Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fluff, Yeah I did say it: *Fluff* poem!

Blog Days of Bounty
In my first blogging comp
The winner me to be
A camera from Woog & JVC

For the second blogging comp
Specsavers sent to me
A freebie time for glasses
A camera from Woog & JVC

In the second blogging comp
Acknowledged she must be:
Madame Bipolar
With freebie time for glasses
Add to camera from Woog & JVC

For the third blogging comp
Misc – laneous Mum laughed in glee
Sydney Writer’s centre voucher,
Madame Bipolar
With freebie time for glasses
Add to camera from Woog & JVC

For the fourth blogging comp
Sydney Writer’s centre voucher,
Madame Bipolar
With freebie time for glasses
Add to camera from Woog & JVC

With the fourth blogging comp
Wanderlust gave to me:
Sydney Writer’s centre voucher,
Madame Bipolar
With freebie time for glasses
Add to camera from Woog & JVC

In the fifth blogging comp
We will have to wait and see!
As none entered as yet by me!

And to the wonderful ones who ran these comps for me to blitz win:

Go, check out their blogs, though I have no doubt you already do!

Merry Blogging one and all!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekend Grateful: Are we, yes?

To be honest I was tempted to link up my FYBF post from Friday, as in reality it sums up one of my big reasons to be grateful one, two, three.

But then in fear of the wrath of Maxabella, and knowing there is more to it, I decided to post a separate Weekend Grateful.

I have much to be grateful for in my life, and the more I look around at what others face, the more I realise just how much. Think I'll take a leaf out of Ms Maxi's book and make a list for you all to sit and go "Awwwwww" at, m'kay?

Melbourne Cup 2011

1. I have a wonderful husband, Big Boy. Many around us are going through hard times in their relationships for many reasons, many a night we sit on our lounge and ponder. I guess one of the main things we talk about is how very lucky we are to have each other and to agree on so much. Don't get me wrong, we are not perfect and we argue, and there are times I want to bury him in the lime pit under the avocado tree... oh, did I say that out loud? Whoops. Okay, we are human but when it comes to the big stuff we are two peas in a pod.  You can vomit now. 

Madmother house 2011
2. We live in a beautiful part of the world, in a lovely home, hidden away from the world at large. And we are lucky enough to own our property in these times of financial hardship. Alright, the bank shares in owning it but you get what I mean.

Boys Sept 2011
3. Kids. Our kids. What can I say? They are intelligent, handsome, quirky, unique, frustrating, boundary-pushing, wonderful boys. We have the most amazing conversations, and when I say they make my brain hurt I am not kidding! Surely I didn't do this to my parents? I didn't query the world and question the big things? Did I? Oh. That's right. I did. Payback is a bitch.

Me and one of my besties 2011
4. Our friends. So very, very many incredible, loyal, fun, special people in our life. In fact, so many that we never seem to have enough time to be with them! And the circle is growing and growing as we get to know their friends and the friends of friends!

Party time
Home - right here, right now!
5. Life opportunities. One door closes, another opens. Life is change and change is good. Most of the time. Says a woman who hates change. Meh.

I could keep going but I'm not going to. Instead I am going to go cook bacon and eggs for my three fantastic boys, after which we are tackling the Dr Who Board game before going outside to garden and have some fun.


What are you Grateful for? Go, join in the fun... it is good to sit and look at the good in your life sometimes.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Knock Knock, Penny, Knock Knock... FYBF

Boy 1: 2005 - First day of school.

We are coming to the end of the final term of the final year of his Primary school years. The child that was is now the young man that is. For those of you who have followed our story you will know what an incredible difference these years have wrought.

I am bursting with pride at the person before me. This year I had asked him and encouraged him to enter one of the more popular public speaking programs in our district. I said "His was a story that should be told... maybe he could speak of what his school years had done for him? Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing for his teachers to hear?"

He refused. "Why?" I asked, thinking of myself basking in his reflected light.

