Monday, April 04, 2011


So life has been slipping past and turns out the blog has lain dormant for nearly a month already. A month?! Seriously? Those people who say that life moves faster when you have children were right (and wrong when you're waiting for them to finally get to sleep).

I guess not much has happened but of course a LOT has happened. Ted now speaks in proper sentences; for example he admonished me for moving in the wrong direction when we were playing in the pool "No Mama coming into this area. Mama not allowed in this area". He loves to use terms to discuss relativity, such as "right there", "almost done", "in the middle of all that". Today we were driving down a laneway and he yelled out "Turn right Mama! Right now!" - I had driven straight past a very small driveway that we normally turn into when parking in the city. I mean seriously! The child is pretty cool. In fact he's totally freaking gorgeous and wonderful.

Ted really is just SO easy. He gets on well with new people without any stress, he chats to anyone with animation and concentration, and after being worried that he wasn't speaking well enough for his age he has exploded with his language in the past month. He also speaks very clearly, almost as if he wanted to wait until he could clearly say a word before trialling it out loud. The other day he said "Teddy no have any sunglasses. Use goggles as sunglasses {pause for his self-eliited laughter}. Pretty funny!". Ted loves to crack Ted up. He has been trying to write a 'T' lately (as he parrots: "One line down, one line straight across" as he draws something resembling a Parkinsons 'r') and loves his music. Oh MY the music.

This is him at "music class with Alina". We talk about music least ten times a day (and NO I'M NOT JOKING) and listen to the least five times a day (why do children's cds insist on everything being sung about two octaves higher than the average voice can sing?)...and he is cute...ohhh...about 100% of every enthusiastic moment he talks about it, sings along with it or dances to it. At the class you're given a cd and Ted loves this cd (during the class I can now silently tick off the track numbers as we go through them: "Michael Finigan, track seven; oh The Little White Duck, that's track twenty six etc. and no, I didn't move from my chair to write that so I hope I got the tracks correct or I look very silly and yes I'm used to that and yes, this is a very long bracket). We have conscientiously avoided burning a copy of the cd to have one in the house and in the car at the same time in order to give me a break. I mean there is only so many times I can sing "Knees Knees" or "Pat a Cake" whilst driving and have Ted yelling at me (and I mean really giving it a good ole yell) "Get those hands OFF that steering wheel!! SING that song and USE HANDS" and that is a direct quote, people. This life is a funny one.

But the love he has for this class has allowed us all to see his passion for music. It is really something else. He sings the songs from Alina everywhere (in fact the reason I wasn't allowed in the area of the pool mentioned above was because he needed the space to complete a proper circle for 'Muffin Man'). He sat entranced watching this clip the other morning and about a month ago we showed him what a double bass was. Then on the weekend he stood up on the bed with my acoustic guitar next to him and proclaimed "Teddy play this double bass". I seriously only would have told him what a double bass was ONCE, *ages* ago. But he is just so into instruments and music and singing and dancing that we can't deny him the obvious joy it brings him (and us).

I think it is safe to say that there is so much laughter in this house as a direct result of Ted's existence.

Harriet ad a different extension of her love for music a few weeks ago. She was playing in the playroom with Ted just banging around on different instruments when she suddenly announced with great clarity, "I'm going outside to busk!". And out she went. And when I say she went out to busk, what I mean is that she stood just inside our gate and tooted loudly, tunelessly and without any attempt to actually make a note to a street empty of pedestrians. Bear came out, of course (and later required a jumper when it got colder) and I offered the suggestion that placing a container in front of her might encourage people to give her some money. The recycling box was raided, the yoghurt bottle was adorned with a sign reading 'Thank You' and then she was back at it.

