Friday, 31 August 2012

I need this for future


The Toddler has been voluntarily washing our dishes for the past week.
(It is not everything, only the stuff that does not fit in the dishwasher.)

And she does a good job of it too!

I thought I would put it up here, so that we can use it in future as blackmail evidence:

- "Look, you used to love doing the dishes!"
- "You started very young! No reason you can't do it now!"
- "Even at three and a half you did a good job of it!"
- "You used to volunteer to do the dishes!"
- "You kept on asking for more dishes and stuff to wash!"


Thursday, 30 August 2012

We are not from this earth

Toddlers are extremely wise. They are born with the wisdom of ages.

We are in constant "disagreements" with our Toddler about the most basics of life and how things are showing up!

It sometimes makes you stop and wonder as well.
Why do we say or do things in a certain way?
Why do we believe in what we believe?

She has it sorted already!
She KNOWS stuff!

A case in point is the fact of telling her about the earth.
"We are not staying on the earth!"
"The earth is in the dark!"
"The earth is between the stars!"
(It seems that showing her YouTube videos of the earth turning, and shots from satellites did not make it easier for her to understand.)

She is adamant that "We are here!" and "The earth is up there!"

It is going to take a bit of convincing, it seems! (*trying to hide my smile*)

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Please explain? Seen next to the road this morning


A guy working on an extremely small motorcycle next to the road.
It is half past six in the morning.

Is he planning to ride it to work?
Is he planning to play with it?

Strange...

Monday, 27 August 2012

Vertigo

The Toddler has vertigo!

 

We see it now especially with her moving on to the bigger class in Tiny Tumbles.

She tells us no she can't! She's afraid!

She has to be coaxed and bribed to do the uneven bars, and she still needs a hand walking on the higher beam.

I had a bad case of vertigo myself and could never climb trees. But the older (as in my thirties) I got, the easier it became.

I don't know how to make it easier on her? I used to not climb trees, and stayed on the ground, but I think I missed out on a lot of views from higher up!

Any ideas on how to help a toddler overcome their fear of heights?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

When a daughter of 19 gets ripped away...


I have heard the saddest news ever...
That news that every parent dreads to hear, and never ever wants to hear.

A young girl of 19 who was on her way from university got killed in a car accident on Tuesday. It is the daughter of the niece of a friend.

The news twisted my stomach in knots, because she is the same age as my daughter.
She is also a first-year at the same university my daughter goes to!
And she died on the death-trap of a road going to Potchefstroom.

That road was one of the main reasons I first told my daughter that she could not even consider going to that university...

I worry each time she gets a lift coming home, or going back. The one and half hour drive keeps me checking my BBM until she is safe!

Somebody said yesterday that I should keep watch over my children. As if we can keep our children safe from harm in everything they do...


Dear Daughter, I hope you stay safe in everything you do! Even if you sometimes decide to stay out late, or get up to some mischief! (I love that you are enjoying your life!)
But please come home to us!


Peace to Vanessa and her family!
RIP Melissa!


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

44 months


Three years and eight months.

She is a bundle of
- songs - the whole day long! Usually in her own language as well! She makes up her own tunes and words.
- cuddles - any time unexpected! We are not always as lucky when we ask for a kiss or cuddle, although we want to kiss her all the time!
- melt-downs and rejections
- activities - always on her scooter or small tricycle, or painting, or reading, or dancing...
- always willing to help - with preparation of food, or watering the plants, or cutting a picture.
- "I want to do it myself!" - One of her most favourite expressions!
- "I want it!" - Another favourite expression (The "please" and "thank-you" are not that forthcoming yet... A work in progress!)
- She asks daily when we are going to climb the mountain, or going to the Drakensberg. (We will have to plan accordingly. Hint-hint!)

Cute is still the best description for her!

(Photo by her Dad this morning)

Monday, 20 August 2012

Mommy taxi melt-downs



Last week was the final straw in my daily rejection episodes with the Toddler...

She had a total fit again when I went to pick her up, screaming angrily at me, and even hitting me.
I tried (again) to reason with her, and finally just let her vent!
She said stuff like I have a "black heart" and that she is not my child any more!

