The tricky questions

Obi wan Kenobi

Most parents expect their children to ask questions which they do not know the answers to or make them feel uncomfortable. Even the most laid back parent can find themselves feeling awkward when their child asks questions about sex and how babies are made. Then there are the questions you just never thought anyone, let alone your child, would ask you.

I suppose all parents get these jaw dropping questions & how they handle them just depends how they’re feeling at the moment the question arrives.

My son Jacob asks a lot of questions. Each page of a book has at least four queries to accompany it. It’s partially that he’s exploring language and clarifying what words EXACTLY mean. It’s also that he’s adjusting how he thinks about the world & the way it appears to work.

On an average day he’ll ask things like: “What does blue container mean?” “What does red container mean?” “What does container mean?” Bang, bang, bang – just like that he’s clarified that the only difference between a red container & a blue container is mostly probably just it’s colour and that a container is something that can hold something else inside it.

Some days I have endless patience. I answer calmly. I ask him what he thinks things are. We jostle gently back & forth words, concepts, meanings & ideas.

Other days if I’m tired or having to give my attention to household chores or another child I can snap and shut down the questions. I’m not so proud of those moments. I am proud to have a little boy who asks questions and who wants to find out why, what, when & how and if. I love his beautiful brain and love the particular take he has on the world around him. He is incredibly imaginative. He changes his clothes four or five times in just a morning as he changes character. His current obsession is Star Wars & anything related to its universe. His dad & I have sat through the movies with him, answered the many questions and made sure he wasn’t scared.

Jedi Knight has a bo

Today as I was making him his bedtime bottle of goat milk he asked, “Do Jedi Knights have bos?” (bo being his word for bottle) A brief pause and then I replied, “Well, I guess when Jedi Knights were babies they probably had a breastfeed or a bo.” He was happy with this and said “Yeah, Darth Vader had breastfeeds.”

Before Star Wars Jacob was a pirate

a knight

and a lizard

(Post script: When Jacob was born I was unable to breastfeed him. The information at the time around medication I needed to take was that it was toxic for babies. Subsequently further studies have shown that in lower dosages and with the baby closely monitored through blood tests it is possible to breastfeed. My daughter, born before I was on medication, and my youngest son, born after the new information was available, were both breastfed until around their second birthday. I am a strong breastfeeding advocate but I also know that sometimes it isn’t possible for women for a variety of reasons. I talk to my children about the different ways that babies and toddlers are given milk and what the reasons for this are.)

flesh & blood


Originally uploaded by beccaplusmolly

the last 10 days have been intense for my three children. we’ve had our usual school / playcentre routines playing louder & louder as we approached the end of term / end of year. added to that we’ve had a birthday party to attend, a christmas party to organise & attend, 10 days of swimming lessons in a row plus six days of swimming at school. throw in 2 tummy bugs & 2 ear infection & 3 farewells & really it’s been fun but probably a bit much.

all three children were in bed & asleep at 6.30 tonight (most unusual) but at 9pm my youngest was up & about for an hour and then my middle son woke having wet the bed. sheets changed, him showered & changed & comforted & back in bed by 11pm.

i hadn’t felt like a good parent today – too much shouting & flapping about, not enough smiles & cuddles but two things redeemed those feelings – a shared swim with my middle boy & the round of comforting & re-settling with both boys.

I do love them & know how to care for them, I just need to love & care for myself somewhere in all of this.



Originally uploaded by beccaplusmolly

we’ve returned from a family holiday. i’m tempted to re-name these events as circuses. seems more appropriate nomclemature.

although overall i would say that the kids & i had fun we also had: 3 cases of the ‘flu, teething, a wasp sting, a granny her broke her foot stepping in a rabbit hole & a mama who doesn’t drive. challenging to say the least when you’re almost an hour’s drive from supplies.

i love my children & i love the family place we holiday at so i wouldn’t miss it for the world.

we also had shared meals, toilet training, learning to read & chatting up a storm.

and then the days go by…

seven wonderful things about today

flat out

Originally uploaded by beccaplusmolly

my mother orchestrated a deliciously long sleep-in for me

my daughter was angelic almost all day

the sun shone & the sky was blue

i could enjoy my family

our dog is recovering well from major knee surgery

i discovered (& enjoyed) a new band on the radio – the school of seven bells

my husband was loving, sexy & kind

storm clouds II

storm clouds II

Originally uploaded by beccaplusmolly

today one of the scariest things that can happen to a parent happened to me. my four year old daughter (accompanied by a three year old friend) went missing from our home. Initially we (the parents and one grandparent) searched the house and garden, then the nearby neighbourhood, then we got in cars and searched further afield. our neighbours and friends climbed on the bikes and into the cars to join the search. no luck.

the girls, one blonde and one brunette, were clothed in their swimming togs and in bare feet. My daughter knows our area very well on foot. The other lass was visiting from England.

the suburb we live in is considered a very safe neighbourhood. I was hoping, hoping, hoping that the girls had just wandered off. I was terrified that someone had put them in their car and stolen them.

after more than half an hour of missing children my mother called the police. within minutes the sound of sirens and a police helicopter rang out across the suburb. there is not much to chill a mother’s veins than those two sounds whilst knowing it is her child they are searching for.

another half hour and the girls were returned to us in a police car. they had walked more than two kilometres, crossed a pedestrian bridge and many many roads to another suburb close by. the police helicopter had spotted them entering a house (of their accord). the woman in that house rang the police. she is the mother of one of my daughter’s friends. bless her.

the girls arrived home safe. with big smiles on their faces. riding in a police car is exciting, after all.

as they arrived two mothers wept with relief. the storm clouds had passed.

all the pretty horses

since my daughter began to talk in whole sentences at around 18 months old we have been recording her funny sayings.  All of them that have had us rolling in the aisles. Like all kids she copies the words and phrases she hears, especially things that regularly come out of her adults’ mouths.  Not all of it pretty.

On a recent holiday in the far north region of Hokianga she was heard to say: Bollocks! My head is getting winded up. I saw two horses in the same paddock!

I (heart) corny songs

It’s not a new affliction.  I’ve suffered since I was in school and had the power to choose my own radio station. As often as I’ve been cool and alt (The Pogues, The Violent Femmes,The Ramones, Billy Bragg, oh no showing my age here) I have been cheesey.  Let me spend the day in my head and suddenly I am singing Just when I needed you most or All out of love or Loving her was easier . It’s highly emotional and spirit lifting stuff I am sure you’ll agree.

It is probably more embarrassing for lack of natural musical gift. This heart felt singing leans towards the tuneless. Shame really, as this cancels the possibility of utilising karaoke bars as outlet for indulging my affliction.

Luckily Geek Boy, who owns lots of hip hop, punk, post-punk and other iPod touch friendly tunes, has a bad case of Aloha from Hawaii via satellite. Too many good songs from that for him to make a definitive favourite choice but that’s a good start. GB’s singing, in some registers, is better than my Air Supply renditions but I don’t think he’s heard my Joni re-makes yet.

As for our kids… well Moose once said “Mummy, please stop singing. It’s yucky”.  The Caboose is too young to know any better so he smiles (or laughs) when either of his parental units pipe up with their corn. Geek Boy’s sister G is a Sing Star afficianado but I have never been one for computer games unless they sound like this .  And thus I reveal my love of 80s music (and my age again).