swear jar stan…

Little Boss is three and a bit. Up until recently we have been able to talk in whatever manner we have wanted and have not had to worry about what we say or who we say it about. And then IT happened. I had my niece – technically she’s my second cousin but her mum is like my big sister so let’s just say niece – over to stay for a couple of days and she was helping little boss colour in some Hello Kitty. I was taking full advantage of the distraction by catching up on chores – yewwww! Anyhoo Mr B Badger yells out from the bathroom for a towel and in my moment of frustration I mutter “ohhh farken hell”. As I walk back to the bathroom with the towel I see my nieces face – eyes wide in shock/amazement and hands over mouth to prevent laughter. So I drop off the towel to the lord of the living room and I return to see what had happened…turns out that my multi-tasking little dynamo got my tone and the pronunciation spot on as she coloured Hello Kitty with one hand and held her forehead with the other while repeating after me. This seemed to spark an increase in the amount of phrase mimicry with “you’ve got to be joking” a new hit and when asked “would you like a ” the response is mostly “ahh maybe that’s a no” complete with eye rolling…not sure where that came from but I do know that I don’t like it, despite it being pretty funny the first time….

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less of the serving suggestion please…

I am not a shopper. I don’t particularly like the shops, I don’t really enjoy buying things – other than stationary. I find myself to be on edge and mildly pissed off from the minute I enter the carpark so it’s never a good start. Unfortunately I do have to venture into the shops on a fairly regular basis, though I do know that I can get my groceries delivered however it is a painful process and shits me to tears when the order is wrong. Yeah, I know, first world problems. But I am living my life and no one else’s so this is just my perspective. Anyhoo…clothing shopping is diabolical for me so I usually go for the cheapo tee-shirt and jeans combo and jazz up my outfit with a funky haircut. So imagine my dismay when my recently purchased $10 tee from BigW went from a flattering hip length to almost crop top after one wash. Turns out not so much of a bargain after all – which was a bugger cause if things had been different it could have been the start of a summer wardrobe. Apparently, in this case, you get what you pay for and I paid for shrinkage. I see this as yet another way marketing companies give us ‘serving suggestion’ like when you buy a box of weet bix and on the pack it has this amazing picture of weet bix floating in milk with berries on top…really?? Just try to replicate that at home. By the time you have your camera ready for the shot those cheeky weet bix have sucked up all your milk and are a soggy – but delicious – mess. Then you will see in very teeny tiny print *serving suggestion only. For more examples of this tomfoolery lets  just look at the home shopping network. Those wire free bra thingys that were meant to still give amazing cleavage AND be super comfy but in truth made you look like you had sausage boob and the minute you sat, bent or generally moved the bottom of the thingy rolled up. Don’t get me started on all the gym equipment that you only need to use for 10 minutes a day and all of a sudden you’re a tanned and toned god or goddess. Of course I know that if honesty was used in advertising we would all buy far less so it is in the manufacturers best interest to have a powerful sales pitch but please how gullible are we as consumers?? Take ladies shape wear for example…modelled by a woman who is probably all of a size 8-10 and, unless she has the curves of an ironing board, I’m guessing she does not need shape wear. So why not choose a bigger sized model to give the target market a better idea of what it can do for them? What about Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals…should come with a disclaimer “meals will only take 15 minutes if prepared by Jamie Oliver, purchasers of this book should expect to add at least an hour” ohhhh I could go on and on but you get the idea. I guess the one that is affecting us the most right now is the advertising ramp up towards Christmas on the kids telly. Man they really need to help out the people buying for these kids. Cause my little boss thinks that the Paw Patrol whatever the hell it is comes with a whole team of pups and their transport when, in fact, it only comes with one dude. Major let down when you see it on the telly and the whole gang is there but fast forward to the big day in December and Ryder is hanging out solo – not cool, toy company, so not cool.

In the words of The Beatles….

