Tag Archives: children

#CBCA2015 Celebrating Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Week 2015 – Chloe Prime : Alien Space Vet, Chapter Two #BookWeek

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This week was Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book Week. In celebration of this wonderful event, that helps bring the spirit of fandom to children’s reading, I am going to pop up chapter 2 of Chloe Prime: Alien Space Vet. Chapter 1 is HERE for people that have missed it. Enjoy, and I hope you enjoyed all the celebrations around Book Week that took place.

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Chapter Two: Greedy Goldfish

The next morning Chloe lay in her backyard pulling faces at her reflection in her fishpond. Meanwhile her mother rushed about inside the house getting Chloe’s things ready for school. Chloe enjoyed listening to the gentle trickle of water running through her backyard and the feel of the soft blue-green grass on her stomach. She reached out her hand and gently ran it through the cool water, carefully not to scare the fish. Chloe laughed at her funny faces as she waited for the fish to surface for their feed. One fish nearly leapt out of the water in fright as it came up for air to the sight of Chloe flaring her nostrils and pulling her lips back over her gums. Chloe giggled excitedly at the response and kicked her legs up behind her; her metallic leg braces glinted in the sunlight.

Leg braces might have slowed some children down but not Chloe Prime. She had been born with hip dysphasia which meant that her hip sockets were out of phase with her legs and had not formed properly. Despite the braces, Chloe was an utter tear about. She could often be seen leaping about her backyard playing ‘Super Ninja Rabbeets’ with her best friend, the amazing Hippopotati, Joshua Suza.

Chloe stood up and moved around the fishpond that she loved scouting for fish. She followed the small stream that sprang from the pond winding its way around the lush green yard. Chloe stopped and flopped down on one of the two small bridges that crossed the stream. She reached out her hand and softly parted the ferns that grew around the water, peeking in carefully to check for fish. She was hoping to be able to hand feed a few of her favourite fish friends before heading off to school.

“Chloe…” A voice drifted out to the yard disrupting Chloe’s face pulling. “Have you fed the fish yet?”

“In a minute Mum.” The little girl called back, quickly rushing back to the pond.

“You’ll be late for school. You better get a wriggle on.”

Chloe wriggled cheekily on the spot and then grabbed a tiny cube of bread from a basket beside her. She hovered the cube over the water and waited. Pretty soon a large bright orange fish broke the surface, mouth eagerly open. Chloe gently popped a piece of bread in the gapping gob and watched the fish duck back under the surface. She repeated this process for a few minutes with fish of a variety of bright oranges and pearl white, and any splotchy combination of the two colours.

“Chloe.” Mum’s voice cut through the quiet garden again. “Hurry up Sweetie. I’ve packed your bag, and the school shuttle will be here soon.”

“Two more minutes Mum.” Chloe called back.

Chloe kept emptying her bread basket into the pond. SPLASH! All of a sudden a big greedy fish leapt from the surface and tried to snatch a piece of bread from another fish. Chloe gasped in shock.

‘No, no, no! Naughty Glen,’ Chloe scolded the silly, snatching fish. ‘You know you can’t have bread. It makes your tummy sad. You don’t want to have a sad tummy do you?’

Glen’s guilty gills could be seen skulking below the surface, and he looked pleadingly at Chloe with his big, sad, googly eyes.

‘Don’t pout Greedy Glen,’ Chloe said. ‘I’ve brought rice crackers for you.’

This cheered glum Glen up no end, and he did a little fishy dance flicking his tail in excitement. He positively leapt for the rice crackers and gobbled them all up. Poor Glen could not have gluten without getting a big, bloated belly. It was very unfortunate for a bread loving goldfish. Luckily for Glen he was owned by Chloe Prime who had always been very good with animals. She just seemed to understand them. Glen had been her first patient and possibly most difficult patient. You see Glen was a bit of a glutton and he loved gluten so he was not exactly forthcoming with telling Chloe his issues. So Chloe was forced to use scientific methods in order to help gluttonous Glen. As she fed her fish each morning Chloe had noticed that Glen always got sick shortly thereafter. As he always got sick after food she believed that it must be the food. So Chloe scientifically tested out different fish foods until she discovered that Glen would swell up with any foods containing gluten but was fine when given rice or oats. As a result of Chloe’s careful testing Glen remained a happy and healthy fish some seven years later.

