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Archive for the ‘10 things about lauca’ Category

One day you’re cleaning up your kids’ rooms while they’re away at their father’s and among their piles of mess you come across a list the two of them made and.. oof.. if you don’t just ache with longing for them then.

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Writing lists about one’s family members is hereditary, apparently.

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Previous entries here. Feel free to skip these posts, they’re more a record for my kids than anything else.

1. I got something really right with you recently. I don’t know if my parenting is getting worse of parenting successes are less obvious with older children but this kind of parenting certainty is a rarity these days. I don’t want to intrude too much on your privacy here but you were really experiencing some serious reluctance with school and you were a nightmare in the mornings before school drop-offs when I am at my most harried getting ready for work and you and your brother ready for kindy and school. I started to think you were just a very objectionable little person. But little by little I figured out how bored and disillusioned you were at school and I patiently raised it again and again with your teacher, who was excellent, and she moved you ahead with your school work but it wasn’t enough. Plus, you were having this super difficult time with some of the social dynamics you were quietly battling alone – I wish you’d known it was something you could talk about earlier rather than thinking it was something you had to figure out alone. And then this year I realised that a year of being patient was enough for us and I went and sorted things out with your principal and your new teacher and now you’ve been accelerated a couple of grades and moved up into a new classroom with another brilliant teacher. And it is like magic, you pretty much found a love of learning again and you’ve been motivated and enthusiastic about getting ready in the mornings (mostly) and it doesn’t feel like the whole family is falling apart every morning. I am very proud at how adaptable you’ve been with your new class. It’s a tough process and you’ve been very brave and mature about it.

2. You’re reading Judy Blume books because I recommended them and used to read them when I was a kid and you love them. It’s very gratifying for me. We don’t share enough of these common interests because you’re obsessed with a lot of pop culture that wasn’t my greatest love as a child – like Star Wars, though I do like how much you’re into the politics of Star Wars.  You finish the Judy Blume books in one sitting so I guess I will need to find new books for us to share together.

3. Your face is maturing and I feel like I am getting little previews of your adolescent features.

4. We have a very, very good connection when it comes to your emotional and social concerns. I can pretty much always figure out what is happening for you and to calm you with it and help you resolve things. When this happens I notice you will surprise me with tight squeezes for days afterwards and you will regularly stop to tell me how much you love me.

5. I accidentally humiliated you the other day. We were waiting for the doctor and you assumed my doctor was male and I teased you telling you that was sexist to make that assumption, and you were so mortified you hit me in the face with the magazine you were reading, which mortified me. The waiting room was full and everyone got to see how badly brought up you are. Then you cried loudly and indignantly and refused to apologise even though my eye was really hurting. But we made up in the car afterwards and you were right, I shouldn’t have teased you. Anyway, I am proud of you that you feel so strongly about not being sexist. You have incredibly strong ethics about social justice and hypocrisy – but not so much about violence with magazines.

6.  You like to write and illustrate your own children’s books. Your stories are always about cheekiness.

7. You are very gentle and loving and patient with babies and toddlers. Mothers with babies beam when you are helping them or admiring their babies.

8.  You’ve maintained your friendships with your male friends over the years just as well as those with your female friends. You’ve never felt the need to suppress those interests of yours that aren’t traditionally girly nor to hide your less conventional friendships from peers. You also intervene when it comes to bullying. The other day a mother came to thank me at school because her son had been held down and choked by another boy and she said her son told her you came along and physically freed him from the bully.

9. You are developing interests of your own that you research independently on the Internet. This is also worrying because I don’t always know what you might come across, even though your computer is locked down with some fairly tight controls. But you will take something of interest to you and run with it – children raised by animals, Korean architecture etc. Also, you will research pop songs you’ve discovered at other people’s houses and new dance moves.

10. You’ve stayed incredibly affectionate as you’re growing up. I don’t get to cuddle you enough though. But sometimes you will come to bed to sleep with me and you still snuggle right into me just as you did as a baby. I love when you come to my bed to read. When I am writing I will often find you in my bed reading a novel in the quiet. I like that you see my bed as this special place for reading.

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I used to try and do these four times a year, now I am pleased if I get to them once a year. Lauca just turned eight years old. (Previous ones can be found here). I always follow up the “10 things I enjoy least” with the “10 things I enjoy most” post just in case you think I’m a very negative person. 

