taking stock #2

March 25, 2011

family life

Such a busy time at the moment.

Having trouble keeping up with the 80 or so blogs that I subscribe to. And not being a very good blog buddy – I’m reading, just sometimes not commenting. And keeping a mental note of those who haven’t posted recently (Dark Star Burning, One Size Fits None, Duct Tape Rocket, St Rocco’s Tails, East Bound and Up) – I hope you are all well.

Got a five day workshop on next week, which will involve travelling to and from the city (a two hour commute one way). It’s a play therapy course. Check it out here. So cool. So cool in fact, that I have quit the postgrad teaching degree that I started this year, to focus on play therapy. I didn’t really want to be a teacher, my husband was pushing me to get a real job, one that pays so much better than community work.

I’ve been asked to write and present a play workshop for parents.

I’ve been asked to write and present a creative arts workshop for Aboriginal workers. I’ve got the title “Engaging the hearts and minds of children and parents through creative arts”.

Workshops take a lot of time and energy to write. I like to engage the participants, get them doing stuff like singing songs, and to learn by doing.

I’ve been asked to write some stuff for a wonderful, amazing, brilliant journal called Counselling Children and Young People. Check it out here.

Thinking a LOT, too much, about how to invigorate the programmes I am running at work to encourage greater participation and engagement. In the process found some fantastic websites, most of them not really related to what I was supposed to be looking for. I love sharing other people’s brilliance with you …

You are going to love this – Bent Sticks  http://www.bentsticks.com.au/index.htm

Knotted Dolls, perfect activity for Parent Group – http://s93855831.onlinehome.us/knotteddollinstructions.html

A simpler knotted doll – http://themagiconions.blogspot.com/2010/11/discovering-waldorf-making-your-own.html

A Steiner mothering blog – http://gentlemothering.blogspot.com/

Parenting teenagers – http://bill-j-from-time-space.blogspot.com/

And finally a beautiful post about hakeas  – http://onelittledetail.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/a-painted-lady-visits-the-hakea-bush/

I’ve been doing volunteer reading help at school.

I’m starting training soon to become a volunteer ethics teacher in school. What a great programme, check it out here.

Youngest son has settled in really well at school. One morning he told me “I’ll try not to miss you today mum”. He won’t sit on a chair, but he listens well and is very close to starting to read through his own motivation. We never noticed, but he doesn’t sit on chairs. His long daycare didn’t notice either, they’d known him since he was 9 weeks old and he was always the “pocket rocket”, a child in perpetual motion. The kindergarten teacher said he stands at the desk, and if he does manage to sit on a chair he can’t sit still in it, and it’s safer for him to not be on it. She asked “does he sit at the table for dinner”. I said “of course, but now that you mention it, he is quite fidgetty”.  My husband asked “is he being disruptive by standing at the desk?” (our boy is so short, it’s a wonder anyone notices) and the teacher astonished by this light bulb moment said “no” and has not been bothered by his lack of sittingness since. He does however sit on the floor like a champion.

With the kids, it’s soccer practice and band practice for the two oldest boys, hip-hop for the little bloke. Soon Saturday will be soccer day.

When do we cut the apron strings regarding dental care with our kids? The text books say that parents should be brushing their kids teeth until they are 12. Kids don’t have the manual dexterity until then. We’ve been slack. Late last year, we gave the two oldest boys the responsibility. They said they could handle it. It seems they have just been waving the toothbrush around in their mouths. Middle son, aged 8, had a small cavity filled this week. We (mostly me) are back to brushing kid’s teeth, despite the howls of protest.

We’ve all been sick for weeks with strange strains of virus, everyone except the little bloke whose diet is not great as no vegetable matter shall ever pass his lips. He’s as healthy and robust as an ox, and all us vegie munchers are sick.

No time for Arabic learning.

Not enough time for Qi Gong.

Feeling nervous about an inevitable change of State government tomorrow. Over to the right-wing conservatives who say they will “empower community”. My cynical mind can’t help wonder if their version of empowering community is to cut prevention/early intervention/community development/mental health/employment/training/youth programmes and tell the disadvantaged to “get on with it”.

It’s been raining so much here even the frogs are trying to get dry.

So many ideas for posts, but not enough time to write them. Many, many thanks to Mirth and Motivation for a versatile bloggers award, I’ll get to that.

And finally, a gratuitous photo of my two dogs, Bella (aka Jabber Jaws) and Fergus the Fox Terrorist. Don’t let their good looks and smiling faces deceive you (ears back means “yes, it was me who killed the frog, pulled the washing off the line, ate the boy’s school hat, dug those ankle busting holes in the backyard, pulled out the plants in the garden, and barked all day at anything I chose to”) …

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About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

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15 Comments on “taking stock #2”

  1. asta199 Says:

    ah, there you are! I was wondering where you had gone, and it seems you have been extraordinarily busy. Don’t worry- I’ve been hiding away too, also with the flu! I hope you will write about the play therapy course when you find time to sit and just be for a while.
    good to see you are alive and well (or wellish anyway)


    • hakea Says:

      Hey Angie

      I saw your post about lemon meringue pie. You must have a lot of patience to take so long to make something that takes a few minutes to eat. Your photos are always superb.

