Posts Tagged ‘children’

Gasp!

August 9, 2015

Babess had her reading comprehension test this week, an individual test with her teacher. “How did it go?” I asked.

“Pretty well. I think I got it all right,” she tossed off nonchalantly.

“Oh? Well done, then.”

“The first thing we had to read was: ‘She looked out the window and gasped’. Mrs D said, ‘Why do you think she gasped?'”

Babess looked at me expectantly.

“Well, why do you think she gasped?”

“I said, ‘because she was in amazement’. Because that’s something that would make you gasp.”

It’s all so obvious when she explains the world.

© UpsideBackwards 2015.

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A good week

February 23, 2015

“Come on kids! Shoes on, find your hats, we’re going to the zoo with your uncle & aunt & cousin!”

Fainjin looked vaguely surprised. “Are you coming too, Mum?”

“Yes!” I said, “Did you think I wouldn’t?”

He came & wrapped his arms around me. “Well… I thought you might stay home and have a rest, or do some sewing… maybe work on your memory quilt from our trip…”

My heart melted. “Do you think I need a rest, then?”

He snuggled closer. “Yes, probably, ‘cos you do a lot.”

This was after he had got up rather early but made a conscious choice to play with a quiet jigsaw rather than rattle through the Lego. He had also dried the dishes with no protest at all, had a great ukulele lesson, and had worked hard at school all week – this last backed up by his very reliable best friend, who keeps an eye out for him.

I’m making a deliberate effort to emphasise consideration for others with the kids this year. I hadn’t meant me, just people in general – but it’s nice to have some of it rub off!

© UpsideBackwards 2015.

Now I know where I stand…

February 22, 2015

At the zoo yesterday, Babess didn’t see the cheetah until I pointed it out. “It’s looking right at you!” I said. “Probably thinking ‘oooh that little girl looks yummy, I wonder how fast she can run?'”

Babess harrumphed. Mum jokes are apparently as bad as “Dad jokes”.

“I bet I could run faster than you if I was being chased by a cheetah,” I tried to get a smile.

You can’t run faster than a cheetah!” she correctly assessed.

“But I don’t have to – I only have to run faster than you!” I joked.

“Then you can carry me,” she reasoned.

“Then I’ll be slower, and the cheetah will get us both,” I said.

She barely paused for thought.

“Then Dad can carry me.”

If that happens, I think I’m catfood.

© UpsideBackwards 2015.

Skywriting

February 2, 2015

Over lunch today, Babess suddenly said, “Mum! I just realised something!”

I raised an eyebrow encouragingly.

“You know when flies are going around, buzz buzz like that, and it looks like it’s just random?”

“Ye-es…?”

“I just realised! They’re really showing you their phone number!”

“Really?!”

“Yes! ‘Cos they go from this side, then up like that then the other side is open and they do that…” she explained inefficiently but with expansive and complicated gestures.

“Do you think flies have their own phones?” I enquired.

“Yes!” she was astonished that I would even entertain the idea that they didn’t. “Otherwise how will their schools know where they are?”

I conceded the point. “But how do they carry them?”

That slowed her down only momentarily. “Between their wings, tucked up like that.”

So now you know.

© UpsideBackwards 2015.

A recipe for angelic children

January 20, 2015

This morning we went to the library and the kids all borrowed several books (which I then had to help carry – ouch!). Babess is enjoying the Wimpy Kid series and Judy Moody; Fainjin loves graphic novels; and Pearl is firmly into the Young Adult section of the library now, with a wide range of genres that interest her.

Then we had to go school-uniform shopping for Pearl. As soon as we got to the shop, the younger two found a quiet corner and sat with their books. I helped Pearl find clothes to try on, checked sizing, then had to go back to find other things. I found Fainjin & Babess still sitting absorbed in their books, and another family looking past them at clothes on the racks.

“Hey guys, don’t sit in other people’s way!” I admonished them.

“Oh no, they’re fine!” the other mother assured me. “I’m just very impressed with them, actually!”

I had to grin. It’s nice to have other people think my kids are wonderful. I know that a pile of fresh library books works better than any bribe for my lot! (as long as you don’t want them to do anything other than read quietly, that is…)

© UpsideBackwards 2015.

When Babess grows up…

January 19, 2015

A couple of conversational gems from Babess over the last week.

“Mum, you know how I’m going to keep doing jazz?”

“Yes, sweetie.”

“I’m going to do lots of it and get really good. And…” she lowered her voice and leaned in to confide, “I might get… famous.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. And I’m going to do jazz until I’m nineteen.”

“Nineteen, huh? What will you do after that?”

“Tap.” She was very matter-of-fact, but paused to consider. “Or maybe that one where you dance by yourself.”

