Things I Know about Boys – Chalk and Cheese

I have two boys, Squidge and Bruce.  I read Mrs Woog’s recent post – Genetically Non-Gifted which got me thinking about my own two boys and how different they are in personality.

By coincidence they were playing a ‘board’ game that day.  It was an A3 piece of paper with a game about recycling that Squidge brought home from school following an ‘incursion’*  by some people from the Henderson Waste Recovery Park.  Re-enforcing their message of re-use, they didn’t provide counters or a die with which to play the game – we recycled the bits from our Wiggles Snakes and Ladders game.

So Anthony and Murray were being pushed around the board.  At a stage in the game the boys had a choice.  Take the short – but risky – cut, or go the long – but safe – way round.

Bruce took the short cut.  It paid off for him first time and he won so he persisted.  Squidge, each and every time went the safe path.  Squidge won more than Bruce but that didn’t stop Bruce.

And that folks, in essence you have it – their personalities personified by a board game.

Are your kids chalk and cheese?


* one of my most HATED words is incursion.  Had the people who chose to use this word in this way bothered to look it up in a dictionary?  A hostile entrance into a territory.  I feel uneasy every time I’m asked for permission for a child to participate in an incursion.  Just what am I signing them up for?


Things I Know About Boys – Illnesses

This post should really be called Things I Know now that I’m a Parent as I’m sure that these equally apply to girls as to boys.

I have been surprised in lots of ways since becoming a parent.  Who knew that little baby boys could wee so much, so often and with such force as you change their nappy?

However, it would have to be ‘conditions’ that kids end up with that have been most surprising.  I remember as a child having mumps (should have listened when my Mum told me not to go and talk to my friend waiting in the car who had them), measles and chicken pox (that was a bad one – I went in to hospital with chicken pox).

Sure, my boys have had colds, flu, gastro (where DB has shown his true colours – didn’t ever have him pegged as a vomit catcher but he’s very good at it – doesn’t dry reach at all).  But it’s the other stuff that people don’t tell you about.

Squidge has been on the receiving end of a general anaesthetic 3 times, Bruce once. I’ve sat with them as they went under, struggling, jerking as if in a bad dream, and coming out of it crying or just hungry and grumpy.

It wasn’t until Bruce was born that I understood why when a baby, even only slightly premmie, has trouble breathing it’s not so much that they could die from a lack of oxygen. Instead the chances are greater that they’ll die of exhaustion as their little bodies work so hard to get sufficient oxygen.

Via Squidge I’ve come to learn not to trust asthma.  Sleeping in a chair next to his bed in the observation ward at our children’s hospital, he was ok and then suddenly he wasn’t and was being rushed to a resuscitation bay as a precaution.  I’ve learnt that a cocktail of ventolin, adrenaline, oxygen and steroids can pick them right up again and just about have them climbing the walls when all you want to do is cry and sleep.

I didn’t know about croup.  The first time Squidge barked when he coughed scared us to death and we rushed him to hospital.  We were taught croup first aid (sitting in a bathroom made steamy by the shower on hot and full) and as he kept getting it we were prescribed a steroid to give him at home.  I didn’t hesitate when I had to call 000 because he was just so much worse one time even after the steroid and I didn’t hesitate two more times after that.

I didn’t know about hand, foot and mouth.  When DB rang to tell me daycare had sent Squidge home with it I was speechless.  He’s not a sheep I thought.  And by then I was at the end of my tether having taken more sick leave in a few months back at work than I ever had in a few years of employment (and I only worked part-time).

Then there were school sores (impetigo) and streptococcal infections in places I didn’t even know you could get them (until I’d watched Everybody Loves Raymond I’d never heard of strep throat let alone strep other bits).

Throw in constant ear infections for Bruce in his first 18 months of life, debates with a GP about how many doses of antibiotics is too many for a baby not yet 12 months old (I still say 8 is too many) and the feeling that we alone are subsidising our pharmacist’s end of year Christmas function and this parenting lark has been a steep learning curve.

I’m sure there’s more to come.

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It’s all about moi

Recently I got an email from our local shopping centre inviting me to enter a competition to win some time with a personal stylist.

So I did and I did.  Last Monday saw me head off for the appointment.  I was very nervous.  What do you wear to an appointment with a personal stylist?  Trackies and ugh-boots so they have a ‘blank canvas’ to work with?  The green cardigan I bought from Colarado 12 years ago that I still wear today?

Hmmm – what to wear?

Perhaps not.  I went for the layer cake look.  Leggings, top, tunic and cardigan over the tunic.  Essentially I was black, beige and various shades of grey.

The first 30 – 40 minutes were spent on a bit of a sales pitch – the other services they provide and then down to what kind of style personality was I?  I wasn’t aware my style had a personality but it turns out I’m Classic with a sub-style of Natural.  So there.

We also discussed which parts of my body I liked and dis-liked.  The dis-like column was fairly long but Ashleigh (my personal stylist – cue nervous laugh from me) didn’t seem phased.

Ashleigh then took me through what fashion basics I should have in my wardrobe.  Am I stuck in a black and white rut?  Am I ever.  I defended this by saying it was economical.  All my stuff would always go together.  Ashleigh suggested I branch out and try some other colours with black.  Hmmm.  That seemed rather radical.

We put together a shopping list.  DB would have had a whole litter of kittens had he seen THAT list.  A suit, the classic white shirt, a couple of different coloured shirts, black skirt – that was just the ‘for work’ list.  On the recreational list were 2 long cardigans, plain tops, a trench coat and a dress.

Armed with the shopping list we hit the shops.  We don’t have many boutiques at our local.  We don’t have any big ones like Myer or DJs.  That was probably a good thing.  The boutiques we do have are, hmmm, for the budget conscious.

In the first shop, Crossroads, I found a long cardigan that fit nicely (not black, not frumpy – instantly a winner), a bright coloured top to go with it and a black skirt for work.  Even better they had a great deal where the cardigan was full price but the other two items were 50% off.

It was in Crossroads that another customer in the store asked Ashleigh if they had an item in her size.  “Oh, I don’t work here, I’m this lady’s personal stylist”.  I giggled like a little girl.

Then we hit Rockmans and I walked out with a suit for work, a couple of tops (not black!) and a chunky necklace that Ashleigh had used to demonstrate how it drew the eye away from the bits we don’t want people to notice (the jiggly bits in the middle).

Crossroads and Rockmans are two shops that I normally walk in to and then out of fairly quickly, I struggle to sort the wheat from the chaff.  I was pleasantly surprised to find more than one thing in them both that I liked and the time with Ashleigh has helped me to narrow down what to look for.

At the end of the 2 hours, I’d had fun.  That shopping adventure was about no-one else but me.  DB almost had one or two kittens about what I bought home but I can justify it.  I won’t need to buy winter clothes for work for years (because I’m a Classic and the basics just don’t go out of fashion); I’ve learnt how to use some of the stuff I already have in my wardrobe more efficiently – putting together colours I wouldn’t have tried before; and it’s my birthday in a couple of months and I’ve simply saved him of going to the trouble of finding me something I’d like.

If you’re interested, the stylist was from shopnfriends and the shopping centre with the reasonably priced stores was Gateways which is south of the river in Perth.

Disclosure:  I wasn’t paid or in anyway provided with incentives to write this post.  All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

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