Sunday, May 11, 2008

Stuff Of Course

So I haven't blogged for a looonnngggg time. Whoops. And I have nothing to offer except that we've been living a happy, quiet life for the most part. Of course life with Harry is definitely never quiet, we're just living somewhere on that continuum at the moment.

We haven't watched tv since we've lived in this house, so what's that? About 18mths now. It's just this big piece of furniture that the lounge looks at. And since most of the time I'm sitting on the lounge it is actually a car travelling to some distant destination (after having been properly restrained with seatbelts and 'ties' from Harriet) I find myself looking at it quite a bit.

When I do happen to glimpse tv I realise just how stupid it is. I'm no high-falutin' intellectual type, but my god tv caters to the lowest common denominator. Not even that but the assault on the senses is just horrid - loud noises that have no purpose except to make you buy stuff. Flashing lights designed to make you buy stuff. Fast editing to make you want to buy stuff. I mean really, how much stuff can people need? There was an article in a Sunday paper recently (don't judge me people, we have tried to get them to stop delivering the damn Suday paper to us but they just *don't stop*, it's like the Liberal Party) and it told me that by not allowing Harry to watch tv that we're depriving her of the ability to follow a narrative.

Uh oh. Poor child, she's going to be deprived alright. No idea about a narrative and all. Those poor indigenous cultures whose oral history was obviously a farce, deluding themselves that without a television they somehow managed to scrape together an understanding of how a narrative functions. We'll swap the hours that we spend reading books and chatting together so that she can sit in front of the box while I chat on some forums in another room. Now there's a great way to learn about narrative, some marketing company trying to get my daughter to buy stuff.

Ok, mini rant over. Sorry, but it's just bugging me of late for some reason. Also not being able to find a reasonable, informed voice about vaccination out there. I can't seem to find people who aren't rabidly pro- or anti- the thing. All I want to do is discuss the idea of delayed vaccination and vaccine brands and their ingredients. Do you think this is easy to find? Apparently people only want to discuss something if there's the chance for complete warfare to occur.

In other news, Harry has gone through a rather tricky phase of being really, really, REALLY difficult. It's hard to describe exactly what she was doing but it basically involved her never stopping. Ever. And she was really clingy and demanding. Then, almost as soon as I reached breaking point (after two solid weeks of unrelenting demands), she turned the corner and started going off into other rooms with other children, hanging out with Papa without me needing to be nearby, saying goodbye to me as I went out to see friends with narry a tear, that kind of thing. WOW! It has been a huge transformation in her social nature and has just been wodnerful to see. I have this theory that as soon as you get desperate and stressed enough about some aspect of parenting that you start talking about it with others, your child seems to sense your own need for change and turns that new milestone themselves. Well at least that is what Harry has consistently done!

So what is she doing now? Well I guess the biggest difference is that she can extemporise on a variety of imaginary topics. Today for example, we were doing some gardening (bye bye trees!). James asked Harriet what she had in her hand or something similar. Harry then started on a long discussion (completely one-sided) abouthow she was saving the item for her friend who lived in another country and that she didn't know about it and Harriet would show her later on when she flew over there.... or something....of course she may have actually been hallucinating from all the aeroplane exhaust fumes.

One of the big things in Harriet's life is her toddler yoga. I should really be on my hands and knees grovelling with thanks to Jade for organising it. Because not only is it specific to toddlers and Harry's coordination does seem to have improved from it, not only does she love it, but she is in love with the teacher. Completely and utterly. We went to playgroup one day and Sarah was there with her charge, a little one year old boy. Harry was nearly struck dumb with speechless wonder and love (kind of like how I am if Bernie is in the room). That is until she started showing Sarah her favourite toys adn dolls and asking her to watch her crawl through the slide and asking her to watch as she dug a hole in the sand and asking her to hold her socks. It was like parenting by proxy - no need for me to be there per se, although it was handy to have someone watching the baby as Harriet engaged his carer on other biting tasks such as reading the rainbow book (it has ribbons inside it and Harry lurves this book!). But yes, in summary Harry and yoga is a wonderful combination. If anyone is in the inner west of Sydney, has a walking child under the age of five who wants to come along, then please do! It is so much fun!

But as per usual, the end result of all of my experience with Harry is that we honestly do have a lot of fun with her. Today at lunch she sat there and ate about ten crackers with pickled onion on them. Just like me. And she needs to read books when she's on the toilet. Just like Papa. And she uses her hands quite a bit when she talks. Just like me. But most of the time she is just so utterly and completely Harriet. For example yesterday we were at Ruby's birthday party. Ruby would have to be Harry's best friend; they share their toys without (too many) issues. They even negotiate with each other (small digression here: the other day they both desperately wanted to go on the baby swing at the park [well Harry wanted to put Doll in it and swing her, whilst Ruby wanted to go in it herself] Harry, ever the negotiator, touched Ruby on the arm and said "Hey Ruby, how about if we both take turns of pushing my Doll in the swing? I don't mind if you do that you know". To which Ruby replied "No, Ihow about you go in the big swing instead" - now isn't it cute that they were both discussing this amongst themselves? It was so adorable to see them standing there talking like that).

