Monthly Archives: April 2013

MOTY?

So we went ahead and signed up our four and a half year old son for Rugby League.
Not touch footy.
Tackle.

 

He trains for an hour twice a week and his games are on Saturday mornings. His only other activity is half an hour of swimming.

 

I always vowed to never over schedule my kids, especially at a young age.
But my four and a half year old son likes footy. He enjoys watching the games, he admires the players in his favourite team and he has good fun on the field.

 

 

I had mixed reactions when I shared his news.

 

Some people were supportive.
Others kept their opinions to themselves and smiled politely.
Two people grimaced, said that it’s fine to do, but they wouldn’t allow their child do it.
And one person shook their head, said that it is wrong, that they would never let their child play footy and that I shouldn’t either.

 

 

jake kedzlie

Image source

 

 

Some weeks ago this young teen lost his life playing football. He bumped his head on another boy’s knee, as he was getting up from a routine tackle and he did not regain consciousness.

 

I will always remember young Jake Kedzlie’s story.

 

This passionate young footballer lost his life, while playing a sport that coursed through his veins.

I think about his mum, Corryn and I wonder if she was ever on the receiving end of free parenting advice.

I hope to God that she wasn’t.

 

 

At our club, Under 6’s Junior Rugby League has two trainers, adult supervision and first aid officers. During matches, there is a referee as well as registered officials, who ensure safe, sportsmanlike play. Each team coach is on the field, within a couple of metres of kids at all times, prepared to break up tackles, within moments.

 

I do everything to ensure my children’s safety.

 

I lock my doors and check my windows, so they won’t be taken in the night.

I look at my kids before I go to sleep and adjust their covers, to keep them warm.

Sometimes I stand at their door, just to monitor if they are breathing.
I buckle them in, dress them warmly and apply sunscreen.

 

I’d do anything to ensure my children’s safety.

 

This includes allowing my son to play Junior Rugby League.
To properly learn the skills required.
So he can play the game he loves.

 

 

Rugby or Thugby?
Mother of the year, or MF crazy?

 

#IBOT with me.

 

Robo X


The white marble rock

As a young kid in the eighties, a memorable moment of my first trip to Greece, was standing in front of the crumbling Parthenon.  I had a white marble rock in my hand, one I’d picked up from within the roped barriers.

 

Parthenon in Athens

Image Source

I whispered to my mum in Greek:  “Θέλω να το πάρw”. I want to take it.

 

‘You can’t’, she whispered back, firmly, a polite look on her face but clearly thinking, ‘Drop the rock, kid!’

 

 

What happened next was this.  A nearby security guard, overheard my desire to take the rock.  He raised his hands above his head and without reserve yelled, ‘Take it home, my girl!

 

‘Ευχαριστώ’.

I thanked the man and quickly shoved my newly acquired piece of Hellenic history into mum’s drawstring handbag.

 

I will never know why the guard yelled that out.

I believe though, that he felt an immense sense of pride. 

Pride, in that the pinnacle of his country was equally revered by a cute little ‘xeni’ girl, who spoke broken Greek.

 

 

That memory of Greece is important to me.  It signifies the essence of being Greek.

 

 

Greeks are proud, generous, passionate people.  Yes, anyone who knows a Greek well, will say that they are not without their eccentricities but generally speaking, a Greek will quite happily oblige, just to please you.

 

 

I was born here in Australia and I identify as Australian.

No question.  Proud of it.

 

 

I also consider myself Greek.

My heritage is Greek.

And cultural heritage becomes lost, if not fiercely preserved.

 

 

My parents are first generation Australians, Assisted Passage immigrants.

They arrived aged 17 and 19, looking for a new life.

And a new life they received.

Australia delivered in leaps and bounds.

 

 

My Grand Parents, Great Grand Parents and as far back as my family history can be traced – they were all Greek. I can speak, read and write the Greek language, though not too well.  I eat Greek food, uphold Greek Orthodoxy, and I have Greek friends.  I watch the Greek news, I have Greek relatives and I participate in Greek traditions.

