Sponsored post: Dear Santa I LOVE YOU HONESTLY I’M YOUR BIGGEST FAN

I unashamedly love Christmas. I love decorations. I fucking love Christmas music. I love presents – mostly giving them. I love the idea that people all around the world are taking time out from life to really consider what will make someone else smile.christmas

When I finally got knocked up I was so excited about the Christmases to come. I couldn’t wait to begin new traditions for our new family. I was happy to finally have the Christmas I wanted. Every Christmas would be beautiful and joyous from now on.

Our first Christmas Day was Wellington’s hottest day of 2012. It cracked 30 degrees that day. We drove around all day trying to get the baby to sleep. Every car we passed had exhausted looking parents in it and babies in car seats in the back – most of them screaming like ours. I had a sip of wine when we got home and promptly fell asleep. My husband who had spent a significant amount of time cooking a roast was not impressed.

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Confused sexual feelings about Ben Affleck

Like probably everyone I’ve been feeling very anxious since the quakes. As soon as I start to feel a tiny bit calm there’s an aftershock. I’m struggling – like a lot of people. I’m worried.

I worry a great deal about passing my anxiety onto my children. The quakes have really grabbed this fear I have and put a big, bloody spotlight on it. I have tried not to ask leading questions like “are you scared?” when I might really mean “I am scared”. I have tried to use distraction – picnics on the floor, tending to a parade of injured sentient objects that my son insists have been hurt in the “earfquapes”. I haven’t said “Did you feel that?” after every aftershock. I’ve tried to hide the tension in my body every time the earth rumbles. I know we are lucky that we have no damage, unlike so many others.

I’ve been thinking so much about those who can’t hide this from their children. It must have been so much more terrifying in Kaikoura. And then to be stuck there with the shaking. And to not be able to go back to your home. It’s a nightmare. I feel so much for the parents trying to calm their scared children as they deal with their own fear and grief over losing so much.

I’m feeling a strong urge to burrow. And burrowing isn’t good for me. And I don’t want to write which also isn’t good for me since this is how I support our family.

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An update

Oh thank you for the nice things you said about my interview with Kim Hill. Kim Hill! It was so exciting I have to tell you. I was basically almost mute until we went on air because I was just like

Kim

Actual

Bloody

Fucking

Hill

I mean she’s a legend. The best. And I was a bit (like very fucking) intimidated. And worried I’d swear. And worried I’d say something about my vagina or something really terrible. All in all I just said tits, shit, and that we should genocide old white men. So it was fiiiiine.

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I was going to interview Alexander Skarsgard

Ok two things I want to talk about – actually, wait, make that three things…

  1. I am not writing much here because The Spinoff Parents is taking up so much of my time. And if you haven’t already you should like the page on Facebook and check it out. That would be super nice. Most of my parenting stuff will be there. And my blog might become semi-abandoned given I’m just one person struggling under the weight of all of this work while raising my beloved but totally actually wild children. Don’t think that I’m keeping it together, because I’m not. Every time I try to write something when the kids are awake, this happens:image
  2. OK so can we just talk about this video for six to eight hours.
    It has been CONFIRMED by Alexander Skarsgard that he does not have the Tarzan muscles anymore and like I’m actually OK with that because I bet like what is that art work that makes you cry every time you look at it because it’s so beautiful? That is Alexander Skarsgard. Like, you can’t function with that just around all the time. The Sistine Chapel or whatever probably looks slightly not as good as when it was first painted but it’s still like perfect right? Alexander Skarsgard is the Sistine Chapel of hot men that I want to bang like a barn door. What about when he says his drag name is Lady Libido and whoever that guy is says – ‘That’s a lot to live up to’ and Alexander Skarsgard says I try. I MEAN COME ON ARE YOU INTENTIONALLY DOING THIS. Look at how he looked kind of at the camera like he knew that somewhere a mum of two was changing her baby who had just done a six wipe poonami while watching this interview and he knew that she hadn’t slept in ages and she’d read a thing about bum worms and was now terrified of worms and a nappy had gone through the washing and he just looked at her and said:
    I TRY
    He should get a humanitarian award for services to sexually frustrated suburban housewives. And what about how he joked about his dick size and like totally unselfconsciously dressed up in what could be considered – if I was totally reaching which I am – as a display of solidarity and a rejection of toxic masculinity. Is he the feminist unproblematic fave of my dreams? IS HE? HE IS.
    And what about how that presenter joke-kissed him but then actually like looked into those sad eyes and saw the tallness and was like ACTUALLY I NEED THIS.
    Look I need this.

