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School Fair, Dance Concert and Local MP Verbal Smackdown Day

by Twitchy on December 9, 2014

One Sunday last month, up popped the dreaded, nasty little square on our calendar with too much writing in it. My girl’s two most exciting days of the year had most cruelly, been timetabled concurrently. Rather than having full enjoyment of each (preferably different weekends), we had to split our day between the biennial school fair and the dance concert/ fun day.

The concert itself began at 2pm, so we had to start the day at school. First photobooth and treasure hunt checkpoint duty, then to the stage for junior choir. After that, we could breathe a bit. I let my Little Miss wander with friends while I finally got a look around. Hello cake stall! Perfect treat for the dance concert after-party table: super cute watermelon biscuits!

At time to leave, my girl was nowhere to be found. When she was found, refused to go.
“But I haven’t been on the rides! All my friends are here! It’s NOT faiiiiiiirrrrrr!” (No, it really wasn’t.)
I’d seen this coming. I coerced, convinced and did my calm best to get her out and home for costume change and snack en route to the theatre.

Oh thank heaven for pretty, innocent watermelon biscuits

Oh thank heaven for pretty, innocent watermelon biscuits

Outside the school gates, a group of anti-Liberal activists approached, collecting signatures against cuts to education. Oh my. Now? For that cause, (as with the firies and ambos the week before) I was prepared to scribble on a clipboard. Only the plot quickly thickened…

“Did you know we’re losing Reading Recovery at school and literacy is being deprioritised as… (leans in and says under breath) oh look, here’s the local representative for the Napthine government responsible for this education disaster..”

I looked left, right, saw no one. And that is because she was standing so close behind me I turned and got a fright as off she went:
“Are you aware we are giving $3.5 million to upgrade your school? Are you aware I am replacing all the chickens that died in the recent storms…?”

Unfortunately by Monday morning, billboards all around school were defaced like this. (It wasn't me, promise! I don't condone that kind of thing. Names hidden by me.)

Unfortunately by Monday morning, billboards near the school were defaced like this. (It wasn’t me! I detest that kind of thing. Names/ numbers on poster hidden by me.)

“Uh… yes… I read it in the newsletter…” I stop to catch my breath, caught between two sides of play. Then it occurs: when else will I get such a stellar chance to air my views? I am a confrontation avoider but this one is my barrow- so for my kid, and those like him, I will push it, blast it…

“Yes!” I say, “Yes I AM aware you are giving money to the school… to upgrade buildings. As a parent of an additional needs child for whom I have long fought and who’s struggled just to keep up with peers, I do wonder why it’s so important to invest in real estate not long after Rudd’s capital injection, when kids like mine fall between the cracks of mainstream and special school, a very large crack indeed…”

(The protesters rally around the sidelines, with popcorn.)

“Oh,” says the MP, “but that is a federal issue…”

“Is it? Is it?” I push back, “Oh I’m well aware there are health support packages families can’t always access providers for… but isn’t it the Victorian department of education that changed criteria to render most additional-needs students now ineligible for school support? In the very place they need to be every day to learn? My son’s school funding was cut by secondary level, no one wanted to know about his needs, which didn’t just stop. He struggled, there was bullying and now, thankfully he’s safely in a small independent school which we will afford, despite my having to stay home which was never our plan. How about we invest less in property, more in people and productive futures??”


“I’d love to talk to you some more about this in my office…” she smiles a hard smile, hands me a card, shuffles back on her crutches as the table of clipboarders quietly mumble my supportive asides.

And that Ladies and Gentlemen, is the sign you have smacked down a politician. As I left I heard her continue to have words with the protesters about their conduct. She also, was not having a great day!

Shoes? You don't need shoes! The show must go on!

Shoes? Dancers don’t need shoes! The show must go on! CAKE afterward!

Driving home we had an extreme near-miss (F***ck!) as some lunatic in a 4WD with bullbar nearly collected us from a side street, then at a loss, shook his fist for good measure. More fools. We took a breath, pushed on, got Dad, made it to the theatre: the performance went fine despite the fact I’d forgotten the bless-ed ballet shoes, and I can tell you- that tiny cup of pink champagne at the cake table afterward? WENT DOWN A BLOOMING TREAT. Too much adrenalin for one day.

To round off: this week I hear our local member has surrendered her perch (just like her boss, our outgoing Premier). Oh well.

Have you ever given a pollie or rep what for? How did it go down?
Have you ever had two big do’s on at once? How did it go down?
Ever forgotten your dance shoes, had a half cup of pink champagne? How did it go down?