When times get tough, I dream about escaping, to Greece.

 

 

I think that kid in the 1980s understood more than her Mum expected, in wanting to nick that little piece of Ancient Greece.

As much as we are products of our environments, I believe culture is also innate and it shouldn’t be denied.

 

 

Australia.

Greece.

I love both. I am both.

 

 

What’s your story?  You from elsewhere or are you dinky di?

 

Robo X

 

NB.  I have since learnt that taking rocks from the Acropolis is illegal.  It is termed Elginism, after the British Lord who removed the Parthenon Marbles and transported them to England.  I plan to return my rock, as soon as I can.

It belongs there.


When feeling crap, do something good

After a difficult yesterday, I took action and decided to do something worthwhile.

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My 2 year old daughter had a ball.

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And I got to have lunch.  Sitting down.

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Donating blood doesn’t hurt.

keys

It saves lives.

 

Australian Red Cross Blood Service

 

Love,

Robo X

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.


One Day I’ll Explain

17 years ago this Thursday, something terrible happened.

 

 

It’s a distant memory now, in fact, I rarely even think about it but from time to time, it rears its filthy head.

 

 

There are key words and certain sounds as well, where I instantly and involuntarily, recall the event.  But the one thing that teleports me back there, to that day, is when I hear a similar story in the media.

 

 

Like you, I awoke today to the horrific news of the Boston Marathon bombing.

 

And I was back there.

1996.

A 19 year old Robo, in her floral top and Tencel jeans.

 

 

The event was one of the most traumatic episodes you can fathom.

I didn’t suffer from depression but I can’t say that I’ve recovered.

 

It comes back, however it doesn’t reduce me to tears anymore.

These days, it gives me sense of paranoia, that something bad may happen to my family and it also makes me so incredibly sad.

I’m not down often, but if like today in Boston, hell and earth align and evil escapes and terrorism occurs, I am overwhelmed with grief.

 

 

I know first hand how inexplicably terrified each and every one of those unsuspecting people felt.

 

One day, I’ll explain it to you.

 

 

Robo X


Still winning with the teens

So the boys have been picked up and I’m now sitting here in Clean Town.

 

I’m time poor but here’s the brief update:

 

 

Win No 1 – Free Time and de-cluttered shed

With all of Man’s camping equipment goneski, I’ve run my broom around the back shed.  Thankfully there is not a lot of mess, just cobwebs, but we’re looking better people.  We’re looking good.

 

 

Win No 2 – My older siblings think I’m the best for taking their kids

My sister-in-law is spending her free time having a craft night with her laydeez, whatever that means and my other sister has been able to catch up on study for her course.  Robo is a bit of a legend right now. Favours will be redeemed at a later stage.

 

 

Win No 3 – I get stuff done

Big tree, trimmed

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Dead tree, chopped

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Tree pic

Still a bit of cleaning to do

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By the way, don’t you just love my handsome boy?

 

We’ve worked hard but we’ve had fun.

I’m in pain, even my bra hurts me.  But they the boys are wide awake – tapping away, talking away.

 

What I wouldn’t do to regain that spirited energy and that stamina once again…

Youth is SO wasted on the young.

 

 

Win No 4 – Still maintain ‘Best Aunty’ status

My nephews have had fun.  Swimming, movies and unlimited internet.  Their faces have been firmly planted in their screens, only emerging to ask for food and drink. One nephew told me to download something called Kik on my phone so we could chat when he goes home.  When I went upstairs to sleep, we had another conversation. Via Kik.

 

Now we’re sitting here on the lounge.  Surprisingly, one of them is still playing with Mr 4s Magna Doodle – it’s been a hit all weekend.  Mr 15 is saying everything he has to say in a drag queen-esque voice and I have named him, ‘my environmentally aware gay hairdresser’.  He repeated all the MKR recipes in this voice and after my two glasses of wine it is still funny.

 

I made them a great dinner which they said was alright, then I made them a thick shake, blended ice cream with a dash of milk.  They said that was ‘the best’.

