I’m a Human Being – part three


We’ve come to the end of the story of Cricket’s birth. Had you in suspense, right? Here’s where we left off last time…

…I could hear the womb-doctor asking Dad if he wanted to cut the cord.

You what, now?

CUT THE CORD??! I thought they wanted a live baby? This is worse than a Shakespearian tragedy. Maybe they didn’t realise Placenta had to come with me? They’d never done this before after all.

Here’s what happened:

I unwedge a hand just long enough to grab a big handful of Bungee and sling it around my neck a few times. There, that should show them how attached I am to Placenta.

Suddenly the womb doctor starts pulling and tugging at me way too hard. This is very alarming and my neck is starting to feel a little bit… constricted. Mum’s whole body is being rocked from side to side and she’s locked eyes on Dad as if he’s the only person in the room, but he isn’t. And now there’s one more. The womb doctor called in another womb doctor to help her and now she grabs one side of me and he grabs the other and they obviously think I’m perforated down the middle because they’re pulling me in opposite directions.

I’M NOT A ROLL OF PAPER TOWEL, I’M A HUMAN BEING! I squawk through my rapidly closing esophagus. But all that comes out is a squishy sounding wah-wah-wah and I get my first, bitter taste of the crushing disappoint that is baby language.

The womb doctor is sweating now and her accomplice is swearing. This is a cardinal sin in hypno-butter-birthing. You basically have to abandon that baby and start over if that happens.

Dad had long ago abandoned the camera and is holding onto Mum’s face as if his life depended on it and just as I’m about to faint, I see a giant silver claw aimed right at my face.

SPARE MY EYEBALLS! I yell, as I swim in and out of consciousness.

None of this is what I prepared for, especially being drawn and quartered and the face-eating claw of death. Maybe I shouldn’t have been quite so… resistant. But suddenly, there’s a pop and air floods in and my head is poking out of Mum’s insides! And I can see! Sweet Jesus they spared my eyeballs! Look!, there’s Mum’s small intestine! And then another big tug and the rest of me is out and I feel like someone air-dropped me in the arctic with no snowbooties and everyone is shouting, but through the glare of the lights someone lifts me high in the air and I see her face and there’s not a hypno-butter class in the world that could’ve prepared either of us for that moment. “You’re safe”, she said to me, with tears streaming down her face. “You’re mine”, I said to her. Then someone wrapped me in a scratchy towel and I’m plonked in Mum’s face and I squish her nose with my hand and then I’m whisked off to the other side of the room where we were all going to sit and have a civilized discussion about Placenta coming home with us, attached to me, where she’s supposed to be.

Placenta got left behind. They told me she’d go to a loving home, but that she couldn’t come with us because Mum and Dad had only ordered one baby and that was me, Cinnamon Cricket. It was my first bone-crushing disappointment in this life. Goodbye Placenta, fare thee well.

The rest wasn’t so far removed from how a hypno-butter-birth is supposed to go. I did get to put my bare skin body on Mum’s bare skin boob and I did find my own way to that colossal. It was ok. Cake is better. And then I slept for three days while Mum bled and cried and Dad drank whiskey and cried and the room filled up with flowers and people and the nurses gave Mum gianter and gianter pads until she disappeared under a mountain of cotton wadding and giant basketball boobs. And oh how the milk flowed. It was pretty cool.


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I’m a Human Being – part two


We last left Cinnamon Cricket telling us the story of her birth. She was two weeks overdue and had decided she was never ever coming out…

But suddenly we were sitting in the womb doctor’s room and Mum was being told they were doing a caesarian the next day. Scarlett had looked up caesarian in the manual and she said it’s the opposite of being born serenely by a deer in a forest. That didn’t sound good to me. When we got home Mum sobbed into Dad’s best work shirt for three hours. Frankly, I thought it was a bit selfish of her. I mean, wasn’t this whole birth experience meant to be about me?