    The Skarsgard effect

    The Skarsgard effect

  3. THIRDLY ARE WE AT THIRD YET – Thirdly, so I was meant to interview Alexander Skarsgard. I was. NZME contacted me and were like he’s doing a new movie called War on Everyone which I’m going to see because of course I am (apparently he gets his kit off thank you Jesus) and they were like do you want to interview him and I was very professional and chill about it
    alexiv2 And then his publicist just never booked the interview which is crazy like did they think I was this totally unprofessional, unchill person who was going to sexually objectify him and talk only about his V or maybe, maybe pitch a movie idea that I have?
    alexiv
    HERE IS THE MOVIE IDEA I HAVE:
    MAGIC TARZAN LORD OF THE JUNGLE: TOO V-AST TOO V-URIOUS
    SCENE: (Is that how you set the scene by just writing scene) Alexander Skarsgard is Tarzan and he’s in the jungle with Dwayne The Rock Johnson (who is wearing a baby and cooking small chocolate lava cakes) and Channing Potatum (who has a paper bag over his head but is wearing very low pants and is dancing to Pony which is on repeat from the jungle ipod dock) and Jason Momoa who is wearing like nothing really and is lifting weights from a jungle weights machine. He is being urged to lift more heavy things by that hot dutch guy with the beard on Instagram. Charlie Hunnam is having a jungle shower.
    In walks: A suburban mum of say two small boys who is wearing maternity leggings that are four and a half years old and have a small rip in the crotch. She has bags under her eyes and is working too much because GOD KIDS ARE SO EXPENSIVE. Dwayne The Rock Johnson, carrying his quiet but adorable baby, walks over to her. He tells her she is a good mother and that actually sometimes Janet Lansbury is just wrong OK. You totally aren’t a bad mother for watching video clips of Alexander Skarsgard while you change your baby’s nappy instead of being present and in the moment. He gives her the baby which is asleep and just very cute. He massages her feet and tells her that it’s totally normal to have to reintroduce white noise to your baby when they’re fucking 20 months old or whatever because they won’t fucking sleep I mean Jesus fucking Christ.
    Channing Potatum begins to choreograph a dance THERE IS NO DIALOGUE FROM CHANNING POTATUM.
    For around six hours – Charlie Hunnam just jungle showers and Jason Momoa and the Hot Dutch Instagram Guy just lift weights and smile a lot and say things like DAMN YOU ARE AMAZINGLY HOT FOR HAVING TWO CHILDREN AND NOT SLEEPING IN APPROXIMATELY 16 YEARS.
    Dwayne The Rock Johnson folds sheets and does dishes in the jungle kitchen.
    I – I MEAN THE TOTALLY RANDOM WOMAN CHARACTER – drinks pinot gris and just runs her hands up and down Alexander Skarsgard’s rock hard abs while discussing feminist theory and laughing about how men think the objectification of men is a thing despite there not being any power imbalance and THAT’S THE THING THAT MAKES IT A FANTASY HELLO.
    The central character is joined by her best girlfriends. They get drunk in a jungle spa and sing All Saints hit(s) and watch a well-choreographed naked dance led by Channing Potatum with a paper bag over his head and somehow that Joe Manjello guy is there – HELLO!
    Nick Cave appears and sings to them.
    Everyone goes to bed after (look I’m a lady I’m not going to go into details but needless to say everyone knows that Alexander Skarsgard goes off like a frog in a sock OK everybody knows that just look at him – that is the confidence of a man who knows what he’s doing, that is a man who would just totally verb the adjective noun if you know what I mean).
    AND THEN – she sleeps for 15 hours.
    She wakes up naturally just when her body is ready to wake up. That’s a thing that sometimes happens – you go to sleep and then you just wake up WHEN YOU WANT TO.
    Like nobody is crying and the baby monitor doesn’t even work because you are in the jungle except under a mosquito net in one of those flash tents so there are no bugs and if there’s a gorilla or something Tarzan will just fuck it up and you can watch while you have a martini bought to you by Jason Momoa wearing absolutely nothing except RAW ACTUAL SEXUAL MAGNITISM. Just if you want.
    There is a V-off.
    The end.

So, clearly, it would have been great to have me interview Alexander Skarsgard. I had many great questions including – How is your face just like that and why are you sad and how tall are you actually. And maybe just if the opportunity arose I would have pitched this movie which I bet he would have been into just saying.

