Monday, May 14, 2007


Nothing but blue sky

OK, there are a few clouds, but it's sunny and mostly blue sky today. Bad timing on Mother Nature's part if She had wanted me to do what I really wanted to do for Mother's Day. Actually I think Marc was more cheesed than me, because he is back in the office today, while, if I pull my finger out and shift my backside into gear, I can take myself for a bike ride before the kids get home from school.

This morning, apart from the reappearance of the sun, I was treated to the sounds of louder bird squawks than we normally get around here. To my delight there were some black cockatoos hanging about in the trees in our backyard. (Acknowledgement - gee it was hard to find a photo online!) These are big birds compared to the usual birds we get in our garden - like the rainbow lorikeets. A pity we had to get happening for school and such, as I could have gazed at them for as long as they were prepared to visit us, particularly the antics of one testing her weight moving further and further down the slight branch of the casuarina tree, till it dipped alarmingly, and we wondered how on earth it could take her weight. They are bigger than a white cockatoo and they look amazing as they take off. Especially if they do so just over your head as one did the other day - the only other time I've seen one around here in recent times.

The line is full of washing from yesterday (got that feeling of deja vu hanging half the stuff back out again) plus a bit more. I've been to get a leg wax (and even got my eyebrows done) - my concession to 'beauty' treatments.. so I suppose one might consider it my mother's day treat to myself (I will just have to find reasons to treat myself the other times I get it done).

If I am really clever I could squeeze in a bike ride, and get home in time to make some pumpkin soup before doing the after school taxi run. Never fear, however, no chance of me coming over all super-alpha-mum-like with the state the house is in, and the lack of cleaning or other domestic chores approached today, or most other days. My super-alpha-mumness appears to be confined to the fact that, by common definition it seems, my kids participate in *gasp* team sports, and attend a few other after school activities - like swimming squad, tennis lessons and a winter season cross country run, and, for this term at least (with the older two having rep netball training commitments until State Age at the beginning of June), afternoons are a kind of diabolical mix of car pooling, and shuttling them back and forth. You know what though? It's all stuff they want to do, enjoy doing, and they are fit, slim, healthy things who at least balance out the stats in regard to the obesity and fitness crisis of so many of today's kids and youth.

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I can only imagine such birds- beautiful! We get crows and starlings, but they're just greasy and black. We have cardinals and painted buntings- very pretty but quite smallish.

You and I are a balancing act. My kids don't participate in much of anything after school, because I'm too sorry (Southern for lazy) to drive them around. My house stays pretty neat, tho. The 2 of us in one package would make a most adequate Alpha mom. I think the women who spend time taking their kids to sports stuff get ragged on the most because it's a very public sort of thing to do, and the easiest behavior to grab onto and say "See! Alpha!" when we really don't know what-all goes on behind the scenes.

What wonderful birds you have!
I think I just got *annoyed* after recently reading here and there one too many blogs (present company excepted)where the anti-alpha type rants got very specific against parents who 'ferry their kids around' to all these activities. The term 'soccer-mom' seems to be used as a pejorative.. and so I just felt the need to stick my hand up and beg to differ, at least in my own case!

We actually didn't try soccer for the girls because you do have to gallavant all over the countryside each week. From when they are little! The reason we started the netball was that it was in the one place, 10 mins up the road. One hour and it was over! Unfortunately the damn kids decided they liked it, and by taking on further opportunities offered to them, it has meant more running around... and Stupid here got conned into helping, and the next thing she knows she's on the bloody committee!

Thank god my house is a mess, otherwise I could be a real worry!

Yes, we have some gorgeous birds!
I can see your point about that-you've given me some clarity about the situation that I didn't have. I think the sports parents are easy targets, because they are so visible, and some of them can be astonishingly badly behaved. Music moms, Dance Moms, On Every School COmmittee moms, we all have our thing. It's the ones who have their kids doing EVERY BLESSED THING and give them no down time that worry me- for the kids sanity and their own. I couldn't do it.

I think there is a degree of envy, for having that kind of energy and money (these things all COST), but also making oneself feel better about our own lack of involvement by finding fault with the very involved. I think the media is feeding this envy by making the whole Alpha Mom thing such a public thing. I admire your involvement with your kids, it's something that they will remember and be thankful for when they're adults and have their own kids. I am also, in my own sick way, glad that you're a less than stellar housekeeper, because it keeps you...I don't know...human. Someone I'd love to have a lunch with. If the drive weren't so far.
Let's do lunch!!

I don't think any of us like to be 'tarred with the same brush' of the 'extremists' within our midst. There are "extremes" everywhere. The sports parents who are obsessed, and yell from the sidelines. The stay at homers who spend all day cleaning, baking, AND scheduling in full on early childhood class type interaction with their baby/toddlers/preschoolers. The ones who work AND have cleaner houses than me!

Most of us fit somewhere in the middle of the spectrum of whatever we do.
My Uncle breeds exotic birds including black cockatoos - they can get HUGE sometimes. The onyly problem is they are so damn loud!

I get a swarm of lorikeets around my house almost every morning eating whatever it is they eat. Damn things are loud when you get 50 or more of them right outside your bedroom window.
The lorikeets can be noisy buggers! Lucky they are so gorgeous to look at! The screech of the black cockatoo was that much louder, you'd be deafened if there were 50 of them!!!

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