Tags: girlchild

2 Aug 2009, Comments (21)

Parenting 2.0

Author: Helen

I’m sitting in the study having a look at Facebook. It’s about half past eight. I’m due to pick up the Girlchild, who turns eighteen in a few months, from the Pho Cafe in Scarysuburb, where she’s having a cheap and cheerful Vietnamese nosh with some friends – some of whom are eighteen.

Those friends, of course, may be served alcoholic drinks on licenced premises (in moderation: amirite?) Girlchild may not.

I am on the old desktop Mac. Girlchild, having torn up the first Year 12 semester like a champion, has just got a new raspberry, or red Nokia phone, from Dad. So she can facebook on the fly.

I see:

Girlchild: “really likes this resturant, essspecially the cocktails”. (Spelling! Tssk!)

So Girlchild gets a call. “I’m coming to pick you up! RIGHT NOW! I think you know why!1!!1!

When I get to the Pho Cafe there’s Girlchild and a couple of others hanging out in front looking a bit sheepish. We drive home. I lecture, Girlchild accepts lecture with relatively good grace. Of course, I only get this Teachable Moment once; now they know what not to post about on Facebook. We watch a DVD of Ghost Town. All is amicable.

Before bed I check Facebook again, and I see

Friend: “what did your mum say?”
Girlchild: “- – *sigh*”

So of course I typed


And my friend Megan weighs in with

“oops-don’t facebook and drink at the same time.”

Megan lives in Vancouver. We haven’t spoken face to face in fifteen years, but she is family.

It takes a global village to raise a child.

5 Dec 2008, Comments (22)

Friday Chocolate drops

Author: Helen

This was the most terrible, horrible, really bad day. (Warning: Swear alert.)

I jumped off the train in the city and rode up the escalator… with… my shoulders strangely light. Uh oh. My backpack with my wallet in it, with my car keys in it, my cheque book in it, my life in it.

That morning I get a call at work from girlchild who’s been rung by someone called Emily with a mobile number. Apparently she has my backpack. But I call and call all day and every time it goes to voice mail. Why? Why would she do that? Anyway, my workmates gave me lunch and hugs and a travelcard. I love them.

And as usual, Connex excelled themselves in not giving a fuck. Note to the Attorney-General if you’re reading this, as I know you do of a Friday evening: If any disaffected youngsters are thinking of going the abandoned backpack-bomb route, I can tell you Connex don’t give a royal shit about ownerless backpacks reaching Flinders street. Just saying.

I still don’t know what’s going to happen. All I want is to crawl under the doona and cry, but girlchild’s friends are all coming to have a birthday sleepover and I have to make with the fucking Mrs-coping-Mum.

I definitely am going to need some chocolate tonight (and girlchild has a Brunetti’s cheesecake.)

18 Apr 2008, Comments Off on Worst. parent. ever.

Worst. parent. ever.

Author: Helen

Last Friday, I had to attend one of those team bonding exercises for work, which meant that our manager took us all out to a slick CBD bowling alley and bar. I’m not much of a bowler but we all started on the snooker tables afterward, a game I do find absorbing. Like the pokies venues which dot this city, the place was artificially lit, noisy and had no clocks, so I ended up going over time and had to desperately phone around to get Boychild picked up from his after school care.
Image pinched from bestparentever.com

This after-school care centre, like most childcare places, has a drop dead deadline of six pm and they are forbidden to release the sprogs to walk home, even though Boychild lives only a block away and his sister would be home by then. Eventually I arranged for Girlchild to pick him up – but not before I’d had to speak to the after care staff a couple of times, yelling into a mobile from a noisy bar.


Oh well, at least with modern smoking restrictions, it wasn’t a noisy smoky bar™.

It’s obvious that according to this grouse new parenting site I’ve found, I’ll never cut it. (Via John and Belle).

