WELCOME TO MY BLOG!

Thanks for stopping by to KN J Tales and Snippets! Let me tell you a bit about myself and how this blog came to be.

I started journal writing as a form of cathartic release from all of the stresses of being a mother of two young children, working, and day-to-day living.

I found that many of my journal entries were funny snippets of my day spent with my two adventurous and cheeky cherubs. Oftentimes, I’ve found myself in rather amusing and outright unbelievable situations. Of course, there have been times upon self-reflection where the entries speak of the darker moments in my life, like my struggles with mental health issues and parenting.

Journal writing re-awakened my love for creative writing and storytelling. I found a desire to share my words with others. And so after much deliberation, this blog was born. My very own blog journal!

If you choose to join me on my journey, you’ll probably read short stories based on my personal experiences in life and as a parent. Most of the time, they’ll be funny and relatable, maybe even inspiring! Other times, you might read some words that are hard for me to write but find the courage to share.

I’ll aim for a weekly post. Maybe even two! (very unlikely at this stage in life)

Subscribe to my email list if you want to be informed of new content as my posting regime is best described as erratic.

I hope you enjoy reading my words as much as I love writing them.

x Kathy

KN J Tales and Snippet

THE MEETING OF THE PARENTS

Meeting your partner’s parents for the first time is a daunting experience. Will they like you? Are they nice people? Will you like them?

Conversely, having your parents meet your partner for the first time is equally stressful. What if they hate him or her? What if they don’t get along?

For some people, these what-ifs have the potential to be deal breakers.

However, I’m of the opinion that having your parents meet your partner’s parents has the most potential for problems. To me, that’s the stuff nightmares are made of. Who hosts? When and where? Who pays for the meal? Who should reach out first? What if there are glaring differences or clashing personalities… quiet vs outspoken, paleo vs vegan, huggers vs non-huggers?

A poor outcome could impact on the couple’s future.

Recently, my brother and his fiancée had their parentals meet. I forewarned my brother to keep dad’s alcohol beverages to a minimum in a bid to prevent his brain-to-mouth filter from disintegrating completely. I reminded him of my experience where dad (a few beers in) thought talking about his prostate problems and cystoscopy (with detailed explanation of how the tubing goes into the penis) were good conversation starters. I suggested perhaps reminding dad about common social etiquette and avoiding controversial discussion topics.

But my brother wasn’t worried. In fact, he wanted dad to be himself… warts and all. It actually made me feel shit for being embarrassed by dad’s lack of decorum. While I worried and stressed over having the perfect meeting, my brother was self-secured and unfazed by any negative eventualities. He took things as they came. I wondered if my fixation of having my parents present a good impression made me a shallow person?

According to my brother and our parents, the meeting went well. With no language barriers, the men discovered that as young lads they were neighbours in Vietnam. They had similar tales of their refugee experience and found many commonalities. Both had no qualms pulling out their cameras, phones and tripods to record the meeting. My brother said the women got along well and my mum even invited them over for tea, which is unheard of for my extremely introverted mother.

I’m happy for my brother. Having the in-laws and our parents gets along is wonderful and I wish it were so in my case. Unfortunately, for me, there is a language and cultural barrier and both sides aren’t particularly eager to find common ground. It makes organising special occasions like the kids’ birthday parties difficult, usually with only one side invited or two events held.

Sometimes I wonder whether things could have turned out differently had I been less anxious about formalities and etiquette. I wonder whether the relationship between the parents could have taken a different route had I bridged the gap in cultural and language barriers. But ultimately, I know I am not responsible for the actions or inactions of grown adults. I had no control on the situation or situations that have occurred since.

I hope when it’s time for me to meet my children’s partner’s family, I’ll graciously set aside my ego and reserve judgements. I hope I will embrace them with open arms or at least be civil. I would do this for the sake of my children and their happiness.

Copyright © 2020, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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HALF-PRICED DISCOUNT STILL NOT ENOUGH

“Make time for yourself.”
“It’s not about having time. It’s about making time.”
“Have a break. Have a Kit Kat.”

Life is just damn hectic. It’s go-go go from the moment I wake up and doesn’t end until I’m passed out in bed. I’m like a lab rat running on a wheel, only I’m not having fun and I can’t get off. Every so often I need a time-out, sit on the bench, press the pause button on life and give myself some self-love.

Everyone has different ideas when it comes to self-love. Some people go away on retreats. Some people do treks to reconnect with nature (*shudder*). Some people simply need a night without the kids.

My choice of self-love comes in the form of discounts, coupons and bargains. So when a business card for fifty percent off hair colouring and cut was thrust into my palm, I decided I was well overdue for some me-time.


I leaned back on the comfy chair and closed my eyes. The warm water washed over my poorly maintained hair and the caressing hands of Salon Lady massaged my scalp. It felt divine.

“Mummy.”

I ignored the voice. The smell of sweetly scented shampoo wafted towards my nose as it was slathered on my hair.

“Mummy! I’m bored.”

I couldn’t remember the last time I got a head massage. It felt great. I almost fell asleep. Almost.

“Mum! Are you even listening to me?”

I opened my eyes and peered over to my six-year-old fickle pickle.

“Darling, I told you that I would be here for a few hours,” I told Mandy. “You insisted on coming with me.”