But truly – I would cry in the face of such beauty so it’s probably for the best. Though my movie would kill and would absolutely sell out more than Bad Moms or anyone of the other stuff that’s aimed at us.

***

If you liked this, follow me on Facebook for more of the same. Also I have a book coming out and you should buy it. If you want me to speak at your event email me at emilywritesnz at gmail dot com. if you want to be a jerk and say mean stuff to me or send a 8000 word essay on how I can’t objectify men and a mother shouldn’t talk like this you can email me at go fuck yourself dot com.

Four

It was dark and I heard a little whimper then: “mama?”

A little body quickly climbed into my bed and huddled up closer reaching for my hands.

I pulled my arms around him and softly stroked his hair.

“I saw a shadow”

“It’s OK baby you’re safe”

“Can I come in bed even when I’m four if I see a shadow an is a scary man?”

“Of course”

“Can you tell me a story so I don’t cry?”

I was tired. But he was almost four.

“What story?”

“A story about a monkey been my best friend”

I whispered into the dark about the little monkey who wants to be best friends with the little boy. They build a house of flowers. They’re always safe.

The story ends the same every time.

“You finish it – mama is tired” I say.

“An den that little boy found his mama and she carried him up the big hill to the house and she cuddled him to sleep”

“Goodnight baby” I said and a short silence followed and then…

“Even if the boy is four does he keep his mama?”

“Yes”

“Even if the boy is..” he struggled to free his fingers to hold up six or maybe eight – finally ten. “…this many?”

“Yes. Go to sleep”

He wants to be a big boy but he fears it.

And tomorrow he will be four.

He wants big boy clothes and big boy toys but he also wants cuddles in the night.

He wants adventures – pirates and monkeys and houses of flowers but he wants his mama to carry him up the hill when his legs are tired.

And today was his last day as three.

He wants to DO IT MYSELF but he wants the crook of my arm, my shoulder, the space under my ear, the arch of my back, his hand in mine.

I try to reassure him that four isn’t a threshold to cross where everything changes. It’s just another day but on this particular day the answer to “how old are you?” is a new one. And every time you say it it’s a little less new.

But it’s a hard concept for an almost four-year-old to fathom.

And I’m not good at explaining. Because I look at that little button nose, and the flushed red cheeks, the golden locks, and pointy knees and the little ears and I fall over myself trying to say what four is.

Four is how did you get so tall when I remember saying to your father “quick, quick – now” and he would rush to me and put both hands on my belly. He wanted to feel you move and now you run between his legs and climb him like a little monkey on a tree.

Four is folding you up like origami so I can hold you in my arms like I did when you were born. I put you in a sling and sang to you as I walked around the kitchen.

Four is trying not to laugh when you flail around dramatically demoting me of best friend status at any given moment. And trying not to be too pleased when you say “I didn’t mean so, you are my bes fren”.

Four is trying not to cry when I drop you off at kindy and you say PLEASE MAMA I MISS YOU. I miss you too don’t you know? I’d rather have you on my knee but there are bills that must be paid.

Four is trying not to curse everything when you tell me other kids are mean and there are all these rules about clothes that you don’t understand. I don’t want you to have to change for anyone.

Four is realising every birthday that I’ve learned so much from you and there’s so much more to learn.

Exhausted on the couch after the fourth birthday party I said to my husband – I’m too tired, my eyes are going to fall out of my head.

He kissed me on the forehead and said – yep, maybe four is the year of sleep.

But maybe I can take one more year of little visits to my bed.

Little arms around my neck.

One more story.

One more trip up the hill carrying a little boy with tired legs.

I could do this just a little longer to keep you all mine.

Maybe four. Maybe more?

Maybe forever.

Maybe that’s what four is?

It’s so many, many things.

One thousand four hundred and something days of sleepless nights that you wouldn’t swap for pockets full of gold.

A house of flowers, a tired baby, a best friend, lessons learned, a button nose.

Yes, you’ll always keep your mama.

As long as you need me I’ll be here.

Happy birthday baby.

image

 

If you liked this, follow me on Facebook for more of the same. Also I have a book coming out and you should buy it. If you want me to speak at your event email me at emilywritesnz at gmail dot com. if you want to be a jerk and say mean stuff to me or tell me nobody cares especially not you even though you’ve spent six hours perfecting your shitty missive at me you can email me at go fuck yourself dot com.

