Sunday, May 26, 2013

Teddy and the Angry Angry Day

The other day we had a bad day.  A really bad day.  It is what has now become known as "The angry angry day" in Tedanesu.  Ted's rambunctious personality is a wonderful thing to behold.  But in the last few weeks it has been slowly moving towards a dangerous zenith of personal and public danger.  

He has been cavalier, at best, with his attitude to projectiles, highways, heights, depths, markets (who would have thought there was a dangerous side to shopping?), travelators and pretty much any other action or thing you could imagine.  This child has been exploring danger within both the verb and noun categories of life.

So on the angry angry day I was over it.  Over having to be constantly on alert for any untoward sound or scream of panic from Harriet, any thud or scratch or slam or yell.  I'm not talking about me responding with anger and anxiety at every sound - I would hope most of you would know that's not how I roll.  But lately, let's just say I have been loathe to have him out of my sight for fear of what unearthly descent into Hades he may be leading himself into.

Risk-taking?  You bet.  Appropriate?  No-freaking-way.  

So I sat him down and got angry.  And not yelling, crazy angry.  I'm talking the cold, hard, teary-apologies-don't-work angry.  Ted has a penchant for apologising and saying exactly the right thing to quell all upset and move quickly past any point where a meaningful discussion of what has happened might take place.  But not this time.  This time we were going to talk.  Oh boy. 

And come the next day, I found we were able to have such a great day.  He kept himself safe.  He listened on maybe the second or even third time I asked him to do something.  I just had to remind him of our conversation and he lit up, saying with his finger pointed to the air (as if a cloud of memory with a lightbulb inside resided just above his mop of golden hair), "Oh that's right!".

And at the end of the day, when we all sit around the dinner table together and discussed how our day had been, I looked over at Ted and said, "Well Ted, today has been a great day, hasn't it?  You listened to what I asked of you, you kept yourself safe and that meant we could spend more time playing and being happy."  And Ted gave it a two thumbs up.

He is obviously a very different child to Harriet.  I have never understood how people could proclaim that they parent their children the same, or profess surprise that their children are so different when they come "...from the same household."  Because of course a household is experienced in a completely different way for each member within it.

Ted's experience will be different if only in terms of how he experiences cricket.  Cricket, with Harriet, was an experience fraught with screaming, stress and serious personal injury to me (despite James being the one who took her!).  Ted loves his cricket.  The other day we rediscovered a DK book called The Young Cricketer which he had bought from an op shop when he was around two.  This time around he sat reading intently about spin, fast and off-spin bowling methods.  Seriously.

He studied the photos in there of a solemn young chap indicating the ideal method for each mode of bowling and then set to work outside recreating their photographed efforts.  Since cricket is just about the only sport I can tolerate to watch and even follow, this wasn't quite as terrible as electrocuting myself (although if given the choice it's safe to safe I would have preferred to lie there reading to him for the same amount of time).

Check out the action on him here!  When he focuses on trying to do some serious bowling action rather than just mucking around fun stuff he can really let them rip.  Bags not doing cricket duty, James.

Harriet has been thoroughly enjoying lie lately.  At the local school fair she was the first contestant to volunteer for the Trivia Slime stage - they asked ridiculously tricky questions and then if a child failed to achieve a 100% correct answer rate they were ceremonially SLIMED!  Harriet chose to forego the offer of a protective poncho and got slimed twice with gusto!  She then proudly purchased the "I Got Slimed!" t-shirt displayed in the background. This fair has an impressive choice of rides and our children spent the next four hours in varying degrees of  rotation or speedy sliding as a result.

Yes, there has been Mother's Day since I last blogged.  Unfortunately our family does not do events well.  This was the conclusion after our day at Parsley Bay was ok.  Middling.  You know, just alright.  This was before the angry angry day, so Ted spent most of his time in various degrees of personal danger.  Of course as luck would have it Harriet ended up being the one with the personal injury tally that included an open, bleeding wound.  But otherwise it was a pleasant day of no real note.  Meh. 

 Harriet has been seeking out a lot of specific Mama one-on-one time lately, which has been a delight to indulge.  Pottering with her at fabric markets, watching as she gently cradles one original kewpie doll after another to decide which one shall enjoy the pampered existence that awaits at our home. 

She invited some friends over for a last minute 'meeting'. This is what she set up for them in the playroom.  Doilies, matching vintage bowls, fruit platter, pot of chai, biscuits for dunking and a bowl of nuts for nibbling.  These were her specific requests.  Luckily I had received a bunch of flowers from some lovely clients the day before, which Harriet was more than eager to appropriate.  Didn't she make it look gorgeous?  What delightful young minds would sit there, discussing issues of importance, espousing poignant details of their young lives.

Or of course it could all just result in a crazy mess of show, drumming, laughing and dress-ups.  You be the judge.

Teddy has been most excited to have his own computer.  Made for him by a new company called 'Harriet's Toy Electronics' (she has it written on each item of electronic-cardboard magic she creates), he can email us (Harriet added a few other email 'addresses' after this trial run), search via Google and watch a show called 'The Bungoos'.  A few weeks ago Harriet drew this adorable little family of creatures called the Bungoos - each one had a full character written up, personality traits itemised and their general daily narrative performed for all of us.

Never a dull moment.

And we have a surprise bounty of compost-bloomed cherry tomatoes flowering and crowding over our frangipani tree.  It is incredible to see these delicious morsels growing in front of our eyes in May.  It seems somewhat disturbing to contemplate the real opportunity of eating freshly picked tomatoes in June.

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