There is a tension in the house and it is my fault.

How much of how you are feeling reflects on how your kids are feeling, do you think?

I reckon your attitudes, feelings, emotional output, has a huge and powerful effect on how the children feel about their day.

A girl like Kennady, sensitive all her life, excessively so at times, is old enough to have a bit of a sense about that sort of thing, one that goes beyond a feeling, a vibe she may be picking up on. She has learnt to recognise the signals that I display.

She knows.

Hazel is a bit more blase, a bit more wrapped up in her own thing. Hazel has always had her own take on what is going on around her and at the moment, there is nothing different about her reaction to me and my edge. That will change. In slightly less than 24 hours from now she is going to be just as fired up as I am. Or at least she will make out she is, for the sake of her old man.

Esme doesn’t get it and I can only hope that in time, Arlo will. The Wee-Man, the prodigy.

Claire gets it. Claire hates it.

She hates the nervous tension, the pacing, the yelling and the excited-ness and the explosive displays of emotion; from anger to shock to joy. There will be joy. Elation.


What the Highlanders did signaled it. The way tomorrow night will be, before and after.

It has started now, already. Started early in the week, was exacerbated by the selection announcement and now I can barely keep a lid on it.

The Lions.

C’mon the All Blacks!!



Slippery Decks

These are the days you dread. I do anyway, for a multitude of reasons. 

A great day for writing. I need it like this, find it inspiring or whatever it is that gets the creativity in me bursting to get out.

It is an easy mix. All you need is a tin roof and some rain, the heavier the better. Throw in, like today, a smattering of thunder and the odd streak of lightening and I am away.

Sounds great you think. Go for it, you say. But it won’t last. Right now I can hear the morning debate taking place in the kitchen as the older two are motivated by a mother that claims to be taking it easy this morning. Translation: itching around the place with not enough to do before her working day begins. A baby slumbers, stirring but not giving in to the reality of a day dawned just yet. The E-Bomb is still asleep too, sprawled upstairs on her drool stained mattress.

She will stay that way for ages, a champion of the sleep in, because her mother and I are bad parents. Kenny and Hazel give us pecks on the check and head up the creaky, spiral staircase around half eight. Esme returns to her slack parents after they have all done the teeth, toilet, pj’s routine.

And there she stays, fussy and cuddling up to one or the other of us and if she is lucky we read a story or two. Otherwise she has to put up with whatever dross is on the television while she vies for attention and snuggle space with her little brother, who is most likely fast asleep himself by this point. Esme will toss and turn, bitch and moan and eventually, thankfully, begin to doze. When she is out to it I will hoist her in my arms and carry her, precariously, up the stairs and into her bed, sweeping the hair of her face so she doesn’t snuffle herself awake.

butter does melt

butter wouldn’t melt? 

We are scared of her. It is that simple. The threat of the E-Bomb is petrifying and not something I want to encounter in the evening. Does that make Claire and I a pair of wimps? Are we too soft? Or are we new age, touchy feely, letting our child be the ‘person’ that she is, allowing her to shine and develop as she will. Such a strong will it is too.

None of that. We are pragmatic. It is about us at that point, Mum and Dad, Claire and Mike, Husband and Wife. Man and woman. Or at least, it is supposed to be.

So much for ‘parent time’. It is a term I have been known to throw out there, a mythical time and place, supposed to eventuate at some stage in the late evening. A place without the sight and sound of children, when my naturally inappropriate tendencies can shine, have their time and place. A time and a place when my wondering hands, my lewd comments and salivating eagerness can meet the standard, stone-walled ‘get a vasectomy’ response they are so prepared to receive.  And after all of that, the little bastard ends up in our bed!

Just as an aside, Kenny is the only potential bastard. She was at the wedding though, so I am not sure if that counts. Her mum carried her there, across the sands to the sea-ward side of the Island where the ceremony took place. In her belly. Barely a swell. We both wore rings by the time she was born, Kenny’s birth story a bloody good yarn in itself and one I will share one day, maybe the next time it is raining.

The sky is brightening now, the kids edgy to get to school and the bomber still asleep. Wee-Man has rolled into happy smiley existence and the day is off to a good start. Claire will drop the kids off and I will be left to it.

To my frustrations, my ineptitude, by inabilities and disabilities and to back pain and a sore knee and smiles and dog pee and baby poo and dinner ideas I can’t complete and lunches I forget to make and snacks at inappropriate times and too much television and not enough reading and rolling around on unclean floors and not enough layers for treks outdoors to puddles too deep and mud too muddy.

Today, despite the rain setting the mood, I will not get a thing right.

Today there will be arguments and recriminations and fights and yells and screams and bitching. Today there will be yelps and shouts and leaps and lunges and trips and falls and dancing and singing and laughter and more tears.

Today, I can’t put a foot wrong.