Bad parents everywhere, read it and feel empowerfulled.

best central air and heating units test

24 Nov 2007, Comments Off on Pinata


Author: Helen

It’s Girlchild’s birthday, so we won’t be going to any major election night parties. We’ll probably be bashing this at a neighbour’s place.

28 Oct 2007, Comments Off on Not just pretty (type)faces

Not just pretty (type)faces

Author: Helen

Besides entertaining us all with writing, many of my must-read bloggers have started some exciting real-life projects. Here’s some of the things people have been doing.

Ampersand Duck and Crazybrave Zoe have started up a website for Artwranglers. As well as publishing posts on art, artists and exhibitions, Artwranglers does collection management, conservation, valuation, database management, transport and all kinds of useful technical stuff. Zoe is running the blog and Ducky is doing the printed material. Here is something very frightening from the earliest posts on the blog. Oy.

Laura of Sills Bend (and Sarsaparilla) is putting together a Jane Austen and Comedy conference for late November. As a non-academic I was inspired by the idea of going to hear the Germaine Greer lecture. Girlchild and I are going. We’ve got tickets! Way-hey!

I didn’t know that Spiceblog Anthony had a magazine in addition to the blog. The mag is called Spice, of course. A year’s subscription is a mere $30, which would only buy you three Monthly mags.

Link’s cafe is getting off the ground, and the Blairites are turning themselves inside out, logically speaking; The rightwing penchant (in Australia, that is) of valorising the small business as the highest human endeavour – rank sentimentality, as they really prefer big business- has come up against someone whose politics they don’t agree with actually having one. So they’re trying to make a case that this small business isn’t worthwhile, because it’s, you know, a leftie small business, which leads to various hilarious hippy jokes. Hilarious in their lameness, that is. I’ll make sure I drop into Link’s cafe should I ever be doing a leisurely driving tour through NSW (which might be dimly, remotely possible, if I get my arse into gear, which I rarely do.)

Slightly off topic, because not a blogger, but someone who was mentioned on this blog: Mrs Wainwright has released a new CD, Clickety Clack. Genre: Country /pop/folk (including the subgenre which Trish describes as “Celtic Tragedy”. It’s a fine effort from Trish and the boys. (Channelling Ma-sha): You did good, girlfriend. Well done, darlin’.

Who have I missed? Post a comment with a link to your new business startup, artistic project, recording or imminent world domination.

Coming up: an exciting announcement from the Balcony household. It’s SO’s project, and he’ll want a dedicated post.

19 Aug 2007, Comments Off on It’s not my fault

It’s not my fault

Author: Helen


Boychild is having piano lessons, and now he has a new piano.

If Girlchild hadn’t stepped on my hi-hat stand, bending the central rod about 45 degrees, I wouldn’t have had to go to Billy Hyde’s today. Billy Hyde’s is a cornucopia of delicious goodies and it’s not often these days I get an excuse to go there.

Usually I’d be more circumspect and go to the excellent local music shop. These days, though, every time I step inside the place the proprietor is having a whinge. When I rang him about my bent stand, he seemed to think replacing the central rod was the only option, so I quite reasonably asked him whether they did repairs. For that, I copped a minor hissy fit. People: They’re called customers, and asking pertinent questions is allowed. So I went to Billy Hyde’s and ended up spending $400. Hah.

That was just for the keyboard – a nice man took the rod out the back and gave it a stern bashing for me. Now it’s 99.99999% straight. And he charged not a cent. So I had to buy something else, didn’t I? So I had to walk to the back of the shop to where the sticks and brushes are, and I had to walk past the insanely marked-down keyboard.

So, I blame Girlchild and the local music shop man for my rush of blood to the head.

4 Aug 2007, Comments Off on Ad Nauseam: Federal Government’s IR ads

Ad Nauseam: Federal Government’s IR ads

Author: Helen

Govt’s IR ad blitz backfiring.” Excellent!

