PG (Parental Guidance Advised)

Having children means a lifetime of awe-inspiring, scary, puzzling and funny experiences. And it’s good to talk about them, right? Join Donnelle Belanger-Taylor and Hamish Denston in a blog about being a parent.

Octember holidays

08:45am 10 Oct 2013


Mud bathOnce upon a time, when I was a little girl, we had a school year with three terms. The two breaks during the year were reliable, to the point they assumed proper noun status in my head: The May Holidays and the August Holidays. Now we have four breaks and I never know what to call them.

These, uh, Octember holidays have been exactly what we needed, especially after what we went through in the last break. We've mostly been homebodies, a luxury we don't often get.

Being at home doesn't mean the days have been boring, though.

My eldest expanded the hole where I'd dug out an old tree stump. It was bang-smack in the middle of the vege garden, so we filled it in again. The process of compacting the dirt somehow became a mud battle, and the kids got very grubby indeed.

We did the obligatory cleaning session at Playcentre, where we were the last family to leave. I looked up from cleaning the kitchen to discover the twins making "sand angels" in the sandpit... completely naked. Except for a pair of fairy wings for Vieve, and a dinosaur tail for Finn.

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How 'bout them apples?

10:30am 04 Oct 2013


Sign2Finn is my creatively, constructively chaotic four-year-old boy twin. He usually keeps his best efforts for home, but occasionally the ingenuity comes out at Playcentre. 

Soon before his birthday, he was excited about going to the zoo. He spent a showery Playcentre morning making a zoo out of blocks. Apparently he decided that his zoo needed a sign. He carefully lettered the only word he knows on a piece of card, liberally applied glue to the back, and stuck it to a block. Clever, but not quite how blocks should be used!

Thankfully, the rain stopped. He said "It's not raining any more! We need to go outside!" I was grateful to ease his creative energy outside. 

I write a lot about the messy mischief he gets into, but he does some terrific learning and discovering, too. His mind works in interesting ways. 

Out in the sandpit, he pushed sand together to make square walls, saying "Now I want to make a zoo out of sand!" 

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The hideous home haircut

08:50am 01 Oct 2013


WhitehairMy boy twin was born with the murky, mysterious eyes of many newborns. One of the songs I regularly sang to him was Brown-Eyed Handsome Man, never imagining the blue eyes that eventually appeared through the haze, a recessive gift from his Grampa and Great-Grandma.

Along with the blue eyes came a shock of white hair, hair so fair that it disappeared when wet. People often commented on it. It was distinctive, bright and beautiful.

I loved it. His big brother had been a blondie, but his hair darkened before he turned two. I hoped that Finn's blue eyes and general fairness would mean that the blonde would stick around.

Now that he's four, though, I've noticed an inexorable tide of darker blonde creeping in at the roots. His hair was thick and longish, though, so the bright blonde was still prominent.

Apparently his auburn-haired twin sister was jealous of his snowy locks. I'm not sure who found the little pair of baby nail scissors, but I know she told him to cut his hair "so it doesn't get as long as mine".

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Christmas – a time for receiving

08:00am 26 Sep 2013


Why hello blog. It's been a while. Life kind of got busy for a bit there - flu (my very first real actual flu, we all got it, including my husband but of course his was the more serious man version), child starting school, trying to do a bit more work from home, attempting to fit a run in here and there, and so it goes.

I'm back - woop woop!

It's September. You know what that means. According to The Warehouse, Spotlight and the Christmas Heirloom store (I see it pop up every year but don't go in as it looks so posh and, um, breakable), Santa is on his way. He's not, really. I'm pretty sure he's only just putting his feet up after last year's madness.

I have started thinking about Christmas. I am now one of those people - yikes! With three children, a limited income, and a camping holiday to plan that now has to fit in with school holidays, I've decided to be organised. And that includes writing a Christmas blog post far too early. I'm not even apologising.

As if he had read my mind, the Homecare catalogue man delivered a pamphlet of goodness the other day. I love those magazines. I once wondered if anyone ever ordered anything, but then I remembered my Oma's obsession with mail order, and yes, yes they do. Anyhoo, now I am telling my husband daily how difficult it's going to be to choose a gift for him. So far it's a tie between the Meerkat with rain gauge (does anyone else think that meerkat madness has been upon us for far too many years now?), or the musical wall instrument clock which plays your favourite instruments every hour, on the hour. After all, who doesn't want to hear the trumpet at 3am, or better still the glockenspiel at midnight?

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The Effing Fours

07:15am 24 Sep 2013


When my first child turned two, everyone warned us about the Terrible Twos. Nobody mentioned the Effing Fours. That was a joy we discovered for ourselves.

Now our twins have just turned four. I wasn't expecting the Effingness to kick in quite so suddenly.


Their Saturday morning activities inspired me to poetry.

I used to have a garden

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