Tuesday, 25 September 2012

These are my rules...

Somewhere in my twenties, ‘rules’ started appearing.  These weren’t created by any government, or any authority.  These were my rules, that I created as I went along.  Sometimes I didn’t even know I had these rules.  They would just suddenly appear when the situation called for it.  All it took was for one huge night on vodka slammers and boom!  There’s the birth of my “Sorry, I don’t drink vodka” rule.

One of these rules was that I wouldn’t have long hair after the age of 30.  And just for the record – the photo above is me at the ripe ol’ age of 39.   So clearly these rules are dynamic.  Organic, you could say.  They move and change with the times.  Or my age.  And just for the record, I still drink vodka.  But only in cocktails.

I always thought I would cut my hair at 30 and keep my hair short(ish) until the day I died.  Then I got closer to 30 and I moved the age to 35.  And now here I am at 39.  And my hair is the longest it’s ever been.  I don’t have anything against long hair.  I just believe(d) that long hair was for youth.  That once you hit a certain age, the tresses should come off and you should start growing old gracefully.

I recently discussed this with a close friend.  She was all for Team long-hair-after-40.  And I was arguing the case for short hair.  I used terms like “mutton dressed up as lamb” and “growing old gracefully” and she fired back with “look at Elle McPherson” and “I don’t buy into that stuff!”  She argued a good case.  I started looking around at my friends and a lot of us still have long hair, despite 40 breathing down our necks.  And maybe it’s because I’m older, or maybe because it’s true, but I think we’re rocking these long tresses quite nicely thank-you very much!

So instead of booking myself a hair appointment to get may hair cut short, I learnt how to style it properly, bought myself a GHD and some product and worked on getting my hair looking ‘salon fresh’.

And as for when I will actually chop these locks off – well I’ll just cross that bridge when I come to it.  But just quietly – I don’t think I’ll have long hair for my 45th birthday…

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

I cried my contacts out

So today was not a normal lunch for me.  Usually on a Tuesday I’m having lunch while Little Warrior sleeps and doing things on the computer.  But today was different.  Recently I’ve gotten hooked on the Australian television drama series “Love My Way”.

A friend recommended it after I’d devoured the entire seven seasons (plus the two movies) of Sex and The City and was left adrift in my television watching.  “Just don’t watch it when the kids are around” she said.  Another friend actually lent me Seasons One and Two, and when she handed them over, she also said “don’t watch it with the kids around”.  The word “bleak” was used and I was left with the impression that this clearly wasn’t going to be on par with Sex and The City.

So I started watching.  And I was hooked.  I just love, I mean LOVE watching these wonderful Australian actors doing their stuff.  I think they are just wonderfully compelling, extraordinary and touching.  And no more so than in today’s three episodes that I watched.  If you haven’t seen it, I won’t ruin it for you.  Suffice to say that something happened that made my heart stop for a bit.  It was a tragedy so awful and real that I was ugly-crying at my Halle Berry best.  I might have wailed a little.  I cried so much that I still have a headache.  And we are five hours post-incident.   I cried so hard that I had to take my contacts out.  They were seriously swimming around in my bucket o’ tears I was shedding.

I literally cried my contacts out.

I went to school pick-up today with my darkest sunnies on.  I saw my friend who recommended this series to me.  I whipped my glasses off and exclaimed “LOOK AT ME!  Just look at me!  I’m a friggin mess!”  We both agreed it was awesome Australian drama, but Jesus – it was just too close to the bone for me.  I’m not even sure I can watch Season two, but my friend assures me that the worst is over.  I’m not sure.

I haven’t been this distraught over a television series ‘incident’ since Molly died on a Country Practice.   I even started crying while I was explaining to The Architect how they filmed it when Molly “died”.  I still see Brendan running up that hill screaming “Molly!!!”

Oh God.  Here I go again…

And would I recommend it?  Yes I would.  If you haven't seen it - get a copy and watch it.  There's a reason it won the AFI Award for Best Television Drama Series for all of its three seasons.

Just don't watch it when the kids are around.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Is this a date?

