When I'm 16...

A conversation I overheard between Miss V, Miss F and a few other kids at the park...

Girl in green: "When I'm 16 my mummy says I can get my ears pierced!"

Girl in yellow: "When I'm 16, I'm allowed to go on a plane by myself!"

Boy in blue: "When I'm 16 I can drive a car!"

Miss V: "When I'm 16, I can join Mensa!"

Which is nothing compared to...

Miss F: "When I'm 16 I'm allowed to have sex."

Brought to you by the letters T and J

TJ has been with us for almost 5 months now. I adore him, his sense of humour and his good nature, he is the best big brother I could ever have wished for my girls and I am grateful for every moment he is part of our family.

TJ's parents live interstate, and although they have a hard time communicating when it comes to feelings and "stuff", they love him very much.

By TJ's own description his parents are, "as straight as I am weird".

TJ has started writing letters to his parents, because phone conversations don't seem to be a great way for them to communicate.

Yesterday he asked to stop by the post office to send them his letter. He was more excited about sending this letter than any of the letters before. He had a big grin on his face and was almost jumping up and down on the spot while he waited for a stamp. He put his letter into the post box and clapped his hands together a few times, by way of send off.

I assumed that being the end of his first week at school, TJ was just excited about sharing this with his parents.

I assumed wrong.

Last night, after the other kids had gone to bed, TJ came and sat beside me.

"Al, there's something I need to tell you."

Uh - oh.

TJ, "In the letter I sent my parents today... I told them I was gay."

Me, "OK."

TJ, "But I'm not gay."

Me, "Right. That's an interesting thing to tell your parents if you don't think it's true. Why do you think you did that?"

TJ, "Just to see what their reaction would be. It will be big, won't it?"

Me, "I don't know, TJ. It will be a lot for them to process. Do you want them to do all that work processing something about you that might not be true?"

TJ, "Yes. No. I don't know. I want them to think I'm weird like you so I can stay here forever."

Me, "Do you think being gay is weird?"

TJ, "NO! But they do. And if they think I'm too weird they won't want me back."

Me, "I see. TJ, why do you think your parents agreed to let you come and stay here originally?"

TJ, "Because I ran away."

Me, "OK, and why did you run away?"

TJ, "Because I wanted to come stay with you."

Me, "OK. So your parents let you come and stay here, because you wanted to."

TJ, "I guess."

Me, "And when we went down before Christmas and you said you wanted to camp with us and not stay in the house, what did they say?"

TJ, "They said OK."

Me, "Right. So your parents are pretty good at listening to what you want, really, aren't they?"

TJ, "I guess."

Me, "So maybe talking to them about what you want would have been a better way of communicating than telling them something that you thought would get a reaction."

TJ, "Yeah. Probably. [Pause] But telling them I am gay is heaps funner!"

Me, "Is it fun when people lie to you?"

TJ, "No, not really. I shouldn't have lied, should I?"

Me, "It's more important what you choose to do about it now."

TJ, "I could send another letter?"

Me, "Sure. You can send it express post if you like."

TJ, "Yeah! I'll send another letter express post... And I'll say I might be gay, instead!"

Me, *Stifled laughter* "That sounds like a great idea."

Miss Thoughtful

Miss V, "Mum? Did you know that the Chinese believe coffee is poisonous to human bodies? Because I just tipped the coffee down the sink. To help you."

Booty Call


Mobile phone rings

Unknown number

Me, ".... Hello..?"

Telemarketer, ".................................................. Hello. Mrs [Insert badly pronounced surname here]?"

Me, "Maybe.... What are you selling....?"

Telemarketer, "Congratulation! (No, that's not a typo, he said congratulation without the s) You have been randomly selected to receive a free anniversary gift from company X [I asked said company to join us for this blog post, sadly, they declined).

Me, "Oooohhh a freebie! My husband will be thrilled when he forgets to buy me something!"

Telemarketer, "You can have an anniversary night to remember with our free sample of [some drug thing that enhances sexual function in men]."

Me, "No way!!! Really?!?!"

Telemarketer, "Yes. Let me tell you a bit about our product. It is all natur...."