Goodbye, old friend

I said goodbye to my friend today.

The longest relationship I’ve had.

I was 10 when I got him. I didn’t like him at first. He looked like a rat. But he slept behind my neck. He used my hair as a blanket. He got rounder but never much bigger.

He went everywhere with me. He was my friend. When I moved to New Zealand he came too and he was my home so I wasn’t so homesick. When nothing felt sure or stable – he was there.

When I felt lost and hopeless trying to find my place in the world he was my companion. I felt as if I always had this funny little friend who would accept me.

When I became overwhelmed with life and it all seemed too hard I often thought – well, he’s still here, I’ve still got my friend.

When I met a very cute boy and moved into my first flat with him – my friend joined us soon after. This boy had never had a friend like this round little thing. They became best friends too. And when we got married our friend was there in the front row.

When I finally, finally got those two lines on a stick – our friend ran around our legs as we hugged. It’s all going to change now we told him. And it did.

Everything changed.

One baby who followed him everywhere, then two.

And he was old and tired and he was too little and frail to reach the bed to sleep on anymore. He was moved to the corner. I had less time for him, I didn’t stop as much to cuddle him. He nipped at the kids and he growled and he barked and woke the baby. And we stopped talking late into the night.

And then last night – out of nowhere – he came to me as I was watching TV. He never does that.

What’s wrong? I asked. It had been so long since we’d talked. He lay down at my feet and I lifted him up. He was so light. He rested his little face on my arm. I gave him a cuddle then took him to his blanket. I had a feeling.

In the morning I got up before the children to check on him. His eyes were closed. Then he opened them just as I thought – oh.

He lives, I almost laughed.

The immortal Otis.

He’ll always be there.

I began to get the kids ready, quickly did a bit of work in a stolen moment, then my husband said from the bathroom “hon, something is wrong we have to take him in”.

He had gone into the bathroom and I wonder if it was to hide from the children.

My husband stayed with him, I got the kids in the car, then we carried him in his blanket. I wasn’t sure how he’d react to a car ride, but he was quiet. Calm.

Why is Otis in the car? Eddie asked. I thought back to all of the car trips we had with him, and realised after the children arrived we stopped taking him out. He was to old and always needed to be carried. It was too hard, a baby and this old little thing. So he stayed home. To my son he just never goes in the car – but I’d had decades of him riding on my lap. We had driven all over the country, moved house, beach every day…a long time ago.

“He’s going to see some old friends” I told my son.

As I dropped the kids at kindy I started to cry and I was grateful for a kind teacher. I got back in the car and we drove slowly so our friend could see out the window. He watched the scenery pass and seemed to enjoy seeing the hills and the water one last time. Before we reached the place though he’d rested his head against my hand. His eyes hidden beneath my fingers. We were taken straight through which was a small comfort. Inside a kind man talked us through what would happen.

We both began to sob. I did not expect it to be so hard.

We told him he was such a good boy. We thanked him for being our friend. Always. All these years. A constant companion. We said sorry for how things had changed. I wish we had taken you to the beach more. Tried harder when the babies came. We love you. We do. He just closed his eyes and lifted his head toward us. We scratched between his ears. We smoothed his fur. He went to sleep. And then he was given a final helping hand to leave us. And as we cried that little heart stopped beating and we said goodbye, finally, to our friend.

I carried him home on my lap wrapped in his favourite blankets and that’s how he’s buried. With his collar and lead. Covered in flowers. Ready to run along sand dunes like he used to. To chase butterflies somewhere. Somewhere where there’s lots of crumbs. And no children. And laps to sit on. And a space on the bed.

Tomorrow, if it’s sunny, we will plant wildflowers in the part of the garden that now belongs to him.

As I tucked my babies in tonight Eddie said “was Otis your best friend when you was little?”

He was, I said.

“Was he deddy’s best friend too?”

He was, I said.

“He was a good best friend” Eddie said.

“He was”

The best.

Rest in peace Otis.

image

What is it like to have a child?

I was asked – what is it like to have a child? To have children? The person asking was trying to decide whether or not to have children and if they did – when? Is there a perfect time? When do you know you’re ready? Do you just know?

And I said – I have no idea, because really I don’t. I don’t think you can prepare – not really. You can buy the cot and buy some nappies and read the books but everything falls away when you hold your baby for the first time. And then again and again and again it changes.