Fortunately future patients were a little more forth coming with information. Dogs would walk past complaining that they itched. Cats would wonder by wanting more water. Frogs would hippedy hop along saying they wanted a friend. Chloe would dutifully pass on this message to their owners. But despite Chloe’s expertise with animals there was one little hiccough. Try as she might she could never quite seem to understand insects. Each morning when she finished feeding her fish she would sit, cross legged with her eyes closed, trying to hear what the insects had to say to her. Sometimes she thought she could almost hear their words but she never could quite work out exactly what was being said. And so Chloe Prime sat, crossed legged listening for a message, on that very morning.

‘Chloe Prime,’ Mum’s voice cut through Chloe’s concentration. It was clear from Mum’s tone that she meant business. ‘I can hear the shuttle, you better come now.’

Somehow Mum could always hear the shuttle a good five minutes before it came. She seemed to have supersonic hearing. Mum could hear all manner of things, there was no keeping secrets of any kind with Mum around. Chloe scrunched up her little nose and twisted her lips, annoyed to be interrupted before she could hear anything. She quickly tossed another handful of bread into the goldfish pond and rushed inside calling goodbye to her fish friends. She really did not want to be late for her first day at school and miss out on any potential exploits.

Chloe Prime was an adventurer to the core. She was only ten but exploration was in her blood and adventure was in her bones. Chloe was related to the late and great Sir Giovanni Colompedia. One of the greatest explorers that the galaxy had ever known, he had travelled the universe in the twenty third century. Colompedia had discovered many new sights; including the very planet that Chloe lived on now. The adventurous Miss Prime was ready for New Earth Beta Campus but was it ready for her?

The inside of Chloe’s home was quite different from the outside. The outside was all lush green trees and ferns mixed with the gentle sound of trickling water. There was a constant gentle hum of insects and the popping noises of air bubbles reaching the surface of the water. The air was cool and crisp and tasted of fresh moisture. Chloe dearly loved her backyard but she also loved the inside of her house. It was white and clean yet still homey and always smelt of something being freshly baked. Chloe ran into her huge kitchen where she found Mum waiting for her, school bag in hand.

‘Can I smell double jam space biscuits?’

‘Already in your lunchbox,’ Mum replied, helping Chloe put on her school bag.

‘Have you packed enough for Joshua?’

‘Of course,’ Mum smiled.

‘What’s for lunch?’ Food was very important to Chloe.

‘You’ll have to wait and see,’ Her mum gently replied, taking Chloe by the hand to walk outside.

Chloe was serious about food and she was serious about flavour. She always loved to try the different things her mum made. Some kids always bought food from the school lunchroom but not Chloe. She always brought something fresh from home. The rich mineral soil of Giovanus meant that all of Earth’s food could be grown along with new delicious alien foods. Chloe felt her mother was aiming to become an expert in it all. Chloe did not know what kind of food she liked best. She enjoyed tucking into an Earthly lasagne as much as snacking on Neptunian urchin fruit. All Chloe really knew was that she was assured of a good lunch today. And to be perfectly honest, does anything else really matter?

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Happy Mother’s Day, You’re Not Good Enough

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So it’s Mother’s Day and you thought breakfast in bed and some chocolates were in order? Wrong. Let’s sling some hate your way. No you can’t have a day where your family says thanks, you have to have a day where other people flame you, because that’s the Ozzie way. So let me start on all the ways myself and my fellow mothers suck and deserve to be persecuted. Please note this is all done tongue in cheek… or is it. We suck!

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If you’re a stay at home mum, I’m sorry but you’re lazy, and everyone hates you, especially working mums. Because apparently you do nothing all day, because mothers with full time jobs can keep their kids happy, healthy, and functioning, all whilst working full time… As they of course are doing it all we can only assume that their children are roaming the streets. Because it would be a tad hypocritical for a working mother to tell a stay at home mother that they don’t do as much as them if in fact whilst they’re at work they are paying someone to look after their kids, because that would imply looking after kids is WORK!

