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Number three

13 Jul

Everyone knows that number one is code for pee and number two is synonymous with poop, but what, exactly, is number three you ask?

I think this video explains it best:

Hannah was just a baby when that commercial came out, so naturally, I found it hilarious and actually understood what they were talking about.  I can imagine that a non-parent/caregiver/nanny would watch it and think what the heck.  Poo explosions were a regular occurrence when the kids were babies, but I haven’t had to worry about it for at least a year.  Until recently….

Last week:

“Mommy, I need to go to the toilet!” Daniel tells me urgently at a friend’s house.  I pick him up and run to the bathroom.  At home he wears undies, but when we’re out, I don’t really want to deal with poopy underwear, so he wears a pull up.  I don’t really want to deal with poopy underwear any time, but it’s so much worse when we’re out.  Not to mention the pooped on garments sit there fermenting in a bag until we get home if he poops in undies while we are out.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I pull down his pants and underwear as fast as humanely possible and lift him up onto the toilet.  He wants down less than a second after I put him up.

“Nope.” He tells me.  False alarm.  He knows there is a poo coming soon, but he’s not so good with the actual timing. I know there must be one coming soon too, he hasn’t pooped in 2-3 days, and he’s a daily sort of boy.  The two tiny little wet fart type accidents he’s already had today make me think he’s holding it in and has a bit of overflow.  Yes, that’s a thing.  I know all about it because Hannah used to hold it in.  She still does sometimes, but I can tell when she’s doing it and make her go sit on the toilet.  I guess she figures if she’s already on the toilet she might as well just go, so it’s not really a problem anymore.

I think Daniel is doing it because he doesn’t want to poop his undies or pull up.  But he doesn’t want to go on the toilet either.

We have about five more false alarms at my friends house before we have to leave to go to a different friend’s house, one who’s house I’ve never been to before.

He has another false alarm there before I notice he’s lingering in the bathroom all by himself.  Just standing there, away from everyone.  A quick check of the pull up reveals he’s already started his poop, which is fine, I’m just glad he’s finally pooping.

“I need to go to the toilet!” He tells me.  But it’s not just a turtle head, there is already some poop in his pull up.  If I try to get if off, then put him on my friend’s toilet, I’m likely to get poop all over the toilet seat.  Not exactly what I want to do at someone else’s house.

“There’s already some in your pull up buddy, just finish your poop in your pull up.” I tell him.  If we were at home, I’d get poop everywhere and put him on the potty or toilet anyway.

I leave him to it and he stands in the bathroom by himself for ages before finally coming out.

“I’ll be right back, I just have to go to the car to get a new pull up and some wipes.” I tell my friend as Daniel sits down on the new carpet next to Hannah.

“Ok buddy, let’s go change your bottom.”  I tell him whilst picking him up.

That’s when I notice;  the 2-3 days worth of poop isn’t contained in his pull up.  Not even remotely.  We’re definitely talking about number threes here.  My eyes widen in horror as I realize there is a big brown spot of poop on my friend’s beige carpet.  Her brand new beige carpet.

My mind races.  Should I help clean up the carpet poop?  Should I run Daniel into the bathroom and deal with carpet poop later? I can’t believe there is poop on the carpet.  I should clean it up, but what about Daniel?  Won’t he just sit down again and make more poop spots?  My mind is made up in a second.

Holding Daniel by the armpits out in front of me as if he’s toxic, I run him to the bathroom, where there is a tiled floor, to change his clothes and clean him up.  The poop is half way up his back and oozing out both sides of the nappy.  I don’t even know where to begin.

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“Do you have a hose outside?”  I ask my friend.

She looks at me like I’ve gone crazy.  It is the middle of winter after all.  “Yes, but you don’t need to do it outside.”

“Can I give him a bath here?”

“Of course.”  I think she is stifling laughter.

It’s impossible to peel his clothes off without spreading the poop, so now there is poop not only on his back, bottom, stomach, and legs, but also his shoulders.  The poo clothes are put in a plastic bag, which will have to ferment until I get home.  We somehow managed to get poop all over the bathroom floor as well.  There is even some on the bottom of Daniel’s shoe which has made poop tread marks on the tiles. The once white bathtub is streaked with brown.

Daniel is standing there, naked in the tub, delighted that he gets to have a bath in a foreign bathtub.  I don’t really want to get poop on someone else’s wash cloth, so I splash water on Daniel and wipe him down with my bare hand.  Once all the poop is off him, I use the warm water and my hand to get it all down the drain of the bathtub before using the baby bath I find on the side of the bathtub to wash both Daniel and the bathtub.

Daniel plays in the bath while I clean the poop off the bathroom floor and finally he and the bathroom are clean.  Number three has been dealt with.

Meanwhile, my friend, who is something like 39 weeks pregnant, is in her lounge room with Hannah and her daughter (who is under 2), cleaning up the soiled carpet.

“It’s a poo volcano!” I hear her say.  She is using vinegar and baking soda to fix her new carpet while Hannah’s giggles fill the room.  Luckily my friend has the kind of humour that finds poop hilarious.

Note to self: Always put Daniel on the toilet, even if at someone else’s house and pooping has already commenced.

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Daniel at the children’s hospital

22 Jun

1 week ago:

My eyes are slowly drifting open.  The sound of coughing, barking, or maybe some kind of machine failure fills my ears.  It takes me a little bit to wake up properly and realise scream crying and gaging noises are accompanying the strange noise.  Adrenaline rushes through me and I am wide awake with realisation that the noise is coming from Daniel.  As I get out of bed, I see that Aaron is not here.  He must be up with Daniel already. How long had I slept through his horrible sounding cough and crying?  I must have been in a deep sleep.  It’s only 10:30 and I’ve only been asleep for an hour.

