would be given to a Teddy who would wear it for the whole world to see. This website harnessed the voice of many, many survivors from all over the world and was as confronting as it was inspiring. Unfortunately, due to Megan's real world commitment to protecting children, she was unable to keep up with the online Teddy Tour and the website was closed down.

Last week, I received an email from a friend, who is just as crazy and just as passionate about ending the silence surrounding childhood sexual assault as I am... And I was thrilled to see that she has taken over the Teddy Tour!!! She has built a new website which looks absolutely fantastic, and started a new Tour as the previous content was lost when the old site was closed.

If you haven't already, please head on over to the Teddy Tour .com and support this fantastic project. Like Ali says,

"Yes, childhood sexual assault is an awful crime against children, but these stories are important and they deserve to be heard."

Getting Dirty

When you're a kid on the road with a whole bunch of Freaks, sometimes, things can get a little dirty.

Like when one of the boy freaks listens to his wife freak giving him directions and they get really really lost and end up on a dirt road and arrive 3 hours late... So he writes this on the back of their car...

And especially when you are busting for a pee but there are no toilets for ages and you have to go on the side of the road and it's all dirty and yuck... But you do get pretty good at peeing away from your undies, knowing where to stand so you're up stream, and the view from the loo is pretty awesome...

Posted by Miss J, Miss F, Miss V and TJ!

"Mummy, I'm pregnant......."

"April fools!!!!!"

And now that I have your attention...

My name is Alison, and I am a bad blogger.

I used to love this blog so much and felt like I was missing out on something really important if I did not get to sit down with it almost daily. The online community I felt part of was like a second family that I'd come to rely on. I've shared so much of my self, of this family and of our journey here - and gained so much support from so many wonderful people I have the privilege to call friends.
These last few months, "real" life has picked us up and swept us away like a big, exciting tidal wave, and I feel guilty for leaving the blog behind.
But I'm also excited - SO very excited - about the wave of change and new adventures we are riding...

The Kewl Krew are running away to join the circus!

Actually, we are running away to run the circus.... Kind of...

It's a long story, but here it is in a nutshell:

When Daddy Kewl and I were in the circus, the Head Honcho dude was a guy known as everyone's "Favourite Uncle". He ran the circus then, and when it eventually disbanded, he kept the hundreds upon hundreds of circus freaks and carni folk connected by what we called "Cirque" (pretty original name we came up with for a bunch of so called "creative" people, huh?).
Cirque Head Quarters (HQ) were based in Sydney, with connections to people all over Australia and eventually branching out into the world. The HQ itself grew in size and capacity, and the Cirque network gradually expanded to include all kinds of people working in the creative industries.

In 2008, a whole bunch of Cirque people came to our home for the Freak Fest. While they were here, I was pregnant with Zy, he was diagnosed with Cri-du-chat syndrome, he was born very prematurely, and he died. It was a massive time for our family, and I am so very thankful that our Freak Family were here to help us through it.

Not long after Zy died, there was a big falling out between some of the Freaks. Quite honestly, myself, Sammi and "Favourite Uncle" were at the centre of it. "Favourite Uncle" did something unforgivable and showed himself as an incestuous, controlling, manipulative man, and in standing up to him I caused a massive rift between a handful of people who were aware of the full details, and the rest of the Cirque community.

In response, "Favourite Uncle" did what any incestuous, controlling, manipulative, slime ball of a man with no spine would do when confronted with his dishonesty - He slandered me to absolutely everyone who would listen, and he drank himself to death.

It was only then that the full story began to come out, and the Cirque community came together once more to grieve the loss of the Favourite Uncle we thought we knew, and to heal the wounds he had caused.

Er... Believe it or not, this really is the condensed version...! Bare with me, I'm almost there!

A few weeks ago, a mob of Cirque freaks showed up at our place for a spontaneous get together. We decided to go to the Fringe Festival in Adelaide to support another freak, and while we were there, the Freaks became aware of some interesting information.

When "Favourite Uncle" died, he left me Cirque.

Everything is now in my name.

And it seems that many people are keen for me to take over.

So may people, in fact, that I have decided to accept.

Yep.... The Kewl Krew are running away to Sydney, to run Cirque.

In the end, it was Miss V who talked me into it when she said,

"We are the weirdest people at home without even trying. I want to go be around people who are MORE weird than me. Then I could be even weirder!"

