Friday, 22 July 2011

Running a hurdles race.....

Over the last 6 weeks there has been a whole lot of disturbed sleep at our place.

One of our children - who has just turned 11- was exposed to the movie trailers for what I understand to be the scariest movies ever made.

Needless to say we aren't into horror films here.

It is well known that My Neighbour Totoro (a Japanese anime film by Hayao Miyazaki- click here to take you to a trailer for it.) is our family favourite.  Too much Totoro is NEVER enough!  That's how we roll.......

A child his age thought it would be cool to take a look at the horror trailers and share it with a few others.

Actually buddy - not so cool!

Mine wasn't the only one who lost sleep.....

My child was frozen in terror, unable to move, unable to follow his instinct to get away.

He looks back and gives himself a hard time about staying & looking but given the circumstances I reckon I understand that he didn't.

He was physically ill that night.

He spent the entire night cradled over a bucket.

And has struggled to sleep since.

Six weeks is a long time to be suffering from sleep deprivation for anyone!

He can no longer stay in a room without others being with him.

He is unable to have doors shut for fear of being trapped.

His oldest brother is worried for him and isn't sleeping the best either.

It will pass.

I know that.

I am sad however that a piece of his innocence was taken from him that day.

He doesn't feel safe anymore and that breaks my heart.

He is getting better slowly through lots of talking & just because he is one heck of a courageous little fella.

And also because he is incredibly intuitive in his attitude to people and life.

One of the things he said during one of our many many talks over all this was profound.

Truly profound.

We were talking about life and how there are hard parts and parts that are easier.

And that this was one of the really hard parts.

His response was: "Yeah, you know I reckon life is like running a really really long hurdles race".

That would give you an idea into this little one's incredible insight for a child of 11!

It's so true though isn't it.

Just when we get over one hurdle there is another one and then another.

What I hope for him as he is leaping over this RIDICULOUSLY high one is that the next one is a long long way off.

We could all do with a bit of a break here.

And I am cooking simple dinners like this one:

This is a great pasta dish that most of us have ingredients for in the pantry.
Play with the ingredient amounts as you cook it to find how you like it best.

  • 400G spaghetti
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 red chilli chopped finely (deseeded if you don't want too much heat)
  • 3-4 anchovies
  • good handful rocket, chopped
  • good handful of Italian parsley chopped roughly
  • 1 lemon (using both the rind & juice)
  • 3 tablespoons good quality EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

In a large pot boil plenty of salted water and cook pasta.  Remove 2 minutes before it is done.

Heat a separate pan to a medium heat (make sure it is big enough to hold all pasta later)- I use my Colombian black ceramic pot so I can serve ti straight to the table.
Add EVOO, chilli, anchovies & garlic.
Stir until anchovies melt and garlic is fragrant.  Turn off heat.

Remove pasta 2 minutes before done and transfer to pan with oil.
Add a ladleful of salted pasta water, lemon rind, parsley, rocket & juice of lemon.
Stir through for 2 minutes so pasta absorbs all the goodness of the flavours.

Serve immediately with good bread.

I hope it becomes a quick fave at your place as much as it is here! x

Music has been helping my Mr.11 recover.  Music is important to all of our family & I am thrilled that music is one of the things he has said is helping him through this tough time.  This is one the tracks he has been playing on high rotation. Check the video too! Has one of our family's favourite pong!


  1. I empathise Ruth entirely after a similar exp with my youngest. Thoses ratings classifications are there for a reason IMO even if you're a tweeny who knows it all. My eldests bestie's parents have let her watch the most unsuitable stuff before she was even ten! This led to umpteen arguements with our daughter as to why we wouldn't let her stay over at their house cause we knew they'd wacth inappropriate films unsupervised-I am become my father, sigh.
    Cheers Cygnet Steve(for some reason I am unable to post using my google account?)

  2. Dear Ruth
    I feel for you and had a similar experience in Grade 3 myself (although not as extreme) . At a friends house, where the TV was on all day - an old B&W horror movie called 'The Raven' which involved, among other things, Edgar Allen Poe's instruments of torture and a man who had to have a face transplant to hide from the man who had murdered his girlfriend. As a child who only watched the ABC for half and hour a day it was too much. My Mum was furious. I mentioned it recently (I'm still getting over it) to my younger brother and he saw it too! I still cannot watch any kind of horror movie to this day. Love to you and your beautiful family - apparently Paul had a lovely presentation today from your beloved. Karen PS We love Totoro too xoxo

  3. Hi Ruth, I also had a similar experience at about the same age. I know how terrified he must be feeling. Good to hear he's using a bit of music therapy. I recommend Paul Simon's Graceland :D

  4. You are, without a doubt, on the list, for the best mother ever award. And the Kelly and the stars thing...just Makes. Me. Happy. X

  5. Oh the poor boy. We are not horror movie people here either really. I am still scared of clowns after being exposed to Poltergeist when I was 12.
    But what a wise soul your boy has, and what better way to repair it than with music.
    Kelly Watch the Stars is a great song too.

  6. Oh, Ruth, what a horrible experience for him and so difficult for you to have to manage the aftermath. I have passed the link onto my cousin whose friend had a similar experience with her daughter and a hideously inappropriate trailer on a sleepover. Totoro is fabulous therapy - I hope it's been working its magic.


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  8. Ugh. Unfortunately we cannot protect our children from other people's lack of sense, can we?
    I remember the nightmares my little sister suffered after we saw Poltergeist at a birthday party, and the nights I held her hand. You know we cannot guess what will burrow it's way into a child's unconscious. The worst we had here was last Halloween when our just turned 7yo was shown Michael Jackson's Thriller video at a friends and my god the nightmares and fear of being alone lasted weeks! I can only imagine what your poor lad must be suffering after such an onslaught. It must hurt your heart. :-(


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