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How I Came to Find Myself at Barbie Live!

by Twitchy Corner on April 15, 2014

Miss 7 and I went on a rare evening excursion to the theatre recently. The Princess had seen the TV ads and nagged away but her pleas initially fell upon deaf ears because the show she wanted to see was “Barbie Live!” and The Evil Queen did not love that idea.

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Then came the 50% off offer email. Suddenly a little bit of holiday spoiling and special time together seemed less of a horrid thought. Besides, I imagine just about anything is palatable when served up at the darling, erstwhile grandeur of the Palais. Was someone beside herself when she found out her mother had caved!

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I’d give more detail of the show but that’s neither here nor there. It was exactly what you’d expect, a stage-load of young and gushy, energetic actors with fabulous sparkly costumes, pep talks about self-esteem and all delivered around three earlier Barbie movie plots. Nothing genuinely offensive and of course little girls loved it; my own pausing only to say “I’m hungry!” or ask “Is it night yet? Is it night?”

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I want to tell you about something else now: The discussion on Facebook that followed my lengthy rant after reading Helen Razer’s (expletive-ridden) Crikey.com review of the very same show:

“I read Helen Rage-against-the-world-er’s #BarbieLive review. And while some may think the feminist missive was sheer brilliance, this time I hesitate to agree. I suspect some fans of the cutting Razer would laud any venom-spurting, copiously big-worded, reference-littered critique she offered as gospel brilliance; this invites clicks and no doubt the only reason poor Helen found herself there at the Palais.

I, on the other hand am the mother of a seven year old girl and I know the world is many shades of grey (and Pink). While I wish I too had been paid to go, despite my mixed feelings about the whole Barbie juggernaut (I have written on this before), we went along Saturday night. After much nagging and some degree of dread, a 2-for-1 ticket offer was all I needed to change my mind, for some one-on-one treat time with my daughter.

I was never a doll-loving child as my girl is. Sometimes we do things for the people we love, not because we enjoy it but because we know how much it means to them. In years to come, when my now seven-year-old daughter’s life flies off the rails and she cries furiously in her therapist’s office, no doubt it will be traced back to the night in 2014 she suffered psychological abuse wielded via hot pink, glittery musical theatre.

Luckily I have not been teaching her to think for herself as I drown her in a diabetes-inducing environment of vapid, mass pop culture. How fortunate she is that through my not sharing my thoughts, nor critically discussing any objectionable messages with her afterward, she will become disenchanted with life before she’s old enough to duckface her own selfie.

So imagine my disappointment when after revelling in a night of singing, sparkle and joy, my little blonde airhead in a tutu turned to me and said, “see Mummy, there was no boyfriend stealing in THIS story.”

But most of all, I can never get enough instruction on how irresponsible my parenting is from those who know so much better. So thank you. I have been schooled.

My thoughts were unexpectedly well received, even shared and a couple said I should blog it- so here you are. However there’s a bit more. I added:

So I decided to woman up and comment on the Crikey.com Barbie Live! review page. And far out my blog gravatar popped up with it, yay. But I’ll happily stand by these words:

“While I wish I too were paid to go, I do not hate joy and understand the reality of raising offspring means there’s many shades of grey (or Pink) involved in what you expose them to. Luckily I can offset these transgressions, even raise an independent thinker with balanced management and ongoing discussion so I may just continue to live with myself.

It’s disappointing to see you underestimate (if not the parents) young girls this way. One of whom at seven years of age says though she enjoyed much about it,
Barbie Live! doesn’t even come close to The Wizard of Oz. If she hadn’t gone, how would she know that?

See, if we parents simply forbid all of which we disapprove, how do our kids learn to think for themselves? And while I do enjoy some of Helen’s off-the-handle shtick, mine was one of very few comments with no author’s comeback so I’ll accept the flattery.

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After the show, we stepped out into the new darkness. As we held hands, I watched my daughter take in with wonder the moving lights of Luna Park at night for the first time. While she may yet forget the production itself, I doubt she’ll forget this night.

{ 11 comments }

The Wise Men and Their Words of Wisdom

by Twitchy Corner on April 8, 2014

In the dead of night I lay awake, burning questions searing my feminine mind. Around my head swam the choices before me, demanding resolution. Matters of life and love sat open like contracts waiting to be signed and they would wait no longer. It was then I recalled the folklore: the Wise Men would help me. Ancient brothers who lived on the highest point in the land would dispense advice and tell the fortunes of those most in need. I would begin my journey at once.

As the sun rose, I stood at the foot of the mountain. I hitched my skirts with determination and climbed toward the peak until my delicate, glistening brow had been dabbed with every last handkerchief. At length, I found the legendary place where the Wise Men took their audience.

Side by side in flowing robes, sat two wrinkled fellows, beards as long as the rock they perched upon. And though they appeared identical in every way, I soon discovered they could not have been more different.

