Monday, February 1, 2016

Five Bites of Nonsense at 5:00

  1. I knew I was tired when I was typing up a list of responsibilities, and next to one assignment I saw "Shared,"  and said aloud, "Who is Sha-red?" (pronounced to rhyme with "Jared)...then "Ooooooh."  I wrote this thing.  Yesterday.
  2. Ivy retells her vivid dream details about a creature called "Sardinebugs" with such confidence I googled the things.  I was beginning to doubt this could all be her free-associating subconscious.  Surely it was a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs gag I missed or...something.  Nope.  All Ivy.  Sardinebugs eat spiders and dragons.  When I said, "Not humans.  Well that's good," she replied, "No, they dig into humans and the skin never grows back."  She didn't flinch one bit.  She might has well have preceded her explanation by saying "Fact:", for the tone she used.  Sardinebugs reportedly look like flies without wings, so look out guys.  
  3. Haki's hair often looks better for having been slept on.
  4. On a recent date night, I won four out of five games of pool against Haki.  But to be fair, he lost the games more than I really won them; it appears it is a reasonable strategy to leave so many balls on the table that your opponent must work through a minefield to win.  It doesn't feel like winning, this way.  
  5.  Mia is wearing knickers these days.  Occasionally there are accidents.  I am only going to write about one.  Promise.  Today she said, "I did pee," with an apologetic face, approaching me.  I took her hand and walked with her to the bathroom, where I cheerily said as I whipped down her pants, "It's okay, you're still learning!" then "OOOOOH!  You did more than pee!"  Turd Surprise.  Thud.  At least it thudded, guys.  Thud beats splat in this game every time.  And on the bathroom floor?  Easy. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


So I've mentioned with the girls' updates that some trends have emerged.  There are always exceptions to the following rules, but typically, we observe the following role assignments in three-way play (any one of the girls may be leading the action or ideas, but these hats are on as well):
  • The Thespian - Played by Esky.  (This involves a love for drama, including setting the stage, casting the players, and charging narratives with emotion)
  • The Reporter - Played by Ivy. (This involves letting those involved, close by, or far away -- about what is taking place -- live, or after the event)
  • The Cheerleader - Played by Mia.  (This involves encouraging the behaviour of the other players through words, gestures, sounds or expressions)
Scene 1 Sample

The girls have accidentally spilled milk all over the table.
Thespian/Esky:  Ivy, I think that was too full for you to pour.  Sigh. Let's get straws and suck up the stuff on the table! Reporter/Ivy: Mama, Mama! There is milk everywhere.
Cheerleader/Mia: Thank you, Esky. Giggle. Slurp.  It's okay, Ivy!  We clean it!

Scene 2 Sample
The girls are playing with the Schleich animal figurines.
Thespian/Esky: Let's have a waterfall, here -- grab the blue blanket, Ivy!  And grass here.  Spreading green scarf.  How about the animals are having a family day together and Caramel is the mother horse.  Your horse can be the papa.
Reporter/Ivy: Mama, Esky's horse is always the mama horse!
Cheerleader/Mia: Neeeeeigh.  Neeeeeigh!  Mummy!  Daddy!  Rubs her foal's muzzle up against the Mama and Papa horse.

Scene 3 Sample
The girls are eating lunch.
Thespian/Esky:  I am going to make a face out of vegetables on my cracker.
Reporter/Ivy: Mama, she's making a face!
Cheerleader/Mia: Ooooo!  Eat it!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Esky at 6.5

