Category Archives: One guy, three girls

My daughter has guts!

So Little Miss 11 is now in High School in Year 7. 

And I think like many other kids who enter High School, or perhaps its the transition from a single stream to a large high school with many new opportunities, she wants to try nearly EVERYTHING!  Yep, she’s actually volunteering and trying out for soooo many things it’s as if the world is going to end tomorrow!

I think it’s fantastic – of course we’re making sure she doesn’t get burnt out and I’m sure the enthusiasm will drop after a while, but it’s so amazing to see your child take that step growth in confidence.

I’m currently reading a book about staying connected to your teenager, and it mentions the “two” people in your teenager – the “child” that you probably see at home, and the emerging “adult” that as a parent you don’t see much, but it’s the one that’s developing at school, etc.

And last night, we had yet another glimpse at the “adult”.

Little Miss 11’s high school was organising a talent night, something like X-Factor, or Australia’s Got Talent.  And Little Miss 11, in her year of trying everything, signed up! 

The first we heard about it was two nights ago, when she told us to come watch her perform her duet the next night (last night).

Immediately my helicopter parent questions started nagging at me – What the?!  Duet?  Who is she singing with?  Does she know the other girl?  What are they singing?  Why is she singing? Have they practised?  I haven’t heard her practise at home?  Will she be OK on stage? Does she have a backing track?

But Wifey reminded me to back off – I need to learn to let go.  Little Miss 11 can handle herself, or at least, needs to learn to handle herself.

So last night we turned up at the school, I’m a little anxious.  We walk in and the whole auditorium of ~400 seats was full!  OMG!!!!!!   And not just of random parents, but mostly students, her friends, her peers!

Little Miss 11 did go on stage, and sang really well with confidence!  It was so cute, she was soo small, compared to the older high school kids. 

When she and her friend finished, the auditorium of school girls all erupted with huge applause, and that was the immense confidence boost that she needed.

Her act didn’t win – but that didn’t matter at all.   I’m most proud of her actually just signing up and having the guts to follow through!  I think I would have pulled out once I saw the crowd there.

All the way home and whilst downing some supper at home last night, she couldn’t stop talking about it.  All this from someone who is usually now subdued or answering in monosyllabic grunts.

The ups and downs of kids growing up…

Advertisements

10 year old fashion designer

Probably nothing to be too surprised about.  A 10 year old girl who’s into fashion designing!

Last year, when Little Miss 10 was Little Miss 9, she started becoming extremely interested in drawing designs for dresses and clothes and stuff.  Nothing that I’m familiar with as a guy.

But it’s been really interesting and rewarding to see this interest of hers bloom.  It’s made me wonder – what things are there for kids in Perth to do related to fashion designing?   Miss 10 has already started saying she wants to go Paris to see the fashion there!  Should I bring her to the next Perth Fashion Festival?

Here are a sample of some of her early patterns/drawings – to others they may seem pretty ordinary, but I’m just amazed how unique each one is.   In the coming week I’ll upload her designs from this year which are even more unique!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The last episode of the last disc of the last season of West Wing

Wow! What a journey!

A few years ago, Wifey and I were looking for a new TV series to watch.  I can’t remember what we had just finished, maybe Alias, BSG, another season of 24, or something. 

A friend at work suggested West Wing.  I thought, “What? That show about politics?”  Sounds boring, probably won’t have the suspense of a law drama, or mystery of a police crime series, and definitely not the thrill of an action drama.

So we borrowed the first season on DVD from him – which was in 80s type colours and in 4:3 format!  Yes, not even widescreen.

But we were hooked.  The fantastic writing, getting a peak behind the scenes at the Whitehouse, the genuine acting and interplay between characters, the uplifting speeches, the dizzying single steadycam shots down corridors and through rooms (I’m sure they were walking around in circles sometimes!)   Wifey and I followed the characters so closely that, yes, we formed that strange one way bond with them that TV and movie shows allow.

We did stop at the beginning of Season 5 for a while – I’m not sure what, but the overall storyline stalled and it wasn’t engaging – was it Aaron Sorkin leaving as executive producer?  But other friends said we should persist, and it actually did get better.  I think the whole Santos campaign storyline is so overarching with that question of whether they’ll win or not at the end, that it hooked Wifey and me in until the end.

And last night, we just finished watching the second last episode of all.  7 Series X 22 episodes a series X ~40 minutes is nearly 102 HOURS OF TV!   This leaves the last episode of the last disc of the last season to watch tonight.    I sense a massive TV void about to appear. 

Wifey has already suggested we start all the way back at Season 1 and watch the whole thing again!!!  If so, maybe I should get the Complete Series Collection on DVD (http://www.amazon.com/West-Wing-Complete-Collection/dp/B000HC2LI0)!  For me, I’m thinking of starting Breaking Bad.
The West Wing Unofficial Guide – http://westwing.bewarne.com/

The West Wing Episode Guide – http://www.westwingepguide.com/

List of West Wing Episodes on Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_The_West_Wing_episodes

Miss 11 on camp

Last week, Miss 11 was on a school camp for 3 nights.  She arrived back on Friday – pretty tired from early starts and late nights chatting to friends.

