Capricious Contemplations


Is it just me or does Ludo the dog look terrified of Prince George the Bruiser?

My kids grew up with a dog in the house. Daisy the Protector, who used to sleep by my daughters cradle. Then Bert the Untrainable and Queenie the Magnificent. Now we have Charlotte the Greedy, along side with Bert. My kids, although teenagers, still adore the dogs and vice versa.

If my kids had their way, the house would be filled with dogs of all breeds, all named specifically according to their personality. For fun, my daughter likes to think of names for animals, the way I like to name babies. Names and dogs are our things.

An obsession with names has an actual name. Onomamania. A name for the namers. 

A few nights ago I dreamed of having a third baby. Quelle horreur! It was a girl. The names were flying around in my dream, devolving into something unpronounceable and absurd.

Eventually I settled on the name I sometimes wished I had named my daughter. Oh don’t get me wrong. I love my daughters’s name, it’s right one for her, but I have two names that I still adore. Names I cling to in case I go insane and have a third child of the female persuasion. And no, you can’t know what it is.

When girlfriends of the past asked me for baby naming advice, I delivered. I am the naming midwife. I have even had a few who took my advice. But I never gave them my special names. I can’t. I don’t know why. They feel like they are only for me.

But I know my baby days are gone. I am on the home straight now. One child finishes school this year, while the other has started high school. It’s the schooling that does my head in when I think of having more kids. The lunches, the holidays, the pushing, the playground politics.

When my daughter was in prep, she had a lot of time off due to operations and illness. In the July they told me she would have to stay down because she couldn’t read.

I bought a book on teaching your child to read and we did it over the holidays. She went back to school and moved into top reading group. I worked my butt off to get her read and she never looked back. She loved the games so much, she asked me to play them for fun, not realising she was learning.

There was another child who had to stay down because of reading issues, amongst others things. His mother said to me, ‘Why should I teach him to read, that’s what I pay the school to do? I never do the readers. they’re boring.’

Okay…they’re not for you, just sayin’.

At the end of the road of education, I have realised the school is only 20% and the rest comes from home.

Right now I am coaxing my daughter through VCE. She isn’t naturally motivated, unless there’s an episode of New Girl and bottle of nail polish waiting on the other side. I have both at the ready. Good habits are forming and she is happier than she’s ever been.

A mum at school has put four girls through VCE, and she took six months off from her high-powered job when each of her girls did VCE. I thought this was indulgent. Now I get it. It’s full on. FULL ON. If your kids isn’t naturally organised and is easily distracted, then this is your job for the year. I said no to a job last week because I cannot possibly be able to handle a job, writing a book and getting the kid through VCE.

Happy Monday. I’m already exhausted.





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