Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Being picked last......

On Masterchef a few times this season we have witnessed the picking of teams by a team captain.

And as is often the case in our house it started a family discussion.

This time it was a discussion of what it feels like to be picked last for sport teams.  

If you have watched Masterchef you would have witnessed how it doesn't hurt any less as an adult as it did as a child to be standing there last when you are automatically delegated to the remaining side.  It's a kick in the guts- no two ways about it!

Do you remember your school days and how it was always the same kids who endured this awful humiliation time and time again?   Cringe inducing......

Why do teachers still put children through this ordeal?  I would have hoped that we have progressed enough in our emotional awareness to realise that NO good comes out of this exercise.   We sat at the table and invented all sorts of other ways to delegate teams without the humiliation.  The kids had lots of great ideas.

In our house of 5 young boys we have a mixture of talents.  We have children with differing passions and very different talents.  Thank goodness for variety.  I love it!!

It is a valuable reminder that gender does not determine much. And that as parents I reckon it is our job to make our precious lovelies feel proud of what they love and what they are good at regardless of whether it fits the stereotype.

But the pressures are very strong.  And the schoolyard does not help children who are a little outside the fit.

I get comments all the time about how much sport must be played in our house.  There are also the inevitable comments about the untamed physical energy.  And the noise............people assume that our house is sooooo noisy.

I guess it is sometimes but only so much as the mama is blasting out loud music- again! Yep I put my hand up for that- I am most likely the noisiest of the lot of us....ah well!  I love my music. GUILTY your honour!

The kids are noisy I suppose,  but it is lovely noise- the noise of kids.  I will miss it when I don't hear it anymore.  That is the kind of noise that fills the soul and we oh so often forget to remember that. 

 Mostly I answer "no" to the comments about sport and how all the boys must be "so" into it..........because on the whole my lads aren't like that.

They are not the same- they are all very different both in character and looks.

Mr.1 & 3 are too young to know yet whether they are interested in sport.

Mr.11  plays footy for our local club but he doesn't really have a passion for it.  He has a passion for music and plays the drums and particularly Jazz drumming.  And I don't really find the drums loud- it's music!  (can you tell yet that I have a passion for music????)
Mr. 9 is probably the only one who loves sport and loves all things footy including playing for his local club and would be very happy kicking the ball non stop outside or inside for that matter! But he is not a 'boofy' boy.  He is extremely kind, generous and sensitive.  Yep he enjoys his sport but it is not what defines his success.

And Mr. 7 has no interest and no idea- I don't mean anything bad by this AT ALL!  Believe me I am very proud of him and his ability to stay true to himself.  He has a passion for art and has said since he was 3 that "When I grow up I am going to be an artist.  Actually.... I already am one!"  (He is my child responsible for all manner of magnificent philosophical statements as mentioned on an earlier post.)

Check out Mr.7 proudly dressed up in an outfit for his kinder concert that I had sewn for Mr.11 when he was 4 and was invited to a girl's dress up disco party.  His request was for "Elvis in the Vegas years".  I was so proud that my son knew who Elvis in the Vegas years was let alone wanting to dress up as him! I had a lot of fun sewing that outfit but not as much fun as seeing them both lovin' it!

How fantastic to have such inner self confidence and conviction.  I can only hope as his mama that he can maintain it till adulthood despite all the social pressures.

After all we all just want to be loved and feel like we are good at something.   All too often it is the desire to 'fit in' that is what makes children give up what they believe in.   Peer pressure is strong.  So sad isn't it.......

So the discussion re Masterchef teams began as Mr.7 said in response to one of the adult contestants talking of how horrible it was to be picked last.  "I always get picked last for teams at school" he said.  I felt AWFUL for him....those that know him well know that at this point his drooping shoulders were touching the floor.  It is just too horrible to think of the awful sadness he must feel every time.  I wanted to scoop him up in my arms and make it all go away and never happen again.

And if given the choice as team Captain would you choose someone who isn't really that good?  Tough choice huh!

Long may Mr.7's individuality last- you only need to take a look at the pic at the top of the post of his self selected outfit on Sunday to get an idea of his individuality in action- we weren't going anywhere, it was just his 'formal hangin' out at home' outfit- MAGNIFICENT!   So maybe he's not that great at sport but he's darn good at being a beautiful person and for that I would pick him on my team every time! 

