When Your Kids Selfishly Decide To Become Vegetarian

For the third time in her short life, NC has decided to give up meat and become a pescatarian.


tuna-576938_1280She is an environmental vegetarian which is apparently the practice of vegetarianism or veganism based on the indications that animal production, particularly by intensive farming, is environmentally unsustainable. Industrialised agriculture contributes on a “massive scale” to global warming, air pollution, land degradation, energy use, deforestation, and biodiversity declines. It is estimated that the livestock sector (including poultry) contributes to about 18 percent of global GHG emissions expressed as 100-year CO2 equivalents. According to Wikipedia.


As an aspiring climate scientist, who Mr Trump and Mr Turnball should be highly fearful of, NC feels it’s time to make a personal stand.


Which, while all well and good, (and myself and the old man count ourselves as supportive parents), it was predictably hard to prevent the eye roll  when she informed us about it and the telepathic question might have passed between us as to who would buy the bacon this time – a surefire way to persuade our daughter to stop being so selfish making mealtimes hell on earth to plan for.


Unfortunately, she seems more rigid about her principles this time.


I respect and value everyone’s choices in this world as long as it doesn’t affect me too much. I’m happy to go to vegetarian restaurants with my veggo friends – perhaps made easier because I’m quite partial to veggies in general as well as having certain somewhat embarrassing issues with red meat (see this post) – but I refuse to pay an arm and a leg for a piece of wild salmon or get the old man to fish for fresh tuna for our “picky pesky”.


Because although she eats fish, she will only eat certain types of fish now, and tuna, the lazy/cheapskate cook’s answer to getting fish down your kids’ necks, is off the menu completely.


Such limitations have had ramifications for the House Bitch who can be somewhat of a prima donna and is freaking the fuck out because he plans the meals, does the food shopping and occasionally pretends to cook. And for a man who finds Spaghetti Bolognese a stretch of his culinary skills, food without meat is a real conundrum.


In fairness to NC, she has offered to cook more often now and has produced several interesting vegetarian meals over the past weeks, which included a spaghetti dish where the only other ingredient was wilted spinach. As you can imagine, the boys raved about it, rubbing their tummies with glee and satiation until the minute NC turned her back and they ran to the fridge in search of protein.


She seems to be fairing quite well on what is effectively a cheese and egg diet and I’ve only seen any sign of her principles cracking once, when we came together for our traditional kebab night on Thursday. The smell and sight of those juicy beef slices dripping from the edges of our pitta bread, while falafel crumbled pathetically from her own, produced a look on her face akin to that of most of the world when Trump won the presidency. Disappointment at how much political choice can truly suck.

The Impending Trials Of Being A One Car Family

A Batmobile replica on display at Six Flags Gr...
A Batmobile replica on display at Six Flags Great America, in front of Batman: The Ride. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We sold the Batmobile this week.

Parking in Gotham was just getting too hard, even though the old man did shed some unwanted Christmas kilos walking from whichever parking spot he could find in the next suburb.

So we have become a ‘one car family’. Which almost sounds as though we’ve suddenly become all environmentally kosher or Gillardesque and might be actively seeking to reduce our carbon footprint.

I’m afraid not.

It all started with the GROSS MISREPRESENTATION of the real estate agency who marketed our new rental property as having a double garage.

A ‘double’ garage for a Smart car or Mini, perhaps.

Or maybe they expected us to suspend one car from the rafters and breathe in really deeply whilst parking the other. We still wouldn’t have been able to open the doors, of course.

Yet our local council still rejected our application for a parking permit, which would have enabled us to PARK IN OUR STREET, (you can see how well I’ve accepted their decision and am not bitter at all). They then helpfully advised us to exchange our current cars for two Minis.

Serious f*cking compassion for the high rates we pay.

When you can’t beat the system, something inevitably has to give and so the old man has made the decision to cycle to work instead (*laughs hysterically*).

We give it a week.

Luckily he has a few other transport options at his disposal. As there is no doubt in my mind that the bike will be advertised on Gumtree by this time next week, I have supportively checked out both the ferry and train timetables. You do get choices in terms of transport closer to the city when you pay an exorbitantly ridiculous rent. He could even walk if he knew how to walk, (rather than that annoyingly slow shuffle he calls ‘walking’).

However, there are obvious pitfalls to us becoming a ‘one car family.’ Mainly because neither of us is very good at sharing.

The problem with him selling the Batmobile (aside from spoiling the fun Nerd Child and I used to have speeding around the city pretending to be Serena and Lily from Gossip Girl), is that we now have to rely on my old banger. The old man has always rather disingenuously referred to my car as ‘the pit’. If I had a dollar for every time he’s angrily glanced around at the chaos in my car, tutted in that disappointed way and said, ‘you haven’t really looked after your car, have you Lou?’ I’d have enough money to leave him by now.

(As a side note, can someone tell me exactly when our partners morph into our f*cking fathers?’)

I’m not proud of the state of my car, but unlike the Batmobile, my car serves as a multi-tasking family car which not only ferries teenagers, pets, furniture and garden clippings, but also handily doubles up as a rubbish bin when not in the vicinity of an alternative waste solution.

It is not a museum.

It is a compact car/trailer hybrid, that spends half its life trekking to the aforementioned waste disposal site to take all our f*cking leaves away (Marriage And The Secret To A Good Rake), and it does an admirable job and therefore should be appreciated, not criticised for it’s personal hygiene issues.

The old man’s car had remained in the same virginal state as the day he drove it off the dealer forecourt (promptly losing 20% of its value, two years ago). The words ‘pristine’ and ‘precious’ spring to mind, with its shiny black paintwork, ‘bone’ coloured interiors and seats that could be adjusted electronically. (The ADHDer particularly enjoyed adjusting those seats when the old man was driving).

No one was allowed in that car without a special pass or full body search. Including me.

I can’t remember a single family outing in that car when the old man didn’t lose his temper over the kids daring to breath on the leather interiors, touching the backs of the seats with their shoes or the dog catapulting herself out of the boot and clinging on to the seat backs with her claws as she fell to the floor. I remember borrowing it once and allowing the kids to eat Maccas in the back – the old man couldn’t even look at me for a week.

So sharing MY car should add an interesting dimension to our relationship. We will need some rules, like NOT GETTING ANAL OVER UNIMPORTANT THINGS, not SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF, LIVING a little.

We have already created a booking system where I have been forced to introduce a ‘sexual favours’ column just to get access to my car. And as we will be spending more time together in the car now, there will be the increased opportunity for back seat driving, (which is up there with ‘spending too much money’ in terms of potential for creating marital friction).

The old man drives like…. well, an old man. When we first arrived in Australia he stupidly accumulated ten points driving like some middle-aged hoon, which forced him to rethink his driving skills for fear of either a) losing his license, or worse b) having to mix with the proletariat on the bus.

Having driven executive cars for a long time, he also can’t park to save his life. He has become completely reliant upon the Batmobile’s new-fangled reverse camera. When he drives my car I have to get out of the car to navigate him into a spot – like middle-aged people do.

Interestingly, the only damage I have on my car currently was from the time that he reversed down a sloping drive in the dark, taking out a friend’s mailbox.

Sharing one car now could turn out to be almost as exhilarating as sharing one bed.