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Daniel is coughing a so loudly and uncontrollably that he is gagging and throwing up a little.  It’s not a normal cough, but a strange sounding one, kind of like a dry bark.  His coughing is distressing him so much that he is also screaming and crying and Aaron is having a hard time comforting him.  He wants me to lay with him in his bed, but first I have to put his dinosaur sleeping bag in the wash, as there is mucous-y vomit all over it, making this only the second time in his entire life that he’s thrown up.

The crying stops when I lay down with him in his small junior sized bed.  Instead his every breath is audible and seems to be a struggle.

“I’m calling the doctor.” I tell Aaron.  The crying starts again as I exit the bed to get my phone.  I’m told there is a 5 hour wait for the after hours home doctor.

“You can call the medical advice line in the mean time.” The operator tells me.  I do it straight away.  I tell them about the horrible sounding cough, the laboured breathing, and the coughing so much he vomited.  I put my phone up to Daniel’s face, much to his displeasure, and let the doctor on the phone listen for herself.  He coughs while the phone is next to him.

“I suggest you take him to the emergency room, that sounds like a bad case of croup.”  She tells me.  I’ve called the medical advice line a few times before, and they’ve never told me to go to the hospital, so I know it’s not just a standard line they give everyone.

There is a general hospital about 3 minutes away, but there is also a children’s hospital about 25 minutes away.

“Ok Buddy, we’re going to take a little trip to the Children’s hospital.  I’ll get dressed and pack my iPad and stuff and then we’ll go.”

“Can I come too?” Hannah asks.

“No sweetie, it’s night time and you have school tomorrow, you need to sleep.”

“I DON’T WANT TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL!!!!!”  Daniel is upset and crying again.

“It’s ok Daniel, the Children’s hospital is really fun!” I hear Hannah telling him while I get ready to go.  “There are toys there, and it’s only for kids!  There is a playground, and they are really nice, and it’s so much fun.  You’ll love it there.  Don’t be scared Daniel, it’s good there.  I wish I was going.”

Hannah’s kind words calm him down and his screaming is replaced by excitement.  I’m not sure why she loves it so much.  The only time she went she had pneumonia and pretty much laid in my lap the whole time.  She played on the playground for about 2 minutes, but that was it.  But I suppose that experience was much better than the time she went to the local general hospital when she was under 2, had a 40 degree (104) fever and refused to drink anything.  I took her to the doctor who told me to take her straight to the hospital.  She was admitted for the night as she was so feverish and dehydrated.  They tried at least 3 times to get a cannula in, but failed every time.  They never did end up getting one in so that she could get the fluids so so desperately needed.  They also needed to check her for a UTI, to see if that was the cause of infection, which entailed 3 doctors holding her down on a bed as she screamed the most horrible, heart breaking scream I’ve ever heard in my life while another doctor shoved a small catheter tube inside her.

Again, they failed.  While I held her hand and tried my best to avoid crying so that I didn’t upset her even more, they held her down and did the whole thing again, failing for second time.  They couldn’t get the cannula in, and they couldn’t get the catheter in, but despite not actually being able to do anything for us, they made us stay all night.  I was about 37 weeks pregnant at the time but Hannah was too terrified by that stage to sleep in the hospital bed all by herself, so both of us slept in her bed together.  She took ages to fall asleep after all her trauma and when she finally did, they shoved a thermometer under her arm, waking her up, as they did every hour.  Haven’t they ever heard of an ear thermometer that won’t wake sick kids up all the time?  It was horrible.  Needless to say, I now drive the extra 20 something minutes to the children’s hospital.

I bundle Daniel up and put him in his car seat after warming up the car so it’s not too cold inside.

Since the kids go to bed at 6:30pm, they don’t often get to ride in the car in the dark.  I thought Daniel might fall asleep on the way, but instead he is looking at all the lights, cars, buses, and trucks.  “Mommy, I see, a truck!!”  He tells me with excitement.  The car ride seems to be calming him down, but I can still hear his loud breathing.

“Look, there’s Wet ‘n’ Wild!”  I say as we pass the giant water slides.  For some reason, all the lights on the slides and stairs are on, even though it’s the off season and it hasn’t been open for two months, not to mention it’s now 11 something at night.  I wonder how much money they waste on electricity?

After parking at the hospital, a triage nurse greets us straight away to assess Daniel.  He hasn’t coughed much in the car, but he sneezes in front of her, which also has the trademark croupy bark noise.

“Yeah, that sounds like croup.”  She tells me.  She gives me a number with an A in front of it and tells me that I will be next because no one else in the waiting room has an A ticket.

Sure enough, he is seen about 20 seconds later.  Although croup is a caused by a viral infection, and antibiotics don’t help, oral steroids are given to open up his airways.  “We will check him again in one hour to make sure the medicine worked, and then, if he is doing well, you should be able to go home.”  She gives me a pamphlet about croup before we go to the waiting room for an hour.

Croup is more common at night, when it’s cold, and is often sudden, like it was with Daniel.  Hannah had croup a couple of months ago, but hers wasn’t nearly as bad as Daniel’s.

Daniel lays on me in a comfy plush chair (not like the chairs of our local ER) and tries to get comfortable for a nap.  There are too many other people around though, and he is distracted.  He really wants to lay down properly, but the chairs aren’t big enough.

