Last Days of Kinder

Rather than cram everything into the one day, our kinder’s last three sessions were all special moments.

So after a graduation ceremony, the nativity play (where someone looked adorable as a shepherd) and concert, we finally arrived at the last day of kinder for Miss BG.

It started with an 8am breakfast at McDonald, then a drop off to kinder, returning for the Christmas party.

The reindeer cupcakes went down a treat (mini pretzels, Smarties and a raspberry) and definitely passed muster with the kinder mums.

Santa Claus made an appearance, much to the delight of everyone. Miss BG asked for a penny board, much to my surprise. In fact a lot of parents got a surprise addition to the list!

And then it was the significant moments for me, signing her out for the last time, seeing her get her bag, give Naomi one last hug, then over to Jenny to give her a hug goodbye. I left pretty quickly, without saying too many goodbyes, as the whole situation was a bit emotional (I seem to be getting teary at the drop of a hat lately…)!

So that’s it- no longer a kinder mum! No more mornings of being able to go grocery shopping childless, or leisurely housework, in between periods of blogging and reading on the computer. No more surreptitious recycling of pasting masterpieces in the recycling bin. Hello to getting two school lunches ready, two uniforms to lay out, two teachers to get to know and two reading times to coordinate.

That’s all in the near future- I have a few weeks of holidays and spending precious time with two little people still happy to hang out with their mum.


7 Things I will never do again

Today I did my last kinder duty with my daughter. For three hours I talked to 4 and 5 year olds, helped them with puzzles, hung their paintings to dry, watched them play and talked to the kinder teachers. It got me thinking that as one phase of my life ends, another one begins, with both children being at school next year. But there have been other phases of my life, and other things that I have done and will never do again, either by life changes, or simply because I don’t want to.

1. I will never eat brussels sprouts again. I’m a grownup, I don’t have to eat this much-maligned vegetable. I had to eat them when I was younger, gagging on them at dinner-time, because my parents insisted. If the kids want to eat them at Christmas time at my parent’s place, I am more than happy to oblige them and pop one on their plate, but so far they have refused.

2. I will never record a song off the radio onto a tape. I don’t have any spare blank tapes, nor a radio tape player, as I have youTube, iTunes and an iPod which allows me to access music on demand, rather than being prey to the whims of radio programmers. We still have tapes at home and I think I still have a mixed tape on which Mr BG recorded some music for me when we started going out. The VCR is also gathering dust, as we haven’t upgraded to a DVR and we can’t record from the digital signal. Instead we wait for DVDs or I watch iView for the occasional show I may have missed.

3. I will never have kids again- save for an immaculate conception, that is. That means no enforced absence from alcohol for years, no breastfeeding around the clock,  no prams in the boot of the car, and no teething issues. The interrupted sleep is still a factor in my life though :).

4. I never have to listen to The Wiggles again, as the kids have long outgrown them. It was a phase in their lives, and we have the DVDs to prove it! I pretty much lost faith in them when it was decided Greg would come back and replace Sam after 5 years. The way in which it was poorly managed and the persistence that children wouldn’t think twice about a new/old Yellow Wiggle made me glad it was something my kids missed. However, what I do have to put up with no is One Direction and Gangnam Style…

5. I will never see my granda again, nor will I see my parents in law. My mother in law met Master BG when he was a baby, but never got a chance to meet Miss BG. We have a crocheted rug which is a favourite picnic rug for her dollies, that she knows comes from her nanna Margaret.

6. I will never see another  new episode of Deadwood, The Wire, Lost, Buffy. Now you know why I don’t bother getting a DVR- none of the shows on telly are what I want to watch!

7. I will never not feel guilty  about something- I’m not spending enough time with my kids, Mr BG, not exercising enough, not eating the right foods, eating too much, not being a good worker, good daughter, good sister, not doing the housework. Actually I lie- I never feel guilty about not doing the housework…

Orientation Day

Miss BG had her first day of orientation at her new school. She has been visiting it for the last two years, waiting for her big brother in the hallways and in the playground, and is wholly comfortable with the place. Half of my son’s class have younger siblings whom she already knows, and a large component of her kinder class will be attending.

However when confronted with a huge wall of sound from excited 5 years olds, nervous parents, and big kids, I did feel my little girl’s hand squeeze mine just a little bit tighter when we entered the room. She was introduced to her Grade 6 buddy Christina, who took her hand and led her over to a bookshelf to read a story. When we were herded out by the Prep teachers, Miss BG was happily playing with some farm animals.

I picked her up later that morning and she was brimming with excitement, showing me some of the artwork she had created with her buddy’s help. She wanted to show her kinder friends, who were all happy to see her when she arrived.

When I asked her later what she liked more, kinder or school, she said both. But she is excited about going to school next week!


Little milestones

Once upon a time there was a little girl who lived in a yellow house with her mum, her dad, her big brother and a cat called Tiger. She was a bubbly, confident little girl who loved playing with her friends at kinder, but she hated saying goodbye to her mum. She would cling and cry and not let go, and wanted her mum to stay with her all the time.
This worried her mum and dad, who were afraid that she would be the same at school the following year. The teachers said she was fine once her mum left, and that it was something she would eventually grow out of. This still didn’t stop her mum and dad from worrying though.
Then one morning, the little girl and her mum arrived at kinder. She said hello to one of her little friends who had arrived at the same time, and skipped off to the mat to see her friends without crying and clinging to her mum. The mum was perplexed, and looked at the teacher who was just as incredulous. she went over to say goodbye to her little girl, who gave her a big kiss and hug and said ‘goodbye mummy’, before turning to her friends and playing with them.
The mum was so happy her little girl had reached this milestone! She remembered when SHE was a little girl, she used to paint with red paint ALL THE TIME at kinder, because it was her safe colour. She also remembered how pleased her own mummy was when she started painting pictures that weren’t red.
So the mum left kinder happy, and a little sad that her baby was growing up. She looked forward to the next milestone, which was hopefully her son being able to find his own shoes in the morning…

Kinder grrl

The prospect of three year kindergarten programmes being cut makes me think of my own kinder experience, which was as a four year old at a kindergarten in Hallam, in the outer south eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

Me, getting into practice for obligatory kinder photo on monkey bars...

