02 October 2011

Told you so

Ella had the girl across the road over for a play. She likes a bit of err... civil disobedience. So together they get up to a bit of mischief at times. Today while I was on the phone, they got undressed, sprayed the trampoline and their discarded clothes with the hose and then came to ask me if I could attach the sprinkler to the hose.

I grumbled about the wet clothes and told them that it wasn't warm enough yet to play under the sprinkler and they'd get cold. But they begged and because they were nude already and I couldn't be bothered arguing I told them I'd give them 5 minutes.

They managed to attach the sprinkler to the hose themselves and I could hear their squeals in the backyard while I was in the kitchen. Then I saw them running past the kitchen window and heard this:

Girl across the road -: I'm cold. We should've listened to your mum.
Ella - C'mon, we won't tell her that we got cold.

I think I managed to not look too smug when they came back in wrapped in towels.

17 August 2011

Planning for the future

Ella's best friend wants to share a house with her when they are 18. Only, she doesn't want her family to live with her. Which was a bit of a shock to Ella who still wants to live with me forever. So she's been thinking out loud about this very seriously. Wondering if Katie would be ok with me living there, as I'm not part of her own family.

She showed me a drawing of their future house and garden. When I asked her if she thought she would still love slides as much as she does now when she's 18 she rolled her eyes at me and told me the play equipment was for the kids they were going to have. Which was news to me because up until now she insisted she never wanted to be a mother.

Turns out they plan on having 80 kids. Each. Which made me question if the somewhat smallish looking house would be able to accommodate 160 kids. That earned me another eye roll because naturally they had worked all that out already. They would build a brick shed in the backyard and put beds in it and that's where the kids would sleep. The older ones. The babies would sleep in the house with them. But the toddlers and the older ones would sleep in the shed.


Mummy resuscitation

We were watching a scene in Bondi Rescue in which the lifeguards were dealing with a suspected spinal injury.

Ella - Do you know that sometimes they have to break the rib cage so they can get the heart started again?
Me - Really?
Ella - Yes. (Teacher) Celeste has practiced it on a mummy.
Me - Dummy.
Ella - Mummy.
Me - It's dummy.
Ella - No, a mummy, you know, a person wrapped in...err.

I did manage to convince her that first aid skills are not commonly practiced on ancient Egyptian human remains. It does make me ponder on what goes through these kids' heads when they make up their own versions of what the teacher is trying to tell them.


11 July 2011

The importance of using the right word

First day of school holidays and Ella spent the day at the gymnastics club's holiday program. This will be the first school holidays that I am not taking any leave and she'll be going to holiday care for most of it. And on top of that, I have to get my flex back into positive so they will be longer days than when she is at school.

So when Ella said in the car on the way home:

Ella - Today I had an awful day!

I immediately started throwing arguments at the guilt that threatened to flood my brain: "I have no choice but to send her to care. It'll be good for her in the long run to see that I have other responsibilities and to learn about work ethic and financial independence." And we should probably find an alternative for the gymnastics holiday program next holidays.

Me - Why was it awful?
Ella - No, I didn't mean awful. I meant aws..., awes...
Me - Did you mean 'awesome'?
Ella - Yes, awesome! I had an awesome day!

07 July 2011


Ella was watching ABC 4 Kids.

Ella - I'm not going to watch Playschool for 45 years.
Me - Huh? Why 45 years?
Ella - Because it's going to be on for 45 years.
Me - You mean it has been on for 45 years.
Ella - I haven't watched it for 45 years.
Me - Indeed not, because you're only 6.
Ella - I already knew that.
Me - This conversation is getting really weird.
Ella - Meh.


06 July 2011


Voice over on Bondi Vet trailer - "And will Lisa find what is causing this dog's bulging eyeballs?"
Ella - Maybe it's in 3D?
Me - What is?
Ella - Maybe his eyeballs are in 3D.


24 June 2011

The glass and mum's will*

 * Title accredited to Ella

Yesterday I'd poured our lemonade and when I drank from my glass, Ella said she had wanted to drink of that glass. But I said it was mine because it was my favourite glass. The glass actually has a history. A friend found it under a bush near our campfire at the end of a camping trip in the Mimosa Rocks National Park a couple of years ago.