Me, "Mate - If you can give my husband a hard on for the night, I will give you a million dollars!"

Telemarketer, "Er... What is his dysfunction?"

Me, "Death."


Me, "What...... Is that a problem?"

Telemarketer, "Umm.. Sorry to bother you..."

[Dial tone]

Honestly... Telemarketers these days have no stamina.

Thanks Henry

In this family, we're big believers in the power of thought - all that think positive, create your own reality, law of attraction, hippy stuff that makes lots of people roll their eyes and others nod in agreement. Thinking thoughts that are uplifting and empowering is something I try to teach the Kewl Kids, and I always try to pass on beliefs to them that will serve them well and help them to achieve their dreams (as we all do as parents, in our own way).

The Kewl girls are already pretty good at the whole law of attraction thing. A few weeks ago I was reminded of the quote: "Whether you think you can or you think you can't - Either way you are right." from Henry Ford. When I passed this on to the girls we talked about it for a while and they recognised it very quickly as something they could use to their advantage.

"Mummy, I think I can have chocolate cake for dinner - So I am right, hey mum?!"

Yeah. Right.
In my adulterated ignorance I rolled my eyes and told them - nice try - but the saying was not meant to be taken that literally.

Not more than 20 minutes later, Mary Poppins walked in the door with a big chocolate cake for us to share after dinner.

Today Miss J and Miss F took their mind powers to the next level.

We had to go to the big shopping centre and just because I like a challenge, I took the kids with me. My kids are pretty good when it comes to resisting the brightly coloured, cheery sounding, kewl light flashing, perfect kid height, button happy machines filled with al kinds of consumer crap - but even the best kids are not immune.

About 10 meters from the exit, I was almost home free when Miss F spotted something she just HAD to waste her money on try. A big obnoxious machine full of electronic gadgets, from mini watches right up to digital cameras and iphones. Miss F had spied an mp4 player and decided if she raided savings (all $2 worth) she would finally be able to afford the music playing, video displaying gadget she didn't know she wanted until she saw it 30 seconds ago! She had also spied the flashy words that claimed: "EVERYBODY WINS!" and "PRIZE GUARANTEED!"

I tried explain that these machines did not often give away the expensive prizes - that even though "a" prize was guaranteed, this could mean one of the cheap ones and not the one she wanted - but Miss F was not having it.

"Mummy! It's MY money and I think I can have that player!"

So I stopped resisting and got her to close her eyes and picture the player dropping off the hook and falling into the basket at the bottom of the machine, then to see herself reaching in and taking it out, holding it in her hands in front of her.

She opened her eyes, put her coin in the slot and pushed the button.

Then she watched with expecting eyes as her mp4 player dropped off the hook and fell into the basket at the bottom of the machine. She reached in, took it out, held it in her hands in front of her and giggled.

While I was picking my jaw up off the ground, Miss J took $2 from her bag and pointed at the second, and last, mp4 player.

"Mummy, I think I can have one, too."

So we did the same thing - Miss J pictured the player dropping from the hook and falling into the basket, then reaching in, taking it out and holding it in her hands in front of her.

I don't know what the chances are of getting two of the exact same, high value prizes from a novelty machine like that...

But I don't think it matters.

I wonder what Henry Ford would think if he knew he was helping to enable the shopping habit of two 5 year olds...?

I've forgotten how to talk about my children

I've been wondering for the last couple of weeks, why my blogging inspiration seems to be at an all time low. I have wanted to blog, we're back from our Woodford Christmas and the neighbourhood is full of kids on holidays willing to play entertainment committee for my kids on holidays, so I've had time to blog... And it's not like with 5 kids and a gazillion animals and a bunch of visiting circus freaks I've got nothing to blog.
But the blog archive does not lie. One post for December. One post for January. And really, not much to be inspired by before that.

While pondering my lack of bloggy-ness, I received a text message from an old friend. We bantered back and forth for a few messages, than she sent this: "And what about those kewl kids, have they written their first best seller yet?"
I began to reply, "No best seller but Miss V is editor of a weekly "goodnewsletter" for our town's local paper!"

