Thursday, February 1, 2018

Under a Super Blue Blood Moon...

The day is hot, so hot, the air thick and oppresive with moisture. Sweat coats us all and we move slowly. Returning from school my wild boy slips outside to return red-faced with a living fish he caught in a nearby lake. We put the fish in the bath and wait for Beloved to return to deal with the hook. The heat is overwhelming. We are sluggish, headache-y. Minutes pass slowly. 
Beloved returns, late, and we head to the sea. The fish is returned to it's home on the way. 
And we step onto the beach and the full super-blue-blood moon (to be) hangs over the sea, and the breeze is cool and playful. 
The breeze is cool. It's like a heaven-sent gift. A promise of the benediction of rain to come.
The tide is low, and we trail out over sand banks. Energy and joy returns. The older kids fish, the younger ones play in the water. The water is warm, like tepid bath water. But o - that breeze. 
Soon, the younger kids are soaked through, and we strip them and they wallow naked in the brine and mud. 
My little water babies, my sprites, my wild ones. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Water Babies

As many of you know I detest and despise hot weather. The sweat trails. The fungal infections. The headaches. The moist pits. The heatstroke. The inability to leave the house between 8.30am and 5pm without broiling.

This is a problem living in Queensland.

I have multiple exceptions. By the sea, within the sea, during storms. Air-con. (Best. Thing. Ever. Do not even care about environmental damage as otherwise we would All Die and clog up the airways with our noxious decaying smell) And of course swimming pools.

Recently, we discovered what it takes to keep one unmedicated (for the holidays) ADHD, ASD kid from destruction and chaos for a WHOLE AFTERNOON. The constant attention of eight adults (undivided attention of two at any given time) and a swimming pool. Easy. Done. Why have we not thought of this before? Much easier then moving to Finland.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Boxing Day By Sea (sensory)

The sugar from Christmas still jiving through their veins, two of the four having drawn on their faces (tribal markings? gangster signs?) Boxing Day found us loading our wild ones into the car to take to brunch at my sis-in-laws. And... she's recently moved to the beach so the kids loaded up on some much needed Vitamin Sea. While it is true that we rarely go more than a few days without the sea - I tend to think it's more of a daily requirement.

I read blogs and see Pinterest boards about sensory play and people mucking around with rice and shaving foam and stuff that to me just says disaster (still in mourning that the Wild Boy sprayed all my colour-stay hair mousse in a box and then threw it at his sister, pie-like. It did smell and look like whipped vanilla cream... but... sigh...) Have these people not heard of the sea? Sand. Mud. Trees. And then I hear myself and realise again just how lucky we are that ten minutes gets us to the beach - albeit a mud-flat one, and thirty minutes to white sands...

 Obviously, water is made to be enjoyed. It is warm and it sparkles, and is full of sand, which Wonder-Girl still hopes will one day taste okay, although she isn't tasting quite so much anymore.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

secret garden

Last year, my baby and I flew down to Melbourne to be spoilt at my parent's house for a long weekend. My Anna adored wandering in my mama's bountiful garden with the pecking chickens, the abundance of growing things, the grapes, mandarines and figs and all the little hiding places. 
It is a LOT easier to take photos when looking after only one kid, rather than four so I came home with a plentitude of photos! 
I've missed taking photos - I'm all out of practice and can't quite get what I'm looking for - but I do love playing with it! 

 My Wonder-Girl with her God-Father, my baby bro.

Three generations, my nana, my mama and my baby.

My mama, radiant in her garden.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Walk with me (through the wetlands)

7.30 am. Saturday morning. "Bye, love." 
"Bye, love, try not to kill anyone." 

Beloved departs for work. It's just me and the wild ones for the rest of the day and I am very outnumbered. Quickly, with sketchy preparations, I haul the three girls into the car, turn on the air con and return for the boy. He's still sleeping, so I pick him up and carry him out to the car. Food and his choice of music and he's almost human. 

And we're driving up the coast and the sky is blue and the music (too) loud and everyone is almost civil. 

I've been meaning to try Maroochydore Wetlands walk for awhile and it appears today is the day. Boardwalks (Yay - stroller! Also, nowhere for the kids to run off and get lost.) Mangrove swamp. (Yay wetland beasties. Also, mud.) We pull into a deserted car park and the older kids run off and disappear into the swamp. 

Following at a more sedate pace with the stroller and camera, I delight in the juxtaposition of perfect ease of movement along the well made board-walk and the wild tangle around us. It's a type of landscape I haven't encountered before with an undergrowth of unknown stuff - casuarina? and then the paperbarks stretching out of sight

The kids race, squabble, climb trees and swing on branches, balance on the edge of the board walk, in the still cool day. 

My three year old has hopes of mermaids in the river. We haven't gone more than a few paces before I realise that there are no mermaids but scores of demonic blood suckers. The mosquitos are fierce. Actually. Scrub that. FIERCE. I kill four on one arm, three on the other, and I'm back to swatting at the first arm. I'd meant to stop in at a petrol station to grab some repellent but didn't pass any. 

Spot the Mosssie on my Adventure Boy's shoulder. There were hundreds

Apart from the mossies we have the pathways to ourselves. There's no one else around and birds trill above the rattle of the stroller. The river sparkling morning-new ahead of us we take a detour along a loop that follows a tributary stream. The banks are full of Fiddler crabs, the males each with one massive orange claw. 

Mud, obviously, presents the opportunity to throw people and (other people's) possessions within. The kids are soon covered in the gunk. My Extravaganza's new light-up shoes are soon encased and their precarious position and entrenched-ness means I have no option but to take off my own shoes to retrieve them. The kids are no longer the only ones ankle deep in tenacious, oozy, pungent, river mud. 

I would like to say Giggle-Bear is holding a rare orange-red Beatle or berry, but Giggle-Bear is, in strict fact, holding her her sticky, twice-sucked lolly. She offered it to me to hold for her and I gave her the option of me eating it or her continuing to hold it. She continued holding it. 

And we reach the river! It is always nice to have a destination. The water is brackish - we saw a toad fish swimming in the tributary - and brown, but very inviting in the sun. A canoeist passes. A family in a boat. They wave and we wave back. 

Washing away some of the mud while sitting on the pontoon. 

 Wonder-Girl was completely desperate to be released from her pusher and let into the river. There was much arching and throwing herself around. When I thought her a safe distance from the water the kids insisted on releasing her so they could play with her.  They demand group photos and I blink and oblige. Mud. Tick. Mossie Bites. Tick. Mis-matched clothes. Tick. Yep, this would be the time they all want photos together.

 The morning progresses to a boil, the metal boardwalk is hot underfoot, we scoot from shade to shade, still swiping the mossies. But this is momentous. Wonder-Girl is now one of the tribe. In her eyes and theirs. They are a team.

This is why we enter the jungle...