A caesarian is the exact and total opposite of a butter birth. In a hypno-butter-birth there’s supposed to be low lighting, no sound, and hardly anyone in the room when you slide out. The first voices you’re supposed to hear are your mother and father’s. You’re supposed to slide out of that canal with no pain and then be held against your mother’s naked skin with Bungee held higher than your heart at a 48.7 degree angle for three minutes, or as long as it takes for Bungee’s blood to drain into you and not be wasted in the rubbish bin. Then you’re supposed to go immediately (quicker, if possible) onto your mother’s bare skin boob with your bare skin body and get on that boob sucker and drink the colossal.

But we didn’t do that. Instead, Mum got into a white gown and was bundled onto a white bed with wheels and got wheeled into a very white room with LIGHTS AND BUTTONS EVERYWHERE! Then the doctor next to the womb doctor got out the biggest needle you’ve ever seen that goes in Mum’s SPINE and Dad got escorted out because apparently Dad’s can’t deal with seeing giant needles in their beloved’s spines.

Then it really got interesting. The womb doctor CUT MUM’S TUMMY OPEN AND I WAS IN THERE!!! By this time Dad was allowed back in and he had the camera poised and ready because the womb doctor told him it was all about to happen really fast… Except now I’ve got stage fright… and I’m not coming out. Ever. Now Mum’s tummy is open I can feel a VERY cold draft coming in and the lights are very bright and there are too many voices and I think maybe a life on the stage isn’t for me after-all. There’s only one thing to do. I spread my arms and legs out as wide as I can and hold on for dear life. Dear, sweet, womby, placentary life.

Scarlett had told me that on the outside you couldn’t take Placenta with you. I didn’t believe her obviously, because that would be ridiculous, how can you live without Placenta? I ADORE Placenta. Placenta is my only friend. But now I could hear the womb-doctor asking Dad if he wanted to cut the cord.

You what, now?

CUT THE CORD??! I thought they wanted a live baby? This is worse than a Shakespearian tragedy. Maybe they didn’t realise Placenta had to come with me? They’d never done this before after all.

Here’s what happened:

Stay tuned for part three!





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I’m a Human Being – part one

smiling_baby_girl_cartoon.pngCinnamon Cricket reminisces… 

I’m going to tell you the story of my birth. Apparently talking about disappointing and traumatic things helps you let them go. Firstly, I saw no birth canal. This is of extreme disappointment to me. In hypnobirthing, the only thing the mums talked about for months was the birth canal and how they were going to just breathe us out of that canal. They’d all lie on the floor on puffy cushions with us all stuck up awkwardly in the air under giant stretchy pants and breathe and sigh and imagine us sliding down that birth canal as if we were a stick of butter and that canal was a hot stovepipe.

Scarlett told me they were all kidding themselves because we’re not butter, we’re babies and babies have skulls like basketballs, made out of cement. Scarlett knew everything there was to know about being born because she had an older sister who was in the womb-room before her and left the instruction manual behind. Scarlett said her sister got stuck in the canal and they had to send in a crane with a giant claw attached to pull her out, and her mum screamed and yelled instead of breathed and sighed and her sister came out looking like a squashed eggplant.

But I wasn’t scared of the crane with the claw, I still wanted to whiz down that big slide like a hot stick of butter. Mum and I imagined it all the time. She’d sit on the couch with cushions all around and put her hands on her big tummy and tell me what we were going to do when the time came for me to be in the big-girl-world. She said we were going to bounce on the ball and drink hot tea and dad would massage our back and there would be NO PAIN and we’d all smile and love each other and we’d do that until the very last minute before dad drove us sensibly to the hospital with our birth music on the CD player and mum doing soft breaths like a graceful deer giving birth in a field of flowers in a forest under a rainbow.

Except that didn’t happen. Nothing happened. We waited and waited and imagined and imagined and all that happened was Mum got fatter and fatter and I got bigger and bigger. And the fatter Mum got, the less serene she felt and the bigger I got, the smaller the womb-room was and I felt less like a hot stick of butter and more like a rhinoceros in a snuggie.