I must admit I was influenced by another who had done something similar a few years back, though I knew her story had been written not by herself.

"Because they see me everyday and know what it has meant to me."


This is the child who has written an illustrated children's book, this is the boy who is happy to market and talk and educate in any public arena to help those younger on the spectrum and to assist those around them to understand and support those kids.

He knew perfectly well my request was not born of my usual educate, advocate, demonstrate philosophy, but rather of a "Ner, ner" motivation. Not to our teachers, but to others who had not believed, who had belittled and made our my life difficult.

He loves me, he loves so very deeply, and yes, he teaches me to be a better person. He is right, they see him every day and realise what an impact they have had on this once lost, little boy who has blossomed into this gorgeous, strong young man.

I see less and less of Sheldon, and more and more of my Deepak boy emerging.

Boy 1: 23/11/11.

Thank you my son, for taking me with you on this incredible journey that is your life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

WOW - The Saddest Thing

The Write On Wednesday Rules: Get creative with the writing exercises - there isn't a right or wrong. Please do try to visit the other members of Write On Wednesdays and leave a comment of support and constructive criticism.

Write On Wednesdays

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 25 - I heard a song on the radio during the week and I thought the lyrics would make an interesting prompt for WoW. So, write the words "The saddest thing I ever heard" on your page, set your timer for 5 minutes and write the first words that come into your head based on the given prompt.

"That is the saddest thing I ever heard!"

"Excuse me?"

"Seriously. It is the saddest, most pathetic thing I have EVER heard!"


"So you should! And you call yourself a health professional? You should be on your knees begging my pardon and forgiveness and hoping I damn well don't take this further! Who in the hell do you think you are other than a sad little worm of misery? Telling me it is a shame it isn't twenty years ago and we could dump him in a home and forget about him? He is a little boy. A child. Not some pet who is not up to standard, not that I would ever do that to an animal either. How dare you! How fucking DARE YOU? He is going to grow up and do incredible things, maybe not the things someone as shallow as you dream of, but his own unique, amazing, incredible things! How do you sleep at night? How do you bear to look at the thing you are in the mirror? Or have they all cracked in response to the vileness of your soul?
You know what? Screw this, I am taking this further. You should never be allowed to treat a child ever again and I intend to make sure you don't!"

Door slams and the walls shake. She scoops the smiling child from the bench outside into her strong, protective, loving arms.

"Come on sweetie, we are going home!"


Disclaimer: This is not what happened when I was told this by one of the first health professionals we saw with Boy 1. Yes, those were her words. This is the response I wish I had made, instead of the horrible, terrified, shocked silence I responded with. I had not yet learnt to be the warrior of his heart back then in the early days.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Speak Out: For The One Who Cannot.

This is not my story, though I guess in a way it is. I feel guilty telling it, which says a lot about what today is all about...

I had a sister. An infuriating, teasing, short-tempered, volatile, vibrant, funny, caring, strong-minded, red-headed sister. Four and a half years older, she found me irritating for most of our lives. And endearing for some of our lives.

I was not quite fifteen when my sister died. I still recall the day, minute, second I was told. And you know what was so very, very sad at that moment of the phone call? Even though it was an asthma attack that took her life, in the time between me being told she had died and the time I was told how she died you know what my reaction was?

Dear God, he finally has killed her.

My sister could drive a saint to drink. She was demanding, stubborn, outspoken, and could rage like a volcano. Sorta like me, I guess. My mother, Wise Woman, always said I didn't have a temper until the merciless teasing of years and years finally broke my sweetness and I began to bite back. I don't know how accurate that was, maybe my snark was just a little slow in emerging, but by hell, when it did it was equal to anything the flame-haired one could toss my way.

I could tell many tales of my childhood, but beneath it all we were a family. We loved, supported, laughed, fought, cried, and loved some more.

When my sister was not quite 15 she met W. He was a child of the streets, brought up in foster homes, smart, witty, good-looking. He was not the first of her serious boyfriends, my sister had developed a taste for love quite young, and he was not to be the last.

