Taking a Stand (or doing a cartwheel – same same)

I awoke this morning to find I had been quoted, in my role as founder of Real Mums, in an article in the Daily Telegraph regarding the increasing amount of conflicting information parents are overwhelmed with, each and every day, and how the associated guilt (and confusion, I’m willing to bet) is affecting the way parents parent.

I’ve only been saying this, over at Real Mums, for near on seven years now, so it’s nice that someone has finally caught up.

You can read the article here at The Telegraph: Parents on Guilt Trip from Advice Overload.

As I perused the morning news (via my site and Facebook, of course – where else would you get decent news updates from?) I was horrified to learn (via the Free Range Kids website and colleague Lenore Skenazy) that an Aussie school, one in NSW, has recently banned the acts of cartwheeling, head standing and hand standing in the playground.

I walk the kids to school; the biggest one riding his bike, the middlest one walking and bouncing his basketball and doing my head in the whole way there. Chippie chose the pram. This morning, I don’t blame him.

Grumpy, Chippie and I head along the local shopping precinct to check the post office box and decide we had time for a latte. We were accosted by a friend, had a catch up and Chippie had a screaming tantrum because of something I can’t fathom, leaving Grumpy Pants to decide he needed to immediately got to the bank across the way.

After Chippie eventually caught up with me; a process that involved him screaming at me to come back, me walking back, him not getting his way, whatever that was, refusing to hop back into his pram and/or walk with me, running off, me counting to three after telling him I was going to count to three and leave, then leaving whilst he screamed at me to come back …  well, he caught up, we had a bit of a chat about how screaming will get him nowhere and me increasingly pissed off, he begrudgingly capitulated and climbed into his pram.

The other options were walk, or stand there all day, screaming. His choice.

We made it for a latte, head home, and Grumpy did the gymnastics run. I don’t mind to do it, but had an overload of work. Also, I have a tendency to do cartwheels and push Chippie really high on the rings. Or, you know, do cartwheels and leave Chippie to sort himself out on the rings. He’s good!

So I stayed and got some work done.

Being a Tuesday evening, we have not much on after school. Also, after a somewhat stressful day (and couple of weeks) I gave myself a bit of a break. Decided not to rush things. Godzilla had his basketball, so figured it’d be a good opportunity to let him play a bit after school, and I’d join him if necessary.

I was ousted by a couple of other kids, who took over, so I stood beside the court and watched for a bit. Edgy.

I’m unsure if it was the news this morning, but I was suddenly overwhelmed by a compulsion to do a cartwheel.

So I did.

Then I did another.

Then another.

Then, when Godzilla’s friends left the court, I joined him in a bit of shootin’ hoops (see, still cool!) and he wandered off. I played on my own for a bit, till he rejoined me. Then I successfully scored three goals.

Not just any sort of goal. Oh, no. Not me … these were over the head, backwards, from the three point line goals.


And I celebrated by doing another cartwheel.

Here’s a photo to prove it:

(Yes, that really is me, doing a cartwheel)

I rounded the corner and wandered past a group of mums, sitting around chatting. And taking photos of themselves sitting.

Honestly, I would have thought my cartwheeling way more impressive and was rather disappointed that I hadn’t had even enough influence to encourage other children to copy me.


We had a brief chat about ridiculous policies in school and briefly touched on organising a Cartwheel Protest, whereby all mums and dads either cartwheeled into the school, or we simply formed a Human Cartwheeling Wall in support of this school in Drummoyne.

Then I had to go home.

My hamstrings were sore.

(But my stress levels have decreased significantly! It’s called FUN, people – let the kids have it!)