Random Anecdote

My mother sends me a lot of funny emails of dubious humour value. They distract me and sometimes get a smile or a chuckle. One that arrived the other day reminded me so much of the possum who used to break into my flat when I lived in Annandale that I'm going to post it here. I hope I'm not breaking all sorts of copyright restrictions, but it was un-attributed in the email, and I'd be happy to attribute it if I knew where it came from.

If the kitchen window wasn’t properly latched he would come in, ignore the fruit in the fruit bowl and eat my dark chocolate Lindt balls. I always thought he probably wanted a cigarette and an espresso as well.

Harrumph! The cat actually *smokes* the cigarette in the GIF I have - why doesn't it do that here? Michael?


Solo Parenting Roundup

Sanjay will be home in under an hour. It's been easier than I thought (but I'm a worst-case-scenario kind of person). If it happens again I'd like it to be when it's ratings season so that the TV programs are better and when I'm not pregnant so I can self medicate with alcohol. What I wouldn't do to be able to have several stiff gin and tonics!


Solo Parenting

Sanjay is away for the weekend. It's only the third time he's been away overnight since Asher was born, and the first two times were when Asher was tiny. Some time ago our friend B asked him to come along to the Tamworth Country Music Festival and to my extreme surprise he decided to go, and to my even greater surprise another friend, Barry, decided to go with them. It's only so surprising because neither Sanjay nor Barry have ever shown even the vaguest interest in country music, neither of them particularly like long drives (Tamworth is around 5 hours drive on a good day) and they are camping in the heat (and possibly the rain). The last time Sanjay went camping was 20 years ago (!!!) when he was at school, and Barry is not keen on camping either. All those things put together make me think that it was about getting away from, rather than going to, if you know what I mean.

Now, when you consider the quote from my last post you can understand why I have approached the weekend with a certain trepidation. I've been feeling quite easily frustrated with Asher for the last few weeks, and I can't work out whether it's just because he's 2.5 or whether it's my pregnant hormones making me less patient than normal, but either way, we are on a short fuse with each other. Happily it's been really good so far. Sanjay's parents picked Asher up from Kindy yesterday (which is pretty common on a Friday) and we all had dinner at Sanjay's brothers house. Apart from waking up at 2am sobbing because daddy wasn't there he's been absolutely fine - and even better, I haven't been yelling at him!


How does a toddler undestand Love?

If this conversation is anything to go by, Asher might think that loving someone means that you enjoy hanging out with them. It occured at around 9pm last night, when Sanjay was at the end of his tether trying to get Asher to sleep.

Sanjay: Goodnight Asher, I love you and Mumbo loves you and now you need to go to sleep
Asher: I don't love Mumbo
Sanjay: Yes you do, you love her the most!
Asher: I love you, and when you're not here, I love Mumbo
Sanjay (not knowing what else to say): Goodnight.


The 'good' toddler

Someone asked me this morning if Asher was 'a good boy' and to be honest, I didn't really know how to answer. I've been thinking about it all day and the more I think about it the more it reminds me of when people, usually older women, used to ask me if he was a 'good' baby. The answer then was that yes, he was a very good baby, and he was behaving just as he should for an x week/month old. The answer now is a bit more complicated but I still believe he, like all other kids who have the opportunity, is a good kid. I think he pushes limits like a crazy man, has tantrums over seemingly small issues, I think he desperately needs to test out new skills and assert his Independence, I think his attention span is toddler-short and he can't clean up his toys, sit still for more than a moment unless he's consuming a babycino, go to sleep by himself easily or cope with changes to the routine, hunger, thirst or tiredness, but yes is a really good kid. In other words all the things that drive me absolutely freaking mental about Asher are age appropriate behaviours and particular to Asher's temperament. He doesn't really try to be either 'good' or 'bad' he just is completely himself and bent on exploring the world and getting our what he wants (mostly just our attention and approval) as quickly and efficiently as possible. The more consistent I can be and the more I can reward the behaviour that I want, the more I get a 'good kid' to deal with.

(I had to interrupt that paragraph to go and get Asher, who had let himself out the front door - the behaviour of a good kid? I have since deadlocked the front door which should take him at least a few weeks to figure out.)

Which brings me to today. We came home from a lovely morning at the playground (Bradfield Park, a.k.a. Train Park for anyone who knows Sydney) Asher had a shakey (home-made smoothie, praise be to the Bamix), got his nappy on without complaint and then we lay down for one book, one story and our snooze. Instead of this process taking 20 minutes, Asher was still bouncing around next to me while I lay on his bed gritting my teeth an hour and a half later. I changed the poo that was in his nappy (how had I not smelled that?) popped him back into his bed and sternly told him to stay in bed and go to sleep. I left him in there for almost an hour, ignoring the occasional crashes and bangs and snatches of cheerful singing. When I went to get him out the room looked like this:

I opened the door to see Asher sitting in the little clear space right in the middle. When I called Sanj and told him what happened his only comment was 'what a good boy!' (distinctly *not* what I was thinking at the time), but after some reflection I guess I agree with him. He played and explored and did what I had asked to the best of his ability.
So it's time to go out for fish and chips at the beach for dinner, and because I've been paying attention here rather than to him the lounge room is literally covered in toys, I've had to have firm words about the outside tap (there is water all over the deck) and I've already had to fix the Ikea easel. Now he's crying because the sticker he asked for is sticky. But still he is a good boy!


