Monday, June 06, 2011

Bits 'n' Bobs

Saturday was all kinds of nothing. After Ted awoke at about 5am, James valiantly took on morning duties while I slept (because he had been waking up at 3am for the last two weeks or so....*sigh*..hence my inability to do much of anything at all) and managed to get Harriet and Ted out and down to football for an early game.

By the time Ted got back from that he was so exhausted he had a feed on the cushions in the playroom and just crashed.

James had to work from home and was busy doing that until about 2.30. So while he sat there (and please, don't even get me started about that desk - we share one long desk and I keep my section separated by a sterile forcefield), Ted slept on the red cushion and Harriet wrote her latest book and I read my book. Ahhhh...long exhale. Lovely.

The latest book is called 'The Sleepytime Fairy - Book 1. This first book is "a stepping stone book for children who are just learning to read chapter books" and introduces the fairy (Lavender) and her environs. The second book will, apparently, "talk about the adventure she has...and maybe even the third book too". The spelling in this book is absolutely fantastic, I will take some photos of the more excellent pages later, I promise.

When Ted woke up it was off to Spotlight, then a quick shop to cover us for the day. Note to self - don't take a two year old who has just woken from his rejuvenating day sleep to Spotlight first thing. He chose some elephant material for a pair of pants which I'll make this week, and he had a beautifully interactive experience with other items, including unspooling 10m of ribbon from around a circular plastic holder, dragging it around him and yelling out "Come on, this is Ted's yo-yo!". Oh man, so adorable, I thought it was a total crack-up. And of course he chose purple, his favourite colour he tells me.

Just lately he has been venturing into the world of conversation with reckless abandon, thinking of topics and trying them on different people for size. It was pouring with rain the other day adn I was driving to pick up Harriet. I offered a lift to a guy who was struggling with a tiny umbrella along the highway and drove him down to Broadway. Now with Harry I would *never* have even attempted something like that - she would have been completely freaked out at there suddenly being a total stranger in front of her. Ted, you may have noticed, is a very different child. He leant forward to try and engage this stranger in discussion - "I am Teddy. I two. Going to pick up Harry from school right now. Lots of rain", all accompanied by the cutest head nodding and earnest neck craning to make sure he was being heard properly. Then this afternoon at yoga he just cruised up next to David and said "Got train tracks at home" as if to start up a conversation, seriously, not for any other reason. It was out of the blue and adorable.

This past weekend Harriet played so, so beautifully with Teddy. Some nights I'm ready to fact most of that time it's when they're in the bath together and I'm being called in every few seconds (seriously) because Ted is splashing/hitting/twisting/squashing Harriet. Argh! So frustrating! But where was I? Oh yeah, at the delicious weekend of Ted/Harry love. They just managed to keep the love going all weekend. Luckily for Harry she was able to spend all Saturday at home (which she loves to do) while I took ted out. Perhaps that helped her be more calm with him, I don't know, but she was so gentle with her play it made the whole family 'temperature' nice and cool.

Harriet's latest thing is not reading, but maths. Oh my goodness. Every day she comes home to teach her class in the playroom all about addition, subtraction, division, you name it. Mathletics is her latest website-of-choice and the past few nights have involved intense equations being written down and discussed. She said to me "You know, sometimes on our worksheets they write, for example, 8+4 and then a few questions further down they write 4+8. Why don't adults know that they are the same thing?" She also had a moment that made James a very proud papa indeed. She wrote in her Mathletics answer 0+0 = 00 and it was marked incorrect. WELL! Apparently (I wasn't here to see it myself) she was absolutely beyond indignant, drawing out exactly what the screen looked like to James, arguing that they needed to contact the Mathletics administration that the answer is correct and that the whole thing was an outrage...AN OUTRAGE! Just wait until this child finds out about talkback radio.

While we were sitting at Marrickville Markets in the sun yesterday, I overheard someone saying "Ta! Ta!" to a little toddler. Now have I ranted on here about the word Ta before? I'm pretty sure I must have, there's no way I could keep my disgust and anger at this word away from the blog for six years, surely. Anyway...I HATE TA! I mean, no-one uses that word except adults talking to babies, so it's baby-talk, which means it has to be un-learnt and the correct term re-learnt. Ie - it is completely useless. For another, if you consider a child to be incapable of saying more than one syllable then don't also expect them to be able to understand and engage in complex social situations such as a please/thank you discussion. Just model appropriate behaviour - really, is it that hard? Just take it and say 'thank you. Or ask for something and say 'please'. Ted says the most adorable 'ganks' and at the dinner table he says "Ganks Casso" when his dinner is put in front of him - totally unasked or expected and totally appreciated (even more so because it's unsolicited).

And while we're at it, I'll have a little stroppy moment about sharing too. This morning we went to Lennox House, which must be the hotbed of forced 'sharing'. Seriously, if I am sitting there playing with something adn someone comes along and grabs it out of my hands, I'm going to want that thing back! And goddamn it, if someone makes me want to share it I'll resist mightily. I was just sitting there playing, I didn't ask for some jerk to come and grab it out of my hands and ruin my fun! What's with the insistence on sharing? Can't we just redirect gently? This poor child was playing with a car, another toddler came up and grabbed it out of her hands and the first toddler (of course) cries out angrily and grabs it back forcefully. The mother then turns to her and says "No, you have to learn to share, share the car and find another one". Hang on - tell that to toddler grab-a-lot! That is some serious injustice going on there.

And I think I'll end my ranting with 'sorry'. really, what is forcing a child to say sorry teaching them? It's definitely teaching them that it doesn't matter what you feel, just by saying the correct hollow words society requires of you then all is ok. It definitely teaches them that apologies don't need to be genuine (so how are they going to feel when someone says sorry to them? Will they believe it? Why would they?). I'm not at all sure what it is supposed to achieve. I've apologised on behalf of my children before to other children and I've had discussions with them about how saying sorry lets other children have some closure and allows them to re-connect with them, but forcing them to say it? As Ted wold say - What the WHAT?

Over the weekend we acquired the Yo Gabba Gabba cds. As someone who eschews those tedious, patronising shows with a vehement passion, James found this song and then this one (which Ted loves) and we realised that although the show may be terrible, the songs are awesome! So with all of these uber cool songs, what do our children listen to? This one! Le sigh.

1 comment:

Sif said...

LOL, the rant about "ta" made me giggle (I still say ta, when accepting things from people - by people I mean other adults as well as children, I obviously never unlearned it). Ari always says, "tant choo", though.