On day 41, Mum ate vindaloo and I hiccoughed for seven hours straight. On day 46, Mum ate jalapenos in raspberry swirl ice-cream and I kicked for Australia. On day 54, Mum got stuck on the couch and dad had to come home from work to rescue her. It was that day I decided that no matter what, I wasn’t coming out. I’m not sure what changed my mind, maybe it was being stuck on the couch watching TV and snacking from my food Bungee – it was comforting, you know?

Stay tuned for part two…


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Big Rock in a Jailhouse


We last left Cinnamon Cricket realising she’d used one of her limited pork rib emergencies perhaps a little rashly…

In hindsight, this may not have been the PORK RIB emergency I first thought it was. Hoot is drooling on the floorboards just as I figure out that seeing the JITTERBUG is shaped like all the other CDs Grandma sends, it’s probably just a CD. Yeah, that makes sense.

Unless gravity is now backwards, Hoot’s drool has turned into tears. On top of that, his ears look funny and his teeth are showing – all of them. I think he might be mad. He’s very far down but I’ll try and get there; I think it’s important because I’m pretty sure I’m in clear violation of the PORK RIB rule and that’s bad. What if there’s cauliflower in my near future and Hoot doesn’t come? I need to make amends with giant pats.

There’s only one thing to do. I heave myself backwards with all the muscle power I inherited from my Dad. My Dad is very tall. Just his legs are 6’5”. Mum, though, is about the same size as Dad’s head, so really, there’s not much competition for me. Mum, innocently assuming she’s comforting me in her hour of need, has no earthly chance against my backward, inverted, double pike that has surprising velocity, even for the spawn of a giant.

I didn’t know floorboards hurt that much when you land on your face on them. I thought I was doing the right thing spotting my landing like a proper diver, but all that meant was I saw the exact spot on the pine floorboard my forehead split open. And the worst thing? Hoot took off before I even got to pat him. He was just a blonde blur and flash of angry teeth whizzing back down the hall with drool flying out behind him. He looks like a flaxen dragon shrunk down to cat size, I thought, before I realised how much my face hurt and started screaming.

I’m in a hospital and Dad’s on his way! WOW. I’m fine now, but Mum doesn’t believe it so she’s bursting into guilt-ridden sobs every 6.7 seconds and because of that Dad thinks my brain is broken and is leaving a meeting just to see!

Of course, the intensity of the guilt-bug-hugs is stuck on extreme and I’m pretty sure I have three broken ribs. I guess small people can be strong after-all. I must note that for future reference.

Dad is here! What a relief to be freed from the guilt-bug-hug. Dad holds me gently, like I might break at any second. Bless him and his precious ways.
‘What happened honey?’
‘Honestly, I don’t know. She just threw herself backwards with such force.’
Looks like Mum answered for me. It’s not what I would’ve said, but I guess it is pretty much the truth.
‘So, you didn’t have a good hold of her?’
This was probably the worst thing Dad could’ve said to Mum, ever. Her face went sort of like a plastic bag when you crumple it up to shove in the sausage thing. I could feel the conflict inside Dad’s body.
‘Is she ok?’
‘She’s fine. It looks worse than it is. I guess she’s got a hard head! They did a cat scan just to make sure and she’s fine.
WHAT?!!! I didn’t know a CAT was operating that big doughnut! That’s the most EPIC thing that’s ever happened to me! I can’t wait to tell Hoot and Grandma!
‘Are you ok?’
‘Not really.’
And then something amazing happened. Mum sobbed. I’ve never seen Mum sob before. She cries all the time, but that’s usually only when she’s staring at me with that funny look that only old mums who give up all their fallopian tubes, spent $30,000 and six years trying to be a mum get – usually when I’m on her boob, or pretending to be asleep. But these are loud sobs and her whole body is jostling around like an old towel in a tumble dryer.
‘Oh darling.’
Dad sweeps her up in a giant hug and I’m in the middle and they’re squishing my sore head a bit, but that’s ok because sometimes love hurts.

I know it’s been an EPIC day when Dad takes the rest of the day off! We all go home together and Mum and Dad spend a lot of time smothering me and then offend me with mittens. Mittens! I’m not a baby anymore, but apparently the bandage on my head is supposed to be there so now I have to wear mittens. Mittens.

