Archive for the ‘cuteness’ Category

Music in the air

August 27, 2014

This morning Babess was ready to go a little earlier than I was, so I sent her out to get her scooter ready to go to school.
After a short time she came running back in, breathless with excitement.
“Mum! Guess what’s outside?!”
“Um, I saw the neighbours are taking down their old fence,” I said, “I think they’re going to put up a new one.”
“Well, but there’s Something Else!”

I am continually amazed at her ability to enunciate capital letters. It’s a great skill to have. “Goodness me, whatever could it be?” I played along.
“On the driveway, there’s a… Harmonica. Wing!”

I blinked. A what?

“I’m sorry, I don’t understand. What did you say, sweetie?”
“A harmonica wing!”
“A… harmonica?… wing?”
“Yes, a harmonica wing. Like, harmonica butterfly?” C’mon, Mum, stop being dense!

“Oh! A monarch butterfly wing?”
“YES! Come see!”

And so I did. (It was a Red Admiral wing, actually).

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

Getting in early

October 3, 2013

This afternoon we spent nearly an hour in a large toy-and-book shop, just looking.  There was a big sale on, lots of interesting displays, and the children could hardly contain their delight.

They like to pore over toy catalogues when they arrive with junk mail, and divide the contents among their imaginary hoards.  “I’m having that, you can have that one…” – all completely fictional, but most enjoyable nonetheless.

So walking around a shop where you could touch most of the merchandise, or even just see it life-sized, was a heavenly experience for them.

Babess particularly liked a certain set of toys.  “Mum, for my birthday, can you get me this one?  And this one over here?  And I really like this one…” she gushed, to the amusement of a nearby stranger.

“Your birthday is in June… I’ll try to remember which ones you pointed to,” I smiled.  The stranger met my eyes and laughed.  Babess was supremely content.

When we got home, she wrote her birthday list.  The word “birthday” was spelt correctly… but “prppl pone” is still understandable.  (purple pony, in case you’re not used to reading 5yr-old).

© UpsideBackwards 2013.


February 20, 2013

Fainjin is learning to play the ukulele.  He’s very happy with his new blue ukulele, and he’s had one lesson so far.  He has learnt to play C and F, and was very pleased with himself when he noticed on the chord chart that C6 is all open strings.  “Hey! I can play C6 too!” he crowed.

Babess loves to listen to him as he sits and strums or plucks at the strings.  Yesterday they were sitting together while he practised and suddenly he said to her, “You sing a song and I’ll play”.

“OK!” Babess is usually happy to sing a song.  She made one up as she went along, and he strummed and plucked while her song-story meandered around.

After a little while he looked over and said, “Are you finished yet?”

“No! I have more song.”

“OK.” And he kept strumming and she kept singing.  It was very cute!

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Weddings – doing it right

January 20, 2013

Yesterday afternoon we went to my cousin’s wedding.  It was a truly lovely occasion, made only more amusing by Babess.

When we took our pew in the church, Babess was thrilled to find books on the shelf in front of her.  Scorning the children’s bible stories, she picked up the Bible and the hymn book, both weighty tomes, and alternated between them.  She would run her finger along the dense lines of text, “reading” them and telling me what they “said”.  This kept her nicely occupied while we waited for the bride to arrive.

“This book says everything you have to have for a wedding,” she informed me.  “It says… you have to have blue seats.”

I looked at the pew cushions.  Blue.  “Good, I think we’re set, then.”  She nodded sagely and turned back to the book.

“It says you have to have a window with baby Jesus on it,” she whispered.  I looked, and sure enough there was.  Whew.

“It says, you have to have blue walls high up, and a white roof.”  Funny how her book was describing the church so exactly.  She took up the hymn book, and leafed through it.  She knows what written music looks like.  “It says we have to sing all this music.”

“Aaaaah, I don’t think we’re going to sing any songs, actually Babess.”  She gave me a disapproving stare.  “No, it says we have to have All. This.  Music.”

There was soft music being played in the background.  “They’ve chosen their own music, and it’s coming through the speakers, see?”

“Ah!” all was right with the world again.  “And that music is all this music [in the book].  That’s a better idea.”  I just agreed that the modern-ish love songs were exactly the Gregorian chants she was looking at.  I didn’t want to risk her wrath at this stage.

The groom – my cousin – said a few words before the ceremony.  In case I had forgotten who he was, Babess whispered in my ear, “That’s J.” I nodded.  “Because the girl is M,” she added.

I’m so glad she was there to help me through it all.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Concert season

December 1, 2012

Last weekend Pearl sang in a concert with her mid-week choir.  I love listening to this group, they have an excellent tutor and he really brings out the best in them.  They only number about a dozen children (aged 8-13), but they have an amazing sound and sing in wonderful harmony.  Sometimes they will divide into as many as four voices – pretty tricky for little kids!  They are in tune, know their music, and enunciate clearly.  Like I said, they have an excellent tutor.