1. Your argumentativeness. You know just enough to really be able to mount a good argument now against me and you don’t know enough to have the slightest bit of awareness about the limits of your knowledge. So, you think you’re absolutely right all the time and it is super tiring to argue with someone who has half-good arguments and the conviction of thinking she has fully-good arguments.

2. Hassling you about some of your eating habits and then worrying about whether you’re getting old enough now that hassling you about eating habits could cause eating disorders.

3. When you outsmart your little brother and let him know about it, for the fun of it – kinda cruel. When you do this in the car when I am racing to get you two to school and kindy and me to work.. it is the very last thing I need.

4. Knowing there are quite a few after-school activities that you would like to be learning and that would be really good for you but not having the time or the money to let you do them – violin, piano, rock-climbing, circus, Spanish etc. (You’re young, there’s still plenty of time).

5. How you finally figured out that I have not been putting pocket money aside for you each fortnight after all when I said I was and nor have I even been keeping a tally of it. The pocket money conspiracy gig is up – it was a good couple of years while it lasted. You really had no idea about the value of money, it was quite liberating.

6. You sneaking out of bed in the early mornings while I am still asleep to hack your way into your computer so you can play computer games on school days, and how it makes you tired and grumpy because you’re not getting enough sleep and how I half-wake when you do it but I don’t stop you because I want to keep sleeping.

7. Your Courtney Love melt-downs, which happen a lot less at the moment. I think a lot of this has been sorted out by taking the leap and letting you accelerate a couple of grades at school. (I worry that we’ve created a bit of a role for you at home that you will feel the need to stay with. And I think we would do well to emphasize your emotional resilience more with you rather than your highly strungness, but your father calls it delusional thinking when I try that).

8. You’re very untidy, you don’t take care of your things, you never know where you last put something, you often delay getting ready until the last minute. We keep saying we’ll figure out a system for you so you can fix this but it never seems to happen with you. That last one is probably my fault, anyway, because I say we’re about to go and I don’t always stick to that. You don’t work well under pressure either – so if I start to get really tense about the fact we’re running late somewhere and you’re still not getting ready and I tell you in a particularly cranky way that time is running out? You just collapse in a heap of wailing and I end up with more work to do and less time to do it in, because now I have to get you ready as well. In general, I lose my temper a lot more with you than I would like to be doing and in a much less decent way than I would like to be doing.

9. You still want to keep collecting stuffed toys. You still aren’t great at putting yourself to sleep. You will happily do sleep-overs though, so that’s something.

10. I still don’t get nearly enough time with you in a one on one way. I still find myself missing our old closeness.

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We do these lists from time to time. See also, here. They might bore you silly, feel free to ignore them, they’re just a time capsule for us.

Mine.

