A Family Update

I thought I would give you an update on the parenting front.

Your typical family photo

Your typical family photo

Archie is back at uni and on the days he’s not there he’s working at Bathers’ Cafe and also fitting in dance classes with the Sydney Dance Company.   Plans are underway for his 21st birthday party.  There’s an awful lot of organising which I’m finding quite time-consuming.  It’s a bit like planning a wedding although not quite on that scale.  Archie is helping (a little) and constantly moaning, ‘You’re forgetting whose party this is’.

Roger and Mimi in Rent

Roger and Mimi in Rent

It did take a while for Archie to halve his guest list of 140 but we now agree on who will be invited.  Sort of.  This has been the biggest source of Archie moaning, ‘You’re forgetting whose party this is’.  Once we could move on from ‘the list’ we had to choose a venue.  I’d already chosen it so again I was forgetting whose party this is.  Archie thought holding it in a paddock in the middle of nowhere three and a half hours from Sydney was perfect and why did I have an issue with that?

It will be held in a venue that has a roof and walls and a floor and there’s even bathroom facilities and it’s a two-minute walk from home.

A scene from Rent

A scene from Rent

But it is his party and so I’ve let him choose the theme and who will be doing speeches but I’ve added my name to that list as well.  I then asked, ‘And who have you chosen to be your MC?’  And he said, ‘Mum, it’s not that kind of a party’.

‘What do you mean it’s not that kind of a party?  If you have people doing speeches someone has to introduce them’.

‘No you don’t mum.  None of my friends have had an MC and they’ve all had speeches’.  So that’s another thing I’ll be doing on the night, introducing the speakers; just quietly.

And amongst all this angst has been the break-up with ‘Mimi’.  We were all very sad about that as we very much liked Mimi and thought they were very well suited but I can’t control the party and his love-life.

Roger and Mimi in Rent

Roger and Mimi in Rent

As for Arabella, she did well enough in her exams to be able to transfer to Sydney Uni.  I’m so relieved – Sydney Uni has no parking so she won’t be depriving me of my car every morning.  No, she’ll now be on the bus which is perfectly adequate transport for uni students.

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia

She’s been to orientation week and they had talent scouts wandering about (or perhaps ‘enthusiastic recruiters’ is more accurate) and she was picked for modelling which she turned down because she said, ‘I don’t have time to be thin’.  Good on her.  Noticing her height and the length of her arms and legs, she was also picked for rowing and she signed up for that and is very excited about it but, we’ve been down this road before and it didn’t last and so I’m not sure how long she’ll be a rower; just quietly.

Time for cocktail

Time for a cocktail

She broke up with her tattooed boyfriend just before Christmas although some of his possessions like a bed is still being stored at our house and there’s STILL a pair of shoes in my car.  Arabella then said she wasn’t going to have another boyfriend because they’re just a waste of time; just so draining and they just get in your way and that she was just going to go to uni and finish her degree and enjoy being single.  I was relieved.  It’s the words every mother of a daughter wants to hear and I was so proud of her maturity and patting myself on the back for what a good job I’ve done as a mother.

It lasted five days.  Five days later I was having to hear all about the wonderful Patrick.  ‘And he can cook, mum.  Can he come round and cook us dinner one night?’  Well not really; just quietly.  And then it was, ‘Can Patrick come to the 21st?’  And I said, ‘He can help behind the bar’, which apparently was the wrong thing to say and so an invitation has now been posted to Patrick.

Legs for rowing

Legs for rowing

And then there’s Alfie who as you know, had a birthday last week.  And he would like a party.  And I feel I can’t really tell him to just shut up about it until after the 21st and so his invitations will go out tomorrow.  I thought a sausage sizzle down at the beach would be perfect (avoids having all those boys running through the house) but no, that’s not what Alfie had in mind.  He wanted a movie night as in a movie marathon where everyone sleeps over and you watch inappropriate films all night but no, I’ve had to ‘forget whose party it is’ and scale that right back to an afternoon movie at home with pizza and cake.  And I’m not making the pizzas.

First day back at school

First day back at school

And Alfie is super-excited to be going to a 21st and he doesn’t care whose party it is.   Another thing I’ll have to do on the night is keep a good eye on him.

Did anyone else fail for foresee all of this back in the days when they were planning parenthood?

The relay team

The relay team

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  1. Danielle says:

    Congrats to Arabella for doing so well in her exams. Phew, I’m glad I didn’t miss hearing about Archie’s 21st. With you at the helm it is bound to be a fantastic do and when it is all over I’m sure you will be glad of the happy memories…
    I deprived my parents of all that by leaving for London a week before I turned 21…and no leaving party either!