Working mums, sorry everybody hates you too. You selfishly work and neglect your children. You should be charging into Primary School every lunchtime so that your ten year old can suckle at your teat. Clearly you are a lesbian, feminist, child hating, man hating destroyer of society. You should be getting pleasure from being a woman and doing woman’s work. You are a burden on society because you insisting on working means we need far too much childcare and you have contributed to the destruction of traditional family values. Why not put on devil horns and be done with it.

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Do you work from home like me and have flexible hours? Well you’re the most hated of the lot. You suck. You’re not a real stay at home mum because you actually want to get work done at times, and you’re not a real working mum because seriously you just sit in PJs until noon. You quite simply are the worst of all worlds. You work too much to be able to properly look after your children but you don’t work enough to be wonder woman. Some woman have it all, you have nothing. You bitches!

Do you breastfeed? You are a stuck up bitch who lords your mammary glands over everyone else. You only breastfeed because you want to show other woman that you’re better than them. In fact you probably wouldn’t care if your baby starved. You depraved nipple possessing heathen. Stop being so stuck up, we know you have boobs, we get it. Why do you have to prove it by feeding your child? What kind of sicko feeds their child?

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Do you formula feed? Wow, why did you even have children? You must hate them. You don’t want to breastfeed so much that your bitter little nip nips won’t even express a drop of precious golden milk just as God intended. Why don’t you just feed your child heroine because that’s what formula is!?! Stop acting like it is some sort of scientifically created nourishment that will help you feed your hungry child. It’s toxic garbage.

Do you mix feed? What the hell is wrong with you? Are you pro feeding or something? You just care that a child is happy, healthy and fed? Pick a side you sicko! You’re as bad as mothers who work from home with flexible hours. You’re not enough of anything. For shame.

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Do you make updates about how proud you are of your children? Well stop. Nobody wants to read about the good things in your life. In fact you must only be writing good things because you are a closet child hater. You’re covering your arse. Bastard. I cannot believe you are so twisted that you think your friends would actually want to take joy in the things that make you happy. As if friends care about your happiness. Next tell me about how happy you are with your exercise regime. As if I take joy in your joy. Taking joy in other people’s achievements is weird. We must all be miserable and bitter.

Do you make updates asking questions or asking for support during difficult times? If you were a good mum then you would know the answers. You’re just a drama queen looking for people to give you sympathy. How dare you want sympathy on a hard day? How dare you expect your friends to love and support you? You’re a mother, you don’t deserve love and respect and support anymore.

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Do you exercise? Yes? Well isn’t that nice for you. Your children must be running the streets injecting heroine into their eyeballs whilst you do that. There is no possible way for you to do that if you are looking after your children properly. If you love your children you will be spending time with them, not taking thirty minutes a day to exercise.

Do you exercise? No? You disgust me and are an embarrassment to your children. Not only that, you are a terrible influence on your kids. Your disgustingly unhealthy lifestyle is rubbing off on your children. They are going to become sedentary and just sit watching TV all day. Because that’s what you do, if you’re not exercising you must be just sitting on your butt doing nothing. If you loved your children you would be exercising and demonstrating a positive lifestyle to them.

Are you a single mum? You’ve ruined your children’s lives because you haven’t provided them with a stable home, because a stable home isn’t about love and support it’s about how many parents are in the house.

Are you part of a couple or married? You intolerant, fake, human being. Your smugness sickens me. Your kids will be jerks because you think you’re better than everyone else because you have a traditional home life.

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Are you a lesbian mum? See – Are you a single mum? You and your wonton ways will be the ruin of our society, the ruin.

Did you have a vaginal birth. Ewww. Your sons will hate vag now so will be gay and your daughter will love it so will be lesbians.

Did you have a C section. Wow, too posh to push, I don’t care about your health conditions and how you and your baby/babies could die, or you could be permanently incontinent. You posh bitch.

And now for the latest round of shaming that I never even dreamed was possible, courtesy of Facebook. Did you keep your child in your belly for long enough. Here’s the status update chaining its way around.

In honor of Mother’s day, post the name, birthday, due date, and weight of your child(ren). Then post in comments so your fellow mothers can post onto their wall.