 

Tomorrow is day 3 and our last day together.  We’ll do a skate park to celebrate.  After all, I want them back next school holidays!

 

How’re your hols?  And for other states, how’s your term 2?

 

Robo X

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Win-Win With Teenage Nephews

 

In exactly three days I will be driving south to drop off Man at one of his BFs houses.

He’s going away for a week and he will be taking all his crap with him.  Camping crap that is.

 

Sleeping bags, tents, cooking equipment, tarps…  Everything that is needed for his Brokeback Mountain experience. Win No 1 – Free Time and de-cluttered shed

 

The best part about his little journey is underlined fully here.

But here’s some additional information…

 

Robo is in fact fourth in line, of all her siblings.  The youngest of four much older siblings…

 

What this means is that I have lots of nephews.  A couple of older strapping but slightly lazy nephews and a bunch of younger, able, eager-to-earn-pocket-money, teenage nephews.

 

 

So this is what is happening…

 

 

After I drop Man off for his well-deserved R&R trip, I will be returning home with said Teenage Nephews for a sleep-over.  Win No 2 – My older siblings think I’m the best for taking their kids

 

 

Aside from the boys unknowingly entertaining my own two kids, day one will be all about popcorn, videos, pizza, swimming and the Play Station.

Day two will be a whole other story…

 

 

On day two, Teenage Nephews will be put to work.  Tedious, laborious chores that Man and I simply don’t have time to do.  All three of them will be weeding, cleaning, carrying and moving things around the yard. They will rake, sweep and climb up a tree to chop a certain branch that’s been giving me the shits.  After that, they will vacuum my car.  Win No 3 – I get stuff done.

 

yard

This is not my house but it feels like this

All these chores will be happily completed for the princely sum of takeaway, free choice at Civic Video and an endless supply of junk food.  They will also go home with an extra twenty bucks each, for being good kids. Win No 4 – Still maintain ‘Best Aunty’ status.

 

 

My plan may sound cunning but as you can see, it’s a win-win situation.  The boys are happy, I’m happier and Man will be cheering to return from Brokeback Mountain with a little bit less to do.

 

 

So if you have lots of niggly jobs to get done and you have access to Teenage Nephews or any other willing kid, take my advice, these school holidays.  Four ways to win.  Tried and tested.

 

Let me know how you get on.

 

You’re welcome.

 

Robo X


Alexander dreaming

* Not a sponsored post, I promise.  Just thoroughly impressed.

 

I don’t get out much in Sydney City, not as much as I used to.

My outings these days are limited to work, the local IGA, swimming lessons, footy training and friend’s places.  Friends with kids usually…

When Man suggested the Alexander he Great exhibition in town, I was a little hesitant, but we did it anyway.

 

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I’m ashamed to admit it but I’m uncultured in this respect.  Besides organising school excursions, my last intentional visit to a museum was Rembrandt in Canberra, circa 1995…   Being of Greek origin however, I’d been wanting to see our all important Alexander for a long time.

 

I thought a visit to a museum in with kids would be like a trip through hell.

How wrong was I!  Partly.

 

 

Alexander the Great may have conquered the world, but he couldn’t conquer my kids. They complained the entire way, forcing me to take in 2000 years of my Hellenic history in 15 minutes.

 

My kids ruined the museum experience for about 60 other paying members of the public, so we hotfooted out of there before being asked to leave.

Of course, My Man continued his journey through Hellenism…

 

 

Wandering around the rest of the museum, the kids and I found so much stuff!

 

Dinosaurs, skeletons, wildlife, scary stuff, things you could touch and feel, fossils and an entire section dedicated to good old fashioned get your hands dirty kind of fun.  And without a screen in sight.

 

This was non-stop-touch-whatever you-like kind of fun.  A space where they could do whatever they wanted.

 

 

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Mr 4 is still talking about the scary stuff he saw.

Me?  I’m still Alexander dreaming…

 

Do you know of any cultural experiences you can take your kids on, without either breaking the budget or tearing the place down?

 

Share.  Please.

 

And visit the other #IBOTposts at Essentially Jess

 

Robo X