In Melbourne we have just come out of a week long heatwave with temperatures way into the 40s. I refused to do anything that required an extra ounce of energy – so my week basically wound down to: wake up, get kids ready for Vacation Care, go to work, eat dinner, watch TV, sleep.
But among the sloth-like behaviour, we did get a bit of a shake up with a bushfire that was in the neighbourhood next to us.
We followed the fire updates and decided to pack up and leave, just to be safe. We didn’t have a proper fire plan in place (very naughty of us), so while I was at work, my husband got the kids ready and asked them to pack a bag of their favourite things.
My 7 y/o daughter’s bag:
gifts that her fairy had given her (three years worth of me sneaking into her room and placing little items under her pillow)
a party dress.
My 5 y/o son’s bag:
10 pairs of undies (!)
his favourite soft toy puppy.
When I got home from work, I quickly grabbed my good jewellery and my journal, while my husband had grabbed photo albums and family DVDs.
Now, all that sounds very sensible and practical (and sentimental). But I also discovered a very materialistic side of myself during this packing process.
I had to stop myself grabbing a few ‘vital’ items because I would have been moritified if anyone at a relief centre saw my bag and noticed what I had brought with me!
So here is my not-so-vital list of things I would take with me if I knew I wasn’t going to be judged:
my collection of (mainly) Elk necklaces (they really are SO pretty and can lift any outfit)
Please don’t judge – but I really, really love my necklaces!
my Bobbi Brown make up (finding the perfect shade of lipstick, eyeshadow and blush can be very tricky)
my knee high boots (all those girls with cankles out there will understand how boots that you can actually zip up over your calves are worth their weight in gold)
my collection of real living magazines (I’ll need some inspiration if I need to redecorate a new house, won’t I?)
my Harry Potter DVD box set (’nuff said).
What would your not-so-vital list include?
P.S The bushfire was downgraded and we remain safe and sound.
As my regular readers would have already discovered, I cleared out my closet today. But I also cleared out the kids’ closets as I was getting sick of putting clothes on them and discovering that they were either too small or had accumulated a strange collection of stains – some identifiable, and others probably best not asking about.
I’ve just come back from Target and replenished their closets with some basic clothes, socks and shoes.
Why I am rabbiting on about clothes is because I have just I read an article called Million Dollar Babies about how the children’s clothing industry has gone gangbusters.
Now, I try my absolute best not to judge other Mums, just incase – God forbid – they take a closer look at my own childrearing efforts, but in this case I have to give a Mum in the article a stern talking to.
Warning: I’m on my judgement box!
This mother is a self-confessed fashion addict and dresses her four-year-old and new baby in very expensive children’s clothes (mainly from Paris).
What got me shaking my head in dismay is her quote “I don’t understand Mums who wear expensive garments and then shop for their children at Target.”
Hang on! I am one of those Mums! Yes, I spend more money on my clothes because I know I will appreciate them – and because I paid for them!
How can she have no understanding of why many of us choose not to spend $245 on a fur-trimmed baby coat from Dior? Or to dress our kids head-to-toe in designer gear?
Don’t her kids play outside? Don’t they paint and glue and draw? Don’t they spill food and drink on themselves?
What world does she live in? A very rich and clean one, obviously.
Maybe she needs to visit my world.
The clothes I bought today will have a shelf life of about 6 months maximum.
I know my five-year-old son will ride his scooter and choose to use the tip of his new sneakers as brakes.
I know my seven-year-old daughter will wear her new leggings outside and suddenly decide to use a bumpy old tree log as a slide.
They will both spill spaghetti sauce, orange juice and yoghurt all over themselves, and I won’t even notice until I take their clothes out of the closet a few days later when the stains have well and truly taken hold.
My son will decide that he needs to enhance the design on his new jumper with a permanent marker and my daughter will sit cross legged on the floor, stretching her cotton top over her knees until it resembles a kaftan.
And they will both grow out their clothes, usually before the clothes have worn out naturally.
And that’s how it should be (except for the permanent marker scenario), because they are kids!
I would hate for them to feel that they can’t mess up or wrinkle their clothes. And I would hate to be constantly running after them, yelling at them to stay clean! Who has the time?
So I am not really judging, but I just want to say ‘lighten up, let your kids have fun – and please tell me what op shop you take your children’s old clothing to!”