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I was born in a small country town in NSW, Australia, as were my parents. Things there were run a certain way and everyone knew everyone else's business. In fact it was said that if you parted your hair on the wrong side everyone in town would know about it by the end of the day.

I still remember being a hormonal, ranting teenager shouting "I can't  wait until I turn 18 and finish school, so I can get the hell out of here!" Which, I did. It was much harder than I had ever anticipated, moving to Sydney on my own and starting a new life but that seems like a life time ago now. Since then, I have uprooted yet again (exactly 18 years after the first big move) and now live in Melbourne. (It makes me wonder where on earth I will be living at 54!)

Anyhoo, the point to all this is not where I have lived - or now live, but rather to give you an insight into where my family (and their ideas about things) come from.  Being the "get organised early" person that I am, I am well on my way with the Christmas present shopping and decided to get my littlest guy (who will be two and a half) a cubby house this year. He loves imaginary playing and interacting with things, so I thought the perfect thing for the cubby house would be a little kitchen set, so he can pretend to cook up a storm. Whilst mentioning this to my father on the phone the reply came "Well, I don't know about all that. Why don't you just get him a truck?!"

I had not even considered the thought that my idea of imaginary play for my child might somehow have an impact on my child's perceived future manly-"ness", but I kind of suspect it may have had more to do with my fathers. My father comes from the era where men were men, they didn't "do" quiche, salad and soup were not a meal and they didn't whip up a storm in the kitchen. Gay meant you were happy and there was to be no having with those homosexual types. I mean, we lived in a country town for crying out loud. There weren't any - right!? And if there were they weren't hanging out with my dad at the "local", or the cattle sales or where ever else manly men went, to be with other manly men (but not in a gay way).

My point is you can't make a child gay through pretend play and they can't "catch" gay by using their imaginations. When my eldest child (now nine) was smaller, he used to clop around in my high heels and wear whatever nail polish I happened to have out at the time (I might also add that my husband - open minded as he is, was still a little horrified by all this but my thinking is that high heels and nail polish at three are different to high heels and nail polish at thirteen - and if that's the case, then we'll cross that bridge when we come to it). I even used to get my old Barbie dolls out for him to play with.... until he decapitated them all. Now at the ripe old age of 9 he has no interest in any of that - and is very "boy centric" as far as toys, interests and dressing goes. The point being I let him use his imagination and make up his own mind when he was ready for it.

I still have an eye out for just the right kitchen set for the cubby house, one with a little sink so he can do the washing up when he has finished his "masterchef" creations. I do although have a feeling that when Christmas does roll around, there may just be a present for him under the Christmas tree from his Grandfather, shaped suspiciously like a truck.

Cheers,

Lee

 
 
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Father and son on Fathers Day
Yet again, Fathers Day has flashed by and Spring has Sprung. Yay!!  (yay, to Spring - not Father's Day flashing by).

I feel like I have waited an eternity for a lovely warm spring day to arrive. Now I am not going to lie and say it was hot (c'mon - this is Melbourne after all) but we did reach a very nice 19 (Which for me - is a one jacket day - ahhhh lovely). 

After my original dilemma about what to buy for Father's Day it all went down well on the day. We ended up with some hardware type stuff - which he always seems to like (and had expressed an interest in), dark chocolate (which I suspect he likes even more because no one else in the house actually likes it) and some of his favourite chilli hot sauces (personally selected by the nine year old).

Now even though I had all the intentions of cooking him breakfast in bed (which seems a bit rich, seeing as he is not my father.... but then again, I still have reservations about a two and a nine year old being in charge of the oven). But whilst I had my back turned toward said oven, the two year old made a break for it and by the time I got to the bedroom (for a little pair of legs, he moves like lightening) there was one awake father in it and two smaller people pretending to be asleep. With minimal grumbling (from my husband - not the children) we were able to put together a breakfast of bacon, eggs and croissants (yum) and after cleaning up, headed into Melbourne city. As was the special persons (ie, the father's) request for his special day.

We ended up at our favourite Yum Cha restaurant West Lake in China town (on Little Bourke St) for our Father's Day feast, where the two year old will eat anything set in front of him and the nine year old (we affectionately call him Mr Bland) will eat only boiled rice. After a delicious lunch we then headed home for a nap (toddlers and Fathers that is - well it is his day, I can't really complain about that) and everyone was both full and happy.

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Taking over the world one chop stick at a time! Actually he uses it to stab the food - who needs two chop sticks!
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Some of the yummy dishes from West Lake.
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Our nine year old son and one of our best friends - who drove all the way from Sydney to Melbourne to share the weekend (and some Yum Cha) with us!
How did you spend the day and was the present buying for your Father (or husband) any easier than mine? I hope that your Father's Day was just as nice as ours.

Cheers,

Lee