artplay

Somehow, as a result of either personality or upbringing or both, I have turned out to be somewhat of a perfectionist.

In general, I think this is a good thing. My attention to detail and focus on doing things right means that I’m good at being a picky lawyer, I’m good at managing multiple projects without dropping too many balls and I care about doing the best I can at anything I turn my hand to.

I never realised that being a perfectionist could be a problem until my sleep-deprived, new-parent role meant that I was getting hyper-anxious over every little thing. I couldn’t get any perspective on what was important to worry about, and what was not. Sometimes, I was so immobilised by my desire to do things ‘right’ and to do things in the ‘best’ way that I couldn’t take any action at all.

Just recently I’ve started noticing perfectionist traits in Lady AB.

This little 4 year old likes to have everything ‘just-so’. Every night her room has to be spotless, with nothing left on the floor. Her blankets need to be absolutely smooth before she’ll contemplate getting into bed. She likes order and routine. She regularly corrects other people (older or younger).

All kids are particular in their own way so I wouldn’t be concerned except that she’s starting getting overly upset when she is not, in her words, perfect.

Her hairdo is not perfect. Her dancing is not perfect. Her artwork is not perfect.

I’m worried that she’s only little and already she’s being so self-critical. No amount of assurance that things are good enough, that she’s done very well, seems to comfort her.

I want her to strive and try her hardest, but I don’t want her to feel pressure to be the best or to always win. I know that trying to be Little Miss Perfect all the time can be a huge burden.

Do you have a little perfectionist? How have you taught him/her not to stress out about things not being perfect?

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foxtrot charlie

When you walk through the door of Foxtrot Charlie, look up. The soaring model aeroplane (which entranced Baby 2.0) will explain the name of this Brunswick family-friendly cafe.

foxtrot charlie

The cafe’s typically narrow frontage on Sydney Road expands out into a surprisingly spacious area divided into two segments. Basically, there’s the adults area and a kids area and it’s all uber-stylish thanks to local Brunswick designers ZWEI (who also designed the amazing ninja-esque Code Black Coffee).

foxtrot charlie

foxtrot charlie

The kids area isn’t designated as such but there’s a basket of toys and books tucked under the waiters’ station and a tower of high chairs ready for little bottoms. It’s a light-filled extension to the dimly lit concrete-and-brick front section and even if I didn’t have kids I think I’d prefer to eat amongst the cheerful short stools and tables.

foxtrot charlie

The menu is quite inventive, with twists on the standard-issue cafe offerings. I went for the creamed cod on toast, sesame seed crust, caponata and a poached egg ($17). It’s sort of a British, Italian, Chinese prawn toast fusion dish and it works, with a pan fried crusty base or organic sourdough wielding a thick slathering of smoky fish paste and a hearty stewy accompaniment. The egg is perfect and apparently all their biodynamic eggs are cooked at 62.5 degrees.

foxtrot charlie

The short kids menu has cheese and tomato toast, boiled egg and soldiers and fruit kebabs ($5-6). They are simple items but come out nicely presented just like the adult meals and the kids clean their plates and ask for more.

foxtrot charlie

So for dessert we share the spelt and almond waffles with sabayon cream and spiced strawberries ($16). It’s a pretty dish of mulled spices and the waffles are more of the dense, Belgian style rather than fluffy American versions. My only quibble was that I think for the serving size perhaps the dish was a couple of dollars more expensive than I’d expect.

Foxtrot Charlie roast their own coffee and use organic biodynamic milk, so I’d expect the end product to be good given the amount of care taken in the ingredients.

foxtrot charlie

I really enjoyed my delicious and relaxed lunch at Foxtrot Charlie and was a bit surprised that it wasn’t busier with prams and kids. The staff seemed completely unfazed by my kids sitting on the floor playing, the food was high quality and the setting was stylish and comfortable. Lady AB and Baby 2.0 loved it so much they didn’t want to leave!

Features:

  • pram access (front and back alley);
  • high chairs;
  • children’s menu;
  • standard menu suitable for children;
  • toys and books; and
  • disabled toilet (no change table). 

Foxtrot Charlie 359 Sydney Road, Brunswick (03) 9387 3397

Mon to Fri 7:30 am – 4:00 pm

Sat to Sun 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

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werribee zoo

Saturday 25 April is ANZAC Day so many shops, cafes and public institutions eg libraries will be closed, at least in the morning. The museums (Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, Immigration Museum), zoos (Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo, Healesville Sanctury, Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium) and galleries (NGV Australia and NGV International) will all be open. Here’s a list of other events for 0-5s happening in Melbourne this week.