Name: 
Birthday: 
Due Date: 
Weight: 

If you are before your due date, in particular if you are more than three weeks beforehand (37 weeks is full terms so you are still okay and your fanwah is functional from 37-39 weeks, I guess, not perfect just okay, don’t get too proud of your nethers), you have a sucky vagina. If you are late with big babies, you’re a lazy chocolate eating beast who poisoned your child in the womb. If you had it on the due date, you’re anal. Good luck with that.

 

So just let it be known, whatever kind of mamma you are, you suck. So no happy Mother’s Day to you. You suck, and society hates you and guess what, so do other mums. So have a Sucky Mother’s Day, ya bitch!

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Although, just a little side note away from the general humour of this piece, if you have friends who come from abusive backgrounds, perhaps you shouldn’t be raving on about Mother’s Day to them. It’s a little like pouring salt in their wounds because they don’t have a lovely mamma like you to celebrate, and they’re probably quite sad about that. So maybe show them some love too. Compassion.

Impractical Parenting: DO expect me to fall all over myself because you’re A Parent

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Not happy Jan!

Happy fucking Mothers Day! Compassion, where is it? Seriously, I am getting very tired of all these articles about how mothers expect people to fall all over themselves just because they’re a parent. Well, let me give it to you quite simply. SHOW SOME COMPASSION! I’m a mother, I have a three year old daughter and one year old twin boys and I can assure you that I do not want people to “fall all over themselves” just because I am a parent. And here’s another little secret, none of my parent friends want you to either. However, we would all like a little bit of decency and respect shown to us. Is courtesy so hard? I show people courtesy, regardless of if they are single, married, young, old whatever, I expect a little common courtesy in return. So how about we all just operate on an understanding that everybody has shit to do, everybody had issues, and let’s just make this world a better place, not a worse one, for other people. Maybe try that out of vogue thing called “Random Acts of Kindness.” I’d like to just operate under the system of – Be Nice To One Another.

But if you are so uptight that doing anything that is not 100% your way is so foreign to you that you think of it as a complete affront to your sensibilities, how about I give you a few ideas on how to respect and accommodate your parent friends without “having to fall all over yourself.” (If anyone else read that same article that has me so steamed, you probably also read the one putting down Stay At Home Mothers, I’ll be ranting about that one when I get a chance too. Seriously, just be nice people. Everybody is doing it tough.)

  1. If you are crossing a footpath and are perfectly able bodied, you can step up on the gutter… MUCH HARDER FOR PEOPLE WITH PRAMS! So perhaps make that ultimate sacrifice and step up and allow people with prams, infirm and people in wheel chairs to use the dips in the guttering that provide ramps, which they actually need. Shocking I know. The idea of stepping an inch to the side. I do it naturally when I use a crossing sans-pram, step up, and don’t even consider it falling all over myself to accommodate people who need the ramp in the guttering. Maybe try and see if you can do such a thing without it ruining your life.
  2. Don’t whine to people with young children about how hard it is for you to visit them because they live x far away and they should visit you. Let’s even forget the fact that it is way easier for one or two adults to get in a car and drive somewhere than it is for someone to load three kids, a pram and a couple of porta-cots. Because honestly, the fact that it is way easier for someone who considers compassion to be a foreign concept really won’t care about ease anyway. So let me appeal to your logic, you ask for a fifty-fifty split in going to each other’s places, go right ahead but do expect to live up to fifty-fifty in every single other area of the friendship. You call fifty percent of the time, you arrange things fifty percent of the time, and you do fifty percent of everything. If you don’t have the compassion to be able to literally travel the extra mile when it is easier for you, I doubt you have the compassion to give fifty-fifty in other areas either. So take your pick. Step up in your friendship or step up in your travel.
  3. Don’t tell mothers that you didn’t decide to have children so why should you have to tolerate them. FUCK OFF! That’s what you deserve to have said to you. Over and over again. Unfortunately, your parents did decide to have a child, and it was you, you who apparently wishes that no children could be seen or heard… which translate to, no children exist. Go off and live in a forest away from all. Adults were children once, if you want to interact with adults, well, they have to get through their childhood first. Nobody is asking a child hater to look after their child, or even spend time with them. You’re not the kind of person we want influencing our kids’ minds. But yes, kids will be breathing your same oxygen on the footpath. They’ll even be there on the train when you are, they’ll be serving you coffee at Maccas, and heaven forbid, babies, who cannot use words to communicate their disdain for you, will cry in your ear space. So really, show some tolerance or move to the mountains. Here’s another hot tip, people will burp, fart and sneeze in your air space too. Even if you choose not to emit gasses others will. So really, you should just go live a life of hermitude. Sorry that we humans and our tiny offspring piss you off so much, hopefully you’ll find enlightenment when you’re on your own away from our filthy populace.