Pearl & Babess were discussing what Babess might do when she grows up. “I’m going to work in a mall,” declared Babess. The Dad choked a little bit but luckily isn’t the sort to get distracted enough to drive off the road. The conversation in the back seat went on.

“Aren’t you going to rule the world?” Pearl asked, amused, and echoing a prediction I have made myself.

“No!” said Babess, incredulously. “I can’t do that. I’m not in the royal family! And besides, I’m not a man.” (The Dad heard that last bit; I didn’t, or I would have wept).

“You don’t have to be!” interrupted The Dad. “You could be elected President… The royal family don’t rule the world, anyway – actually no-one does, yet…”

“No, I’m going to work in a mall,” she decided.

Maybe she’ll rule the retail world?

© UpsideBackwards 2015.

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.

… and breathe …

July 7, 2014

We’ve been home nearly a week, and finally I feel awake enough in an evening to write something. I could fold laundry instead, but I’m sure that won’t go anywhere (sadly).

The teacups - a beloved classic

The teacups – a beloved classic

Minnie Mouse!

Minnie Mouse!

Princess Anna from Frozen

Princess Anna from Frozen

We had a lovely time in our last two days at Disneyland. It was very hot, but we found enough shade and indoor activities and icecream to keep us reasonably comfortable.  Fainjin repaid the girls’ patience while he queued to meet the Avengers by (somewhat grudgingly) lining up to meet princesses and fairies. We all rode the teacups, and the Buzz Lightyear ride again. We discovered ToonTown, explored the Pirates’ Den, saw the Parade, met Alice and the Mad Hatter, took Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, and just generally did whatever took our collective fancy as opportunity arose.

Waiting for the parade

Waiting for the parade

Hi Snow White!

Hi Snow White!

The flight home went very smoothly. We were all worn out from a day at Disneyland, and Fainjin was asleep before we even took off. He slept at least 9 hours before waking – I wish I had that sort of skill! The girls took longer to fall asleep, and slept about 6 hours or so I think. Pearl was upset when she woke to discover her glasses had fallen to the floor and she couldn’t easily locate them. A lovely lady sitting across the aisle from her (I was on Pearl’s other side) helped us search through the tangle of blankets, pillows and headphones. Eventually I sent Fainjin down between the seats on his hands & knees and he found them quickly. Small children can be useful, even on airplanes!

We arrived home in the morning, sorted out a few things, and headed to school for pick-up time at 3pm. The kids were very excited to see their teachers & friends again, and enjoyed the brief celebrity status accorded by their prolonged absence. But we were all asleep by about 6:30pm I think!

We’ve settled more and more as the week has gone on. We managed all three days of school and work but were very grateful when the weekend and school holidays came along. Morning wakings have slid from 4am towards 7am, and lasting longer in the evenings.  The cold and dark aren’t really helping, but the weather hasn’t been all that bad, and it’s so good to be home.

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

Home

July 1, 2014

The Big Trip is over. We arrived home this morning, after a full day at Disneyland followed by a long overnight flight to New Zealand. The flight went well – no delays, little turbulence, the children slept reasonably well, and no-one was ill.

We’ve had a fairly busy day rediscovering home toys, refilling the pantry & fridge, doing laundry and catching up with a couple of close friends who don’t mind fuzzy jetlagged conversations!

I still have stories to tell & photos to share of our time in California. I hope to get those posted here in the next couple of days.

© UpsideBackwards 2014.

Fainjin’s personal Heaven

June 28, 2014

Today was the day that Fainjin has been waiting for, for months. Legoland Day.

We got a bus from Anaheim down to Carlsbad, a very comfortable & convenient way to travel with pick-up and drop-off to our hotel at each end of the day. On the longer trip home (due to traffic) the driver played a DVD to keep the kids (and adults) entertained.

Pearl & Babess dozed on the trip down this morning, still exhausted from the previous two days’ adventures. Fainjin sat next to me, quietly humming with anticipation.

We met Emmett & Lucy from the Lego Movie, and saw the actual set where some of it was filmed. Then the kids got their Lego driving licences and drove around the test track. We went on various rides and saw lots of Lego sculptures, but it was at MiniLand that Fainjin found what I think he had been looking for. Entire cities (or representations of cities, anyway), made of Lego.  While Babess asked why the model boats were floating in real water (instead of Lego water, I guess), he was nodding in approval, soaking it all in.

There were opportunities to build, and more rides, but by the end of the day all Fainjin & Babess wanted to do was run around on the adventure playground on Castle Hill. So they did, and were content, and arrived back at the hotel exhausted once again, asleep as soon as their heads touched their pillows.

(photos are refusing to upload; I’ll attempt something when I’ve had some sleep myself!)

© UpsideBackwards 2014.


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