Posts Tagged ‘don’t kids say the darnedest things’

The other morning, The Pixie told me about a dream she’d had about Harry Potter. This was markedly different from the dream I’d had about my husband misbehaving himself with a french exchange student. (“We’re never getting a french exchange student now, are we?” my husband said dolefully when I told him about the dream. Listen, he’s only got his Dream Self to blame.)

The Pixie’s dream involved her talking to Harry Potter and then getting ‘ouchies’ all over her foot.

“It wasn’t real – it was just a dream!” The Pixie told me, as she examined her foot. “Is Harry Potter real, Mama?”

“No, sweetheart, he’s just a character,” I replied. I explained about the books and then the movie version of the books. The Pixie thought deeply about this for a while.

“Harry Potter is a boy who just wanted to be in a movie!” she concluded, before jumping onto her next question. “Was Michael Jackson real?”

“Yes,” I replied. Well, bits of him were.

“He’s dead because his doctor gave him the wrong medicine,” she gravely informed me.

This was a little different from her original theory when he first died that “Michael Jackson was just too sad because he had girl hair.” Mr Justice, on the other hand, was quick to say “Why did Michael Jackson die? Because someone told him to ‘Beat It’.” which – at the time – fell into the ‘Too Soon’ joke category. I was so proud.

There’s a whole generation of children who are learning about death through Michael Jackson. Even my friend The Fabulous Miss Jones’ three year old knows who he is (although she calls him “Mikeson Jackson”) and my little friend Cyclone Bella (aged 4) is often heard to exclaim “Michael Jackson is the best boy in the world!” and refuses to accept he is dead. According to her dad Uncle B, however, she was heard to remark “Michael’s face is changing!” while watching his ‘Best Of’ collection on DVD. And no, Uncle B went on to add, it wasn’t when she was watching Thriller.

Anyway, we talked a little while about Michael Jackson and how his kids must have felt very sad when he died. The Pixie went on to explain that he was probably “in Heaven” now – a place that is apparently “on the way to Chloe’s house”.

“You mean the place where all the graves are?” I asked. I mean, she was either referring to the big cemetery or the Hungry Jacks with the cool slide.

“Yes, you go to Heaven when you die so you can become soil. Michael Jackson is soil now.”

Tiddles McGee piped up suddenly with something that sounded like “He wore a pumpkin suit!”

“He wore a pumpkin suit?” I asked.

“No! He drank pumpkin juice,” Tiddles McGee clarified – which, quite frankly – didn’t make much more sense than him wearing a pumpkin suit. “And there was this hand that went all mouldy.”


“No, moley.

“Michael Jackson had a mole hand?” I tried to clarify. It would certainly explain why he wore one glove.

“No! Harry Potter drank the pumpkin juice. And the other one got the moley hand.”

I didn’t want to ask who “the other one” was. I was confused enough as it is.

Need I mention this conversation happened before 7 o’clock in the morning and before I’d even had my first coffee of the day? Hopefully someone will read this post before their first coffee of the day and can share my pain…

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At my 21st birthday party, my sister Belle stood up and made a stirring speech in which she casually mentioned she used to tie me to the bed and whip me with shoe laces.

“But… but… but…” I spluttered at the time. “We were playing a game! She was the Master! And… and… and I was the Slave!”

Which really didn’t further my case One Little Bit. Still, at least I was able to defend myself, albeit poorly. 

It was a different story for the parents of the six year old little friend who visited us the other day. He suddenly – and most cheerfully – informed us that his dad slept in nothing but his underpants and that his mum had been caught by a policeman that morning for driving too fast.

I almost smiled at his candour but then had one of those chilling moments when I imagined my own six year old boy merrily telling another parent “My mum is hungover like a bastard!”. Which I did happen to be at that moment. But I had my reasons. Reasons, I tells ya! 

I then thought of some other beans my son might inadvertently spill:

Son’s claim: “My mother tried to walk to school when she wasn’t wearing any trousers!”
In my defence: It was a joke! A JOKE! Of course I know I’m not ready to walk to school before my trousers are on. Although my trousers being inside out is another thing altogether.

Son’s claim: “My mum sings songs about my bum!”
In my defence: “Bum” rhymes with “tum” and “mum”. And at least I’m not using the obvious rhyme “cum”. Or, worse still, “Heidi Klum”. 

Son’s claim: “My mum let my brother poke her boobies while she was on the phone to the phone company!”
In my defence: Well, I think we all know that story by now. 