  2. That’s a lot of partying! I love the photo of Arabella that says “Time for a cocktail”. Beautiful! Milestone birthdays are huge around here, too!! My daughter’s Sweet 16 was an overnighter at a motel with like 6 of her friends. Me and a girlfriend of mine were the only adults. It was pretty fun!! Hope you have more fun that stress… xo

  3. Charlie, you are awesome! You do such an excellent job and we know the 21st will be just great. Can’t wait to hear about it, I’m as excited as Archie 🙂 I’m sure Alfie’s will be great as well and congrats to Arabella on Sydney U. Now, if I can convince my uni student to take the bus…..or walk (it’s that close)

  4. Congrats to Arabella on the exams, and hey 5 days of no boyfriend was 5 less days you had to stress…. I never ever thought the twins would get older than 5, god knows what was suppose to happen to them then… but here they are 18 and already talking about their 21sts, good thing there dad likes helping to organise that sort of thing, so I am very kindly leaving it up to the twins and him 🙂

  5. It all seems so very exhausting. I hope you’re getting some rest between organizing everything and ‘remembering whose party this is’. On the plus side, you have three gorgeous children. 🙂

  6. You are such a great mom, Charlie Louie. I don’t know how you do all that you do, but I’m sure your kids appreciate it…or if they don’t yet, they will! Good luck with all of the parties and so glad to hear the Arabella is in Uni now. You really do have lovely children.

  7. Although we wouldn’t be without them, I do wonder how many kids would actually be conceived, if parents knew the real truth about raising them. Kids only realise how lucky they when they get kids of their own, which clearly is too late for the generation before. This endless cycle is what has kept the species going for so long. If we really knew what was in store for us as we pushed them out, I think homosapiens would have gone the way of the dinosaur eons ago.


  9. What a great update. Beautiful, happy children – you have done well!
    Donna xo

  10. Wow, so much news!! It IS easy to forget whose party it is when you’re doing all the planning and work.

    Congratulations to your beautiful daughter on the move to Sydney U. Not sure about Patrick but heck, let him cook dinner. 🙂

  11. Awwww, what beautiful children! They look like they are close, that is wonderful! The pictures are lovely, AND Arabella would be an amazing model….she has the perfect figure!!! Gorgeous, Hugs, Terra

  12. I really enjoyed the family update, Charlie. Each of the children are doing so well, and you and Carl have been so involved in their lives, the lives of their friends and your active parenting has really paid off. I can’t wait to hear more about the 21st. As it comes together I know you’ll share. I get a big kick out of Archie’s social life. I don’t think I know a young person with more friends. LOL! I will look forward to hearing about the menu. 🙂

  13. Your 21st parties are quite formal compared to ours here. Mostly we have a small gathering to “predrink” at the birthday boy/girl’s house, then cabs take them all to a club where the party continues.. until they get picked up by the cab driver (aka mom) to bring them home where they suffer from hangover for a few days. I much prefer your party plan with actual speeches, etc, that would be so much more meaningful!! xx

  14. I loved this update and you do have three gorgeous and talented children, even if they generate quiet a lot of things To Do! I think it’s for the best (quietly) that you’ve somewhat forgot whose parties they are, as I imagine Archie’s guests will be grateful for not driving 3+ hours to a paddock and Alfie’s friend’s parents grateful for not having sleep deprived, horror filled children to collect post-marathon movie night! I’m a little bit in love with Arabella for declining the modelling, too. Congratulations on her university results and transfer as well!

  15. Are you exhausted? I’m exhausted for you. You’ve got so much energy to be planning a full-on old school 21st, I just gave Big Boy money and let him go out for the night with his mates. Then we had dinner for just the family at a nice resto afterwards. Congrats to Arabella, and I hope wonderful Patrick turns out to be wonderful. And happy birthday Alfie! 🙂

  16. Live is always a drama when we have kids, isn’t? Archie should be delighted that you are having a 21st gathering for him . I bet that will keep you out of trouble… Congrats for Arabella and getting accepted into the University she wanted. All great news around and a happy belated bday to Alfie!

  17. Oh you’ll be so busy! I keep forgetting that Archie isn’t yet 21 too! Good on Arabella, I’m sure that she has about 20,000 things that she could do ahead of it although it must have been nice to be asked.

  18. Archie’s party sounds like a very big deal, you’re so generous to host it for him. Too bad he broke up with his girlfriend; I’ve long forgotten the heart ache that goes along with this age group but I do hope it wasn’t too serious for him.

  19. Oh, Charlie, sometimes parenting can be exhausting and challenging. But look at these beautiful “children” of yours with minds of their own and talent and brains and enthusiasm. Well done.

