Eating chips at the beach.
Eating chips at the beach.
We went to a McDonald’s Kids Party the other day. In principle, I’m pretty opposed to McDonalds Inc. But a kid’s party is a kid’s party – there’s always going to be junk food, ice cream cake, lollies and fizzy drinks. So I didn’t let my notions of a better planet get in the way of a good party. In fact, it was really good fun.
The games-lady made the kids play a dancing game, and Sean won a prize for the best dancing! And it was no charity prize. No, not at all. Sean can get down and boogie like a disco king.
When he is 21, in a raging nightclub, he’ll be the guy on the crowded dance floor with 2 metres of space around him – dancing to his own rhythm, lost in his own world, making up his own moves and making it look so cool, yet so wrong.
Callum, on the other hand – during the game of “Muscial Bobs” – worked out that if he just stayed crouched, and waited for the music to stop, maybe the games-lady will think he bobbed first and give him a prize.
I went to stand up the front, squeezing between some chairs, to take photos of all the kids. Callum, still crouching, shuffled towards me. I asked him, “Callum, what are you doing?”
“I wanted to see what you were doing.”
“Are you bobbing down so you can win a prize?”
“I think you should just follow the rules. Dance!”
“Aww man!” He walked off. And a few seconds later I spot him doing a knees bent, crouching kind of dance – ready to bob at any moment.
OooOooOo I feel like a kid at Christmas! I just received my order of organic fruit and veges. A box of assorted seasonal stuff from a local organic farm, Freshline, home delivered. It’s so exciting!
The delivery guy turned up at our doorstep and handed us this huge white styrofoam box. As I shut the door, I turn and prance through the house like an ecstatic singing lunatic. The kids love it. They chase after me, as excited as I am.
Then we stand over the box going ooOOoh aaahh, biiiig present. Their fingers and toes wiggle with anticipation. We tear the tape off and yes yes, I know. It’s pretty silly. Getting so animated about fruit and veges. But it’s so much FUN!
We name all the fruits and vegetables. We smell them. We feel them. We treat them like treasure.
I love that the mix changes every time. I love that my kids eat lots of veges. I love the taste and texture of fresh organic foods. Yep, it’s pretty expensive. Sometimes more than 4 times the price. But, hey, each to their own.
If you don’t live in Perth, Ecoshop has a great little directory of Australian online stores with home deliveries, and other cool stuff.
The other day the house went unusually quiet.
I peeked into the lounge room. Our bookshelf was trashed. Books everywhere.
And Sean. Ah, my gorgeous, little 1 year old.
Comfortably settled in the sunniest spot on the rug, quietly reading Genetic Algorithms.
Callum is 3 years old.
If I were to try to describe Callum in a few words, I’d say – funny, eloquent, and easy going.
He’s an astonishingly reasonable kid. Someone could mistakenly put a bowl of ice cream in front of him, and I could talk to him, in a very adult-like way, and convince him that he shouldn’t eat it. Without being negative, threatening or deceiving. There’ll be no tantrums. No screaming. No drama.
He’s 11kg (24lb) and 87cm (34in). He’s so much shorter than any other 3 year old we know! Oh well, at least he’s got a sense of humour.
He can recite numbers 1-10. But he can’t recite the alphabet. Nor can he remember the names of numbers or letters. Despite my efforts, he’s had absolutely no interest in learning his 123s or ABCs.
Our “Learning Numbers Sessions” would go like :
I would draw a number one. And say, “This is a ONE! A line that goes from up here to down here.”
“Hey it’s like when I pull down my pants when I go to the toilet! ZHOOOOP! Haha!” he says.
“Yeah yeah very funny. Ok what was this number again?” I say pointing to the number one.
“Six? Eleven? Eight? Pants?”
Of course I conducted my own scientific experiments after this. I would draw animals in varying stages of detail over a few weeks, until I was drawing a mere abstract symbol of an animal [See my “giraffe” pictured left]. And each time, even before I got to the legs, he knew exactly what animal it was.
Then I would draw completely weird random shapes and tell him that it’s a “BLAAP” or a “PRONK”. And he’ll remember them! And still totally forget numbers?!?
Obviously there’s some complicated brain association thing going on in there – thank goodness I’m not a child psychologist. Or maybe he’s just messing with me!?
Anyway, I’ve decided not to be bothered by it and let him figure it out in his own time.
He’s definitely a visual learner. Either that, or he’s got a freaky photographic memory. The other day we were stopped at a red light. In fact, this red light.
Just a very standard and very unspectacular traffic light junction, five minutes from our house. We probably pass it 2-4 times a week.
We were waiting for the lights to change when Callum points to the left and says, “Mum, this way is to the video shop and the small shops. That way is to church and the city. And that way goes to swimming and the big shops.”
It spun me out. He was completely right of course. I can’t believe he’s been paying attention to the direction we turn, remembering it, and then associating it with our final destination. Freaky!!
He can also ride a bike (with trainer wheels) and use his pedal brake. He rides in the park almost every evening. He’s very confident, laughs when he falls, and very fast! I have to do a slow jog to keep up with him. We’ve taught him bike rules and how to cross roads. We’ve never tried it, but I think if he was left alone, he could cross a busy road on a bike all by himself.
As a result of all this, he sometimes corrects MY DRIVING!! I assure you, there’s nothing wrong with my driving. However to a child, it must look like madness. Like when I’m trying to make a right turn across really busy traffic.
One day, I made a safe fast turn, and Callum blasted me for crossing when – according to him – there was CLEARLY A CAR COMING THIS WAY. I kid you not, my three year old gave me a lecture from the backseat, “Mummy. I’m serious ok! I’m very angry that you crossed the road like that. You could have crashed the car and hurt us! Next time you wait until there are NO cars coming! Ok???”
I argued saying “It was a safe cross ok?!!” and we went back and forth like a married couple arguing about my driving!
In the end I had to tell him that the rules were slightly different when you’re driving a car. That he should NOT do what I just did on his bike. And that ONLY when he grows up and learns how to drive a car, THEN he can do a fast cross, like mummy. Damn, parenting is complicated.
Ok that’s all for now.