Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina

It’s a famous line in the Kindergarten Cop flick
You know the one, where the little boy’s so slick
When he states to Arnie, in the classic one liner
That ‘boys have a penis, and girls a vagina’.
It’s stuck with me for all of these years
A line that’s shouted with peers and beers
But now with my two-year-old boy in tow
He thinks it’s something that everyone must know.
While standing in a very long bank queue
My son (who is also fascinated with poo)
Went up to a stranger, and pointed at his dacks
And shouted ‘doodle?’followed by sniggers and cracks.
The man looked at me, unsure what to do
I explained that my son had just turned two
That he was curious about the thing in his nappy
But talking about it seemed to make him happy.
The tantrums themselves are awkward enough
But how in the hell are you meant to handle this stuff?
There’s a time and a place for this chat, to be frank
But it’s not the time, nor the place when we are in a bank.
It’s no different at all when we go to the zoo
Where there are plenty of doodles and a whole lot of poo
We explore all the gardens and eat picnic feasts
But it all gets exciting when we check out the beasts.
Just last week, we watched the elephants play
My son glued to the fence on this rainy day
Then a male elephant weed and boy it was a hit
And on top of that he took a massive shit.
Oh the squeals of delights, from my son and other boys
Who were all lined up, attracted by the noise
The other parents and I all rolled our eyes
I was thankful that the excitement was no surprise.
In my household filled with blokey gents
Where it’s rare if anyone is wearing pants
I feel left out because I’m ‘missing a tail’
But at the end of the day, I’m proud to be female.

This ode first appeared on BubbaWest.

Knocked down, not up

I recently wrote an article encouraging people to find their inner Chicken Crimpy.  The piece was about taking a chill pill and stop over-commiting myself to a million things at once. So I did. For six days. Then we started our renovations.

When we were heavily pregnant we lived in renovation land. Our house had been gutted, meaning there were no walls at the back of the house. No bathroom, just a portaloo and portashower in the front yard. Our kitchen was a camping stove and a BBQ for three months and we drank water from the front garden tap. Our neighbours all knew that I peed at 4am every morning because they would see our front light go on as I tip toed to our portaloo where I would try to wee in a plastic bowl as quietly as possible in the dead of the night. I couldn’t even shut the portaloo door because my stomach was so achingly big.
Our builders during this time were so patient, especially when I started mat leave and was hanging around the house growing bigger by the minute. We formed a special bond. One that saw the builders put spare towels in the back of their utes, ‘just in case of an emergency trip to the hospital’.
This bond also meant that our three or so builders, who were strangers to us before our renovations began, got to know us so very quickly as they lived through our pregnancy. I can’t even tell you how many times our main builder would walk past our bedroom and see me lying on my side in undies and a tank snoozing with my mouth open, dribble pouring into the top end of my pregnancy pillow while the rest of the long sack was wedged between my legs.
I didn’t care after a few weeks. It was hot. 40 degrees hot and I was so hungry and pregnant. I would eye off their eskies, excited for smoko just to see what treats they had brought in. Once they saw me eat a WHOLE watermelon in one sitting with a soup spoon.
So here we are again. In renovation land. Finishing the last bits of our whole house renovation. Finally. Almost 20 months after our builder received a call from my husband asking if they could quickly put the toilet in as we had just had Alfie.
Here we are, living in renovation land, camping in the rear of our house like a Little House on the Prairie, except this time instead of being severely knocked up we have a toddler running around knocking everything over.
What’s harder? Renovating while pregnant or renovating with a toddler?
My husband and I are no less feral. Instead of passing out at 11am in my undies drooling on my side, I’m running around like a headless chook in the morning wearing just a bra and dacks trying to sort out lunches, breakfast, attempting not to fist fight my husband and always looking for a goddamn shoe. Trying to squeeze a shower in and attempt to be a loving, happy family before our builder arrives is a joke. We just let him see how real it is. He’s newly married, perhaps the Webb family visual is a perfect form of contraception for him.
Today is Friday and it is my ‘day off’ from work. Normally when my kid is snoozing, I take my pants off and have a nap on the couch.
I’m wondering if this is pushing the boundary a bit too far. I mean, what’s my excuse? I have plenty.  But instead I might smash a box of Chicken Crimpy’s. At this moment, it’s the best way to find one within.

This post first appeared on Bubba West.

