FREE WILLY

How do you know if you’re a prude? Secretly, I think I might be one. I cringe inwardly while watching sex scenes. I cringe inwardly while listening to my friends discuss their sexual anything. I cringe at seeing people being overtly physical in public. I cringe at seeing too much flesh – like boobs threatening jailbreak or underbutts playing peekaboo. It would seem that I cringe a lot.

I blame my parents for this cringing problem. Perhaps if my parents had understood the importance of being open with discussions on sex, consent and STDs or healthy body image and relationships, maybe I would be more confident within my own skin. And therefore, I wouldn’t be prone to cringing as often.

My three-year-old son started on-site kindergarten this week. On his second day, my husband found a car park in front of the vacant lot next to the kindergarten. I remained in the car with our daughter while he lined up to retrieve our son.

A black SUV swerved into the spot in front of us and out climbed a woman in a worn grey drop crotch baggy pants (the crotch was dangling between her knees) and an off-the-shoulder sweat top. She milled around chatting to the other parents (minus the appropriate social distance) before dragging her boy to the boot of her car.

“I hope she’s not going to throw him in the back!” exclaimed my seven-year-old daughter, Mandy.

The woman did throw the boy into the boot but not because she ran out of passenger seats. Instead, she stripped him of his clothes while loudly cursing to anyone who would listen about how he had wet his pants. She proceeded to take her butt naked son to the nearest tree to pee, which happened to be on the vacant lot. The only tree was located next to the footpath where parents were lined up for kinder pick-ups. It was also in our direct line of sight.

The duo didn’t go behind said tree or go towards the bushes in the back of the lot. The woman stood in front of the tree with the boy facing the footpath. His penis was in full view. His spray hit dangerously close to those waiting nearby. The mother had absolutely no compunction about her son peeing in public.

“That’s weird,” commented Mandy.

Weird was an understatement. I mean, really? I’m all about free Willy but was there no shame? I get that when a young child needs to go, they need to go. And sometimes, a tree is the only option. But come on! Turn the other way for goodness’ sake!

Honestly, it was like watching a train wreck. I couldn’t have looked away even if I wanted to and you can bet that I cringed. I cringed so hard my face got a stitch. But you know what? This doesn’t make me a prude. Nope, no siree!

Who wouldn’t cringe watching a naked three-year-old boy emptying his bladder while his mother casually chats to people standing nearby? These people didn’t ask to be within spraying distance!

Whatever happened to being discreet?!

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

https://knj.home.blog/privacy-policy/

AGE OF REASON

Henry, my three-year-old son holds a chicken nugget and pretends it’s a person.

This is my Mummy, she’s short and round.

Cue a muffled half-snort-laugh from the husband and an all-out cackle from the seven-year-old daughter. Ha-di-ha-ha.

Apparently, children don’t develop a brain filter until about seven years of age, give or take a year. Until then, children will give you unfiltered truth as they see it and it can be hard to hear.

Like the time my son gave me his assessment of everyone’s role in the family.

Daddy’s job is going to work. Mandy’s job is going to school. My job is playing. And Mummy’s job is yelling.

I almost spat my coffee in surprise, and that surely would have ended in some yelling.

As children grow older, changes to their brain development means that there are greater cognitive capacities for processing emotions and showing empathy.

So situations like this won’t happen. You can only hope.

Me: Can you get me some toilet paper from the other toilet, please?
Henry: No, I don’t want to.
Me: Henry! Get me the toilet paper!
Henry: Fine. I can’t open the door. (Ten minutes of negotiating a door handle)
Henry: Here. (Throws the package at my feet)
Me: They are wipes! I need toilet paper!
Henry: Just use it!
Me: No! Please, please, please get me the toilet paper.
Henry: Okay. Here.
Me: This one’s too little. There’s almost no paper left. I need another one.
Henry: No. I got you one.
Me: You can watch all the TV you want if you get me another one.
Henry: (brings me a bagful and leaves to watch TV)

They begin to develop their own internalised sense of right and wrong, and hence, understand and respect rules.

We all know that it’s important to respect rules, especially ones that our parents make. Like using manners with greetings and farewells. While I wait for my son to develop a healthy respect for rules, instead of the standard goodbye, he may say this…

GOOOOOOOD BYYYYYEEEE BumFace.

Along with emotional development, they become better at problem-solving, identifying patterns and using logic to questions.

Henry has begun understanding these concepts. Just like how he waits until his Mummy is busy homeschooling his big sister to grab the Nintendo controller and hide behind the couch to turn on Animal Crossing, his favourite video game. I believe that’s a form of identifying patterns and using logic. And hey, it doesn’t matter that he can’t read, he just button bashes until he gets the results he wants. That is called problem-solving.

I have four years until Henry reaches the “age of reason”. In the meantime, I’ll have to dig deep, pull out the big parenting guns, use open communication and guide him along the way. Next time we’re stopped on our walk by the waving elderly man, maybe he won’t whisper loudly, “Why is that man waving like a weirdo?”

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

https://knj.home.blog/privacy-policy/

MY KINGDOM FOR A BISCUIT

The traditional ANZAC biscuit, a sweet biscuit made from rolled oats and golden syrup, is my favourite biscuit. I love the crumbly, crispy outer texture and the slightly chewy centre. I adore desicated coconut mixed with that buttery taste.

So when my husband suggested that we make ANZAC biscuits to commemorate ANZAC Day, I was all on board. I sent him off to the supermarket with a photo of ingredients needed for the recipe.

He came home with a packet of Monte Carlos, a packet of Butter Snaps and all of the ingredients for ANZAC biscuits except the most important ones – golden syrup and desicated coconut.

It appeared that every other Australian was commemorating in the same way, which was fair enough. This pandemic had restricted Australians to holding dawn services at the end of their driveways and baking ANZAC biscuits. We were just too late to the party.

Almost a week later, I tried online ordering golden syrup, coconut and treacle (as a substitute, just in case). I had my heart (and stomach) set on making and eating ANZAC biscuits. Plus I had a surplus of rolled oats that would never be eaten otherwise. Imagine my disappointment when only coconut made an appearance.

I thought to myself, “What kind of weirdo conspiracy is this?”

By this stage, it became a matter of principle. I was getting that golden syrup. I wasn’t about to let a pandemic or supermarket shortage stop me. I spent days trawling aisles at different supermarkets. I visited local grocers and natural food stores.

It was as though the Universe was taunting me. “You don’t need those biscuits, love.”

After searching for almost two weeks and on the verge of throwing in the towel, I finally found the object of my desires. By chance, while at my local supermarket, I found two precious bottles of golden syrup tucked right in the back of the top shelf. The only problem? I could not reach them.

Being vertically challenged, I had to get creative. Tippy toes. Jumping up and down. Using my phone and other grocery items to tease the bottles forward. Trying to chase down unwilling and unhelpful store assistants.

In the end, an elderly lady who was browsing nearby took pity on my short ass. She reached over, grabbed a bottle of golden syrup and put me out of my misery. We had a lovely chat afterwards about ANZAC recipes.

When I finally sat down with a hot cuppa and took a bite of the biscuit… well, let’s just say it was worth the wait.

So to my neighbours and friends who received a pack of my home-made ANZAC biscuits, the secret ingredient was… time.

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

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