FIRST DAY FAIL

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The kids went back to school this week after their long Summer break. The morning of the first day of school was a flurry of activity in our household, ensuring kids were wearing the correct uniform, had eaten breakfast and had packed their bags with all their labeled stationery, textbooks and workbooks.

As each of my kids backpacks seemed to weigh more than their body weight, I decided to drive my kids to school to help them get settled in their new classes.

As luck would have it, we arrived at school in torrential rain. Every other parent had managed to wrangle their kids into their car at the same time I had, so the traffic turning into our school snaked back a whole block. No parking spots were available once I actually reached the car park. After doing laps with increasing frustration, my eldest daughters opted to make a quick exit from the car to enter school. I barely managed to wish them well before the car door was slammed close and they ran through the pelting rain towards their classrooms and awaiting friends.

I finally managed to snag a parking spot and in torrential rain, tried to squeeze two children, 70 kilograms of textbooks and my oversized handbag under my compact umbrella.

We finally located the new classrooms, identified the new teachers and discovered which friends would be in this year’s class. Feeling relief that I had successfully managed (although somewhat saturated) to deliver my kids to school on time to start their new year of learning I left to consume a well-earned cup of coffee.

It was only later as I was idly scrolling through Facebook, that I noticed that I seemed to be the only parent that hadn’t memoralised the first day of school with a photo of my kids looking shiny and bright in their school uniforms. I was just glad to get all my kids the in car without a meltdown (mine not theirs) and then delivered to school on time, to even give a second thought to taking a photo.

I clearly missed the nostalgic photo opportunity clause in the parenting handbook. So my question to you is this – would it be weird if I took a day 3 photo? I mean what’s a few days between friends? I swear my kids haven’t grown in the last two days!

(Picture courtesy of digitalart, freedigitalphotos.net)

RAMBLINGS OF A CHILD’S MIND  

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The other day as I was driving in the car, I had a thought provoking discussion with one of my kids:

Kid: “Do you ever stop and think why do we have nails?”

Me: “Not really.”

Kid: “It’s weird when you think about it, why do we only have nails grow on our fingers and toes and not anywhere else on our bodies?”

Me: “Hmmm.”

Kid: “And who thought it would be a good idea to paint nails to make them colourful in order to look pretty?”

Me: “Ummm, I don’t know.”

Kid: “And what even is the purpose of nails?”

Me: “We have them for scratching!”

Kid: “Oh”

Then, as all good parents do, I changed the topic of discussion to distract my child from such rambling thoughts that I had never even considered, let alone had any useful information to impart.

What strange conversations have you had with your kids?

(Image courtesy of Praisaeng, freedigitalphotos.net)

TRIP TO THE ZOO

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It started out as an innocent and educational experience to entertain the kids in the school holidays – a trip to the zoo with three mums and nine kids. Trying to capture this beautiful experience with photos to share, I was patiently encouraging the kids to look at me whilst standing in front of an elephant. The kids had other plans, as they could not turn their attention away from the elephant. Hysterics rang out from the four pre-teen boys who were captivated with; well let’s call it the elephant’s fifth leg!

Until this point I had been oblivious to the fact that the elephant’s trunk wasn’t the only thing swinging in the breeze. All the mums stopped trying to take photos as we zoned in on what must be the longest appendage in the animal kingdom! How this elephant’s long schlong didn’t have gravel rash was beyond me.

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It took a while to quiet down the hysterics and loud exclamations about the size of his doodle. It is a unique type of embarrassment to hear a group of kids in your care, all yelling at each other whether they had seen the size of the elephant’s willy.

We managed to usher the kids away from the elephant enclosure to take in the seal show. As we watched on, the presenter ensured us we would be impressed by the next seal, which proceeded to balance on his front flippers exposing his excitement to crowd. I whispered to my friend that he wasn’t nearly as impressive as the elephant!

As the day drew to an end, we caught a gondola from the bottom entrance of the zoo back to the top, taking in the beautiful vista of Sydney Harbour. As it happens, the carriage goes straight over the elephant enclosure, which undid the good of all the distractions of the day, bringing the randy elephant back as the topic of discussion.

Our trip to the zoo was definitely entertaining and was absolutely an educational experience for us all – just not in the way that we had envisaged!

CUT FOR CANCER  

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BEFORE

My remarkable daughter has just chopped off her long, luscious locks in order to send her hair to a charity that makes wigs for people with cancer.

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AFTER

Last year my sister suggested to my daughter that the next time she cut her beautiful long hair she shouldn’t waste it – she should donate it to a charity. My daughter took the initiative to research charities that accept hair then took note of how long the minimum length the hair had to be. For months she has been measuring how long her hair was so that she could conform to the donation rules. Finally yesterday she was ready, so with zip lock bag in hand and hair elastics to keep the hair tied neatly together in a ponytail, we visited the hairdresser with strict instructions that the hair must be clean, not have any product in it, not touch the ground, nor even be slightly wet before we sealed the 30 centimetre ponytail in an air tight bag for delivery to her charity of choice (Pantene Beautiful Lengths).

At an age when most tweens would be wanting the longest hair possible or even to start colouring their hair, my daughter made the choice to put someone else’s needs above her own which in my eyes makes her far more beautiful than someone with long, dyed hair. She doesn’t get any reward for making this choice, other than the knowledge that she has helped someone in their time of need. Her choice doesn’t stem from a personal connection to someone suffering cancer, she is just empathetic to the strains put on women who have to lose their hair in order to treat their cancer and she is grateful for her own good health, so to make this small sacrifice is just an altruistic choice.

I couldn’t be prouder of her and to top it off, I think her shorter hair really suits her proving that (although I may be a bit biased) she is truly beautiful inside and out.