What The Kidlets Think.

by Lori Dwyer on July 26, 2013 · 7 comments

I tell my kids we’re moving to Melbourne. They react accordingly, as you would expect children to do. Between the two of them, they pinwheel through every emotion you could possibly associate with this kind of change.

The general consensus is not what I expected. The Chop is thoroughly excited, almost anxious in his anticipation. He’s entranced at the idea of living so close to the city. He is obsessed with the concept that trams drive right there on the street with the cars!!!

He works out his worries, one at a time. Will the cat come with us? Will we take everything in our house? Will he go to swimming lessons in Melbourne? (Yes; kind of; and probably, yes). To the Chop this is the ultimate adventure and he can’t wait to start a new school and meet new people.

The Bump, however, is timid and fretful. She will miss her daycare, she tells me. She will miss her friends. She doesn’t want to leave our ‘little house‘. 

I’d predicted all of this, of course… It’s just that I thought it would be the other way around. That the Chop would be reluctant to leave, and the bubbly Bump ready for a new adventure in a whole new place.

Turns out, I don’t know my children as well as I thought.

I wonder how often that happens. I’m guessing it will happen more and more as my kids grow up. Their mother, walking around, sure that she understands what’s going on in their complex little minds, when she actually has no idea what they’re thinking.



The Evolution of a Birthmark.

by Lori Dwyer on July 25, 2013 · 11 comments

Once upon a time, my daughter had a hematoma birthmark on her forehead.

The birthmark first appeared when the Bump was about three weeks old. It grew bigger and darker until she was about five months old. Being just above her eyebrow, and a deep raspberry colour, it became the source of much discussion among family, friends, and strangers. Every few days I found myself defending her, reiterating over and over that it wasn’t permanent. That it would disappear by the time the Bump went to school. That even if it didn’t, no one would notice or care. That I wasn’t going to have it removed.




It got to the point where I started telling people that the Bump’s birthmark was an in-utero scar from where I’d burnt myself with a hair straightener, right on my forehead, in the last few months of my pregnancy. That was a strange enough response to make most well-meaning but condescending people stop talking. 

I remember being so frustrated by it all. So alarmed at the world I was bringing children into, where a three month old baby’s physical appearance was already treated like a commodity. I wondered if the reactions and suggestions would have been different, had she been a boy.

It’s all kind of irrelevant now, anyway. At almost four years old, the Bump’s birthmark has faded to the point where I forget, often, that it used to be there at all. It’s still slightly raised. You can spot it if you’re really looking for it and you brush her wispy, messy hair of her face first. But the vivid colouring has faded almost completely, just like the specialist said it would. (But what would he know, really? Ha.)

I still don’t understand why it was such a big deal in the first place. My fairy girl is beautiful. With or without her birthmark. Just the way she is.


hemtomathree years old


The New Wiggles.

by Lori Dwyer on July 18, 2013 · 8 comments

Given my son’s (and, admittedly, my own) slight obsession with everything Wiggle, you would think that we would have sussed out the ‘new’ Wiggles line-up by now. We haven’t. It’s not so much a matter of preferring vintage Wiggles to contemporary Wiggles. It’s more been a matter of access. I know that there are a new batch of replacement Wiggles. I know one of them is a girl. I know it’s possibly sexist of me to even mention that (checking my privilege, and all that jazz).

I just haven’t seen them perform. And it’s kind of difficult to imagine.




Anyway. Curiosity got the better of me when I was offered a Wiggle interview over the phone, to promote their performance at the launch of the new-look Westfield Eastgardens.

I speculate slightly on Twitter over which Wiggle I will get to talk to. I doubted it would be Anthony. To be quite honest, if I were him, I’d pass the phone interview jobs to the plebs, too. Simon, the new Red Wiggle, was probably too famous for the likes of me, too. And he would have left me slightly starstruck with his booming, overly-projectable voice. So that left the relatively unknown factors of Emma, the new yellow Wiggle, or Lachlan, the new purple Wiggle.

When the call came in, it was the purple Wiggle on the phone. Lachlan became the purple Wiggle in 2012, taking over from Jeff. He was a lovely bloke and really enthusiastic and passionate about what the Wiggles do. And he answered my annoying questions in order for me to put this together.



The RRSAHM Guide To The New Wiggles.


While I keep calling him a ‘new Wiggle’ (sorry Lachy) Lachlan’s actually been in the Wiggle-verse for a while. In 2009, he was a struggling musical theatre actor working at a Bakers Delight in Melbourne. He got word of auditions being held in Sydney to play the part of Captain Feathersword for the Dorothy Show. He jumped on a plane, and a week later he was in Auckland, on stage with Wiggle Productions.

Fairy Clarissa drives the Big Red Car. Once upon a time, Emma the yellow Wiggle was Fairy Clarissa on the Dorothy the Dinosaur Show. Being the yellow Wiggle, and the Wiggles checking their own privilege, Emma drives the Big Red Car. Which she is suited for, because she used to be a champion rally car driver when she was younger (Really. How cool is that?).

American Wiggles fans dress up far more than we do. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing… or a bad one.

Lachy accidentally mistook a boy for a girl at one of the Wiggles shows, because the boy was wearing the new yellow Wiggle’s trademark yellow bow on his head. Lachy promises it wont happen again, and thinks it’s awesome that kids see no difference between the ‘boys’ costume, and the ‘girls’ costume.

The Wiggles have a song about everything. Everything. But their favorite song to perform is Rock Your Bear. Because watching little tiny kids trying to do the actions is just so adorable (agreed).

The purple Wiggle still falls asleep all.. the … time. As it turns out, it’s the purple skivvy that’s the problem, not some awful undiagnosed medical condition.

4000 out of 8000 kids can’t tell the difference. Around half the audience still yell “Wake up, Jeff!” instead of “Wake up, Lachy!”. And Lachy, being the lovely guy he is, doesn’t mind at all. But he’s hoping the new Wiggles TV show, coming to Australia in September, will fix that. Because, having seen them in action, we’ll finally be able to pick all four Wiggles out of a colored skivvy line-up again.


And that’s that. The new Wiggles, wrapped up. Kind of. Just to let you know, I haven’t been paid for this post. I just thought it would be kind of cool to talk to a Wiggle, and provide you all with a Wiggle-love cheat sheet. And I’ve got a handful of DVD’s to be won, too. (Read on).

If you want to see the new Wiggles live, they are performing on Monday 22 July as part of five days of events (running July 18-22) to celebrate the launch of the new-look of Westfield Eastgardens. Lachy tells me that the atmosphere at these live shopping centre performances is brilliant. I’m going to assume he’s telling the truth.

If you can’t make it to Westfield and you’d still like to get acquainted with the new Wiggles, I’ve got five copies of the Wiggles Furry Tales on DVD to be won. Just fill in the form and tell me- Could you pick the new Wiggles out of a line-up? Are your kids fans, or not? (I know, I know… it’s Sam versus Greg all over again)

The closing date is midnight AEST Wednesday 24th July, and the winners will be drawn and contacted by email soon after. You’ve gotta have a valid email address to go with your entry, mmmkay? This one’s open to Australian residents only (sorry again, OS readers). The answers that tickle my pickle at the time of the comp being drawn win. No bitching, whinging, nor circle-jerking shall be entered into.


No form? Click here.