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What she looks like (according to a 3 year old)

21 Nov

“Daniel, do you have any friends that are girls at your daycare?” Hannah (5) asked Daniel (3).

“Charlie is my friend, ” he told her.

“Charlie is a boy, buddy.” I told him, knowing there is a little boy named Charlie at his daycare.

 

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“No, there’s a girl Charlie too.” Daniel said in a duh-Mommy-I’m-not-stupid  tone of voice.

“What does girl Charlie look like?” Hannah asked him.

Daniel's daycare photo

Daniel’s daycare photo

He thought about it for a couple seconds. “Uh, she wears girl shirts.”

“But what does girl Charlie look like?” Hannah asked again, clearly unimpressed with the description only a little boy could give.

He thought about it for a couple more seconds. “She has a nose, like me!” He said proudly.

“What colour are her eyes?” Hannah asked, changing tactics.

“Um….Mama, what colour are girl Charlie’s eyes?” He asked me.

“I don’t know buddy, I didn’t even know there was a girl Charlie at your daycare.”

“Yeah, but what colour are her eyes, Mama?” He asked me again because obviously moms should know everything.

So girl Charlie wears girl shirts and has a nose. Thank you  Daniel for those insightful observations.

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Friends

14 Jun

Hannah LOVES prep (like preschool, but it’s at school and they have to wear school uniforms (which is what we do down under, at all schools, public or private) just like the rest of the kids). She likes it so much that she can’t wait for kindergarten to start.  That might be mostly because she gets to wear a dress everyday though, rather than the school’s sports uniform she has to wear in prep.

Every time I pick her up, I ask her how her day was.  She is so incredibly shy that it took her a while to make some friends.  Probably because her response to people saying hi to her was to put her head down and stare at the floor instead of answering them.  I can’t imagine that many 4 year olds would know how to combat such shyness.

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Despite not having any little friends in the first few weeks, she was still having lots of fun and was excited every school day.  She soon started talking about a girl we’ll call Kid1.  “Mommy, Kid1 and I played together all the time today.”  She told me when I picked her up.

I know Kid1’s grandma from the gym and heard similar stories from her.  “Kid1 talks about Hannah all the time.  They are so cute.”  Her grandma told me.

It was like that for a couple of weeks, both girls raving about each other and playing together all day.

But then it started to change.  “Kid1 and Kid2 told me she didn’t want to be my friend anymore.” Hannah told me sadly. I asked her some questions about it and found that Kid2 befriended Kid1 which for some reason meant that they didn’t like Hannah anymore.  Of course we’re talking about the view of a 4 year old, so it could be very different to reality.

Every school day it was the same.  I picked Hannah up and she told me that Kid1 and Kid2 told her they didn’t want to be her friend.  She said they played games where Hannah was in jail and they would laugh at her or they would pretend she was dead.

“Did you tell them you don’t like playing those games?” I asked Hannah.  She is so shy though, so of course, she said no.  “When they are being mean to you, why don’t you go find some nicer kids to play with?  It’s important to be nice to everyone, but that doesn’t mean you have to play with people who are not being nice to you.  If they are always mean to you, it’s better to find some new friends who won’t be mean to you all the time.”  I told her.

My sweet little shy girl

My sweet little shy girl

“I really want to play with Kid1 and Kid2.”  Hannah told me.

Why does she want to play with girls who clearly don’t like her?  Why not find some friends who actually want to play with her?

I didn’t think I’d have to have to deal with such things at 4 years old.  Maybe she was making a mountain out of a mole hill.  I was only going off one side of the story.

I decided to speak to the teacher who told me that lots of the girls have been saying they don’t want to be friends with the other kids (but that Hannah hadn’t said it to anyone).  At least they weren’t singling Hannah out, but that doesn’t make it any better for anyone.  The teacher said she has been talking to them about it and telling them multiple times every day that they can’t say that but that they still do.  She asked them why they were saying it and found that they said it when they don’t want to play what the particular child they say it to is playing with at the time.

“Hannah is more advanced emotionally, so she seems understand the severity of their words better than the other kids.”  The teacher told me.

It’s true, Hannah emotionally advanced.  She is so sweet and compassionate, which is great, but can also mean she gets hurt more than the other kids.