I spot a long soft bench seat in the overflow part of the waiting room where the TV and wall toys are and carry him over.  No one else is in there.  He lays there for about 10 seconds before deciding that it’s play time, followed by iPad time.  Oh well, at least he’s happy, and I can keep myself awake watching the weird movie about a kid with leaves growing on his ankle that is playing on the TV attached to the wall.

After an hour, they call him again, check his vitals, and then tell us we can go home if we see our usual doctor tomorrow.  The steroids have done their job and there is no more laboured breathing or coughing.

When we get home, I sleep on the couch with him for the rest of the night, and I keep him home from daycare, since he has a virus and I expect him to be very tired and lethargic all day.

I am wrong.  He is not tired, and doesn’t seem sick at all.  Instead, he spends the day running around the house and jumping off the couch whilst I attempt to study for my chemistry final.  The doctor says he can go to daycare tomorrow and to expect a bad night again.

We put a heater in the kids’ room as cold air negatively affects croup, but we still expect some coughing and waking.  Luckily though, it never comes. They both sleep all night, and past their usual 6am wake up.

If your child has ever had croup. you know how scary it is.  That cough is like no cough you’ve ever heard before, and the laboured breathing is enough to send us parents running with our kids to the ER.  Although death from croup is rare, it’s far better to be safe than sorry.  And perhaps it’s rare because so many of us seek immediate medical attention for it.  I’m just glad that he is fine now.

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Daniel asleep on the couch few days later, after lack of sleep caught up to him

Daniel asleep on the couch few days later, after the lack of sleep caught up to him

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Early wake up

17 Jun

“I need my car vitamin,” I heard the other morning as I lifted my still half asleep eyes towards the bedside clock.

5:36am.  Argh.

“No vitamin yet Daniel, your clock hasn’t turned green.  You know you’re supposed to stay in your room until your clock turns green.  It’s not 6 yet.” I told him as my head settled back onto my warm, soft pillow.

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“NOOOOOOOOO I WANT TO GET UP!!!!!!!!”  He screamed as he threw himself backwards on the bed.

Despite my half asleep brain fog, I knew a change in tactics was needed.  I had to outsmart the 2 year old.

“Daniel, it’s still night; it’s still sleep time.  Lay down and go to sleep.”  So what if it was morning, Daniel didn’t need to know that.  I would have made him go back to his room, but I didn’t want him to wake Hannah up.

My quick thinking did the trick and Daniel’s whinging immediately stopped as he thought about my words.  He wriggled himself under the blankets and laid his head on edge of my pillow.

A few minutes later,  a whisper accompanied by a dim light moved around the house. “Daniel?  Daniel?”  Hannah was looking for him.  She tip toed to the bathroom, the dining room, and the living room, quietly calling Daniel’s name.  I thought she would come in Aaron’s and my bedroom, but after checking everywhere else, the still dark morning returned to silence.

I thought she’d gone back to bed until I heard her soft footsteps coming towards our room.

“Hannah.  Hannah.”  I whispered.

The footsteps stopped, but I received no answer.

“It’s ok, you can come in.”  I told her.  She quickly came to the bed and got under the covers.

“I was looking for Daniel,” she told me “he escaped from our room.”

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call to the police

25 May

“Do you guys want to go to the park?” I ask the kids.  Despite being nearly winter, it’s shorts and t-shirt weather outside.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, it’s a beautiful day.

“Let’s go on the country track!!”  Daniel says excitedly.   That’s code for the dusty little dirt trail that connects to a couple of bridges.

As we get closer and closer to the stepping stones water crossing, the sound of dirt bikes rings louder in our ears. “Mommy, I’m scared.”  Hannah says every time one goes ‘BBBRRRRRMMM.’  Her voice waivers and she hides behind my legs, grabbing my pants with both hands.  I should be able to take my kids to the local park without them being frightened of being run over.  Motorised vehicles are not allowed at the park.  Yes, there are trails and fields and plenty of space there, but that space is not for dirt bikes, it’s for kids running around, dog walkers, parents, bush walkers, pram pushers, people playing sports, the elderly, people in wheelchairs.  It is for all people, but not motor vehicles, which is clearly stipulated on signs around the perimeter of the park.

I can’t tell exactly where the bikes are until we pass the stepping stones and get to the field.  I hold Hannah and Daniel’s hands tightly as a man on a dirt bike tears by.  Usually I let them run off ahead, giggling through the field en route to the playground.  Near the trees on the other side of the field is a large group of men, teen, and tween boys, a 3-wheeler atv and the dirt bike that is being shared around.

As we walk towards the playground, the bike is speeding on the sidewalk, tearing past the playground, and doing circles in the field.  Kids may look like they are walking nicely next to their parents, but in seconds, they can be 20 feet away, running and giggling.  Can a dirt bike rider really predict that, especially one who is going really fast and is clearly too young to be licensed?  There is a reason dirt bikes are not allowed at the park.  What if a kid on the playground suddenly decides to chase a bird and runs out of the playground area? Can a dirt bike rider tearing by 10 feet away from the playground swerve or stop in time?

The other week we walked to the park and a police car pulled up when we were in the parking lot. I had just seen a dirt bike, so I pointed towards the field.  The cop ignored me.  He did a lap of the parking lot, whilst I flapped my arms and pointed to the field, but the cop didn’t stop to ask me anything, he just pulled back out again, making no effort to actually catch the person or people responsible for endangering children’s lives by tearing around in the park on dirt bikes.

The playground at the park. Behind is the field.

