Tag Archives: Children



It’s past lunch time and the kids are desperate and exhausted. I’m disorganised… again.

LL is screaming around the house with his train, hysterical with hunger. I have strapped Blossom into her chair after three near-head-on collisions with said screaming train. I have vegemite from one end of the kitchen to the other and I have just dropped the cheese.

The phone rings and somewhere in my desperate mind, I hope it is Mr D calling to offer some calming words of encouragement, or my mother ringing to tell me that she is out front and ready to take the mad toddler away for a moment, or my publisher calling to say they have sold the movie rights to my book for multiples of millions of dollars and that I can afford to have a full-time nanny to scrape the cheese from between the floorboards…

Me: Hello?

Them: …

Me: Hello?

Them: … click-brrr…

Me: (clearly not thinking straight, because if I was I would have hung up by now) HELLO?!

Them: Oh hello. Am I speaking with, uh, Mr Dewbury?

Me: (Do I sound like a Mr to you?) No.

Them: Oh alright, is this 49-bla-bla-bla?

Me: (You dialled the number, dipshit) Yes.

Them: Oh alright then. Am I speaking with the owner of the house?

Me: (Say no, say no, say no) Yes.

Them: Oh alright. And I take it you are working part time?

Me: (What the? You take it?) No.

Them: Oh alright. Well this is not a sales call. I am just calling you for giving you some informations, so this is not a sales call so ok do you work part time?

Me: (Not a sales call my arse. Did I not just answer this question?) No, I work all the time but I don’t get paid for what I do.

Them: Oh ok, um, excuse me?

Me: (Oh go away) LL leave your sister alone! No, take the train off her head NOW! As you can hear I have small children and I do not get paid to look after them and I am not interested in whatever you are offering.

Them: Oh alright. So your husband works then?

Me: (And what if I didn’t have a husband? What if he just died or if I was a lesbian? What would you say then?) Yes and I’m still not interested, thank you.

Them: Oh alright, so does he earn more than $70,000 a year? Just an idea of course I am not needing to know exactly just an idea…

Me: (Fuck off!) That’s none of your business, my children are screaming for lunch, I have vegemite from here to eternity and I am not interested in what you have to sell me, thank you very much, good bye.

Them: Oh madam this is not a sales call it is only information…

Me: (Madam?) *beep…beep…beep…*.

Why do they always push me over the edge?

Later I fantasise about the conversation I would love to have with a telemarketer…

Me: Hello?

Them: …

Me: Hello hello? Earth calling telemarketer? Come in!

Them: Oh hello. Am I speaking with, uh, Mr Dewbury?

Me: Yes! Well, anatomically I am still Mr, but I am well on the way to a complete physical transformation, so you can call me Ms Dewberry if you like. That would make me happy.

Them: Oh alright, so this is Mrs Dewberry?

Me: No, darling, that would be my mother, God rest her soul. No, I am in the process of a gernder re-assignment, so I guess you could say I am Mr on the outside but Ms on the inside and working on bringing my inner goddess out.

Them: Oh alright then. So, Mr Dewberry? Are you the owner of the house?

Me: Well, we are really all Stewards, aren’t we? I mean anything that I have is not really my own in that it is all given by God into our care for the short period that we walk this earth, so in that sense I am not so much the owner as the minder of this home.

Them: Oh alright. So you are renting?

Me: No no. God doesn’t ask payment.

Them: So you are the owner?

Me: If you say so.

Them: And I take it you are working part time?

Me: If you love what you do, you are never working.

Them: Oh alright. So your husband… er wife… er is working then?

Me: We live off the land. My husband-to-be is actually out back lopping the head off one of our chickens as we speak. I will harvest some potatoes and rosemary for the roast, right after I finish plucking the poor dear. Bless it’s soul. Amen.

Them: Oh alright, so does he earn more than $70,000 a year? Just an idea of course I am not needing to know exactly just an idea…

Me: It’s a she and I’m not sure where a chicken would get that kind of money. What would a chicken do with money in any case? You do ask some strange questions…

Them: Oh alright… um… excuse me?

Me: Chickens. You asked if the chicken earned 70 grand a year? Doing what, exactly? Not laying, that’s for sure – in fact, that’s why we decided to eat her; got to lay your way in this family, so to speak…

Them: *Click-Beep…beep…beep…*

Me: Hello? Hello? That’ll learn ya.