This weekend both Pearl and Fainjin sang in the end-of-year concert for their Saturday morning music school.  Again, Pearl is in the choir.  It’s a slightly smaller choir, competing as it does with sports fixtures.  They have a great teacher too.  They stand up straight and confident and sing out proud.  It’s quite a different repertoire to the mid-week choir, and Pearl enjoys the variety.  She’s lucky to have not one but two great singing opportunities (well, three, because she’s in the school choir as well).

Fainjin sang with his music class of mostly 5-yr-olds.  They concentrate on music appreciation and exploration for the littlies, learning about the different instruments and the basics of reading music.  They sing and dance and have loads of fun.  For the concert they all took an instrument out of “The Box” – wood blocks, maracas, bells, etc – and lined up to sing a couple of Christmas songs.   They did very very well, mostly remembering the words and having a great time making lots of noise in front of an adoring audience.   They were hands-down the cutest class in the concert.  Not that I’m biased, of course.

We stayed to listen to the harps.  I never thought I’d hear “Chopsticks” on a harp, let alone on 11 at once.  It was unexpectedly awesome.

Tonight we went to my niece & nephew’s annual dance school end-of-year show.  They did brilliantly and we’re so proud of them.

So much talent on show in such a short time!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Comings and goings

November 22, 2012

Babess has decided recently that we should all “sign in” or “sign out” when we leave or arrive home.  This is an idea she has adopted from daycare, I am sure.  She has an exercise book I gave her to draw pictures and practise her writing in, and she has devoted a page to be her sign-in sheet.

She doesn’t enforce the rule rigidly (thank goodness!), but when she decides it is necessary, she writes her own name and Pearl’s and Fainjin’s with ease.  Today she asked me to spell my name out for her, and she wrote that down too.

“How do you spell Daddy’s name?” she asked next.  I spelt it out for her.

“But…” she was confused.  “Where’s the D?”

So I spelt out “Daddy” instead of his name, and she was much happier.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


August 13, 2012

Babess and Fainjin share a bedroom.  Recently, Fainjin has decided that he is more comfortable sleeping on the floor next to his bed than on the mattress.  Last night he invited Babess to a “sleepover” on his bed instead of her own.  She was so excited!  She moved her quilt from her bed to his, and stacked up a little pile of books – she “needs” 6 or 8 books in bed with her every night.

They chattered away much later than normal, but eventually Fainjin dropped off to sleep and Babess was left talking to herself, which she did happily for a while longer.

They had so much fun that tonight they’re doing it again.  It’s possibly the easiest sleepover I could ever hope to host.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Silly old mum

July 24, 2012

Babess and I went for a walk this afternoon.  She held my hand and bounced along beside me, chattering away.

At one point she said, “Mum!  Do you know who’s my friend?”

“No,” I confessed.

“You!” she giggled.  “Ha ha, I tricked you, didn’t I?!”

I had to agree she had.  She got me again later, too.  We arrived home, and at the bottom of the steps up to the house she said, “Mum, you stop here.  Wait at the bottom.”

Indulgently curious to see what she was up to, I waited and watched her go up the steps by herself.  At the top she turned around and laughed.

“I winned you!”

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Our car is a rocket

July 8, 2012

Recently Fainjin (ably assisted by the lovely Babess) has decided that our car is a rocket.  Whenever we go out, he begs The Dad not to move out of the car-port until the kids have finished the count-down and shouted “Lift-off!”

Various space-marks are pointed out: trees and houses are planets, stars or asteroids, other cars are space shuttles and rockets.  Just as well we all wear our seat-belts, or else we might float around in the zero-gravity between suburbs!

This morning as we prepared to go out, they took it to new heights, dressing up for the occasion.  Fainjin found his tinfoil hat (yes, really) he made at Boys’ Brigade, while Babess found a fleece beanie which she pulled down hard over her ears.  “It’s my space helmet!” she said, grabbing her pink teddy bear, “and this is my space baby!”


© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Magic paint

June 17, 2012

Today I got the kids an activity book each while we were out.  As soon as we got home, of course they wanted to colour in.  I was still unpacking from the outing as they started, so it was a few minutes before I realised Fainjin was colouring his with crayons.

“Oh!  Fainjin!  I forgot to tell you – your book is magic!”

I got him set up at the kitchen table with his book, a paintbrush, and an eggcup of water.  I showed him how to wet the brush and paint it over the shaded areas in his book.  Sure enough, colours “magically” appeared!  He was thrilled, and called Babess to come and see.

The pair of them sat very happily for another half-hour or so, painting and colouring and enjoying each other’s company.  Pearl was in her room, working on her crossword book.

That was small change very well spent!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

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