The playground at the park. Behind is the field.

I put Daniel in the swing and call the local police station.  “Hi, I’d like to report a dirt bike at ____________,” I tell them, as I stand about 5 feet away from another mum.

“Yeah, we’ve had a lot of complaints about that.” She tells me.

“Are the police going to come?” Hannah asks me when I hand up after the brief conversation.

“I don’t know sweetie, they said they’ve had a lot of calls about it, so hopefully they will, it’s very dangerous to ride dirt bikes around a playground.”

30 seconds later, the bike speeds past the playground and ducks into the country track. The same track we were just meandering down, often stopping while the kids bent over to agitate the dirt with sticks to make “smoke.” The small dirt track that a speeding dirt bike would have trouble stopping really fast on if a kid was there.  The track where swerving is not an option due to large logs lining both sides of the path.  The short dirt path with trees all around where it would be too late to react by the time anyone realised those echoing BRRRRMMMs were actually coming from the same path they are on.

Inside, I was freaking out.  What if he had turned down that path when we were on it?

“Let’s go feed the ducks.” I tell the kids to distract myself from such thoughts.  A group of ducks is foraging on the cricket field next to the playground.

The mob of dirt bikers is staring at us as we feed the ducks.  I watch them in my peripheral vision as they push the 3-wheeler into the bushes, as if they somehow know I’ve called the police.

That’s silly, I’m just being paranoid, how could they know? 

The sound of the dirt bike is gone.  He has clearly gone down the country path to make a quick and hasty get away.

Maybe they saw a police car.

We run out of bread and go back to the playground.  Next to the woman who was near me when I made the police car is a tween in a motor bike helmet.

The rest of the group are walking up, pushing the 3-wheeler.

“Let’s get this in the back of the truck.” One of the men says to the woman.  There are about 10 of them all together.  All rough, hard looking men and boys with mullets and rat tails. All giving me the death stare.  Maybe they are actually really nice guys, but maybe they are planning to punch my lights out.  I don’t really want to find out.

I act as if I’m too stupid to put two and two together, like I don’t realise I know that they know that I called the police.  I pretend I’m so engrossed with pushing Hannah and Daniel on the swings that I don’t even notice they are there.

I look at my watch, long and obviously.  “Ok kids, time to go home and cook some dinner.”

“Please, just a little bit longer?” They beg.

I force my voice to come out as strong and unintimidated “No, it’s almost dinner time, we have to go home now.”

They hop off the swings and follow me towards the field, not our usual way home, but if we go through the parking lot, the men could watch us and see which house we go into.

The ducks are still waddling across the field, and I’m still freaking out a little inside, so even though I wouldn’t normally suggest such a thing (about ducks, not about pigeons or something), I feign excitement and say “WHO WANTS TO CHASE SOME DUCKS!!!???”

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“I DO!!!” The kids say in unison and we take off running, quickly putting distance between us and the scary looking mob who knows I called the police on them.

When we get to the bottom of our street, a police car pulls into the parking lot down a hill and to the left of us.  If we go down there talk to him, the men will see us, but if we don’t, they might get away. Maybe they are still putting the 3-wheeler in the truck.  Maybe they will be caught red handed.

One thing is for sure though: I don’t want them to see us.  They don’t know we are at the top of the hill and I don’t want want them to.  Instead of turning towards the police car, we turn towards home, towards safety and anonymity.

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The P and O cruise

22 May

“How many more days?”  Hannah asked me every morning for weeks.  She and Daniel were so excited for our cruise with Aunty Jess, as was I.  It was our last hurrah before everything change, before she has a baby.  That’s not for another 20 weeks, but cruises have surprisingly early pregnancy cut off dates.

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I have been potty training Daniel vigilantly for a couple of months, but it was all in vain.  He wasn’t allowed at the kids club.  Not because he wasn’t potty trained.  Contrary to what P&O’s website says, kids who aren’t potty trained can go in the kids club.  Their parents just have to respond to the pager given out by the kids club asap to change a soiled nappy if needed.

He wasn’t allowed in the kids club because they don’t take kids who are a day under 3.  I thought that when Jess said if he’s potty trained and speaking well, maybe they’d take him, that she had actually spoken to P&O, and that’s what they said, but it was just her wishful thinking.

We didn’t think it would matter so much though because of the group child minding service. Sure we’d have to pay $5 an hour, but it would be totally worth it, we could be kid free for a couple hours, relax, hang out, see a show.  Except the group child minding service turned out to be only for kids 3 and up and only after 10:30pm.

Kids under 3 are allowed to play in the kids club if an adult they came with is supervising them. That seemed fair.  We could all go there, the kids could play, Jess and I could sit in a corner and hang out.  Jess, Hannah and Daniel and I all went in and the kids excitedly started playing, happy that they could be in the kids club AND that we were there with them. Jess and I sat near Daniel, but in the corner out of the way.

“Sorry, only one of you can stay here with him.”  A kids club employee told us.

“What if one stays with him and one is here for her?” We asked her, pointing to Hannah.

“No, she is over three and enrolled in the kids club, so she can’t have an adult with her.”

There was absolutely nothing, apart from playing on the stairs, in the lift, and in our room, for kids under 3 to do.  Everything for kids was at the kids clubs (different clubs for different ages).  We thought the pools would be something fun for all of us to do together, but as soon as we got in, we got straight back out again because it was so cold.  Why would you not heat a pool on a cruise ship?  So for the kids to have something to do, The Jess and I couldn’t hang out together.

