Archive for July, 2012

Saw some free ranging kids today



Today was laundry day and as the weather was nice, I packed the two youngest along with the eldest and drove to the laundrette. Across the road is a playground which is where I sent my children. My eldest(15) to watch over the other two who at too young to be left at the park alone for the moment.

Once all the laundry was washed and dried and had been stuffed in the car, I joined my offspring at the park. For a bit there, there was a group of children who were playing there without a single adult to supervise them. How refreshing is that?

While I agree in letting kids play without having to be monitored the entire time as if they are serving time in prison, it did feel weird to not have adults gawking at them the entire time. Are the feeling of being free.

The day was finished off with a visit to a shopping centre the children had not been to before to buy ingredients for dinner. Before heading home, we stopped at Gloria Jeans Coffee for a coffee. The youngest two having water. My eldest tried out a Mudslide which tasted to me like an expresso with rich chocolate…chilled.

I’ll have to buy one for myself one day. I had the cafe latte. Very nice.

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Kids in a Big City and Pelican Attack


It’s the last day of the mid year school holidays on Monday, 16 July 2012. We have been living in Sydney since April and decided to take the youngest two children on their first train into Sydney. They were excited to ride their first train but weren’t as excited as I expected them to be. First trip into Circular Quay where they saw their first ferry, their first sighting of Sydney Harbour and many of the sights in the area. Lunch was to be hard though and they wanted Hungry Jacks(Burger King).

If Circular Quay needs anything, it’s seating. The two children sat on the ground eating their food as I stood and of course, the seagulls found us with their bloodhound skills. Chips ahoy to the birds which the kids loved as they raced for the potato. It was when the burgers came out that the seagulls became aggressive. We were hit in the head with their wings and kicked in the face with their feet as they fought to a bit of burger.

After a little look at the Opera House, we caught a free bus up the hill where we rode the Monorail which will soon be turned down. Some people are lobbying for the monorail to be replaced with a walking/running track which I think would be a great idea. Australian politicians are still stuck in primitive years when it comes to doing things expect for collecting taxes and removing liberties.

The children loved the monorail so much we stayed on board for a second round. It was a good way for them to see parts of Sydney, to get an idea of what interests them such as the Maritime Museum with retired Naval vessels docked out front. A ship and a submarine. Yes, I think a trip into Darling Harbour is in order.

It’s been a good decade since I’ve been through Sydney. While somethings change, some don’t. One thing that has changed is the disappearance of the Hoytz cinema on George Street. We saw Brave in 3D which is a good movie. Originally we were going to see MIB3 but when they saw that Brave was on, they changed their minds in unison. 

The Queen Victoria Building(QVB) is still the same but there is an extra huge clock now with scenes that I assume play on the hour as well. While we didn’t climb the Harbour Bridge as they wanted too, we did take the train over the bridge then back to come home.

Out of the four children, we have one left who has not seen Sydney yet. When she goes in, maybe the Art Museum would play a part as she’s into art. There were some interesting ideas to do in the future though such as the train ride through the Botanical Gardens. 

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Our Childhood v Their Childhood

If you are on Facebook, then you probably have come across that chain message spamming about the childhood of those born in the early 80’s and beforehand, which continues about how we should be dead. I’ve seen it many times but when I read one of them in the last hour, it reminded me of a few things. But first, here is what I read;

Are You Getting Old?


According to today’s regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s probably shouldn’t have survived, because our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans.

When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip-flops and fluorescent ‘spokey dokey’s’ on our wheels.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags and riding in the passenger seat was a treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle and it tasted the same.

We ate chips, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy juice with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no-one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and could play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded.

We did not have Play stations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no DVDs, no Internet chatrooms.

We had friends – we went outside and found them.

We played elastics and bullrush. We fell out of trees, got cut, and broke bones but there were no law suits.

We played knock-the-door-run-away and were actually afraid of the owners catching us.

We walked to friends’ homes.

We also, believe it or not, WALKED to school; we didn’t rely on mummy or daddy to drive us to school, which was just round the corner.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls.

We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of…they actually sided with the law.

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And you’re one of them.


Pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow as real kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for “our own good”.

For those of you who aren’t old enough, thought you might like to read about us.

This is surprisingly frightening……and it might put a smile on your face:

The majority of students in universities today were born in 1986…. The Uptown Girl they know is by Westlife not Billy Joel. They have never heard of Rick Astley, Bananarama, Nena Cherry or Belinda Carlisle.

For them, there has always been only one Germany and one Vietnam.

AIDS has existed since they were born.

CD’s have existed since they were born.

Michael Jackson has always been white.

To them John Travolta has always been round in shape and they can’t imagine how this fat guy could be a god of dance.

They believe that Charlie’s Angels and Mission Impossible are films from last year.

They can never imagine life before computers.

They’ll never have pretended to be the A-Team, the Dukes of Hazard or the Famous Five.

They can’t believe a black and white television ever existed.

And they will never understand how we could leave the house without a mobile phone.

Now let’s check if we’re getting old…

1. You understand what was written above and you smile.

2. You need to sleep more, usually until the afternoon, after a night out.

3. Your friends are getting married/already married

4. You are always surprised to see small children playing comfortably with computers.

5. When you see children with mobile phones, you shake your head.

6. Having read this, you are thinking of forwarding it to some other friends because you think they will like it too…

Yes, you’re Getting old!!


And so this got me thinking a few things about MY childhood. For example, I did experiments to see what would happen such as sucking the white stuff out of weeds growing in the yard, chewed on broken glass of a windscreen and my favourite, seeing what it felt like to have an electric shock where I uncovered the wires of my mother’s vacuum cleaner first touching with a dry hand, followed by a hand wet with water. Believe me, the latter hurts…a lot! And no, I did not do it again.