  20. It could be interesting to let Patrick cook dinner. 😉 You lead such a busy life! I don’t know how you find time for everything you do. Really fun read — thanks.

  21. I have all this to look forward to! Can’t wait to see photos of the big birthday bash. Well done Arabella. Will Alfie be working the bar for tips again? X

  22. It sounds to me like you’ll need the arms of an octopus and the patience of Job! But I bet the 21st is fantastic and everyone has a great time. Congratulations to Arabella. GG

  23. Love Arabella’s attitude- don’t have time to be thin! Let’s hope she doesn’t have time for much of a love life until Uni’s done with either 🙂
    Bathroom facilities cannot be overlooked say a party where copious amounts of alcohol are served- it may be fine for the gentlemen to find a tree in a paddock, but the ladies would not be suitably impressed at all!
    Pizza and movie night- genius. Fill them up on sugar then send them home, win win for you Charlie!
    Good luck with the next few weeks sweetie, somehow I think you’re gonna need it xox

  24. G’day and well done Charlie! Stunning photos and thanks for sharing so much of your children and your life!
    Cheers! Joanne

  25. It sounds like everything is rolling along for you! I can only imagine trying to plan the 21st party along with Alfie’s party. That seems exhausting to me. Congrats to Arabella for getting into the University – and to you for being able to keep your car! 🙂

  26. Children are such a lot of work, but would we change anything? I think not. Thank goodness the tattooed boy has gone, well done with the exams. Every uni student should experience travelling by public transport, it gives a renewed appreciation for a car. Shame about Mimi what a good party she is going to miss. I would have gone for the sausage sizzle too, but good negotiating ………..a movie and a pizza sounds not too bad!

  27. What a great update! They never cease to be work, do they? Talk about taking us for granted! Their love lives are quite entertaining, although I am sure they wouldn’t agree. I am so glad Dario has had the same girlfriend for the last 7 years since he was 16. Do keep us updated on the parties.

  28. Charlie, I think after all this planning and partying is finished you need to book yourself a spa weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  29. Great to have an update from the kiddos! Wow I can’t believe Archie is turning 21 soon seems like yesterday when he was still in High school or when you were writing about his stories of boarding school. I’m so so so happy for Arabella she has done so well and Sydney Uni sounds like a great choice!

    Sorry I didn’t know about Alfie’s birthday but HAPPY BIRTHDAY and I’m sure he’ll enjoy the sausage sizzle party nonetheless!!! Have a wonderful week ahead xx

  30. All I can say is…you are the best Mom ever!!

    So good to hear that Arabella finally got the transfer. 21st…so exciting! Sad about Mimi though. Wish both your boys a very happy birthday!!

  31. Looks like you had a great holiday, hope the other passengers were family suitable. Heard some bad stories

  32. We are still lucky to have the kind of party we can organize without to much input from the kids… and those already make me crazy, so do not want to think too far into the future…

  33. A cool update of your lovely children! Great & cool fun pics too! 🙂

  34. I seriously don’t know how you keep up with everything going on with the three children! You’re amazing and inspiring mom! Congrats on Arabella’s transfer to Sydney University! I’m totally enjoying listening to your gossip (ahen “story”) about your family. Tee hee. 😀

  35. My, how times have changed — or maybe it’s a cultural thing. My 21st was nothing so formal, just a night out with the gang. Though we started in cars, we all ended up in cabs. The lucky ones actually remembered where they parked. With you at the helm, I’m sure Archie’s party will be a good one.
    Good news about Arabella and her exams. No wonder she was asked to model. She’s a pretty young woman, Charlie. And she went 5 days between boyfriends? I’m surprised she lasted that long. I bet guys were waiting on the sidelines, hoping that she and the tattooed one to break up.
    Alfie’s party will be a blast, I’m sure. Movies, pizza, and a room full of 9 year-olds. Now that’s a party!
    Good luck, Mum. 🙂

  36. Once again,Charlie, I am in awe of your mothering abilities! You inspired and amaze! All of the photos were cute in this post, but the first one was just so excellent. It is fun watching them grow up. Congrats to Arabella on her exams.

  37. What a great family and I love that first picture!!! Your conversation with Archie about his birthday sounds quite familiar. 🙂

  38. Aah, parenting… I guess I’ll have all of these things to look forward too… exam stress, girlfriends (or even boyfriends), 21st birthdays… just not too soon I hope! Glad everyone is doing well Charlie!


  1. […] But before he could do the right thing he needed the car again so he could go to the opening of a musical, somewhere about an hour from home.  As I was having a night in, I didn’t mind him taking the car but I did suggest he empty it first of the two swags, the pillows, the unnamed clothing items and Arabella’s ex-boyfriend’s shoes. […]

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