Vegetable Noodle Omelette and…A Recee of Schools

The saga continues…

Archie made it to the end of Term I.  He came home for the holidays and we went away to Far North Queensland for a holiday.  Archie seemed fine but it was apparent he was a touch subdued but he said little about his life at boarding school.  We returned home and when there were just a few days remaining before he had to return to school, Archie said, ‘I’m not going back’.  That’s when we started to hear about his troubles but only some of them.  He kept a lot from us.

But, we’d been haemorrhaging money into this school that didn’t seem to be working out for Archie at all and Carl and I were by this stage very battle-weary, especially with the Sunday night dramas of trying to get him into the car and then when he was there with the phone calls coming from Hogwarts begging us to let him come home so we started to explore other options.

Vegetable Noodle Omelette

Vegetable Noodle Omelette

He couldn’t go to the other private school because they’d assessed him as having severe learning difficulties.

He couldn’t go back to his primary school because although that school did have a high school, the principal had said to Carl, ‘We think it would be best if he reinvented himself and had a fresh start somewhere else’, so the option of going back to where he’d spent the previous seven years was the next to be crossed off our list of possibilities.

Then we tried the local high school but on the tour the Year Co-ordinator said to us, ‘If you’re organised and self-motivated you’ll do very well at this school’, so I said, ‘Thanks very much, we can end the tour here’, because those two were not in Archie’s list of skills.  Not at all.

Then we tried one of those alternate schools where you don’t have to wear a uniform and you can grow your hair long and the headmaster has a round table in his office instead of a desk so that when the students have to go in and see him they can sit around the tables as equals because no one should have authority over anyone else (I think that was the philosophy).  And Christmas and Easter weren’t celebrated but planets and the sun and moon were worshiped and homework was optional because no one should be forced to do anything they don’t inwardly feel they would like to do.   Well…we could just see that Archie would love all of this liberalness and the optional learning and the lack of a uniform and growing his hair down to his knees, sitting at a round table with the headmaster telling him how he didn’t really feel like getting an education, so we shut the door on that option too.

A Thai omelette

A Thai omelette

Then we found another private school that was cheaper than the one he was at, but for a very good reason; it had almost no facilities.  Not even a rugby team.  If the boys wanted to play rugby the parents had to organise it and there would be just one team.  At boarding school, Archie’s year alone had eight teams and two compulsory training sessions per week and then the match on a Saturday – with no parent involvement.  The other thing that put me off this school was the uniform.  And you’re going to think this is very trivial but the blazer Archie would have to wear was a horrid shade of blue; like a teal blue and I just couldn’t see my Archie wearing that colour.

But that school was the best other option and so we gave Archie a choice of what he would like to do.  Because we were over it.  We’d had enough and quite frankly, we were worried about him.  We wanted him to be in a happier place.

Then we met a guy on the beach who had been in charge of sport at Archie’s school but had since moved on to coaching rowing at a number of schools and coaching elite athletes like Layne Beachley.  When he heard Archie was thinking of leaving after one term, he said, ‘I’m coming over’.

And so he arrived and he sat at our dining room table and he asked Archie why he didn’t like boarding school and let him talk and get it all off his chest.  When Archie finished he gave him a motivational speech like I’d never heard before or since.  It was unbelievable.  He spoke loudly and with so much passion and with so much encouragement.  He mentioned how great he thought Archie was and how good he thought he could be at sport and how he needed to throw himself at every opportunity the school had to offer and that by getting involved it would take the focus off having time to think about the negatives and how it could only get better and how he thought Archie had a lot to offer the school and how he wouldn’t have those opportunities anywhere else and how if he left he’d look back and regret it, etc, etc.  I was speechless.  And so was Archie.

But he filled Archie with belief.  Enough belief that on the last day of the holidays, the day we said he had to make a decision about whether that night he was going back to boarding school or the next day he was putting on that teal blue blazer we said, ‘This is your decision.  We’re not going to make it for you.  If you want to leave boarding school that’s fine and we’ll get you that blue blazer.  We’ll be happy with whatever you decide.  You’ve seen both schools; you know what they have to offer; you’ve had time to weigh it all up.  What are you going to do?’

