Posts Tagged ‘siblings’


November 3, 2013

We were heading home from shopping and visiting Nana & Poppa, and I reminded the kids that there were chores to do when we got home.  It has been a while since they had to do them, since we were away the last two weekends in a row.  They started reminding themselves and each other what their jobs are.

“I’m cleaning the toilet,” said Fainjin.  He does a decent job of it, too.

“I bacuum the kitchen and wash the… what’s those things called?  Skirting boards,” volunteered Babess.

“And help Fainjin dry the dishes,” I reminded both of them, and they groaned.

“I’ve got more jobs than you,” claimed Pearl.  “I clean the basin in the toilet, and the one in the bathroom, and I help with the dishes, and I make Mum and Dad – well, Mum – a cup of tea.  Sometimes.  When she asks me to.”

“What?!” Fainjin was most surprised.  “You make tea for Mum?”

“Yes,” said Pearl.  “When she asks me to.”

“Huh,” he shrugged.  “I thought that was Dad’s job.”

© UpsideBackwards 2013.


Man drought

July 27, 2013

It has been a very girl-oriented school holiday in our house.  There have been several visitors and play-dates, and they’ve all been girls.  This has been more by accident than design, and I’ve been feeling for Fainjin being the only boy the whole time.

I organised for him to spend the day with his adored older boy cousin, and he had a fantastic time.  He was so excited to go, and of course Pearl & (especially) Babess wanted to go too but it was important that Fainjin get some “boy time”.

He came home that night with a broad grin and told me how they’d played with the Lego game, bounced on the trampoline, and generally done everything he had been hoping for.

Then, unexpectedly, his face crumpled and he snuggled into me, so very sad.

“Mummy,” he sobbed, “I really want a brother.  ‘Cos Pearl has a sister – so does Babess – and it’s not fair I don’t have a brother.”

There are some problems you just can’t fix, really.  We eventually agreed that a big boy cousin (who doesn’t have a brother either) can be almost as good as a brother.  I’ll try to organise for them to spend more time together next holidays, and have some boy play-dates too!

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Who’s there?

March 21, 2013

Babess has discovered the delights of the knock-knock joke.  This afternoon in the car she was practising on Fainjin.

B: “Knock knock!”

F: “Who’s there?”

B: “Boo!”

F (has heard this many times before but goes along with it): “Boo who?”

B: “Ahhh, don’t cry Fainjin, it’s only me! Ahahahaha!”

F: “Yep, right. My turn.  Knock knock!”

B: …

F: “Knock knock!”

B: …

F, getting frustrated: “Knock knock!”

B: “There’s no-one there, Fainjin, nobody’s home.”

Little sister wins.  Again.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Something beginning with b

March 10, 2013

We had a longish drive home, and the children were playing I Spy.  They’d all had several turns, and Pearl said, “I spy with my little eye, something beginning with S”.

Fainjin and Babess took several guesses.  “Nope!” said Pearl.  “I’ll give you a hint, it’s inside the car.”

They each took several more guesses.  After a loooong time, Pearl smugly revealed, “Ha! I was tricking you!  It’s not inside the car!  Guess again.”

“Pearl?” Babess said wearily.  “When you see this bored look on my face, it means: I’m bored.”

Game, set and match to baby sister.

© 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.

Snails and puppy-dog tails

January 27, 2013

Pearl & Fainjin were walking with  me, home from the supermarket, and conversation meandered as it does.  Fainjin said something about dinosaurs, and Pearl erupted in frustration.

“Dinosaurs! Nothing but dinosaurs!  Don’t boys ever think of anything else?!”

Fainjin, lost in a world of his own (full of dinosaurs, no doubt), didn’t seem to hear her.

“Oh, I’m sure Fainjin thinks about other things,” I said mildly.  “He likes spaceships, for example…”

Fainjin’s ears pricked up at the word “spaceships”.  “Yeah!  Rockets and aliens!”

“What else do you think about, Fainjin?” I encouraged him.

“Crocodiles.  Sharks.  Lego.  Snakes.  Dinosaurs.”

Pearl gave us a disgusted look, and we walked on.

© UpsideBackwards 2013.

Pre-birthday party

December 27, 2012

Since we first decided that we would be in Australia for Christmas this year, Fainjin has been talking about having his birthday party with his cousins.  In his mind, his birthday is immediately after Christmas (it’s about 10 days after), and he couldn’t think of anything better than celebrating with the gang of boy-cousins here.

So today we packed a cake (a bought one, horrors! but actually rather nice) in a chilly bin with lots of cold packs, some chippies, some lollies and plenty of cold drinks and met the rest of the Australian family at a local playground.

Presents were… presented.  A candle was lit, a song was sung, there was much feasting and then the kids all played on the playground and the parents and grandparents hovered, watched or ignored them according to each family’s age group and inclination.

“Is this a good party?” I asked Fainjin, just checking in to make sure we’d met expectations.  “Yeah,” he said quietly, and gave me a grin.  Babess, overhearing, was more exuberant.  “This is the best party ever!”

I hope she’s not planning a June repeat for her own birthday!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

An overflowing sun

September 10, 2012

Fainjin was talking astronomy (again) this evening over dinner.

“Did you know,” this is his favourite way to start a question to which he is going to tell you the answer anyway, “that you could fit one million Earths into the Sun?”

We all professed amazement and admiration.

“And one hundred Jupiters!”

“One thousand Jupiters in the Sun?!” asked Babess.

“Nooo!” he scoffed.  “That’s too much! Some would stick out!  One hundred!”

The Dad and I were much amused at the mental image of extraneous Jupiters sticking out of the Sun.

(PS – Babess was right, you could fit about 1,000 Jupiters into the Sun).

© 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.

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.

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