CBD / DOCKLANDS

  • Rain at Arts Centre Melbourne (Fri 24 Apr – Sun 26 Apr) – Grownups and their littlest ones are immersed in an installation space full of surprise, delight and opportunities for connection through music, touch and performance.
  • Tingle Tangle at Artplay (Fri 24 Apr, Fri 8 May) – Come and stretch, wind, wobble and play in a big tangle of fun!
  • Family Fun Days at Harbour Town (Sat 25 Apr, Sun 26 Apr) – Kids able to ride on the free Harbour Town Express Train, plus enjoy many more activities that change every weekend.
  • KLM Dutch Orange Day 2015 (Sun 26 Apr) – enjoy  live entertainment with a taste of Holland at the largest Dutch celebration in Australia.
  • Tall Ship Enterprise Sailing (Sun 26 Apr) – View Docklands from an 1830s tall ship and experience what life was like aboard these majestic vessels that once sailed our oceans.
  • Opera Australia Open Day at Arts Centre Melbourne (Sun 26 Apr) – Preview the set of Don Giovanni, hear from the conductor about the music and see the costumes, wigs and props up close. Try on a costume and watch the elaborate makeup process step-by-step.
  • National Pretzel Day at Munich Brauhaus (Sun 26 Apr) – a day of fun-filled Bavarian antics including a family lunch, face painter and live oompah band.
  • Scarecrow Making at Federation Square (Sun 26 Apr) – Bring the kids to Fed Square’s rooftop veggie garden, Pop Up Patch, and help them make their very own scarecrow to take home.
  • Mosaic Festival at City Square (Sun 26 Apr) – live music and dance and the best culinary treats and trinkets from around the world.
  • Batmania (Fri 24 Apr – Tue 28 Apr) – In Kathy Holowko’s awe-inspiring new exhibition, 200 flying bat sculptures are suspended from the cavernous heights of the Atrium at Fed Square.
  • Kids’ Flicks at ACMI (Sat 18 Apr – Sun 3 May) – ACMI’s curated weekend program of children’s films is showing Babe.
  • Under 8s Ice Fun at Medibank Icehouse (Sun 26 Apr) – unique toddler experience in shoes or skates.

NORTH

  • Vegan Bake Off at CERES (Sun 26 Apr) – enjoy some yummy donated baked goodies, enter your masterpiece into the bake off to win some great prizes, stock up at the ALV and Uproar stalls, grab something from the barbecue and watch some awesome cooking demos!
  • Wombat’s Secret Maze at Melbourne Zoo (until 31 May) – open air wooden maze all around the theme of…poo!

SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE

EAST

WEST

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Victory Park, Cnr Epsom Rd and Langs Road, Ascot Vale (2)

Victory Park is a fantastic sprawling wooden fortress-style playground in Ascot Vale, next to the Ascot Vale Leisure Centre and Ascot Vale West Primary School.

Like Albert Park Adventure Playground and Phoenix Park Adventure Playground, the park was built by members of the local community in 1998 and the three parks share similarities in look and feel.

victory park

The playground twists and turns through wooden towers, turrets and mazes with slides, monkey bars and a flying fox. I liked how certain parts of the playground were sponsored by different local community groups – look carefully and you’ll see their names etched in the wood.

victory park

There are two banks of swings – one in a slightly segregated toddler area and another set in the main area, including one made from an old tyre that Baby 2.0 particularly liked because it was low to the ground and he could get in and out by himself (“I do it” is a very popular phrase at the moment).

victory park

victory park

There are steering wheels (including one named ‘Puffing Billy’), letter dice and a small sandpit as well.

victory park

Note the layout of the playground means that it sightlines are often obscured. The area is fenced on three sides, with the fourth side opening out onto the leisure centre’s car park.

victory park

The playground is surrounded by large trees but is not shaded inside other than by the structures themselves.

Adjoining the playground is a barbecue and picnic shelter and drink taps. Presumably the leisure centre allows you to use their toilets and there is a kiosk for snacks.

Victory Park is a fantastic playground for young and old kids – just be vigilant for runaway toddlers if you have a bolter like Baby 2.0.

Features:

  • suitable for toddlers;      
  • suitable for older children;
  • toilets;and
  • barbecue, picnic seating and tables.

Victory Park, Cnr Epsom Rd and Langs Road, Ascot Vale

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HOT: Sticky9 – Make Your Own Instagram Magnets

April 21, 2015

I’m a relative newbie to Instagram but I am addicted. And I’ve discovered a great way to create cool, real-life stuff using my Instagram images. I turn them into magnets with Sticky9. Sticky9 is a London based company and their core product is a 3×3 grid of nine Instagram pictures. They also make other products […]

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Weekly Diary: Toy Jail

April 20, 2015

I’ve written before about how I struggle to discipline Baby 2.0 and this week I’ve finally found a method which works. Hallelujah! Our technique of using time out on Lady AB was so incredibly effective (to the point that we could start a countdown and she’d sort herself out, before we actually needed to time her […]

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