The Howard government’s latest advertising blitz is reportedly reinforcing fears surrounding its Work Choices reforms rather than dispelling them.
…”(It is) educating the public as to the negative realities of the new IR laws rather than myth-busting,” Essential Research has told The Weekend Australian newspaper.

I could have told them that. Actually, I’ve only noticed the one covering young peoples’ working conditions; maybe my TV habits aren’t as disastrous as I thought, or I just take notice because Girlchild is due to hit the part-time workforce at any second now.

This one goes something like (paraphrasing) You think an employer can hire your teenager for a miserable wage, but it’s not true, because the parent is required to co-sign his contract! …or witness it, or something– sorry, can’t find the text or a YouTube, and the Government’s website is unhelpful as well. It doesn’t mention parents other than in relation to their children being in training schemes.

Even the most politically apathetic parent could see the gap there and drive their truck through it. Sure, you can refuse to co-sign your kid’s contract unless the employer offers a higher rate, or better conditions, or whatever. Then the employer will say “Kthxbye: NEXT!”

Let’s not get too gleeful: we’re paying for the campaign, after all. Tim Dunlop and others have more on why this ad campaign should be pulled.
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom

21 Jul 2007, Comments Off on The Deathly Hush (No spoilers)

The Deathly Hush (No spoilers)

Author: Helen

At 4:30 EST today, Girlchild was up to page 486.

The silence in our house has been profound (due in part to Boychild and SO being out doing exciting stuff.) It started off loudly, with Best Friend at the front door at 8 AM screaming “deathly hallows, deathly hallows!

Deb Force, our lovely bookshop lady of Yarraville

This is the picture of our nice local bookshop owner stacking the piles of Top Secret material which appeared in the AGE yesterday. Is our suburb a cultural hotbed or what? They held a Harry Potter book launch and breakfast for a couple of hundred little Hermiones, Snapes and Voldemorts. Being fifteen, Girlchild and best friend were too up themselves to wear costumes, of course, plus Girlchild is hampered by having the Bad Mother who isn’t good at organising costumes. They didn’t care – they just wanted the book and a free pastry and then it was home to the couch.

Update 6:01: Finished.

4 May 2007, Comments Off on Friday Dog blogging: Zippy

Friday Dog blogging: Zippy

Author: Helen

As the owner* of one black-and-tan tricolour, half Rottie, joyful lunatic dog (they’re the best kind)**


I’m asking you to send cheery thoughts out to another black-and-tan tricolour, half Rottie (by the looks of it), joyful lunatic dog and her owner, Twisty. Zippy’s stomach went a bit funny and she had to go under the knife at the Vet’s, which is never nice, and horrible for the human too.

Zippy image from I Blame the Patriarchy

May Zippy’s recovery be swift and easy.
*Well, Girlchild is the nominal owner, but one must construct a legible sentence.
**As you know, the best kind of dog is always the one you currently have.

29 Apr 2007, Comments Off on Talkin’ bout my degeneration

Talkin’ bout my degeneration

Author: Helen

Girlchild is fond of sports with a high accident potential. She enjoys horse riding, skiing (although I’d be lying if I said she gets to do it on a regular basis), swimming and rollerblading. She claims to be a clumsy person, but she rides really nicely and she is known to glide regally around the house on her skates, pulling up with that sudden-stop-with-twirl which experienced skaters use to such effect.

Today, she is stumping around the house on crutches, with a broken ankle.

Which she got by falling down the school stairs.

I think that goes to show something-or-other, like “go for it, kids, cos you’ll go arse up doing something anyway”.

She is coping well with the pain, but not so well with the plethora of lame jokes which has been spawned around the place.

Best friend: “Why did the chicken cross the road?”
Girlchild: “I don’t know, why did the chicken cross the road?”
B.F: “Because IT could!”

And, “Oh, you’re just using that thing as a crutch!”


In other news, I have officially passed the fifty year mark. Ouch.

Thanks to Phantom Scribbler and Shakespeare’s sister for this.