Saturday, January 26, 2013

23rd of January

 Wednesday, hello!  We are staring down the nose of the final days of January and boy I can't wait.  Sure, sure, I love my children but lately they are at each other's throats and it is wearing me down.  Ted is just at an age where he demands his way all the day.  Harriet is just at an age where she doesn't enjoy having a brother to...well to do anything with.  It's really draining me to keep calm and deal with these ongoing, persistent and unrelenting issues without resorting to pointing to a corner and demanding they sit there.  If anyone is experiencing something akin to what I am, I highly recommend Siblings Without Rivalry, it's great.  Although the rational part of a four year old's mind isn't really as up to par with the book as I would like.  

For example, when Ted realised this morning that Harriet had around four or so more pieces of rockmelon on her plate than he had, it was the almost classic case from SWR.  I asked him if he was worried he wouldn't have enough to eat - "NO!  I just want MORE than Harriet has!" - he proclaimed as he sank to his knees in the middle of the dining room and sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.  Honestly?  He sobbed for around fifteen full minutes.  By which time Harriet had finished her fruit plate and brought it out...with rockmelon pieces on it for Teddy to have.  (See?  There is love!).  But Teddy was just so hungry and tired and over it that he yelled at her for bringing it out. *sigh*  
But here I am jumping to today (the 26th) when I'm still lingering over the 23rd.  The sibling issue was still around then too, so I guess it's ok to mention. This holiday the sibling issue has been omnipresent - they want to thrash each other for about three quarters of the day and then at some inexplicable tipping point, they start playing beautifully together.  Whatever and however the reason I am still looking forward to the return of school.  Without a village to help me raise my children, I turn to the loving embrace of the school to help me find a little breathing space.  Not only for me from the children but honestly, it is more to give them some space from each other, especially Harriet from Ted. 

But all that aside, on Wednesday I thought we should head out to see the Wallace and Gromit exhibition on at the Powerhouse.  Meh - it was ok.  It was wonderful to see the absolute look of wonder on Ted's face as he encountered items that had Wallace's voice.  At the entry there is a phone that lies ringing.  It has a sign that says 'Please answer me' or something akin to that (Ted read it aloud to me before he picked it up so that I knew it was ok for him to answer).  To watch his face as he heard Wallace speak on the other end was absolutely priceless.  But just in case you weren't there to see it, Ted made sure he squealed so loudly with excitement that it rang through the entire upper floor of the museum.

Afterwards we asked him what his favourite part of the exhibition was.  Turns out it was this - walking up to their house.  Ted gazed up at it in amazement, pointing out along the way where Gromit's footprints were to be seen.  We stared out into their garden and Teddy walked through their front door with eyes as big as saucers.


But really there wasn't that much to hold him in the exhibition and we didn't spend that much time in there.  The Powerhouse is undergoing a major renovation, so we kind of pottered around in the areas where I knew the children would find some points of interest.  The transport area was loads of fun and we stayed there for most of our time.  The large steam engine with its climb-aboard carriage held much fascination for Ted who ushered young children on and off according to his timetable of stations.  

But of course the space section was of great interest.  Ted's just entering the space love phase and he loved the walk-through area where they show what it looks like in the personal areas of the ISS (Ted also loves finding the ISS as it swings past us in the night sky).  We went into the zero gravity simulator twice, with Harriet and Ted telling everyone all about it the second time we went in there (the photo above is of Ted seconds into it).  They do love to be the voice of authority and apparently once is all you need to be that.

The Turing Test computer was loads of fun as well.  Ted wrote some choice words in there, including 'poo' and 'ted'.  So we had the basics covered.  Harriet was falling around in fits of laughter at this and I was silently wishing I'd packed my book (The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver at the moment).  Just behind them here though is a new installation which is basically a long length of a recreated Mars landscape, with a robotics lab at one end of it.  It's working lab, not one for children or visitors in general to poke around in.  Unfortunately there was just a lone worker in there trying to tap away at his laptop with all of these small noses pressed up against the glass door.  Fun workplace.

We went outside for a play, after we worked through Ted's screaming and yelling about going outside.  He was yelling so loudly that he couldn't hear our constant refrain that going outside wasn't leaving it was going out to the playground area.  Now that wasn't frustrating or anything.  Harriet insisted on only two incidents of sulking and martyrdom (involving me refusing to buy something 'special' from the highly questionable cafe they have there, when she had a perfectly fine only-half-eaten PlanetBox to pick from).  So I was getting ready to leave sooner rather than later.

It was pretty humid and we didn't arrive home until just before 5pm (thank goodness I had the foresight to cook dinner in the morning).  It was just the kind of summer late afternoon that required a sing-a-long.  Ted started us off, and then assigned instruments to the rest of us. 

James came home and put Kong Foo Sing on very loudly.  Which then required the often seen dance move at all Regurgitator gigs - standing in a circle, holding hands and jumping up and down.  Those who know my particular style of 'dancing' would be well aware that's not too far off my own brand of movement anyway.

The best way to finish off the day was, of course, Harriet playing Allegro as the coda to the Regurgitator cd.  Ah, inner city life.

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