Son’s claim: “My mum called the cat a rude word!”
In my defence:  The cat refuses to eat any Actual Cat Food I place before His Royal Catness and yet, at the first opportunity, will jump up on the kitchen table to feast upon the children’s unguarded milk-sodden Weetbix so he can then happily slosh diarrhetic cat-shit on the back step. Believe me, that cat had that rude word coming…

Son’s claim: “My mum hit me on the head with a Barbie doll!”
In my defence: He was asking for it. No, really. He claimed it didn’t hurt when he did it to his sister and insisted that I do the same to him to prove once and for all that it did not hurt. Turns out it did actually hurt. A lot. 

Son’s claim: “My mum says she’s taking a hip flask to the next School Concert!”
In my defence: Because I sat through last year’s concert without one and… and… and…

My conclusion? Slap a gagging order on him until he’s 18 and old enough for me to sue him for defamation of character. It’s the only way to protect my Good Name. Or at least give me first dibs at spilling the beans myself on this blog.

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The other day we were all playing a guessing game in the car – you know, the kind of thing you do with the kids to distract them from the fact it’s been five minutes since you last passed them back a biscuit. Five Whole Minutes. Sheesh! A kid could starve to death back there in the Love Bus without even a single milk arrowroot. Apparently.

Anyway, I was describing an armadillo, employing all my finely-honed writerly skills. My potential Pulitzer Prize-winning description went something like this: “I’ve got armour like a knight and I rhyme with ‘pillow’. What am I?” (Like it?).

And the Pixie immediately piped up with “A chicken with love hearts!”

Because of course a chicken has armour and rhymes with pillow, when it comes with love hearts. Those love hearts make all the difference, I find.

Now I love my little girl, but she’s one trippy child, man. When recently asked, as part of one of those facebook “memes”, where her mother liked to go, she responded: “To a party, to the city, to holiday, to sugar.” As my friend JS later pointed out: in her weird way, The Pixie totally summed me up.

And just when we thought we’d heard it all, my Pixie recently revealed herself to be one of the Greatest Minds of her generation, pioneering a new scientific phenomenon known to the world as “Fairy Science”.

Mr Justice was typically scathing, when he heard about it. “Fairy Science doesn’t exist,” he sneered.

“Yes it does,” The Pixie argued back. “You can make a Giant Fairy Wand which makes Magic using Fairy Science.”

“If it’s a giant wand, it will be 100 feet tall and you wouldn’t be able to hold it,” Mr Justice argued back. 

“Then you use Fairy Science to make a Giant Fairy Robot which uses Giant Fairy Robot Batteries and then the Giant Fairy Robot can hold the Giant Wand,” The Pixie replied, as if pointing out the bleeding obvious. Of course you’d do that. You know it makes sense.

There’s apparently been all manner of recent advances in Fairy Science, according to our reputable source. Apparently, if you “make lots of little fairies and press a button to make them go chi-chi-chi“, this makes “fairy snow”. Amazing.

When I asked her who she’d heard about Fairy Science from, she said “Nobody. I thought it all myself.”

That I would believe. This is the little girl who will suddenly announce in the shopping centre “I wish I were an elephant blowing its nose” and, at other times, will shout “Turn off my ears, mum! The wind keeps rushing out of them.”

This is the little girl that I love “mostest” in the world, who snuggles against me each night and covers my face with small, sweet kisses each day.

Keep pioneering, Fairy Scientist. The world needs your magic.

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Sometimes listening to people recounting conversations they’ve had with their children is a little like listening to them recounting their dreams. I always want to stay interested and listen to all the little details but … (*yawn*)… 

And yet, at the risk of starting to sound like I’m writing in to “That’s Life!” magazine (you have to love that exclamation mark in its title – the enthusiasm! the excitement! the hysteria!!), I’d like to present three of the gems I’ve recently collected from the mouths of babes (not talking vomit or choking hazards here, folks). Of course there is no actual thematic link between these three gems except that they all involve children – and not even necessarily my children at that. 

Filler post? Because I got up at 3am yesterday to watch the Inauguration and I still haven’t recovered?

You bet, baby. You bet!


I recently had the pleasure of hearing Mr Justice’s account of why one of the textas had been left overnight without its lid on:

“It’s all [Pixie’s] fault. I saw her playing with the texta in Hot Shot Land and she didn’t put the lid back on. And she made me brain-washed so I couldn’t put the lid back on either.”