  1. That you make your own lunch for school every day and that sometimes you even make my lunch for work. (Montessori winning!).
  2. Lately you’ve been interested in disability. You like to feel what it might be like to be blind and you ask about the lives of people with various disabilities..  and for a while you gave your dolls physical disabilities and converted their strollers into wheel chairs. I loved how effortlessly you explored all that – I loved that it was matter of fact for you, that it wasn’t playing with pity, just difference and variation in the world.
  3. I love that you can sleep in your own bed the whole night.. quite a bit now. I love that this meant you had your first successful sleep-over on the Xmas holidays.
  4. You really rise to a challenge these days. If work is set for you then you pretty much give it your best shot even when it is really hard work, like once you mistook an entire term’s worth of homework for one week’s homework and you just methodically worked away at it, morning and evening, until finally at the end of the week you burst into tears while we were getting ready for work and confessed that you didn’t have it all finished and that’s when I realised what you’d been trying to do, you poor darling little thing.
  5. You brush your hair and wipe your face this year, after years of me complaining about it. I really appreciate the effort.
  6. I like your hair. A lot. I just think your ponytail is the bees knees. You’re beautiful, little one. Your face is changing and sometimes you remind me of my best friend in high school. You have her pointy chin and her eyebrows and her dimple and her sparkly eyes. You mostly look like your father, but maybe there is a bit of this friend of mine in you, too. I don’t know how that works.
  7. You’re very resilient, you’re very adaptable. I feel like we’re doing well with you right now, like we haven’t totally broken you through our incompetence.
  8. You’re incredibly responsible and compassionate about animals. You always remember to feed and water your guinea pigs, and you get quite hysterical if your father is being lazy about closing the front gate in case our hens get out or dogs get in.
  9. I’m having this lovely peaceful moment with you as a parent right now. A lot of parenting feels like you have some balls in the air but not all of them at the same time, but right now, you’ve got it all going on and I am just enjoying this feeling so much. You’re really well-rounded all of a sudden – really enjoying your academic work and taking the challenges of being accelerated a grade in your stride, you’re developing all these new physical skills from your circus class (and envy-inducing flexibility), and you’re reading novels by yourself now, and you’ve got this happy little circle of friends you hang out with… and then you come home and make beautiful art and craft things.
  10. You’ve got amazing comic timing and you’re very perceptive. Like the time we were both crying – you, because you were upset for me and me, because I was feeling hurt and stressed out by something (completely separate to our little family) – and then we were talking about stress and worry and you said “well, you would know” with just this deadpan, perfect timing of yours and we both just laughed and laughed.
  11. We’ve talked about sex and drugs and rock n roll, when you’ve asked or we’ve come across something you need to know about (like used syringes in the park ) – but you’re still the kind of kid who refuses to watch PG rated movies in case they upset/scare you. It is people feeling sad or lost that you’re scared of seeing and I like that about you. You have such a combination of social justice worldliness and sweet, little kid innocence. You point out sexism and racism to me all the time when you see it. But you wouldn’t want to see a cartoon fox get its tail shot off.

His.

  1. You are finally reading. And you prefer it to being read to.
  2. Seeing how much stronger and physically able you are becoming after starting circus class.
  3. It has taken nearly seven years but we finally have you a (nearly) regular bedtime.
  4. You sometimes now give us a little bit of credit, as your parents, for not being completely ignorant. There was a period there where you seemed to disbelieve anything we said.
  5. I love all the magical little craft things that you make and your ability to whip up these amazing gift cards overcomes my ability to remember to buy any.
  6. I love how witty you are and how we can make and share jokes together.
  7. I love how unaffected you still are by appearance and I am dreading that passing one day in you.
  8. I love that you are such a lovely big sister to your brother and that you are so patient with him.
  9. I am really enjoying how much you are my little mate while your little brother is still so close to your mother. I suspect I will lose this shortly when your brother grows out of his toddlerhood and your mother is more available to you.
  10. That you remind me to pay our two speeding fines and that even remember how much they are going to cost.

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There’s this thing we do, it is supposed to be four times a year but it generally isn’t, and it is really a little time capsule for the kids and us to read in years to come and it is likely horribly boring for everyone else… so, feel free to ignore these particular posts.

(See also, here for what we enjoyed most this time).

Mine.

  1. I feel so terribly sad for you about your night terrors. They happen more nights than not. They often have you quite frightened and distraught. Apparently there is next to nothing we can do to stop them happening to you so they pretty much have me a little frightened and distraught at times, too.
  2. How messy you make your bedroom. The guinea pig cage is actually the cleanest thing in your room. I think I have another fifteen years or so where I will need to just grin and bear this before you likely grow out of this one.
  3. Two times in the last six months you have been in situations where I thought oh my god you could have died and that isn’t something one recovers from easily as a parent.
  4. You talk at volume as soon as you wake up in the morning, regardless of what time it is and regardless of who else is still asleep. You do this even on the nights when you sleep with Cormac and I and Bill escapes to the solitude of the spare queen bed.
  5. You still have the loudest cry of anybody I know and you’re not afraid to use it.
  6. We’re very disorganised about your homework because of the whole ‘working back late and not picking you and getting home until it is your bedtime’ problem. You’re quite conscientious about your homework, in bursts. This homework thing is a lot of pressure, that and getting to school late because the morning multiple drop-offs routine is so tight are where I most feel the work and family thing is in conflict for you.
  7. When you and your little brother are tired and cranky and you just fight continuously in the back of the car while I am trying to drive. And I am tired and cranky, too. It feels like I am about to be shattered.
  8. I wish we had more time together, just the two of us. I still miss our old closeness. You’re still a little introvert and while you’re getting better at talking about problems with me you still won’t share worries and concerns easily.
  9. You were spending very little time on the computer for a while there but now you’re absorbed in some new computer game again and we’re letting you spend too much time on the computer on the weekends and I hate it when we suck like that as parents.
  10. There is always a long list in my head of things I should be doing more of with you – one of them at the moment is designing and constructing things with you, which apparently you need to do more of for school – and I wish I felt like I was ticking off more of these things.
  11. Late last year I had this big worry about you and how maybe you weren’t doing enough to take care of your personal appearance and how I wondered about how this looked, like people would think I didn’t care about you as a mother if you got about in the stained, torn, too-small-for-you clothes while your brother and I looked more or less presentable. I also worried about whether you were going to start getting teased or left out by other little girls you play with who I can see are just starting to really embrace girly culture. Then I decided that your lack of self-awareness was really a blessing and that I should just relax. And about the same time you decided to start letting me brush your hair and you even wiped food off your face before you went out for the day and you would sometimes spoil me by asking if a certain outfit went together before wearing it. Anyway, I worried a lot more than I needed to about all that.