Even though she’s not the “noisy” one in our family, the house definitely felt empty and our family missing a piece…

Empty bed
Lonely lunchbox
Expired todo list

Bored by Superman

Our family settled in for a movie night on Friday night.   There’s usually an argument over what we’re going to watch, but for some reason, on Friday, Miss 10 says to me, “Dad, you can choose what to watch!”

“Awesome!”, I thought.

Despite them having watched hundreds.. no.. probably thousands of hours of movies and TV, there’s still much that they hadn’t seen yet.  I was thinking of filling them up on classic movies from when I was a kid.  Yep, daggy.  But staples that I think all kids need to have watched. 

We could finish off the Star Wars movies.  Maybe venture into Indiana Jones although maybe I’ll leave that for when they’re older.  They hadn’t finished seeing the Goonies yet.  Hadn’t seen ET, but it might freak them out.  Move onto Back to the Future 2 or Karate Kid 2 as they’ve seen the first ones? 

But I remembered, they hadn’t seen Superman yet.  Yet Superman is still part of modern culture – in song lyrics, sayings, etc.

Superman it was.  And it was slow to start.  Veerrrryyy slow.  I think movies back then were directed, edited and screenplayed at a much slower pace – they definitely wouldn’t be releasing something like that nowadays.

I tried to keep the kids enthusiasm and interest up, “Just wait – it gets better!”.  Well, I’m sure it does..  when he flies and all that right?

Wifey started drawing parallelisms between Superman and Jesus.  Hmm…

And then Superman flies out of his ice castle!  I’m happy – surely the kids need to see this momentous occasion in the movie. 

But they laughed!!!   “That looks soooo fake!” Miss 11 points out. 

Hmm..  yes it is.  Why didn’t I think that at their age?   Their standards are definitely higher than mine were. 

The groans continued as Superman did more tricks, flew above the clouds, drilled into the ground, etc.

Then when Superman turns back time to save Lois, Miss 11 points out a major plot flaw – “What happened to the earthquake and the other damage?”  “Good question” I had to answer.  I don’t know!  Superman definitely didn’t go back beyond the time when the rocket hit the fault line. 

Then it was all over with rousing John Williams music that the kids said sounded like Star Wars.   The final verdict?  “Boring” says Miss 10 and Miss 11.

Oh well, at least they’ve seen it – I can cross that one off the list.   I’m pretty confident I won’t get to choose the next family movie for movie night.

Have you made your kids watch your childhood favourite movies?  Were they as good as you remembered?

Passionfruit Invention Test

Last year, in the midst of all the MasterChef Australia hype, our kids got really excited about invention tests.

One afternoon, Miss 10 and Miss 11 had picked a whole basket of passionfruits off the vine and experimented.

I love this – it’s all about the presentation 🙂

Did your kids get up to any nonsense in the kitchen thanks to Matt, Gary and George?

Big scary insect in the car!

When we were driving home from Officeworks on the weekend with the kids, I heard something jump in the back seat and hit the ceiling of the car, followed by girly screams from Miss 10 and Miss 11.

What was it?

I saw a large grasshopper calmly sitting in the middle of the back seat, between my two daughters, who were desperately squeezing themselves against their doors – as far away from the insect as possible.

“Stop the car Dad!” yelled Miss 10!

“No don’t worry about it, we’re nearly home”, I tried to reassure her.

“Lock the doors, the girls might fall out”, warned Wifey.

“Look how big you are compared to it, it won’t hurt you”, I tried to rationalise.

That didn’t work.  Tears were about to flow.  I’m trying to think if the girls saw any “Attack of the Gigantic 10 Foot Insect” movies that would have scared them even more.   I think in my head, if we had a son, he’d be saying “COOOL! I’m going to catch him and pull his legs off!” or “COOOL!  I’m going to catch it and put it my sister’s bed tonight!”   Hmm..  maybe that’s not a better alternative.

We got home, the kids ran out of the car and we shoo’d the grasshopper out.  But instead of jumping out – it flew to a nearby plant.

Hmm…  that’s not typically of a grasshopper.  And I haven’t seen a grasshopper that big before.  I was thinking, maybe it’s a locust?!?  But I haven’t heard of locusts in the Perth metro area.  I know they’re quite common in the country, sometimes lying on roads in the the hundreds and thousands ready to be rolled over by a car.

Anyway, here’s a snap of the friendly dude in our garden.

The next day we saw him hanging onto our security door, but haven’t seen him since.   I suspect when acquired him inside a roll of book covering contact.

Do I need to be notifying any authorities?