Uh, okay.


“It would be so great if all the world were Cadbury’s,” announced Mr Justice’s friend the Calrissian.

“Well then, I could eat your arm,” I pointed out, despite myself. That ad campaign where all the world is made of chocolate, including the people, gets me riled. There’s a chocolate boy who eats the hair of the person blocking their view of the cinema screen and everyone laughs. Ho, ho, ho. So funny. But what if he’d not stopped at the hair and started eating the other person’s brains… Suddenly, no-one’s laughing anymore, right? Particularly the person who’s brains are being eaten. 

“Everyone would be Cadbury’s except my friends and cousins,” the Calrissian mused, after some thought on the matter and not because I’d just shared the brain-eating scenario with him – that would be Irresponsible.  “[Mr Justice] could eat you and his brother and sister could eat their dad.”

“But if [Mr Justice] ate me, then who would wash his clothes and make his lunches?” I asked, secretly angling for some kind of recognition for the hard work I do. 

“He would be okay because he’d have all your money,” was the Calrissian’s quick response, obviously a member of the “user pays” generation. 

I got a bit desperate at this point in the conversation and appealed to my silent son. “You’d miss me, though, wouldn’t you [Mr Justice]?”

Mr Justice merely shrugged. After all, we’re talking chocolate here. 


A friend’s son asked her how to spell certain swear-words – not so that he could use them but just so he could recognise them. After some thought, my friend agreed, especially when she realised that the words he was asking about didn’t get much more offensive than “bloody hell” and “fart”. After compiling a list that resembled more the 1950s Australian City Gent than the bad mo’ fo’ pimp-brother coming at you from the streets, he skipped off happily, only to return a few minutes later.

“Oh, and mum…” he said. “How do you spell fuck-face?”

Uh… okay. 


Now wasn’t that just hil-ar-ious? After all this History-in-the-Making, Winds-of-Change, Ding Dong the Double-Ya’s Dead excitement, wasn’t that just the ticket? Well, obviously, after my recent lack of sleep, I thought so – particularly since I got to use the word “fuck-face”. I wonder if the editors of “That’s Life!” magazine will feel the same when they receive my submission, though. Perhaps I should just send in some petrified vomit sliced up in perfect choking hazard-sized chunks instead. Just a thought.

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Cold sores are Mother Nature’s way of kicking a girl when she’s already down. Here I am, run down, exhausted, having eaten nothing but tinned food that really hasn’t been classifiable as “fresh” for well over a year and I’m not exactly feeling or looking my best any which way you look at it. And then Mother Nature comes along and really gets the boot in by giving me a big fat cold sore.  

In some ways, getting a cold sore is like getting a new hobby. Suddenly I’ve got Things To Do. I’ve got to look in the mirror. A lot. I’ve got to buy and use lotions and vitamins. I’ve got to spend time googling which foods I’m supposed to eat and which ones I’m supposed to avoid (such as chocolate, coffee and champagne? Yeah, right. Like that’s ever going to happen). And then I’ve got to cancel all non-essential social contact with the world. And if I do have to interact with anyone, I’ve got to employ the standing-at-a-particular-angle strategy so as not to alarm anyone unnecessarily. It’s a complicated business. 

I talked with my friend KT, a fellow HSV-1 sufferer, about whether or not it’s best to blurt out “I’ve got a cold sore!!!” the moment I see someone rather than try to chat normally, all the time with the other person staring at it like it’s about to explode (likely) or even burst into song (unlikely). Her advice was to think up some funny line like “I ran into a door and got this cold sore!” to use at the outset and kind of disarm them. I like her approach: get everyone relaxed and laughing and thinking “Hey, this girl is really a bit of okay… even though she looks like a freak

And I really do look like a freak. I love it that the advertisers of Cold Sore Solutions think that, when I have a cold sore, I look a little like this:

If I place my finger casually to my lips and look a little glum...

If I place my finger casually to my lips and look a little glum...

Whereas I actually look a lot like this:



As I write this post, I’m currently at the worst stage of the cold sore: the Crusty Stage (having already gone through the “rapid expansion” phase, where it’s spread faster than Starbucks outlets through the Westfield empire and the “throbbing/sobbing/weeping” stage where the cold sore throbs, I sob and we both start to weep openly). The great thing about the crusty stage is that this is when the cold sore is actually on the mend (rather than on the rampage) but the downside is that this is when it looks its very worst. I want to wear a little sign saying “It is getting better, actually” except then people will be wondering “Why is [NDM] wearing a sign” and be rushing up to read it. Stupid people. Can’t they just leave me and my cold sore alone? 

