Gardener on an outer space mission.

Parenting anecdotes
1. "Two kids, five stepkids, the youngest of who is 26 years old, all of them moved out. Now I have a dog that wakes me up at 5am, insists on walking before the sun is up, barks at me for food, has expensive medical bills, needs to have her teeth cleaned, fights with her siblings (cats), and insists on my attention when I have something else to do ...Some of us never learn."

2. "I'm only five months into parenthood, but a few weeks ago I posted on Facebook that I was debating between getting some work done and showering and my sister commented and cheerfully suggested that I do both and, man, was it hard not to punch through the laptop monitor and throttle her."

3. "Here's the big secret to having kids. Are you ready? Here it comes. Give each other days off for a little solo time and develop a network of sitters (or couples in a similar situation) so the two parents can see a movie, or sit in a library or a coffee shop or whatever together."



No-fly zone for these foxes

Miranda writes: "This weekend my 7-year-old son visited four Auckland playgrounds - every one was missing the flying part of the flying fox - Wairua Rd Reserve, Little Rangitoto Reserve, Mt Eden Reserve (Clive Rd), Okahu Bay Reserve. Is someone stealing them? A sad boy would like some answers. And if the council is removing the equipment I'd like a rates refund.

"I've heard of a bunch of grapes, but never a bunch of grapefruit," writes Alan Boniface of Snells Beach. "There are 12 in this bunch."

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Video: Comedian Dylan Moran (Black Books) on the differences between a weekend with and without kids....

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