The best thing about us all being home together is that mum FINALLY puts on the jitterbug CD! JITTERBUG! And it’s about a big rock in a jailhouse!! And the man singing about the big rock sounds like warm honey and it’s so catchy Mum and Dad DANCE! They’re not as good as Grandma and Granddad of course, but my Mum is a pretty good dancer and she makes Dad look better than he is and they’re so thumpy and jumpy Hoot swishes his tail back and forth so furiously I’m worried it might come off! Oh the FUN! I’m waving my stumps around in time to the music and making the bouncer almost take off! Mum has stopping sobbing and is actually smiling. She waves at me. ‘This is called the jitterbug, Cricket. Do you like it?’
I LOVE it! You guys look AMAZING! And something clicked in my head and I realise the DANCE is the jitterbug! Oh I love it when my brain works things out all by itself. Turns out my head is hard and smart. WOW.



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jitterbug-lowWhen we last left Cinnamon Cricket she’d put her sticky jam fingers on Hoot the cat’s purebred fur coat and he was none too happy about it. You can read it here if you need a refresher.

Their adventure continues…

…The mail is here and there’s a package from Grandma! Mum helps me open it and inside is a tambourine (OMG!!!), a postcard from New Zealand, and a square that says Jitterbug. WOW!

Firstly, Mum takes great pains to tell me about New Zealand because education and I start yawning to show I don’t care and almost fall off the change table trying to grab the jitterbug. Seriously, WHAT IS A JITTERBUG?! This results in two things happening: Mum assumes I’m tired and need to go to bed, and Mum gets the guilt-bug so bad she scoops me into the guilt-bug-hug. I really hope a jitterbug isn’t the same as a guilt-bug because my ribs can’t take two sorts of bugs that squeeze you to death. Part of the guilt-bug-hug involves Mum whizzing me from side to side and singing the SAME SONG in my ear over and over. This is supposed to comfort me when I’m supposedly upset about almost plummeting to my death. It was comforting when I was as big as a cucumber and had eyes like a baby mole looking into the sun for the first time, but that was AGES ago. I’m BIG now. Being whizzed back and forth with guilt-induced speed and ferocity means my eyes can’t focus on anything and I feel dizzy. And why, WHY would the same song over and over and over and over be comforting?! Clearly Mama ISN’T going to buy me a mockingbird so quit harping on about it.

Every time Mum whizzes me past the dresser I make a lunge for the JITTERBUG and I miss it every time, partly because the whizzing is so fast and partly because I can’t see anything. How can Mum get it so wrong? I don’t need to be a human rollercoaster, nor do I need a diamond ring, looking glass, or billy goat, I just need that JITTERBUG.

There’s only one thing left to do and that’s yell jitterbug at the top of my voice over and over again until Mum gets it. The only problem with that of course is that Mum doesn’t understand baby (this is a HUGE design flaw, God, you should really look into that) and even though I’m yelling JITTERBUG!, JITTERBUG!, JITTERBUG! with my best enunciation, all Mum can hear is Waaaaaaah, Waaaaaah, Waaaaaaah! This is beyond frustrating and I need to phone a friend.

The only friend I can reliably phone is Hoot because we have a secret code word. It came into being from the great pork rib incident of 2014. (Mum heard pureeing food for babies was no longer the done thing so she handed me a pork rib as big as my head when I was five months old. No longer the done thing is cause for much discussion and considerable stress in this house.) During the great pork rib incident of 2014, after I managed to extract a pork rib as big as my head from my left lung, Hoot and I discovered that while I don’t like pork ribs, he does, and if I yell PORK RIBS! at the top of my lungs Hoot understands it! It was an honest-to-god Christmas miracle, and now Hoot and I use it only in dire circumstances. There are only a set amount of times you can holler PORK RIBS! when there are no pork ribs and Hoot will come to your aid. It’s a Christmas miracle that must not be used lightly.


