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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

One small step for a little man, one giant leap for his parents.


Our son is 11 and off to high school next year...After many practises of walking home, with him leading the way over the many roads and crossings, it finally came time to let him walk home by himself, while I took his brother to an appointment. He was pleased he could finally do it, being one of the last in his class allowed to.
However, I stressed about it all day (from 5 am!!), thinking all the unlikely but minutely possible terrible outcomes that could occur. Intellectually, I knew that I was being unrealistic, and that next year he'd have to cross roads and get buses as well, so better to start now and get him used to finding his way about, but I could not shake the nerves.
At 2.30, a friend rang to see if I could take his child that afternoon as he wouldn't make it to school on time and I was secretly relieved that my son would have company on his first unaccompanied trek. I rang my husband to let him know that Louis would be walking with our son, and how relieved I was that fate had helped me out with my anxiety, only to discover my normally sensible husband was equally worked up about it. Neither of us had expected the emotional intensity of something so simple as walking home from school.  We know we have to do it, but the 'letting go' is such a giant step for us parents.
I gave my son the key and off they went, without so much as a goodbye.  The journey on foot  takes 30 minutes and he was to ring me when he got in. At 3.30 on the dot, I rang home but no answer...I knew realistically that they'd still be walking home but in my mind ran all the 'he's been hit by a car' scenarios...3.35 he rang and all returned to normal in my head.
I explained later to my son that all the worry, and that we were slower than the other parents to let him do it, was not because we didn't trust him or because we didn't think he was responsible enough to do it, but because it was a huge step for us, his parents, to let go of one of our most precious things.  Thankfully he understood (and thought it was funny) and I am glad he knows it's more to do with us than him... I never realised how difficult it would be for me, and I see now a whole lot of much harder 'firsts' to come. Not to mention the same again with child 2 and 3....This parenting gig is much harder than I realised, the older they get, especially when the kids aren't around!



Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Sitting on the dock of eBay


I have developed a nasty little habit. An ebay habit. Not buying stuff on ebay, I mean selling stuff or more accurately attempting to sell. When I say stuff, I mean stuff – no one product or streamlined store here. I randomly scan the room and think – I could sell that book, or that toy, or those shoes I never wore. What I’ve become addicted to is not clearing the house or making space for the new things, nor is it making money…I’m addicted to trying to understand the process of the buyers out in the ether. I want to find the pattern of what sells. Currently I have absolutely no clue at all. I list ten books, 1 sells, the rest sit there. I list a beautiful dress that never sells but a less than perfect jacket goes first time. I list a broken toy that I explain is heavy and not worth the postage and I have over a dozen watchers and a number of people asking me how much the postage would be…
The only thing I have learned over the past three months, is to relist. What doesn’t sell this time may go the next, or the listing after that. That’s the bit that makes me so curious. I still can’t predict what will sell and what won’t. I started doing it just to get rid of some of the copious toys that no one played with. Then I started making space on the bookshelf. The deal I struck with myself was I wouldn’t buy anything online until I’d covered the costs (and made the space) by ebaying the old items. I’ll be honest, I’m a little lax on that end of the deal but my intentions were good! However, with this new obsession, I’m listing far more than I’m buying. I’m determined to crack this nut, even if it means we have no furniture left but the laptop!
I’m sure there are studies out there, or even books I could buy online to solve this riddle quickly, but  onion peeling has always been a hobby of mine, as has dogged determination and obstinance (and stupidity). So I currently feel like I’m sitting on the dock while gazing over the eBay at the nation of consumers I don’t comprehend. Their language and habits are foreign to me. Yet as I look at the Jackie Chan doll I refuse to part with, or the vintage Dakar Rally Service truck I purchased off eBay at vast expense, perhaps I’m not as remote as I think. Perhaps the woman in Germany was wondering who would spend a small fortune to post a plastic toy truck to Australia, or the guy in America watched in shock at the bidding war over an action doll…
Maybe it’s like the song says ‘I'm just sittin' on the dock of (e)bay
Wastin' time’


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Ikea - lost in translation


Today's activity for the wordsmiths:

I'm after some new words for the following:
‎1. A word for that overwhelming dazed feeling you get walking round Ikea (just look at the people around you, they all have it).
 ‎2. A word for that miserable level of unhappiness that couples get at Ikea (no one needs to do that shopping in pairs - if I can buy a bed all by myself with my muppet arms, I think it would be far safer for the wellbeing of the relationship if one person went - the reward for having to trawl through Ikea with all the other dazed and unhappy people is that you get to pick the furniture) Next time, look at the couples...it's tragic.
 ‎3. A word for falling victim to buying crap you never set out to get and probably don't need. Has anyone ever gone to Ikea and just got what they went for? I went for batteries and got a dragon and a doona cover...
4. A word for consistently forgetting to take the recycled batteries back to be recycled, even though that was the purpose of the visit...

Now I just want to clarify, anyone with children should love Ikea, for cheap affordable necessities, toys and even food. They are green and stylish but those words and descriptions already exist...(is that enough to stave off a lawsuit?)
I'll finish with a quote from my wee girl as we walk over from the car park "Oh this place?! I LOVE this place!"

(oh, but I just have to add that the dragon was an absolute steal with their family discount card...)

Linking up with the Lounge over at Robomum's with my first ever post, back in June last year.  I still need words for all those things, so feel free to give me your suggestions.