Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Parks, pademelons and furry pigs - kind of!

Harmonie on the flying fox - another, non-animal, attraction at Queens Park

Our kids have been to lots of wildlife parks over the years. Dreamworld, Australia Zoo, Lone Pine Sanctuary, the Cairns Rainforest Dome, Melbourne Zoo, Canberra Zoo – they’ve seen them all. Sometimes more than once! And they are avid fans of Bindi Irwin’s Jungle Girl TV show. But that doesn’t mean all that information stays in their heads.
So this weekend, we took a drive to Queens Park, Ipswich. It’s a lovely grassy park, with a massive playground, huge trees, climbing frames, kiosk, and a nature centre.
Chase and Harmonie excitedly ran ahead as they explored the exhibit.
“Look Mum, Watermelons!” Chase exclaimed in delight.
Er no, actually they were Pademelons! (Note to non-Aussie readers: pademelons are cute furry marsupials, smaller than wallabies). I wouldn’t be eating a slice of those any time soon.
Further on, we came along to the wombat display. “Wow, look at the Furry Pigs,” Chase cried. People around us snickered, and I couldn’t help laughing either. I mean, it’s not as if the child hasn’t ever seen a wombat before! Or read about them for that matter.
Chase had the grace to laugh too, when I pointed out his mistake. “Well they look like pigs with a hairy nose,” he said. True.
It was like a recent trip to the country to see my family.
“Ooh, Mumma, big doggies,” said Harmonie reverently, face pressed to the window. Um, actually they were cows.
Maybe we need to get these city kids into the country more often!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shop Talk

Harmonie loves shopping for food - and eating it!

Poor Harmonie has been home sick this week, with a nasty bout of asthma.
Challenged with the onerous task of keeping her quiet, and running dangerously low on luxuries like eggs, milk and bread (these days, you almost need to take out a second mortgage to pay for them), I took her out for a spot of shopping.
We’d be dry and warm, I reasoned, and she loves nothing better than being pushed about in a shopping trolley as though she was still a baby, not a strapping 5-year-old.
Regular readers would know I would rather gouge my own eye out than go shopping with my kids … unless it’s with just one of them.
Shopping with one child is mostly a pleasant experience, with said child enjoying the attention, eagerly grabbing products off shelves, and generally charming the socks off fellow shoppers. And me! But together, they are Search and Destroy, running in different directions, irritating each other, fighting over who gets to choose the oranges/apples/bananas or whatever, and demanding expensive lollies and soft drink.
Anyway, today it was just the Princess, and an interesting experience it was.
It started as we drove to our local shops, after school drop off for Chase. Traffic was horrendous, it was pouring rain, and I was muttering naughty words under my breath at the traffically-challenged.
Suddenly, I realised my usual Chatterbox was quiet. “Are you okay honey?” I asked, fearing another bout of vomiting or breathlessness was about to strike.
“Yeah,” she said happily. “I’m being quiet so you can concentrate on the traffic.”
When we got to the shops, she climbed into the trolley.
“I kissed a girl, and I liked it …” she sang along to the music playing in the store. Hmm. Think I should be more careful which music I listen to…
When we reached the lolly aisle, she suddenly decided she wanted out.
“Can I have a lolly, ‘cause I’m being good?” she asked.
“Okay,” I said. “Just one.”
She came back with two.
“Just one I said,” I began.
“It’s okay, these are for Daddy,” she said, holding up a packet of fruity jubes. “They’re his favourite.”
Sweets for the sweet.
As we browsed the aisle, I was pestered constantly to buy. Not sweets. Not junk food. Not even fizzy.
But good, healthy food.
“Oh can we please buy this Mumma?” she asked plaintively, handing me a container of fresh ravioli. “It is so yummy and nice.”
And out-of-season cherries. “Oh please Mumma,” she begged. “I love cherries.”
You know what? I think it’s good occasionally to give into pester-power when it comes to kids choosing foods that are healthy and tasty. And when you take into account the outrageous cost of junk food – I could have spent $2 on a packet of chips, but spent it on cherries instead – it’s not scary at all.
On the way home, she sang along to the radio. This time it was the Pussycat Dolls, When I Grow Up. Thankfully, she doesn’t know all the lyrics yet, but unfortunately, she’s seen the video.
“The girls are standing up on a car when they sing this,” she says. “They’re naughty, hey?”
And as we pass a golf course, she says sternly: “Those people are naughty too, aren’t they Mumma? Going into the rain like that. I think they just want to catch a cold. Don’t you?”
Unable to argue with the logic of a child, I turn up the radio.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Words of wisdom - kiddie-style!

Right: Who would have thought this mouth could come up with so many classics?

This one too, for that matter!

Regular readers will know that I'm often amused by the words that come out of the mouths of my babes.
(Okay, maybe not all the words. You know, like “Poo-head”, “I did a Fart-Fart”, “I hate you”, and the perennial favourite, “Mum can you wipe my bum?”
But often, the kids unknowingly make me smile.
Like this morning, Harmonie was playing in the garden and said casually:
“God gave us two hands and two feet. For walking and for somersaulting.”

Here are few other pearls of kiddie insight that make me laugh

On Where Babies Come From
Chase: “Mumma, when did Daddy put his special seed in your mouth?”
Me: (Silently) “What the?” (Aloud) “What seed, honey?”
Chase: “The seed men put in women to make a baby grow”.

On being a Grown-Up
Me: "No Harmonie, those are for adults."
Harmonie: "Am I a Dolt yet? That’s not fair, I want to be a Dolt!"

Playing with the dogs, Daisy and Zack
Harmonie: “Mum, Zack is rubbing his penis on Daisy’s back, to massage her. And he’s riding her, like a piggyback ride!”

On friendship
Chase: “Mum, I’ve got a boyfriend!”
Me: “Er, really?”
Chase: “Yeah, he’s a boy, and he’s my friend. Actually, I’ve got a few boyfriends …”
That's okay then!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Really Family Friday

Family Friday

I can't believe it's been a week since I last blogged. This week's photos will explain why. It is school holidays here, and to celebrate, we took the kids to the country to visit my family.
They love catching up with their cousins, Auntie, Uncle and grandparents. Here are a few highlights from our trip:

Digging potatoes with Pa-Pa

Chase digs, Harmonie fetches

Luther the dog watches, as Harmonie shows off the spoils

Ready to go to the RSL

Mum, Dad and Chase outside their home, Chelmer

Have a great week ...