Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Woo-hoo! Silverbeet-Sneak-Attack!

Last week I went to my very first Tupperware party. I felt like such a Big Important Person. This is what grown ups do! What parents do!
When my Beloved dropped me off my Sprocket, keenly observing the-deserting-mummy from the back seat, saw the other women waiting at the door and decided that mummy was going to a 'birthday-to-you' party. (He had been to a birthday party at the same house recently.)
Home made baked cheese cake and scrumptious more-ish dips - it felt like a party. Mmmm. 
But the most exciting thing was today when the goodies I ordered arrived and I used the cutter-upper-er that works when you pull a string to pulverise veggies and the handle turning beater to make eggs frothy-as and produced a frittata which the Sprocket ate.  
The Sprocket has certain requirements to his food: pasta or rice that is untouched by the stain of any veggie is acceptable, sausages are do-able, anything containing sugar is a hit. Fruit he loves but after he takes a bite out of it he considers it impure and discards it. 
But... he ate the frittata.
My Sprocket ate silverbeet, tomato and parsley, cleverly disguised. Woo-hoo!
Now that is worthy of a party!

Friday, September 16, 2011

'Hi-ya-hi-ya!' Grateful for Imagination

"Hi-ya! Hi-ya!" My Poppet is in her car seat holding one of her little feet up to her ear. She has carefully de-socked and de-shoed it.
"Hi-ya!" she says again. She is very impressed with how clever she is, and so she should be. She is using her imagination to pretend that her foot is her very favourite toy - a telephone. Me, (obviously I'm not biased at all) I  think she shows initiative and innovation as well as imagination.
I am so grateful to be able to see my children's imagination develop.
Right now they are pottering in the garden, each keeping up a running commentary on their findings and imaginings.
The Sproket is being Fire-Sam-Man (as he calls Fire Man Sam) and unravelling the garden hose and waving it around- "Fire! Fire!"
 He pauses in his lifesaving endeavours to check out a waterlogged hole that I think was part of the previous owners hills hoist and poke a few sticks down to gauge the depth. The mummy from the dolls house family is nearly sent on a similar exploratory mission but I manage to rescue her in time.
The Poppet sings as she walks various little trucks around the garden, keeping a wary eye on her big brother. Soon they both end up jammed inside the red car, both of them happy to be pretending to be big people.
"Bye-bye!" calls the Sprocket as they drive off, squabbling about who gets to wear the sunglasses.
"A-ya-ya!" calls the Poppet, waving out the back window.
Their play is interspersed with pushing and grabbing and tears but also with stories and songs and sharing and I am so grateful to see their minds expand and develop.
Without imagination you cannot see a better way, possible outcomes, or empathise with others. And this give and take, painful as it often is for me to watch and adjudicate over is very possibly where they will learn the skills of compromise and negotiation they will need in later life.
Watching the building stones is fun, exciting and very very precious.
So this week for Maxabella Loves wonderful grateful posts (beautifully hosted this week at Mira Narnie I'm grateful for imagination and pretending!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Naughty Ghee - Mama do you Love Me?

"Naughty Bubba?" the Sprocket asks. We've had this conversation a few times now, so I know what comes next. 
"No, darling, Bubba is a good baby," I tell him.  
"Naughty Dada?" he asks. 
"No, my love, daddy is a good daddy." 
"Naughty mummy," he says.  
"No, sweetie, mummy is good too." 
"Naughty Ghee." Ghee is his name for himself. 
"No darling, Ghee is a good Ghee." 
"Naughty Ghee," he repeats. And I am filled with guilt and heartache. 
"No sweetheart, Ghee is good. Sometimes he does things that are naughty" - putting his baby sister in a headlock and wrestling her to the ground springs to mind - "but Ghee is my good and wonderful boy." 
I thought he understood, but just to be sure I searched through some boxes until I found a book I thought might help. 
Mama Do You Love Me? set in the Arctic, written by Barbara M Joosse and beautifully illustrated by Barbara Lavalee.
I found Mama do you Love Me perfect for reassuring an anxious toddler that even though the stuff he does might be naughty, and even though mummy or daddy might get cross (ahem), a parent's love is unconditional and unfaltering. 
There are concepts in the story that the Sprocket doesn't get due to the setting (putting Salmon in mama's parker, Lemmings in her mucklucks and dropping the ptarmigan eggs,) but he understands the message that no matter what naughty thing a toddler does, while there might be consequences it doesn't mean that love diminishes. 
The words, images and concepts are all delightful and make this book a treasure and a keeper.
Since we started reading Mama Do You Love Me?, the Sprocket hasn't quite stopped his talks on naughtiness, but they have become a lot less intense and regular. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy, Happy, Happy!

I was in the kitchen last night and heard my little boy yelling 'Nappy! Nappy! Nappy!' And my heart sank. I mean I was sort of glad about the raised-nappy-awareness thing, but it had been a long and snotty day. 
And my beloved called 'You should come and see this!' 
Now a dirty nappy is something I've seen before, as is one that is falling off and basically, most other permutations of nappyness. 
'Gimme a sec, I'll just finish the dishes.' (Read as - that's your nappy, I am doing An Important Household Chore)
'No, come now!'
So I came through, still holding the dishcloth, and our Sprocket was jumping on the bed and what I had thought was 'Nappy, Nappy, Nappy' was actually 'Happy! Happy! Happy!'
Our little boy was jumping gleefully on the bed, giggling and yelling 'Happy! Happy! Happy!' 
And my beloved and I just stared and grinned. 
Today I'm grateful for two happy children. I'm grateful for a little boy who runs and climbs and is always exploring and adventuring and testing the world, and yells happy happy happy! 
I'm grateful for my little girl who opens her eyes in the morning and smiles at me. Who giggles uproariously when her feet are tickled or you smooch her neck.  Who thinks phones and keys are the most amazing things in the world. 

