Saturday, January 12, 2013

10th of January


Whoops!  A hiatus during January?!  It's almost unforgivable!   But the last couple of evenings have played out a little later and a little more unpredictable than we had thought.  As, of course, you will read about!

On Thursday the 10th, Harriet was going over to her friend Lucy's house to have a sleepover.  You may remember that her last experience had been less than restful, but since she had never had an incident like that before and the day preceding it had been rather exciting, I didn't think there would be anything to worry about.  We ended up solving the great mystery of the extra Hawai'i postcard, which had arrived unsigned.  You may accurately surmise from Lucy's attire and hairstyle that it was, indeed, she who had sent it.  Mystery solved!  I love a good solved mystery.  Lucy had brought back some very cute little clip-on earrings for Harriet to wear, which my girl was quite taken aback by.  They seemed remarkably mature for her, and she seemed a tad unsure about them, but happily entered into the playful spirit and gave them a go.

And then they were off!  Leaving Ted and I to scramble together the semblance of social nicety in our presentation and head off to the bike park to meet up with Alina and Oscar.

 When we arrived, Ted was thrilled with the gift of some dice.  His D&D genes are firmly in place, but no matter what your penchant, some brightly coloured dice are always going to go down well.

However that really was about the only thing that did go down well.  Teddy was just not in the mood to be out in public.  He pretty much screamed and railed against the world for the entire time we were out, which was a real shame since it may very well be the last time we are in the presence of only two young children when we meet up.  It was exactly the sort of weather that Ted doesn't do well in - overcast, heavy humidity, glaring and very warm.  Just generally uncomfortable.  I realised my folly afterwards in not suggesting he wear a different top, since his 'Gryffindor' shirt that he received for Christmas is a little less breathable than a few of his others.

At one point he and Oscar did manage to go for a delicious run up a hill, and giggle the whole way and then back again.  It seemed such a shame that he couldn't keep it together since he really has missed Oscar recently and had been so excited about catching up with him before we went out.

And, as I had predicted, as soon as we got home and Ted was fed, he calmed right down and was fine.  In fact as we were leaving the bike park I noticed, with excitement, that the Veggie Patch van had parked off to the side.  And when I say off to the side I mean about ten metres from where our car was parked.  I also happened to (unusually) have cash in my wallet.  And I was hungry.  Bingo!  Perfect!

Nuh-uh.  I told Ted I just wanted to pop over and buy a vegie burger from the little caravan over there.  And that child totally went into complete and utter meltdown.  Well, obviously everything else being serendipitous just wasn't quite good enough, and not wanting to fight a battle or put him through a wait longer than he was physically and mentally capable of sustaining, I acquiesced and we drove straight home.
And then on to feeding.  This poor child had probably been on the borderline of hypoglycaemia.  He sat down and ate ten corn thins with jam (a yummy homemade jam we bought at the vegetarian wholefoods cafe in Milton the week before), half a jar of gherkins and half a tin of baked beans. 

And to make it even more the realistic for you, I posted a photo.  Because you may have laboured under the illusion that these foods were eaten in sequence.  But I am here to present to you the reality of his eating preference.  Jam corn thins topped with the gherkins and then dipped generously into the baked beans.  For each bite.  Oh yeah, baby.  That's the stuff of St Johns College initiations
It may have been around the slowing down of this particular luncheon experience that I realised the true situation of having Harriet away from the house at this stage in Ted's development.  The child is currently just obsessed (did you hear me;  because I said OBSESSED)  with pretend play.  And he needs another actor in the game of whatever-it-is that he is playing at any given moment.  At first he wanted to play Sylvanians, which was cute. He played hospitals with them and here he's introducing his little girl squirrel ( guessed it..Annie.  You didn't guess it?  Return to the start of the blog and read slowly).

Ted has also started this entirely delightful habit of curling his upper lip inwards when he smiles.  To be frank it is totally creepy and evil and I hope it doesn't last.  Don't you think he looks like he's going to perform some sort of physical torture with this grin?

And well...when the cat's away and all that.  Ted managed to play silently by himself as a result of the forbidden fruit on offer while Harriet was out.  Her Sylvanian caravan is the ultimate contraband and here he was, permitted to lay it out however he wanted! To place whomever he wanted in the beds!  To have whichever family members he chose sleep wherever he decided they could!  No recriminations or didactic demands!  The excitement was palpable.

While he was in there, I decided to bring out some of my doilies and try to organise them a little, however I got about as far as taking this photo when Ted came out and wanted to be involved.

