Crime and punishment, or the lass turns seven.

My daughter turned seven a couple of weeks ago. Seven years old. It’s like a new page in the book of her childhood. She seems rather more grown up, a medium-sized child now, no longer so much a “little girl”. I’m not going to go so far as to call her a tween, because she’s still so much a kid. I know that tween stands for “in- between”, no longer a child, not yet a teenager, but my girl is not a tween, she is a child. She’s mysterious and private and flighty, messy, creative, a dreamer and kinda into that girly stuff that I’m into critiquing, but she’s still very definitely a kid. Tween almost seems to mean mini-teen, as far as the marketers and manufacturers are concerned and I am reminded that I may have to write to the clothing manufacturers and let them know that my daughter and many like her are not Tweens. They are kids and would like to dress as such. I’ve noticed already as I went to buy some summer clothes, that now that I can no longer shop for her for in the little girl section of the shop (sizes 2 – 6), but am consigned to the tween section (sizes 7 – 14) it is increasingly hard to find appropriate clothing. You know, stuff that looks as though it was made for the playground and not the dance floor.

As she gets older I notice how different she is to me as a child. Which of course is to be expected, as she is her own person. But our differences in temperament are so stark I wonder whether my parenting style clashes with her personality. We’ve had our moments, shall we say, and there has been times when I question myself.

She was sent to her room, punished for some misdemeanor – probably she was accused of doing wrong by her sibling. In her mind the punishment was entirely undeserved, this was a travesty of justice. She sat in her room seething with the injustice of it all, it was so unfair. The time in confinement was spent devising suitable punishments for her horrible mother who had so unfairly treated her. The perfect vengeance was imagined – her mother was a witch. She would like to lock the witch in a cage and feed her poison for two weeks, not enough poison to kill her, but enough to make her suffer for a while. I don’t know why, but the vengeance fantasy took the sting out of the punishment, and so calmed her that when she was called from her room, having been there for what was considered to be an appropriate amount of time, she not only apologised to mother but confessed the fantasy. She said that she was so angry that she’d wanted to punish her mother and had imagined what she’d like to do. She honestly explained to her mother about wanting to lock her in a cage and feed her poison, but she’d changed her mind, was sorry for whatever it was that had gotten her sent to her room and wanted to be friends with Mum again. A nice reconciliation took place.

That was me many years ago, plotting to lock up my mother. I can no longer remember what it was I was in trouble for, but I do remember telling mum exactly what I’d wanted to do and how angry I’d been. I think she was shocked at my honesty. We forgave each other and I don’t remember ever having such strong vengeful desires towards my mother after that. I also grew out of believing in fairy tale type punishments.

When I recently remembered that incident from my childhood I figured that I’m probably doing ok with my daughter. As far as I know she’s never harbored a desire to poison me, or lock me up in a cage.

I finally got something from my Christmas wish list!

So today I acquired a Honda Cub 90, which was the second thing on my fantasy wish list.  I’m going to use it to get my motorcycle license and slowly work up to the Cafe racer style bike of my dreams (in all that spare time I’ve got -Ha! ) Anyhow in the meantime this is my new theme song.

(Except I’ll be the one at the front of the bike, not gyrating most irresponsibly off the back like those women in the clip whose antics I totally don’t endorse).

Humourous musical interlude

Subtitle: You tube clip of the whatever arbitrary time frame I’m going with, lets say, month

I know this song very well from my childhood but funnily enough I never saw the the video clip until now. This version  is, not to put too fine a point on it, fracking hilarious.  After seeing this version, the real one kinda creeps me out.

Enjoy this fabulous exploration of the use of visual motifs in video clips.

Captain! I’m detecting spoiler activity off the port bow!!

Star trekkin’ across the blogiverse

So I went and saw Star trek last night and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Spoiler warning! [OMG! OMG! I don’t want to read the spoilersclick here, be distracted by cute cat picture]

Firstly, let me preface this by saying that I enjoyed this movie so much that I’m seriously thinking about seeing it again at the movies. Something that I’ve never done before, ever.

I loved the way that they incorporated stuff from the existing Star Trek universe and original series (for example, Captain Pike was the name of the original Captain in the first pilot episode, and the original series included the green woman) and all the characters stayed roughly true to Gene Roddenberry’s vision (and Gene got posthumous character writing credits) but through the use of a niffy story line involving time travel, the events weren’t constrained by the existing Star Trek time line.  Nice (and, I’m inclined to think, frees the franchise up for future movies).  So bearing in mind that I loved it, I’ve got a bit of a beef about it.

