30 October 2007

Nature girl

We went camping in Mimosa Rocks National Park near Tathra on the South Coast for 4 days. It was a magical place in the bush (it was Banksia forest actually) with private access to the beach, which we had all to ourselves for most of our stay.

Ella coped very well with living in the bush. I didn't let her use the toilet because it was a bit too far for just-toilet-trained toddlers and it was a compost toilet and I didn't want to scare her! So she dug holes and crouched down over them to do her business. Though she got so comfortable with the whole nature thing that on a couple of occasions she didn't even bother with the hole. She got sent to bed without books one night for that.

She slept extraordinary well there. Must have been the sound of the surf and the fresh sea air.

She befriended the cheeky wallaby who stole a whole loaf of bread on the first night and forced us to eat half slices of bread the rest of the weekend. I so regret not taking any video of her walking up to him and bringing her face to about an inch from his and saying "hi!". She even managed to give him a quick pat on the shoulder on a couple of occasions.

Something I would never encourage her to do as I myself don't trust wild animals when they get that close. But he didn't seem to mind. She desperately wanted to pat one of the bush rats because she thought they were "sooo cute", but they were slightly less comfortable with having their personal space invaded.

She also coped well with a less pleasant kind of visitor: the clouds of flies that appeared out of nowhere on our 3rd day there.

This is the child that used to scream when one fly came even near her. On Sunday afternoon we were followed by a cloud of flies for a couple of hours and had at least 50 of the buggers sitting on us most of that time and she didn't even complain or twitch once.

She didn't complain about anything really. She sat on the ground to eat our camping food, helped wash the dishes in the ocean (though panicked when the waves came in), carefully avoided the bluebottles on the beach and went to sleep in the tent without any protest. And usually remembered to close the fly screen door even.

In brief, she is great to go camping with! She walked around in a t-shirt only for most of the weekend (her choice) and wouldn't let me touch her hair so she looked like a feral child. I didn't care because there was no one there apart from us.

And the girl has real sea legs! We went on a 3 hour whale watching trip on a smallish boat. We were too late (of course) so didn't have time to take any seasickness tablets before we boarded. I had also been told by another operator that they did not recommend taking children that young on a whale watching trip because they might get scared on the boat and because of the length of the trip. Did my girl prove them wrong! As soon as we started going over the fairly big waves Ella laughed hysterically every time the boat went down again. Another missed video moment. It was hilarious! After a while she also got very confident walking around on the rolling boat. I think she thought the whales in the distance were pretty boring and she wasn't even that impressed by they dolphins playing around the boat most of the trip, but she enjoyed the boat ride nevertheless. And no seasickness. We both have strong stomachs fortunately.

It was a fabulous trip and I decided that we will make it an annual tradition.

The conversation between mummy and baby toy zebra through their medium Ella on our last morning there summed it up I think:

Baby zebra: But I don't want to go home, I want to stay here.
Mummy zebra: Alright.

Dangerous toys

What life would be like if we lived with dinosaurs.

"Mummy, the dinosaur ate the man!"

22 October 2007


Today Ella was singing a song she learnt at daycare. I don't know the song, but she sang it like this:

"Three cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mummy go to the doctor. Doctor goes no more jumping on the bed!"

Then she turned around to me and:
Ella - Mum, the monkey cannot jump on the bed anymore.
Me - Why not?
Ella - Because the doctor say no jumping on the bed.
Me - But why is he not allowed to jump on the bed?
Ella - Because the doctor say no.
Me - Why did he say no?
Ella - Because he did not want to say yes.

Perfectly logical, can't argue with that!

Sometimes these conversations actually do go my way. Like today at the shops.

Ella - Mum, can I have an icecream?
Me - No, not today.
Ella - But I want one!
Me - And I want lots and lots of money and black hair. (Thanks jeanie!)
Ella - But you don't have black hair!
Me - That's right! But I want it.
Ella - But you can't have it!
Me - Exactly! You can't always have what you want.


(I ended up buying her an icecream after all. Not because she kept asking, she didn't. It was just such a beautiful summer day that an icecream seemed to complement it perfectly. Sucker!)

18 October 2007


We have this conversation on average twice a day lately.

Ella - Mum, do you like green?
Me - Yep, I like green.
Ella - I like green too.
Do you like blue?
Me - Oh yeah, blue is my favourite colour.
Ella - Blue is my favourite colour too! And orange. Do you like orange, mum?
Me - Yep, orange is ok.
Ella - My favourite colour is blue and orange and green and red and yellow and purple and black and white and pink…
Do you like pink, mum?
Me - No, I don't like pink.
Ella - I do. I like pink.
Me - We all like different things.
Ella - Do you like green?

17 October 2007

Easy to please

Today as we walked out of the gate at daycare:

"Thankyou mummy! Thankyou that you come get me from daycare."

You're very welcome. Up until today I did not know that the picking up bit appears to be optional. But somehow I don't think this new intelligence will have an impact on our usual routine.

15 October 2007


I showed Ella the stickers that we got from the charity organisation to send to our sponsor child in Ethiopia. Her name is Tizibt but we call her Tizzie, she's a few months older than Ella, and when we "adopted" her last year I told Ella that she has no mummy or daddy. She's being cared for by an aunt and uncle.