One day I’ll have the presence of mind. One day…


Dancing queen


In honour of Beatrix Potter and The Royal Ballet, I present:

The Little Lion


The costume



The Inspiration


The Stage


The Rehearsal


The Dance


The Passion


The Pinnacle


Little Lion takes the stage


My sister’s little girl has grown up and grown up girls don’t need Wiggles DVDs, Thomas videos, indeed they don’t need any of that kiddy-type stuff any more. So when a box full of goodies arrived on my lap, I happily sorted though it and kept what appealed to me… For the Little Lion, folks… Geeze, what do you think I am? A mummy who forces her kids to watch Dirt Girl World just to see if Dirt Girl and Scrap Boy are going to confess their feelings for each other or something? Ugh, as if!

Among the salvaged collection is an old video that I just couldn’t pass on, despite having serious doubts as to its entertainment value: “The Tales of Beatrix Potter with the Royal Ballet”. Yep, a whole lot of ballerinas dressed up as pigs and mice and ducks and squirrels, trying very hard to leap gracefully and pirouette without being toppled by their grossly over-sized animal heads. Each segment is separated from the next with eerie silence as the audience is forced to watch a girl (presumably Beatrix Potter) as she reads a (very obviously blank-paged) book, or eat soup, or watch a clock ticking… Creepy stuff on the whole.

So you can imagine my dismay when the Little Lion discovered this video (which I had carefully stashed in the furthest reaches of the cupboard lest I be caught out actually having this strange piece in my collection) and demanded that he “Watch mousey now!” When I tried to convince him that Dirt Girl was a much better option he was adamant, “NO! LL watch proggy now, LL watch girl now, LL watch mousey now!”

In no mood for an argument, I put it on and walked away fully expecting cries of dismay from the lounge room at any moment. But they never came. He was transfixed. And he has requested that bizarre collection of prancing animals every day since.

Now, I’m not a big fan of sitting LL in front of the TV. He’s got waaaaaay too much energy to burn and I’m damned if I’m going to let him store it all up for bed time, but as we all do on occasions, I LOVE the television when I just need him to go away and not speak to me for a bit. You know, those times when you need to get the baby to sleep, or when you need to go to the toilet in peace because you haven’t had a relaxed and satisfying expulsion in a few days and you fear you will kill the next person who bursts through the bathroom door demanding to know what you are doing, and whether they can wipe your backside for you, preeeeese. So, on goes the classical music and silent goes the toddler. Magic.

And then this morning, after taking his nappy off to do a post-poo pretend-poo in his potty, LL put his shorts back on himself – this means he put both legs through the one hole so that he appeared to be wearing a skin-tight mini with a matching saddle bag on his hip. Unfortunately, in order to be able to walk, the mini had to be pulled up just high enough for his crown jewels to peek out under the hem. This circus-print mini was teamed with a workman’s blue singlet and I couldn’t help but smile when he strode into the kitchen, full of self-satisfaction.

The little picture of manliness demanded, “Mummy, sing! Sing RA-RAA-RAAAAA berry big! LL be mousey.” And he struck a pose in readiness for the music to begin. As I uttered the first notes of a disastrous attempt at dramatic orchestral music, he launched into a dance like no other. He swayed and pirouetted and lept like Billy Elliot himself. When he gracefully placed his hands on his hips and began tapping an Irish jig, it was all I could do to keep the music coming, tears streaming down my cheeks and Blossom looking on with the wide eyes of somebody utterly perplexed.

For ten minutes I was treated to the most enthralling, circus-mini-clad, penis-jiggling, hand-flicking, saddle-bag bouncing, wobbly-spinning ballet dance ever to be performed in a kitchen.

The self-applause when LL took a graceful bow was thunderous and I am still chuckling at the thought of the triumph in his face – Beatrix would be so proud…

So who says TV is all bad?

Bite Me


Dear Jean and Joe Average,

Here’s a taboo topic for you: My son, the Little Lion, occasionally bites his sister. So bite me. Does that make me a bad mother? Does that make him a bad little boy? Will we all go to Hell in a pea green boat because my poor little two-year-old is finding it hard to express his very strong emotions in a socially acceptable manner?

It doesn’t happen often, but judging by the reaction from you onlookers, you would think he had just bludgeoned her to death with his “noi”.

Your eyes widen, you gasp and squeal and tut, “Oh my!” and “Oh dear!” and “What will you do with him?” and “What will he be like when he’s older?!”. I don’t know, should I banish him to the desert? Tie his feet to cement blocks and throw him off the pier? Dear God, he may grow up to be a cannibal! Or maybe a vampire! Well, here’s hoping he’ll unleash his fury on you next, you imbecile.

It’s hard enough for me to control my urge to throw LL across the room for hurting my baby Blossom while also dealing with the ache that my first born is so distressed that he has to lash out in this way. So I sure as hell don’t need to hear you judge and label my little boy.