All this time with a colleague as well in the car, feeling very ashamed of letting things get out of control!

But that was the final straw!

When I got home I told her dad that that was the last time she had done this!

We told her that she cannot continue doing this. If she does it once more, she will be returned to the after-care, and we will only go to fetch her just before they close. Her dad focused on more on how she hurts me with her behaviour, and it seems that it made an impact. We also told her that it is not possible for her dad to go and fetch her most of the afternoons.
Which we have told her many times...

It seems that the reason for her behaviour is that her special friend Jade at school has a dad who comes to pick her up...

So far it seems that our talk has worked, and I will carry out my threat to leave her there!

How would you handle it?

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Poetry of a Hobo Mama - We are never alone

Poetry of a Hobo Mama
Lauren Wayne
I am reading my first poetry on my Kindle, which is Poetry of a Hobo Mama, the first three years, by Lauren Wayne.

I am really enjoying the honest look into motherhood. I have been following Hobo Mama's blog for a very long time. (She is in my blog list.)

I love her honesty as well as her excursions with attachment- and natural parenting style.

The poetry is a raw and honest account of pregnancy, miscarriage, birth, babies and motherhood. As she accounts her struggles to read and to go out to the theatre and do the things they used to do before baby, she also writes about her love for her baby and her husband.

I am copying one of the poems. One of the most poignant life-altering changes that new parents have to cope with. "Mothers are never alone" But is also a reminder to me that mothers also share the same journey, and in that we are never alone!

It helps to read about another's journey in motherhood.


Mothers are never alone

I don't have that space anymore
a hole to fill

left to my thoughts
or devices
or skin.

Even visits to the bathroom
accompanied always
by someone to talk to me
and demand his due.

Like a queen
on a throne.

Like a queen
with courtiers
and chamber servants
and everywhere a face
everywhere a voice.

Only it is I
who serve them.
                                    April 2010


Poetry makes it sound so much better!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Reasons why I consider Honest Toddler to be mandatory reading


If you have not heard of Honest Toddler by know, you should do yourself a favour and go and check out the Twitter feed as well as the blog.

I see it as as mandatory to follow him on his daily perspectives and utterances on life as a toddler.

It is mandatory as a survival technique for parents of toddlers.

If not recognising most of the Honest Toddler's take on life in your own child, it is also a sneak peak in the life of the parents of Honest Toddler.

They have their quirks and "addictions" while trying to parent a whimsical psychopath personality trying to get into the "big bed". Which is usually the big score! Or "cake"! Whichever comes first!


Some funnies:

- The blog post about fruit and how it should be presented to a toddler. Apparently not all fruit are equal, and fruit with any discolourings or bad spots are regarded with disapproval.
I love the bananas part! Yes, we should not expect them to eat the whole thing when it has been peeled. And, most importantly, always ask first before doing anything with a fruit!

- The toilet playing adventures on Twitter are a rich source of fun for the toddler, and I love the parents' reaction: "Mama is supervising with her special juice"

- The big bed as the ultimate goal each night. "Woke up in the big bed. Dreams can come true."

- The blog post about the animals. Not as funny, because it seems that the poor fish had died under mysterious circumstances and that the cat had jumped out of the window.

- At the office: "Did a quiet pee. Shhhhhh"
                          "Changed into emergency pants in the hallway. Stranger saw my bum bum LOL"

- And of course the potty training adventures... It's hilarious. The Twitter bio says it all: "Not potty trained. Not trying."

Honest Toddler on Twitter: @honesttoddler
Honest Toddler blog: Honest Toddler


Thanks, Honest Toddler! You help me understand my own toddler much better!

Monday, 13 August 2012

The long weekend - RIM

We had a public holiday last Thursday, and of course it meant a loong weekend to most of us who could take the Friday as leave.

It flew by, but it was lovely. As always when you have a long weekend... (Sic! Sorry, it must seem so boring...)

It feels like we did not do something major, like climbing mountains or going away camping or on holiday, but we had a great time.

In these little moments we are making great memories, and I want to record some of these special times. To not Rest-In-Peace "RIP", but to Rest-In-Memories "RIM".