The car seat capsule is no longer just a car seat capsule that you bought because the price was right or it looked safe or the bored teenager at the shop said “this is our most popular model” or it was gifted or given or shared or hired.

You put it in the boot “just in case”. Maybe joked about how weird it will be when one day you will turn around and in the back seat will be your baby. Your baby.

You’re going to be a parent I mean how? You’ve got the capsule. That’s the main thing you need right if you’re giving birth at the hospital. You’ve got to get this baby home and then you parent right? That’s how it works surely…

When we left the hospital the first time with our first baby – I crawled into the back seat on reflex. We had been together 37 weeks and I wanted to stay as close to him as I could. I sat right next to him. Still sore. Head spinning from lack of sleep. Nursing an aching heart.

He looked so tiny in the capsule. He wrapped his tiny fingers around mine. I touched his tiny ears. Marvelled at his perfect little nose. Gently stroked his cheek.

His beautiful big eyes gazed up at me and I thought – this is all I want forever.

And that is what it’s like to have children. Every day very normal things are filled with wonder because your child is here and you get to parent them. You were lucky enough to have this child and they’re exquisite because they’re yours and you love them so much it feels like you’re carrying your heart around everywhere.

The second time around the capsule was again magical as I climbed a little more confidently into the back seat and sat again, his little fingers around mine. I marvelled at his tiny ears so like his brother, his perfect nose. I gently stroked his cheek.

And he gazed up at me, just hours after his birth, and I told him about his brother. Tears streaming down my face. Still overwhelmed by the beauty and enormity of the moment.

My love tumbled out in an incoherent mess of words – You will love your brother. He already loves you. We love you. We are so glad you’re here. Welcome. Look at you! You’re the best, most beautiful baby, we belong to each other. We will look after you, keep you safe, love you so much. I promise, we promise. It’s going to be so good my little one.

And I thought again, please, let me just have this forever.

And it’s often said we don’t get moments forever. Of course, they grow like weeds and get so tall out of nowhere and they get a haircut (and you’re like – you are not a baby when did this happen). Of course. And no futures are promised to us, how fragile we all are. Some moments aren’t forever.

But that’s not the end of the story.

We are told we will never have that moment again and I don’t know that that’s very fair in many ways. The specific moments are, of course, different – frozen in time – but that same hum of breathtaking, heartbreaking love revisits you over and over and over. The feeling, it stays.

When my boys are playing – shrieking and whooping with delight, chasing joy – suddenly the sun hits golden hair just so and I catch a smile, and in a rush that hits me so hard tears prick my eyes I see their little ears, perfect noses, flushed cheeks and those beautiful blue eyes.

And I think, no – you can’t prepare for this specific type of magic.

The warmth, the comfort of truly being so content in a moment because my gosh we get this, my gosh we are so lucky we get this. Maybe not forever but for now. And around the corner is four-years-old (how?) and nights slept all the way through (I hope, I hope) and new battles and challenges and moments of gold and moments of grey and heartache and broken bones and first days of school and sleepovers and everything all wrapped up into lives lived.

But for now, let me have this moment forever. I have this moment forever.

This is what, I think, it is like to have a child.

image

The JFDI club – Introducing Sera

I meet some awesome mums and I thought – instead of this blog always being me, me, me which is so freaking boring and uninspiring….I’d talk to some of the totally badass getting it done mums I meet. They inspire the shit out of me. So maybe they’ll inspire you? A while back I wrote about the Just Fucking Doing It club. I think it struck a chord with some mums and I’ve thought about it a lot since.

The mums out there who are just fucking do it really inspire me. I don’t need perfection, I’m not perfect. I don’t need marathon running and conquering the world – I just want to talk to real mums who are doing cool things – no matter what the scale. You can nominate a mum for me to chat to by commenting here or on Facebook or Twitter. Let’s celebrate mums being awesome.

So here we are! The very first JFDI Club mum – I’m very happy to introduce you to Sera Devcich!

Sera is stand-up comedian and actress and mum. She’s performing along with fellow mum and awesome person Lee Ray on Friday 30 September at the Johnsonville Club.

I had an email chat with Sera about parenting, comedy, life and buffets – all the important stuff….

Sera has one daughter “technically I’ve just the one but she has constant mood swings, so I’m counting her as three”.  She definitely qualifies as a women who is just fucking doing it though she might take some convincing…Sera

I don’t want to brag but today I got up and within half an hour I put pants on. Ok, that’s a lie but it was definitely within the first 45 minutes, they were men’s sports trackies. Hot tip for mothers playing at home if you dress terribly enough in the morning your child will be too ashamed to be seen with you and you can drop them at the corner and not have to go in. You’re welcome.”