The teacher said she’d keep an eye on it, and didn’t know that Hannah was upset by it (which is not surprising since she doesn’t say anything about it).  Apparently a lot of the kids had been taking turns being in jail and also playing dead.

“If they tell you they don’t want to be their friend anymore, tell them that’s not nice, and walk away.  Go find other kids to play with.  You can tell the teacher if they are mean to you.  You don’t have to, but you can.  And you don’t have to play things that you don’t want to play.”  I told Hannah.

She still tells me that Kid1 and Kid2 are mean to her.  I still don’t know why she wants to play with them.  “I’m not inviting them to my birthday party.” Hannah told me when we wrote out her party list.  She is only inviting 10 kids to her party (my limits, gymnastics parties are expensive), and only 5 from school.

“Kid2 played with me all day today because Kid1 wasn’t at school.” Hannah told me the other day.  I didn’t let my frustration show, but I find it so annoying that when Kid1 and Kid2 are together they are mean to Hannah, yet when one of them isn’t there, it’s Hannah they go to for a playmate.  “I want to invite Kid2 to my party.”

“Sorry, you can’t.  Remember, I said 1o kids only, and that once we got the invites out, we can’t add anyone.”

Judging by the fact that Kid2 handed out birthday invitations the same day as Hannah, and Hannah didn’t get one, I think they really do mean they don’t want to be Hannah’s friend when they say that, not that they just don’t want to play with her right then.

It’s heartbreaking to see my little girl not have any good friends at school, but I know that some of it is her own shyness.  We saw a different girl from school (who is nice to her and whom she invited to her birthday party) at playgroup the other day, and Hannah wouldn’t even say hi.  The other girl kept saying “Hi Hannah!!” all excitedly but was met with a downward head and eyes staring at the floor.  I’m not sure how I can help her, but I really hope she can overcome her shyness.

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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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Outwitted by a 4 year old

26 Apr

As I lift my eyes from my own bowl of food that I’m hungrily downing, I can tell Hannah doesn’t want to even try her dinner.  She gets two options on her plate, one of which she has to eat all of.  After an initial screaming session which included sitting at the table until bedtime, since we introduced the choose one and eat it all practice, she’s been eating like a champion.  But I can tell she is struggling with these particular options; a very small amount of mustard chicken, or half of a prawn gyoza.  There is also the optional brown rice.

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“You know, I didn’t used to like peas, but Daddy and I decided that I should eat vegetables to be a good example to you guys.”  I tell Hannah as she stares at her dinner in disgust. “So you know what I did?”

“What?” She asks me.

“I used to put some peas in my mouth, then drink something nice straight away to wash down the peas and not taste them much.”

A look of concentration crosses her face as she digests what I’ve just told her.

“And after a while, I didn’t mind eating peas.  I actually like them now.”

“How about you get your chocolate milk out of the fridge, and you can try it too?”

She looks excited and runs to the fridge.  She doesn’t usually get chocolate milk, but I got two single serves in a show bag at the Easter show.

She takes a bite of her dinner and then washes it straight down with chocolate milk.

My bite, drink, swallow trick works and she starts eating her dinner.

“What stuff do you still don’t like?” She asks me.

“Hmm…Well, I still don’t like beef.” I tell her.

“So you could do this with beef.” She says matter of fact whilst looking me straight in the eyes.

Oh snap.

I can’t tell her that I won’t eat it, whilst I’m sitting next to her, making her eat a dinner she really doesn’t like. “Yes, when we have beef, I can take bites and wash it down with something yummy.  We can do it together.”

She looks at me and smiles, happy in the knowledge that I will have to gag down my dinner too.

Remind me not to make beef for a very long time.

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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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I should write a blog post

23 Apr

I know I haven’t been writing much for a couple of weeks, but I’ve been really busy with uni and kids and housework and vegetable planting.

Then Aaron started reading the Hunger Games and suggested that I read it too because I’d really like it.

He was right, now I’m engrossed, so sorry, but I really want to know what happens to Catniss and Peeta in book 2, so I’ll have to write a proper post later…..

NO SPOILERS PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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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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Mommy as a measurement

21 Mar

The first time Hannah used my age to convey a number, it was kind of funny.  Daniel was being cheeky (as usual), and Hannah was making jokes about it.

