Reality Check

I was sitting on the beach with my parents, watching my kids swimming and playing; remembering when I was the child and they had to watch me, when three girls sashayed down the sand wearing shorter than short Daisy Dukes and skimpy bikini tops, not a breath over eighteen.

They dipped pink coloured toenails into the waves and squealed as young girls do. Deciding against a swim, they were sashaying back up the beach when one suddenly stopped and released a hysterical, high-pitched shriek of alarm.

Staring with pained expression at the top of her thigh, she studied her leg carefully before emitting a slow sigh of relief.

‘Oh my God, for a moment I thought I had a stretch mark,’ she gasped then laughed breezily.

Satisfied it was merely shadow, she continued to swing her pert, perfect little buttocks back up the sand.

I turned to my parents seated in chairs behind me and shrieked, ‘Oh my God, for a moment I thought I was a buxom, middle-aged married woman with kids on the downhill run to forty…..

…..Oh wait….. Damn!’

Blonde on!

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She’s a Lovely Boy

Tyler Croped

How many choices can an 8-year old really make every day – an apple over a banana, a blue t-shirt instead of red. But essentially, all decisions are made for them.

So when my 8-year old son decided to grow his hair long, it still fell back on me. Would I allow it or not? His conviction was strong, and because I couldn’t see the harm, we decided not to overrule his personal freedom and let him grow his hair.

It now reaches well below is shoulders and is causing lots of confusion. Strangers refer to him as ‘she’ and comment on his being ‘a lovely girl’. Ignoring his obvious ‘boy section’ clothing, people react only to the most obvious visual cue – his long hair – and decide, therefore, he must be a girl.

We take no offence, because at his age it is impossible to tell, and we no longer correct them, because it really doesn’t matter. But we had to learn to accept the confusion and common mistake about his gender with good grace.

To be clear, he has no gender confusion. He knows he’s a boy and doesn’t want to be anything else. So when kids at school comment and say, ‘you look like a girl,’ he simply smiles and shrugs, because he doesn’t care. He just loves having long hair.

Then this happened. One of his teachers threatened to tie back his hair if he didn’t behave in class. That ruffled my feathers. Did she threaten the female class members with the same punishment? Were the shorthaired people threatened with a scarlet letter pinned to their chest if they misbehaved? I doubt it…. but let it slide.

Then waited (somewhat anxiously) for the letter from school formally asking us to have his hair cut, and considered in advance how would I react to their request. Did they even have the right to ask? Thankfully, the note didn’t come and I breathed a sigh of relief.

….. But for the record, if we had been asked to cut his hair, I would have refused.

There is no reason why an 8-year old boy can’t wear his hair long, and it shouldn’t – doesn’t – mean anything other than the child has been allowed to make a bold, personal decision for himself.

Blonde on!

Goldie Locks

‘I need a new hairstyle,’ I announced loudly.

‘There’s nothing wrong with your hair,’ the Lord of the Manor responded with overt disinterest… although I suspected he was hiding immediate concerns about  how this new grievance was going to impact on his untroubled serenity.

‘It’s scraggy,’ I complained. ‘I’m thinking of cutting it all off.’

Now, I expected some objection…. But what the Lord of the Manor said next didn’t just send chills through me – but rather great, big, lacerating wedges of ice deep into my spine.

‘Perhaps you just need a new colour,’ he suggested thoughtlessly.

WHAT?

WHAT?

….and once again for those who missed it….

WHAT THE FLUFFING WHAT?

Not to blow my own trumpet… but I am a natural blonde, people.

A Natural blonde!

We’re talking lovely golden locks here. What colour would he rather have me be?

‘What colour do you suggest?’ I asked in a measured tone, though the The Lord of the Manor could be in no doubt the conversation had taken as very dangerous turn as my fangs slowly descended.

He paused to study me for a moment before answering somewhat recklessly, ‘Mousey brown?’

WHAT?

‘WHAT?’ I screeched in utter disbelief. ‘You did not just say mousey brown!?!’