He’s not “A Biter” because he occasionally bites as much as he is not “An Angel” because he occasionally does as he’s asked. He’s not “A Chatterbox” because he enjoys a conversation, he’s not “Gay” because he likes to wear necklaces and carry handbags, and he’s not “Naughty” because he enjoys deliberately defying his mother. He is an average little boy trying to figure out this very confusing world full of terrible, frightening, challenging experiences for which he has not yet learned the coping mechanisms that we grown ups take for granted.

In fact, truth be known, I sometimes wish I could turf the stupid social filters that make me suppress my more animal urges. It would be wildly satisfying to bare my teeth, snarl and lunge at you self-righteous turds as you tut ruefully at the little mark on Blossom’s arm.

I won’t bite him back, I won’t wallop him and I won’t publicly humiliate him. You do what you like with your kids. I’m dealing with “this issue” my own way – my son will know his boundaries, he will feel safe enough to express his emotions freely, and he will have healthy strategies to cope with difficult feelings (rather than being forced to repress them and later stifle them with addictions of one kind or another) and he will know that he is loved no matter what.

These are big, hard lessons to learn and they will take some time. In the meantime, you can fuck right off with your suggestions.

With mildly masked disdain,

Lioness Fang.



I’ve just spent 600 dollars. Yep 600 happy ones.

What did I get for it? Sweet diddly squat. Nichts. Nada. Niet.

Why would I do such a thing? I mean, why not spend $600 on a sorely needed new wardrobe (the clothes, not the space in which to hang them)? Or some sorely needed new computer software to help me in my creative pursuits? Or on delicious, delightful, divine trees for my garden? Or on a few nights away? Or on books, books and more books? Or on stationery, or on cooking classes, or on haberdashery that I will never use or movies I’ll never watch or diamond encrusted knuckle-dusters to beat the living daylights out of the stupid old bat who cost me the 600 bucks in the first goddamn place?!

Why? Because of one ridiculous moment and the gross overreaction of a dumbass, that’s why.

Common scenario – leaving the shops (too late) with a car full of groceries. Blossom screaming her head off for some arbitrary reason (as babies do) and Little Lion roaring back at her with wild accusations that she (at 7 months old and with an acre of car between them) had stolen his water, had touched his hair, had hurt his hammer and had, God forbid, smiled at him. In the melee, Mother was heading rapidly toward a melt down.

We stopped at the traffic lights. I turned around to give LL one of my best in my saved-for-special-occasions angry voice. He was lamenting the loss of his water bottle and I spotted it, just beside his car seat. I reached with my Go-Go-Gadget arm (does anyone else still refer to him?). I twisted and stretched and…

BUMP – the car stopped again, rather curiously.

Next thing, a crazy fat old bat starts peeling herself out of the car in front of me, gesticulating wildly.

I open my door to escape the screeching only to be struck by:


Sweet fucking lordy lord, the woman was insane.  And the ‘damage’ was two pin-prick scratches off her bumper that I cannot guarantee were not made by flying fucking rocks a few goddamn light years ago. The thought to just drive off would not have normally crossed my mind, but since she suggested it…

Bloody conscience needs to learn to shut the fuck up. If I’d have driven off I would not only have saved myself the $600 excess, but the 15 minute ordeal of listening to her have a bloody coronary.

“Oh, I never. I’ll have to call my husband. I don’t know what to do. What are we supposed to do? Shall I call the police? Oh, this has never happened. I’m panicking…” No shit, lady. You ever had screaming kids and melting ice-cream in the back of your car? Give me the pen and I’ll give you all the bloody details you need to commit highway robbery of the first degree.

And to cap it all, the moment I slammed my door on the hysterical woman, the kids stopped their screeching and Little Lion, in his most convivial tone said, “Bye bye Lady!” and waved cheerily through the window.

Just peachy.

Taking the sting out of the garden


We have been working hard to get rid of the chaotic weed heap in the centre of the yard. Sounds so simple, huh?

I’ve transplanted the 489 spontaneous tomato plants hidden among the thistles, nettles, rampant nasturtium and all manner of clover, dandelion, fire weed and nightshade. Mr D has constructed the first of three compost bays and I have shovelled a mountain and a half of grass clippings…

But all this takes inordinate lengths of time because of one little apprentice determined to help and another little apprentice determined to be carried AT ALL TIMES! The upshot: I work with a baby strapped to the back until we are both too hot and sweaty to breathe and Little Lion sets the pace – think snail.

