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kids - Kim Petersen


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“My dream is to be a superhero and I will save people.”

– Lakota

I clear an hour out of my schedule every other Monday morning to help in my son’s kindergarten class. He loves it. The expression on his face every time I walk through the door is an impression that stays with me long after I’ve left. His big brown eyes light up and with a big grin he rushes forward, throwing his arms around me as if he hadn’t just seen me an hour before. He doesn’t care who’s watching either. I’m not sure how long that will last so I’ll take it with a side of pleasure.  

He is not the only one that loves it when I rock up ready to get my “silly” on. There’s something about hanging out with a bunch of six-year-olds that refreshes and inspires the mind. Don’t get me wrong; as much as I love it, I do so in small doses. I think teachers are like our modern-day superheroes.

This is going to sound a little creepy, but kid-watching can be extremely entertaining. We can learn so much from their zesty outlook, their resilient ability to go with the flow and their uncomplicated way of being. Those qualities are catchy. So much so, that when I cross the threshold and into the classroom, I (almost) shed the invisible cords that bound me to adulthood and barely even acknowledge the teacher.

“My dream is to be a ballerina and I’ll do a pirouette.”

– Keira  

I’m not like the other parent helpers. When those kids show up at my bingo table, they know they’re in for something different and a whole lot of laughs. I am not just another mum flashing words and adhering to the “quiet-is-better” rule we get thrown down our throats every 10 minutes or so.

I am their “Bingo Master”.

This self-proclaimed “Bingo Master” flashes word cards just like the other mums, but the other mums don’t suddenly break out in a song using the word of the moment as a cue or playfully tease them when clutching words like “home” and “baby” in their hands. I give them challenges, dive into their imaginations and pluck out their fascinating ideas.

I ask the boys to draw love hearts and flowers, the girls’ trucks and cars. Most boys screw their noses up at the thought of etching out a heart or a flower, but then I persist. Other boys take their love hearts very seriously and need no further coaxing. Those boys are probably the ones set to change the patterns of love in the future. They are the ones who might seek out new relationship dynamics and boldly go where no one has gone before.  

“My dream is to be a doctor and I will help people.”

– Jack

Kids teach us so much about life. For instance, did you know that Barbie dolls and unicorns can destroy a zombie apocalypse? And that helping yourself win on the sly isn’t actually cheating? Moreover, kids teach us to see the world differently. Their eyes are not yet contaminated by societal conventions and cultural conditioning. They remind us of sincerity with their transparent views and their beautiful curiosity. They remind us that everything is interesting, to live in the moment and to laugh at silly things. They remind us of our humanity.

 “My dream is to be a teacher and I will teach kids.”

– Harley

Children’s dreams are like precious drops of light. In a world where dreams are too often squandered beneath doubt and ridicule, kids dream big and without boundaries. In a world where we’re so afraid to love, kids love fiercely, forgive easily and listen to their precious hearts.

Every other Monday I spend time with my child and the children of others. Every other Monday, I leave that classroom feeling a little bit lighter than before I arrived. If you’re looking for a different way to kickstart your creative juices, go spend some time with kids. Go play, laugh and goof around a little. Breathe life back into those dreams and believe like a child again.

If just one thing would stick with me from the time I spend with children, that would be it. To believe in those dreams with the voracity of a child again.

“My dream is to be a scientist and I will create a robot to cook me food when I’m hungry.”

– Indiana

I Hate the World Today – Parenting in the fast lane

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“I hate the world today!” Master Six said, scrunching his nose and treating me to a dark, brooding stare.

“Alrighty, that didn’t take much.”

Seriously, if putting on socks represented my greatest adversities, I’d take it in a flash. I tried not to smile, I really did, but when his rosebud lips began to curl my way, I failed miserably.

 He has a thing for bums.

That wasn’t a typo. Yep, the littlest man of the house has had a thing for the “butt” ever since he could walk and talk. I’m not sure why. Nothing out of the ordinary ever happened to erm… nurture this odd idiosyncrasy of his. Yet, he has this habit of dishing out a light paddle on behinds every now and then as he passes by. Namely, mine. Actually, only mine.

