taking stock #3

July 19, 2011

books for kids, family life


We have just had two weeks school holidays. I’ve been taking the boys to the park as often as I can, to run off their energy. This hasn’t been easy as the weather has been wild some days, with 120 to 140 km/h winds.

We went out with a friend one day during the holidays. She has a 1 year-old boy. She watched us as we kicked a soccer ball around the park. She commented that the boys are “just like puppies” running after, tackling, and tumbling over each other. So true.

I have been paring down the amount of screen time the boys have been engaging in. It had crept up without me noticing it. Now, the stick-to-child ratio has gone up as they find different ways to occupy themselves.

Thinking About…

Organising a new term of playgroup activities. Playgroup starts back next week. 

Doing this e-course http://www.soulspacestudio.co.uk/The-Happy-Course.html. I did the The Art of Noticing e-course recently and subsequently joined the Magpie Girl Flock. The Flock was really lovely, Rachel writes in such a warm and welcoming way, and I like her Relig-ish ideas (respect for all), but it was not the right flock for me.

Reflecting On…

Why my nearly ten-year old (eldest son) has been displaying some negative behaviours recently. I thought I was doing the right thing at the start of the year by organising my work so that the boys had more time at home, but now I’m beginning to wonder. 

Eldest son is extremely active, competitive, physically strong and agile. He may need more activity than we can provide for him. I’ve always said that I wish we had some land, so I could tell him to run to the horizon and back again. Actually, he is probably the sort of kid who would be handy if we were living on a farm, because you could put him to work for the whole day. But we don’t live on a farm, so maybe he needs to go to vacation care so he can run around with people who can keep up with him (kids his own age)?

Middle son is not as physical, more bookish, and likes his own company a lot. There is friction between the two older boys, as their needs don’t match. They used to play really well together, but the conflict is increasing as they get older, and it’s probably time for change.

Smiling at…

My youngest son. Now that he’s 5 and going to Kindergarten he has become quite the philosopher…

“Mum, some things are shiny. And some things are not shiny.

Some things are sparkly. And some things are not sparkly.

And some things are clockish.”

The next day…

“Mum, some things are real. And some things are not real.”

My husband asks him: “Are you real?”

“No… I mean yes.”


And quite the marketing manager…

He has been sneaking into our bed of a night. His excuses are varied – “I was sleepwalking”, “I had a nightmare”, “I need a rest with you Mum”, “You need me to keep you warm Mum”. One night, he said “Dad, I’ll pay you a dollar if you move over a bit”.


White like me: Reflections on race by a privileged son,  by Tim Wise

I was cruising around ebay one day, and this book jumped out at me. It was second hand from a vendor in America, and it took six weeks to get to me. Being second hand, the previous owner has highlighted and commented throughout the book – I love that. I’d never heard of Tim Wise prior to acquiring this book. He makes a lot of really good points in this book.

Skulduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy – I’ll do a separate post on this. It’s fabulous.



Cooking is not my favourite thing to do. Yet, I find this show so interesting. Last week, the show went to New York, and now I know why some people fall in love with New York – the diversity is wonderful (waving to Marcia). Most of the recipes are too complicated for my simple skills, but check out this Minestrone with a difference http://www.masterchef.com.au/georges-minestrone.htm.

Being Human

Phrogmom tells me that there is a British and American version of this show. I’m watching the American version. A werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost, sharing a house and trying to be as normal as possible. Quirky.

The Dog Whisperer: Cesar Milan

I’ve said it before. This man must have been a dog in a past life. He has his own pack of about forty dogs. He amazes me. I have trouble living with two dogs.

Cesar reminds me of a substitute teacher at school, who walks into the classroom with his shoulders back and head up. His manner is calm, confident, quietly assertive, and caring. The kids normally play up for substitute teachers, but they don’t for this fella.

Tour de France

I used to be a racing cyclist, back in the days when there only about twenty females in Australia doing the sport. This race is crazy – 21 days of cycle racing – pure insanity. And they wonder why the riders take performance enhancing drugs? Enjoying the French countryside. Some of those churches and castles are 1500 years old!