I could go on but I said a few and I think I have vented my spleen enough. Seriously over this whole, put everyone down and don’t show any compassion to people thing that is popular today. It is like people have worked out that racism and homophobia is not okay but instead of putting their hatred aside and realizing it is toxic they have simply lumped it onto mothers. On behalf of all mothers, We’ve got enough shit, go peddle your hate elsewhere.

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My boys looking guilty because they dared exist when there are people out there who didn’t want children… they also fart in your general direction.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

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My bright eyed babes

Apparently my boys turn one tomorrow. I’m not ready. They’re so little and cute. They’re my last babies. Just… no…. tear. I want to hug them and love them forever but I know when they’re 15 they possibly won’t let me scoop them both up at the same time, and kissing their bellies will definitely be out. Sigh… Le Sigh. Ugh… I tell you what, they came 8 weeks early, so can I pretend that they’re not one for another eight weeks?

Fresh home from hospital, even 0000 were swimming on them.

Fresh home from hospital, even 0000 were swimming on them.

“All I Want For Christmas Is You” … and books, mainly books

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Trust me, he wanted a book not that sweater.

Have you left Christmas shopping until December? Have you just realised that stores are now zoos full of rabid animals? Never fear, I can and will help you… well,  not so much me as books. Books can and will solve your problems. So here are my Christmas recommendations for those of you without the time to think.

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Where Do You Hide Two Elephants? by Emily Rodda. Ridiculously cute picture book.

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The Red Wind by Isobelle Carmody. For the lover of fantasy. Added bonus, yes it is a series. We fantasy geeks love a good series.

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Impossible Quest Series by Kate Forsyth. The first two books are already out. Get into them before they blow out Harry Potter style. Fantastic kids series.

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The Protected by Claire Zorn. Incredibly moving YA novel about grief, resilience… I actually have to stop writing about this novel now because I’m tearing up just thinking about it. It’s powerful stuff. I’ll leave it at that.

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The Fictional Woman by Tara Moss. Non Fiction exploration of stereotypes and beliefs thrust upon women/Tara Moss. That description does not do it justice at all. Captivating read. Just go out and get it for any and all women you know.

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Under Siege by Belinda Neil. A memoir about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It rings true for a lot of mental illnesses though, such as depression and anxiety,  not only PTSD, so is highly accessible.

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Holiday in Cambodia by Laura Jean McKay. For you travel bug friend. Get Destination Cambodia by Walter Mason as a companion piece. Your friend will love you forever. I’m trying not to literally laugh out loud remembering the “dangerously jolly” scene in Destination Cambodia.

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The Black Dress by Pamela Freeman. Get it for the woman who wants to read about strong women and also anyone with an interest in religious history. A truly excellent read about Mary MacKillop.

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Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. Yes, you can believe the hype. Buy it for yourself for Christmas.

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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. For your historical fiction loving friends who enjoy some romance.

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The Nightingale by Fiona McIntosh. Another beautiful romantic historical fiction novel.

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Fishing for Tigers by Emily Maguire. For the Literary snob who secretly likes it a bit sexy. In other words,  exceptionally well written but they get down to business.

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Avoiding Mr Right by Anita Heiss. For the woman who likes the idea of chick lit but needs something with a bit more depth.

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Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan. Styled as young adult but so brilliant. Honestly,  it’s for any adult, young or old, human or seal. A beautiful take on the Selkie myth.

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Blood and Circuses by Kerry Greenwood. Love a light murder mystery and the cover is very cool. Seriously, I know you can’t judge a book by its cover but… well… we do.

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Animal People by Charlotte Wood. Slightly traumatising but oh so good. For your friend who likes a bit of real life grit.

Okay Christmas peoples,  go forth and part with your cash. Probably online, so you can avoid the people. Mwah.