‘Copper?’ He amended quickly, perhaps hoping for a reprieve. He hoped in vain.

‘Copper….’ I repeated breathlessly, my voice lost to the sheer horror. ‘With my complexion?’

It was clear, dear reader, the Lord of the Manor had gone stark raving mad. Absolutely and utterly taken leave of his senses. Insane. Who in their right mind suggests a NATURAL BLONDE dye their hair mousey brown?

…… Someone with a death wish, that’s who!

Mousey brown! I couldn’t believe it.

I can’t believe it.

There are no words, people…

I was speechless….

….. Then, he smiled.

Good one! He got me good.

Blonde on!

Leap

When birds fall down the chimney and land in the belly of the wood fire, they scratch and flutter, desperate to get out. So to aid their escape, we draw the curtains to darken the room and open the double front doors as wide as they will go, clearly laying out their path to freedom.

Then we open the wood fire door.

Half the fallen birds will fly straight out. No hesitation. The other half will stay buried in the ashes…. Staring at ‘The Light.’

The proverbial ‘Light’.

I sort of understand that leaving their safe, ashy pit is a leap of faith. After all, how many of us feel ready, right this minute, to fly toward ‘The Light’? But unless the bird takes a chance and leaves the heater, it will ultimately die…..

(….. not really. We get a towel and release it outside. Don’t panic. Let me explain.)

At some time or another we all must take a leap of faith.

So what would you do if you were that little bird, fallen down the chimney and sitting amongst the ashes. Would you stay or fly toward ‘The Light’?

It’s an interesting question. Have fun with that.

Blonde on!

HCB Battle

Hot Cross Buns come in limitless variety – traditional, fruit free, apple cinnamon, Nutella, Jaffa, chocolate-chocolate chip and so on and so forth.

The supermarket sells them under the guise of Hot Cross Bun. They look like Hot Cross Buns. But according to the Lord of the Manor, they are not Hot Cross Buns at all.

‘What are they, then?’ I ask, only faintly amused. We’ve been down this road before circa blog post: The Polar Fleece Feud.

‘Sweet bread,’ he declares.

I snort with derision, biting into my fruit-free delight. ‘The packet says hot cross buns. It’s a hot cross bun.’

‘It isn’t,’ the Lord of the Manor insists. ‘Only traditional, fruit-filled varieties can rightly carry the name Hot Cross Bun.’

So I pull out the big guns……..!

………. Is bread still bread if it isn’t made from wheat?

………. Is Weet-Bix still Weet-Bix if it’s made from sorghum grains?

………. Is milk still milk if it’s made from nuts?

……… And is vegan, meat-free bacon still bacon if it isn’t made from pork?

He blinks at me for a moment, cogs and wheels spinning while I serenely munch my fruit-free Hot Cross Bun.

It doesn’t matter what they’re called, people. Are delicious so enjoy in abundance. Happy Easter to all.

Blonde on!

Payback

When Mum came to visit last Monday afternoon (after a huge weekend of family fun) I casually asked if she was well rested.

“Don’t accuse me of resting,” she bit back…… Lucky I ducked!

It was a rookie mistake. Mum’s always been a doer. Always on the go. When we were little, day trips meant walking and walking and walking until it felt like our legs were going to drop off! We’d be begging for mercy before they even turned back – and then we’d have to walk it all over again!

I rarely, if ever, saw her just sitting around and should have known better…..

…… But then something strange happened.

While visiting with Mum yesterday, I found myself getting a little bored while she played merrily on her iPad.

“Why don’t you go for a walk,” she suggested, not even glancing up. “See if you can spot a snake or two out in the paddock.”

Now, I’ve been told to piss off plenty of times, and in many different ways, but I never expected someone – much less my own mother – to suggest I go in active search of a venomous, potentially lethal snake, just so she could be left in peace to play Hey Day!

Hey Day!

Lucky for me, it wasn’t long into my rousing, multi-song tribute to The Sound of Music she had a change of heart.

Payback’s a bitch, Mum… and she looks like me!

Blonde on!