Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chickpea died.

Chickpea has been part of our family since Iris opened a wrapped box with holes in it on Christmas Day and found two rabbits inside.

Chickpea was a neutered female, and she and Iggy Hop mostly got on very well, with occasional spats. I suspect they fought because it just is hard to keep on getting on with the members of your household, and because as Chickpea got bigger she thought that perhaps it was
time she was the dominant bunny, but Iggy was happier with the status quo.

Chickpea was incredibly soft of fur and a beautiful golden fawn, but fierce. She didn't like being picked up and she would grunt to remind anyone who tried, but she liked us to feed her treats out of our hands. She climbed the hedge to eat the lemon tree, she snatched food from Iggy and ran off with it, and she taught me a lot about rabbits. Having two rabbits has meant that we are able to see differences between them: Chickpea was a foodie, she liked to try new tastes and passionately ate her favourite things first.

She died suddenly. Yesterday at breakfast she was balancing on her hind legs, eating treats and pawing at Sean's dressing gown. Sometime in the middle of the morning she was in one of her ordinary spots under the hedge. After lunch she didn't come hopping to greet me and
ask for treats when I came out the door, I found her hunched in her hutch. Her nose woffle was slow, so I opened the hutch roof and got her out. I knew something was wrong when she didn't object. Hazel, Iris, and I checked her all over for injuries and we didn't find any, her tummy was soft, but she was obviously sick because she really didn't seem to mind, no freaked staring or anything. The vet had an appointment for 4:20. I put her in the bedroom of the hutch and closed
the door for quarantine. Iggy hopped about the garden. At about 2:20 I was about to take Hazel to Circus School so I went to see how Chickpea was, she was lying on her side, as if happy, comfortable and at ease but she was utterly still. I picked her up and she was still warm so I listened to her chest, but her heart was silent.

Crying, I brought her in to the children. They took turns holding her and we came to believe in her death. Hazel rang Sean, he said "I will be home as soon as possible" and was. I took Hazel to circus school, she was only a little late and went in with the hope it would be very interesting so she could concentrate completely on it.

"At least," Hazel said, "it wasn't Moab, because we only have one cat and we have two bunnies."
I agreed, but warned her not to say that to her grieving sister.

I came home again and took Iggy to Chickpea's appointment, to see if he seemed well to an expert observer. We talked about Chickpea's death, but no conclusions were reached. I had Chickpea in the car just in case the vet wanted to check any hypotheses, but Iris didn't want
an autopsy and Iggy did seem well.

When I came home I asked Iris "How are you?"
"Sad, but a bit calmer since Daddy came straight home from work and
was really nice to me and gave me everything I wanted."

After dinner I asked again and she said
"A bit sad, but not hurt, not in pain like I fell over," and we scheduled Chickpea's funeral for 11am.

We didn't let Iggy back into the hutch but instead he stayed the night in the grand new bathroom. He seemed to quite like it. This morning Iris went in to check on him, alone as it happened. Afterwards she said
"At first when I opened the door I couldn't see him and I thought he might be dead too, and he was quite still in the box, so I thought he might be going-to-die like Chickpea was, but he came out for some treats and was normal, so I was happy."

Later Iris said she was
"Sad about Chickpea, but I'm not crying anymore whenever I think about her"

This morning we hit our main water pipe while digging the grave in our funereal finery. Water fountained out baptising the concrete rabbit we had ready for the headstone, but missing the dead rabbit lying in state in the beautiful wrapped box she originally came in and her
floral offerings. The funeral was delayed while we rang the plumber. At the funeral we said some things, stroked her soft fur, and put her back in her box. We placed flowers all around her and went out to lunch somewhere where the water was on. The interment was after the plumber dug the hole a little deeper, fixed the pipe, and told me he didn't think he'd be needing that hole again until she was long gone. More flowers, a few more words, Hazel and Iris filled in the hole, and positioned the concrete rabbit and more flowers. The finished grave is rather lovely.

