I often get criticised for wandering through the endless landscapes inside my jittery, sleep-deprived brain-case when writing stories about my family and daily life. The two main critics being Reservoir Mum, and most recently, Random House Australia.

I’d just like to say, in my defence, that I’m only a product of my environment.

I am often so frazzled by the 24/7 of domestic drudgery, and so influenced by the scattered child-like conversations I have on a daily basis, that I need a place to escape.

The kids can find me in the bedroom and in the bathroom and even in the toilet. They can find me anywhere in the actual world. My mind is the only place I have left and yeah, I get it, it can get a little freaky and scary in there, especially to people on the outside.

So, here I am, doing my best to stick the facts only while also demonstrating how difficult that is for me.

The conversation below occurred less than an hour ago, during the frenetic, nympho-dragon pace of Thursday mornings; the busiest morning of my stay-at-home-parent week.

I did my best and somehow resisted getting lost inside my braincase on this one.

No imaginations involving talking/singing animals or secret worlds inside Macdonalds playgrounds or adoring Phuketian women clawing at my thighs, and no morphing into famous singers or dancing to fame and fortune like Psy. (Although you can click on the links if, like me, you’re into that sort of thing.

Just the cold hard transcript for this one. When you read it you may get an understanding of my near-insanity and my propensity for imaginings, my fantasy-fearing friends.


Inside the Tarago, after dropping off Tyson, during the mad school/kinder/family daycare run of Thursday mornings.

Archie: Dad, can you start getting receipts? I want to collect them.
RD: Receipts? What are talking about?
Archie: I want to collect them and you always say no when they ask if you want a receipt.
Maki (pulling off his shoes and socks): Dadadadada…. hello!
RD: I don’t get it. What kind of receipts?
Archie: Any receipts.
RD: Like… from the supermarket?
Archie: Any ones…
RD: Why would you want to collect receipts?
Archie: Because I want to collect receipts.
RD: What about collecting something more… collectible… like stamps or…
Lewis: Dad!
RD: Yes Lewis.
Lewis: He just wants to collect receipts! Why don’t you just let him!
RD: You know, Maki is the only person here who hasn’t said receipts now.
Archie: I just like receipts, Dad.
RD: Okay, God! I’ll get you some receipts. You’re gonna make me crash!
Archie: Yes!
Lewis (quietly, while watching the traffic): … receipts.


After this I put on the hit song Up And Down by Vengaboys, to cope, and in the real world we all danced crazy, but I’m not going to tell you what was going on inside my braincase. Not this time at least.