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Confessions of a Mad Mooer: screw you stress protect woman!!!

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Nivea Stress Protect Mum

I like many women have watched the Stress Protect Antiperspirant ads with much envy. She’s so beautiful, happy, well dressed and organised. She looks like the type of mum who has time to brush her hair every single day. The kind of mum who goes to the toilet on her own. In short, a total mole that we’re all jealous of. Oh how I longed to be her. Now I know better. That bitch has got nothing.

This morning as I walked around Darling Harbour, with my twins in their pram and my three year old on my back in an ergo, dripping with sweat, I thought, “Screw you Nivea Stress Protect Woman, you’ve got nothing on me.” And honestly,  she’s got nothing on any real mum. Sure she’s walking about looking all fresh faced and beautiful, but she’s doing it with ONE HAPPY KID, a phone and a bag of groceries, that’s it. Let’s see her do it with one angry kid, her work on the phone telling her that her miscarriage is inconvenient to them because now she won’t be on maternity leave (not that I’m bitter and still mad two years later… mofos), plus groceries in a broken bag, the toddler’s discarded shoes with a million other things the toddler has produced from seemingly nowhere, and a husband who turns up after the witching hour is over and is all like, “What’s your problem,  kids are fun, it’s not work.” Now that’s when you need stress protection. I want to see a mum with messy hair, being yelled at by an army of hangry kids, on the verge of developing an eye twitch, and then someone walks up and says,  “My goodness, you look atrocious but boy do you smell fresh, what deodorant are you using?” Not a mum on an easy day, a day when she’s returning home with her happy kid with the groceries whilst having a chat on the phone with a girlfriend to find her husband home from work early. Because that’s a good day, not a stress protection worthy day.

So in short, don’t be jealous of the stress protect mother because you’re amazing,  we’re all amazing. She’s got nothing!

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My daughter sticking bunny ears on the baby of the family. The angsty middle child doing their own thing.

If you or someone you know has postnatal depression you can find good resources on the following sites:

  1. Gidget Foundation http://gidgetfoundation.com.au/
  2. PANDA http://www.panda.org.au/
  3. PIRI http://www.piri.org.au/
  4. Black Dog Institute http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/
  5. Lifeline https://www.lifeline.org.au/ 

Stuff My Kids Need For Christmas Because I Want It!

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You know what, kids aren’t going to remember what you got them for Christmas when they’re little so you may as well get them stuff you want… or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
I’m a little bit obsessed with those GOOD / BAD Parenting signs so when I saw this I laughed… I laughed, and then I laughed some more. Love it!

If loving Gumby is wrong then I don’t want to be right. Quietly confident my kids dig Gumby despite not knowing anything about it.

Because sauce isn’t messy enough with a three year old I have to add a challenge. An awesome challenge. Behold the sauce ray gun.

Pretty sure this slightly creepy toy won’t give any of my children nightmares. I’ll put it on the list for one of my sons. I love it and I wants it. My precious.

My daughter is almost 3 now. High time she started looking after her own finances right?

My boys might not be one yet but they eat a lot. I have to say my daughter’s eating has improved no end since they started crawling because she knows if she leaves food hanging about then they’ll get it. What could be better for a couple of hungry lads than a lunchbox? I love this panda! So hilarious.

My favourite bath toys as a kid were a set of brilliant stacking ducks. Therefore my children…

I’m quietly confident that my love of sci fi has rubbed off on my kids and they need a jumbo rocket… and if they don’t like it I’m sure my husband will find the top of it interesting to look at.

And of course they’ll need appropriate bedding to match their rocket.

Anything can happen when they’re asleep,  I do have three kids after all so I better get them these for bed time too.

Shut the front gate! I can’t believe there are Arabian building blocks! Finally I can build the castles I want to build… I mean finally my kids can build the structures they want… They’re very architecturally savy amongst the three and under set.

You would not believe how much my kids love Final Fantasy!

Since my boys heard that there was a scene where Luke wears Yoda like a backpack and Yoda whisperers words of wisdom into Luke’s ears, my eleven month olds have not shut up about how much they want to carry around a yoda on their back.

And weirdly my kids want a pretty dress in my size. I guess they’ll grow into it.

…. I do have three kids…
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