I’ve never seen him try it on his father. I’m thinking because my butt is much more padded than his dad’s – which by the way, wouldn’t take a whole lot to achieve. My husband has one of those behinds you can’t see. Oh, you know it’s there; it has to be – my senses remind me it exists more often than I’d like. It just seems to become swallowed in his clothes.

In my house, it isn’t unusual to spot me randomly break out in my version of a booty dance while slapping my ass and crooning some of the lyrics to Baby Got Back. Well, the only part of the song I remember – “I like big butts and I cannot lie; You other brothers can’t deny.” Okay, I admit, it doesn’t sound like a very mothery thing to do; swinging my hips and wriggling my behind at my children, but they laugh every time. I just hope they don’t go searching up that song on YouTube any time soon. 

Songs can be a good alternative to express ourselves sometimes. For instance, when I hear the words “but it’s not fair” flung from one of my kid’s mouths, I walk away singing The Rolling Stones classic “You can’t always get what you want”. It’s pretty self-explanatory. I tend to not elaborate after that, and they tend to not push the matter.

Unless we’re in teenage territory, which is another ball game altogether. Her current song is Teenage Dirtbag. I know, it’s not so adventurous, but if you could see some of the looks this princess saves just for me, you’d understand. I swear, I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m clueless. You know, adults, like, seriously have no idea about, like, anything. Especially when they croon those annoying words “I’m just a teenage dirtbag, baby” in your face, and don’t understand why spending ridiculous amounts of money on acrylic nails is so important.

She doesn’t laugh at my booty dance, by the way. No. She eye rolls and fluffs away into her cave where she spends an extraordinary amount of time on the crucial stuff – lying in bed and getting her social on. Those hours are paying off because the other day she showed us just how skillful she could be with her iPhone. She has cultivated the ability to blind-text. That’s right, I watched as she watched me while her long, painted talons flew over the phone keypad as she produced a perfectly formed text message. It was oddly impressive. Until she told me it was the trick she uses in class.

“I can look right at the teacher and talk to her while texting beneath my desk, mum,” she said, laughing.

What do you say to that when you know, given half the chance, it was something you would’ve done too? Of course, I didn’t tell her as much. I managed to say the expected “motherly” things which do actually occur around here at times. It was promptly met with a smirk and a casual shrug before she pranced back into the den for more essential activities.

I took her shopping for her birthday recently. This is something for me because I hate shopping and she loves it. My dislike for shopping isn’t just limited to the mall. I hate all kinds of shopping. The mall, however, makes me feel giddy and light-headed after a while. Like I can’t breathe. The food halls are the worst. Argh! Just the thought of being in that environment makes my skin crawl. All those people making noise and shuffling around the various food outlets before sitting down together to shovel it in their mouths … no thanks. I’ll pick up something to eat elsewhere and pray the kids have forgotten about McDonald’s.

As if that will ever happen. Gross. Why do kids love that shit?   

Teenage princess wanted her nose pierced for her birthday. After pretending to think about it for a few days, I decided to oblige and allow her to get a small shiny stud on one nostril. So, we went to the body-piercing shop and I watched as she braved the needle. Okay, I didn’t really watch, I just stood at the threshold and gazed at the pictures on the walls while trying to appear supportive. I’m not into watching needles plunge into skin. I don’t even watch when I get poked for blood tests.

It was over in a jiffy and without so much as a squeak from her. It looked kind of cute, too. Hmmm … then came the lightbulb moment. I’m someone that tends to experience these spur-of-the-moment decisions from time to time. I don’t always overthink everything. When I got my first tattoo, I had decided then and there and did it before I could procrastinate. Something similar happened that day when out with my daughter – I walked out of that mall with a brand-new sparkle adorning my left nostril. I, however, yelped during the process. Yep, turns out my teenage dirtbag is tougher than me.

For one glorious moment, I wasn’t a clueless mother. I might’ve even been cool. My cool lasted for less than a week, though, because although I liked my little nose-stud, my subconscious mind rejected it. I ended up tearing it out during my sleep a few nights later and that hurt like hell.

“Go get it done again, mum,” she said.

“No way.”

“But it looked so cute on you.” Blink, blink.

Yeah, I’ll take the clueless mother tag and keep singing, sunshine.