Thai-style omelette, gluten-free and vegetarian

Thai-style omelette, gluten-free and vegetarian

And there was silence.  And with the saddest face I’ve ever seen, Archie stared straight out in front of him and said in a very small voice, ‘I’ll go back to boarding school’.  And I couldn’t say anything at that point because in my head I knew he’d made the best decision but my heart ached for him.  He was about to get in the car and go back to a place where he didn’t have a friend in the world and he had no reprieve from the loneliness and isolation and the ridicule and the scorn that an ADHD child can be subjected to.  I said, ‘You’re a very brave boy.  I admire you.  You have a lot of courage’.

We packed his things into the car; I gave him a long hug, he got into the car and said to his father, ‘Dad, can we listen to the songs on my i-pod?’

‘Sure’.  And off he went for Term II.

But within three weeks Carl and I were called in for an emergency meeting and I really do promise I will tell that story in my next post, it’s just this story is turning out to be so much bigger than I thought it was ever going to be and it’s taking me a while to get there.

In the meantime…Archie, who as you know is not that 12-year old little boy any more, he’s 20 and he’s eating lots of eggs.  Lots and lots of eggs.  Because he’s not eating carbs.  (I think he’s the one not eating carbs – they’re all not eating one thing or another at the moment and it keeps changing so as the short-order cook, I’m finding it hard to keep up).  He has four scrambled eggs for breakfast and he makes them himself and yells, ‘Mum, can you buy more eggs’, and I just keep wishing I had hens in the backyard.  He likes eggs for dinner too and I saw Julie Goodwin cooking these omelettes on the Today Show and I just knew these would be right for Archie and Arabella, (the sometimes vegetarian) who also isn’t eating wheat or dairy or carbs.  And these are just fine for me and Carl but Alfie didn’t like them – however I’m happy with a 4/5 result.

A great low-budget meal that's vegetarian and full of flavour

A great low-budget meal that’s vegetarian and full of flavour

Vegetable Noodle Omelette

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty:  3/5  (Because you can only make one omelette at a time and some people get nervous making omelettes.

Cost:  This is a great family meal that is light on the hip pocket.

  • 200g pkt hokkein noodles  (I used rice noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot, cut into fine strips
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, cut into fine strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 baby bok choi, quartered lengthways
  • 1/3 cup hoi sin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 8 large eggs
  • Ground white pepper
  • To serve: Kecap manis (or sweetened soy sauce), bean sprouts, crispy fried shallots, coriander leaves

Prepare the noodles according to the packet directions, strain and set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a frypan over high heat. Add the carrot, onion, capsicum, garlic and ginger and stir fry until fragrant, then add the bok choi. Pour in the hoi sin and soy sauces and stir to combine. When the vegetables are tender, remove from the pan and put aside.
Beat 2 eggs with 1 tablespoon water. Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in the frypan, then tip the egg in and swirl to coat the base of the pan. Immediately, before the egg sets, swirl 1/4 of the noodles through the egg.  Make sure there are no holes in the egg/noodle mixture.  Lower the heat.
When the egg has almost set (after 2-3 minutes), lay 1/4 of the vegetable mixture over half of the pan.  Season with ground white pepper, if desired.
Using a spatula, carefully fold the omelette in half.  Cook for a further minute or so.  Invert onto a plate, then repeat for the remaining three omelettes.   Serve with soy sauce on the side.
This recipe is from The Today Show and from the cooking segment by Julie Goodwin.

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  1. I can only imagine the stress and worry of trying to be sure Archie was happy. The right school for the child is hard to find. Each of the four Glam teens went to different schools as each has very different abilities and reacts differently to authority. Archie made an amazingly brave decision, you must have been very proud of him. GG

  2. Oh the angst in Archie’s decision. But one thing keep me wondering in this post … .about these omelettes ….. the picks all show a red wine, but the dish flavors seem for linked to white. Hmmmmm …..