It was a bit of a cold weekend (Yes, Sis, we are really cold here, although you do not believe us sitting there in London! ;-) )

- But we could make our potjie (stew) outside on Thursday!

(The dog was not part of the potjie...
She enjoyed the sun and sitting on our laps)

- I had a special day with the two girls going shopping on Friday.
We went in search of tekkies for the youngest, and it seems she is just as full of whims as the eldest about her choice of clothes. I think next time I will just buy the needed item of clothing and put it in her cupboard. I does not help asking her what she wants, because it is almost 100% totally impracticable and unwearable or way too expensive!

- We took the youngest to the movie Brave with Princess Merida on Friday evening. I thought it was a  bit of a dark plot, but loved the message portrayed in the movie of girls making up their own minds about their own destiny. The Toddler also wore her 3D glasses for most part of the movie, and it seems she enjoyed it more than I would have thought. There was no nightmares afterwards. The dark forest and the bears did not have a negative impact!

- We had a children's party on Saturday. I am beginning to get used to it, because it is just such fun for the little ones!


- The two sisters bonded so well over the weekend. Whenever we want to know where the little one is, we just go to her sister's bedroom... She is never far away from her big sister!


- It was our turn to drive back to university, and the little one said she misses her sister, and she should not stay away for very long!
Luckily, the student gets a ride every weekend to come back home!

Walking back with her suitcase on the right

- See you next weekend, Weekend!

Friday, 10 August 2012

Baby crib safety - 7 noteworthy tips

I wish I had known all these pointers when we were in the market for baby cribs!

I do get the shivers when I sometimes see how "lucky" we were.

Our child "survived" our parenting, but only from dumb luck.

I saw these tips over at Newborn Care

7 Tips for baby crib safety

1. Avoid SIDS by Eschewing Soft Bedding – The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends that new parents eschew all crib bedding apart from a fitted sheet for the first twelve months of their baby’s life. Opting for wearable blankets rather than loose blankets and placing babies on their backs to sleep with no pillows or plush toys can prevent the risk of suffocation. If you do choose to use a blanket in your infant’s crib, the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests positioning your baby so that her feet are touching the bottom rails of her crib, tucking the blanket in at the bottom and sides of the mattress, and only pulling the blanket up to her chest. Keep in mind that babies can overheat much more easily than adults, and you should use only lightweight blankets to ensure that she stays warm.

2. Make Sure Your Mattress Fits Tightly in the Crib – Your baby’s crib mattress should be firm, not soft, to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and suffocation. It should also fit tightly into the crib to prevent suffocation or entrapment between the mattress and the crib’s sides. Ideally, you should be able to fit no more than two fingers between the side of the mattress and the frame of the crib. The surface of the mattress shouldn’t conform to an adult hand when pressed into the mattress, and it should snap back into place as soon as the hand is removed.

3. Forgo the Antiques – The ornate, antique crib used by three generations of your family might be a beautiful piece of furniture, and every child that used it may have survived their infancy, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a safe choice. In addition to the unlikelihood of slats and bars being properly spaced on very old cribs, they may also feature drop sides, which have been banned, and even a layer or two of lead-based paint. Let good sense trump sentimentality, and choose a new crib that adheres to modern safety standards.

4. If You Do Choose Decorative Bedding, Play it Smart – If you simply can’t bear the idea of skipping the magazine layout-worthy crib bedding to show off Baby’s nursery to the fullest, be smart about your decision and make sure that the fitted sheet is snug, thin, and breathable. When it’s time to put your baby down, be sure to pull every pillow, stuffed toy, comforter and any other soft objects out of the crib first. Parents determined to have a nursery ready for photographs as well as a lowered risk of their baby suffering from SIDS, suffocation, or injury are forced to compromise in just such a manner, but can have the best of both worlds by playing it safe and smart.

