Typical, isn’t it? As one rises, another falls……

Recently, I blogged about the problems our youngest son has been experiencing with something called Rumination Syndrome, a condition which causes him to vomit in excess of twenty or thirty times a day. It was a post touched with more than a little despair.

About a week ago, a good friend of Lyn’s visited for the first time a while, and offered a potential management solution: Lyn’s friend has been suffering from cancer, and has responded by ‘going raw’- eating nothing but raw food, avoiding anything that has been processed, and eliminating all possible toxins from her system. I’m happy to say that it seems to have been working, but one of the things she mentioned to Lyn was a method of raising the alkali levels of our boy’s stomach: a freshly prepared juice of green apples, celery, and mint, with a bit of beetroot every now and again for added flavour.

It was worth a shot. Fuck it, at this point just about anything is worth a shot.

In the last 4 days, his vomiting has decreased to little more than half a dozen times a day. On occasion, we’ve even managed to get him into bed without having to change his bedding. This, my friends, is a major breakthrough. He still has episodes– it’s possible he’ll never not have episodes– but for the moment we seem to have found a temporary abeyance, and it’s enabled us to visit the touring Egyptian exhibition at the museum, travel to the WA Scale Model Expo, and generally travel around town without having to pack a change of clothes and a three-pack of sickbags just to go food shopping.

He can do things like this now.

Which is just as well, because since last Thursday….

Luscious woke up with chest pains on Friday, which became a trip to the doctors, which became an ambulance ride to the hospital with a suspected heart attack after a dodgy ECT result. A terrifying eighteen hours later she was released back into the wild with a diagnosis of muscular spasms so sever that they had affected the ECT monitor, but nonetheless, we’ve been edgy and clingy ever since: she’s still in bed three days later, and any but the simplest of movements leaves her wincing in pain.

And our daughter has turned lung-hacking coughs into a diagnosis of bronchitis, so she’s lying on the bed next to her mother watching Pretty in Pink and other assorted girlie movies for the next two to three days at least.

I am, literally, the last Batt standing.


So here’s how my job can eat my life:

Australia Day means families. Families mean a family-friendly event. 5000 people on the foreshore, which means hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of kids.

Kids means face painting. Ask them. They’ll tell you.

When your face painters pull out three weeks before the event, this can be construed as a problem. It can also be construed as a problem. I know I repeated myself…

Solution: put the call out amongst our local artists. Gather up a crew of volunteers, equip them, train them, stick them in a marquee, open the lines and cross your fingers.

And it worked. Bloody brilliantly, as a matter of fact. But it also meant that I had a car full of face painting kit in my driveway all weekend. Just sitting there, in my car, all painty and kiddy and sitting there.

Come on. What would you do?

In my defence, I only did one each 🙂

Hulk not mad. Hulk just disappointed.

Is it a panda? Is it a skull? Either way, the 10 year old hates it. Five minutes with a wash cloth and…. 

This is me, sticking to writing…


We had a bit of extra money drop into the account this week, so it was decided, on the way home from work yesterday, to swing into the shop and pick up the Christmas layby. Yes, we had the kids with us, but that wouldn’t be a worry– the stuff you layby is always wrapped up in thick black plastic bags and is pretty damn unidentifiable.

Quick lesson: if you’ve forgotten that you’ve bought your daughter a hula-hoop, she’s gonna notice when they bring it out. Unwrapped.


So we apologise to Erin, and ask her what she wants to do– would she like it now, or would she like to wait until her birthday, knowing that it will be one of her presents?

Before she can reply, we get this from Connor:

“I know! What if we cut her head open, pull her brain out and replace it with another brain so that she doesn’t remember?”

His sister’s reply? “Ummmmm, I think I’ll wait.”

Connor. The problem solving animal.


Today has just been one of those days where the good arrives in numbers.

This weekend is Luscious Lyn’s annual Jehovah’s Witness convention, so this morning the kids and I dropped her off at the Burswood Dome and shuffled into the Perth City Centre to pick up Blakey Boy’s birthday presents for next weekend.

As always, kids + me + Perth = the museum, to gape at the mummified thylacine, boggle at the size of the muttaburrasaurus skeleton, open all the drawers in the discovery centre, and generally run up and down the corridors pretending to be dinosaurs. Where the kids used some of their going-out money to make their Mum a badge because they decided she needed one to make up for not being with us. And the birthday-shops in question had mega-cool stuff just begging to be Blaked. And Connor was pulled out of the crowd around a street magician to be his assistant for a bunch of tricks. And even the happy meals the kids had for lunch contained exactly the right random toys to make them happy (A Wolverine for Connor and a singing Smurf for Erin.)

An anonymous street magician and the C-Train deliver the famous ‘Making Sure the New Pope is a Fella’ trick….

I, of course, did not have a kiddie-toy happy meal. Because I had already picked up these in the shop before lunch. I am 40, and I play with grown up toys….

Even my Ninjago will be ex-ter-mi-nated….

And to top it all off, my first short story acceptance in several months has dropped into my inbox this evening. Subject to editorial requests, Comfort Ghost will appear in the upcoming ASIM 56. I’ll let you know when.

Some days, everything comes up sunny.


Driving home from the Worlds Next Door launch, Lyn spots Venus out the car window and points it out to the kids, which prompts us to have a conversation about the planet, and why it’s so bright, and all of that sort of kiddie-inspiring sensawunda stuff. Shortly afterwards….

CONNOR: (gasps) Venus is following us!
ME: Oh no! Maybe it’s stalking us!
LYN: Maybe it’s because women are from Venus, and it can see there’s two girls in the car so it’s attracted to us and wants to be with us!
ERIN: Yeah, or maybe it’s just that Venus goes around the sun the same way Earth does so it looks like it’s moving at the same speed Earth is.

Well. Yes. Maybe it’s that.

Fuck you, childhood world of magic.


Waiting for Lyn to come back from getting her lunch.

Erin: I spy with my little eye, something beginning with B.
Lee: (makes lots of guesses. Gives up)
Erin: Don’t you know the word?
Lee: No.
Erin: Daddy. Everybody knows the bird is the word.

Weird fucking daughter I’m raising.