Let it Be….Vegemite. just be happy to be Vegemite. so far we’ve had Vegemite mixed with cheese spread and called Cheeseymite – not cool. if you want cheese with your Vegemite you do just that, you make a sandwich with cheese and Vegemite. that way you can choose the desired level of Vegemite and the preference for cheese. they have also just launched a Vegemite that is lower in salt. how ridiculous?? the reason we love Vegemite is the salt. now the most absurd of all collaborations is the Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate with a caramel and Vegemite centre. just let it be Kraft….stop trying to make Vegemite for everyone. the truth is it’s not for everyone so just be happy with the knowledge that those of us that love it will continue to do so and know that by putting it in chocolate and trying to make it something it’s not will not make more people like it. these poor souls that have tried the Cadbury Caramel Vege combo are going to buy Vegemite and think it tastes totally different than it does.

so while I’m on  Vegemite how about Aussie celebs stop trying to get Americans to like it. Americans feel the same way about Vegemite as we do about Dr Pepper. just let it be, Hugh Jackman, they don’t like it and that’s okay. you don’t see American celebs popping down under and trying to force us to eat grits or biscuits and gravy so I think it’s time we just left it alone….just let Vegemite sit on the shelf next to its old pal Peanut Butter and we’ll all be happy with the knowledge that our one constant in Aussie life is the same as we remember it from childhood – thank you and good night.

the inconvenient convenience….

in 42 very quick days our wee baby girl will turn three. and a whole lot of stuff has changed in that time but the one thing that still remains is….nappies. clearly it is bothering me more than anyone else because I am the changer of all nappies, the wiper of the bum, the person that has – on more than one occasion – put my finger in the back of a nappy to see if it’s mine with the offending odor only to find that it is also now my finger that smells as well. so I’ve read books and blogs and web sites and articles and spoken to other mums and the advice ranges from she’ll do it when she’s ready to just take away the nappies and she’ll have to use the toilet….or wee and poo on my mums bamboo flooring – not my preferred option. we tried last week – I had days of not much planned so we could stay at home and give it a red-hot go. we have the toilet all set up, she picked the pink seat for the toilet, we made a chart to show progress with stickers, she picked underpants and we had a chat about being a big girl and nappies vs toilet…so after many attempts and lots of wiping and flushing and washing of hands at approximately 3 pm she declared “I don’t think I am ready to use the toilet yet mummy, can I have my nappies for a bit longer please?” so while the experts may disagree I did what she requested and pulled on another nappy….but today she said she needed to go to the toilet – nothing happened, despite my initial excitement – but it’s a start, right?

I blame disposable nappies. their absorbency is ridiculous. I’m sure if you were on a tight budget you could get away with using less nappies simply due to their ability to stay drier for longer. I wanted to use the modern cloth nappies and after getting my mum to bring them home from the US for me we found that after a very short time our very hot-blooded bundle of joy was suffering from heat rash from wearing them….disappointed doesn’t explain how I felt. Mr B Badger was less upset as it was he who wore the mustard coloured goodness that leaked out of one of my earlier attempts at putting them on.

I’m certain that if the children of today had to walk around with half a wet bath towel between their legs held up by a pair of plastic pants they’d be trained a whole lot earlier than they seem to be. I can’t help but think that the nappy is her remaining tie to me and that in giving that up she won’t have that extra bit of one on one time that for her is probably still quite fun but for me can sometimes resemble mud wrestling gone horribly wrong.

anyhoo I will persevere and she’ll get there eventually – or I’ll just have to start buying the adult diapers once she gets too big for Huggies….

life with a threenager….