Then I deleted it.

Because you can't say stuff like that to other parents about your 3 year old, can you? Certainly not without a) sounding like you're bragging, b) discouraging the other person from telling you anything about their kids in the future or c) developing a reputation for being a smart arse that people don't want to talk to any more.

If not all three.

I think that's when I realised that I've forgotten how to talk about my children. Not just on this blog, but in general. When people ask how they're doing I make wide sweeping comments like, "Oh they're good. Miss F and Miss J have been approved for home learning this year and Miss V is looking forward to being the first 3 year old to take over the world."
All true, but not necessarily specific.
A more honest answer would be, "Well, Miss J and Miss F's home learning application was knocked back because the curriculum we outlined was too far ahead and would make them too smart - but we dumbed it down a bit and now we're good to go. And Miss V broke her own record for solving a rubicks cube last week - she's now down to 5 hours 20 minutes."

But you can't say stuff like that about your kids, can you?

It's not that I'm not bursting with pride. It's not that I don't want to talk about them 24/7. It's not that we're not the same kind of family, with the same kinds of values and beliefs as always.
It's just that my kids got smart. And I stopped talking about them because you just don't do that.

That is probably the most ridiculous reason for not doing something I've EVER admitted to. And I'm not going to conform to it any more.

I'm not going to filter what I say about my children in case other people get offended any more. That is definitely not a value I want for myself or my children.

Yes, Miss F can do back flips on the trampoline. We're circus freaks - so what?
Yes, Miss J can explain, in great detail, why sunflowers follow the movement of the sun from dawn until dusk. She likes sunflowers - so what?
Yes, Miss V can talk to Mr R's physiotherapist about skeletal alignment and hyper extension and muscle flexion and centre of gravity and counter balancing and... stuff. She asks lots of questions - so what?
Yes, my kids can speak fluent Auslan. Their favourite Aunty is Deaf - so what?
Yes, my kids can read facial expressions with an ease and speed belying their ages. We value emotional intelligence - so what?

We are who we are. I never want my children to think they have to be any more or any less for other people. So from now on, I'm going to talk about them with the pride and acknowledgement and respect that they deserve.

It's just what you do. Right?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most.

We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?'

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us.

And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

~Nelson Mandela

My kids are hilarious

There have been some hysterically funny bits of life with the 5 Kewl kidlets of late... So too kick off blogging in 2010 I thought I'd share a few!

Yesterday, Mr R was playing a soccer type game on TJ's nintendo thingy (I know it's called a DS, I just refuse to acknowledge it!). TJ was watching over Mr R's shoulder when all of a sudden he exclaimed,

"Woah! You can kick great for a kid with no legs!!!"

We had a fantastically exciting start to the new year - On the 1st of January, 2010, Sammi and Mary got married!!! Being a same sex relationship, they prefer the term "committed" to "married"... And instead of being pronounced wife and wife, they were pronounced committed.
This was hilarious enough given the pshych ward terminology reference, so when they were pronounced committed and then Miss V cried, "Hooray! My lesbians are crazy in love!"... Well, that just topped it off perfectly!

Miss J has really embraced her roll as big sister to a little brother. She has also really embraced the advantages of said little brother having no lower limbs. This week, she put on her caring big sister hat and taught 2yo Mr R his longest - and arguably most impressive - sentence yet...

"Help me! Help me! I can't feel my legs!"

A couple of weeks ago one of the boys in our home learning community (K) asked Miss F if he could be her girlfriend. From the moment she said yes I began hyperventilating and having heart palpitations. Miss F was experience the same symptoms, but for a very different reason. All swoony and fluttery-eyed, she said to me, "Oh mummy, if the world fell to pieces, K would put it back together again! And he would make sunshine, and rainbows, and all of the beautiful flowers!"

With this in mind, possibly the best news of 2010 (as far as this mother is concerned, anyway!) is that this week, K infected Miss F with conjunctivitis.
So she dumped him.
And she has sworn off boys, forever.

You know, I think I'm going to like 2010. And if the first week is anything to go by, I'm definitely going to need more clean underwear.