The window in our room. There was a side ledge under the window where the kids liked to play.  They could close the curtains and it was like having their own fort right inside our room.

The window in our room. There was a side ledge under the window where the kids liked to play. They could close the curtains and it was like having their own fort right inside our room.

The kids club itself was rather disappointing too.   For Hannah’s age, there was one main room with a little room inside the main room.  In the main room were a couple of craft tables, a TV with Wii games, a heap of duplo, and a few toy car ramps.  There are scheduled activities every half an hour, such as dancing, duplo building, craft, etc, which is great, except all kids in there have to participate.  We’re talking about 3-6 year olds.  Sometimes 3 year olds don’t want to do group dancing, they want to play duplo, or watch their toy cars go down ramps.  I witnessed lots of whingy, unhappy kids when they were told they couldn’t play with the other toys during activity time.

Straight from P&O's website

Straight from P&O’s website

On the other hand, when it was free play time, I saw lots of kids fighting over toys, snatching from each other, pushing, etc., but the kids club employees weren’t really paying attention and didn’t do anything about it.

Daniel playing in Duplo corner.

Daniel playing in Duplo corner.

The other little room inside the big room contained some Playstation consoles, a few books (some with all of their pages missing.  Daniel found a Thomas book, opened it up, and was very upset to find no pages inside for him to look at), and play kitchen stuff.  Most of the time though, that room is shut.  Only during scheduled Playstation time are they allowed in there.  Unless the child is under 3 and with an adult, then we have to go in there when the other kids are doing group stuff because under 3’s are not allowed to participate in group things no matter how much they want to, and we’re told to go in the other room.

I didn’t actually see a kid who knew how to use the Playstations.  Most of them picked up the controllers, mashed a bit, and then lost interest.  We are talking about 3-6’s.  Since when do 3-6’s play Playstation?  According to P&O’s website, there are iPad activities, which would have been more age appropriate, but there were no iPads to be found.

 

The playstation and play kitchen room in Turtle Cove (the 3-6 year old kids club)

The playstation and play kitchen room in Turtle Cove (the 3-6 year old kids club)

There was also a little outdoor area for the kids clubs (with gates to prevent escape), but they would be taken outside for a group activity like mini olympics, and then quickly herded back inside.  They didn’t really do any free play outside even though there were heaps of tricycles, a couple of cubby houses, and a giant connect four game.

Daniel on one of the trikes in the outdoor area of the kids club.

Daniel on one of the trikes in the outdoor area of the kids club.

For the mini olympics, girls were on one team, boys on the other, and they had to get in a sack, hop around some cones, hula hoop 3 times, then hop back.  They loved doing it, but there were about 10 girls and 10 boys, or more, so after their turn, the little ones quickly lost interest and wanted to ride around on the bikes.

They weren’t allowed.  They all got herded back over to watch the olympics instead.  Except Daniel,  he was with me, so we continued playing on the bikes.  He wasn’t supposed to be participating after all, but I waited in line with him and made sure he got a turn, then helped him through the course.  There was another family outside with a kid under 3 playing on a bike too.  Hannah came over to play with us, but she was told to back to the other side, as “she is in the kids club, so she has to stay with the kids club kids.”

I quickly signed her out, and she played bikes with Daniel and me.

One afternoon, the kids club had a “family remote control car race.”

“Since this is a family event, does that mean both Jess and I can come with the kids?” I asked them.

“Yes, you can all come, but you have to sign up.  If at least 2 kids are signed up, the event will take place. If not, it will be cancelled.”

“That’s fine, I have 2 kids right here.”

I signed one of us up with Hannah and the other up with Daniel.  It did say family.  Maybe it was only supposed to be for kids club kids, but whatever.  Apart from a sideways glance, they didn’t say anything.  No one else signed up.

We arrived right on time, but everyone was group dancing.

“No one showed up, so we cancelled it.”  They told me.

I looked at my watch, then at the lady.  Nope, we weren’t late.  Not even 1 minute.

“Er…we’ll do it when they finish this activity.” She said.

After dancing finished, they gave Jess and Hannah a car, and Daniel and me a car.  Hannah’s didn’t work and she had to get another one.  Daniel’s didn’t work if it went 2 feet away from us and he quickly got bored and wanted to manually push it around.  All the other kids tried to steal the cars and/or remotes as they didn’t get any since they didn’t sign up.  No one said anything to them, except for Jess and me.

Some of the kids stood right in front of Hannah’s car so she couldn’t drive it.  Again, no one said anything to them, so it was up to us.

One day, they had face painting in the kids club.  Hannah patiently sat in a little chair behind the girl who was having her face painted at the time.  She was the second quickest to get in the queue.  The face painter took ages painting the first kid’s face.  So long that all the other kids waiting behind Hannah lost interest and went off to play.  Hannah waited on, silently sitting there as the minutes ticked by.  We wanted to meet The Jess for the scheduled deck boules at 4:30 and time was quickly running out.  Hannah had been sitting there 20 minutes by the time the first kid was done.

Instead of happily greeting Hannah and asking her what she’d like on her face though, the lady stood up and walked off.  Another lady came in with an older kid from the kids club next door trailing behind her.  They both sat down and she got to work, leaving Hannah sitting there, still unpainted.

“I’m really sorry sweetie, you’ve been so patient, but we’re running out of time, I don’t think we’ll have time to get your face painted now, so you might as well play for a bit.”  I said to her loudly from across the room.  One of the other ladies got the hint and sat back down again, quickly painting a flower crown on Hannah’s forehead.

