Kings’ Kids Corps

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Summer school holidays are in full swing, and the spawnlings are not yet restless… but only a fool would allow them to reach that point.

Kings Comics are to the rescue! They are putting on a special kids day for all your little heroes and villains.

So what’s on offer?

  • Cosplay Competition
  • 10% off All-Ages comics (DC Superhero Girls is a fave in our Lair)
  • Games and Activities
  • Kids workshop with Louie Joyce
  • Face-painting (I want a unicorn)
  • Lucky dip bags
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Used with permission / Kings Comics

The staff at Kings Comics have really been building its community spirit over the past year. Free Comic Book Day was huge back in May, with special guests Nicola Scott, Dean Rankine, Tristan Jones, and Mark Sexton. That particular celebration was the most family friendly (and the most fun) in all of Sydney—dare I say, the best of ALL FCBD events.

Yes, I will dare to say it!

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Used with permission / Kings Comics

 

The team at Kings Comics always make people welcome in their store. In 2016, Kings also kicked off the women’s only comic-book club Queens of Kings with monthly meets and special guests. They also had their first Single Issues Night earlier this month; a social night of merriment with fellow comic-fans and plenty of single issues to flick through (single issues of comics, not single people with issues… though, I see your point…)

But forget about the ladies, and who cares about drinking and reading comics!! The next big thing is the Kids Corps! Now is the time for all the spawnlings to come and have some fun!

For more info, check out the King Comics Facebook page. Evil Genius Inc will be there (minus EG Dad). Cosplay and all. You couldn’t keep us from the party!

 

When:                 

Tuesday 10 January 2016  –  11am to 4pm

Where:                

Kings Comics

310 Pitt Street, Sydney

 

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Horrible Histories: Pirates in the Museum!

Tell your spawnlings you’re heading to a pirate exhibit at the museum, and even the least academically inclined child will show an interest in coming along.

Tell them it’s a “Horrible Histories” exhibit, and they will probably try to drive your doom-mobile themselves.

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If you’re lucky enough to live in Sydney, you can still catch the Horrible Histories Pirate Exhibit at the Maritime Museum (Darling Harbour). It finishes at the end of the April School Holidays – 27 April 2016 to be exact.

And it is worth catching. EG Inc has been twice. We’re going a third time this week, broken wrist and all.

Horrible Histories is pretty popular in itself – there are books; tv series; spin-off books about geography; and museum exhibits like this. The appeal of the brand is, of course, their ability to be absolutely honest about the dark and dirty but in a funny gross way that clearly works for kids.

And juvenile evil genius parents.

There is no singing Pirate King; no Errol Flynn swinging past the sails. There is definitely nothing romantic or cinematic about any of this.

I knew I was in the right place when the entry has an interactive “rat-squashing” game. Using a projector and motion sensor, kids can stomp on the rats scurrying along the floor to the exhibit. It is hilarious fun when you see the blood and guts spread across the floor in a spectacular cartoon fashion. It kept Zaltu (and myself) entertained for at least 15mins.IMG_9007

Inside the exhibit, there are plenty of visual displays, very informative posters, and a range of tactile play areas on show. We each had fun creating our own Wanted Pirate posters along with exploring for hidden treasure on the little beach.Nefarious the Fearless

But the winning feature – the one we are really going back for?

The big battle scene in the very middle of the exhibit.

Kids split between the two sections, each with a stack of soft(-ish) balls and an air-powered ‘canon’. Then the battle begins across the sea!! And woe be the parent who strolls across the firing range. Pirate spawnlings have no mercy.

There’s no time to be ‘dilly-dally’ on this one – as mentioned above, the last day is 27 April (two weeks from publishing this article). Details about the exhibit can be found on the website.

No affiliation or sponsorship for the post either. EG Nan and Pop gave us an annual pass for a Solstice present. Brilliant idea two years in a row. Our spawnlings simply had way too much fun learning to keep this quiet.

Apparently Thursday (both weeks) look like possible rain…if you need a suggestion of a day…

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Back To School Shopping (AKA Hell)

I survived the Back To School Shop.

That should be emblazoned on a tshirt and worn with pride. 

With a bloody medal. Bloody because my wounds are still fresh.

And you should see the other guy.

Right now, we are T-minus one week to school starting. To be frank, we haven’t been counting down the days here – except for the shopping days.

