Archive for the ‘babess’ Category

Monday, lovely Monday

December 30, 2013

The Monday between Christmas and New Year is the best Monday of the year, I reckon.

The girls slept in. Fainjin, true to form, bounded out of bed early, got dressed, brought the paper in & played quietly with the Lego while the rest of us lazed.

Eventually we all got up.  There was no rush, and we’ve recovered enough from the pre-Christmas stress build-up to relax into the day.  The paper told us of interesting things happening in town, and we needed to scout the post-Christmas sales for Fainjin’s birthday this week, so off we went.

We scouted sales, walked along the waterfront, marvelled at the sunshine, complained about the wind, collected some free lollies from an activity that couldn’t run properly due to the wind, climbed some rock walls that were just sitting there asking for it, slid down again, looked at various cafe menus, and ended up at a burger chain for lunch.

Babess managed to lock herself in the loo, which caused about 10 minutes of consternation for me and the staff and random strangers who came in while we were trying to get her out.  Eventually she managed to slide the bolt back all by herself and was freed.  The staff were (if possible) even more sympathetic when she emerged, looking so tiny and red-eyed and tearful and snotty and scared.  Free icecreams were dispensed, with apologies on both sides and many thanks on ours.

We found a holiday drawing workshop going on and joined in, the kids happily drawing cartoon characters for an hour, then they’d had enough so we wandered off again and The Dad and I sneakily ordered tea and coffee in a cafe while the kids played nearby.  Eventually they noticed and started demanding even more food and drink, so we came home.

I set them to work in the garden, where they happily harvested a decent haul of raspberries and strawberries, and helped pick sweetpeas.

After all that, we came inside to escape the heat and settled with quiet games and books and so on.

Truly, the best way to spend a Monday that I can think of (except maybe the getting locked in the loo bit).

These are the berries I picked *after* the kids reckoned they'd got all there were to get...

These are the berries I picked *after* the kids reckoned they’d got all there were to get…

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Letter to Santa

December 15, 2013

Babess has very good handwriting and quite astonishing spelling for a child with only two terms’ schooling.  The other day she sat down and wrote a long letter to Santa, on the back of a piece of Christmas wrapping paper.

Ples Santa...

Ples Santa…

Here is the whole text, with her spelling:

Ples Santa ples can you get me lego frens boot with the dolfens and gerls mery chemes Santa your my best frend your not the werst I love you I now you hav been to my house come agen these ine day you like if you can’t come that’s orit if you can’t come I’ev got a bloun of you come and see it if you can my tree has ____ you can what Fainjin wants lego set that has Jaba the hat in the colled sopa markit What Pearl wad like a mgp skoter. Dad wod like kofy maker. Mum wod like                                   Pearl is going to werr rodof theress no time to mes it we will gev you a picha of Pearl wering rodof in her herr.

Some notes:

“ine” = any, “orit” = alright, “bloun” =balloon, “rodof” = Rudolph

I’m not sure what the Jabba the Hutt Lego set is about, some kind of market?  I wasn’t home for Babess to ask what I would like, so she left a blank space to be filled in later.  Pearl’s “reindeer” hairdo is a clearly much-anticipated Christmas tradition. Perhaps by next year Babess’ hair will be long enough to put up too!

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Her brain is too full

December 1, 2013

I was doing Babess’ hair for her dance recital this morning, and she was amusing herself with some sums.  “Five and five is ten, that’s easy.  Two and four is… six!  Ten take away four is six… Eight take away seven is, um, four?”

She was flicking her fingers up and down for each number and sum.  Once we sorted out the “eight take away seven” conundrum satisfactorily, she did a couple more then I said, “Can you do them without your fingers?”

“Ummmm. Can I hide my fingers under the table?”

That wasn’t going to work while I tugged her baby-fine hair into tight french braids, so I suggested she imagine her fingers instead. “Make pictures of them inside your head.”

“I can’t,” she said, all sad and serious, “because the only things inside my head are nightmares.”

For the next five minutes she told me a very detailed story about witches who eat children and one came to their school and turned all the little children into FROGS! And all the big kids into… horses.  And all the teachers, she turned them into glasses.


“They were humungous glasses.”  And there was another witch and she turned the first witch into a fairy, then the fairy turned the other witch into a fairy as well but they were bad fairies…

There was more detail than I can coherently retell, all given in a very matter-of-fact delivery.  By the time she had finished telling me, I had done her hair and was assembling lunchboxes.

“That is a real nightmare, isn’t it Mum?”

I had to agree.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Sometimes you just need a break

November 23, 2013

Babess has had a low-grade viral thing recently – resulting in some asthma and general tiredness.  She’s been complaining of the odd “sore tummy”, which for her often means she’s tired or reluctant or anxious.  Last weekend she fell asleep a couple of times during the days, most unusual.  I suspect a strong case of “5-yr-old’s end-of-year-itis”.

So I had a chat with her teacher, and suggested a mental health day, which her teacher thought was a fantastic idea.  We had a look at the schedule for the week, and agreed on a Thursday.

I didn’t tell Babess in advance, just informed her that morning that she would be staying home with me.  She was quite happy, although at one point during breakfast she thought she might go to school after all… I told her that in that case I would quickly pack her lunchbox, and she hastily reneged!