He was the first to beat her. I do not know what part of her thought it was okay. The bruises, broken ribs, black eyes all followed quickly by the lies and excuses. My strong, vibrant, opinionated sister beaten into submission. I listened to my mother's tears and my father's anger. I was sent to my room whilst they argued, demanded, pleaded with my sister to tell them the truth, to let him go, to lay charges. She was FIFTEEN years old!

At Fifteen and Nine Months she moved out of home and in with him. Now she could hide until the wounds healed, she need not let us in.

Do you know the frustration, fear, anger one feels when someone you love is prepared to live like this? I can only imagine how my parents felt, I was only eleven and yet I felt all that. Totally helpless. Authorities could not do anything without her agreement. When the neighbours called them during the worst of the fights, they could take her to hospital to stop the blood streaming but they could not force her to stay away, lay charges, protect HERSELF.

I do not know how she found the strength to finally end this relationship. By then they had moved to Sydney, away from family, away from prying eyes.

Finally, FINALLY, she was free! She was not yet eighteen.

Then came S. Tall, dark, handsome S. S who looked like a cross between the lead singer of Dr Hook and Jesus. We didn't know S well, we only saw him at the times she came home (infrequent) and the rare holiday we spent in Sydney. He was charming, articulate, gentle and affectionate towards my spirited sibling.

We were relieved, finally someone who treated her with respect and love. Someone who would protect her not damage her.

Her boss rang late one day. She was adored at the large family company where she worked as a secretary (they weren't called personal assistants back then), was treated like part of the family. He was worried. He did not like to interfere but felt he had no choice. Bruises, sick leave, broken bones. The nightmare had become reality once more.

She was living with S, who was no longer prince charming but the evil villian. Except this time there were no hysterical phone calls, no tears and raging against him only to reconcile, this time there was silence.

She quit her job when she found out what her wonderful, caring boss had done. He rang us once more to apologise, to express his regrets, for if "he had not spoken out of turn they would still have been able to keep an eye on her and help if necessary." We found out later S had turned up at reception uttering all sorts of threats against this family. He was probably pissed because her well-paid situation had ceased. I dread to think what price my sister paid that day.

Once more we were on this horror ride, with her tied to the front of the rollercoaster like some willing sacrifice.

Two more years followed, two years of keeping up the facade, sweetness and light, all surface conversations. My mother and father were very aware of the control S had over my sister. Tentative questioning led to communication being severed for months. And so they stopped asking.

Once more I do not know what finally gave her the strength to move out, or even if S kicked her out, but move she did. For the final six months of her life she rented a unit of her own. She and S were still together but not living together.

Dear God, he finally has killed her.

My sister was 5 foot nothing tall and a size 6. There was no such thing as a size 6 in Australia back then, so she shopped in the children's department or made her own clothes. She was a talented seamstress, she loved to sew. S was 6 foot.  After her death many spoke out about the recurrent hospital admissions, the attempts to talk to her, the offers of help she refused.

All we could do was tell them, "We know, we know..." and pat their hands and wipe their tears. Asthma took my sister. Her life was cut short, her death was a loss unequalled.

Many years later I glared across my bedroom at my then boyfriend. My cheek throbbed where he just back handed me so hard I had flown across the room, clearing the high antique single bed. The first time. "You were hysterical, I had to calm you down - this is all your own fault!" My sobs stopped, somewhere inside me my sister's voice whispered... Do not do this, do not let it happen to you, do not follow my path.
I kicked him out, calmly, rationally, no further justification for the violence to escalate... I locked the door and never let him back.

My sister taught me that. For whilst she never helped herself, she helped me. And I guess somewhere deep inside I like to believe that one day she would have had the strength to say: "No more!"

Go to Wanderlust, today is "Speak OUT" day: November 18th. Break the silence, break the cycle, break the acceptance of DV in today's society.

