Private opinions generally take a backseat when you become a parent. Everything from what people see your child eating, to their clothes, to their behaviour warrants the rise of random voices, usually in protest. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can certainly be annoying.
The issue of Wolf’s hair has always been one of these. Continue reading
At one point during a friend’s recent wedding, she rose to the podium and delivered a speech that included plenty of praise for her parents for raising her the ‘right’ way. So like all things, I thought about it and then brought it back to myself – would I say the same thing about my folks?
When I was younger I was desperately envious of her parents. Normal, loving and undramatic, they were the kind of people who gave their children middle names like Jane or Anne, wore non-descript clothing, actually read books and could hold a conversation without saying something dreadfully out of place and in a weird accent.
My small Christian primary school was full of them. None of the mothers wore Dirty Dancing midrift tops, crimped hair or false eyelashes. Their fathers didn’t play the banjo, smuggle knuckle dusters in from Asia to join his collection of swords, have a weakness for Guinness and go to church. And the normal mothers didn’t coerce their children into dying their hair… in kindergarten, or make them wear mini skirts and over-the-knee suede boots… to church. Continue reading
As a single mum, I often fight the desire to keep Wolf always entertained. Play dates, playgrounds, painting, the zoo, toy shops, books. It’s as if every moment has to be special and engaging and I recently rebelled.
While preparing lunch, I was reminded of my own childhood and the games that resulted from boredom… Branches that fell from our beautiful Jacaranda became microphones, weapons or wands. Old cardboard boxes transformed into chalkboards for when I taught my poor (younger) brother at “school”.
It wasn’t mum’s job to keep life interesting; it was her job to keep us fed, healthy, protected and warm. We had to come up with the rest.
Thinking about this lead me to examine how much I shun boredom, especially when I’m alone. We all seem to do it in some form; we’re all so busy (isn’t this the usual response to the question of, “how are you?” these days?). And even if this is genuinely the case, should we be scheduling in time for nothing? Is it really that absurd? Are we that addicted to activity and feeling virtually connected? Continue reading