Does ANZAC Day need a makeover?

Today I joined thousands of people at the traditional dawn ceremony of ANZAC Day. Unlike last year, and the pomp and circumstance of Wellington, this year my friend and I fell out of our tents and into Small Town NZ to stand with a community who lost many of its men to an ill conceived campaign. This was a poignant year, the first with no surviving ANZAC soldier, and it made me think hard about the key message of ANZAC Day: Lest We Forget....more

Here's to Strong Women ...

When I left for work this morning I did something I often do, namely to kiss and cuddle each of my children goodbye. With Olive, there is often an additional sentiment wherein I look into her inhumanly gorgeous eyes and say something to the effect of "don't ever change". I say this in part because I'm in love with her sunny personality, but also because I am utterly terrified at the fast approach spectre of her third birthday ....more

The Great South Island Road Trip

I’m sitting here - alone - making the most of the extra hour we got this morning courtesy of Daylight Savings ending, with a steaming mug of very artisan coffee, in my very comfortable slippers, at my very fine dining table to write up the adventure of the last week before time rose tints my spectacles and I forget the finer detail of being battle weary and smelling like the great unwashed. Day 1 - Wellington to Momorangi Bay Ah yes, the start of the adventure, when the car was neatly packed and everyone was filled with an entirely unfounded sense of optimism about the halcyon trip we would take around the South Island....more

I Don't Care If You Judge

Something really curious has happened to me over the last year, and like a lot of incremental changes, I'm not quite sure when it happened, only that it has. On Sunday we went to an incredible street festival in the centre of town and, as befits the law of averages, one of the three children was on the verge of melting down on a rolling basis throughout the day. First to go was Alfie who, on discovering that his sister had eaten all the dumplings while he had been off watching a batucada band, flipped both his lid, and the remaining dumplings clean out of my hands ....more

Elections, and Raising a Media Savvy Child - Part 2

So tonight I sit humbled at the endless ability of my children to surprise me by zigging when I expected them to zag. Metaphorically speaking, of course, I haven't started teaching the children combat manoeuvres, we have just been talking more about the US elections. I had a little time with Alfie over the weekend, so in keeping with his preferred approach to learning, we had a chat about how two of the presidential hopefuls make us feel ....more

Three Reasons I Hate Working in STEM

Today I am going to take a huge departure for my usual topics and write a post about my life outside of the family. I'm doing this as my own small contribution to this year's International Women's Day theme, entitled Pledge for Parity. I actually really like that word - parity - covering as it does the goal of equality in status or pay ....more

Elections, and Raising a Media Savvy Child - Part 1

Congratulations America, you finally made me break my resolve not to talk to the children about that unholy mess of a human who plagues my social media feed. What is that made me want to talk to my children about this distant cluster f*ck, you ask? It was this video...more

When Your Six Year Old Won't Sleep

Back in the dim and distant past, when I spent endless hours reading about the milestones and development of my offspring, my head kinda created a graph that looked a little like this: Which is to say, I fully expected that by the time we had children who didn't require full wardrobe, bathroom and transportation accoutrements for a simple trip to the shops, we would also have broken the back of other basics like, oh I dunno, walking, talking, eating and sleeping. Not trying to be the over achievers over here. Having spent a lot of time trying to empathise with other sleep deprived parents from the comfort of a family life that involved, well, minimal night time interruptions I'll admit that until recently I had no idea what it was like to be a sleep deprived parent ....more

When “Equal” Doesn't Mean “The Same”

Have you ever caught yourself speaking and died a little inside? I don't mean when your children have chewed on your final nerve and you realise you have been making noises like Mariah Carey on full chat while they give precisely zero fucks. Just me? ...more

What Do You Say To A Bereaved Parent?

I've been struggling a lot with the strength of my emotions recently, as I always do on the run up to the anniversary of a lost baby. This time of year, it's the loss of Patrick James Doyle - Patpat to his family - who passed away 3 years ago at the age of 14 months and 4 days, known only to me through the internet, and the power of his mamma's badass writing. I'm not sure why it is that I feel the loss of this little guy so keenly but it's probably not helped by the fact that he was 10 days younger than Esme, who, on the day I read the news of his passing was lying asleep in my arms on the sofa after the fifth round of cielito lindo ....more