Lifeline Phone: 13 11 14

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Reading a topic on a parenting website: What do I do about a teacher bullying my child?

A potential minefield of drama waiting to be entered. We all know as parents we can be overprotective of our little darlings, we all are familiar with that lioness roaring from within when one of our cubs is unhappy.

But seriously, if your child was being bullied (and I do not use that term lightly) by a teacher what would you do? If you had watched the reaction of other teachers at other complaints, and that pack mentality scared you, what steps would you take?

If the principal told you "Be prepared, if you follow through this will be bigger than Ben Hur..." would you still take action? Especially if they were someone whose opinion you trusted?

If you thought your child was resilient, they seemed to be coping, there was only to the end of the year to get through, they nor their sibling was prepared to consider changing schools, would you let it ride?

Would you?

And if that year of being held up to ridicule, being belittled, having the teacher lead the other children in actions somewhat resembling Lord of the Flies, if that then changed your kid into a fearful, anxious, angry child, what could you do, how would you feel?

These are people we entrust with our children's well being...

Scared, fragile, damaged. Humpty Dumpty was never put together again. EVER.

Friday, November 11, 2011

11.11.11 Lest We Forget.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
~Laurence Binyon~

Here in Australia the 11th day of the 11th month is Remembrance Day. We hold a minutes silence for those who have fallen in defence of our beautiful land on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This year falling in 2011 especially poignant.

Even we, the generations who have not lived through wars close to our shores, feel the awe and need to honour the brave servicmen who did so much for us.

Every man or woman who has served our country, every battle, war, fight they have engaged in need to be acknowledged and remembered.

Lest we forget...

Thank you. Thank you all.

All the fallen or the returned battle weary, all were someone's someone: father, brother, son, cousin, uncle, friend, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, nephew... The few who sacrificed so much for the many. I wrote this for my uncle, and have posted it here before, but today he is foremost in my heart so I am posting it here once more.

Uncle Jack
My Aunt was sobbing softly
In the kitchen’s dying light
As I hid deep in corner
I just knew that things weren’t right

We kids had marched at daybreak
Up early on that day
Young children, very earnest
For the ANZAC Day parade

Uncle Jack strode strong behind us
Laconic smile at his best
With all the medals shining
Pinned high upon his chest

Every time I turned to look back
His cheeky wink was sent
And he blew me sloppy kisses
As along the streets we went

But now my Aunt was crying
When I thought she would be proud
Cause my Uncle survived Changi
He was a digger tall and loud.

Mum put her arms around her
Gently asking: “Is it worse?
Have the nightmares lessened,
Or does he still lash out and curse?”

He had survived such horrors
Watched most his good friends die
On that gruesome Burma railway
As it sucked away their lives

A gentle man had signed up
And died with all his mates
The man who had returned home
Broken, scarred and full of hate

Night terrors revealed so much
Of that he would not speak
Where he’d strangle all his captors
Whilst deeply lost in sleep

By day he’d still be funny
A loving family man
But nights were filled with violence
As he battled them again

My Aunt wiped away the tearstains
And stood up with a sigh
“Well, be best be getting cooking
It’s nearly their teatime.”

I walked out of the kitchen
To where the men sat in the sun
My Uncle Jack hugged and asked me,
“Whachya doin, little one?”

I held on really tightly
Words trapped within my mouth
Trying to say so much
But they wouldn’t come on out

Instead I said “I love you”
When I meant “You are so brave.
Thank you for coming home again,
And for this life of mine you’ve saved.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My Little Drummer Boys

Copyright 2011 Madmother

InkPaperPen... We Are Learning To Make Fire.

"We are learning to make fire, not kicking the dirt nor looking at our friend. Please concentrate children, this is very important."
"Miss! My mum says I ain't 'llowed to play with fire. She'll go barmey if she finds out."
"James, your mother signed your permission slip for camp. I think you will find she already knows we will be teaching you how to make fire."
"My mum never reads those things, Miss. She just signs 'em as she curses bloody bureaucrats and paperwork. She says I'm a danger to meself with matches and I'm banned from playing with fire."