There’s still more cold sore fun to be had for me: the itching, the cracking, the bleeding and then, if I’m really lucky, the red afterglow for weeks and weeks to come. Luckily my children and husband still love me, if from a slight distance. Actually the kids didn’t seem to notice it much at all until yesterday afternoon when Tiddles suddenly pointed at it and said “Ah-dun!”. Whatever that means. 

Oh, that’s just Mummy’s little “ouchie”, I explained. It will go away soon enough (actually not soon enough) but in the meantime, Mummy’s still pretty, isn’t she?

Tiddles shook his little head vehemently and said firmly “No way!”. Ouchie, indeed.

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For a while there when Mr Justice was just a wee tacker, he and I used to read “The Lorax” every night. Nothing made my heart gladder than Mr Justice’s little voice saying “Oh, baby, oh! How my business did grow!” – and not because I necessarily want him to become an entrepreneurial type, I hasten to add. Should he ever come to me with a fool-proof get-rich-quick scheme that will make him millions, I’ll simply hand him two bucks and tell him to buy a scratchie instead because, to me, it’s the same-bloody-diff. Anyhoo, I loved to hear his little voice saying that line because it was just so damn cute. 

My husband, who can literally fall asleep mid-sentence during book time, deliberately chooses the shortest books he can get away with. For a long time, his book of choice was “Pocohontas in the forest”, a board book which, with only four (short) pages, meant that he could fulfill any legal obligations he might have to read a book to his kids in one minute flat. “The Lorax” in comparison, is for parents with a bit more stamina (such as myself) – at 1552 words, it pisses on “Pocahontas in the forest” from a great height – plus it has an underlying environmental message to boot (unlike “Pocahontas in the forest”, but only because it’s pretty hard to explore too many complex themes in a four-line rhyme written for under 5’s).

In any case, I’m sure many people would agree that the environmental messages of “The Lorax” are more relevant than ever these-a-days. “Teach ’em early”, I always say. And shortly after that, I usually say something really humble like “No, no, don’t thank me for paving the way to future with awareness and tolerance. It’s all in a day’s work here at Not Drowning Mothering Central.” At least I used to say that until that fateful day when Mr Justice pointed at a super-axe-hacker chopping down numerous Truffala trees in one smacker and said “I want one of those when I’m big”. 

Now let’s jump forward a few years later when Mr Justice announced he wanted a vegetarian meal for dinner but was surprised, upon further discussion, to discover that there wasn’t going to be any meat in it.

But vegetarians don’t eat meat, I explained.

“Okay,” he said. “I want a vegetarian meal but with some meat too.” 

Uh, okay. It’s vegetarians like him that give the rest a bad name. No wonder there’s still people out there who still think a vegetarian diet includes fish and chicken. I once shared a house with a man who had been a ‘fruitarian’ – which pretty much means eating stuff straight from the tree without cooking or chopping or even probably chewing it. Over time, his diet evolved so that he basically subsisted on oranges, chocolate and coffee. Apparently, there was a brief period where this extensive diet had included those Tic Toc biscuits with clock faces on them, but he had eventually deemed them too unhealthy. Again: uh, okay.

Anyway, it’s interesting to note that my husband and I differ in the way we choose books at bedtime in the same way we differ in our method of saying “No” to the kids. My husband goes for the band-aid approach and simply says “No” – briefly painful but everyone is quickly able to move on with their lives. Whereas I can’t help but get myself entrenched in lengthy discussions about the underlying whats, whys and whiches. Of course these discussions can drag on for days and, worse still, it doesn’t matter how well I try to explain things, my children always have this admirable ability to dodge the point entirely, according to their own agendas. 

Nothing demonstrates this better than the other day when Mr Justice bit The Pixie, an act which gets the zero tolerance treatment in our household. After he’d served his time on the Thinking Spot, we had a little talk about why he had done it. His explanation was that he had bitten her because was trying to scratch him, which is also an act which is Frowned Upon Most Severely in our household. 

“If she tries to scratch you, you just walk away. Then you look good,” I explained. “But if she tries to scratch you and you bite her, you look even worse than she does.” 

At which point, The Pixie, who was skipping around cheerfully in the background during all this, piped up: “I’m looking good, aren’t I mummy?”

Uh, okay.

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