For many, kinder memories are about painting, climbing frames and having milk and apples for snack time- well at least that’s what I remember about 1975.

I also remember painting a picture of my mum and dad when they went to a Halloween Dance and my kinder teacher being so excited I used more than one colour of paint. Red was my comfort colour and the fact I had used oranges and browns and yellows was considered a breakthrough :).

My more recent memories are of the little BGs’ own kinder experiences. No milk and apples- they are required to bring their own snack box and bottles with them. Their 3 year kinder programme is not as extensive nor as structured as the 4 year kinder programme (which involved excursions to Sovereign Hill, the Art Gallery and Scienceworks!), but it is often the first experience of children away from their care giver. I remember a lot of tears from little three year olds when they were farewelling their mum, dad or nanna.

Usually the 3 year programme is about establishing a routine or playtime, snacktime, then outside play, learning to pack up and learning to play with other children. Master BG did 3 year kinder twice, as he was one of the younger ones in his initial group and the kinder teacher thought he would benefit from being held back. Both little BGs loved and love kinder, preferring it to daycare!

It would be a shame to see this experience be diminished, which will happen unless the appropriate funding is provided by the State Government to allow kindergartens to be expanded to allow concurrent 3 and 4 year programs.


Miss BG’s first day of kinder nearly four weeks ago went well. When we got home we put on the TV and Roman Holiday was on. Miss BG was transfixed  by the ‘princess’ and we watched pretty much all of it together.Considering this is a black and white movie and not animated, it was unusual, to say the least.

There has been an Audrey Hepburn midday movie on ABC for the last few weeks and so far we have watched Sabrina (beautiful black and white dress according to our nascent movie critic), and Funny Face (beautiful white dress, but didn’t like the man- Fred Astaire).

I found a book I had of her style on the shelf today and showed it her latest fan.”Wow, Mummy, you got this princess book for me?” Well, no, this is a book I had, because I like the way she dresses.

There is a part of me which is secretly delighted that she loves something I love. Yet what makes me even happier is the fact that she discovered it herself and likes it for her own reasons and not simply because ‘mummy likes it’. I love the fact that she is developing her own tastes and interests and is  growing as a little person.

I know at the moment she loves pink and purple and loves reading about fairies and princesses and being a ballerina. I remember reading fairy tales and dreaming of being a princess, and wanting to marry a handsome prince with whom I fell in love. I remember wanting a pink bedspread, and wanting to be either a ballerina or a teacher when I grew up at the age of 6.

I’m not sure what she will say about The Nun’s Story, but Breakfast at Tiffany’s is on tomorrow, which will be interesting 🙂

Budding Artist and Going Bananas

With her big brother at kinder, Miss BG was keen to have her own kinder experience at home. We have been doing some painting and reading, but mostly we’re hanging out together. She gets to have mummy all to herself and I love spending some quality time with my little girl.

Miss BG hard at work

After kinder today, we made banana muffins, with choc chips. It’s a good way to use up overripe bananas, and it’s a sentimental favourite in our house. The kids both like to help up with adding the ingredients (choc chips) and washing up (licking bowl and spoon).

It’s basically a recipe for banana bread, but I’ve found that making them into muffins makes the portions smaller and more manageable.

  • 175g light brown sugar (I’ve used raw, brown and even caster sugar)
  • 85g butter
  • 225g self-raising flour, sifted with
  • 1/4 tsp bicarb soda and
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 large/3 small overripe bananas (should be approximately 450-500 g)
  • choc chips (1/2 cup?- the more the merrier!)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit/ Gas Mark 4

Sift flour, bicarb soda and salt together.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, adding a little of the flour with each addition. Fold in remaining ingredients.

Spoon into muffin cases in muffin tins, and pop into oven for about 15 minutes. Should make 18 muffins or you can pop it into a bread tin for a loaf.

They’re lovely eaten warm 🙂

(For @mt77)

The swings on the playground don’t even fit me anymore

Kinder. I have been looking forward to it since the start of the year, but it thrown out my routine somewhat. My workdays have changed to accommodate the drop off/pick up routine and I feel a bit out of sorts. Right now I should be somewhere near Sunshine, iPod on, book open and sun streaming through the windows of the train. Instead the kids are playing with Playdoh, and I should start thinking about tea.

Master BG’s first day of kinder was good- he enjoyed it and I was happy to see him after his session. So too was his little sister, who kept looking for him all over the house. We did have fun at the park, the post office and the kinder again when I had to drop off his snack box :).

I love Paris– a selection of photos from the early 20th century, which include photographers such as Man Ray and Eugene Atget. The images really evoke the timeless beauty of one of my favourite cities (so shoot me for being sentimental!).

Government 2.0 for Victorian Government– the Victorian government is set to respond to a report from the Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee on Improving Access to Public Sector Information and Data. Hopefully the response will be to adopt the recommendations which included adopting a Creative Commons Licensing Model for government information. There is a tendency for government agencies to hide behind the Freedom of Information Act to hinder access to information, not to mention “Commercial in Confidence” .

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Library has recently updated its Background Note on Boat Arrivals to Australia since 1976. It includes an historical context, and Government responses to this situation.

The State Library of Victoria has a series of Fellowships for budding playwrights, authors, artists and art historians. Getting paid to go to the library, what a dream job :)!