As soon as she was finished, we left the kids club and walked to where the deck boules were supposed to be, arriving just in time.  Except no one was there.  No balls were there. Nothing was set up, and no one else was waiting, there was only a ping pong table with a couple of guys in the midst of a game.  Contrary to what the daily schedule told us, deck boules were not happening.

Instead, we let the kids play on the stairs.  Up and down.  Up and down. Sliding on their bottoms, sliding on their tummies, going down in the lift then climbing up the stairs.  We killed nearly an hour with the kids happily playing on the stairs and in the lift.

Hannah and Daniel at the top of a set of stairs.

Hannah and Daniel at the top of a set of stairs.

P&O would probably be fine if you don’t have kids, or if they are older kids, but travelling with anyone under 3, there just isn’t enough for them to do.  Not to mention the beds were the most uncomfortable I’ve slept on in my entire life.

We had fun on the cruise, but there were also a lot of things that were quite disappointing.  I definitely want to do on another cruise, but it will be with a different cruise line.

playing in the window

playing in the window

Part of our room.  We moved one of the ladders to the ledge under the window so the kids could play up there.

Part of our room. We moved one of the ladders to the ledge under the window so the kids could play up there.

Daniel after the lifejacket drill

Daniel after the lifejacket drill

Me and the kids the first night on the ship

Me and the kids the first night on the ship

Hannah at the kids club

Hannah at the kids club

Daniel drew and played iPad during bingo

Daniel drew and played iPad during bingo

Hannah drawing while we waited for bingo to start

Hannah drawing while we waited for bingo to start

playing bingo

playing bingo

Pasta.  Delicious.

Pasta. Delicious.

eating at the restaurant at off the proper menu

eating at the restaurant at off the proper menu

Spaghetti face

Spaghetti face

my salmon.  It was delicious.

my salmon. It was delicious.

Jess eating at the restaurant (as opposed to the buffet)

Jess eating at the restaurant (as opposed to the buffet)

Daniel and Jess watching Frozen from bed

Daniel and Jess watching Frozen from bed

playing on the stairs

playing on the stairs

At kids dinner time (4:30), the tables have colouring in and colouring pencils.

At kids dinner time (4:30), the tables have colouring in and colouring pencils.

kids dinner.  Nothing healthy on the menu.

kids dinner. Nothing healthy on the menu.

Me and Daniel at kids dinner

Me and Daniel at kids dinner

Hannah having dessert

Hannah having dessert

Keeping Daniel busy at dinner.  They already had dinner at kids dinner time.

Keeping Daniel busy at dinner. They already had dinner at kids dinner time.

One night I had a cocktail and Jess had a mocktail

One night I had a cocktail and Jess had a mocktail

It was sunny on Moreton Island for us for about 5 minutes, then it poured for the rest of the day.

It was sunny on Moreton Island for us for about 5 minutes, then it poured for the rest of the day.

Hannah on Moreton island

Hannah on Moreton island

We got a towel animal one day.

We got a towel animal one day.

The captain trying to put his hat on Daniel.  Daniel was not impressed.

The captain trying to put his hat on Daniel. Daniel was not impressed.

The captain came over to us at lunch one day and talked to the kids.  Hannah got to wear his hat.

The captain came over to us at lunch one day and talked to the kids. Hannah got to wear his hat.

Hannah and Daniel loved looking at the colour changing fountain on the ship

Hannah and Daniel loved looking at the colour changing fountain on the ship

SAMSUNG CSC

Hannah and Jess with the remote control car at the kids club

Hannah and Jess with the remote control car at the kids club

SAMSUNG CSC

Windows are fun to play in

Windows are fun to play in

Mr. Cheeky playing on the ship

Mr. Cheeky playing on the ship

Cruises are tiring.  Hannah rarely naps, but she was so tired she curled up on me and went to sleep.

Cruises are tiring. Hannah rarely naps, but she was so tired she curled up on me and went to sleep.

Hannah and the bear from school at breakfast (they each get a turn taking the bear home for a week.  She got to take it on the cruise)

Hannah and the bear from school at breakfast (they each get a turn taking the bear home for a week. She got to take it on the cruise)

Hannah and on a deck chair

Hannah and on a deck chair

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The first poop

11 May

2 weeks ago:

Daniel and I are eating dinner together by ourselves.  Hannah is at Grandma and YaYa’s house for her weekly sleepover and Aaron is out with work friends because he is moving offices for a couple of months on Monday.

Daniel isn’t very hungry because Grandma filled him up when dropped Hannah off.  He is picking brown rice slowly, but mostly he’s just playing with it, and he’s not touching his Indian butter chicken.  I am about halfway through mine when Daniel suddenly stops twirling his food around his plate.  He forgets about everything else as a look of concentration crosses his face.

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“QUICK DANIEL, LET’S GET TO THE POTTY!!” I tell him, trying, but failing to contain the urgency in my voice.  I don’t exactly want to be attempting to remove poop that’s been amalgamated with undies in the middle of dinner.

“I DON’T WANT TO!!!!” He screams.  But I don’t listen.  By the time he’s finished with his sentence, we’re already half way to the bathroom, despite his flailing arms and legs.

I pull down his pants and undies and put him straight onto his little potty.  The concentration fills his face again, this time laced with a look of excitement. His protests cease and the room is silent.

Plop.

“I DID IT!!! I DID A POO ON THE POTTY!!!!”  He stands up excitedly and looks at in the toilet bowl. “THERE’S A POOP IN THERE! I DID A POOP!”