so up until recently I had thought the terrible twos would consume my days and nights for at least another couple of years….that was until one of my mummy friends mentioned the term “threenager” and it all fell into place. this is now my life….dealing with a toddler who behaves just like she is about to hit 13, not 3. when you hear your baby utter the words “I want the i view app” or “there’s no network connection” you are probably dealing with a threenager. I am struggling to find a comparison to what my threenager is experiencing and my own childhood…my mum has always told me that I was “good as gold” until my brother came along only two months after my second birthday when I decided to unleash hell on the household. so we’ve always put my tantrums, fierce independence and demand for attention down to my baby brother. turns out this may not truly have been the case….maybe I was just starting the transition from terrible two to threenager. either way I am missing my mum like crazy right now as she visits my baby brother and his gorgeous family in the US but I am also a little bit glad that she can’t see what’s occurring in my world as this might cause her to rub her hands with glee while watching me go through the same treatment she would have experienced – at my hands – some 40 plus years ago. if knowledge really is power then why do I feel like I am NOT the one holding that power?? we have so many avenues of information available to us that I think we’re just making it harder for ourselves – oh no my threenager’s not listening to me I better hit Dr Google and see if she could have a problem – how about she’s just ignoring me…or the options I am giving her haven’t yet reached her desired choice of beverage….or maybe she’s just that engrossed in the 24 piece jigsaw puzzle challenge I set for her that she can’t handle anything more right now. I know sometimes, after a day that has had more arguments than minutes, Mr B Badger will come home and observe the goings on and will remark “so you just let her do whatever she wants?” and the reality is that sometimes – within reason – yes, I do let her do whatever she wants…because sometimes I get sick of my own voice. so if you put on your tracky daks and one leg is quite noticeably longer than the other it could be due to the threenager swinging off them while singing ring-a-ring-a-rosy while I hung out the washing. or if my parents return from their vay-cay to find their vege patch decimated of all life it could be blamed on the parrots OR it could be the threenagers desire to do the “weeding”. either way these are fights I do not have the will to fight so I chuck another Ristretto pod in the coffee machine and watch while my very willful and independent child weeds and digs and identifies worms and bugs and generally just messes shit up….it’s okay, we have a couple of months before we have to do the work on getting it all back together before the parentals return home….or we could resort to having the threenager take them on a tour when they get back to show Poppy all the great gardening shes done….

two and a bit versus forty plus….

okay so I have been off the grid for a while which has given me plenty of time to observe the world around me…and by this I mean what occurs under my roof. we have a distinct lack of funds so if it’s happening, it’s happening at home. anyhoo…today I observed one of the most spectacular tantrums to date. there was full body gyrating, tears, snot, head banging, binky throwing…you name it and we had it today. what was I asking that created this hot mess? I wasn’t trying to get little boss to eat brussel sprouts or even brush her teeth…no I was asking her to take a nap. and by the response I got, it was long overdue. so it got me thinking what are some of the behavioural differences between my two-year old and myself and here is the start of my list.

if you told me to take a nap, I wouldn’t even question you. I would slide into the sheets and drift off.

if you cooked my food for me and served it up at the perfect temperature and it was all my “favourites” I would eat it. there is no way I would push it away and say “I don’t like it”. no way, never, ever.

I would never eat ice cream for breakfast. little boss would eat ice cream for breakfast everyday if it were offered. we are fortunate to have a standard fridge/freezer where the freezer is at the top otherwise I am certain that ice cream would be on the menu 24/7.

if I had the option of sitting in the trolley versus walking while doing the grocery shopping I wouldn’t have to think about it for too long.

and my last observation of our recent differences is if I am in pain and am offered medication to “make the pain go away” it could taste like tripe and I would still gobble it up. unfortunately for us our little boss will only consume pain medication if we disguise it in “a special drink” also known as juice. our recent experience with two-year old molars was possibly the toughest test of our parenting journey to date and had us getting very creative with the administering of panadol. many people have recounted times where they held their child down in order for them to take the foul-tasting medicine but I just can’t bring myself to do that so disguise it is. so she has cracked the bottom two molars and it only took two weeks of eyebrow raising behaviour and lots of discussions about our hopes that it wasn’t permanent. two more to come and even the thought of it fills me with dread. for now though, we have our delightful little person back….and as long as we get her to bed before the overtiredness creeps in she is pretty funny to be around….even if “no” is her favourite word and “don’t like ” is her catchcry du jour she is still pretty amusing – to us.

anyhoo so I am back to writing barrybadger. its been way too long and I am hoping that there are still some people who can laugh along with me, otherwise it is very similar to my day-to-day so please feel free to comment.

it’s all empty bags and boxes….

as we approach our daughters second birthday we ponder what would be the most awesome present for her….a little trampoline, maybe, or perhaps some musical instruments. I have been closely monitoring her activity of late to try to get some clues as to what might take her fancy and it turns out that what I need to find is a shop that sells empty boxes and bags. clearly with all the advances in technology little has changed in over 40 years in the wants of a two-year old – my father will attest to that. as a toddler, after opening the many presents I had received and no doubt my parents had saved hard for, I ended up playing in an empty beer carton. upon watching this I bet my folks wished they had a full carton to help them ease the pain of buying me toys only to find they could have wrapped up a carton instead. anyhoo, so yesterday I spent the rainy day just hanging out in my tracky daks, hiding under various blankets and watching little boss walk around the house with a variety of objects on her head….a washing basket, an Ikea shopping bag and her empty toy box – she up-ended it to get the toys out and then put it on her head. so I thought I would try to get some other activities happening…. “would you like to do a puzzle?” “no” “would you like to play with the doll house?” “no” “let’s go outside and do some painting” “no”….and on and on it goes. so I say “what would you like to do?” and I get a blanket thrust in front of me and told “hide”….turns out its me that gets bored, not her. I am the one that would like to mix things up a little, maybe a bit of reading, some dancing and the occasional bang on the tambourine…