A Very Kewl Announcement!

Miss J, "Well, it pretty much happens like this..."

Miss F, "Sammi and Mary had sexual intercourse with a turkey baster..."

Miss V, "Even though Mary is a vegan...."

Miss F, "Yeah and Sammi is really bad at cooking...."

Miss J, "But they did good!"

Miss V, "Yeah!"

Miss F, "And now Mary is growing their baby!"

Miss J, "Ah ha. And it is going to come out of her vagina..."

Miss V, "And her vagina will never be the same again."

Miss F, "Umm.. It probably should say that their lives will never be the same again... But that's true too..."

It's hard to stay in a bad mood with kids like mine

Even though 83% is on of the most disgusting statistics on sexual assault I have EVER heard,
Even though I am still dumbfounded that meaningful action is, for the most part, non-existent,
And even though it sometimes feels like the battle is just too big to fight,

My bad mood is lifting.

Because you cannot empower others while you are feeling dis-empowered,
Because you cannot inspire action while you are uninspired,
And because you cannot win if you do not fight.

Yesterday the Kewl Kids and I were surveying the property from our veranda. It is pouring rain here at the moment and yesterday the back paddocks had already started to flood. I'd moved those animals that I could to higher ground, and so chaos reigned supreme as goats and Shetland ponies and ducks and dogs became new roomies and kicked up some mud in their new pad. We were having a good laugh at their antics when Miss J spotted the dog getting a little too friendly with the goat. From the other end of the veranda she called out,

"Mu-um! The dog is trying to have sexual intercourse with the goat again!"

I laughed until I cried, and my bad mood began to lift... Not because of the possibility of breeding the first ever puppy goats - but because Miss J had used appropriate language to describe what she was seeing, and in doing so, she reminded me that while I cannot educate everyone - I can certainly educate my children.

My children are empowered with sexuality knowledge and self protection skills.

And that, is Kewl.

I am in a bad mood

Before my pregnancy with Zy I was running a drama program that included several young adults with disabilities. When I was pregnant with Zy I handed this class over to a friend and colleague. That person has recently been unable to teach, so I have stepped in again, temporarily. As well as the 15 students I know well from the "early days", there are 4 students whom I had not met before. Three of these students require additional support so as to fully participate in class, and that support is provided by someone from a disability service.

Last week, I noticed one of these students displaying slightly inappropriate (sexualised) behaviours towards her support person. This week, the behaviours has escalated to the point where they were impacting upon the class. I spoke with the student and her support person, and to cut a very long story short - the support person had no training as to how to respond to inappropriate behaviours, the student had no sexuality education as to what is and isn't appropriate and the service did not want to know about it. It seemed that the more I tried to talk to the service, the less receptive they were to listening.

I was disheartened by my experience with this service, but surely not all disability service providers in my area are so ignorant when it comes to sexuality education? I called a few other services to ask about their sexuality education programs and/or policies. Not one of them acknowledged sexuality education as something they provide to their clients or staff. Some even laughed at the suggestion that this kind of education is important.

Sexuality education for people with disabilities is something that I used to facilitate (as my job) on a very regular basis, and only stopped because of time constraints. I am utterly devastated that something of such value and importance seems now to be all but non existent. I know used to feel frustrated at the lack of knowledge and understanding service providers, parents and carers had around what sexuality education is and why it is so important - but it was balanced out by the feeling of empowerment I would get from being able to share this information with people.

Now I just feel frustrated.

And I don't get it.

I really do not understand how people can be so ignorant and unwilling to change.

Did you know that 83% of women with a disability will be sexually assaulted in their life time?

Eighty. Three. Percent.

That's more than eight in ten.

I do not understand how people can hear that statistic and not be so disgusted and so outraged that they take action.

I do not understand how people in human services, who's job it is to support and advocate for people, can hear that statistic and not even acknowledge that something has to be done.

Something more.

Something different.

Just something.

So I am in a bad mood, and everything that is wrong with this picture is running around and around in my head.

I feel overwhelmed and dis-empowered and frustrated and angry.

And I have nothing else to offer yet.

When I can turn my thoughts around and find something other than what is wrong with this situation, I'll be sure to post that as well.

But for now, I am in a bad mood.