Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

A present

July 10, 2012

We had lunch at our favourite local cafe today, and Fainjin picked up an extra colouring-in page.  “I’m saving this for Babess,” he declared, and I thought that was very sweet of him.

When we got home, he carefully coloured in one of the pages, and wrote his name and age on it.  Then he wrote “For Babess” across the bottom, having first checked with me what colour she would like.  Then he asked for an envelope, folded up the picture, popped it in, sealed it, and wrote her name on the outside with crayon.

He pondered where to leave it so that she would find it when she came home from daycare, and was pleased when I suggested he just leave it on the kitchen table.  When she arrived, he ran to collect it and present it to her, “Look what I made for you!”  Her reaction was as pleased as if she had received a surprise letter in the mail.

So simple, but so thoughtful.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Happy Birthday Daddy

May 1, 2012

There was great excitement this morning, as the children presented The Dad with his birthday presents, which we had shopped for at the weekend.  He was duly appreciative, and we went on with the day.

When Babess got to daycare, she announced to one of her teachers, “It’s my Daddy’s birthday!”  The teacher said, “Really?! Perhaps you can make him a card today.”

When The Dad went to pick her up at the end of the day, he was told Babess had spent all day making him things.  I can believe it.

First there was the card:

Front of the birthday card

To Dad, Happy Birthday, love from Babess

Is it just me, or is that amazing handwriting from a not-yet-four-year-old?  (Not the “love from”, that’s clearly a teacher’s hand, but the rest of it would have been copied by Babess).

Then there was a beautifully-wrapped parcel:

Bespoke wrapping paper

and inside was a book!

The book cover. I love the pictures of "Dad" and "me".

with more lovely writing:

I love you

and more pictures:


What a lucky Dad!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Ruby’s cube

April 23, 2012

In Sydney, we visited Uncle G and Auntie M, and they (completely unnecessarily) had gifts for the children, all of which were a huge success.

Fainjin loved his little remote-controlled car literally to pieces (must try to fix it for him), Babess was delighted with the little food-shaped erasers which she has decided are perfect for her baby-dolls’ picnics, and Pearl… Pearl got a Rubik’s cube.

Auntie M and I reminisced about having them in our early teens (we are of an age, and a similar level of geekiness), while The Dad waxed lyrical about the mathematical properties.  Uncle G scrambled the cube and handed it to Pearl.

That certainly kept her quiet for a while!

Eventually she got most of one face together – just a couple of squares missing.  I took pity and showed her how to manipulate the cube to get those squares precisely where she wanted them.  Soon (within the same afternoon) she was able to make a full face of any colour that Uncle G nominated… until he started being tricksy and asking for colours that weren’t on the cube to start with!

Babess thought it was Ruby’s cube, even though she wasn’t sure who Ruby was.

I’ll be interested to see whether I have to end up helping Pearl search for “how to solve the cube” pages on the internet, or whether she will actually work it out for herself.  I never managed it, but she just might.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.


How did they know?!

January 7, 2012

Yesterday morning, Fainjin appeared in shorts and a singlet.  The singlet has a certain Disney character on it.  He said stubbornly, “I’m only wearing a t-shirt if it has [the same character] on it”.

“We don’t have a t-shirt with that character on it,” I told him.  He has plenty of t-shirts, I recently sorted out the kids’ clothes and was startled at the amount of choice our children have in the mornings!  He stared at me mulishly, then said he’d only wear his singlet.  No problem, that’s what summer is for.

Later in the day, The Dad took him to town to check our mailbox.  Fainjin still refused to put on a t-shirt, so he went out in his singlet.  They came back about an hour or so later, bearing a large box.  Friends overseas had sent Christmas gifts!

The children excitedly ripped into their parcels, and joyfully discovered a Disney t-shirt each.  Fainjin’s eyes went round and wide.  His t-shirt had that character on it!  “How did they know?!” he asked.  He put it on at once, before I’d even had a chance to cut the tags off.

The girls put theirs on too, and were thrilled with them, but Fainjin was convinced there was some mysterious magical knowledge at work.

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

We’re doing maths!

December 31, 2011

About a year ago, a lovely friend came to visit from overseas.  Before she left, she gave me a bag of mosaic and craft kits for the children, to be given to them at an opportune time.

I thanked her, and tucked them away “for a rainy day”.  And there they stayed.

Yesterday was very rainy. The children played with toys in the morning, and we ventured out in the wet to the local cinema in the afternoon.

Today was, if anything, even more rainy.  Cabin fever was setting in.  I cleared the kitchen table and called the children to sit down.  They were pleasingly mystified, then delighted when they saw what I had for them.

Fainjin’s set was five mosaics – a rocket, a plane, a boat, a helicopter, and a train.  He had foam shapes to stick all over them.

Pearl had a “decorate-your-own” tote bag kit, with felt stickers to make her own design.

Babess had a sparkly bunny mosaic.  Hers was a paint-by-numbers type (or stick-by-numbers, I suppose), so she needed quite a bit of help with it.  Pearl was more than happy to help her.

They all settled down for about two hours, sticking and chatting.  Fainjin particularly liked naming the colours and shapes, and pointing out the patterns in his pictures.  I told him that “patterns are maths”.

“Hey Daddy!” he crowed, “We’re doing maths!”

He finished two before lunch, then later in the afternoon came asking for the mosaics again.  “Mummy, please can I do some more maths?”

I know our friend would approve!

© UpsideBackwards 2011.


