Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: The Joys of Unclehood

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  • Russell Brown,

    What a wonderful post with which to round off my day. Thanks, David.

    And on McDonald's: it's infant food. It was a popular family treat for a while, but our guys seemed to outgrow it. The older one now much prefers a nice butter chicken and the younger one doesn't really eat in public. Ah, the joys of aspie kids ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18970 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    One can only be thankful that modern Very Loud Toys are often badly constructed (therefore, easily broken "accidentally on purpose") or require a dozen car batteries and someone with an advanced engineering degree to put it together.

    Unfortunately experience tells me that the battery life and strength of construction of a toy are directly proportional to the annoyingness of the noise it produces.

    Why yes my children do have a childless aunt.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Unfortunately experience tells me that the battery life and strength of construction of a toy are directly proportional to the annoyingness of the noise it produces.

    Yeah, but even then, (and since we know from another thread running at the moment the high number of Elvis Costello fans here) Accidents Will Happen.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 805 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Yeah, but even then, (and since we know from another thread running at the moment the high number of Elvis Costello fans here) Accidents Will Happen.

    Though much as you adore the little no-neck monsters, this is the Costello ditty that often comes to mind...

    Or if you're a little more old school, there's the one-two punch of I Can't Stand Up (For Falling Down)...

    and __Let Them All Talk (it's really the best way).

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    My doctor told me you don't get diabetes from sugar. Yay !

    [(http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2003/apr/21/usnews.food|Sugar industry threatens to scupper WHO | Society | The Guardian)]

    Well, so the sugar lobby would would have you believe. And it's true, much in the same way guns don't kill people, alcohol doesn't cause liver disease and AIDS doesn't cause death... there are chains of events that implicate these things, and they are linked to the things that kill.

    I love sugar probably more than all of you put together. I grew up in Canada, a country that celebrates Halloween, which meant if you dressed up as whatever you like - a mouse, a fairy, a ghost, a pirate, a tv - and knock on doors, you could have as much candy as you could drag home in a night. It used to last me until Christmas. I liked sugar so much I enjoyed the polio vaccine - the one that was delivered in the sugar cube. When our class made Innuit igloos out of sugar cubes and I ate most of the building materials. I still bake with plenty of sugar - though probably as I also use things with food value in baking, it buffers it a bit. Plus I try to keep our consumption down to about 10gm a day, as the WHO recommends.

    The most alarming dose of sugar comes from soft drinks - some children consume 40% of their daily calories from soft drinks. Sugar may not cause diabetes, but it does cause obesity - and obesity, particularly central fat - certainly does cause diabetes. We used to call that type of diabetes "adult onset" but in the 1980s children started to get the disease - for the first time in human history - and now the children getting the now named "type 2 diabetes" are legion. Type 2 diabetes has been nicknamed "the new smallpox" because of the devastation it is causing.

    Sugar takes the place of food that would otherwise contain some food value. This is relevant as most children in NZ are seriously deficient in one or more of a number of key nutrients . The obese are most likely to suffer from these defiencies - iron, calcium, vitamin D and obese mothers are more likely to have malnourished offspring (due to neural tube problems exacerbated by the mother's weight). Sugar plays a central role in these health problems.

    Sugar is also implicated in inflammation (google C- reacitive protein, metabolic syndrome or adiponectin if you are a biochem geek) and is really, emphatically not a good food, unless you get your sugar from an apple or a carrot.

    Much as I love it I try to regard sugar as a flavour enhancer than an actual food.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    A friend's father even took the buzz out of their Buzzy Bee.

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    A friend's father even took the buzz out of their Buzzy Bee.

    Oy... that's hardcore. Would have to loved to see how that got explained away.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    For a while a recorder was my gift of choice for kids. Fortunately noone was unkind enough to return the 'favour' when I had my own.

    I'm sure you're a nice person paula, but you'd be off my party list if you bought my kids a recorder; the recorder to be the lowest form of instrumentation, below even the xylophone. There's no sound, none, that can be generated from a recorder that remotely approximates music. They. Is. Evil.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2233 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Buzzy Bees for the Deaf, perhaps? :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16772 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Ah, the joys of aspie kids ...

    Quite right, And...

    My Brother speaks fluent Japanese, as do's his wife with both there children. This along with the older of the two nephews being on the spectrum, makes me rather an odd ball of an uncle.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Naughty naughty people. I have a lot of nieces and nephews, as I'm sure I said before, and the ones that I'm particularly close to are very big people now. One of my nieces, who is 28 next month, used to come to University with me when she was just a wee person, and sit in on lectures with me. She was so good, and when she got her multiple degrees, I was very certain that it was the very learned environment I exposed her to as a toddler that was responsible. Her brother, who was never in my charge, of course went on to do many nefarious things....

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Southon,

    Hilarious post. Loud guffaws. Thanks David. I needed that. And so did this dreadfully silent office where I am working.

    Barcelona • Since Aug 2008 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    One of my daughters had a plastic saxophone when she was little. Years later she played clarinet in the school orchestra. Then she didn't become a famous musician. The one who 'loved' her toy clothesline was a fanatic housekeeper by 15. And the one who owned about 500 Barbies is now at engineering school. Makes no sense at all.

    the recorder to be the lowest form of instrumentation, below even the xylophone

    but what about ukeleles? Aren't they all the in thing these days? And with Bob's ear for country music, wouldn't the next step up be a banjo?

    Since Mar 2008 • 98 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Worse probably - a dobra...