His.

  1. You still are capable of making an enormous mess. You leave everything out because all of it is special and unfinished and can’t be parted with. I think you are a bit like me in that respect.
  2. Your craft is so messy.
  3. You can be quite needy. I can be ironing clothes and making breakfast for you and your brother and trying to get to work on time and you want me to stop everything to come and see something in your room and you’re unwilling to believe it isn’t possible for me to do that.
  4. I wish you would unpack your school bag or at least not threaten to vomit when you have to unpack your own lunchbox.
  5. I wish you could talk more quietly.
  6. I wish you would stop using Windows on your computer, which you only do to annoy me and it causes lots of networking problems.
  7. You try and get me to play these ‘six year old girl’ hand slapping games with you and I do not like these games. Go find another 6 year old girl to play those with, please.
  8. You always pretend to be hungry when it’s bedtime, it is your delaying tactic and you really work hard to believe it yourself.
  9. Sometimes when you are sent to find something, like your school uniform, you put zero effort into it and instead you lie on your bed and cry about not finding it when it will be right there next to you on the bed. You have brought disgrace to the term “having a girl look”.
  10. I wish you would widen your food choices. I find it difficult coming up with recipes that don’t use any cheese or tomato ever.  We’re already vegetarians, we’ve ruled out meat, we can’t rule out much more.

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See here for previous lists.

Mine.

  1. You singing ‘I Am Woman’ at the top of your lungs in the car. I swear you discovered this song on your own, well I may have introduced you to it, but you found an appreciation for it all by yourself. And I know no-one believes that, on account of me being such a big fat feminist, but it’s true. If I am not careful I get a little teary, too, listening to you sing “Oh, yes I am wise. But it’s wisdom born of pain. Yes, I’ve paid the price. But look how much I’ve gained”.
  2. That the other day you went off in your lunch hour and joined Junior Choir at school. And now you can sing in tune again, and it doesn’t feel like those music classes I paid for when you were a toddler were quite such a huuuuge waste of money.
  3. Actually, how amazing you have been at settling into big school this year. You have come a long, long way, my little slow adaptor.
  4. I aced it with the Sylvanian Families birthday present this year for you. You love this itty bitty tiny cutesy world, like I knew you would. Feels good to get something so right.
  5. How outdoorsy you have become.
  6. How far I’ve come in being able to get you to talk about your feelings with me. I feel proud of us both.
  7. Your love of art. And your unstoppable passion for creating it.
  8. When you see that you’ve gone too far, that you’ve hurt my feelings, you race over and apologise and make amends. You can be so selfish when it comes to apologies being dragged out of you but when you give yourself genuinely, man, you’re incredibly sincere and mature and decent and kind and generous.
  9. That you ask for more mother-daughter days. You really want more time with your parents without your little brother around. I can understand that. I am glad you got four years to yourself before you got a sibling.
  10. You’re a six year old who doesn’t need a diary or school notices, you remember absolutely everything you ever hear from a teacher or a principal or an adult of authority that is supposed to be told to your parents. You’re amazing. And I can hand you an envelope in the morning and tell you to make sure this gets to wherever such envelopes are supposed to get to, and don’t forget to do this today, or we will miss out onand you will just get it done. I don’t have to ever think about it again. I wish you could teach your father some of this. You’re so responsible and conscientious.. except when you’re not (see things we enjoy least).
  11. You just discovered how to put yourself to sleep! Now if your baby brother could do the same your parents’ nights would really get a whole easier.
  12. The way you have such a flair for and interest in ethics.
  13. When you and your brother play nicely together, it is adorable.
  14. That you are still so cuddly and affectionate at your age.
  15. You may not remember what a little team we were together when you were a baby and there was only one of you and you wouldn’t go to your father, only me, but you quite like to hear my tales about it.
  16. That you have such a mind of your own, that you’re never a follower with other children, that you think for yourself and aren’t afraid to take a path which has you on your own in a decision.
  17. That you have become such a socialiser – as long as you get some space on your own every couple of hours or so.