September 19, 2011

We are going to Australia next month to see Grandma and Grandad, and meet two new baby cousins.  The children are very excited about this.

Pearl has a good idea of when it will happen and how things will unfold, but Fainjin and Babess still have a more fluid concept of time.  Every day they ask if we’re going to Australia yet.  On Saturday when I said we were going to the supermarket, Babess said, “And then can we go to Australia?”

They’re also a little confused about which cousins are where and belong to whom, which is not helped by some of their daycare friends having the same names as some of their cousins!  I’m sure they’ll figure it all out when they’ve met the babies and reacquainted themselves with the older ones.

Meanwhile, Fainjin is determined not to go empty-handed.  A couple of weeks ago (!) he gathered up a few of his toys, put them into a fuzzy purple handbag of Babess’, and declared the bundle to be “a present for the cousins”.   After a few days, he climbed up and put it on top of one of the high bookcases, for safe-keeping.  Every time Australia is mentioned (which is of course every day), he gestures to it and reminds us that he’s taking it with him.

He’s such a sweetheart.  But I must check what’s in it before we go…

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

It’s a sound salvation

July 6, 2011

A guest post from The Dad.

Fainjin was home again today, with the cough and runny nose not abating. And it was my turn to take a day off work to look after him. After Kate and Babess caught the bus into town, Fainjin and I took Pearl to school, stopping for a tour of the classroom where Fainjin watched with fascination a group of big boys playing with Beyblades.

We then went to get something we’d promised Fainjin a little while ago – his very own clock so he could see what time it was in the morning and stay in his room until at least 6am.  At the store which has perpetual sales, the digital clocks and clock radios were all half-price, so Fainjin and I studied the options and eventually chose one which he carried proudly to the cashier and back to the car.

Back home, we set it up next to his bed and he practised telling me the time.  Although it has a radio, the switch is hidden on the side, and as Fainjin can’t read I thought we’d be safe from him playing with it for some time. But he quickly found out that the Sleep button does the job. Thankfully the novelty wore off quickly and he found other ways to occupy the afternoon. But when Babess got home, he immediately remembered to demonstrate his new capability to her. They disappeared into their room, with Babess closing the door behind her and telling me “No Dad, you can’t come in ‘cos I’m going to DANCE!”.

Has a monster been unleashed? So far, it doesn’t seem so as they soon got back into their normal routine and were ready for dinner, and there haven’t been any unusual noises blaring out of their room since bedtime.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

Just what she asked for

June 28, 2011

A few weeks ago, Babess asked me to call Nana because she had a request.  I did, and handed her the phone.

“Nana,” she said, “I need a princess dwess.  Can you make me one?”

There was a little discussion about colour and so on, and Babess handed the phone back to me, satisfied.

And Nana came through.  Not only did Babess get a princess dress, so did Minnie Mouse!

Third the Golden Princess

Here you see them both ready to go to daycare – hence the pink pants and red t-shirt worn underneath.

Thanks, Nana!

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

We have a problem

May 22, 2011

A guest post from The Dad.

Today we went to one of Babess and Fainjin’s favourite places – the library cafe. We might have gone anyway, but one of Pearl’s books was overdue so it was necessary to at least go to the library. We’d had a busy morning working in the garden and riding trikes and scooters, and the idea of a treat in the cafe before going to the library (which doesn’t open until 1pm on Sundays) was very appealing. The kids happily munched and drank their usual order, and Babess (who seems to have a perpetual runny nose) worked her way through a small packet of tissues. When they ran out, Fainjin turned to me and said “Dad! We have a problem!”. And he was quick to propose a solution – we had to go to a supermarket. Fortunately, I had more tissues in my bag, and Fainjin was sufficiently satisfied with this alternative solution to return to the usual cafe ritual of finishing his snack, waiting for Babess to finish hers, then taking her to the little inside playground.

As it was a very mild and sunny late autumn day, after visiting the library (making sure to complete all the shape puzzles while there) we went for a walk to the waterfront to look for orca. There had been a pod in the harbour a couple of days before, and it would have been very cool to see them, but they had moved on. But there were a lot of people walking and sitting in the sun, kayaking (the yellow ones were banana boats, Fainjin informed me) or paddle-boating. The kids clambered over rocks in the sea-wall,  played in the “telescope” playground, walked around the display house which runs on only solar power, and watched other kids on the bouncing bungy contraption. It seemed a shame to head home straight away, so we got gelati (strawberry for the kids, and Fainjin insisted he was big enough to have his in a cone, which turned out to be true) and ate them on the water’s edge, watching foolhardy teenagers jumping into the harbour and listening to a not-too-bad busker. Fainjin and Babess then entertained themselves climbing over some metal spheres and peering through the cracks in the decking at the rocks and water below. And then it was time to go home, going the long way around the bays to have another look for those orca.  Except Babess saw only the inside of her eyelids once we got in the car.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

The best present

May 17, 2011

The Dad has been away on a business trip recently, and of course we all missed him terribly.  Fainjin was apparently talking about it at daycare last week, and his teacher relayed the story to us today.

He was sad because Daddy was away, and they talked a little bit about where Daddy was and when he would be home.  Then Fainjin brightened and said, “Maybe he will bring us presents!”

The teachers agreed that that might be a possibility, and Fainjin wondered what Daddy might bring.  “Maybe he will bring us a t-shirt!  Or… maybe even… a hug!”

Funnily enough, all unknowing, The Dad granted both those wishes.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

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