(MOTH* gets frustrated at me, can’t I just enjoy things without having a feminist rant.  I don’t think this particular rant is all that feminist.  As a human being, and movie/TV show viewer this is something I’m getting sick of).

Why, why, why, do writers feel that the ultimate of emotional hooks to hang your drama off is  the pregnant wife?  Over used plot device much, but particularly in this movie.  One pregnant/birthing mother who is the motivation for Kirk’s father to sacrifice himself is not enough.  No the baddie of the piece had his own pregnant wife whose death provides the motivation for his evil twisted plans of death and destruction.  So movie watchers are not expected to believe that the chance to save 800 people in 12 minutes would be enough of a sacrifice for Kirk senior?  Or the destruction of his entire home planet is not enough motivation for Nero?  No images of pregnant women have to been incorporated for bonus extra emotional impact.  Well movie writers I’ve had enough.  I’m tired of it.  Be original will you.  Be clever and offer something different.

Maybe I’m just bitter cos the opening sequence had me tearing (as in water in my eyes, not ripping my ticket) up even though as I’m watching it, I’m thinking “this is complete bullshit! –  if all that chaos was happening around you while you are in labour, your labour would probably cease as your elevated stress levels would dampen the hormonal signals that control the process”.  They do that so often in movies, incorporate a completely implausible birth scenario just so some bloke can be the hero.  Tired of it!

Bonus points for those that can list in the comments other movies or TV shows that include a ridiculous birthing.

*MOTH – Man of the House.

Show and Tell

I know that this isn’t a parenting blog but I can’t help myself. My (not so) little girl started school today.  She looked so shiny and happy and hopeful in her over sized school uniform.

When I picked her up this afternoon she told me she said had a secret for me “you didn’t pack me enough food, Mum”.  “Oh didn’t I?” I replied, knowing full well she had had today’s menu picked for the last few days and refused my offer of more food as I handed over her lunch box this morning.  She was adamant about what she was taking and I wasn’t going to ruin her morning by making a scene and forcing my will upon her (and I knew she had an adequate amount for her 3 meals breaks. But I’m guessing that she ate extra at lunch and had nothing left for afternoon tea).  Then after a pause she said “No I was mistaken..you can pack me extra tomorrow “.  Wow, one day at school and look at the new and improved maturity levels.

Apparently she had “great fun” and when I told her that she would be going to school five days a week she got real excited “Yay! Five’s my favourite number!”  Well that just works out nicely doesn’t it?

I implore you to check out this link.  My girl’s first day wasn’t quite like this for me, but I am going to insist on sharing this with you anyway as its just plain hilarious.  It’s from LOOKY DADDY! A blog that actually purports to be about parenting, but is actually a site of much hilarity.  To set the scene for this clip, Brian is a stay at home dad,  and its his twin girls first day at preschool.

The First Day of Preschool from Brian Sargent on Vimeo.

By the way how’s this for some show and tell?

Japanese boys bring WWII bomb to school

In the News

Sometimes I read the news and I get angry.  This evening I read the news and thought that I had to share. From the ABC news:

The author of a musical comedy about the 2006 Beaconsfield mine disaster has made changes to the production following public outrage about the title.

Playwright Dan Ilic earlier said he hoped the production’s original title, Beaconsfield: A Musical in A-Flat Minor, would gain media attention but has since re-named the musical Beaconsfield: The Musical.

I am constantly amazed by humour.  People will make jokes about anything, and it can be something that unites us.  But when good jokes go bad it can also be something that divides us. For example, I really enjoyed this post, but if you read the comments thread you can soon see that not everyone got the joke.  And the joke in the news story, it can be seen as sick and inappropriate and the author sensibly bowed to public pressure and changed the name. Yet it makes me wonder how much of our humour is a coping mechanism in the face of bleakness.  Any thoughts?

Sorry for the silence (or ‘the youtube clip of the week edition’)

Ok, so its been a while since my last post. I have been pretty busy when I haven’t been consciousness-raising in the vege patch.  You know how it is.  You have no job for a while and then one contract leads to three, (simultaneously) and the next thing you know you are teaching first year uni students about power and pedagogy in the classroom.  Which may or may not look a little something like this…