His.

  1. Falling asleep snuggled up next to you.
  2. Seeing what a gentle, loving big sister you are, although I wish you’d stand up for yourself more with Cormac.
  3. Teaching you to tie up your shoes – you learnt it in five minutes, after wanting to be able to do it for yourself for the past two and a bit years and when you finally learnt you said “you know, the problem is I just wouldn’t listen to what you were saying”.
  4. How much cheerier you are with way less computer and television time.
  5. Chatting with you – the way you draw me out into long conversations when you are supposed to be falling asleep – you’ll probe me on my views on religion or something similarly meaty when we’re lying in bed together.
  6. I like the way you de-brief to me about your day and the problems you encountered at school. I like working out solutions with you and I like to see how incredibly miniscule six year old’s problems are and how much they’re able to blow them out of proportion, too.
  7. I liked when we problem-solving a solution together for you when you didn’t like being kept in after school with the whole class as punishment for a few children talking during the day. You chose to do a petition, that wasn’t my first choice.

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See here for previous lists.

Mine.

  1. That goal Montessori talks about, the ‘grace and courtesy’ one – you need to work on that one a little.
  2. The mess you make of your room and your computer/art space.
  3. Convincing you to have a bath. And then convincing you to stay in the bath with your brother, who bites and pinches you for fun, so I can get dinner done. Sometimes, perversely, also convincing you to get out of the bath is difficult, too.
  4. The Courtney Love melt-downs that you still have from time to time and the way they just take over our whole family when you decline into them.
  5. The time we arrived at a birthday party and the very first thing said to you was this kid telling you how much the birthday child doesn’t like you. I know this is all part of the fabric of life, I know you could just as easily have been the birthday child in this situation rather than the victim. But it hurt to watch you go through that. It hurt to see how strong you could be with it initially and how it wore you down over the next hour or so until you came to me and all you would say is that you were tired and wanted to go home.
  6. Worrying about your calcium intake given your aversion to dairy and fish.
  7. Almost every morning you wake in a foul mood and tell us that you are either too tired or too sick for school. I think we put you to bed too late, either that or you are not a morning person and doesn’t matter that you are only six years old, you should be introduced to coffee.
  8. On the evenings when your father and I have both been at work and we pick you up from whomever has been looking after you and we bring you home for bed and you drag it out as much as possible so you can have more time with us or just more time in your house.. and at the moment you mostly pretend to be hungry (or at least I think you’re pretending) but because I wasn’t there when you had dinner I don’t know for sure that you got enough to eat so I end up letting you stay up for an extra meal and it is making you very tired and sluggish in the mornings.
  9. How day-dreamy and irresponsible you are about packing and unpacking your school bag and I am always so stressed out and pressed for time because I am usually trying to get myself ready for work, and my brain feels exhausted with having to keep track of everything I need to do and then track of everything you need to do, too, especially when you don’t do it when you say you just did it, so I have to remember to remind you about everything I have already remembered to remind you about .. and you’ve been going to Montessori since you were a baby!
  10. The way you just don’t give a fuck about being a grub. How you eat your rice by just throwing spoonfuls of it in the general vicinity of your mouth; you eat at your computer desk/art space and leave rotting food there, even though I have told you that you are not to eat at your desk; the way you wipe your food on your clothes; the way you let sharpen your pencils and let shavings fall over the floor; the way you kick off your PJs and leave them on the floor etc etc.. arrgh. And I try to make you take responsibility for these actions, but I tell you, we go through such pain to get you to clean up anything – it invariably brings on a Courtney Love episode that we all have to pay for and I can only face making you clean up your filth every fifth or sixth time and this makes for such crappy parenting. (And I probably shouldn’t be admitting all these parenting failures out in public).
  11. That I yell too much at you, that I seem to resort to yelling with you as a first step.