“Thank you for seeing me, Sirs.” I bowed and stood to attention, for their priceless words of wisdom.

“A problem shared is a problem halved,” said The First.
“Misery loves company,” smirked The Second.

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“It concerns matters of the heart,” I began. “Though I hadn’t been certain it was yet my time, I have come of the age most young ladies in my region take a husband.”

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” said The First.
“The grass is always greener on the other side,” insisted The Second.

While my dearest friends that know me best say I still have time, my family is firm it is time for me to marry,” I sighed.

“Blood is thicker than water,” said The First. “There’s no time like the present.”
“You can choose your friends but not your family,” offered The Second. “All good things come to those who wait.”

This was not the counsel I’d expected but I went on: “Two gentlemen seek my hand.”

“Two’s company; three’s a crowd,” assured The First.
“The more, the merrier!” rejoiced The Second.

Unperturbed, I continued: “One suitor I have known some years. The other I have only just met.”

“Better safe than sorry,” said The First. “Better the devil you know.”
“Nothing ventured, nothing gained!” cried the Second. “Variety is the spice of life!”

I persevered: “The one I’ve known a while is a steady type and like my own family. The other is different and at times surprising.”

“Birds of a feather flock together,” said The First.
“Opposites attract!” glinted The Second.

“The long-time beau soon returns from sea, I await his return to make the choice fair.”

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” beamed The First.
“Out of sight, out of mind,” dismissed The Second with a wave of his withered hand.

“Pardon me, Sirs. I do wish to be respectful; however I must speak my mind… This isn’t getting any clearer.  I’ve travelled a hard and long way and I’m afraid I’m losing my patience!”

“You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
“You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs!”

“But what should I do? Which one shall I choose?”

“Life is what you make it,” stated The First.
“What will be, will be,” sighed The Second.

“My gracious thanks for your time, dear Sirs. You’ve given me much to think about.”

“Many hands make light work.”
“Too many cooks spoil the broth!”

“And what is your price, pray Sirs?” I bowed my head.
“For you Dear, no charge. Nothing at all,” they answered in unison.

“Nothing? Nothing at all?”

“The best things in life are free,” responded The First.
“You get what you pay for,” chuckled The Second.

“And a woman will always have the last word,” I declared as I took my leave.
“Thank you. Thanks for nothing.”

{ 19 comments }

April 2 is #AutismAwarenessDay

April 2, 2014

On World Autism Awareness Day, I’d like to see more government funding support and better-run programs for schools and health care. This should be, but isn’t a given. Don’t all kids deserve an equal chance to be educated? (Don’t even start me on those who see this as a “cost”, rather than long-term investment in […]

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Healthiest Lunch Day At School… Almost

April 1, 2014

Every year my daughter’s grade runs a bring-a-plate style communal lunch for Healthiest Lunch Day. I believe setting a good foundation and example for our kids is important, so that they may know the difference between life-giving nutrients and… (often delicious) crap. I want my daughter to know that her Mum cares about these things and […]

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Everyday Life Tales of the Unexpected and More On #thehousethatwouldnotbebuilt

March 27, 2014

Today is grey and overcast and my head is full of decisions to make I can’t scrape up the required neurons for. This brings me to two options: blog it or hide under the pillow. I may do both. This morning Mr14 tried to get out of going to school again, citing fatigue. Not for […]

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Loombanding our way to China

March 26, 2014

It is entirely possible my daughter is Loombanding her way to China. She’s lightning quick at looming on two fingers and is busy getting acquainted with youtube tutorials for the loom itself. I’m so happy she’s taken to a simple, affordable activity that uses her hands and creativity to make something out of nothing- even […]

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My Kids Say The Darndest Things III

March 25, 2014

Love lost between my children this morning. For my part I couldn’t stop my own laughter… Mr13 to Miss6: I went in your room to get a CD after you fell asleep. You turned over and farted three times… Miss6 glowers: Not true! [Um- it would be] Mr13 continues: What were you dreaming about? Being […]

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Crossdressing, Love and Acceptance

March 18, 2014

Channel surfing late Thursday night, I happened upon an interesting story on The Feed, SBS about members of the formerly secret club, The Seahorse Society. The first interview I caught was with a lovely lady named Ophelia, who has quite a unique job: she helps men cross-dress. Ninety clients trust Ophelia with their secret and […]

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Never Mind the Age Gap

March 11, 2014

Recently I contributed a post at Easy Peasy Kids for my friend Nathalie, on people’s perceptions (and comments) regarding ages of siblings. Following on from that I thought I’d share a more personal view as the mother of a boy and girl with a few years between them. Our boy Mr14, was born in late […]

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My Robot Helper

March 7, 2014

If my Fairy Godmother could grant me a really practical wish, it would be for a helper robot, like Rosie the robot maid from the Jetsons. Oh she would manage far more than mere vacuuming. Her best feature would have to be completely “Create family harmony” and she would achieve this by being programmable to […]

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