I also played with a pretty Sydney Funnelweb Spider which, for those who do not know, is an aggressive spider whose venom can kill within 20 minutes and whose bite must be treated as if bitten by a highly venomous snake. Its fangs can piece the sole of a workman’s boot. Yet here I was, knowing fully the danger of this species of spider, started to play with the spider which was aggressive at first but in the end, would come out from her hiding space in the window frame of the garage and to the desk and walk right up to me. She even walked on my hand and sat before walking back to her home.

When I was in primary(elementary) school, there was one thing I did that would see the world cave in now and no, I do not urge children to do this. I packed my school uniform in my school bag and walked fully naked, up the road and to the park near my school where I dressed myself. Sure, plenty of cars drove by. None stopped. No Police cars rushed to where I was seen walking naked along the road in the morning. I would imagine that doing this would see people ringing the Police and investigating all sorts of things.

I had this 10 speed racer. It was my all time favourite bicycle. My eldest brother gave me his bike which we stripped back to a bare frame, rubbed back the rust and painted it black. I can’t remember where or how it got a speedometer which I attached to the bike which was cool as it allowed me to see how fast I was going. Or rather, how fast I could go. On the right road such the highway down the mountain and onto the straight, I could reach up to 90km(56 miles). Once I sped past a Police car at 10km’s over the limit. The Police drove up beside me and the passenger cop tic tocked this finger side to side then drove off. Today, I imagine I would have been pulled over and quite possibly fined for speeding.

Now on a more serious issue, I was always getting injured with bruises and sprains and fractured bones. Some of it due to being a boy having fun, much of it from having a problem with falling down a lot due to a growth issue in my knees. I was visiting the local hospital emergency unit a lot. I spent a lot of time in bandages and on crutches. In fact, some people were shocked to see me uninjured leading them to ask me if I was alright.

Sadly, in today’s world, were I a child today, I believe that I would have been stolen by those so called child safety workers. When my eldest was about 18 months old, she slipped on the wet bathroom floor and earned herself a fracture in the tibia. My wife and I were investigated by social workers for it. Someone I knew who was working in the public health system at the time told me that they had to refer to child injuries off as suspect child abuse. And we wonder why these Departments are snowed in by far too many cases of alleged child abuse when in reality, most of allegations are not cases of abuse at all. One Police Detective told me that at least 60% of complaints are not matters of child abuse but a matter of people disagreeing with the method of raising children.

And you know what else I did? I use to take those pins used to hold up hems waiting to be sewn and pushed them through the skin of my fingers. Never deep enough to cause bleeding. I am so glad I am not a child today but at the same time, my two eldest children are happy with how raise them. They have said so because they see how other children are raised and it looks like a prison to them.


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Letting Children Go Bump

Today we live in a world where we fear. It’s as if we fear every shadow and every corner. When it comes to our children, it’s a ramped up paranoia. I believe we over protect our kids.

One of the activities I got all of my children to do was to climb those climbing walls you find at children’s playgrounds. They really aren’t that high though they probably look high to young children, yet by the age of six, all of my four children we sent up the wall.

They were all scared and sought out ways to get out climing the wall, including putting on the tears which is of course, understandable as they are scared but we should not let our children learn that it is okay to back out every time they feel scared of something. With encouragement as well as the words, “Climb all the way to the top. You’re not coming down until you reach the top”, earning me many angry glares from other adults around me, they all made it and they all felt proud of themselves as they accomplished something that felt GREAT to them. Getting them off the wall was near impossible once they succeeded.

Once I took my two eldest children to an indoor climbing centre when I lived in Rockhampton, Queensland. My second eldest was at the beginning of school age and she was fearful of many things around her so I took her to this indoor wall climbing place. She was extremely scared going up the wall and it was hard to get her to do it. I got her big sister to climb the wall and touch the ceiling so she could see it can be done. It was a big job for her to do so and through all the panicking, she never realised just how close to the ceiling she had climbed until she looked up and touch the ceiling and down she came. My fearful daughter went straight back up again. She learned the important lesson of tackling what you’re scared of and taking control of it.

I believe that by bubble wrapping our children from doing activities because we fear they will get hurt, from things they are scared of, the children do not develop the coping skills they need to meet the simple challenges in their life. This leads to anxieties and who knows how many other complex issues that can and does destroys their adult lives.

There is nothing wrong with children having fun. You don’t want them to take stupid risks but they do need to learn how to decipher between good risks and dangerous risks. And so we need to let them do things that hurts like running down a hill. You can’t learn if you’re denied the right to make mistakes.

It’s time parents grew up.

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Welcome to My Burrow

Welcome to my wombat burrow.  At the moment, I am living in Sydney, Australia and feeling the cold after living in the tropics of Central Queensland.

I was confused as to what name this blog account as I like having ‘wombat’ in my online accounts but this will be a mixed blog covering my interests.

For example, I like the ‘Clothing Optional’ lifestyle and I have four children. While I will sometimes raise the issue, this is not a naturist blog. I did have a blog for this but in the end, it is not naturist who ruin such pages but people and groups who are not of naturist lifestyle who ruin it such as by linking my blog to sex sites which led to being followed by sex swingers despite the family orientated site being far from being about sex. Extremely frustrating.

I am also a pagan of the animist path. I do not use wombat for this. I like all critters though not fond of cockroaches and mosquitoes.

As a parent, I am one of millions who have to put up with today’s odd ball view on parenting. I feel that far too many people are keen to pry and poke into other families despite putting up the barriers around their own. I also think children are babied too much, put under too much pressure and simply not allowed to be a kid.

I have two Youtube channels; ‘TheNakedWombat’ & ‘NakedWombatStuff’.

Hence the term ‘Web’.

It will be interesting to see how this blog turns out. Only time will time.

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