His.

  1. Constant whining.
  2. Lying.
  3. Dissembling.
  4. No, I don’t believe you have a tummy ache.
  5. I really don’t feel that it disrespects you as a person to say that.
  6. No, I don’t think Mum would have a different view to me on that.
  7. Seriously, do you have to just sit there and watch your toddler brother come up and bite you – couldn’t you reach out one strong arm and stop him yourself. He bites pretty hard, why not just fend him off instead of letting it escalate constantly to something I have to intervene on?

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More from the series here.

Mine:

  1. I enjoy least the special kind of crazy you get when you don’t eat.
  2. I enjoy least your introverted kill-joy ways with disliking big, crowded, lively events until five minutes before we are due to leave when you finally ‘warm up’. The way you glare at anyone trying to be friendly with you (and how terribly embarrassed that makes me feel). The way you cling to me and get all jaded and cynical and complain about the event really loudly – how it is boring and stupid. The way you try to psych yourself up into bawling so we will be forced to leave.
  3. I enjoy least your foul moods in the morning.
  4. I enjoy least your need to argue with me over everything instead of just taking my word for it.
  5. I enjoy least having to come and intervene between you and your brother so often, particularly as it stops me from having the opportunity to get things done without him bugging me!
  6. I enjoy most listening to you read. I feel so proud of you and because you disguise your abilities so often when I hear you read properly I am always astonished at how far you have come. I don’t enjoy so much having to twist your arm to get you to do your reading homework – we have really managed to kill your love of reading by pushing you with the homework, we did a Montessori fail there, sorry.
  7. I enjoy most our conversations – you can be pretty fascinating, and the information you retain and reflect upon, so precise. You want to understand everything, no matter how complicated it is as long as you don’t feel like we are ‘teaching’ you something. Mostly you like to talk about art with me. Like the other day you wanted to know about the life drawing classes I used to do and now you try some of the ideas yourself with your drawing. You like to be taken to art galleries, to have time and space to do art yourself, to ask questions about art, to be given new materials and ideas to work with. I love that this is a passion that comes so much from inside you, I love that this is a glimpse into the future and who you will be.
  8. I enjoy most the times when you still curl up in bed with me and we fall asleep together – you and I and your brother. All my chicks in the nest, I tell you. I love that you love being described as a chick.
  9. I enjoy most seeing how much you love your brother, how intensely protective you can be with him; how you draw him on to your lap to watch TV, or you read him a story, or you gently teach him some Montessori activity, or you entice him into running around shrieking and giggling with you. How you get you both out of the bath and tell him to wrap his towel around himself when he walks up the hall and he never does. I love the way you to squeeze each other tight when you hug.
  10. I enjoy most our two extra days a week together. We are very nearly at the end of this stage, next year you will be at school five days a week and I will miss this extra time with you more than I can possibly imagine. We are such a great little team together on these days, getting through all my tasks, we find our rhythm and joke around together, and I love feeling so close to you again.
  11. I also enjoy most how confident and independent you are now with your friends, how you vanish off for playdates at your friends’ houses and how other times they come to our house and buzz around our place with you reminding me of big jolly families.

Bill’s:

  1. I enjoy least the way you are always declaring “this is the worst day ever”. (I wish my worst day ever was as simple as Nanna not making potato salad for dinner).
  2. I enjoy least the way you try to play Mummy and I off each other – your tiny little heart.
  3. I enjoy least that you need me to stay with you until you fall asleep every single night and I have no idea how to move you from this.
  4. I enjoy least that no matter how many felt pens without their lids I throw out I always find more on the floor.
  5. I enjoy least your inability to understand that the incredible amount of mess you make is anything to do with you.
  6. I enjoy most hanging out with you, we have some common interests now, for instance apparently we both wear what you call ‘BRONZE’ underpants. (BONDS underpants).
  7. I enjoy most that you do things I used to do as a child, like you catch a little caterpillar and keep it for a night, making a little home for it to stay in, and then you also know to let it go the next day.
  8. I enjoy most how close we are now. The other night at the school disco when you bumped your head really hard you ran to me for comfort.
  9. I enjoy most the way you like to talk about maths with me as you go to sleep. Mostly algebra at the moment.
  10. I enjoy much of your art. Like a room full of monkeys with paintbrushes, some of your art is amazing and some of it..