Today we had this conversation.

Ella - Where are the stickers for Tizzie?
Me - They’re in the envelope together with our letter and your drawings.
Ella - Can I get the stickers?
Me - No, they’re for Tizzie, you cannot play with them. We’re going to send these to Tizzie because she has no stickers. So she’s going to be really happy to get these stickers, don’t you think?
Ella - Yeah! And then she’s gonna have a mummy.

I was totally unprepared for that suden turn in the conversation so all I could think of doing was to change the topic. It makes you appreciate kids' fascination with everything magic though.

14 October 2007

Mum's the word

Conversation at bath time the other day:

Ella - I got a bandaid because I fell over in the bathroom (at daycare).
Me - Who put on your bandaid?
Ella - C did.
Me - Did she also give you a big cuddle when you fell?
Ella - No! Mummy has to give me a cuddle.
When I fall mummy has to give me a cuddle first!


Phone conversation with G, Ella's godmother yesterday:

G - I love you, Ella.
Ella - I love mummy!
And I love Luna (our dog)!

11 October 2007


I was run off my feet today. After a hectic day at work I did the dog-walking, shopping, cooking and dealt with countless tantrums and a few accidents in between.

By the time I plonked down on my chair to have dinner I felt exhausted and realised I couldn't immediately face up to our usual 'how was your day' conversation.

So I told Ella: I am very tired and when I'm very tired I don't feel like talking to you.
I quickly added (realising how she might take it personally): And I also don't want to talk to anyone else.
Ella: You'll have to talk to yourself then. Do you want to talk to yourself, mummy?

And I try so hard to conceal my insanity!

08 October 2007

Peaches and cream

Ella is finally getting over her Ben Harper addiction. No matter how cute it was to hear her sing "I believe in a better way", I got a bit tired of the song after hearing it for the thousandth time.

So now we're well on the way to getting hooked to John Butler's "Sunrise over Sea" CD. And my personal favourite is the "Peaches and Cream" song. I tell Ella that it reminds me of her because it is about mummies and daddies loving their kids, like I love her.

She seems to like that idea and prompts me to repeat the above when the song starts, if ever I forget.

These are the chorus lyrics of the song:

For so long I sang this sad old song
And it feels like my time is up
For she came and landed in my arms
And she filled my half empty cup
Yes she filled my half empty cup

There you are right in front of me
A brand new day, sunrise over sea
No Longer is my cup half empty
Cause there you are
You and your mum in front of me
You're peaches & cream to me

And the last verse:
And Now I look up above me and
I thank that great old God in the sky
For telling me my cup ain’t half empty
It took my little girl to show me why

I love singing along with this song and this morning Ella started singing along loudly in the car too - no use singing along in the car if it's not at the top of your voice! - for the first time. Aw!

Dancing with dogs

My little girl did her first dog training exercise today! No, it wasn't me trying to implement dog training techniques on her, though I admit that is a tempting idea sometimes and I probably do use some dog training tricks on her sub-consciously.

I took my dog to a session with a professional trainer to try solve a particular problem and the trainer suggested I would also involve Ella just to reinforce her place in the pecking order in relation to the dog.

So today, when Ella fed the dog as usual, I instructed her to watch the dog closely and wait until the dog sat down before she slowly walked past the dog to put the bowl on the floor, and as soon as the dog broke her sit to hold the bowl above her head until the dog sat down again and so on.

She performed this trick marvelously! No word was said or gesture made to the dog who looked slightly bemused, but ended up playing her role perfectly too. Getting up often enough to enable Ella to put the instructions into practice, but not often enough for all of us to get fed up with the game.

I was very proud of my little dog trainer. And of the dog too of course.

07 October 2007

Children's logic

D turned 75 last week.

Me: What should we buy D for her birthday?
Ella: What about... a baby?

Every 75yo's dream of course.


Lady at the shop: How old is she?
Me: Ella, how old are you?
Ella: 3
Me: Not yet. When will you be three?
Ella: On my birthday.



Ella: No, I want to wear the green pants today.
Me: If you insist, but they're a bit big for you.
I think they're for fat girls. And you are not fat, are you?
Ella: No!
But you are fat, mummy.
Me: I'm not fat!
Ella: Yes you are fat! (Trying to wrap her arms around me) Because I cannot carry you.

(For those who don't know me, I'm not exactly what you'd call overweight.)

02 October 2007

Big girl things

A few days ago Ella requested to wear undies instead of a nappy. Halleluja!

This morning on the bike we had the following conversation:

Ella: I'm not very big yet.
Me: But you are a very big girl, because you are wearing big girl undies today!
Ella: I'm very big!
I'm a lady, mum.

Ella: G (godmother) wears undies sometimes (thank god!)
Me: Does she really?
Ella: Yes she does. And she can put them on by herself.
Me: Wow, she's a really big girl too, isn't she.
Ella: Yes. She's a lady too.
Ella: I am very big. I can swim under water now. With the Bruces (See Finding Nemo). And they gonna bite me.

The things you have to look forward to when you are growing up.