"James, it is part of the course curriculum, I think you will find it is okay this time."

She straightens herself with a sigh and casts a stern eye around her cast of misfits.

"Now boys, please concentrate. We place the kindling and the dry leaves at the bottom of the fire trench, and then add the smaller timber on top. As the fire catches we will add the larger pieces until we have a small blaze with a constant heat."


"James, just focus on following my instructions please."


"James, PLEASE. Just wait a minute while I get this fire lit. Then we can discuss the question of your mother's issues with you and pyromania!"

"There, that looks to be catching nicely, boys put some of the larger logs on top... JAMES! What on earth have you done? Put that child out immediately!"

It is 3am and this is my Write on Wednesday. As good as it gets after yesterday. *Sigh*.

Please, feel free to criticise as constructively as you can.

Off to read now.

Write On Wednesdays

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When Parents Go Feral...

Look, I of all people know there are times you have to advocate for your kid or kids. But I also know there is a time you butt out and let them work things out themselves. Some people DON'T know how to or are incapable of letting it happen.

I am sitting smack bang in a situation created by an interfering parent. We send our kids to school and entrust their welfare to the teachers on a daily basis. They see our kids in a different dynamic to their mammas and pappas, and they also probably understand the class/friend energies better at times too.

My two are off to the Grade 6/7 camp. The kids were allowed to work out there own cabins, their own combinations. We were told to stay out of it (but nicely, I'm just pissed and writing abruptly), and in all honesty, I figured the teachers knew well enough which combos could spell disaster, and the kids themselves would bring it up if it arose.

All good. Then a parent goes in, carries on, changes have to be made and boom:

one spectacularly upset apple cart.

God there are some idiots in this place.

And as I said in my conversation with the teacher, I fully recognise that they are doing their best, it is just a shame someone has to make it all so hard for everyone. And like dominoes the repercussions flow down the line... With my kids smack bang in the middle of it. Which means I now have to be one of those interfering parents and delve in and advocate for them. Not happy Jan.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weekend Grateful: Special Occasions and Bling!

Yadda, yadda, it is time for Weekend Grateful!
Melbourne Cup lunch 2011 - Madmother & Big Boy

WHAT a WEEK! Tuesday Melbourne Cup. Thursday my birthday. Manic weekend coming up and my head is exploding from looking at children's illustrator sites!

Whose bloody thirteen year old writes a kid's book and needs an illustrator anyway? Hmm? Okay, so mine does. Crap.

Bloody kids.

Bloody amazing kids.

But back to the topic at hand... This week, as mentioned, was my birthday. And Melbourne Cup. Not on the same day, but as we are on the home run to the shop closing we could only have one day together and I chose to celebrate on the Tuesday as it was close enough.

Beauty & The Beasts

Thirteen of us trooped off to a local restaurant. Three course meal, fashion show, prizes of which our group won many, lots of laughter and fun and just an all round wonderful time!

Two gorgeous girls - and they are as LOUD as me!
It was the BEST Melbourne Cup day I have ever had the privilege to enjoy!

Recognise the hot one in the middle?

And then on my BIRTHDAY I was very spoilt (even though we had to work). We had a family dinner at a wonderful local restaurant - though the one we intended to go to was closed, and of course Big Boy, keeping to his record, had NOT rung to check. We were just lucky the other choice was not closed too!

This weekend we are off to another friend's 40th (actually have two on the same night), and as our babysitter fell through last minute, I am also very grateful to good friends who are having my boys for sleepovers!

Oh, and the bling bit?

You like?

So, I am very grateful for the fun and celebrations, friends and family. And I must also thank those who made this possible - the two who sought to make my life bad and yet have made it so much better than ever! Karma is a bitch, eh? Very grateful for Karma...

Weekend Grateful? Hell yeah!