These paparazzi follow me everywhere.  Thank goodness for my bodyguard.
Esky at 6.5:
  • She saves things.  Things like treats...for a long time sometimes.  Long enough to forget they exist, even.
  • She loves horses still (gasping even at a picture of a horse), but is also very fond of birds, dragons and unicorns.
  • Once when Haki was giving voice to different characters, he assigned a distinctive noise to a mother character.  Esky cried, "Mamas don't snore!"  She was so passionate!  I was startled to hear her assertion, since she is often the first to correct people who base judgements on a very small sample (we've talked about stereotypes).  But apparently, Mamas don't snore.  (Haki notoriously does.)
  • After we finished reading the book about porn-proofing kids, Esky started applying the simplified psychology principles everywhere.  One cold day, we saw a group of people emerge from a dairy with large cones of icecream.  She shook her head and said, "They need to let their thinking brain be in charge."  She thought it was ludicrous, clearly, to crave icecream and buy icecream, in the cold.  (I've done it.)  She has also brought up this same idea in reference to kids she knows who hit when they're angry. 
  • We have never brought up the chicken or the egg question-cliche at home, so I was surprised the other day when she settled upon the chicken and egg as her first place for appreciating a circular dilemma.  She brought it up over breakfast; "I've been thinking about the chicken and a egg..."  Haki and I looked at each other and laughed.  She then explained the problem, and confirmed she thought it was truly puzzling to decide which had come first.
  • She reads in bed, in nooks, in the car waiting for someone to finish an errand / finish work, on the couch to her sisters, and reads signs while we're out.  It warms my soul. 
  • She still has phobias about crawly things.  Serious ones.  It makes me sad...because I don't share them and wish it was as simple as telling her to snap out of it.  It isn't.
  • When Esky plays, she does not play with a toy, she plays within a scene.  She must set an entire backdrop for her play.  Ivy and Mia are quite happy to animate dolls for half an hour.  Esky needs to get a blue blanket waterfall, lay a green scarf for grass, arrange blocks for fencing, set up animals for a museum exhibit, and draw up a menu for the museum cafe.  When she is done with her staging, it is often approaching time to pack up and move on to going out / a meal / bedtime / outdoor play / a lesson.  The poor girl.  Her sisters are ever picking up her scenes alongside her at play's end even though they were only interested in bouncing a single horse and giving it a voice.
  • She led birthday traditions on my birthday with a crown, cape, and gifts in a way that was devastatingly darling.
  • She loves plasters (band-aids).  When she gets a minor (sometimes nearly undetectable injury) she holds it close for my inspection and claims, "See?  SEE?" and I know what she means.  She means: "This warrants a plaster.  HONEST."
She wanted this to happen but she also didn't want it to happen.  Apprehension-face.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ivy approaches 5

Ivy is almost five years old.
  • She doesn't always tune in to what is being said, but if she does hear you, and internalise what you say, she will remember and recite what you have said (very precisely) for a very long time. 
  • She can entertain herself with very little for a long time.  Outside?  She can walk around singing and talking to herself for an hour without the slightest complaint.  With a single toy on her own, the same.
  • She is the least attached to her stuffed toys though.  She is the most hesitant to part with toys (even those she doesn't play with), but she isn't that fussed about sleeping with "a friend" or taking one in the car for fun. She often shrugs and passes her dolls to Mia.
  • She does have toys she plays with more than the others though.  She had a long phase with a plastic dragon figurine she named Lingli.  She does a deep gurgling purr in her throat for his voice.  It's something else.
  • She fixates on things.  If she wants something badly, is looking forward to an event, or was hurt by something, it is hard for her to hear anything else until she has dealt with the thing that is paramount.  This contributes to her tendency to be stubborn.
  • She's a reporter.  Esky creates action, Ivy reports it, and Mia cheers on the party she deems most worthy.  It is irrelevant to Ivy if you are already aware of the information she is reporting.  
  • She has been praying for Jesus to "come and see us soon" on and off for months.  It is so sincere.
  • Ivy compliments.  Everyone.  It makes me do my happy-pain smile.
  • She's into rainbows.  She's known their colour order for more than half a year and is very serious about that order.  She has such a distinct colouring and drawing style.  I love it.
  • She stands or leans into people when she tells them stories and really works her mouth.  She talks loud, and isn't always aware if she has her audience.  We're working on that.
  • She cracks me up.  During Primary (at church), she'll put her hand up to announce our family is going swimming the next day or a birthday is on such-and-such a day.  Today Haki was reading her a book about mermaids, pixies and dolphins.  The mermaid gives the pixie "dainty sea kelp biscuits" for a journey he is to make.  Ivy said, "Oooo, someday I'm going to have some of those!"  Haki laughed and said, "I'll see if I can rustle some of those up for your birthday."  Ivy: "Don't forget!  It's April 12th!"   //  She often announces: "I'm already asleep."  // When I told her, "You give good hugs" she replied, "That's because I have hugness inside me."  // A long time after going to bed, when I find her laying awake in bed (legs in the air, stirring the air), I sometimes ask why she hasn't fallen asleep.  Twice she has told me it is because "My night mouth isn't here yet."  *blink blink.*  The other night she yawned and then said, "It's here!" so I assume that was her night mouth arriving. // When we  occasionally come home after dark, she calls out, "A school of lights!" when she catches a view of cityscape.  Poetic! // One day on the way to church she said, "I wish the whole world was a park.  Well, except the sky." 
  • She often gives things really abstract names (unless being influenced by her solid, descriptor-naming big sister).  I love it.  She also invents words and uses them with such confidence I question whether I just don't know the word she's using yet.  I sometimes assume she's misheard a word and is doing her best at it, but that's not it -- she really does invent, and often.  She asked me three weeks ago, "Can I please go to the Thankon?" I asked her what it was.  "I don't know."  I could not, no matter how I tried, ascertain what she might have heard that sounded like "thankon" that she wanted to go to.
  • Ivy retells her vivid dream details about a creature called "Sardinebugs" with such confidence I googled the things.  I was beginning to doubt this could all be her free-associating subconscious.  Surely it was a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs gag I missed or...something.  Nope.  All Ivy.  Sardinebugs eat spiders and dragons.  When I said, "Not humans.  Well that's good," she replied, "No, they dig into humans and the skin never grows back."  She didn't flinch one bit.  She might has well have preceded her explanation by saying "Fact:", for the tone she used.  Sardinebugs reportedly look like flies without wings, so look out guys.  
  • On New Year's Day, we went to the beach and playground as a family.  Kites were tacked to the ground and flying in formation, the sun was shining, and Ivy felt moved to skip.  She would make her way up the steep embankment (instead of the sealed path), then skip at speed down the path with her arms moving in dance-like, fluid waves as she went.  Repeat, repeat.  It was one of the cutest things I've ever seen in my life.

