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Posts Tagged ‘Children’

FullSizeRender 3Last week, for the first time, Garnet asked me what my job is. It’s a wonderful moment when your child starts to show an interest in you, as a person.  I told him I am a writer and an editor. He then asked what an editor is. I told him an editor helps other writers make their writing better.

But I’m confused, because although I think that’s what I said, what he seems to have heard is, ‘I am a Lego Detective. I can find any piece of Lego, anywhere in our house or car. I only need three seconds to do this.

‘I am also the repository of knowledge of the whereabouts of everything else we own. I keep track, at all times, of where the extra lid to your new water bottle is, which I last saw when you took it out of the room I was in five days ago. I am a tracking system for the black button that fell off your old raincoat and which you now treasure. (more…)

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And well might you ask, Talking Heads, well might you ask. Is a psycho killer a killer of psychos, or a psycho who kills? It’s a crucial distinction. We’ve been dealing with this particular grammatical point at home today.

This morning May Blossom realised her face was covered with mosquito bites. The rest of the family already knew, but we’d decided not to mention it because we could do without the drama.

But you can’t stop the drama, because mirrors exist. Once she caught sight of her face she was very angry about the spots, in a sort of Why Does Everything Bad Always Happen To Me? way, which, to be fair, it sort of does. Actually, that depends on your opinion of whether something like, say, putting her hand through the upstairs window last night and getting cut (not badly) was something that just happened to her or something more that was a result of her running on her bed (FORBIDDEN) towards the window and tripping. I tend towards the latter theory, in which she had more agency. She did not appreciate me mentioning that theory when we were steri-stripping her wound. (more…)

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sock search

Garnet searching for his socks.

We’ve been on a holiday. A driving holiday, and while I’ll try to write about that soon, and tell you all about the long car trip to Melbourne and the long car trip back and all the in-between parts that involved snow, alpacas, honey prawns and a new tyre, today I can only write about socks.

Because I have realised that it’s not the pram in the hall that is the enemy of creativity. It’s the fact that as designated Chief of Socks in this family, 98 per cent of my Random Access Memory is occupied with being a geolocater for hundreds of tiny fucking socks. (more…)

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legoanger

Part of a Lego exhibition we saw on the weekend and in no way a freakishly accurate representation of our bedroom when it’s my morning to get up at dawn with Garnet.

The last few weeks have involved a lot of of autopilot mornings. The kind where everyone has played musical beds all night, and when you realise there is finally a crack of dawn in the sky and there is no point hoping for sleep any longer, you get up. In this house, H and I alternately get up with the earliest riser in the morning. This civilised turn taking is like a gently teetering see-saw upon which our happy marriages rests. Recently those mornings have begun around 4.55 am, a time known to normal people as ‘still night’.

That is too early to think, so the only way to manage when things get like this is to have a system. Order and repetition are your friends. Here follows my system, which is pretty much transferable to any household with children under six, I think. Feel free to borrow it. (more…)

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Dumbledore (left) and Huntsman Who Did Not Heed Me (right)

Sydney’s in the middle of a plague of spiders. Summer forgot to end and for weeks the weather has been like a skipping CD: humid, 30 degrees, sunny – every single day. Mostly people have been enjoying this, except for the fact that you cannot walk anywhere without charging face first into a spiderweb. For safety, you have to walk with one arm flailing in front of you, like a Dalek at a Donald Trump rally.

Apparently because it rained a lot in January there has been a boom in spider food, aka bugs, and the subsequent warm dry conditions meant that more baby spiders than usual have been surviving.

We’ve met some delightful spiders this year. There is a small spider who lives in the passenger-side wing mirror of my car. For safety when driving I have to wipe his web off most mornings with a piece of my children’s artwork, which I mostly keep filed on the floor of the car. I then fling the web collage out the window into the garden. That spider doesn’t seem to mind and he creeps out to start rebuilding the web whenever I stop the car at the lights. (more…)

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globeSydney’s weather over the last few weeks has been stifling. Humid, hot and generally unpleasant. It’s always like this in February, and it makes people cranky and forgetful: every year we act like this weather is out of the ordinary. February coincides with everyone sobering up from the summer festivities that begin here with the Melbourne Cup in November and run pretty much through until Australia Day on 26 January, the kids all head back to school, and the daily rhythm of life returns to normal, just with more sweat.

How I cope with this is to put aside what I should be doing (perhaps preparing my keynote speech for the International Conference on First-World Problems) and spend a lot of time researching where to go on holiday later in the year. I am looking exclusively at places where the weather is exactly like the weather I hate so much here. I’ll admit it doesn’t make much sense. (more…)

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i miss mummy

Garnet’s preschool curriculum focuses on how to induce guilt.

 

The slow process of settling the kids into school and preschool continues to be the main focus of life for us. Every morning, May Blossom still says she doesn’t want to go to school, but it seems to be becoming more of a formality now. She goes through the process of putting on her uniform, having her hair plaited and getting lathered up with sunscreen with less resistance every day, and while there are still tears each time I drop her at school, I don’t have to peel her off me finger by finger any more. I call that progress.

When she is at school, I think she’s having a good time. Last week she told me she had been sent on some errands to the principal’s office, and though it turned out that it was really the front administration office, it still indicates that she is feeling more and more at home there.

One errand was to collect some photocopying and another was to retrieve a befuddled classmate who had misunderstood the concept of the canteen and was downstairs trying to buy ice-cream from the admin staff in the middle of class. (more…)

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