But anyway, yesterday at Ruby's party Ruby was running off and was anxious to be anywhere but her own party. Harriet was constantly running after her saying "No Ruby! Come back! Your Mummy and the party are back in this direction, you need to turn around!" and then she would catch up to Ruby (quite a feat in itself!) and gently turn her around so that she was walking back to where the party was. There were bubbles, there was a cake, loads of other children and perfect autumnal afternoon weather. When we were home and getting ready for bed, I asked Harriet what her favourite part of the day had been. She replied "Running all around the hill with Ruby". Awwwww.... It's just so funny because these two are absolutely chalk and cheese yet (or should that be 'therefore'?) they get on so well!

Here are a couple of grinning faces for you! I've been so crazy busy doing work for the business I'm setting up that I haven't had much time for other stuff really. I am starting on The Amber Spyglass, which is the final book in the Northern Lights trilogy. For someone who doesn't liek sci-fi or fantasy books, I have been smitten with this series, it is a wonderful read! What a shame the movie based on the first book was so horrendous. I am also in the process of knitting a scarf - well it was going to be for Ruby's birthday but to be honest I think by the time it's finished she'll be taller than the scarf so it might end up being one to stay within the family. There are one or two (or quite a few more than that even) imperfections in the knitting that no-one should have to ever be made grateful for receiving. At least if it stays at home Harry doesn't have to pretend to actually wear it, like Ruby might be asked to because Nadia is too polite to hand it back, pinched betwixt forefinger and thumb, with the look of abject horror it so rightly deserved. Poor malformed scarf! I shall love your misshapen ways even when no-one else shall.

And on that note, I'll adjourn to bed. Happy Mother's Day to all. I am the proud owner of a burnt orange coloured hoodie, which is exactly what I wanted.


Anonymous said...

Yay !! Lots to read !! I just had to let you know what my fabulous boy child did for me for mothers day ! He staggered into my bedroom carrying a tray, lay it on the bed & proclaimed "I don't know how to do Tea, so I found this bottle of wine and this packet of corn chips, which are Gluten Free, can you see ? and here's your coffee cup that looks like the one I got you last year but this one says "World's greatest MOM" instead of "MUM" like last year- now you have a set...with "MOM" & "MUM" on it... do you want me to open the wine ? cause I also found this glass ?"(which I had been drinking from the night before) Now have I raised the greatest budding "Bloke" or what ? (Needless to say I opted to wait till post brunch to crack the red, and my mothers comment- "Well he certainly knows how to keep you happy !")
Should I try to marry him off now at the age of 12 one wonders ??
xx Lis

Cathryn said...

Oh man, I identify with so much of what you write, how unfortunate for you to be all the way on the other side of the world!

I feel the same way about TV, although I really haven't watched it at all in ages. Now it just can't imagine spending so much time watching anything—there are so many other things to do, but then occasionally I catch a glimpse of something someone is watching at another home, and I am astounded at how stupid it is! (And I'm not at all the high-falutin' intellectual sort either!)

Vaccines! I SO hear you! What to, what to do? Who knows? I stopped doing them over a year ago, saying I would just not do any more until I could get enough good information to make a decision, but that still hasn't happened. Some of the women in my AP group in Utah have done tons of research, one of them writing articles on them using only information from the Center for Disease Control and the vaccine insert itself. All of them who have done this have reached the conclusion to not vaccinate at all, except, I think, if it is required to go overseas or something, but they're more okay with giving them to an adult or teen than a tiny baby. That still seems extreme to me, but some of the things I've overheard about having an “intact” immune system do seem logical. How putting all this stuff in our bodies, stuff that is meant to trigger a whole bunch of antibodies—antibodies to things our kids aren't even coming in contact where are they all going, what are they doing? I don't know, but if you find a good source, let me know!!

On being difficult: I wonder if that temporary difficult period is a necessary part of the transition to a new stage of development. I've noticed it too (although I always forget until AFTER it's passes and then it's like, “Oh, duh!”) and it seems like maybe they are struggling with changing perspective and increased understanding, and all the feelings and stresses that go along with it, and they just need a lot of extra support as they work it out, and then suddenly they have a major breakthrough and everything is back to normal and even better than ever.

As usual, love all the pictures. You are both adorable!

Melissa said...

I've been missing your posts. Enough with the perfect life, just long enough to update us on Harry!

Alexander has that rainbow book, he loves it too. :)

Is that you with Harriet? I've never seen you, so sorry if I'm way off.

casso said...

Lisa - Sam is going to make some woman (and no doubt many women!) very VERY happy with that kind of service! Love your mother's comment too...or should I not like any of her comments at the moment? ;o) He is so cute with the mugs.

Cathryn - I feel like we're so alike in so many ways! Actually if you weren't religious I would be demanding some sort of DNA investigation due to freaky weirdness of similarity. :o) Vaccines are such a mindfield, I occasionally get all fired up about trying to ensure I get some more information, then dive into the maelstrom only to yet again emerge almost drowning in the bias and hyperbole. As for the difficult period issue, you know I really do think that children do seem to go through something that is almost perfectly aligned with their parents' ability to handle whatever it is. Once they get to that breaking point, they pull back and seem to have found their 'issue' is resolved and they can make the move into the next stage of their development.

Melissa - Yep that sure is me! The ribbon rainbow book is at playgroup but Harry loves it. To tell the truth I love it too, except I wish the final page was something dramatic with the ribbons rather than the pop-up cardboard rainbow. Do I sound like a complete nerd? :o)