Really, Sera is also solidly doing stand-up comedy throughout the country. On top of that, she’s producing some of New Zealand’s top comedy line-up shows, various comedy projects, and performing corporate entertainment all over the place. And that’s not all – she’s quietly pottering away at some solo shows…all the while child taming! Actually very impressive.

She’s not sure how she got here: “I’ve always been on the stage and before stand-up comedy I performed about the place in theatre shows, my favourite shows to be a part of were the ones where I got to be funny. I’ve always gotten a massive buzz from hearing people laugh but there is a real lack of comedic roles for women in the industry,” she says.

“One day I decided to do a raw stand-up comedy show and it was awesome. I got to dictate my own material and the set went really well, so well in fact that I got booked for a pro-show straight after. I’ve been going for a year now, I feel like I found my niche.”

Like, I think – all of us – she doesn’t believe in having it all. I was basically crying laughing  nodding reading her explanation:

It’s utter crap, you can’t have it all, because you can’t do it all, and you can’t do it all because you are human and shit. Having it all sounds exhausting and kind of terrible anyways. To be honest I have like 20% of my life together – the stuff that I’ve prioritised –  and the rest is a shit storm and even at 20% I’m tired but not to the point I’ve forgotten how to be happy. Does having it all make you happy? Really? Because I had it all a smorgasbord once at valentines (don’t judge me) I had it all, like four times over because when in Rome. Anyways it didn’t make me happy.  It was too much, that extra slice of ham ended up meaning nothing to me, I didn’t appreciate that fourth bowl of mousse, seriously I ate until I couldn’t breathe. Then… somebody else got up for more, so you bet your sweet ass I got up for more because in my twisted little head it was now a competition. I then continued to eat until I started sweating and then I vomited on the table and valentines won’t let me back. More wasn’t more. I didn’t win. All you can eat is a good idea but the reality of it is that it’s probably unhealthy. Maybe it’s better to decide what you put on your plate and just enjoy that – it’s not a competition. Also Valentines can be very judgey.”

“You can do anything, but not everything.”

She also doesn’t have a philosophy any more than any of us do – “My philosophy on life evolves to suit my mood, terrible but true. If I’m up to it I’m like “put your best foot forward, we carve our own way in this world” but if my daughter is sick and vomited on my shoes, I’m like, my best foot is covered in vomit, and from there my life philosophy very quickly descends into “it’s not how much we do blah blah it’s important to ask for help”Sera2

“I guess I’m trying to live my life authentically regardless of how embarrassing that may be on some days.”

I asked Sera about being a parent – “Being a Mum is the most ridiculous unreasonable job in the entire world. If anybody else had treated me the way my daughter has over the years I wouldn’t rest until they were prosecuted. But somehow it still feels like a privilege, the best bit for me is seeing her develop into her own person, my daughter argued with me over her democratic right to have a fringe despite having a cowl lick in the middle of her head she cornered me with hand on hips “AND? AND WHAT IF MY FRINGE SPLITS? TELL ME WHY IT MATTERS?” I couldn’t and I had to apologise. She has a fringe and I love that I’m raising a little girl who’s so much smarter than me.”

What else has Sera learned along the way? Even though we hate advice here, I asked Sera to tell us the best advice she’s ever been given:

“Whatever you do Sera, somebody is going to fucking hate it so play to the audience who love you. “

And since we were on a roll – I asked how she deals with the hard times as a parent – the days when you’re overwhelmed and over it…

“Be honest about the shit storm. I have daily Confessional sessions with some of my tribe, it’s not unusual for me to start a phone conversation with: “I think I might be a fuck up babes.” I have people who I can be honest with and who are entirely honest with me, it’s companionship and kindred that gets me through. It’s so good to be able to laugh at how horrible life can be, I also love hearing how terrible they are, that’s a real self-esteem raiser during a bad time. A laugh, maybe have a dramatic sob then a slap on the bum to get back out there. I’m not sure where I’d be without my tribe, I’m lucky I have good people in my life, who will love and praise on me for the most ridiculous things, “round of applause for Sera for not burning toast, she’s a modern marvel.”  In a shit storm you need to celebrate each other’s small wins. Also dancing in my knickers to 90’s music, spice up your life.”

