Welcome To The Club

It seems when you lose someone close to you, you automatically become a part of “The Club.” When you tell  people that you’ve just lost your dad, if they have also lost theirs, there’s an instant bond. I discovered this fairly quickly after losing my dad. I imagine it is the same story losing anyone – your mum, a sibling, a child (heaven forbid), a spouse/partner. No one can truly know exactly what you are going through or feeling unless they, too, have gone through it and felt it. And in those moments where you realise you have both had the same experience, your heart aches a little more, and heals a little more, both at the same time. It heals, because you don’t feel so alone in your heartache, and you realise you are not the only person to ever have lost someone you love. But it aches a little more because, well, I’m not entirely sure why. Probably because any time you talk about it, your heart hurts.

I still remember exactly how I felt when my sister told me the news. That is a feeling you wouldn’t wish upon anyone. While we all have to go through it sooner or later in life, you hope that people you care about will be spared the feeling for as long as possible.

Obviously no time is a “good” time to lose someone. But 2.5 weeks before Christmas has to be possibly one of the worst times, topped only by Christmas day. Christmas is a time for family, for miracles, for joy and laughter. Not a time for mourning and burying our loved ones.

One of my dearest friends lost her father-in-law over night. As a side note, it seems silly to say we “lost” someone…we didn’t. We know exactly where they are and what happened to them. While we may not know or believe in where they may have gone, they are not “lost”, and as long as we keep them alive in our hearts, our memories, our daily discussions, they are never truly lost to us, but rather always with us. What we’ve lost is the ability to hug them, to have a real conversation with them, to have that special relationship  with them. These are the things we have “lost” and will mourn.

Anyway, as I was saying, one of my oldest and dearest friends lost her father-in-law overnight. And my heart broke again, for my loss, and her’s and her husband’s. And for her 3 boys who lost the only grandfather they have. Having grown up to at least age 12 with 4 grandparents, and into my 20s with 3 grandparents, the thought of our boys not having that relationship just tears me to shreds.

We wonder why kids are different these days, why the world is different these days. When you look at the generations that have gone before us, it is plain as day to me why things have changed. We are having kids later in life, our parents are dying earlier in life, and in the meantime, our kids have little or no grandparents or elders to look up to, to respect, to learn from. When I was a kid, my grandparents were around all the time. We spent a lot of time with them, and they looked after us often. The opportunity for that isn’t always there anymore.

But this post wasn’t meant to be a rant on why kids today are rotten!

This post was just to say that I hope you aren’t in my club, and I hope that it is a very long time before you join it. And if you are in my club, know that my heart aches for you, and all of us who have lost someone we love. It is the worst time in anyone’s life.

The Circus Is In Town

Actually, its not.

Oprah is.

Same thing.

For the next 2 weeks, Oprah and her audience of 300 will be in Australia. While it hasn’t got the kind of media attention say, the Olympics gets, it is quite a huge event for Australia. They are treating her like a dignitary and amping up security (at a hefty cost to the NSW tax payers) to the level of Obamaness.

A news article I read stated that Australia paid $2.3M to “lure” Oprah downunder and that her trip is expected to bring in over $17M in tourism revenue.

How? Where do they get these numbers? I’d be curious to see. And was the $2.3M an actual donation to Oprah, or some other payment? What does it include?

I guess the hope is that Oprah’s millions of viewers will see the shows from Australia and all jump online and book tickets out here themselves. On the one hand it will be interesting to see how the country is represented in her shows.

Carrie Bickmore has come under criticism for her video to Oprah in which she insinuates that Aussies love to gather at McCafes to drink gourmet coffee and have business meetings or girlie catch ups. If people watched the whole video, they’d see that was about 15 seconds of the whole thing, and so what? It’s TRUE. We do have McDonalds, but it is different. And McCafes are as good a place as any to get a nice coffee.

Ultimately, there is no point fighting it, because She is here. So let’s give all 300+ of them a warm welcome and send them home to tell all their friends how wonderful this country is, and what an amazing place it is to visit!



Toilet Training musings

Recently we have started to think about and talk about toilet training with Nicklas. I have to admit, I’ve been dreading this day since he was born. Its one thing to change a nappy, its another to have to clean up poo and pee from every corner of the house and wash 20 pairs of nickers each day.

We’ve been trying to tell Nick that he has to do wees and poos in the toilet now, that he’s a big boy and only babies wear nappies. He started to say wee, but didn’t get the whole “poo” thing.

Until recently.

“Poo, poo, poo, poo, poo, poo, poo.” Now he says it, over and over and over.

This would be fine. Except that he’s also started to say “poo” when he sees a pool or we talk about swimming.

You can imagine the kind of confusion this has been causing. He says, “Poo!” and I say “You want to do a poo?” “No, no poo…POO!” I take him and put him on the toilet, all the while he’s saying “no, no poo.”

We went to the recently-opened rock pools with a couple of friends last week and while they’re playing, Nick says, “Poo!” Now, I’m not sure if he is meaning poo, or POOL, but I don’t really want to take the chance and end up watching a POO floating down the rock pool river. Thankfully he’s in a swim nappy, so its not the end of the world if he does do a poo, but I take him out of the pool anyway.

No poo, POO! He wants to play in the POO! Ok, so he does mean pool. This time.

Who decided summer was a good time to toilet train??