Hoot’s paws sound like elephant feet thundering down the hall. He wants those pork ribs bad. He takes the corner into my room so fast he crashes into the doorframe. Good thing he’s bendy.

Pork ribs pork ribs Pork ribs pork ribs Pork ribs pork ribs Pork ribs pork ribs Pork ribs pork ribs Pork ribs pork ribs. Give me those delectable, beguiling ribbies of goodness before my purebred head of preponderant intelligence and charisma explodes in sheer need of piggy, ribby goodness.

In hindsight, this may not have been the PORK RIB emergency I first thought it was. Hoot is drooling on the floorboards just as I figure out that seeing the JITTERBUG is shaped like all the other CDs Grandma sends, it’s probably just a CD. Yeah, that makes sense.

Drama ensues! Stay tuned!

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Dear Management


The continuing adventures of Cinnamon Cricket and her cat, Hoot…

Hoot and I are in a staring competition. He’s very good at staring. I either fall asleep or cry because my eyes run out of eye juice and that doesn’t feel good. So far, I’m doing neither of those things. I’m winning! Hoot is a very pretty cat. He’s blonde all over with orange stripes on his head. I hope I have orange stripes on my head one day. Dad has orange so apparently there’s a good chance I’ll have orange too. Mum thinks this is fabulous news! Dad doesn’t, I don’t know why.

Hoot and I are learning each other’s languages! I’ve learnt that ears back means pat my head and he’s learnt that wah-wah-wah means run off and get Mum. He’s not very good at actually getting Mum yet. Hoot blinks and swishes his tail. I want to grab his fur because it feels like warm squish so I reach both my arms out to his face. His ears flatten! He wants me to pat him! Just as I’m about to reach an ear he runs off and I don’t even need him to get Mum! He’s such an enigma.

            Dear Management,

I’m lodging a complaint. The mutant’s hands are always sticky. Always. Sticky. This is unacceptable. I am a direct descendant of Wong Mau. My people were once worshipped in Burmese temples as embodiments of Gods. Gods. On what planet do you think sticky, mutant, jam fingers on a God is reasonable? This is not tolerable, human, and I demand recompense. Do you know how long it takes to lick jam out of purebred, blonde fur? Long, idiot, long. My demands for restitution are below. Until they are met I will be leaving you and the co-manager a strategically placed vomit at an undisclosed location within the domiciliary at precisely 4.04am every, single, day. It will have rotting meat, fusty furballs, and jam in it. You’re welcome.

  • The mutant must not be fed real food, ever again. Milk or die.
  • A hammock suspended above the fridge.
  • My own catnip farm (in my name).


Thiha Archibald Hootentoot the Third

Hoot doesn’t come back. We need to work on that. But the mail is here! And there’s a package from Grandma! Mum helps me open it and inside is a tambourine (OMG!!!), a postcard from New Zealand and a CD that says Jitterbug. WOW!

Stay tuned for more…


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Ode to Boobs

From the vault. Because boobs.


Boobs. Angel Cakes. Gazongas. Cupcakes. Breasticles. Funbags. Knockers. Zingers. Baps. Bouncers. Bazooms. Girls. Norks. Ta-tas. Cha-Chas. Bongos. Rib Ticklers. Pillows. Peepers. Watermelons. Gob Stoppers. Milk Cans. Muchachas. Mams. Yams. Loblollies. Butterballs. Hooters. Humdingers. Boobs.
Boobs are cool.
Boobs have pizzazz.
Boobs see the world just before everyone else does.
Boobs have magic and mystery.
Boobs belong.
Boobs create scandal.
Boobs feed the world.
The world!
That’s when they hum.
You don’t believe me?
Next time it’s quiet put your ear to the wind. You will hear a steady sound. Like a whispery wail or a looping tale. Quiet as a sigh and clear as the sky, the feeding boobs are singing. They’re lulling and trilling and jiggling and spilling. And all the babies in all the world understand the joy they are giving. So sing back, if you dare, when night time looms, and see what happens when you charm a big bouncing pair of bazooms.


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