And stayed there. And stayed there. James went out to put ten cents in her jar which she scornfully rejected with a "I don't want *your* money. I want money from other people so we can get *more* money". The most tragic thing was that probably about fifteen or so people would have walked by in the three hours or so that she was out there, but not one even gave her a second glance. My goodness the world can be a harsh place. I so wanted to wrap her up and bring her inside and give her a thousand accolades and throw coins galore into her jar. But instead I did what I could. I chatted casually about how most people have to see things three times in order to know what they are and respond ("Oh, look there's a girl plying recorder/singing"...then "Oh there's that girl who is busking" and finally "Oh I think I'll give that girl some money for her busking"). That seemed to go down quite well. And when dark finally descended I went out to join her. We walked down towards the highway together, set up our busking 'spot' and sang together. We sang some Mary Poppins favourites, some Sound of Music favourites and then finally walked home to dinner.

There's a stage, probably around this age I guess, where talking about what your child can DO rather than what they are like as a person, seems quite inappropriate. But I also think it's worth mentioning on the blog for the sake of posterity, that Harriet has emerged (unsurprisingly some may argue) as quite the precocious reader. She is being given Roald Dahl books as her take-home reader (The Magic Finger was deemed 'too easy' and The Twits is hilarious and just right, except for the fact that she doesn't want to start reading it again for some reason). She can pretty much read anything at all. The main issue I guess is that she is quite socially naive and most books pitched at her level involve some degree of social intricacy and manipulation that she is just unaware of really. Issues like who's being mean and someone's not talking to someone else and all that type of thing just really doesn't appeal to her, she just doesn't understand it. So finding books that appeal to her, aren't too simple for her and that she can understand has been quite challenging. She's currently enjoying/obsessing about the Rainbow Magic Fairy book series and she has just recently finished her interest in The Magic Treehouse which I've mentioned before.

She wrote and illustrated her first book the other day too (the first of many I'm sure). It started as a series of drawings rather than a story first, so it's pretty basic (*ahem*), but it's her first book nonetheless (and nonetheless was one of the words she read in the newspaper the other day). I'll take some photos and post them here. She's pretty gorgeous when she's not driving us crazy. And boy can she drive us crazy. If you say something to her like "You can't do x" then she's sure to blurt out with, "Sure! Fine! Ok, well I can't do x, y and z, sure, no problem, that's just GREAT!" and run, storming off with tears streaming down her face and the person standing behind her left bewildered over what has just happened. Catastrophising and capitulation are her two strongest personality traits at the moment and they're two we're working hard on changing.

So Harry has been going to football. Stop laughing! No, stop it! We get enough laughs ourselves at the training and games, thank you very much. Harry really enjoys training on Wednesday nights but is not that great a fan of the games themselves. She runs up and down on the spot in the distance about half a field behind everyone akin to a prancing horse, usually paying scant attention to what's going on in her game but transfixed by what everyone on the other fields is doing. In fact once she even had the ball kicked straight at her shins. She looked down in surprise as it bounced off her shin pads to the ground a few cms in front of her. She just stood there, looking at it in a slightly bewildered fashion for a moment until another child came up and belted the thing away from her, to which she happily started prancing off after the pack in the general direction of the ball. Oh man, it's comedy gold!

And we found an undersized bike for her on the street, perfect for using as a balance bike while she gets the hang of riding. I took the pedals off one afternoon and we went back to the cycling area for a picnic dinner. In typical Harriet fashion she found her own groove; pushing off happily, walking around on the bike and chatting out loud to any and all about what she's thinking and seeing and contemplating. Even when you're far, far away on the other side of the park and she can't be heard by any stretch of the imagination, I could still see her lips moving, telling their own story in their own time in their own way. So very, very Harriet.


Anonymous said...

WoW !!! That was an amazing read !!!
Thanks for the update I've missed you guys !!
xxx Lis

Selene said...

The muffin man story made me laugh out loud! They are both such classics! Nice to read an update, and love the last pic in particular!

Anonymous said...

Wow, great post!
Beautiful shot of Harry writing.
God I miss that bike park.....