So thank you Maxabella Loves for her 'Grateful for' Space, encouraging us to reflect on the good and lovely things in our lives, and thank you beautiful host of the week A Day in the Life of Us 

This week I'm grateful for happy children!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Share, mummy!... Toilet Training looms...

So I'm getting ready for bed last night and I'm heading for the toilet and the Sprocket races in in front of me. 
'No, mummy! Mummy no goes pee-pee. Ghee goes pee-pee!'
'Um, but honey -' I begin. 
'Share mummy!' he tells me firmly. 
Of course.  
So I shift my weight from foot to foot as I take him out of his sleep jumpsuit and enthrone him on his little seat on the toilet. And he sits and makes proud and cheeky faces at my beloved and I as we stand around and cheer and tell him how very proud we are of him using the toilet like a big person. 
We can't tell if he does anything or not and I don't tell my beloved about the bit where the Sprocket uses the tissue to wipe his nose after he's made a cursory swipe in a general down below direction (it's definitely not wet.) 
But it looks like toilet training is now on the agenda. 
I was hoping to wait until Summer, until Uni finishes for the year, basically until some date that isn't now. 
But it looks like that distant date far far in the future is well, here. 
Wish us luck!

First Steps... The Poppet is now a toddler...

"Okay little girl, walk to daddy? You going to walk to daddy?" 

The Poppet stands holding to my knee and looks at my beloved inquisitively. 

"Walk to daddy?"

And then she launches. 

One, two, three, four little steps and she's holding my beloved's outstretched hands. 

Oh my little girl - the last vestiges of babyhood are being left behind as you make your first small steps. You look so grown up in your little jeans and tiny shoes and white knit cardie (courtesy of the lovely ladies at the Sunday Market) and the light gleams on your curls and you smile at us in glee and triumph...

Of course, you'll always be my baby, but... you're a toddler now! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Miracle of Words

The Sprocket and the Poppet are both reminding me of what a great treasure this gift of language is. 

The Sprocket is making us giggle nearly hourly as he copies our sayings and ways. 

I was doing something that displeased him recently (possibly changing his nappy) and he told me "Not happy, mummy," in just the tone I use. 

My Beloved got a new computer for his birthday and the Sprocket told us "Not daddy's Computer, Ghee's Computer. Share Daddy!" 

He sang his first song recently at my beloveds birthday 'Happy birthday to daddy,' which we all thought was a pretty special present.

The Poppet is making pretend phone calls saying 'hi-ya', and calling for mummy and daddy and nana. Her manners are a delight as she always remembers to say ta although we are working on snatching. She is practicing with babbling and is a beautiful singer (in a wailing kitten kind of way). 

It is incredibly exciting to be at the very beginning of language, of organised thought and memory. 

While my Beloved has told me that the main thing that sets us humans aside from the other animals is our arched feet (at least I think that is it) I have so far not come across a cannon of Chimpanzee literature so I am fairly chuffed with our language skills.   

It's an honour and a fascination to be here now at the beginning of my Sprocket and my Poppet's journey into words, to shape it, to share it and to just watch and listen in awe.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Blue Skies

We celebrated my Poppet's first birthday today. 
As if in benediction it's been such a lovely blue-sky spring day. The cherry plum and quince blossom is blooming,  our roses are just beginning to come out and our fairy magnolia managed a single much anticipated bloom just in time for the Poppet's big day. 
It was wonderful to see my Poppet playing with her cousin (younger by six weeks) and so many giggles listening to my Sprocket sing happy birthday and purloin the candle for himself. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tell my lies, tell me lies, tell me (sweet little) lies

So when is it okay to tell a lie? 
My beloved tells me lies on a regular basis - and it doesn't worry me.  I trust him.  Sounds weird yeah - he tells lies but I'm down with it. Well, yes. I trust him not to do anything to hurt me. I trust him to have my happiness at heart. 
I don't necessarily trust him to tell me the truth 24/7.
My beloved does not trust me to be punctual - which is where most of the lies come in. Most mornings he'll tell me it's half an hour or so later than it really is. This is in order to get me (and the kids) out of the house on time(ish) Oddly, he seems to think I'm a little disorganised and need rushing. 
Weird that. 
He might have a point as we normally get him to uni with minutes to spare. 
I am thinking about this especially today as I was under the delusion we needed to be in the city by 8am tomorrow morning - until I saw the timetable... and saw it actually says... hmmm... 10am... 
A whole TWO hours later. 
But I get where my beloved is coming from - if we aim to be packed for the day and out of the house by 6ish we might actually manage it for 7ish... which, allowing for bad traffic is probably fairly reasonable. 
The Sprocket told his first lie recently - or the first that we noticed. He pooped in the bath and when my beloved came through to help deal with it the Sprocket told him that it was 'bubba' who did it. 
Awww... our little man, growing up. He is becoming a social creature, understanding cause, effect, consequence and um... deflecting the blame. 
We were too busy giggling and saying how clever he was to tell him that actually, it's better to tell the truth. We weren't cross about it, accidents happen, and you need to tell the truth for trust. 
Because hey, much as I love and trust my beloved, when he tells me the time I now narrow my eyes... and check the computer...
I don't like the idea of lies, but sometimes well, they make sense. 
So good- bad - or dependent on circumstances or always a no-no? What do you think?