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

seana smith December 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm

What a day! What a day to have your say! A good friend of mine once collared Joe Hockey… he actually called her back to chat through more with her… not bad.


seana smith December 18, 2014 at 6:44 pm

Haha… what a time to meet that MP… a good friend of mine once bearded her local federal MP, our revered Treasurer… and he CALLED her later to chat more about her ASD son… good on him


Twitchy December 18, 2014 at 11:43 pm

Wow. Wonders never cease!

Tegan Churchill December 11, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Go you good thing! I haven’t had the chance to encounter our local MP face to face but I’d love to chat to her about mental health funding. Something she’s shown to be in opposition to.


Grace December 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm

Good on you, Twitchy!!! Well done on putting her back in her box. Typical she said to talk more about it in “her office”. Does she need reminding that the issues at hand aren’t happening in “her office” and that she needs to get out more? Stay safe on the roads. People go feral this time of year x


Huzilla December 10, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Good for you! Politics is such a sucky game, full of grandstanding and spin and bullshit. I’m sure that the assembled crowd were happy to live vicariously through you on this one too.


Lisa@RandomActsOfZen December 9, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Oh love, what a day!!! One tiny cup of champagne is nowhere near enough x


Bec @ The Plumbette December 9, 2014 at 4:42 pm

What a busy Day! I don’t like when there’s double ups on a weekend but that could be because with little sleep with a baby I can’t handle too big a weekend. I’m not sure what I would say if I was put on the spot by the local politician. Good on you for speaking your mind!


lightersideofparenting December 9, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Oh wow, good on you! I always think up worthy speeches AFTER the fact 🙁


Dorothy December 9, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Well done, I don’t think I’d have the wits about me to tell them what I really think. Also, I don’t believe any of them listen, unless they lose an election.


Twitchy December 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Sometimes, it’s just nice to let them know WHY they may have just lost an election… 😉

EssentiallyJess December 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Good on you for seizing the opportunity. I would have just been too surprised to think of anything clever!
Also, how were the watermelon cookies? I think I need to source a recipe.


Kylie Purtell - A Study in Contradictions December 9, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Good on ya Twitchy, more people need to have the balls to tell their local members what is really going on in the community. Too often they have no clue and are so out of touch with the people in their electorate, not to mention not really living where they are running! So glad you showed her up.

As for the fuckwit who almost hit you and then shook his fist at you? Man I fucking hate that with the fire of a thousand suns! It’s happened to me twice lately, where dickheads have pulled out in front of me and then I’m the one who has copped abuse for being quick enough to jump on my breaks and avoid a collision of THEIR causing. Faaaarrrkkk!!!


Twitchy December 9, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Re the fuckwit- that’s exactly what happened Kylie, only made scarier because all the narrow streets surrounding school were packed with cars both sides, nowhere to swerve to. All I could do was hit my brakes- so hard my daughter yelled. Too much of a day. Yet ANOTHER moment I wished I’d had the time to stop- that guy was very lucky I couldn’t afford to.

fairydust December 9, 2014 at 8:43 am

This Sunday Karate grading and major Frozen birthday party with 21 kids and 27 adults, followed by racing to buy Christmas tree……drank a whole bottle of vino at party….and was still standing and a one hour grace between Karate and Party…..go girl tell that politician the truth and they run or in her case hobble away x


Kathy December 9, 2014 at 7:54 am

That’s a big day, especially with politics thrown in. I’m afraid to admit that I don’t have much time for politics, but when it’s your kids at stake – different story.


Renee Wilson December 9, 2014 at 7:06 am

That is one full on, intense day, Twitchy. I’d be wolfing down those watermelon biscuits and sculling the champagne to get me through that one!


Lydia C. Lee December 9, 2014 at 6:59 am

I wrote a long response that got banned for banned words?? I didn’t swear? Anyway, what is the logic that they cut funding to Reading Recovery and Multi Lit????


Twitchy December 9, 2014 at 7:39 am

Boo to that reception Lydia! Sorry, I didn’t even know that could happen? Napthine has been great at hardhat modelling and courting the developers, apparently not much else. Good riddance.

Emily Toxward December 9, 2014 at 6:53 am

Yes I have to agree if a politician says they’d like to talk more in private it means they don’t know how to answer you – WOO HOO – well done for having your say. Now stop trying to have accidents alright and stay safe and boring this silly season! xx


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