Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Guilt of the school holidays

Put your hand up if your at work right now and the little terrors beloved offspring are on holidays and being managed looked after by someone else.

My hand is up.

I didn't mean for it to be like this , I had every intention of being on holiday with them . But I have an excuse -  something came up which stopped me from being there. The problem is I always have something as an excuse.

I know there will be other holidays right ? And we have the weekends right?

Problem is I really do feel bad about it. School holidays are the one time that you should be together having fun and we have a rule in our family - its not a holiday unless everybody gets to relax.

I still remember in exact detail the family holidays I had when I was a kid. If you guessed that's because of the ones we did actually manage they were so memorable, you'd be right. When both parents work it becomes a real challenge to get the clan organised.

Driving to Noosa back in the '80s - My Dad getting the tools from the car and unbolting the TV from the wall it was chained to, so he and Mum could watch TV in their room at night while I slept on the couch.

Two weeks in an apartment in Mornington, waiting whilst the rain passed, peering constantly out of the worst colored curtains I have ever seen and we completed a 10,000 piece jigsaw of some obscure mountain.

image courtesy of

Anyway you get the picture, they're cherished moments (even if they don't seem it at the time).

Things were different when I was younger, school holidays that we didn't get to go away or  get sent to a relatives house, were a chance to explore. We were allowed to go to the cinema by ourselves on the tram. We were allowed to ride our skateboards up and down the street all day.

Now days if you allowed that and your kids were under 14 you'd probably get arrested.

I know my family are having a great time and I know that they understand why I can't be there, but guilt is a funny emotion. It allows you to justify yourself and then creeps back and reminds you with that uncomfortable nagging feeling of uncertainty.

So as I sit here whilst the family are on holidays and I get another phone call from them swearing they are ok with me not being there ( I know they are just saying that) it spurs me into action to not let it happen again.

After all it's not good when I'm left on my own, as who knows what I'll do ?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Survey time for all parents with toddlers.....

Time to help the world be a better place parents ! This survey is for all of my followers and avid readers with toddlers who are thinking have thought about swimming lessons.

A good friend of mine is putting together a website which is going to be all about giving parents resources and informatioon about teaching the minions beloved children to swim.

In order to make this happen they need you guys to provide some feedback if you can via this little survey -  htttp://

Its much appreciated and will go along way to helping all parents with what can be a pretty daunting task.

Thank you all in advance !

image courtesy of sodahead

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Its a real syndrome you know, you can catch it.....

As many of you know from this article I penned a while back, I am but a mere accessory to to The Organised one.
image coutesy of

Over the years we have been married I have enjoyed some amazing dinners and parties and met amazing people.
I have however  noticed that sometimes functions or commitments can become the subject of some concern. What seemed like a wonderful opportunity at the start of the week seems to be a real chore by the end of the week.

And to this end I have named the phenomenon

Social Commitment Remorse

Its the feeling you get when you say yes to someone or an event that you know you should go to but afterwards or later on, not want to go to.

How does this happen ?

Whilst it seems simple I think actually its a complex set of interwoven interactions that occur between the time the "Yes" is uttered and the actual time to show up occurs.

And it might even come down to the difference between men and women.

So if you think about how women wives people interact you would see invitations sent out constantly for all manner of events from the simple coffee catch ups right through to dinner parties etc.

And that's where the devil is in the detail. In order to expand the social circle, invitations will need to be accepted. For men it's simple they know what they want to do and with whom. For women however it's not that easy. They take into account other peoples feelings into account when making the decision.

So next time you are asked to something or to attend a social gathering, think carefully and remember this syndrome - anyone can catch SCR.

Don't let it be you or someone you love.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What your kids won't tell you (caution may contain truth)

As the proud father of two boys,  aged 11 (going on 37) and 8, I often forget that kids see the world exactly as it is. They do this without the clutter of years of experience and learning that we as adults have and then apply to our perception.

