Friday, May 07, 2010

Me and My Weakness

You all know well my problem with buying children's books. It just seems so crazy to be in front of books, beautiful books, that have a $1 price tag and to LEAVE them in a shop. I mean, that $1 coin is probably just going to fall down the back of the lounge or be given as a tip or something. It's not as important as THAT BOOK.

However another weakness, on top of the book thing, is garage sales. I just can't drive past one without slowing down, sticking my head out of the window and doing a quick scan. My latest scan items have been old wooden chairs, an easel that folds down, big glass jars with strong lids and a pram. The other weekend James came home (and may I add, he had been home for a good twenty minutes before he dropped this bombshell) and mentioned that there was a garage sale of children's toys at the end of our street. Not only that but he was pretty sure he saw a pram there. You have never seen someone dress so quickly. I literally (yes, embarassing to admit but I'm hardly one to be reticent with self exposure) ran down the road to this garage sale. And when I got there I saw IT. Yes, the pram in that first photo! It was all of three dollars people. THREE DOLLARS! I can safely say that I would have given up three children's books for that pram, that's how much I love it. In fact I would have easily paid ten times that much. AND given up ten children's books for it. It is in perfect condition except for a little bit of rotting wood on the underside.

It is perfect. Perfect perfect perfect. Harriet *loves* it. She had been asking us for a doll stroller that faced her "because babies need to see their mamas and the other ones make babies really sad". It has beautifully perfect white wheels with pink spokes. I even persuaded Harry that one of her doll beds has to find a new home because she has a new bed of sorts for them.

But not only that, I found this great car for Ted - all for a measly TEN DOLLARS! These things retail for over a hundred dollars and their resale value is really high because children love them so much and they last for so long. We would never have bought one if not for finding it so cheap. And oh my god but Ted thinks this is the best thing ever! He will catch a glimpse of it parked outside through the loungeroom window and start grunting and pulling away from me and all but throwing his body in self sacrifice through the window in the wild hope of landing behind the driver's seat.

The cool thing about the car is that Harry can sit in the back seat. It's really a boot but the back folds all the way down, so if she performs some pre-teen body origami she can sit in there all the way down to the train station. I can push both of them in there while they are both entertained and ecstatic. It's awesome!

Poor Ted though - the first time I popped him in there (actually that's not how it was at all - more like the first time Ted dragged my arm out of its socket to wrench the door open and throw his body behind the steering wheel) we went for an adventure out on the footpath. Unfortunately, being unused to this pedal power Flintstones mode of transport (I love that the spellchecker knows Flintstones), I didn't put shoes on Teddy. His poor little tarsal joints are still sporting a row of deep grazes and there's a little trail of blood to confuddle pedestrians down the road from us. But now he knows we need to put shoes on him he's bang up for it. In fact we could probably ask him for a blood sample before entering the car and he'd agree.

Things that are new and exciting int he world of Ted definitely include FOOD. In the last couple of weeks Teddy has found food. It's kind of like finding god but a lot more satisfying. He has eaten olives, apples, oranges, snow peas, broccoli, sweet potato, cucumber, the usual stuff. But his favourite thing of all is pasta. Oh my lord. If I am eating pasta and I make the mistake of sitting near him, he will drag my bowl away from me and plunge his chubby little fist into that bowl quick smart. Actually that's an exaggeration (I know, unlike me, huh?). He will drag the bowl that's true. But then he will daintily use the most exquisitely perfect pincer grip and acquire one lone pasta piece from my bowl. He will then squish it to within an inch of its life. Scratch that. He will squish it to death. Then he'll pincer grip the next one from my bowl, offer it to me and see if I take a nibble. If I eat a bite then he will deign to eat it too.

Ted's also definitely more of a thrillseeker than Harriet. Of course being more adventurous than little miss OH&S inspector here is not that difficult. But he has started to tackle slides on his own which brings a HUGE grin as can be seen here. He loves being pushed really high on the swing. In fact I didn't even realise this and thought he was a bit bored or even scared by swings since he had no real reaction to them. But then I accidentally gave him a pretty high and hard push one day (I was alternating between him and Harry and my muscle memory got confused) and he started giggling and throwing himself around in the seat. So yep, if you're on swing duty with Ted don't aim low, aim high...higher!
We also turned him around in his car seat last Sunday. He reached the 12kg mark (well we're pretty sure he has, and my right bicep can barely lift its weary muscular head to nod in agreement) and so we had to turn him around. I must say he's completely nonplussed by the whole thing which was a tad upsetting for Harriet who was really excited that *he* would be excited at finally sitting around like her. But now it's a lot easier for them to play silly face games in the back of the car together (which just about makes my heart melt with the love of it all) and this afternoon Harriet taught Ted how to slap his knees in time to the music. Now *that* was pretty cute, very funny and also not as head thumpingly difficult to handle as one would otherwise imagine.

And in closing, one from Harriet. Last night we were sitting on the floor having dinner (as you do when your toddler won't let you all sit down in one place and it's a lot easier to do picnic dinners) when James mentioned to Harry that she will be four and three quarters when a friend of hers turns five. Well...she burst into tears! Said she wasn't going to and that she was FOUR AND A HALF thank you very much. When I asked her if she knew what three quarters was, she (of course) replied that she didn't. Well, down came the Montessori fractions board and we showed her what it is. Luckily it was within arms reach so our formal dining arrangement didn't have to be compromised in any way. Anyway, so we showed her how three quarters were bigger than the half and I went to have a bit more dinner and she said "Teach me more about it". So we then played fractions games and showed her what fractions looked like written down (courtesy of the Megasketcher also within arms reach - see, this picnic dinner thing is really all about impromptu teaching materials). When James asked her if she'd like to have three quarters of a cupcake or three thirds of it instead she said "The three thirds of course cos that's the whole thing". Since all she does with cupcakes is lick off the icing and give it back to me we might have to work out what percentage of the whole icing is. Because once she works out that, she'll be all like "Hey, just give me one fifteenth of that cupcake thanks".

Icing. Creating mathematical minds the world over. Well, maybe not in the underdeveloped nations so much.


Anonymous said...

As a fellow bargain hunter, I have the pleasure of informing you that I was coveting a remarkably similar pram at a local bric-a-brac store: the price tag was $79. Good work!!!
By the way, how great are council clean ups? You know, when people put all their hard rubbish out on the side walk? LOVE THEM!!!!!

JennieMo said...

I loved this one...and now know that when I have my garage sale....putting a $1 tag on Norman's horn will ensure that he is taken home by you and Harriet! LOVE IT!!

Anonymous said...

This was a great read Cas ! I must have just skimmed before. I love the pram...and want it ;-) And Ted looks very pround of his new wheels....such a boy ;-)
I have a big smile on my face now :-)
xx Lis