Live LaughsComedy seems like a tough industry, I wanted to know how she stays motivated: In terms of comedy, it’s the desire to be a good comedian, which sounds kind of basic but it’s a simple as that, If I want to be good I know I have to take the knocks, so I guess I try and refocus on why I’m doing what I do, cos I love to make people laugh.”

You can laugh with Sera at the Johnsonville Club on 30 September when she performs for Live Laughs. Tickets are available here and from the bar at the Johnsonville Club. There’s an Earlybird deal finishing on the 1st Sept, $20, otherwise tickets are $25.

You can win tickets to see Sera and Lee by commenting on this post! I’ve got a double pass to give away – kindly given to us by the awesome folks at The Humorous Arts TrustThe Humorous Arts Trust are a Wellington-based arts charity helping to grow the stand up comedy community in the capital – it’s an awesome cause and I’m really glad they exist!

Thank you Sera for chatting to us! It was great to get to know you just a tiny bit! I’m looking forward to your show. It’s so cool to see mums on stage killing it. It’s going to be a really fun night. And no kids! Bonus!

A little wish

We told our little one that for his fourth birthday we would all take the day off  – no work, no kindy, just us – and he’d be able to pick what we did for the day. High tea? Staglands? The Zoo? Looking for penguins at Greta Point? A bush walk? A ride on the cable car? Whatever he wanted – we would try to make it happen.

He asked us about whether we would be collecting again for the “hosdiddle” because he remembered that sometime near his birthday last year he’d stood at the railway station and shaken a little bucket. He had filled the bucket with coins, met some new friends, and given all of the money raised to the Wellington Children’s Hospital.

“I want to get moneys again for the sick babies” he said.  I flicked an email to the lovely Sara and lined us up for an hour collecting – this year the street appeal actually falls on his birthday.

A week or so later I said – have you decided what you want to do on your birthday? We could go on a ferry if you like? Or maybe to Zealandia? And he said – “I told you! I want to get moneys for the sick babies who getted made better at the hosdiddle!”

Oh OK I said to him – but you only collect for an hour – so we can work that into your day. And he said – “No, that’s what I want to do all day! I want to get moneys for all the babies all day for my birthday!”

I got a bit teary because it was just so sweet I mean gosh, but I thought – does he really want to do this? So I said – do you just want to see Hospi again? Because we might be able to see him even if you just collect for an hour. You don’t have to collect all day to see Hospi.

And he said – Yes, but then continued on in that stream of consciousness way of talking three-year-old’s have: “an I not only want to see Hospi I want to collect moneys all day because when I was a liddle a couple more years ago I seen Hospi all the time an he maked me ged all better when I couldn’t do breaths an I had to be at the hosdiddle. An Hospi maked my baby brother ged all better too. An they maked better the sick babies when they come to the hosdiddle. So I want to get them not jus one whole bucket but six whole buckets of moneys”.

I sometimes wonder how much he remembers from his time in the children’s hospital. We – my husband and I, our family, and all of the doctors and nurses, worked hard to support him and we tried to help him understand what was happening but he was so, so small. It was so hard to explain what was happening to him during surgeries and tests – we tried. It was ever harder to put him through procedures and wipe the tears away before, during, and after. We all cried so much during that horrible time. But we tried not to do it in front of him. We tried to make the environment a good one for him – and so did the hospital.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe we are through the other side – but we are.

And when we hear our precious baby say he wants to collect money for the hospital for his birthday it reminds us that they did more than care for his tiny body. The children’s ward is a breathtakingly sad place a lot of the time, but there’s so much kindness there. There’s so much love, it’s overwhelming in its abundance.

Now my baby can breathe, because of the wonderful people at Wellington Children’s Hospital. Now he just takes my breath away. And that kindness that enveloped him during his time there has turned him into this beautiful little boy who wants to give back.

So on his birthday – 30 September – we’ll be heading around Wellington and Eddie’s little wish is to collect six whole buckets for the place that was so gentle with him and his very grateful parents. We’ll be with him – and if you think your workplace would tolerate a visit from Eddie and his bucket – please let me know by commenting or emailing me at emilywritesnz@gmail.com. Please make sure it’s OK with the boss! All of the funds raised will go to the wonderful folks at the Children’s Hospital of course and we have their permission! We’ll also end our day collecting at the railway station so we might see you there!