Mum vs Wife

Sometimes I talk to my husband through my child. It really annoys me when I do it, but I still do it. It’s not funny, it’s condescending, but I can’t help it. Perhaps it makes me feel better. For example:
“Hey Alfie, why don’t we ask dad to pick up all the crusts on the floor?”
“Let’s see if dad can take you to the park so that mum can have a sleep on her face.”
“Why don’t you go into mum and dads room and wake up your father and show him how you have worked out how to squeal like a pinched pig?”
“Why don’t we ask dad to change your stinky nappy?”
“Let’s leave the wet washing on the floor and see if dad will hang it out.”
It’s not as if my husband doesn’t do anything. He does. Some weeks he parents more than me, some weeks I parent more than him. It all depends on our crazy work shifts. So I don’t know why I turn into a condescending brat using my son as a force field. Have I forgotten how to talk to my husband?
Now we are parents we seem so much more connected. We were connected before, but it’s different now. We still have the occasional fight – mainly about food management or domestic duties – but we get over a fight so much quicker now. We both know how to cheer up our son if he is sad, we have even busted out synchronised dances without a rehearsal. This is how connected we are.
But then there are things about our relationship that seem so disconnected. The other day I had a wax, not because I wanted to impress the old hubby, but because our son had swimming lessons later that week. I wear pyjamas now just in case I have to get up during the night. Sometimes I put these on within ten minutes of arriving home from work. I pull my bra off through my sleeve in front of my husband while giving him the low-down on my day. And yesterday I pointed to the aeroplane in the sky, forcing him to look.
Who am I now? When did I start wearing my husband’s socks to work? Why are farts now so ridiculously funny? Why did I just send my hubby a text saying ‘Alfie took a crap on the abacus’ rather than ‘You’re a spunk’?
It’s so bloody difficult finding the balance between being a wife and a mum, some days the roles just overlap. Some days they are so far removed from each other that it all becomes confusing and other days it just gels. What I do know is that in our little family we all seem to have a connection during the highs and the lows, even if it is laughing at farts, laughing at me or just doing a plain old robot dance in the kitchen while arguing through gritted teeth.  All in all, it gives us something to giggle about when we sit down for tea in our pj’s.

This post first appeared on Bubba West.

A hole lotta love

Last weekend I took my son to the oval. We rode there on the bike and squealed the whole way, waving at trucks as we spun ahead.
We arrived at Yarraville Gardens and I helped my son out of his plastic seat, popping him on the ground to stand as I held the back of his t-shirt as he pulled. His head was pushed forward with his eyes on the horizon. I could see steam come out of his nose as he scraped the ground with his Volley. He was ready to run.
My kid was born ready. The birth was so quick, he popped out and said “Yo dudes. If you can just give me one hour to sort this entering-the-world shit out, I will be ready to go. What have you got planned?”
I said “rest.”
He stuck his middle finger up at me and blew a raspberry.
So here I am, seventeen months later, gripping my son’s tee as he revs up for his run like a bull to a red flag. My two-speed kid, who naps and runs and is so time poor to fit in any activity outside these two categories, has the energy of an Olympian. I mean, this kid wore out his pre-walkers before he could walk.
My time with my son is spent at the pool, climbing park equipment, at the beach (because the ‘sandpit’ there is more interesting), at the oval, at the farm, on the swings (he pushes me), on the bike/trike/supertrike/motorbike, or just running alongside the dog chasing after his tail.
I don’t think I have ever been this fit in my life. It’s extraordinary how much of my local suburb I know now off by heart. I have got to know this little town, albeit at a toddlers pace, like the back of my hand.
Yesterday it took forty-five minutes to walk the five minutes it normally takes to walk from home to the Village. The only reason being was all the holes along the way – my son LOVES holes – otherwise I reckon the kid could run to the Village in three minutes without a puff: the fence holes, the holes in the ground, the holes in the dirt, the letterbox holes and the hole in the end of his sneaker. These are all great obsessions that can distract an athlete in training.
We now ride the bike a lot. So when we got to the oval, my son knew exactly what he was there for: Baby, he was born to run.
I counted down from three and let go of his t-shirt and he shot off like a bullet. He ran so far I had to run after him. Then he saw me running and ran the other way, even further. And he kept running and I got a stitch. I stopped to catch a breath and he turned around, and then ran even further. As far as the cricket cages. Then stopped.
I waved to him and started jogging over to him. Then I realised what he was about to do. It was so obvious and I wasn’t fast enough to stop him.
He squeezed between the two locked cricket cage gates and ran into the cage. I caught up to the gates and there was no way I was going to squeeze through unless I had a pair of wire cutters handy. I put my arm through the gap and tried to reach him. He ran further towards the back of the cage. I called out his name and he repeated it, thinking that was hilarious.
A dog walker stopped by and asked if I needed help. We shook keys together, got the dog to wag its tail, sang ‘Old Macdonald’ and other nostalgic tunes to encourage interaction and he just played in the corner laughing at us.
A jogger came by to see what the fuss was about. He had one of those lanyard things and he shook that about and did a funny dance in his bike shorts (which was quite creepy). Alfie turned his back and played with the fake grass in the corner.
Two more dog walkers with four dogs, a female jogger – who instantly caught the attention of the male jogger, a couple of teenagers and a small soccer team joined the cricket gate posse. There was singing, dancing, shaking of numerous items, calling out, clapping. You name it. We all did it.
Then Alfie started getting upset. Who were all these people? He started stressing and came towards me at the gate wanting to escape the cage but not knowing how. The joggers had become engrossed in their own (hot) conversation and were leaving the scene, soccer practice had started so the mini players went off to play, the teenagers went to be cool somewhere else, leaving just the dog walkers and me and my scared little son.
Then Alfie saw it. His favourite thing in the world. A hole. He squeezed between the gates and ran towards the dog who was digging with its bum facing towards my son. I grabbed Alfie just in time, before he stuck his finger in unknown territory.
We said thank you to the dog walkers and waved goodbye to our new park pals and got back on the bicycle. We were both tired and didn’t say much on the ride home.
When riding through the Village we saw the two joggers having a wine together, their knees touching while they had a little giggle. Alfie and I high fived each other, I winked at the couple and we peddled home. 

This post first appeared on Bubba West.