Today I poured lemonade in the same glasses. And this conversation followed:

Ella - One day, can I use that glass?
Me - Oh alright then.
Ella - One day I will have that glass all to myself.
Me - What do you mean?
Ella - When you die.
Me - Imagine if that would be the only thing I left you! And when they read the will they'd go "And to Ella, I leave... the glass" and all the other stuff - the house, the car, all my money - would go to other people. And you'd walk out with just that glass!
Ella - No, when you die I'll get your car, your house, your bed...
Me - But not the glass! Imagine that I'd leave everything to you but put in the will "everything except for the glas"?! That would make you laugh, wouldn't it? C'mon, that would be funny, hey?!
Ella - Or when you just give me the glass, I'd walk out without clothes. Coz you didn't give me any clothes, just the glass?
Me - Don't worry, by the time I die you'll have been buying your own clothes for a while already! I'm going to be really old when I die. You might have to wait a long time for that glass!

If I ever make a will, I will definitely mention that glass!

And today:
Ella - Can I have some kid champagne? [Mineral water + cordial]
Me - Sure.
Ella - Can I have that special glass?
Me - Only when I'm dead! [I didn't think of saying "Over my dead body!" which would've been  funnier still.]

21 June 2011

Of the land

Me - I know you won't like moving away from here, but it's kind of exciting that a house will be build that will be ours and ours alone.
Ella - Yeah...
Me - And you know, in May, when I buy the land, we will have patch of Australia, a bit of land that will be totally ours.
Ella - And nature's. The land is nature's too.
Me - You sound almost Aboriginal. The Aboriginals say "The land does not belong to us, we belong to the land" and that's kind of true, isn't it.
Ella - The land can't belong to us, it belongs to nature.

10 June 2011

Useful words

Ella picked Roald Dahl's 'The Witches' as her before bed book. I tried my best to convince her to pick something else, as I was (am) convinced it's too hard for a beginning reader and she'd be better off reading something less challenging before bed. After I went through her bookcase and got an "Oh yeah, I already read that one" to pretty much all of the books aimed at beginning readers, I tried one last attempt at persuading her to choose something else.

Me - It's ok to say 'This book is too tiring, I might read something else first.' I still think The Witches is more for older kids.
Ella - Mu-um! I've already read the first page and it's not hard.
Me - I think there might be too many big words in there for you.
Ella - I can read 'bloodthirsty'.

What could you say to that?!

09 June 2011

The big bang

Guy on Masterchef - You know the world is good when [...]
Ella [pauses the tv] - Mum, how did the world begin?
Me - How many words do I have?
Ella - No, I said 'How did the world begin?'

I'll need to read up on the big bang theory...

24 February 2011


Ella is not always as independent as I would allow her to be. So when I told her at the start of the school year that I would not walk her to her classroom anymore every morning, she wasn't very impressed. And there have been numerous mornings when she got a bit teary because I insisted on leaving her at the school gate. I've explained that she is older now and does not need me to accompany her (even if the school rules say I should, bah humbug), but she doesn't seem willing to accept it yet.

This morning at the school gate she asked me to come in as usual and complained bitterly when I said no. Then she suddenly said:

Ella - Mum, can we go and talk to my friends Chrissy and Riley? They're over there!
Me - Well, you can go see them, but I have to go.
Ella starts running off.
Me - Hey wait, your schoolbag.
Ella comes back and hurriedly hooks her backpack on one arm and runs off again.
Me [yelling after her] - Bye sweetie! Have a great day! I'll see you at 3!
Ella [shouting over her shoulder while she runs] - I'm not 5 anymore, you know.

And she was gone...

I chuckled about it all the way home.

14 January 2011

Dancing with dogs, the senior version

Back in October 2007, when Ella was just 2 years and 8 months old, she taught our dog a trick all by herself.

Ever since then she has regularly been made responsible for feeding the dog and she has always consistently enforced the 'sit' routine. Something I have never bothered with as our dog is/has always been very well behaved when waiting for her food.

But yesterday Ella mentioned that the dog sometimes takes quite a while to sit down as if she's forgotten what to do and that maybe I should start doing this routine too.

So tonight, as Ella is on a houseboat on the Clyde river somewhere, I filled up the dog's bowl and for the first time ever I stood up and held the bowl up until the dog sat down before I put it down for her to start eating. It was strange to make the dog do a 'trick' that Ella taught her. Strangely moving even. And it's quite a beautiful trick because not a sound is made or order given.

I must add that the dog was still - and most likely will always be - very reluctant to sit. I sense that she finds it patronising or even humiliating to have to sit for her dinner. Something you'd make a puppy do, but not a 10yo dog with the potential to win best behaved dog of the year award!