If you’d like to help Eddie reach his six buckets birthday goal – you could also donate here, we set up a Givealittle that will go directly to the hospital. It’s a way for people who aren’t able to give in Wellington to support the cause if they’d like to.

To anyone who donates on the day to any of the collectors,  or directly into Eddie’s bucket, or on the givealittle – I want to say thank you! Thanks for supporting my little one and showing him he can make a difference in the world, more importantly – thanks for supporting a wonderful cause. The Children’s Hospital staff are just wonderful, amazing people. And we love them.

I’ve written a bit about the kids and hospital if you’d like to read a bit more about how we feel about all of this –

There will be lots of people collecting 30 September so please give generously. Or again – let us know if you want a visit! emilywritesnz@gmail.com! Or there’s the Givealittle! Thank you!

If you have a little one you think would love to shake a bucket for a great cause you can apply to be a collector for the Children’s Hospital here. You can follow Eddie’s collecting journey on Facebook.

Eddie

I asked Chris from Hi-5 some terrible questions

I was talking to my husband and I said “I’ve been asked to interview Hi-5” and before I could say anymore my three-year-old started screeching at me. Because he had just so much to say about his best most favourite “TV people” ever I figured he could come up the questions while I sat back and drank wine. He came up with these hum-dingers and I thought it was hilarious that Chris from Hi-5 actually answered them. Well done. My son is very happy. His questions and responses are in bold (I mean obviously, they’re very – three year-old – type questions).

Acid trips amirite?

Acid trips amirite?

Do you like marbles?

Yes. Love them, I used to have a pretty big collection but I gave them to my little brother as a present.

I have a little brother I don’t have a little sister I have one marble and it is red. What is your favourite colour?

I have two favourite colours – purple and red!

My favourite colour is green and also my nanna’s favourite colour is green and also my mama’s favourite colour is black and my daddy doesn’t have a favourite colour he loves all of the colours and red and purple like you and green and kakariki is green. What month were you born?

June.

My name is Eddie. I am September. Do you like the song Yellow Submarine and do you like the Boo Hoo song from Songs for Bubbas 2?

I have been learning to play Yellow Submarine on the Ukulele and I love singing it with a funny voice. Unfortunately I don’t know the Boo Hoo song, boo hoo hoo. Hehe, maybe you can send it to me?

Don’t do a funny voice. Did you have a birthday party and what did you do?

On my birthday, my Hi-5 family brought a big yummy cake onto the stage during our concert in Singapore. Then, all the boys, girls, mums and dads in the audience sung happy birthday to me. Afterwards we all ate lots of sausages and sung fun songs together. It was the best birthday ever!

I love sausages too I love chicken nuggets I’m having a Mister Maker party I am three I’m fun songs (?) when I’m three I’m birthday (?) and I love hats and it’s my birthday when I’m four and my friend Vally is coming and my friend Kōwhai is coming and we all love sausages and chicken nuggets especially Kōwhai does she loves chicken nuggets and Indie loves popcorn and so does Vally.

Then he wandered off to look for his marble. Luckily I had some actual questions. Things we probably need to know. Though I think I missed an essential one which is “Is there a bar at the show?”

hi-five2

What kind of show are you planning?

Hi-5 House Hits showcases some of our favourite songs and biggest hits. There will be lots of cool characters, appearances from Chatterbox, and you might even run into cheeky Jup Jup!

Will there be audience participation?

As always there will be plenty of audience participation, it’s kind of a Hi-5 staple. We always have so much fun and just want to share it with everyone around us. Did I mention that YOU get to help us pick which songs to sing?! How cool!

Why do you do what you do?

I have loved singing and dancing since I was a little kid and I guess the passion just never stopped, hehe. I love seeing kid’s faces light up when we’re performing onstage, it brings joy to my heart. I also love the learning aspect of the job and think it’s important to teach kids that it’s ok to be yourself from a very young age. I’m so lucky to do what I do.

HI-5 will be touring New Zealand this October with their HOUSE HITS tour to Auckland Sat 1, Hamilton Sun 2, Napier Mon 3, Christchurch Wed 5, Dunedin Thu 6 and Wellington Sat 8. For complete tour and ticket information visit www.hi-5world.com & www.livenation.co.nz

I’ve got a family pass – two adults, two children or one adult, three children to each of the House Hits shows around New Zealand!

So if you’d like to win a family pass – just comment below with your region – Auckland, Hamilton, Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin, or Wellington!

I’ll draw a winner in two weeks.

Easy as!