Meet Tricia Barr

By day, Tricia is a full time mom to two beautiful toddler girls and a wife/business partner to a handsome hard-working husband. By night–and nap times–she writes unique and thrilling young adult fantasies inspired by her vivid, somewhat creepy dreams and her own adventures around the world.

The first book in her series, The Bound Ones is set to release in The Shadow Files Boxed Set, currently up for preorder for just 99 cents! Here Tricia talks about writing, publishing and being an author while meeting the demands of family life …

  1. When did you write your first book and what inspired you to write it?

I actually wrote my first book my first year of college. It was the original version of the vampire romance I just released, The Vampire Secret, but ultimately it sucked and needed several rewrites to make it the masterpiece it is now. The thing that inspired me honestly was that I missed high school. I pretty much was my main character in high school, and I wanted to indulge in a fantasy of what could have happened if I found out my favourite vampire series was real and I fell in love with the main vampire hero (which is the premise of that book). I’ll let you in on a little secret—my favourite vampire series is The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and my favourite vampire of all time would have to be Lestat 😉

  1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I actually published several books before deciding to publish this one. The first book I published, Ignite, was published through a small press, and I hated the whole experience. I mean, at first, it was a huge ego boost that someone believed in me and my book enough to take a chance on it and give it its chance in the world. But the cover was subpar, the formatting was god-awful, and when they switched distributors and got my name WRONG, that was the last straw. I pulled out of my contract and republished it myself, and it was by far the best decision I’ve made in publishing.

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. During the process, I always feel antsy and drained, but when I’m done for the day and I see my progress, there is no higher feeling of accomplishment!

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

If you mean something that hinders my writing, I have three: my two beautiful toddler girls, Tatum and Syrena, to whom I devote twelve hours of my day, and my work-a-holic husband, who believes I should spend every second of my free time to working around the house and the yard rather than writing (just so you know, my house is the cleanest house of any other toddler mom I know, and that’s all me lol). So I pretty much only get to write for an hour or so during nap time and after my kids go to sleep. But I love it, and I love my wonderful, chaotic little family.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The Butterfly Promotions Masterclass taught by Bobby Kim!!! I can’t stress it enough! Bobby Kim is the publishing world messiah, and I am a devoted disciple!

  1. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I don’t think I’ve encountered a problem there, actually. I feel just as comfortable writing men as I do women.

  1. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

That depends on the genre they want to write in. If it’s non-fiction, then yes! But any kind of fiction has to come from a place of deep emotion, or readers won’t invest their own emotions.

  1. What are you working on now?

The sequel to my vampire romance, The Vampire Unleashed, which releases June 15.


  1. What is the first book that made you cry?

I don’t think it’s possible to remember that far back lol I’ve read probably a thousand books in my life, and not a clue which was the first.

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

It would be the launch strategy I have now, and also not to waste my precious free time before I had kids on anything other than writing, because you never get that time back lol

Thanks, Tricia! 🙂

Stalk Tricia:

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About the book: IGNITE

Four strangers. Four powerful elements. To survive a ruthless cult, they’ll have to work together… or die alone…

Phoenyx Blake has just woken up in captivity, but she’s not the only one. The mysterious dungeon holds three other teens who were just as surprised to be imprisoned as she was. Phoenyx and the others discover that they were abducted because their souls are eternally bound by the ancient elemental powers of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. And their captors have no plans on letting them live through the next solar storm…

But as they consider their circumstances, Phoenyx discovers that her fiery abilities connect her in a timeless courtship dance with Sebastian, a fellow prisoner and a water elemental. Their souls have fallen in love generation after generation. And she can’t help but feel drawn to him in this lifetime as well…

To discover the truth behind their abilities, Phoenyx and the others must escape the dungeon before the cultists can begin a terrifying ritual sacrifice. If Phoenyx can’t master her powers and face up to a painful secret, then they’ll all pay with both their lives and their souls…


Kidspot Article

Recently, an article I wrote about writing when you’re a mother to a large brood was published on Kidspot. So, how do you write a novel when you have 5 kids?

Learning to laugh when your four-year old-decides to empty a tube of glue on the cat to keep it from shedding hair all over the lounge room floor.”

See here for the full article: Kidspot and here to buy your copy of Millie’s Angel while is still on sale!

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