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See previous lists here.

  1. When you saw me walk into the room dressed in my work clothes you gasped and your face fell in disappointment. I saw you collect yourself and quickly put back on a smile. I love you for trying  so hard to make my return to work easier for me. I love that you put a chocolate treat in my lunchbox for me. I love that you tried to organise your father into visiting me on my first day back at work. I love that you looked away when I said goodbye, that you didn’t want me to see your eyes welling up with tears. If you are this empathetic at 5 what will you be like at 25?
  2. You discovered the question of evolution all for yourself. You actually discovered it some time ago, but I forgot to write about it back when you did. You asked about how the first hen came to be if there was no egg and if there was an egg then how could it be there without a hen to lay it.
  3. Your father has started talking to you a bit about the different religions in the world. He is probably not the right person for this task because he is a devout atheist, whereas I like to think of myself as a polite atheist. You have been quite fascinated with all the different beliefs, particularly as he included Greek and Egyptian mythology in his explanation. You even suggested that you might make it the theme for your birthday party: everyone can come dressed as the god they believe in and we can all learn about one another’s gods. There is an example of faith right there – I said over and over again that you are not getting a birthday party this year and you kept planning it anyway. Second reason that story made me smile: you didn’t realise how blasphemous your idea was, you thought you were being so inclusive and respectful.
  4. You tell us you love us infinity. You really enjoy the concept of infinity. You love our neighbour 88, which although I am surprised to hear that you love her at all seems fair when you love your family infinity.
  5. Your ability to make friends with a wide variety of children, to incorporate yourself into groups, to join games, to adapt to different styles of play. I am really proud of these skills you have. Your confidence with older boys (ie. 7-10yrs). You really like them and they are quite impressed by you. This one might go to the least enjoyed list in a few years time.
  6. Your long limbs, you are like a gazelle.
  7. For the record, your favourite foods at the moment are: the Mediterranean pie you invented and cooked yourself, strawberries, paw paw, mango, mint ice-cream, mashed potato, steamed vegetables, bean and salad tacos (still, has been over two years now as a favourite meal), feta, olives, pancakes, chocolate, tofu, egg, chickpeas, noodles, sugar snap peas, and corn and capsicum soup.
  8. I didn’t realise what great company five year olds would be – you have astute observations of life, you have a keen sense of humour, you make interesting conversation. Then you descend into really dreary toilet humour, but never mind.
  9. You volunteered to take on some household chores and the one you have stuck with is loading and unloading the dishwasher.
  10. The way you and your brother adore each other. The fact that he now walks around everywhere shrieking and squealing because he wants to copy you. The way you two play on the bed together, like kittens.
  11. You just discovered The Beatles and you love them. You sing their songs everywhere, it is terribly cute!
  12. Your little word stumbles: pig style instead of pig sty – as in, my room is a pig style. And ask instead of arse – as in, stop being such an ask.

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See previous lists here.

  1. You still wake sometimes and scream for a while before you will calm down enough to go back to sleep. Now you might only scream for 15 minutes whereas there was a time you could scream for up to an hour so that is an improvement.
  2. I  don’t get to spend enough time with you alone. When I am with you I almost always have your baby brother with us too and he claims most of my attention.
  3. You are quite introverted and while we are very close you keep many things to yourself. There are some things I am missing out on with you and it worries me.
  4. I yell at you too much and as if that is not bad enough you now copy me and yell at other people too much too.
  5. You chose to stop going to horse riding lessons. I told you that I would love you just as much even if you didn’t want to learn horse riding.. and I might have been lying.
  6. Your loyalty to people; I think it might make you susceptible to getting hurt in the future.
  7. All the many, many times that you come and jump on the bed while I am trying to get Cormac to sleep.
  8. Brushing your hair and fighting with you about brushing your hair.
  9. Things you used to eat which you no longer will and which have severely limited our lunchbox options for you include: avocado, fish and cheese (unless melted on a pizza or feta, why?).
  10. Now that Cormac can walk some of his gloss has worn off and you spend a lot of time getting cross with him and pushing him over.

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