Mandy gave me The Look. A perfect combination of apathy and boredom expected from an adolescent.

“Why don’t you get some crayons and paper from the massive bag you made me carry and create something,” I said as I closed my eyes. I desperately tried to emulate feelings of being pampered and relaxed. You know, the ones you’re supposed to have while getting hair treatment at an expensive boutique salon.

Salon Lady left to get the heating towel.

“Mummy, you should see how much of your hair is in the sink!” Mandy exclaimed, peeking into the basin.

“What?” I asked. There wasn’t any point pretending to relax anymore.

“So so much hair. Mummy, that colour doesn’t suit you,” Mandy remarked as if she was a hair colouring expert.

“It’s my natural hair colour,” I replied dryly.

Salon Lady placed the towel on my conditioned hair and asked me to chill out. How on earth was I meant to ‘chill out’ with a Debbie Downer in my ear?

After what seemed like an age of listening to Mandy whine and getting a crook neck from being forgotten by Salon Lady, I shuffled over to the chair to have my hair cut. I saw Mandy spinning in circles on a salon stool.

“Mandy! Stop that!” I yelled out. “Jeez Louise.”

I continued chatting to Salon Lady about the real estate market. From the corner of my eye, I could see Mandy draped over two seats and doing horizontal leg presses.

“Mandy! Seriously!” I yelled again. At the rate I was jerking about, I’d become a trendsetter in sporting lopsided haircuts.

As Salon Lady prepared to blow dry my hair, Mandy jumped up and down in front of me.

“Mum, I need to go,” Mandy muttered. “Like now.”

The salon didn’t have a toilet.

Self-love total bill = 50% discount + 10% whining surcharge + 10% negative commentary tax + 100% quick exit fee

Not much of a win, right?

Copyright © 2019, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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THE SMELLY BUSINESS OF RAISING A BOY

Staring at the two young boys rubbing their crotch against my leather couch, I tried hard to mask the horror on my face. In my mind, I could see only two solutions to this problem: bleach the couch or get a new one.

“They do this all the time. Boys are obsessed with their penises!” laughed my friend, brushing off the strange behaviour as a common problem all mothers of boys experienced.

At the time, having a well-mannered and mild-tempered four-year-old daughter, I could not imagine any son of mine being different. Honestly, if someone had told me that raising boys would involve a ton of toilet humour and penile fascination, I would have scoffed at their ridiculous suggestion. But five years on, with a four-year-old son of my own, I am eating my words.

Now I scoff when anyone tells me that raising boys is no different from raising girls (e.g. my mum, who tells me that my inferior parenting skills are the reasons behind my son’s mischievous nature). Parenting a boy is like being a circus trainer, tasked with corralling a crazed monkey hyped on natural adrenaline. Imagine a cymbal clapping monkey with no off button and short-circuited.

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Perhaps it’s just my son, and I’m giving circus monkeys a bad name. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son. He is very loving and sweet, but man does he test my limits in ways my daughter never did.

When I complain about grey hairs as a result of raising a boy, I don’t think people truly believe me. So I think the best way is to give examples of how raising a boy has been different from raising a girl.

Example 1:
My four-year-old son and I are sprawled on the couch with a blanket on us. We chat about random topics. Out of nowhere, he pulls the blanket over our heads. Thinking it was a new game, I go along with it. He gives a suspicious giggle. A second later, I’m throwing off the blanket and gagging from the foul-smelling odour hitting my nostrils. Where my daughter finds bodily fumes disgusting, my son thinks it’s funny to Dutch oven his mother.

Point here: Little boys are fascinated with flatulence. They love doing farts, wielding these smelly fluff fluffs like weapons of mass destruction. If my son could use his putrid puffs as currency, he would be rich.

Example 2:
Every night I give the kids a goodnight cuddle and a kiss before they hop into bed. One night, my son asks me to crouch down to his level. Thinking that he wanted a big cuddle, I bend down. Instead of receiving a goodnight cuddle, my son turns his back to me, bends at the waist and proceeds to fart in my face. He laughs like a crazy hyena before scooting off to bed.

Point here: As a mother, I should always be on high alert for any signs pointing towards a fart attack. See previous point. 

Example 3:
We meet up with another boy my son’s age for a play date at the park. The minute we hit the playground, it’s like game on. My son turns everything into a pissing contest.

“Mummy, my water bottle is bigger than his!”
“Push me higher! I want to go higher than him!”
“I got here first, this is my steering wheel!”

Point here: Little boys are competitive. Whether it’s innate or not, expect roughhousing, aggression and most likely, tantrums.

Example 4:
Since my son has been out of nappies, he’s become obsessed with his penis. Sometimes he uses his peen as a hose. Sometimes it’s a toy to explore.

Oh, there’s a hole… I wonder if I can put something in it? Oh, what happens if I pull the skin really far out? Oh, I wonder what these two bumps are?

And now that he has better control of his bladder, he waits until shower time and uses my clean shower screen as his canvas for a pee drawing. A penis art brush.

Point here: Little boys love their penises, almost as much as potty humour. I bet this is a life-long love.

There are many examples I could write about but then this post would never end. And now, there is an eerie silence in the house, which is rarely a good thing when parenting a boy.

Let me sign off by saying there’s a certain charm to raising boys… and smell.

Copyright © 2020, KN J Tales and Snippets. All rights reserved.

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