    This childfree aunt admits to teaching siblings' offspring to fish(in those instances where their parents havent provided this essential lifeskill), eat properly with their fingers,collect fireworks for auspicious occaisions (*not* Guy Fawkes), enjoy outre foods from huhu to tofushakes to roes, and make umukai/hangi. And has passed on as gifts the basic principles of yer average molotov cocktail, how to uncap champane (sic), and smoking (roes, fish, meat - it's really difficult in a pipe...)

    I have given exuberant ynglings boxgongs and swung-drums..they really like/d them.

    Hey, my sibs are strong & resilient people and I think part of my family job as eldest is to test that they still are-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    The one who 'loved' her toy clothesline was a fanatic housekeeper by 15. And the one who owned about 500 Barbies is now at engineering school. Makes no sense at all.

    I don't see anything unusually strange about that. The interests in the Barbie are the obvious giveaway, that Engineering was an attribute. The Barbie can in some ways be likened to the bumble bee. Barbie, is theoretically dysfunctional. If Barbie is to scaled up to life size would would be twenty foot tall, most of that in legs. There appears to have been some covert juxtaposing going on around the Snowdon household.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    And on McDonald's: it's infant food.

    Very true - is there anything on ther menu that actually requires teeth?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Stephanie,

    This childfree aunt admits to teaching siblings' offspring to fish(in those instances where their parents havent provided this essential lifeskill), eat properly with their fingers,collect fireworks for auspicious occaisions (*not* Guy Fawkes), enjoy outre foods from huhu to tofushakes to roes...

    Islander, maybe you are available to aunt people outside your bloodline? My kids need to learn some of this stuff - maybe not the molotov cocktails, but I'm prepared to take those to get the other skills, if I have to...

    Lower Hutt • Since Dec 2007 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Kia ora Stephanie...the molotov cocktails arnt compulsory (as you know some kids really like explosions and some kids really really hate 'em) -and I've already passed along some of these skills to friends' children: the only difficulty might be the slight distance between here & Lower Hutt...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    An acquantaince was attempting to train his children that McDonald's was a last resort. Never give it to them as a treat ("you did so well at soccer we'll get a Happy Meal") but give it to them with lines like "sorry kids, seems Macca's is the only thing we can get on the car drive"...
    I am yet to hear how this is playing out but was successful at the time

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    McDonald's was a last resort.

    We managed to live Macca-free until the kids got to be about 7 or 8. It was the blasted birthday parties of their friends that did us in. I couldn't bring myself to say 'no' and consign them to social oblivion. Proud to say we always had our parties at home - mud slides down the bank, water fights in the garden etc, much better!

    They probably felt deprived anyway - lucky if they scored Macs once in three months.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Just managed to sit down and catch up with these comments.

    You all sound like a thoroughly lovely bunch of aunts and uncles, I must say. What nice readers we have at PA.

    My only regret now is that I never had an Aunt or Uncle that let me throw Molotov cocktails (although my grandfather did make me a lethal crossbow when I was nine; the bolt of which would split a piece of 4x2 at about 10 metres).

    Susan Snowdon wrote:

    ... what about ukeleles? Aren't they all the in thing these days? And with Bob's ear for country music, wouldn't the next step up be a banjo?

    Bob does actually help me play the ukulele when he's in the mood.

    But I think the next step up is a banjolele -- an instrument considered so loathsome that P.G. Wodehouse based an entire novel on their awfulness.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 988 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I made a conscious choice, as a person who chose not to eat McDonalds for a number of years, not to push that on my child.

    When he's old enough to start to make moral choices like that, I'd absolutely encourage him to explore that. But at four, with friends having birthday parties there, and the allure of happy meals and the joy that McDonalds brought to him, I didn't feel that there was any great benefit to banning an occasional McDonalds meal, and certainly not one that outweighed what he would miss out on.

    My wee daughter has so many bad reactions to food, she'll never be able to eat in any restaurant that mixes more than two food types together, but I suspect she'll also get to go there as well, as long as they keep allowing you to dictate what you do/don't want in your burger.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    prefers sushi to Maccas,

    mine kids of joy love the sushi. although its not so convenient in a pinch, and the toys that come with it aint as exciting....

    * * * *

    i am blessed with a few crazy 'uncles' who always love to bring the noise. It's like a sport, and could only really cause issues with wayward children [don't think for a second that mine are ruled under a 'too strict' regime....]. there is even a certain joy in the squealing of the new noisy toy at 5:30 the following morning. the sport goes both ways with everyone trying their hardest to find that perfect 'bordering on inappropriate' toy or book that ends up being a fave. such as 'the story of the little mole who know it was none of his business' that makes a perfect birthday gift.

    one such uncle, richarquis, on a visit from Wellywood last weekend managed to bring a hideously tricky Escher mirror puzzle for the six year old [she loves it].

    the true joy came from the packets of squealing shrieking rocket balloons, the finger lights, and the hilariously cute flying shrieking monkey that, in tandem with it being 'dance night' at the walker ranch caused this:

    it starts with monkey in full flight, you will get the full picture by the 25 sec mark.

    The monkey is in a stable condition, but will probably never be able to dance again.

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Oh wow! The Little Mole Who Knew It wasnt any of His Buisness! Right up there with Granny Mango, and Gary Larsen's "There's a Hair In My Dirt!" I must have given *dozens* to lucky kids! (Not sorry parents!)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • kowhai montgomery,

    Love the way the light comes on at the end.

    You are growing little ravers.

    Excellent.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

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