He is jumping up and down with huge smile on his face as I give him a chocolate Easter egg and promise that we will go to Kmart tomorrow to get a pirate tent.

Daniel

Daniel

“Good job buddy, let’s go finish our dinner now.”  We walk towards the table, but before we get there, my elation is replaced by annoyance.  Our bowls are empty.

“ROSIE!!!!!!”  She comes bounding in as if nothing happened.  “NO!  You DO NOT get on the table!”  I tell her whilst pointing my finger and furrowing my brow.  “OUTSIDE.”  I tell her sternly.  Little thief.

I was wrong though.  I thought it would take just one poop in the toilet and Daniel would lap up the praise, rewards, and excitement and continue to poop in the toilet, just like he did with pees.  But he didn’t.  He’s only pooped in the toilet once since then, and again only because I recognised poo face and ran him to the toilet at Grandma’s house.

Time is out though.  The cruise is tomorrow.  I had an alternate plan: putting Daniel in kids club with a pull up, and then telling the carers to call me if he needs a nappy change, until Jess pointed out that we won’t have any phone reception.  You know, since we’ll be at sea.  I’m still not giving up.  Daniel is a sweet, charming boy, so he is going to tell them that he really wants to go to kids club with Hannah. Maybe there won’t be that many kids and they’ll like him so much that they will take him despite his lack of toilet skills.  How can anyone say no to a 2 year old that tells you how much he wants to be there all by himself?  He has incredible language skills.  I’m not giving up.  He will have fun there. He really, really, really wants to go to kids club.  Hannah really wants him to go to kids club (she is looking forward to kids club the most out of everything on the entire cruise), and I really want him to go. You know what they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

Also, there won’t be any posts whilst I’m away, except the guest post on Thursday that is set to auto post for me, since the only internet available is ridiculously expensive.

BON VOYAGE!  I’ll post lots of pictures when I get back 🙂 YAY I’M SO EXCITED!

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There’s pee on the floor

24 Apr

“Choo Choo!!!!”  I say as excitedly as I can possibly force myself to whilst moving my arms around my sides like that straight thing that goes across old train wheels to make them go all at the same time.  “It’s potty train time.”

“I DON’T WANT TO!”  Daniel yelled.

This is Daniel's <a href=

I try numerous tactics to make going potty (and getting to the potty) fun:  potty train, bug potty (he really likes bugs), bribery, etc. but none of them work.  Instead, Daniel prefers to wear no underpants  or nappy and then pees on the floor.  Or the bed, or lounge, wherever he is at the time, really.

Finally I am able to coax him into wearing undies after I buy a pack of way overly priced Thomas the Tank Engine underwear. They do nothing to get him to sit on the potty though.  He still pees where he stands and then walks around with wet undies without a care in the world.

I can see that he knows exactly when he needs to pee.  He stood in the bath one day, looked at his penis, and then watched as he soiled the bathwater.  After that, I notice the he often stops and looks at his crotch region, even though it is now covered in Thomas underpants, before peeing all over the floor quickly followed by walking away as if nothing happened.  He is just being stubborn and won’t sit on the potty.

Time is running out, so I lay down my nice-y nice-y tactics and go for something I know he will respond to: threats and bribery.

“Potty time,” I tell him cheerfully.

“NO, I DON’T WANT TO, ” he yells stubbornly.

“Well, you can either sit on the potty, or go in time out, your choice.”

He stands there for a couple seconds deciding his best course of action, before happily stating that he’ll sit on the the potty like it was his idea in the first place.  He runs to the bathroom with a smile on his face and sits on his little potty with glee.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

He sits there while I read him an entire Thomas book, but nothing happens.  We repeat the process every hour.  I know that as soon as he pees in the potty once, he will get it, so I wait patiently, reading the same 10 or so Thomas books over and over again for days. He’s finally happy about sitting on the potty, and I’m happy because that is progress.

One day, Daniel runs to the bathroom, opens the door by himself, and then stays in there for a while.  At first, I think he’s going potty, but he comes out saying nothing, so I say nothing too.  He must have been playing with his bath toys.

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“Come on buddy, time to sit on the potty.” I tell him a few minutes  later.  We get in the bathroom and I open the lid on his little potty.  “There’s pee in there!” I exclaim.  “You did a pee in there all by yourself!”  That’s when I notice that his dark blue undies are wet at the front.  The wet patch blends in so well with the dry that it’s hardly noticeable.

“Yeah, I did.” He said, as if it were nothing.

So what that he forgot to pull his undies down, he actually peed on the potty!

I make a big fuss and give him a lollipop which he is delighted about. Plus, I’m right, it only takes one pee in the potty and from then on, he consistently pees in there.

It’s so nice not having to clean pee off everything all day.

Poo is another story.  He has no problems pooping in his undies and then walking around in it as if it’s not sticking to his butt and smelling disgusting.

He still likes running around with no undies on sometimes, which sometimes equates to pooping on the floor.  Usually he waits until we go out to poop because he is wearing a nappy.  It’s kind of a running joke with the creche ladies at church.  Every time he is in there he poops.  They only have to come out and look at me and I know they want me to come change his nappy.

We only have 18 days left.  18 days to somehow get Daniel to poop in the potty.  18 more days, other wise he can’t go in the kids club on the cruise the kids and I are going on with a pregnant Aunty Jess.  18 more days or he’ll either have to tag along  with Jess and I all the time on the boat (which means Hannah probably would too), or I’ll have to pay for a baby sitter, which wouldn’t be nearly as fun as kids club.  They won’t be in kids club all day everyday, just for a few hours each day.  It’s fun for them, they love stuff like that, plus Jess and I can relax without worrying about kids falling overboard, in the pool, or running off with strangers.

