australia…land down under and home to skippy, hoges and steve irwin to name a few. such a beautiful land girt by sea…says so in the national anthem. anyhoo what it doesn’t say is some of the most beautiful sea cannot be entered due to the poisonous creatures that call it home. salt water crocodiles, box jellyfish, great white sharks to name a few. so if you are worried about swimming in the ocean stay home it’s sure to be safe there….not according to the very large snake crossing the road not far from here early last week or the redback spider hanging out on our toilet door at 5am this morning. it is fair to say that we have our share of spiders here. we cleaned the pool furniture last week and destroyed seven redbacks off one lounger. so they are not aggressive and to healthy adults will not kill but we now have a 16 month old dynamo who would feel the full brunt of a redbacks poison – it’s a chance we are not willing to take. I only know one person who has been bitten by a redback….so it’s fairly unlikely to happen to us. little boss is another kettle of fish….she plays in the garden beds, investigates under the barby and sticks her legs through the pool fence so I find myself dragging her away and telling her “no” much more than I like. they’re not aggressive but if a food source presents itself surely they’d have a crack….
the interesting fact about redbacks that we recently learned is that the daddy-long-legs spider is known to catch and eat the redback spider so that could explain the masses of daddy-long-legs spiders that we have hanging out in every nook and cranny of our house – inside and out – I just wish they would start feasting….come on daddy-long-legs get busy, I say, the more they eat the less I have to kill. at least we don’t have funnel-web spiders here….by far the most impressive spider in oz, just keep them on the east coast. while I was looking for information on the redback I stumbled across a website that had an article about our “lucky country” titled The Animals that make Australia the Death Trap it is….clearly not written by an Australian and an article that received more comments for its poor grammar than content…as a visitor I guess you would sleep with one eye open – just not your mouth – as an aussie you just deal with it….that’s why our national footwear is the thong…as I was heard asking Mr B Badger.com at stupid o’clock “pass me a thong will ya, there’s a redback on the door”
yes I am a child of the 70’s so I am included in that email that circulates every so often about our generation and how we didn’t have mobile phones or computers and how we played outside and our parents didn’t know where we were until we slid in the door usually just before dark or dinner whichever came first. I would go and stay with my grandparents in the holidays and at age 10 my grandpa would give me a $20 and send me off to the shops to get his cigarettes and “get yourself some sweets with the change”, in 1981 $18.90 would have purchased me a backpack full and it’s possibly the equivalent of giving a child $100 today but it wouldn’t happen cause kids can’t buy ciggies anymore and they can’t walk anywhere on their own in case they get nabbed. anyhoo the one thing I think about often is the introduction of mobile phones and computers to our lives and I wonder if they are enriching our lives or making us quite boring and a little bit dangerous. last week I drove out to see an old colleague of mine. I used to drive the same route every day and not think about it, just put the stereo on, set the cruise control and go. it’s 100kph all the way on a dual lane freeway and highway. on my way home I noticed that the lane I was travelling in was doing not more than 70kph and I couldn’t understand a/ why and b/ why the people in the lane were happy to sit on 30 below the limit. so as I overtook them I realised….they were looking at their phones. I passed four cars and in every one the drivers were either reading their phones or messaging on them – on a freeway. what is it that makes us think that we can control almost 2 ton of metal at high-speed without watching where we are going? is that message so important? yesterday I had to pick Mr B Badger.com up from work and we were trying to turn on to a busy road…the one thing that held us up was a fuel truck that was turning into our street….he had plenty of opportunity to turn but seemed to struggle turning the wheel with one hand – the other hand was holding the phone to his ear.
we don’t call anymore, we text or email or pm or facebook. sure sometimes it’s handy but other times it’s a bit of a cop-out really and if people do actually take the time to call it’s usually not at the right time so you let it slide through to message bank vowing to get back to them. back in the day you had to call cause the only other way was to get on your bike and ride round to your mates place and ask face to face what colour jumper they would be wearing to school the next day. if you wanted to play a video game you had to go to you local takeaway and wait your turn, having a cool title page for each subject passed the first few weeks of each school year along with covering school books with pictures from magazines. I know I will have these conversations with my daughter when she goes to school and she will think I am nuts. the changes that we have seen in technology and the stories we will tell pale in comparison to my grandmother telling me how the ice truck would deliver ice once a week for their ice box and how thrilled she was when they got a refrigerator. or my besty’s great granny recounting how she used to travel into town by horse and cart and remembering what a big deal it was when the titanic sank – I was so lucky to have known her and heard about her life. I wonder what the future has in store for our children and what “back in my day” stories they will tell their kids….lets hope it’s a “back in my day we had to actually steer the car with our own hands and watch where we were going….”
so Mr B Badger.com and I were discussing this whole parenting gig the other night and decided that it’s like always being evaluated….and being told you are “needs improvement” most of the time.
as an example…little boss loves books – awesome – and of course she loves for us to read to her. now Mr B Badger.com is dyslexic and needs to take his time to read to her…more for him than her cause, lets face it, she is not at the “you skipped a bit, daddy” stage yet, but I do admire his commitment. anyhoo so she will bring books to either of us and sometimes in the evenings after dinner I will sit on the floor and she will bring me books….so these are just board books, not war and peace, with only a few words and pictures to each page. it’s fun and little boss brings a new book over beaming her cheeky – northern england toothy – grin and she perches on my lap for the next exciting episode of “that’s not my “. I launch myself into it with gusto, encouraging her to feel the places in the book that have some tactile teaser on them and two pages in she just get’s up and takes the book with her. I felt quite deflated and a little bit inadequate…was I that boring? had I not made a convincing lion roar? clearly I had to improve…these books are only about six pages with nine words over a two page spread – how crap can I possibly be? it’s not just the reading though….what about food….it’s hard some days after I have presented her with seven different options only to find that she doesn’t want any of them not to channel Joan Crawford. I am putting in more effort to preparing her food than I do my own only to find that once she is out of the high chair she grabs the bread bag off the kitchen bench and helps herself to the crust….why didn’t I think of that. I was recently reading the toddlers for dummies manual – I think it’s actually a “what to expect….” bible, anyhoo so I was just flicking through and got to the section on food and found it quite interesting on their recommendations for a toddler diet…which I wont go into here because I am not suitably qualified and sometimes if all your toddler will eat is chocolate custard and mandarins it’s better than nothing. that’s partly the reason why I don’t read the books – that and Google, if I need to know – I Google, much quicker. the other reason I don’t read the books is they make you feel like a substandard parent if you are not following “the guidelines” for example – up until very recently we have allowed little boss to fall asleep on Mr B Badger.com’s lap every night. books say no, no, no! set up a routine and stick to it and if that involves letting them cry it out then so be it but they must have a routine. yep we do. she has a bath, gets in her pj’s and falls asleep in her fathers arms before being carried to her cot. it’s kind of nice for him since she is usually feral by the time he gets home from work so it’s nice for him to have some quiet time bonding with her – and I have a cup of tea. she is 15 months old now and needs to put herself to sleep at some stage so we have started putting her in her cot awake…and it’s been far less painful and traumatic than any of us could have imagined and we have had 15 months of watching our little boss go to sleep in our arms. of course if we had other children it would have been impossible and she would have been in her cot a lot earlier but we only have one so may as well make the most of it I say….books authors will disagree, oh well, not likely to run into them anytime soon.
so despite my recent performance reviews showing a needs improvement in the areas of food prep and book reading I continue to try new things and tonight made delightful mini frittata’s for little boss. at least if she prefers dry bread over these I will be the well fed one for a change…