24 December 2007

The prodigal teddy

Last August we went to QLD and stayed at the Sunshine Coast for a few day. That's when we lost Ella's favourite teddy. One that snored when you pressed his hand. When I discovered that we left him near the beach, I was far more upset than Ella. When I enquired at the newsagent near the beach where we last saw snoring teddy, a customer informed us that she'd seen him sitting on a picnic table near the beach. I searched everywhere but could not find him. The image of poor abandoned teddy sitting all by his lonely self on a table staring at the ocean haunted me for weeks!

I tried to find a replacement when we got back from our trip, but they stopped stocking these teddies in the shop where I originally got him.

So for months - whenever the topic comes up - I have been telling Ella that teddy now lives at the beach and goes for swims in the ocean every day and plays in the sand and is very happy there.

Imagine my joy when I suddenly saw the snoring teddies in the same shop when I did my last minute christmas shopping yesterday.

When Ella unwrapped teddy this morning, I told her that Santa found it for her and brought it back. Then I couldn't get it to snore and presumed that the batteries were flat, Ella said: "It won't work under water, you know."

Smarty pants.

18 December 2007

Toilet wisdom

We had some bizarre conversations last night of which I only remember this one, when Ella went to the toilet after she'd gone to bed:

Ella - I'm doing a poo!
Me - That's good that you went to the toilet to do a poo.
Ella - Because poo makes you strong, doesn't it?
Me - Errr.

I have used the makes-you-strong motivator for all sorts of things from eating meat and veges to walking and riding the trike, but I swear I have never made a link between physical strength and poo! Not even during those early stages of toilet training when a significant proportion of our conversations seemed to revolve around toilet-related topics.

It reminded me of a story I believed my mother told me as a kid to explain how my sister got to have red hear. She said - as I remember it - that she went to see a scary movie when she was pregnant and she got such a fright that my sister's hair turned red in the womb. I proudly relayed this explanation for red haired people - scientifically proven beyond any doubt - to my peers in primary school, who of course accepted this without questioning. And even when I got to the age where I accepted that it was just one of those stories parents tell their kids to stop the why questions, I still regularly told the story at dinner parties when the topic of the gullibility of children came up.

Until - when I was in my 30s - I reminded my mother of her telling me this and she flatly denied that she had ever told me such a thing. I'm still not a 100% convinced that she didn't, because surely I wouldn't have made a thing like that up myself?

So now I'm wondering if in 30 years time I'll find myself in the awkward position of having to convince Ella that I never, ever told her that poo makes you strong.

12 December 2007

Fairy muffins

Ella - Mum, can I have a muffin?
Me - You know that you don't get it if you ask for it.
Ella - But I won't!
Me - But you did already ask for it.
Ella - But I didn't!
Me - So what did you just say to me then?
Ella - "I'm a fairy".

Momentarily forgetting my strong views on the importance of honesty, I rewarded her quick thinking with a fairy muffin.

11 December 2007


I cannot clearly remember what our dinner conversation yesterday was about, but it must've been about Ella asking me why I wouldn’t buy her a certain thing and me giving my standard reply that when she has her own money, she can buy it herself.

Ella - I'll buy some money.
Me - Where are you going to buy it from? The bank? The shop? The supermarket?
Ella - From the shop.
Me - What will you use to pay for the money?
Ella - This food [pointing at the half chewed chicken drumsticks on her plate].
Me - Do you think anyone will give you money for some chicken bones?
Ella - Yea-eah.

I opened and closed my mouth a few times and then gave up on this converstation. There's plenty of time still for her to learn about the restrictions of 1st world economics.

09 December 2007

The Irwin story

Me: You can dress up like Bindi for the party and wrestle with the crocodile. Do you know who Bindi is?
Ella: No
Me: Bindi lives at the zoo.
Ella: Wow!
Me: And she plays with all the animals.
Ella: Are there tigers?
Me: Yep, tigers and elephants and crocodiles
Me: And Bindi's dad used to catch crocodiles. But he's dead now.
Ella: Why?
Me: Well he was swimming very close to a stingray... Do you know what a stingray is?
Ella: No.
Me: It's a big fish, like Mr Ray in Finding Nemo. Remember him?
Ella: Yes.
Me: Well, Bindi's dad was swimming very close to the ray and…
Ella: Did he dead him?
Me: Yes, he stung him right in the heart with his tail.
Ella: Oh.
Me: And if your heart is broken, you die.
Ella: Oh.

So that was the story of Bindi Irwin in a nutshell. I love the way Ella acts so matter of fact about issue that would shock most older kids. I'm not entirely sure if it is just her age or if it is also because I do not believe in sugar-coating facts when talking to kids. It may be a combination of both.

(Taken by Zseike)

05 December 2007

Cheeky monkey

Isn't it hilarious when kids try to use your advice/warnings/rules - repeated to them ad nauseum in a desperate attempt to teach them some manners - to suit them?

Today we walked into a newsagent and Ella was fondling the packets of M&Ms at the counter when she said: "We eat what we touch, mummy."

[One of those things I say often at social events to prevent her putting snack food back on the plate after she's held it, or even taken a bite of.]

Thankfully I could say that it only counted for things that are not wrapped.

03 December 2007

Christmas cheer

The christmas tree is a hit this year. Partly because Ella personally decorated the part of it that she could reach. Which now looks like this:

And Ella has been singing christmas songs she learnt at daycare. I thought this one was especially cute because of the location. It won't be her last christmas wish to you (and me and anyone who wants to listen)! [Pretty bad quality, will tinker with it some more later.]

Monsters on the bed

Monsters have been out to get Ella's (toy) cat and her (plastic) tigers lately. They try to bite them, I was told. But I learnt that the monsters cannot come onto the bed. Still it's not all that practical to be stuck on a bed indefinitely only because you happen to be responsible for protecting your friends and babies from scary monsters.

So I told Ella that monsters are scared of songs. She sang a song and lo and behold, the monsters ran away! Unfortunately they came back as soon as she stopped singing. As much as I enjoy her singing, the thought of having her sing 'Baa baa black sheep' non-stop just to keep the monsters at a safe distance, didn't appeal to me all that much.

So I decided to try a different approach. I told Ella that some monsters are actually quite nice. And that they often get sad because everyone is scared of them and they have no one to play with.

She accepted this immediately without questioning, and now the monsters are part of Ella's ever expanding family. She likes the baby monsters especially. She puts them to bed and talks to them in her mummy voice, and warns me not to step on them or wake them up.

Not sure what the lesson is here, but Ella and I are happy, the cat and tigers are happy and now the monsters are happy too. Win-win.

Love talk

Ella: Mum? I so love you today.
Me: And I love you every day.
Ella: No, you have to say that you love me today!
Me: I do love you today. And you know what? I will love you tomorrow too. And the day after. I love you always. All the time.
Ella: All the time?
Me: Yep, I love you all the time.
Ella: That's nice.

Sugar, anyone?