Kids , well mine anyway, have an unflappable ability to see any situation far more clearly and simply than I could ever have imagined.

image courtesy of

But, with that also comes another side to the coin, namely the truth and sometimes it will be truth you don't want out in the sunshine.
I don't mean kids are trying to be hurtful. Not at all, its just that sometimes the wind can be taken out of your sails far faster than you imagined.

Kids just don't dress up the truth, or engage in those little white lies that we as adults employ to preserve the feelings of others.

They just take this wonderful clarity and truth and pass it straight on to all and sundry !

"Hey Dad can I play with the big red ball in the bedroom"
"No mate, its Mums exercise ball"
"How do you know, she's never used it !"

"Hey Dad, we're going faster our our run today !"
"Maybe I'm getting fitter !"
"Nah there's just less people out today."

"Hey Johno ! Did you know my Dad once did a fart so huge he had to peel the doona off  the roof ? "

Another little gem is the eternal question " Hey Dad,  back in your day did ......"
What does back in my day even mean ? It's not like I've lived through a world war or anything significant like that.

Once again it's that simple clarity that the kids have and this time they used children time frames which are apparently very different to adults.

I'll never forget the time one of our friends family car pooled the eldest son home. They all got out of the car wiping tears out of their eyes. They saw me, stopped and calmly said  "So you're a pretty regular morning guy then ? " and all dissolved into fits of laughter.

Apparently it's OK to discuss my bodily functions and their timing in public. And yes I know in the post about boy humor and why it's different, I said it was funny but I meant about others, right ?

I think for a day I will  try talk to people just like the kids do. Straight to the point.

But not today.......

One day though.........

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Of Mice and Men.......

The first time The Beloved One knew that she might have more than just a husband on her hands, came very early on in the journey. Grandpa on the Go has a small piece of land and he actively farms it on weekends. (more often now that he is retired). This means we had to do many things that for normal people wouldn't even be given a second glance.

But for the two of us it becomes an epic adventure.

So GP says to me  " Hey, we need to get the dead branch out of the tree before it falls on the fence and breaks it."

" Plus it looks like some good firewood"

The " tree " he is talking about is some 30 meters high and the " dead branch " is about 2/3's of the way up and wedged tight.
image courtesy of

So as we collected the necessary tools, the future mother of our kids followed us around, ready to help where she could. Grandma gently took her aside, patted my new bride on the hand and told her calmly " it's best not to watch dear" and off they went.

So off we went as well. The idea was simple we would tie a rope around the branch to stop it falling on the fence and then we would, with another rope pull it out of the fork it was stuck in.

It was agreed that Grandpa would hold the rope stopping the branch hitting the fence and I would dislodge it.

Like this, it seemed a good idea at the time

The tree brach went down,

The rope tightened,

And Grandpa went up.

Imagine a teabag in a giant cup going up and down banging against the side of the cup, except the cup is a 100 foot Gum tree and Grandpa is the teabag.

After he let go and dropped to the ground he hobbled inside, his knee now the size of a basketball. Grandma calmly went about getting ice packs and pain killers, she was after all quite used to this.

After we had all finished for the day and after fixing the broken fence, my wife said to me "At least now I know and it won't be a suprise later on."

and she was right.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Relax Dad, its only because they care....

Today here in Australia it's fathers day. That wonderful celebration that's all about us Dads.

I'm not going to take to much of your time here but I do want to remind all the Dads out there of a couple of things :

1) The gift they got you is because they love you. It doesn't matter that its socks, undies or a weird tie. They bought it because you are the one thing they hold true on this day.

2) It's not a free pass day. So don't go telling your mother in law exactly how you feel. And under no circumstances should you get drunk and show everybody how you can climb a tree.

3) Enjoy yourself, its fathers day. Yes, your better half put all the hard yards in birthing the progeny, but remember you were there at the conception. And you'll always be their Dad.

4) Lastly you're probably the one they are going to come to for advice now and later on, so remember that the best advice comes from the heart. You will want to protect them from everything, but do the right thing and tell them the truth.

So happy fathers day all and  may all your days be filled with love and wonder as you watch your children grow.