so I am left to ponder what life would be like if we cleared out all the plastic toys and just left the blocks, books, puzzles and introduced some boxes and buckets and a few cushions and blankets….and in writing that it sounds just peachy to me. no more batteries or toys that haunt you while you try to sleep. maybe it’s us that want the cool new talking teddy and while we expect to get a reaction of joy from our children we are disappointed to find that what they really want is a pair of tongs, two cups of dry pasta and a bucket. we should be freaking thrilled that they want to play with stuff found at home – sure it makes a mess and there is a slight risk of choking on dry pasta – but the upside is they are learning, experimenting and using their imagination – no talking teddy can give you that. so I think this birthday we might go a bit Montessori and just get some baskets and trays with different activities on them – I know I will have a fight on my hands cause no one loves a gadget more than Mr B Badger.com – well, maybe his sister – so I will have to make a good argument for my case but, hey, at least if we do end up getting her some overpriced, battery operated latest and greatest it should come in a nice box that will keep her entertained for hours.

in the words of neil diamond….

hello again, hello….

it’s been so long since i have visited barrybadger.com that I forgot my password! anyhoo I would like to put my lack of posting down to my super hectic life but really I’ve just been feeling knackered. who knew that this mum stuff could take it out of you like it does hey?? so I returned to the world of paid work for a short stint which was lovely and challenging at the same time, lovely because it was paid and challenging because I had to leave the comfort of my pyjama clad, peppa pig watching world…my feet were not that happy to be back in shoes again and I certainly haven’t missed the daily grind of sitting still in traffic for up to 90 minutes each way. it was nice to catch up with some old colleagues and to meet some new ones and just as I was getting to know them better it was over….I had completed the task they hired me for and they didn’t need me for anything else….so it’s back to singing wiggles tunes and playing dress-ups for me and my – shock horror – almost two-year old. I look at pictures of her when she was a wee baby and I don’t even remember her looking like that. It’s as if I remember the day she was born and then nothing until how she looks now. I actually held a friends baby last week and felt so clumsy like I had never held a baby before and yet it wasn’t that long ago that our baby was just that tiny…but like everyone keeps telling me – make the most of it because before you know it she’ll be at school. well I am doing my best to make the most of it…I am even enjoying the tears and tantrums that come with being told no – this is probably not what they meant but hey I do find it a little amusing that the roller coaster of emotion passes so quick. I think my mother is secretly rubbing her hands with glee that we are entering the notorious “terrible two” stage of development…apparently I threw some spectacular tantrums during this phase of my life, however I remind my parents that if my brother had not spoiled it all for me by coming along and being all chubby and cute then I might have reacted differently. since we only have the one child she gets to throw out as many demands as we allow….and as her mother I allow a whole lot less than say, her grandmothers, who get run ragged by a pint-sized dynamo that would put the energizer bunny to shame. last week my MIL was home so it was her turn to get the treatment and all I heard was “room trishy, bookoo trishy, outside trishy, sit trishy, wiggles trishy, dance trishy and can’t catch me trishy”  pretty sure she slept well that night. today my mum popped in to pick up an esky while my dad revved the car out front…little boss got all excited and told her “room gramma” when my mum told her that she had to go the lip dropped and the tears flowed as she ran to me and put her tearful head on my shoulder. so her heartbroken “gramma” went out and got poppy to come in for a quick play…ahhh that’s better, tears dry up and the world of little boss is well again…it was a win-win for me…I was onto my second wiggles dvd so welcomed the opportunity to turn that off – and hide it – and hoover the floors without worrying if little boss was choking on the power cord…how life has changed!Kenzi on the Fence

this picture was taken on monday during the destruction of a friend of a friends house…you know when you go somewhere and all the things are nice so you worry about having to replace them in the likely event that your dynamo will seek and destroy? well that is this house. fortunately the owners of this ridiculously awesome abode are equally as awesome and wont send me the bill for cleaning the carrots out of the skimmer box of their pool or mind collecting their rock collection a second time….