  3. Oh, the suspense!!!

    Never thought to put noodles in an omelette or have it for dinner! It sounds delish to me, but my husband has issues with breakfast foods for dinner 🙁

  4. This had to be so difficult, seeing Archie struggle, not quite knowing what to do, accepting his decision.

    I await the next installment.

  5. It’s nice to know the story about Archie’s education has a happy ending, it must have been difficult living through it. He was really smart making the decision he did about going back. I have a friend who is using a business coach and the positive pep talks and change in perspective is making an enormous difference to them so I can certainly see the impact that this coach would have had on Archie. And kudos to Archie at that young age to be able to recognize the benefits and act accordingly, not many kids would know enough to do that!
    What an interesting egg dish, not sure how I feel about eating noodles and an omelette together, but I do love each separately, so it wouldn’t be a huge stretch. It looks like a nice quick weeknight meal. And I’m loving that glass of vino!

  6. For you to be speechless, that must have been quite a motivational speech. I am sure it took a great deal of courage for Archie to make that decision. Looking forward to your next post.

  7. Children are much stronger than we give them credit for. It’s hard as parents and i think we suffer more than them because we want to protect them from everything. Whatever Archie went through, he came out a stronger person, look at him now!
    Very interesting omelettes, they sound really good . They look like something my sometime vegetarian would like also.


  8. But Archie looks terrific! He doesn’t need to lose weight or whatever he is doing! 😮

  9. I am loving this series. School is hard for so many peeps. Can’t wait to hear how it was sorted.

    Omelette looks divoon. You are so good to your kids and they sound like terrific people.

  10. This omelet would satisfy both my palate and appetite! And how neat that a chance encounter gave Archie the courage to face his fears. We all need this sort of cheerleader in our lives…

  11. My heart breaks for Archie,(and you,Mum). I had no learning disabilities but I have never fit in, in school or many places. I know he has his music and I hoe the advice he received from the coach works for him.Bless hi heart!

  12. What an amazingly brave decision! Good on him! And that omelette looks divine.

  13. You are such an amazing Mum! You stepped back and gave him such an important decision to make. Wow! I just love reading about your family. I cannot wait for the next segment of this story. I like this simple but yummy recipe. Reminds of things I ate in Malaysia years ago.

  14. It’s funny, as a kid I always idealised boarding school as a result of reading So Much To Tell You and then, of course, Harry Potter, but I always also thought it could be like the girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead: “when [it] was good, [it] was very very good, but when [it] was bad, [it] was horrid”. So glad Archie’s happy now!

  15. How heartbreaking to send your kid off to where you know he might not be happy at….good thing that we already know all this has had a happy ending 🙂 The Omelette looks fabulous!!!

  16. I’ve never heard of noodles in an omelette. It looks very filling and yummy.

  17. Wow what a brave boy Archie was 🙂 to go back to the boarding school and even though it was tough for him, I hope he still managed to make some friends towards the end 🙂 how long as he at boarding school for?

    LOL so funny that both Archie and Arabella are both not eating any carbs, wheat or diary gosh I live off diary hehe 😀

    Great noodle omelette will have to try soon! xox

  18. Never heard of a thai omelette, but it looks very interesting and delicious and FILLING!

  19. Brave boy. I am so hoping this turned out well. LOve the recipe–something a little different. I’ve never tried a noodle omelette before.

  20. I am literally hanging on my seat … COME ON!! haha xx

  21. Archie learned very young that the best decision isn’t always the easiest. It surely wasn’t easy for you, his parents. But, he had to be the one to make it. I don’t know where the final chapter will lead us, Charlie, but by all accounts, Archie is thriving. Knowing how this ends, though, doesn’t mean I’m any less curious to read that final chapter.