So the Polynesian Princess had a friend over yesterday afternoon.  This friend is a boy.  This fact in and of itself doesn’t really mean anything and shouldn’t even be relevant.  But let’s take into consideration the following points:

  • Polynesian Princess announces to me weeks ago that “H is my boyfriend, Mum – he’s a good boy”.
  • Yesterday morning she said  “Mum, my heart was beating real fast because H is coming over today”
  • They emerged from the classroom holding hands.

When I look at all of this, then I think we’re dealing with a little crush.  But she’s only five.  Is this normal at this age?  And does it even matter?

There is a part of me that does worry that she's taking an interest in boys a little early.  And there's the other part of me that tells me to chill out and relax.  She's only five and so what if her friend happens to be a boy - this is all very innocent!  Right?

When I picked them both up from school yesterday the first thing I noticed was the hand-holding.  They looked so ridiculously happy - it was just the cutest thing. They held hands all the way to the car, and they just chatted away happily.  It was only once we were in the car and there was lots of whispering and giggling going on (and a very dramatic "don't tell my MUM!" from my daughter) that I allowed a stray thought float through my mind: “is this a date?” -  “am I on my daughter’s first date?!”

 Ridiculous to think, and I know that it’s not.  But seriously.  If you added 20 years to both of them, they were acting EXACTLY like I would have on a date!

They had such a great time together yesterday afternoon.  The hysterical laughing coming from the trampoline was such a delight to hear.  They both screamed and shouted “yeah!” when I announced that H would be staying for dinner.  I love it.  I love the enthusiasm and happiness children exude.  And I was so happy to watch them on their first playdate.

The following was what I wrote to finish off my post - because I actually wrote this yesterday, while H was over:

I’m not going to look too hard into this.  I’m going to let Polynesian Princess enjoy this time and not push my interpretation of things onto her.  So breathe Mama…all will be well.

And the following is actually the end of my post because there were developments after I hit "save":

During dinner, they both announced that they wanted to have a sleepover sometime soon.  Before I could answer, H started listing off his pending calendar appointments, ticking them off on his fingers.  “Well, I’m going away this week, and then we’re doing something that week, buuuut you could just talk to my Mum”.  Polynesian Princess in her excitement started yelling out "you could sleep in MY bed!".

Right.  Uh Huh.

And now I’m back to “breathe Mama…all will be well”….

Friday, 7 September 2012

To pay or not to pay...

A flyer was included in Polynesian Princess’s newsletter today.  It was about pocket money, and it got me thinking.  When do people start paying pocket money, if at all?

As a child I didn’t get pocket money, but I had chores.  I had to help clean the house, I made the lunches (for my Dad and myself, and when the time came, my baby brother) and I washed the dishes after dinner.  But I never felt like I was missing out, not getting pocket money.  If I ever needed money, I just got it.

But now that I’m a parent, I’m wondering whether it has some merit.  This flyer goes on to say that giving children pocket money from a young age can help them to learn about managing money.  This is a drawcard for me, because I used to be terrible with money.  Horrible.  Infact, when I first moved in with The Architect, he caught me throwing envelopes in the bin that clearly had red lettering on it.  He asked me what they were and I gave some kind of vague answer.  After fishing the envelopes out of the bin (oh yes he did), I finally confessed that I had an overdraft in Scotland, a credit card bill in New Zealand and two (count ‘em, TWO) huge credit card bills right here in Australia.  Just looking back at that sentence makes me cringe.  He was incredulous.  “I don’t understand”, he said “what do you use your credit card for?”  I was totally dumbfounded by his question.  Speaking to him like he was the village idiot, I said “I. Use. It. To. Buy. Things. I. Can’t. Afford”.  I mean d’uh….isn’t that what they’re for???  To say we had opposite views on this topic was a total understatement.

That night changed my financial life.  The Architect helped me manage and pay off all my debts.  It took me months to do, but that feeling of freedom when I was down to only one credit card with no money owing on it, is definitely up there on my “proud moments” list.  It changed the way I spent money.  I now have no credit card debt.  None.  Ever.

When we went on an around the world trip in 2005, I spent thousands upon thousands, and when we returned to Australia I owed nothing.  Why?  Because I was busy jumping online every few days to pay off whatever amount I had used in that period.  I actually became quite manic about having a zero balance.

But I digress.  This is about children and pocket money.  And I’m genuinely curious.  Do you give your child/ren pocket money?  How old were they when you started?  How much do you give? And is it directly related to chores?