Because I hate shopping. On any day of the year.

I especially hate shopping when everyone else is shopping.

And then there is the shopping for spawnlings.

It’s pretty bad when EG Dad offers to do it for me on the weekend. Which wouldn’t be a bad idea, except he hasn’t done anything recently to upset me THAT MUCH. I would like a clear conscience before sending my partner-in-crime to his inevitable Saturday morning doom.

You know the frustration of shopping for kids birthdays?

For six weeks before their birthday: This is the only thing I want.

Day before their birthday: This is lame. I want that!

Now apply this to school shopping.

You. The 6yo spawnling. Yeah, you. Choose one pencil case; just one

And that pencil case will last you the whole school year.

  
Day before school starts: I do not care how much you hate bones, I am not buying you another pencil case.

Why? Because I’m done. I have your shoes. I have your special 100k+ headers dictionary. I have your colouring pencils individually labeled. And there is absolutely nothing to make me return to the torture chamber more commonly known as ‘The Shops’.

Today’s weather: a balmy 35 degrees (Celsius) with 90% humidity and a chance of a severe storm anytime in the next 24hrs. Great weather for indoor playgrounds!

Hold off on the world domination. Mumma’s gonna need some recovery time.

  

One Trolling School Principal At A Time

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Mrs Trunchbull, from Roald Dahl’s Matilda

Our school Administrator is trolling me. I’m absolutely certain of it.

This year – I promised EG Dad and Sinister to be on my best behaviour and NOT antagonise the Troll. No stomping over her bridge, so to speak. And then it all started at the beginning of the year with the School Holiday Policy – Basically, you are not allowed to take your spawnlings on holidays outside of school holidays.

In the UK, you can be given a penalty of £60, rising to £120 if paid after 21 days but within 28 days. If you don’t pay the fine you may be prosecuted. Seriously. I don’t know much about other jurisdictions, like US or Canada, but I do know of a few minions who have been caught up in the scandal of the fines. In Australia, it varies from State to State. Even then there is no consistency between school.

Our public school announced the policy early this year. You must not take your child out of school during school term without first submitting an Application for Exemption and obtaining a Certificate of Exemption from your school administration. Exemptions are available for Sport Activities, Medical, working in the Entertainment Industry or Special and Unique Circumstances. If the spawnlings were representing their country in the Hammer Throw, this wouldn’t be a problem. But alas – it is just a mere family holiday.

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The announcement was made the day after I had paid for our tickets for an overseas holiday later in the year. Given our previous family holiday was partially in the school term as well (we normally travel for 3wks, with 1wk during term), I considered what the penalty could be. And whether my favourite school administrator would grant us an exemption. To apply, I had to have an ‘interview’ with her.

This 30min interview started with “Oh, since you bought the tickets before my announcement, I will have to grant you Exemption”, followed quickly with a long lecture about how kids can only receive education from a qualified professional in the structured setting of a classroom. To all the homeschoolers out there, this is not my view. Administrator Troll remember?

Now – everything from this point was always delivered with the utmost respect and diplomacy. Remember: I promised my best behaviour. And damn – it was HARD!

  • Our holidays are not spent lazing by the pool, twiddling our thumbs. I even offered a copy of the itinerary showing our plans to teach the kids cave navigation, dam busting, environmental science, and wildlife conservation. Not interested.
  • I offered to pick up any information kits and even look into school kits to correspond with each child’s classroom curriculum – for example, Nefarious is studying Mini-Beasts and is particularly excited about visiting a glow-worm cave. NO: no kits are to be shared with the class as it would interfere with the set-up provided by the teacher.
  • Even if it was just 1 day during the term, all days must be applied for – as per the State policy. When I asked why working in the Entertainment Industry was an automatic exemption, but learning about environmental science and wildlife conservation was not, I was told to consider the logic behind what I had just asked. Clearly the Entertainment Industry had financial responsibilities. Environmental science was obviously for hobbyists.

When I asked point blank what the consequences were for missing school, there was a lot of blustering until she eventually admitted there are no consequences. We don’t have the penalties like UK so it’s all just “we’ll put a black mark on his school file”, which will also mean absolutely nothing unless I was pulled up in Court for child abuse. At which point, I would think that missing a day of school would be the least of my concerns.