  22. What a lovely omlette Charlie! It would be jam packed full of flavour, and I guess I just found dinner thanks 🙂
    It was certainly a brave decision for you all. What a wonderful man that sports teacher was to help Archie out like that, and what strength of character for Archie to listen and apply that help too- I’m so impressed indeed guys! xox

  23. The suspense is tough no doubt my friend, but I am sure the right decision will pull through 🙂
    Archie has awesome character from your posts!
    Your omelette looks wonderful my friend by the way 🙂


  24. I love Vegetable, I love Noodle and I love Omelette! So, I’m sure I’ll love this Vegetable Noodle Omelette! It looks so much fun to eat and delicious. 🙂

  25. I’m so interested in how this story is going to conclude, Charlie. I am sure that while you were in the middle of this journey there must have been a lot of sleepless nights! I love omelets and this is a great recipe–not at all typical. I’ll be back to hear how things worked out! 🙂 You are such a good storyteller!

  26. 4/5 is a great result Charlie!
    Poor Archie it must have been tough be he sure came out of it ok.
    I don’t know how you keep up with the not-eatings. I don’t think I’d be as patient. It would be you get what you’re given.

  27. Did you sleep at all when this was going on??

  28. I’m a little speechless myself just thinking of that sports coach and the effect he had, and how he did it out of his own time and motivation with such benefits for Archie and you. Some people make you restore your faith in the world! And good on Archie for being able to persevere, schools are not neatly packaged to suit a lot of kids and it can be a hard process getting through the patches when you really aren’t slotting in.

  29. Oh, I don’t know if I will be able to bear the next installment. Poor Archie. I think my kids go to the blue blazer school!! Oh dear, and you had a baby. School is just not great for lots of kids, you do have to look hard to find the right one for our more interesting children.

    By the way, that omelette looks amazing…. time to get the teens onto omelette cooking.

  30. Oh dear, it sounds you’ve had tough times back then, looking forward to the end of the story!
    And love the look of that omelette!

  31. You left us on a cliffhanger!! Well, I’ll be staying tuned for the rest. 😛

    Like Archie, I’ve been obsessed with eggs lately. definitely need this omelet in my life!

  32. Our oldest, now 28 (how can that be?!) struggled with A.D.D. and school was very difficult. We ended up homeschooling her through high school, which was just what she needed. She is now working on her Masters. Those are tough decisions, but I agree with you, they are brave souls navigating systems they do not thrive within.
    Love your vegetable noodle omelet — you have opened my eyes to even more possibilities with eggs!

  33. This series of posts about Archie and his school is riveting! Even though I’ve known from the beginning that Archie has become a fine young man (so there has to be a happy ending!), I’m still on the edge of my seat. I can see why all your kids are so great – you and Carl are great parents. And you’re a great cook – I love any sort of omelet, and this one looks terrific.

  34. It sounded like a difficult time, but it’s good to know Archie pulled through! And healthy enough to eat a lot of eggs!

  35. How fancy, I just love the photography 🙂

  36. I want to know what whill happen in the next post ! Waiting patiently over here! I will keep my finger’s crossed for your youngest son!

    This Thai omelette is one that I must try, Charlie! xxx

  37. My heart goes out to the you of back then. I know the issues of having a different child. Mine was (is) highly gifted and couldn’t understand other children of his age and didn’t want to spend any time with them. This led to a separation anxiety issue and to a special god-send of a school for gifted children where he fitted right in, but it was only twice a week, and I homeschooled him the rest of the time. As he grew up, his friends were either much older or much younger but never his peers unless they were “odd” like him. Now it has all levelled out and he gets on with all ages but there were some tough years. All we can do is the best by our own children. And you have obviously done just fine judging from the results.

  38. What a great story and such a horrible situation to be in, I would hate to be sending my child somewhere they didn’t want to go… even if as a parent I knew it was the best thing. I am so pleased this worked out for the best. Love the Thai omelet.