“There are two cheeky Daniel’s!!”  She giggled, imagining what life would be like if Daniel were a twin.

“No, there are as many Daniel’s as Mommy’s age!!” She yelled, followed by raucous cheeky laughter. Clearly she thinks she is hilarious.

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But then she did it again.  I can’t remember what we were talking about, but it went something like this:

“There will be 5.  No, 10…20. No, AS MANY AS MOMMY IS OLD!”  Hannah told me while giggling.

My cheeky little girl

My cheeky little girl

Now every time she needs to quantify a very large number, she confidently says “as many as mommy is old,” or “as many as mommy’s age.”  She used to say things like 1,000 hundred for really big exaggerated numbers, like a normal 4 year old, but now she has her own large unit of measurement: my age.  And it seems that in her mind, no number is larger.

I’m torn between finding it hilarious and feeling ancient.

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Pretend McDonalds

8 Jan

Driving pretty much anywhere these days means passing by at least one McDonald’s.  Driving anywhere with kids when passing a McDonald’s means begging.  Kids seem to know those golden arches from afar and even if they don’t really like the food, they still want to go there.

“Mommy, can we go to McDonald’s?” Daniel asked me yesterday as I drove them from daycare to Grandma’s house.

“No buddy, we’re not going to McDonald’s.” I told him, as I do pretty much every day.

“Can I go to pretend McDonald’s?”

“Sure.  Where is pretend McDonald’s?” I asked him, stifling my laughter.

“Um…I don’t know. Can I go there?”

“Yeah, you can go to pretend McDonald’s.  Maybe it can be at Grandma’s house.”

“Can we have real chippies with dinner?” He asked me sweetly.  “Please?”

“No buddy, we’re not having chips with dinner.” I told him.

“Oh, this is im-possum-ble.”  He said with a sigh

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Fighting

22 Dec

“I’m playing with my balloon.” Daniel told me with a smile on his face.

“I WAS GOING TO PLAY WITH THAT!” Hannah said in that really obnoxious whingey, whiney voice as she bounded out of her room with her hands on her hips upon hearing Daniel’s toy choice.

“Well you weren’t playing with it, and you didn’t say you wanted to play with it, so Daniel can play with it right now” I told her.

“But I was about to go and get it.” She told me, as if I would suddenly steal the balloon away from Daniel and joyfully place it in her hands instead.

This scenario is played out many, many times every day.  Not just with Hannah wanting something Daniel is playing with, but vice versa as well.  It seems like every time one of them has something, the other wants it too, even if he/she was happily playing with something else.

I never used to understand why moms of twins buy two of everything.  Two of the same outfit, two of each toy.  When I only had one kid, I thought that was a total waste of money.  Couldn’t one twin play with one toy while the other played with something different?

Ha.  Not. Even. Close.  My kids may not be twins, but I suspect that with twins, this whole sibling rivalry thing starts much earlier and is probably more intense.  Considering Hannah and Daniel’s constant fighting makes me feel like screaming, or running away or something, I can definitely see the value in buying two of everything now.  After all, you can’t put a price on sanity.

It’s not even limited to actual toys though.  When we’re in the car, they fight over imaginary things too.

“Mommy, can I have Milo?” Daniel asks me.  As in Milo from Milo and Otis.  I hold out my hand and he pretends to take Milo from it, happy that he is in possession of his favourite cat.

“Can I have Milo too?” Hannah asks.  I repeat the process, handing Milo to her this time.

“I have Milo.” Daniel tells me happily as he pats his pretend cat.

“No, have Milo.” Hannah says grumpily.

“You both have Milo.  I gave one to each of you, remember.”

“I have Milo.” Daniel says, taking the fight bait that Hannah put out for him.

“I HAVE MILO!” Hannah yells.

“NO I HAVE MILO.” Daniel yells back.

Eventually Daniel starts crying as he shouts that he has Milo and Hannah’s grumpiness turns to anger.

It’s not always about Milo.  Sometimes it’s about Otis, or sometimes they argue about who Hannah’s imaginary friend Meet Lilly is sitting next to.  Sometimes it’s about which toy they will play with when they get home.  But it’s always something.  Every car ride.  Every day.

By themselves, they are both sweet, lovely kids, but together they turn into little fighting monsters and I have no idea how to make it stop.

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