 Reeking of favouritism I hear you say.....ppphhhhht to that I say!  Here's a big hooray to individuality!!

UPDATE: The lovely MATT PRESTON himself read my blog yesterday and sent a message to me saying "What a stylish lad!"- so Mr.7 is now walking shoulders held so high they touch the moon and couldn't wait to go to school to tell everyone!  And I'm just a little bit over the moon too!!!! (read JUMPING UP & DOWN IN HYSTERIA!!!!).

And on the table this week is another of our family favourites -RICOTTA CHOOK -via my dearest friend who is a fantastic cook (you know the same one who is always rescuing me from disasters!)

  • 1 whole chook ( FREE RANGE or ORGANIC)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh red chilli (go for long ones not short as you want it for flavour not heat)
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • l lemon (we'll be using rind and juice)
  • 10 sage leaves
  • thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil 
  • 500g ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 180C.

Using a mortar & pestle grind the garlic with a little sea salt and then add chilli, sage leaves and thyme.  (Note that you can use as many or as few herbs as you like here- my herbs change depending on what I have.)  Grind to a paste.  Then add the rind of the lemon and juice and the fennel seeds.  Then add the ricotta and about a tablespoon of olive oil and stir through.  I like to add white pepper as well.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  And of course you can change any or ALL of these ingredients to whatever you like- no rules here!

Now you want to get your hands under the skin of the chook!  Don't be shy here.....just separate a little of the skin at the neck of the bird and manipulate your hand all the way around to separate the skin away from the flesh.  We don't want to take the skin off we are just making a cavity to put the ricotta mix into.  But don't be too concerned about holes etc.....I am so not about perfection!

Once you have the skin sorted.  Use a spoon to guide the ricotta mix all the way around the chook (under it's skin).  Be generous!  This takes a bit of practice but it doesn't matter how messy you are.

Whatever I have left over I out in the cavity of the chook.

My kids love the drumsticks so I often buy extra drumsticks and stuff them too.

Then drizzle a little more olive oil over chook and some salt.

Place on an oven proof dish and cook for about an hour an a half- it will be delish and golden.

I like to cook roast cauliflower (cut into generous florets)in the same dish to take advantage of the cooking juices.  The cauliflower caramelises and is so UNBELIEVABLY delicious.  Squeeze loads of lemon juice and roughly cut Italian parsley all over.  I dare you cauliflower sceptics not to LOVE it!!!

And listening pleasure this week is the magnificent Cat Power singing 'the Greatest'.....what a voice!

Join me on my journey........


  1. Viva la individual! You are indeed a Top Mum. My kids were not at all sporty and neither was I. Phhht who cares? They are all artistically inclined and even though that means they probably won't ever have much money I am proud of them. The ONLY sport my son ever loved playing was netball!

  2. i'm making ricotta chicken right now! it's in the oven, the ricotta mixture tastes amazing before its cooked! i couldnt get the fennel seeds from the supermarket so they aren't included.
    got the cauliflower ready to go in too!
    thanks for posting a lovely recipe, its only the 2nd time i've cooked a roast chicken!

  3. viva my very own brilliant super individual daughter! and all the super young men she nurtures so superbly. xx

  4. When the Cravat Man himself is commenting on your style, you're first in my book! Great post - and timely for me, as I'm currently working through Mr6's extra-curricular tiredness.

  5. I hate any team picki g stuff, hopefully one day my girls never feel the feeling of being picked last.

  6. Viva La Difference! Great post xx

  7. I was just reading this recipe, thinking about making it this week after your gorgeous pics last night. My roast chook does need a bit of a revival. And 'the greatest' is one of my all time favourite songs!! x

  8. Amy {The Misadventurous Maker}12 February 2014 at 14:11

    I've read this post before. Several times. And I've made this DELICIOUS meal. Many times. But I had to revisit this post today because my individual, confident, super awesome kid has just started school and he's already been subjected to some not so nice interactions due to him being a long haired, creative, non boofhead boy! My mama shackles are up. I came here for grounding. I found it. As always. Thank you for being a mum who gets it. Here's to non beige behaving kids!xoxoxo


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