Wax, or The Scary Near-Drowning Incident

This is an incredibly tangential approach to the Unplug Your Kids Projects theme of the week - wax. I'm using the theme as a springboard for 'fessing up about something truly horrible that happened to us the other day in the hope of reminding everyone about the dangers of drowning! (and we were very Unplugged at the time, considering we were on the beach).

Last week at the beach Asher and his friends were getting water in their buckets and coming up and tipping it on the sand, and Asher kept going into the water a bit further in each time. He is usually pretty safe and I was up the top of the beach watching, knowing I really should take my sneakers off, roll up my jeans and head down to the edge of the water. I knew I needed to be close to him to remind him not to go deeper than his knees and to fish him out if he fell over but I really didn't want to get all sandy and wet. While I was working myself up to removing shoes I was standing watching Asher, and my friend were sitting on the warm sand suggesting that he would be fine and I just sit down. As I was watching though, he did go under, he was quite deep and he couldn't keep his head above the water. I RAN down there and waded right in and fished him out, scooping him up under his belly to help the water out of his lungs. He coughed and gurgled a bit and was a bit shaken, so I stood him on the edge of the sand and asked him to cough the water up and spit it out. I was shaking but being as outwardly calm as I could manage so as not to freak Asher out any further. Once we went up the beach he was quite content to sit on the sand playing while I chastised myself and then peeled most of my clothes off (thankfully the aforementioned friends were able to clothe me - M gave me her towel to wear around my waist and K took her singlet off for me).

I'm normally so hyper-vigilant about burns*, water and cars (being the things that are statistically most likely to do harm to my kid) and I feel so bad about it but I've certainly learned my lesson (lots of rescue remedy yesterday afternoon helped!). Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in 0-4 age bracket in Australia, and I am SO glad I was watching him so carefully.

Now, what does this have to do with wax? I did tell you it was a tenuous connection didn't I? Well, after the event I sat down and decided to make a plan to ensure that nothing like this happened again. I started off by thinking about why I didn't just go down to the edge of the water and the excuses I came up with were pretty pathetic. I realised that if I had been wearing a skirt and thongs (flip-flops for the North Americans!) I wouldn't have hesitated. Why wasn't I wearing a skirt? I hadn't shaved my legs! (and I don't have many skirts). So I made a plan to get my legs waxed and shop for a few more skirts or dresses. The leg-wax part of the plan went ahead and the skirt buying part is still to come.

* my father is a paediatric surgeon and burns specialist and I've grown up with a lot of very scary stories about burns and scalds. I can't help having a high level of anxiety!



My darling husband threw the mouse* at our flat screen monitor this morning and now the entire right side of the screen is smashed up and unusable. He then called me and had the gall to get all grouchy with me on the phone (without telling me what had happened!). I have forgiven him, but only just. He's off to buy a new monitor tomorrow - I want him to buy me a really big one!

* just the computer mouse - no cruelty to animals around here (no animals to be cruel to, now that the fish has died!).


Unplug Your Kids

I've subscribed to 'Unplug Your Kids' for a little while now, despite the fact that Asher at just over 2 years old is a bit young (and I am a bit lazy) for much crafty stuff. We don't really watch much TV with him around - at the moment he's getting an hour or so about once a month but I generally feel like I need a bit of a kick to do anything like a 'project' or 'activity' with him. This week however I thought about their current 'smooth' theme a lot - every time we played with playdough (which was often - he's loving it at the moment) we talked about it's texture, and when we were eating, enjoying our walks, cooking and generally going about our days I've been talking about smooth vs. rough. To have an 'activity' to include I decided that this afternoon when we had some free time we would spend some time playing with, and exploring the texture of, a bunch of smooth stones that we have at home.

To get Asher interested I asked him to wash the stones, and because it was such a nice warm day I filled up his water play table, put a bunch of suds in it (baby wash!) and gave him a scrubbing brush, a cleaning cloth and a whisk (to get the suds happening) as well as the stones. He had a great time whisking, pouring water from one container to another and seemed only peripherally interested in the pebbles. He did notice that some were smoother than others (some are polished stones, some came from a beach) and that they are shiny and dark when wet and more dull when dry. He also climbed onto the table and sat in the water as soon as I ducked inside, grinning at me when I came out and telling me that the water was cold. The simple fact that he knew I was taking photos and didn't harass me for the camera was proof that he was more involved in what he was doing than I've seen him for a while.

So, although our 'project' was not an unqualified success in terms of learning about 'smooth' it was a very pleasant way to spend a hot afternoon. If you are interested in crafty stuff to do with kids (My kid preferably - come and do crafty stuff with my kid! I will make you a lovely gin and tonic! Promise!) I'd recommend visiting a proper kids craft sites, such as the justifiably popular The Crafty Crow or the fantastic Australian Kids Craft Weekly that offers really do-able stuff that's often appropriate for younger kids.

The other thing we now know is that the water table will take the weight of my two-year-old, water and a bunch of lovely pebbles and that Asher will 'smile for the camera' if he's in the right mood. The resulting photos, however, are a bit scary!


Out of the mouthes of babes

The scene: This morning at breakfast. All three of us in our PJs, looking and feeling a bit haggard after some busy days and late-ish nights.

Asher: Nipple!
Keda: (gestures in the direction of a bra-less-but-covered-by-tshirt left breast) Yes honey...
Asher: (glances toward the chest and then his eyes track slowly face-ward): no...
Keda: Oh, you mean this (hand moving to touch the gigantic pimple on her forehead) It's not a nipple honey, it's a pimple. Although I understand why you might think that...
Sanjay: !!!!!

The morning didn't get any better after that, because I noticed our beloved goldfish was belly up around his/her tank. Flakey/Kate came to us in September or October of '05 and gave us swishyness and strangely good company for three full years. Originally named Flakey and renamed Kate by my mother-in-law our friendly fish saw us through many hard times. R.I.P. Flakey/Kate - you will be sadly missed by your Sanjay, Keda and Asher and their friends and relations.
Now I need to work out what to tell Asher. Some people suggested just replacing the fish and not commenting but that feels wrong to me (plus, I think there might be a mould problem in the tank - Flakey/Kate's mouth and belly were a nasty black colour). I don't think I can say that the fish 'went away' so I think I'll say 'the fish died - would you like a milkshake?' and not make any mention of the fact Sanjay flushed it as soon as we left for the Dora the Explorer concert (free corporate box tickets! Wheee!). What do other people tell 2-year-olds when pets die?