So a few weeks ago, we were all out back pottering away at our various tasks, LL shouting from time to time for Mummy to “look! bug!” or “dig! hole!” or “my! bucket!”, Blossom casually sucking on an Ergo strap. Naturally, LL gravitated toward the centre of our activity and wanted to pull out some weeds too. At this point, daddy felt it was time for a lesson:

“Look. This is Stinging Nettle. Don’t touch. It will hurt you. Ouch!”

Little Lion crouched beside his father, hands on knees, nodding as he listened with his grave little face contemplating what daddy said. “Ting Net. Ouch,” he said, pointing.

“That’s right. Don’t touch. It’s ouch.”

A gleam sparked in LL’s eye. He reached out his hand and looked to his father to check his reaction. Mr D’s eyes widened in warning, “No, don’t touch. Stinging Nettle will hurt you…”

The Lion giggled. This was a great game.


And he did. Grabbed a hand full. Mouth shot open. Horrified eyes searched for the garden for his mother – how could Daddy have betrayed him so? And he screamed…

I did what any mother would do – knelt to the ground and stretched my arms wide ready to receive my distressed boy. And he did what any distressed boy would do – ran for the comforting arms of his mother.

Only trouble was the enormous patch of Singing Nettle between him and me. That’s right, the patch that he (for some incomprehensible reason) did not swerve wildly and carefully tip-toe around to avoid. He ran straight through the thick of it. Right up to his bare little waist with his bare little legs brushing against those leaves of fire time and time and time again.

His face said it all – “Mum and Dad are in cahoots and they’ve got it in for me.”

The welts eventually faded, but the emotional scars remain. All you have to do is say “Singing Nettle” and you can see the grey clouds shadow his face. “Ouch,” he will solemnly reply without so much as a glance in your direction.  And that damned weed patch has lived to fight another day… week… ok, month or two.

We’ll get it one day.

We really will.

Pig in mud


We moved into our beautiful home in December last year and yesterday I felt the need to do a stock take of all that we’ve done to the place so far. That’s right, you can’t move into a beautiful home and not do stuff to it. That would be, I don’t know, relaxing or something.

The reason for the stock take is that I have been feeling like I’m not making headway on much. You know what it’s like when you start a million things that never get quite finished because there is playdoh to squish, nursery rhymes to sing, crayon to scrub off walls, banana to scrape from the cracks in the floorboards… all the regular stuff. It took me four hours to send a 5-sentence email the other day! So while Blossom had her morning nap, Little Lion and I went out into the sunshine to check the perimeter.

We really have been doing plenty, but it’s all that stuff that makes you feel like you’re actually going backwards, courtesy of the mud and general look of destruction about the place. Cutting down trees… lots of trees, underground mains, three-phase power, stormwater. Yep, our place has been trench-city for some time, but we covered the trenches in a few weeks ago, we let them settle and watered them in, we topped them up and last weekend we threw a bit of grass seed around (too feed the pigeons, it would seem). With this weather, thunk I, it should all be sprouting in no time and those muddy scars will be gone for good.

And not before time, too. You see, Little Lion had a bit of a run in with one of those bare earth patches last week. Literally. He had his gumboots on (because making contact with the ground with bare feet is just not on!) and phone in hand when it suddenlt occurred to him that he had something of the utmost urgency to report to Daddy. He turned with a flourish and charged with all his little legs could muster, only to find one of those damned boots was firmly embedded in the dirt. The poor little mite hit the ground with such a splat he was chewing on grit for days.

Consequently, he has developed a mud phobia and all my attempts to teach him the joys of barefoot outdoor exploration and general grubbiness have been sent right back to lesson one. So on our stock-take perimeter check I was thrilled to find he was quite happy to tip-toe through the dewey grass! Sadly, a breakthrough that was not to last.

Because then we came to the mud. He asked to be carried. I granted the request and boldy went on, praising the joys of squishing mud between one’s toes when the earth disappeared beneath me and I, with my screaming toddler, was knee-deep in sludge and sinking.

It took a good minute of struggle to extract myself (shorts still in place) from the bog – Bear Grills eat your heart out! I could only be grateful that I had chosen the bootless option otherwise I may have been forced to dive in after them.

Every attempt to make light of the fact I was covered to my pits in brown goo was entirely lost on the Little Lion. There is no way he will ever touch the stuff again. I’m sure of it. Not even the opportunity to hose me down gave him any joy. He stood and wailed and was certain I needed a doctor. The day was spent reliving the ordeal and checking to see that all the mud was cleared from my toes.

And this little piggy was so much looking forward to mudpies with my leaf litter tea…

We’re flogging with Lori today! Enjoy!