Ted decided to adorn himself in this odd little piece of lacework I found at the op-shop (for all of 50c too).  It has been fashioned to sit around your neck, and buttons up at the nape of the neck with a little pearl button.  I'm not too sure what to use it for, but Ted promptly saw its potential to make one feel magnificent.  He also proudly declared that doily to be his favourite.  He then found about another ten or so favourites with embroidery, so I'm not too sure what the standards are for inclusion in the top ten.


But really the afternoon belonged to something that was so engrossing, and so intense, that I was not capable of photographing the event itself.  It was the afternoon of the Wonka factory.  One of the benefits of being late with my entries is that I can show you a photo I took the next day, but really belongs with this post.  I made up these pieces of paper - one purple Wonka Bar wrapper (it is folded in half here), one brown block of chocolate, one dollar bill, and one Golden Ticket.  

The amount of pure, unadulterated joy that these four pieces of paper bring Ted cannot be underestimated.  He has distilled the story down to just a few essential scenes, and has realised that each tableau can be played out with just two people, since one person can change characters between scenes.  

Essentially it is always the same - Ted is Charlie Bucket.  He enacts being hungry and sad and poor, and finds a dollar bill on the ground.  He comes over to me (in this first scene I am the shopkeeper) and I engage him in discussion as befits the progression of the narrative.  He then finds the Golden Ticket (he always uses he expression "flash of gold" as he sees it in the packet, because that is how it is written up in the book) and after much excitement from me (and him, but of course Charlie is not quite as overtly emotional as the onlookers so he is not wild with excitement), he goes home.  This is where I metamorphose into Grandpa Joe and I rouse myself out of bed and go with him to the factory.  A quick temporal jump occurs and at the Wonka factory doors I stand there, as Willy Wonka.  I usually have some sort of identifying prop such as the sparkly pink top hat or a long walking stick fashioned from anything handy, and enthusiastically pump his hand and then usher him into the Wonka factory.  

Here the play can take any number of bizarre turns, as I describe anything and everything around me as made of chocolate.  As I found out on my first turn, I need to be mildly discerning in what I point out, since he will actually lick whatever it is I motion towards.  Everything is to be discussed in the hushed tones of awe and grandeur that befit such a factory as Wonka's.

And once I've told him that it is all his (after he gives me back the Everlasting Gobstopper of course), we go in the Great Glass Elevator and the game/play ends; we have a brief respite for maybe five minutes and then it starts all over again.


As much fun as that all is, by the time James walked in the door, I was exhausted!  I had played the Wonka game for hours, had a great time at first but slowly descended into my own Groundhog Day of exhaustion as I came to grips with the fact that Ted's appetite for this game was utterly insatiable.  About ten minutes before James was due home, I called it quits and told Ted that he could play with Papa when he came home.  He was so excited that he got together his little pack of Wonka things in the photo above, and threw them through the grill door so that James would essentially step on them and be aware of his roles to come before he even stepped indoors.

The result was we had brinner (what we call it when we eat what is essentially a breakfast meal for dinner) sine I had had no chance to make dinner.  The other result was that as soon as James walked through the door I poured myself a glass of wine and collapsed into a chair. I do recall enacting a similar motion when James declared his interest in having children.


After brinner there was catapult play, and then we all sat down to a rousing game of Kids of Carcassone (it's a great game - no reading, basic counting and strategy).  Ted went down to sleep and ten it was time to watch We Need to Talk About Kevin (I'm sure you remember I've been reading it and finished it while Ted was ploughing his way through his delightful lunch).

About halfway through the movie my phone rang.  Odd. It was the mother where Harriet was staying and turns out Harriet couldn't go to sleep.  I decided to nip this little evening in the bud before it got too crazy and Harriet became crazy tired.  I went over there, gave her lots of hugs and love, got in the car and drove home.  On the way home I asked her what they'd got up to during the day.  Turns out that they'd taken her, unbeknownst to me, to see Para Norman.  You can imagine how Harriet would have handled that, my poor thing.  So now we're going to work on a method of how she can feel empowered to ask to call me in certain times when she feels like things are out of control when I'm not there.  James will attest to the fact that I was so worked up about how scared she must have been that I couldn't get to sleep, and by this time it was around 12.  So - no blogging happened that night I'm sorry.

And seeing as this post has become epic with all that (ridiculously unnecessary) Wonka game description, I am now sitting here at 1am.  So another catch up post tomorrow.

1 comment:

Gil Liane said...

Once I went to a sleepover when little & was actually brave enough to ask them to call my mum to come and take me home after dinner. I got spooked when we had to have a formal sit down at the table meal, & children were not allowed to contribute to the conversation, & the dad told someone off sharply for doing something? (I can't even remember what it was. Breathing, maybe?). I also think I may not have had a lamp? Suffice to say, it was all too much for me. Poor Harriet, Paranorman would have done me in too!