Fast forward a few months, and (as promised) I have submitted my Application for Exemption – even with the Administrator’s pre-approval. And then the school calls me.

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Apparently, we are only away for 8 days of the school term. That’s not very long, is it? We don’t need the Certificate of Exemptionbut we’ll keep it here just so we know where the kids are.

It gets better.

Yesterday, Administrator Troll approaches me at the school. I had just dropped off Sinister and Nefarious. She cornered me – there was no escape. I prepared for a full-frontal assault. I can take her.

Excuse me, Mrs EG. I just want a word about your upcoming holiday.

*shudder* Now what?

Out of the blue, Administrator Troll starts showing an interest in our itinerary. Even points out the educational value of a couple of places. Even points out the fantastic offer these places have for schools – including teacher resource packs you can buy for the classroom. And while she will not allow the kids to bring back information packs to share with their class, she would strongly suggest the benefits of paying for a few teacher resource packs to bring back and donate to the school. To share around with the other teachers. But not any that coincide with what our spawnlings are learning in the classroo
m. Because that would just be a distraction.

facepalm (1)“Uh, thanks for the suggestion. I’ll keep that in mind on our holiday.”

She is trolling me, right? It’s not just me? I promised to be on my best behaviour for the whole year. But December is just too far away.

Have you ever taken the spawnlings on holidays outside of school? Does your school have a policy about this? Or are you of the School of EG Dad – *HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA*

Pyjama Day

Yeeeeaaaah – comfy pants.

Some parents cope with school holidays by sending the spawnlings on camp, or to grandparents. Other parents team up and share the ‘babysitting’ around – amateur hour. At some time, it’s your turn to have a dozen or so 10-year-olds all at once.

The trick is to have one day of slothenly indulgence. Recharge the creative juices, start the eye-brow re-growth, and bring all the incessant whining and begging to one day.

Pyjama Day.

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The day coveted by both Spawnling and Evil Genius alike. The rules are simple:

1. Everyone wears pyjamas. Pyjamas will restrict you from going out, encouraging you to stay home and chill out.

2. Each person is allowed one indulgence food – chocolate, bag of lollies, ice-cream, whatever. No limits, no questions, no sharing if they don’t want to.

3. There is no “get out of bed time”. In fact, there’s no set time for anything.

4. Computer games and movies are all good, with one condition – first choice goes to the best relaxation/viewing point. Designs include but not restricted to lounge forts; table caves; bean bag craters. Technological enhancements are bonus.

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5. The day after Pyjama Day is outside. No screen time. No argument.

It’s good. It’s very good. It’s exactly what holidays are about. To chill out. To relax. To reset to juices.

And afterwards, you can rebuild that volcano-lair. With sharks. Yeah, sharks.

Round 2: EG Mum v. EG Grandma

We already know how evil grandma can be.

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This is just the beginning.

EG Inc has travelled 2500km into the pits of Hades (read: Nth Qld in Summer) to visit family/demons.

It’s bad enough that the heat is more repressive than a cooked laboratory, but now EG Grandma is taking advantage of my weakened state. The spawnlings actually LIKE her!! Where’s the Fear of Mum from my childhood?!? Why is Zaltu allowed to chew on a purse that I could never borrow?!? When did chocolate become a breakfast food?!?

At first, I thought it was merely general spoiling since we do live interstate and hardly visit for long periods of time. However, spoiling would be dessert with extra scoopings. And I don’t mind racing my parents to the register to pay for something. It’s the only exercise we have at the moment.

However, we are now moving into outright Declaration of War.

It started with some story-telling. Tales of when I was a kid, climbing mulberry trees and shopping trolley races in car parks. Stories that will make it hard to enforce discipline when they hit their teens.

Then it progressed to stories of my suspension from preschool and my attempt at blowing up the Home Economics block (microwaves are science experiments waiting to happen).

But the piece that has absolutely ruined my relationship with the spawnlings:

“You kids are pretty lucky. I have loved having you visit, so I can spoil you and fill you up with treats – and hand you back. But your parents are pretty darn good. Your mum brought you all this way, has shared so much with you and is sitting back, just letting us spend time together. That’s pretty good. She pretends to be tough, but I reckon she’s enjoying this trip as much as you are.”

Damn it. Ruined my EG cred right there.

Going to take me all of next school term to convince them again how hard-core I can be.

How the hell do I EG parent now?

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