We spent the morning baking biscuits for lunchboxes and Christmas gifts (they freeze well), and a friend came over for lunch and stayed to play.  Babess did carve out some rest time for herself, snuggling on the couch for nearly an hour while I finished the baking.

She really enjoyed her day off, and was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for school the next day.  However, she did tell me, “I only want to go to school on Wednesdays and Fridays now, ‘cos Wednesdays we have swimming and Fridays are choosing time.”

It’s great that she’s completely changed her attitude to swimming! But I told her she still has to go on other days too.  But only for another four weeks or so (eek).

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Babess gets wet

November 13, 2013

Today was Babess’ school swimming lesson.  She has had a couple already, but hasn’t really participated.  She has been very anxious about the depth of the water (she is shorter than nearly all the other kids) and reluctant to get in.

I got an email from her classroom teacher, who has been working with the swimming instructors to encourage Babess.  She said it was a “rough start” getting in the water, but… Babess blew bubbles, and even stood up in the water without hanging onto the side!  Apparently the class gave her a big clap for being so brave.

My heart melts.  Hooray for brave Babess!  And how lovely is her teacher, persevering and supporting, and sharing her pride with us?

© UpsideBackwards 2013.



Be careful what you opt out of

November 11, 2013

Towards the end of last term, Babess had a couple of “sore tummies” requiring The Dad to collect her early from school.  I was out of town, and he mused ruefully that it hadn’t taken her very long to figure out a system for spending an afternoon at home with Daddy.

She hadn’t tried it for a while, but today I got a call from school.  Babess was in the sick room with an upset stomach.  I went to get her, and found her sitting happily with a book.  There was only half an hour until the end of the school day, so we collected her gear and prepared to wait for the other two to finish.  Babess was showing no signs of illness or distress, and I was less than impressed.  We sat in the library waiting, and she read books quietly.

I had a chat with her teacher, and it seems she was much more convincing during the day.  We both watched Babess merrily scooting around the playground and shook our heads.

Tonight was the Christmas party and prizegiving for Girls’ Brigade.  Fun, games, and banana splits were on offer.   But these things are not for those who have had – or say they had – sore tummies.  Miraculously recovered, Babess pleaded monumental unfairness.  I’m told she howled for 20 minutes after I left with Pearl and Fainjin for the festivities.  But I pointed out that we need her to rest and recover so she is well enough for other end-of-year activities, including one later this week.

Babess and I had a little talk about being tired, and being worried (particularly about swimming lessons, apparently), and how sometimes that can make us feel like we have a sore tummy, but it doesn’t mean we’re sick – and it’s better to tell the teacher or Mum that we’re worried and have a chat about that, than end up not going to parties later in the day.

Hopefully the message has got through that sore tummies are not a good escape hatch.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Gotta learn to swim!

October 30, 2013

Babess had her school swimming lesson today.  Mindful of her in-over-her-head experience while on holiday, I asked her how it went.  “OK,” she replied.  Uh-huh.

“How deep was the water?  Where did it come up to on you?” I asked, trying to get more detail.

“Oh, it was too deep, I had to stand right up on my tippy-toes,” she tried to demonstrate, “and it was too sore to keep doing that so I chose to sit on the step for the lesson.  But I got to play in the shallow water after,” she offered brightly.

Hmm.  She is a lot (about 20cm) shorter than most of her classmates.  I’m not familiar with how deep the learning pool is.  I need to chat with her teacher, I think!  I do know that the swimming instructors are very good though, so they’ll probably have her participating in due course.

Since she apparently can’t stand up even in the shallow end, it’s even more important for her to learn to swim!

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

What if…

October 20, 2013

Babess is very fond of “what if” questions.  So is Fainjin, for that matter.  They keep me on my toes with wildly imaginative scenarios and suggestions.  But I was caught short (or half-asleep) this morning when I handed Babess her breakfast.

“Mum!” she started, eyes wide with speculation.  “What if this croissant was magic?”

I really couldn’t answer.  What sort of magic powers might accrue to a croissant?  I need to give her The Magic Pudding to read, perhaps.

I just looked at her helplessly.  “I don’t know.  What if it were magic?”  Perhaps she had some idea of what to expect.

She raised her eyebrows dramatically, then took a large bite.  Nothing unusual happened.  She shrugged, and gave her verdict: “Not magic.”

Whew.  A mundane breakfast is more predictable and restful, anyway.  Much more suitable for a Sunday morning.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

The end

October 17, 2013

Babess was looking at the calendar with her Dad, naming the months in order.  The Dad told her that after December, we start back at January again.  She quickly grasped the general idea.

” And over and over and over again! Until you die. Because underground there’s no calendars.”

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

The final frontier?

October 11, 2013

Babess had finished her dinner, and was clearing her dishes.  I was cleaning up something else.

“Where’s space?” she asked.  I’ve somehow become accustomed to random deep questions at odd moments.  I replied, “Space is everywhere, it’s all around us.  Now put your dishes away and get ready for your shower.”

She gave me the oddest look, and stood there with her hands full.

“Where’s a space for my plate?”

I glanced at the bench.  It was pretty crowded with dishes already.

Oh.  Space.  I cleared one for her.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

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