      Yes, I’ve been residing a bit more in my other abode criticalcompanions.wordpress.com. If you have anything academic to contribute over there you are welcome to be a guest poster.

      Definitely planning to write about the play therapy as it will involve keeping a reflective journal.

      How are all those little kiddies? Our little mate with Autism? And the boys who were getting a bit scrappy? What exciting bits of programming have you been doing? I want to hear all about it!

      I have scrapped the teaching degree but I’m still entertaining the thought of doing early childhood postgrad – only 2 years at Charles Sturt.


  2. asta199 Says:

    ooh criticalcompanions looks good, I will have to have a more thorough look, and I’ll let you know if I ever get my thoughts in order enough to write something academic!
    The postgrad early childhood is what I did, but mine was condensed down to one year- let me tell you, that was one big year!

    The kiddies are great! Finally they are starting to settle down a little bit and for the first time ever I feel like I’m starting to connect with them. I absolutely love working with the boy with autism- he comes running and gives me a massive hug every morning and comes to me for help- I think working with him is one of the most rewarding parts of my day.
    I only do the programming during the school holidays when my mentoring teacher is away, but I did convince her to let me bake bread with the kids and they loved it, I’m hoping to make it a weekly activity as well as growing some plants.

    How long have you been working with children for? I’m always astounded by the insight and knowledge of some people around the net, but then this is my first year working in the industry, and hopefully in time I will have as much knowledge and experience as you and some of the other bloggers I’ve been reading!


    • hakea Says:

      I started ‘working’ with kids when I was 19. I joined a buddhist group, and they held quarterly camps for boys from Cambodia who came to Australia as refugees from Pol Pot’s regime. That was an incredible experience. All of those kids are adults now. Some did well, some struggled.

      I also did some volunteer speech tutoring for a speech pathologist in community health.

      When I wanted to make that type of work my occupation, I moved from business to the disability field, working mainly with kids with severe Autism. I love working with kids with Autism. From disability I moved to foster care casework, working some incredibly tough cases with severely abused children. After working one case where I fought the system and the agency I was working for, for 22 months, to get two sisters out of a horribly abusive foster home, my energy was spent. So, I moved to prevention and early intervention work in the community. I am overqualified for the work I am doing now, and I desperately miss doing therapeutic casework, however the hours are more flexible with my own three children at school now.

      We make bread in the playgroup I facilitate. I have been running that playgroup for nearly three years, and the kids and parents never get tired of bread buns for morning tea. The kids make their own bun which is good for fine motor skills, and morning tea is a very sociable event.

      You can post something you have written in the past for your early childhood degree.


      • hakea Says:

        Just thinking some more…
        do you have any papers on diversity, behaviour, play, creative arts, literacy, etc, that you might like to post?

      • asta199 Says:

        I did have some on all those topics…..unfortunately all my uni work was lost (conveniently) right after finishing in the great combined computer crash and housemate-movingout-and-stealing-half-my-stuff-including-usbsticks tragedy of 2010. I really wish I still had all my work, I guess I can just be thankful it happened after I had to submit everything. If i ever do write something I will let you know 🙂

      • hakea Says:

        Oh, I think that’s a terrible shame.

  3. eof737 Says:

    Good lord you are very busy! Thanks for updating us on your silence… It looks like you have enough offline writing projects to keep you busy for a month. Poke your head in now and again and say hello.. Don’t forget I gave you a blogger award. If nothing else, just display the badge on your sidebar and enjoy basking in the glory of it. 🙂


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Eliz

      Thanks for dropping in and saying g’day.

      I have no idea how to put a badge on the sidebar. I tried to put a BWO (blogging without obligation) badge on once, and it just didn’t work. I’ll have to look up the Support section.

      Loved your post on Phrogmom.


  4. Elena Says:

    In all my 40 years on this planet I’ve sat in maybe two comfortable chairs. I think your son has the right idea.

    Best of luck with all your projects! I haven’t “known” you long, but you seem like a beautiful, inspired soul doing wonderful things in the world. May the ocean of blessings be limitless before you!


    • hakea Says:

      Thanks Elena

      I hope you are finding joy in all of your projects at the moment.

      An ocean of limitless energy would be handy right now!


  5. kaet Says:

    I’ve been on the other computer for a few days, so didn’t see this – I hope you’re enjoying the course! Well done to your husband for pointing out that just because your son was doing something different, that didn’t have to be a problem, too.


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Kaet

      The course was great, different to what I thought it would be though. It’s got me in a conundrum now. I’ve only just realised that despite all of my qualifications and experience, I can’t join a professional association. So, now I am driving myself crazy looking for a not-too-long and not-too-expensive (ha ha) diploma that will tie up everything I have in a nice neat bundle, so I can be labelled and packaged. Aaaarrrrggghh!

      Yes, I thought that was well done too. He is very clever.

      I’ve been reading your blog, just not commenting as I am crochet deficient.


  6. livingisdetail Says:

    Hi Hakea,

    I’ve just returned to my blog to find a link from you to my hakea post. I know, it was a while ago, but thanks for the compliment. It is great to find another hakea lover.


    • hakea Says:

      Hi there

      Thanks for dropping in and saying g’day. Yours was such a lovely post, great photos.

      Hakeas just don’t get the press they deserve!


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