Admiring her new dolphin on Christmas morn.

Riding the hobby horse with a toi toi whip.  Esky does not approve of whips, even on pretend horses.  Ivy uses them in spite of her sister's protestations.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mia at 2.5

At 2.5 years of age, I want to remember that Mia...
  • ...initiates kisses.  She'll spontaneously kiss me (and they're legit kisses -- like actually pucker, sound and contact), and then smile afterwards as though she knows the great gift she bestowed.  
  • ...talks a lot.  She's pretty good with personal pronouns for her age too.  My favourite thing I've heard her call out: "[Esky], I need you!"  Her funniest exclamation: "Pish posh!"  Her sweetest request: "I hug you more."  I also never tire of hearing her cry, "Daddy!"  (the other two girls call Haki "Papa," but Mia has opted all on her own to call him Daddy.  Even when I say something like, "You ask Papa," then she says, "Daddy?").
  • ...says the darnedest things.  Last week, I passed a wet wipe back to Esky in the car and told her she had some food at the sides of her mouth she needed to clean up.  Esky set to work and I continued telling her the spots she had missed and needed to get.  Mia watched all of this from beside her big sister.  She then looked between Esky and me, and said, "I just lick mine."  Oh my.
  • so snuggly!  When she hugs, she hugs tight around the neck and presses her cheek against your cheek.  It is divine.  A few months ago, she decided she was ready to move into the girls' room.  She joined them in a queen-size bed.  Their middle-of-night positions were hilarious.  For the most part, she has been in there ever since. She's had two or three stints of returning to sleep with me for about a week, and then she's back to their room.  She was in charge of her transition (unlike the other two -- where I encouraged it a lot more), and she handled it better as a result, I think.  She doesn't make nightly visits to our bed or appear in it, like the other two did (and do).  I miss her *wail.*  When she does occasionally sleep near me (or did), she would put both hands up on my cheeks and smile at me as she fell asleep.  She had a fever one day this week and did that again, even though she felt unwell.   That kid always turned into me at the last moment of falling asleep, instead of away from me *swoon*.
  • ...remembers nursing (or seems to).  When she sees another kid breast-feeding, she'll talk about how she used to have milk from Mama.  I encourage whispering and less gestures usually...but find it fascinating when we're chatting at home.
  • ...prays about what she really wants.  Late last year she prayed "Help me reach things" and this week she prayed "Mama's birthday but no cake, and no cake, maybe there be cake next time."  (Cake is coming.) 
  • ...improvises with objects.  The remote control is one of my favourite props.  She has held it to her forehead and said, "Cheese!" (not at eye level, interesting), and also held it up like a phone and said, "I'm calling the car."  She uses hair ties as reins on her animals or to secure blocks as "rollerskates" to her feet. She also places two hymnbooks at right angles to each other on the back of the pew and pretends to type on a laptop.  /blank face.  I'm honestly not on here that much!  But when's I'm writing...she knows.
  • ...encourages.  If Esky is the emotional gauge / thespian and Ivy the reporter, Mia is the cheerleader.  Say, if something broke, Mia would cry, "It's okay!  You can clean it!"
  • ...enjoys playing with the dolls' house and dolls, play kitchen and Schleich animals the most.  She really likes horses, but it's hard to know if that is learned or her.
  • ...while Ivy likes to peel off layers at the earliest opportunity, Mia is all about getting clothes on.  I think it is mostly mimickry, but the girl is happy to add a scarf, hat, gloves and jacket to every outfit...irrespective of the weather.
  • ...didn't cry at her last immunisations.  She actually just sucked it up (literally during the injection), and then breathed out and moved 20-year-old.  
  • ...eats Weet-bix with sultanas every. single. morning.  She also loves yoghurt, sandwiches, and grapes (which she insists on calling berries).
Soaking wet after splashing in an outdoor paddling pool.  This was 10 seconds before she began shivering.

Playing with new mini kitchen items Christmas morning.

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