  39. I know what you are going through as my son struggle with learning disabilities as well…
    omelete and noodles? Sounds great!
    Hope you are enjoying your week Charlie 🙂

  40. Can’t wait to hear the next instalment, Charlie! And the omelette looks great – you really DO need to get chickens! 🙂

  41. Wow, thks for sharing the lovely story! I’ve not tried noodle omelette before but it sure looks good. Have a wonderful week! xoxo

  42. i find it appaling that so many schools dont have the support for an ADHD child. i tutor one personally and you just need to give them time and understand them. i am now patiently awaiting the next part of your story!
    ps the vegetarian omelette looks amazing! quick and nice cheap feed!

  43. I am so curious to find out how this adventure ended… you brought back memories of my boarding school days. Mine are filled with good and fun memories but there were hard times too, when I felt alone and scorned, and I will never forget the feeling of that Sunday afternoon train ride back to school (we only got to go home on a handful of week ends a year).

  44. Bam's Kitchen says:

    I feel and understand your hardship more than you will ever know. I know that the of this story will end on a positive note as Archie is doing very well now but my heart goes out to you and to Archie. I wish that schools functioned in the 20 th century and understanding there are different types of learnings and life does not revolve around exam grades alone. Until that time my heart goes out to all of them. Love your little omelet with a twist. Take care, BAM

  45. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of making an asian omelette before! this is going on my meal plan for next week!

  46. I was also on a “egg-for-breakfast-diet” with no carbs and no dairy (almost)… but without a mom at home that makes these amazing dinners 😉

  47. I’m enjoying the saga as much as Archie must have enjoyed the omelet.

  48. I so admire your philosophy of parenthood and the stories you share always inspire me to laugh more and care more deeply for my family. And this omelet? Well, it looks just so very delicious. Thank you for sharing, my friend!

  49. I would have cried my eyes out all the way home after dropping him off. I know you did.

    The omelettes look really good – I’ve never had one with noodles.

  50. Ahhh I need to hear the next part of the story!! Sounds like Carl did some seriously awesome parenting with that motivational speech he gave Archie – love that!!!

    This noodle omelette looks sooooo good and right up my alley (I looove me rice noodles!) Will definitely have to give it a try, thanks for sharing Charlie! 😀

  51. What a brave decision, you must be very proud of Archie!
    The Asian inspired omelette looks delicious 🙂

  52. Well.. I’m so glad the dust has settled on my blog and I get to come back to visit. This is so interesting, and now I’m worried about Archie.. even though he’s older and eating eggs. I can’t wait to hear what happens next.. You’re a great story-teller/writer you know, Charlie!! xx

  53. I need these eggs! I am so exhausted reading about the issues with schools I am positively hungry!

  54. A motivational speaker once came to Marty’s work to pretty much tell the employees there to harden the eff up. Haha wonder if it was the same one…

    I’m curious to know the name of the ‘weird’ school too!

  55. What a brave 12-year old! Now, I can’t wait for the rest of the story. I just have my own pickiness to deal with in cooking, and that’s plenty. But, I would love this omelet!

  56. It is soooo hard to keep up with the dietary preferences (fads) in a family full of kids – I know I’m over it. And yes – do get some hens! We have them and just love the gorgeous eggs they produce.

  57. Hope all is well. You haven’t posted for a while.

  58. An interesting post , as said abaove “You are such an amazing Mum! You stepped back and gave him such an important decision to make.”

    Thanks for sharing

  59. Gluten free recipes are highly prized right now. Yours looks wonderful. And, like the others, I am hopeful and curious about Archie!

  60. Goodnesssakes, woman! Here I am all engrossed in the stroy and you leave me hangin’… LOL Is boarding school quite popular where you’re from. We don’t send our kids to boarding school here in the US. At least not where I live (Michigan). No one I know has ever done it. I find it interesting. 🙂

  61. How brave 🙂 Glad you are back and i’m loving that you posted veggie. Just for me? 🙂

  62. This looks delicious. As for the saga, I can only imagine how you felt for Archie when he chose to go back. That had to be heartbreaking as a mom.

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