18 days.  Fingers are crossed.  Bribes are being upped.

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Daylight savings (is my nemesis)

19 Apr

I’ve been really tired recently.  Partly because of the intensive three day chemistry workshop I had to go to since I take introductory chemistry externally.  We external students still have to do lab work, so the best way for us to do so is to cram all 6 labs that the internal students take over an entire semester into just 3 days over the mid semester break.

Each morning, was spent getting myself and the kids ready, eating breakfast, and then making lunches.  I dropped them off at a friend’s house for the day and then I was at uni all day.  When I got home, I made a quick dinner, washed the dishes, and then spent the rest of the evening preparing my lab book for the next days experiments before going to bed.  Preparing the lab book was really time consuming since we needed to make all sorts of tables with rulers, write experiment aims, etc.

The main reason for the tiredness though, is daylight savings time.  Whomever thought it was a good idea to turn the clocks back in autumn clearly didn’t have small children.  According to Wikipedia, one of the original purposes of daylight savings time was to reduce the use of incandescent lighting. The U.S. has only had daylight savings time since the 1970s due to the energy crisis.  In Australia, only New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, and Tasmania use daylight savings time.  The other states do not.

The first day of daylight savings was rather unfortunate.  Both kids had been sick, one with croup, the other with bronchitis.  Despite going to bed late, one of them woke up coughing at 4am, which of course woke the other one, followed by Aaron and me.  The second day was pretty much the same.

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The next couple of days they slept until 6 (their usual wake up time), probably because they were so tired from all their 4am starts.  I was so excited at the prospect of them sleeping until 6am again, adjusting to daylight savings time.

Except they didn’t.  It’s been what, 2 weeks now since daylight savings started?  Something like that.  Every morning they wake up at 5.  FIVE a.m.  Their body clocks are so tuned to what used to be 6am that no matter what time they go to bed, that is when they wake up.  Except that now 6am is 5am.

“Mommy, I want my light on.” I heard Daniel yell this morning at 5.

I ignored him.  He’s been yelling different things at 5 for about a week.  One morning he wanted a bandaid on his foot.  Another he wanted to go sit on Grandma’s bed (Grandma’s bed isn’t even in this house).  Sometimes he wants to get out of his room.  It’s always something though.

He kept yelling “Mommy, I want my light on!”

We kept ignoring it, hoping he’d give up and lay back down and go to sleep.  Plus we didn’t want to give in to demands from a 2 year old at 5am every morning. You know what happens, you give in once and then it becomes the new normal.

The cheeky 5am waker

The cheeky 5am waker (he gets contact dermatitis from slobber and food, which is why he has a rash around his mouth)

A couple minutes later, all was quiet.  I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep.

Click.  We heard the distinct noise of a light being switched on and saw a faint glow of yellow through our open bedroom door.

Little footsteps came closer and closer to our room then suddenly stopped.

Click.  Daniel giggled after he turned our light on and then climbed into our bed, clearly very proud of himself, and jumped on Aaron as soon as he got up.

Daylight savings – I hate you.  Actually it was the end of daylight savings time, but whatever, it still sucks.

P.S. Click here to check out this interview I did on Media Shower.

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What happens if you jump

9 Apr

“What happens if you jump in a muddy puddle?!” Daniel often asks me cheekily.

“What happens?” I ask him back.

“You get all MUDDY!!!” He says whilst laughing like it’s the funniest joke he’s ever heard.

Recently though, he’s started expanding his questions.

“What happens if you jump in a table puddle?” He asks, already laughing in anticipation of his answer.

“I dunno, what happens?”

“You get all CHAIR-Y!!!!”

“What happens if you jump in a tree puddle?”

“I dunno, what happens?”

“You get all LEAFY!!”

Then Hannah joins in and they ask each other what happens when they jump in random things.  One asks, the other answers and they both laugh heartily.

Eventually, it turned into people.

“What happens when you jump in a Mommy puddle?” Daniel asks Hannah.

She thinks about it for a couple of seconds and then says “You get better at stuff.”

Daniel: “What happens if you jump in a Daddy puddle?”

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Hannah: “You get ice cream!!!”

Daniel: “What happens if you jump in an Aunty Jess puddle?”

Hannah: “You get babies!”

Note to self, don’t let kids jump in an Aunty Jess puddle.

Daniel: “What happens when you jump in a Rosie puddle?”

Hannah: “You get naughty!”

 

These are some funny kids

These are some funny kids

Daniel: “What happens if you jump in a Daniel puddle?”

Hannah: “You get cheeky!”

Daniel: “What happens if you jump in a YaYa puddle?”

Hannah: “You get treats!”

Daniel: What happens if you jump in a Grandma puddle?”

Hannah: “YOU GET TREATS!!!”

Me: “What happens if you jump in a Hannah puddle?”

Hannah: “I don’t know.”

Me: “You get cute.”

Hannah: “YEAH!!!”

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Dinosaurs according to Daniel

23 Mar

“Dinosaurs are a bit scary,” Daniel told me one day as we were driving down the road.  He was looking at his Peppa Pig magazine.

“You don’t have to worry about dinosaurs buddy, they’re extinct.  There are no dinosaurs left, they all died.”  I told him.

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“No they didn’t.” He told me using his you’re-a-moron tone of voice.

“Yes they did, they are all gone.”

“Well they say RARRRRRRRRRRR! So there are dinosaurs.”

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