5. Do Your Homework About Crib Bumpers – The city of Chicago has banned the sale of crib bumpers altogether, with advocacy groups across the country crying out for similar bans on a national level. Parents are largely divided into two camps these days: pro-bumper and anti-bumper. If you fall into the former, be sure to research the subject thoroughly and apprise yourself of all the risks before tying those bumpers onto Baby’s crib; namely, the risk of suffocation and the impediment of air flow in the crucial area at your baby’s face level on all four sides of her crib. Also, don’t be fooled into thinking that bumpers are safe once the threat of SIDS has largely passed; older babies and young toddlers have been known to use bumpers as a means of climbing out of their cribs, leading to messy falls and giving them access to dangerous situations. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have given crib bumpers a thumbs-down, so it might be wise to think twice before springing for those adorable but potentially-deadly accessories.

6. Do a Recall Check – Before purchasing nursery furniture or bedding, make sure that you check for any recalls; repeat these checks regularly after you’ve made your purchase as well to ensure that safety hazards haven’t been discovered since the last time you looked. The Consumer Product Safety Commission website is a great resource for recall information.

7. Afterwards - Parents should also take care to place cribs away from windows, and to secure blind cords and curtain ties to prevent strangulation.

 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The sky is falling on our heads! Please!


We've got a bit of a cold spell going on in South Africa.

There's reports of some sort of rain ice-rain sleet snow falling in some part, and we are all making updates about the weather!

It is big excitement here!

Snow is not something that we see here on a daily basis. 
Not even on a yearly basis...

We ran out from our office when somebody told us that she is seeing something here in Johannesburg, but except for a few wet drops on the paving, there was nothing to see and to report...

I am thinking of my children who is at university and at pre-primary school, presumably freezing... Hope not!
While I am warm and snug in my office cubicle! (*Guilty!*)

Have you seen the snow?
Where?

UPDATE:
Yes, we've got snow! (12:00 pm)


Monday, 6 August 2012

Parting with a bear... Too special!


Tammy Smith again ran her yearly social responsibility programme at Tiny Tumbles where she collects bears for the Teddy Bear Clinic.

The Toddler had to pick one of her own bears to give to the "children who don't have bears."

It proved too difficult a task!

When I suggested a bear for her to give, she was adamant that it is a very special bear.
Each and every one!
Although she's got a large number of bears that sit on bookshelves in her room, she could not find a bear that was not "special".
(I recognise the hoarding gene. It seems it has been passed on!)

At one stage she pointed to a bear that I could take!
I was very proud, but it was short-lived...

The Student reclaimed her bear when she saw it was the bear that the Toddler had selected...

So we had to go to Reggies for a bear, and the smaller bear was one donated by the Student!


The photos were taken in the car, on our way on Saturday. The bears had to be strapped in as well!



Related post:

Bears for the Teddy Bear Clinic


Friday, 3 August 2012

Girls play with girls

Toddler's logic:
When asked about a small boy who always comes up in conversation, but he is not allowed to play with her at school...

"Boys play with boys, and girls play with girls!"

Not something that we are teaching her at home. I think it is extremely important for the sexes to play with each other!

How do I convince her that it is okay to play with a boy?
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

She can fend for herself!


We sometimes worry about our children and how they are able to cope in a world where they are out on their own. Especially for working mothers who have to leave their children in a setting which are not their homes...

Especially since they are so young having to cope on their own!

(No, its not a blog post about working mother's guilt!)

The Toddler showed some great coping skills when she talked herself into an extra mural activity at school last week...

During the holidays there was an extra class each day for paid activities for the children that were not on holiday. I also paid for the pottery class, but was worried that the Toddler was looked over that day and that she did not attend the class.

It is not always a good idea to ask if she had attended the class. Because she said emphatically "No! The teacher did not want her to go to the class!" when she was asked.

Coupled with receiving no article afterwards to show I though I should check up on it... Because I have paid already!
In the meantime it was established that she had attended the class and that the pottery item is on its way...

The Toddler must have heard our discussions on the matter, because she pitched up at the class the next week (which she is not signed up for), and announced that her mother has paid already!

The lady says that she can never say no to a little one when they pitch up for the class!
So Mieka was allowed to make a pottery item!

And now I have signed her up for the rest of the term for pottery classes.
(Sucker!)

I believe that they should not have too many extra-mural activities in a week...
Now she is signed up for 4.
Do you think it is too much?