Monday, 13 February 2012

Wearing my Teflon Coat

Last week saw the beginning for school for my Number 4.

He hopped into his school uniform with the excitement that comes for the beginners.

It is either that or anxiety.

Number 4 has been waiting and waiting for the day.

And so it came.......
And so off he went.......

Another one.

It makes me a mix of happy & sad.

Happy for him at all that is ahead.

Sad for me that it signals the beginning of the next part of him growing up.

But I still have another with me.

So off we went alone.

Just the littlest & me.


That for me is something I have not been able to do for over 10 years.

Just me and ONE child.

It was liberating.

Back when I had only one child I was a beginner too.

Bound by my own stress & worry & nervousness that comes as a new parent.

Not able to just purely enjoy the moment.

Always thinking about sleep time, whether I had packed the right snacks etc etc.

Not anymore......those things don't worry me.

I know it works itself out.

So we went to Ikea and I felt free.

Free to enjoy.

Free to take time.

Free to just be.

Free to let my littlest run....
Let the judgers judge.

Let the grumps grump.

Let the brows crease as people look at me letting my child climb & run.

He is doing no harm.

He is being a child.

He is still able to enjoy the freedom of living in the moment.

I will help him make that last as long as I can.

Much like I don't let the minutiae of parenting get to me anymore I have also learned to wear a teflon coat to protect me from the people who judge the way I parent.

Sometimes the teflon coat gets holes and I need to patch it up.

Sometimes I wish I had the quick responses to their barbs.

They always come later don't they....the comebacks.

Darn it.

Just once I wish I could deliver a line of awesomeness that silenced those judgers.

Never mind.

They're not really listening anyway.

This curry is a real long time fave- for most of my family. I know my sister cooks it fairly regularly too. 
my kids and I love to try and say it's name really fast- tongue twister style.
My sister gave me my copy of Madhur Jaffrey's classic- 'Indian Cookery' way back in 1992! It is still going strong despite being well splashed with cooking ingredients.
This curry is from that book. 
It is a great curry for kids as it is flavoursome but doesn't need to be hot- the chilli is optional and it tastes fab without it. 
Madhur like Charmaine Solomon is one of the best recipe writers for curries out there I reckon.  Both of their books have stood the test of time. 
Don't be put off by the list of ingredients! 
As long as you have a food processor it is a VERY simple recipe.


  • 1 large chicken, jointed - or pieces of your liking. You will get  a much tastier dish if you cook meat with bones. 
  • 2 onions
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 25g ground almond
  • 350g red capsicum 
  •  2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 225ml water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
If your spices are whole grind them (it really is worth roasting them gently before you do this to release more flavour).

Place onion, ginger, garlic, red capsicum (or pepper), almond meal, & all spices in the food processor and blitz till a paste. 

Heat a heavy based saucepan to a medium heat & add oil.

Add the blitzed mix and fry gently. Stir until the oil starts to separate from the paste.

This will take about 10 minutes or so.  

Put the chicken in and stir to coat all pieces.

Add water, lemon juice & black pepper.

Reduce heat and allow to simmer gently for an hour or so.

Serve with rice.
I love this song by Mick seems appropriate. What works for some doesn't for others....compassion and understanding are good things to remember.


  1. I judge you....are the most merveilleux Maman!! <3 it all.

  2. Brilliant post! I always think of the best comeback lines way too late but you're right, they're probably not listening anyway. Nothing makes me happier than seeing kids being being kids, so I would've enjoyed being a spectator to your ikea fun.

    Here I have been thinking 'Wow! It's been nearly five years since I was at home with just one bubba. I'm going to really enjoy having just one with me.' and you're at double that time! I bet that makes it doubly special so it's lovely to see you enjoying that time with littlest! xxx

    1. Thankyou.
      and yes! it does feel ULTRA special indeed. xx

  3. How about 'F*ck off and die you old scrags?' I find this comeback fairly effective when dealing with judgemental people...
    Gus Magee- you've done it again!

  4. Lovely words. I agree with you, and pleased you have your Teflon coat. Those who look in judgement are probably just feeling ripped off they weren't allowed the same freedom when they were kids.

    I'm now home with *none* 5 days. Hasn't sunk in yet- too much to catch up on! Also, still loving your school uniform trick from Twitter last night ;) xx

    1. yes- i know what you mean twitch- soooo much to do!
      The uniform trick- it's a beauty!

  5. Sounds like your little man has settled into school nicely. And as for the judgers - no time at all for them. None.

    1. Thanks Megan- he has.
      i don't have time for them either Megan but sometimes just sometimes they get to us don't they- that's what i REALLY don't like.