Absurdist conversation

Some of the best parts of living with a toddler are the wild and crazy conversations one suddenly finds oneself in the midst of. Much better than dealing with the 45 minutes of exhaustion tantrum today or Asher's research into what pisses his mother off yesterday (it seems flinging oneself on the ground repeatedly whilst walking around the shopping centre will eventually do it). This conversation is as close to verbatim as I can remember it. It happened on the train coming home from dinner with my dad on Saturday night.

Asher: I'm a fish
Keda: A baby fish?
Asher: A big fish!
Sanjay: In a small pond?
Asher: No, in a big one.
Keda: So you are a big fish in a small pond?
Asher: Yes
Sanjay: What kind of fish are you? A red herring?
Asher: No
Keda: A carp?
Asher: No
Sanjay: A sardine?
Asher: No
Keda: A dolphin*?
Asher: No
Sanjay: A cod?
Asher: No
Keda: A tuna fish?
Asher: Yes! I'm a tuna fish!

* Yeah, I know, dolphins aren't fish. We were both giggling and I was finding it difficult to think of random fish by this point.


Update - Part II

So, Christmas was good. We left Sydney about two hours later than planned on Christmas eve and went up the coast to my mothers. Christmas morning there was Santa, presents then lunch, snoozing and a trip to the beach in the late afternoon. The rest of the holiday saw twice daily trips to the beach, a kid who was happy as a clam playing in the sand (even letting Sanj and I head off for a swim in the surf together and contentedly playing with 'Granny Frani' or an aunt or uncle!) but slightly whiny and out-of-sorts at the house. He slept on a mattress on the floor in the same room as us, which worked out really well (i.e. we all got enough sleep). Apart from some slight unexplained grouchiness from Sanjay it was all one can hope for in a family holiday.

Asher's development is amazing at the moment. His language is coming on a pace and he's starting to really 'get' a whole bunch of concepts that seemed to be quite hazy recently, e.g. size comparisons:

Scene: Sanjay and Asher in the shower
Asher: You've got a big peenie. I've got a *tiny* one!
Sanjay: ....!

As I mentioned in my previous post, he's also started potty training. He didn't wear a nappy much while we were away and did most of his wees and poos on the potty and since we've been back he's only in a nappy at sleep time (both day and evening). So far it seems to be relatively successful. No accidents at all on days one and two, three accidents yesterday (including the fist set of poo covered undies! Yuck!) and none today so far (he's asleep at the moment). Unfortunately he doesn't really tell us when he needs to go, and at home that's just fine as he can get his undies down by himself and he just takes himself off to the potty most of the time. Slightly more of a problem when we are out though - what I've had success with so far is showing Asher where the toilets are when we get somewhere and then watching and helping when I see signs of him going to the bathroom (by that I mean trying to get the door open or whatever, not jiggling around holding his penis!). It's all kind of exciting and kind of a hassle, but I think he's been more-or-less ready for a while and we picked a reasonably good time to go with him on this. Tonight Asher and I are catching the train to the city and going to dinner in Chinatown with my dad (Sanj is at the Cricket and we're meeting him there) then we are catching the train home together which all seems pretty complicated from a toilet perspective, so with me luck!



I've been wanting to blog for about a week now, but first I was up on the North Coast with my family and no computer and since I've been back I haven't had much time and I've been fighting with the computer (Fucking cookies! Fucking Internet Explorer!). And of course now I'm sitting here at the computer I've forgotten what I wanted to say.

I guess firstly there's the pregnancy update - I'm 15 weeks pregnant today and everything seems to be going fine. I'm taking my Aspirin and trying to remember to take my multivitamins. I'm not sticking to the dietary commandments (specifically 'thou shalt not eat soft cheeses' and 'thou shalt not drink any alcohol') this time and I'm eating pasteurized Australian soft cheeses and I'm not having more than half a glass of wine. I'm moderately successful at sticking to the self imposed one coffee per day rule though. Sanjay thinks this is a typical first child/second child thing but I'm not so sure.

I'm definitely getting plumper and I have to use the Belly Belt on all my jeans now, although I can still hide it with loose flowing tops. I got some great maternity hand-me-downs from a friend and bought a few things at a super cheap sale the other day. I'll probably need one or two more things, but I'm not feeling quite so unprepared. I don't really have anything except a pair of Yim jeans and a few rather ragged tops. I didn't buy much when I was pregnant with Asher because I didn't really have to go anywhere or see anyone and the things I did buy I wore so much (both before and after Asher's birth!) that they aren't particularly presentable. This time around I go out of the house every day, meet up with friends and also have paid work to dress for two days a week.

The Asher update and the Christmas update will have to wait because I'm really tired. I'll fill you in on how incredibly cute his language is and how frustratingly age-appropriate his behaviour is when I can but for now I wanted to say that potty training* has started and preliminary signs indicate that it's going fine.

*I hate that phrase because there is no 'training' going on - he is learning from his body, and we're coaching him on toileting competence.