too many balls, not enough hands…

okay it’s been a long time between posts for me and so I am wondering if anyone is still out there in barrybadger land or if I am now back to day one and posting to myself….anyhoo, I am back at work. no not full-time just a couple of days a week but seriously I have no idea how people return to work full-time and run a household and raise children…clearly I am the mayor of struggle town when it comes to all of the above and have chosen to prioritise hanging out with people who matter over hoovering up mr roobens fur tumble weeds – this should come as no surprise to people who have been following along for a while, or those that know me well. so if being a full-time mum was tiring, this working business has knobs on it….although there is the money and that is very handy since the government can only afford me $1.50 a fortnight in benefits….the health care card would have been handy considering how much the mammogram and ultrasound set me back this week but that’s a topic for another time. so here I am back at the grind and it has been quite nice to have some conversations that don’t start with the theme song to Peppa Pig and workplace stretches are certainly more beneficial than copying the moves of The Wiggles team. but I am bloody exhausted. and this usually means I tend to take it out on MrB Badger.com by telling him how I do everything and he does nothing….clearly not the case since I don’t mow the lawns or sweep the yard but sometimes when I am motoring around getting us sorted to head out for the day while he lies on the couch watching iFish on the telly it’s hard not to lose my poo. so I am not claiming to be supermum – but I do take my hat off to those that manage to keep all their balls in the air, they certainly have more patience and organisational skill than I – or maybe it’s stamina that they have in spades. whatever it is, it does not occur naturally at the Haus of Halford that’s for sure. on the plus side though I have a 19 month old with over 70 words in her vocab who can doggy paddle up and down our pool until she takes on water and has a mean right foot heavy dance stomp that finishes with a twirl – I guess what I am saying is I am happy to let some balls fall if it means I get to spend more time with people I love…if they love me back they wont mind a bit of mr rooben’s dna attached to their strides as they leave…

picturing the past…

this morning I woke up thinking about the future and that got me to thinking about all the stories our parents and grandparents tell us about their past. when my grandmother used to tell me about getting ice delivered for her ice box and her subsequent excitement at finally having a refrigerator I could picture it and imagine what it would have been like. when my besties great granny was telling us how she remembered the first time she ever rode into perth on horse-drawn cart it was surreal but I could imagine how amazing that must have been for her. so I wonder how the stories of my youth will be received by little boss…will she really be able to picture my world with no mobile phone or computer, no EFTPOS – yep if you wanted money you had to fill out a form, hand it to a real live human and they would give you the money. and if you wanted to know what your bank balance was you just opened up your passbook and it was right there. we had one TV and it was a piece of furniture. stood on four legs occupying a whole corner of the room and we had four channels that you actually got up to change. mind you for a while there we didn’t have any telly at all…we didn’t have a birthday extravaganza every year and when we did have a party it certainly didn’t involve bouncy castles, face painting, pinatas or balloon twisters. we had cassettes and vinyl records and I remember how hot I thought I was when I got to use a sony walkman for the first time. at school we got a mark for our work not just a bunch of letters and in sport not everyone was picked for the team – I certainly wasn’t, I was hardly there the beach was only down the road. if we wanted to buy something we went to the shop and paid cash – that was made from paper, not plastic. our holidays were either spent at home, at our grandparents or camping a few hours away…venturing overseas never entered my mind.

so I wonder if, in the future, as I bore my child with stories of “the good old days” will she just hit me with a “whatever” and turn her attention back to her gadget or will she be fascinated to learn of the hardship the children of Gen X had to endure…one thing I do know is that my father will continue to reject technology and all it has to offer – when he first started working it was for a bank and to hone his math skills he had to add up the columns of numbers in the phone book…in his head. years later we worked together in business and I was always impressed that, when faced with lines of numbers and an incorrect total, he would be able to spot the mistake by just looking at the numbers – that had been crunched by a person using a calculator. we have interesting times ahead of us and I really hope we can keep up. if we do struggle we can always ask little boss – I am sure she will help us out when we need it…