  6. My boy. He is so big now.

    I deal with all the bastards for you.


  7. Ooh, as I newish mama (of an almost 2 yo boy), I think I NEED to acquire myself a teflon coat. Love it! If only I had it from the beginning, would have made for much less self doubt!

    Love Mick Harvey doing Guy Clark. Perfect! (Possibly one of my favourite songwriters Mr GC.)

    Lovely, lovely blog. Thank you!

    Ms Nada.

    1. thanks for reading & commenting Ms. Nada.
      so true...the self doubt. it's paralyzing isn't it- why do we do it to ourselves?
      Glad you like the blog!
      look froward to you coming back.

  8. Enjoy your new found freedom, dear! Ahhhh, I bet that is a breath of fresh air! I just love it when my kids are off at school, just me time all day long, and it makes their return that much sweeter.

  9. I don't have a teflon coat, but I certainly must have blinkers or something, I have never thought that people are judging my parenting. Possibly I am so wrapped up in myself I don't even see them. Mr H thinks I am usually in a world of my own and never notice what is going on around me, starting to think this is a good thing!

    1. I'm super impressed Clairey that you 've never noticed the judgers!
      a rare and wonderful thing.
      lucky you!
      I hope you never need that teflon coat.

  10. If a child can't run and climb in Ikea then what's the point of going there? The photos of him are utter joy.

    I have turned the lookers and the commenters back on themselves - once I realised their stares and judging was more about them and their hangups than mine I didn't care anymore.

    1. so true- especially asa the Swedes are sooo inclusive of little children.
      We have a lot to learn as a society about celebrating childhood.

  11. You are the best Mumma for your kids and that's all that counts and very very clear.
    As for the hole know what I'd say...I'd smile at them and ask if everything was okay.


  12. This was such a lovely post! ^_^

  13. I had a run in prior to Christmas with 2 judgey women - one in IKEA & one in the shops near my mum. Both yelled at me for letting Bebito run in shops. It made me SO grumpy. I know what's best for my kids and he really was just being a 3 year old & having fun not doing a thing wrong. If they are not allowed to explore what is the point? I admire your Teflon coat greatly and am building one up slowly myself. You are a great guide in life Ruth, for your kids & many other people too. X

    1. thankyou Cat.
      my teflon is not impervious to kindness & your kindness totally made me cry.

  14. I bet you wear a bright Marimekko teflon coat too!

  15. Wow, that's a shame. I very rarely find people react that way with children - more the opposite. Must have just been something in the air that day!

    1. I think you are VERY fortunate indeed if you have only come across the opposite!
      Long may it last like that for you. A rare and wonderful treat.
      This wasn't just one day I was referring to but 14 years as a parent.
      We have 5 boys ranging in age from nearly 14 down to 3.
      All very well behaved & well mannered.
      My experience has been the same with all of them.
      Some of the time people are lovely.
      And some of the time people can be judgmental and at the very least insensitive.
      Kids are spontaneous, energetic, active & sometimes noisy- all normal childlike behaviour.
      For some adults that behaviour is obviously undesirable and they have no qualms in letting me know.
      My commentary here is to suggest that I need to remember that those people are the ones missing something- not me...or my kids.

  16. Oh my goodness Ruth, I love this post! If only I'd discovered you when was a highly anxious mother of 1!!! I'm now a significantly less anxious mother of 2. Maybe when I get to 4 or 5, I will be relaxed!!! It's just nice to hear that someone who seems pretty chilled and very happy was once more tightly wound! I definitely found myself in a viscous circle of being anxious, being judged about being anxious and being anxious about being judged about being anxious!!!! It's really lovely to be slowly getting less concerned about other people's judgements and becoming more confident and free as a mama.

    These words go a long way to assist me in this!!! Thank you!

    Recipe looks awesome too!

    1. what lovely words Amy. thankyou
      that cycle....we've all been there!
      so awful. so hard.
      so great to hear you are becoming more free & confident. how FANTASTIC!
      so good for you. so good for your kids

  17. After we had Pepper I remember saying to the maternal health nurse that I wished I could have Indi again.
    I think the main part of that was how comfortable I was parenting the way I wanted to parent by number three.
    I couldn't care less what people say or think.
    Where with Indi I think I did.
    Kids are meant to be wild and dirty and silly and ....childish. That's the whole point.
    Wear your coat with pride Miss Ruth. You are an awesome Mama bear. xx

    1. YES YES YES!!
      those poor first borns......
      thankyou Katie.


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