Not looking forward to…

Managing three kids whilst our bathroom is remodelled. They have splashed so much over the years that the vanity is disintegrating at the bottom, forcing it to come away from the wall. We’ve decided to upgrade the whole lot to accommodate three growing lads.

Looking forward to…

Starting a new line of work – Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). This will be additional to my work in the community. I have been very much missing doing clinical work, and my patience has been rewarded.

One day, I’m going to…

Go to Uluru, but not climb it…

and live with an Alaskan Malamute.


My child-free day today, as the boys have gone back to school. Back to work tomorrow.

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About hakea

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

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12 Comments on “taking stock #3”

  1. eof737 Says:

    Good to see your post! You have your hands full but you are taking it in stride and doing the best you can…that is all we can do as parents. 😉
    I know from friends who have boys that they need more energy outlets… Your idea is a good one…
    Hope you enjoyed your holidays… 🙂


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Eliz

      This boy has a supercharged turbo engine. The other two need some kind of physical activity every day, but they are not constantly ‘champing at the bit’ like the eldest one.

      He runs rings around all of us. In my twenties and thirties, I could keep up with the active kids at work, but I’m a bit creaky now.


  2. InsideJourneys Says:

    Hey Narelle,
    LOL, “Dad, I’ll pay you a dollar” is he working? Too funny. You have 3 distinct personalities. Isn’t it interesting how they’re growing into the people they’re going to be?
    Cycling, huh? What was that like? I can hardly ride a bike a block, haven’t done in years. You’re right: that’s a grueling course, really pushes the limit. It really doesn’t matter how beautiful the countryside is because they never really see it.
    Congratulations on your new job.
    When you said you had 2 weeks, I thought, that’s all they get for the summer? Then I remembered it’s not summer where you are. So what holiday was this?


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Marcia

      I think if you had ten kids, they’d all be different. The tricky bit is trying to figure out how to accommodate their needs, because they can’t always communicate what they need. They behave in certain ways and you have to figure out why they are reacting that way. It’s like being a detective.

      Oh my, I definitely couldn’t ride around the block now! I was very fit in those days. It’s a hard sport, especially as you have to train on the road. In those days, there were so few females that I had to race against the males. I’m thinking about getting myself an adult tricycle, with a shopping basket in the back!

      In Australia, the schools have ten weeks holiday per year. The year is divided into four school terms, with two weeks holiday between each term and six weeks at Christmas. I think you guys have a big summer holiday? Holiday camps aren’t big here. We have vacation care, which the children can go to do activities for the day. They are expensive though.


  3. Yulia Yudith Says:

    hi Narelle..
    think that my 4 years old and 2 years old still very too young, and you mentioned that “They used to play really well together, but the conflict is increasing as they get older, and it’s probably time for change.”
    I think I have to prepare my self from now to faced the conflict next time 🙂



    • hakea Says:

      Hi Yulia

      The testosterone kicks in when they are three years old, and keeps increasing from there. As they get older they want to stretch their skills, personality, and independence. We sure do have to grow with our kids, things never stay the same.

      Enjoy every moment with your two little boys!


  4. Rachelle Mee-Chapman Says:

    Thanks for spending time with us in Flock. It was lovely to have you tarry with us awhile.

    These are such astute thought on observant parenting. I often think that so much of parenting in just *noticing*–like you are doing here regarding the shifting needs of your boys. You’re so in-touch as a mum. Lovely.

    Much Warmth,


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Rachelle

      Thanks for dropping in and saying g’day.

      I’m a parent educator, so I have to be a reflective parent. Otherwise, it would be like a plumber having dripping taps!

      Thank you for your kind words.


  5. Team Oyeniyi Says:

    I liked the offer of a dollar too! Out of the mouths……


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Robyn

      He’s a character this one. When you blow him a kiss he catches it and puts it in his pocket for later. He never fails to make us smile.

      I have to get over to your blog soon, to see how you are enjoying your new family!


  6. countingducks Says:

    You seem to be keepijg pretty busy. I love Masterchef too, even though my cooking skills are pretty limited


    • hakea Says:

      Hi counting ducks (love that name)

      MasterChef rates it’s socks off here. Last year, they had kid’s MasterChef – boys and girls aged 8 to 12 cooking restaurant quality food off their own bat. They were awesome!


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