Sean and the children had horse-riding to learn, so I spent all afternoon at home disinfecting and cleaning the hutch for Iggy, who would sit still enough that I'd want to give him a treat to check he was okay and not about to die too. I'd get a treat and go to him, but he would run and hide. "Running is good" I would think, sadly, and I'd go back to my services for the unappreciative rabbit. I thought he hated the smell of the cleaners I was using and so I washed my hands in his pee and then in plain water. After that he allowed himself to eat a treat I'd given him, but only if I put it on the ground and retreated. So I think he feels I am culpable because I was the one who
found her, who took him to the vet with Chickpea dead in the car, and who was trying to clean their hutch of all traces of their shared life. I was cheered when he started grooming himself (Chickpea mostly groomed Iggy and Iggy occasionally gave her a bit of a lick too).

I hope Iggy forgets this theory by tomorrow, surely he's not alone in his hutch plotting revenge and bearing a grudge. I also hope it will all help with Iris's fear of death, as it was so surprising that there was no time to dread it, and afterwards there's been kindness, compassion, flowers, funerals and cards.

Goodbye Chickpea, I will not forget you. You jumped in pure joy, and when you flopped down in the backyard the whole household was at peace.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Optional extras.

By the way, you can see the girls and me in photos by Shannon).

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Too busy living.

I've not written because I've been enjoying the summer holidays. Hanging out with Hazel and Iris, Moab and Iris's rabbits Chickpea and Iggy Hop. It's been lovely, better get back to it as they'll be at school again in a week.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No, no! One of a kind!

We had got out the door(!) and were about to walk down to the local cafe for brunch. Hazel spied the garage and suddenly wanted to scoot her scooter instead of walking. She needed to go back for scooting shoes, I was hungry, gave her the key and suggested she go and get the right shoes on and catch us up. Hazel wanted an adult to come with her to help find and put on the shoes, Sean went with her so to do. I suggested to Iris that we start walking, she was unwilling. I explained that they would catch us up, because they would be fast. Iris pointed out a rose with sunset coloured petals. We looked at the rose. Iris pointed out a soldier fly with black patches on its wings, we looked at the soldier fly. Iris asked why the leaves of our sycamore are much paler green than the leaves of the oak, I thought aloud about possible answers. Iris gazed thoughtfully at the sycamore and the oak. Iris heard movement at the house and informed me that they were coming, and we could wait for them. We waited. Hazel got her scooter and scooted off, zooming past us.

"Iris, Hazel is very fast on her scooter, that's why I wanted to start walking and said they would catch us up."
"Me wongked Hazel go firsk; me evil denius."

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hazel and Iris.

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Saturday, November 08, 2008


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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"I pooed and peeed in the toilet and nowhere else!"

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Iris says she uses her bottom teeth as a first class lever, I'm trying to remember if she's right.

... Later ...

She was opening a tooth-paste tube lid by putting the flip-top on one side of her teeth and the tube on the other side, then she lifted the end of the tube. She used the tube as the lever and her bottom teeth as the fulcrum, but I'm not sure if it was a first or second class lever?

I blame too much telly.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Best thing a newborn sibling can do.

Back in the day, if Hazel put her lovely soft child cheek beside Iris's, Iris would root around on it for a nipple. Hazel used to love these "funny baby kisses".

I'm thinking of this because my inbox seems to have another baby sister or baby brother announcement every time I look at it, each one reminds me of the day that Sean went through to Hazel's bedroom and said
"The baby came out of Mum's tummy last night, you're a big sister now."

When Iris was born Hazel was very keen on her, but, you know, newborns are extraordinarily frustrating people to love. Getting positive feedback out of a newborn is a matter of hope and kind interpretation on the part of loving and experienced adults; people who are new at trying to understand babies often find newborns completely opaque.

Newborns are used to a comfortable, friendly but impersonal environment, not unlike a private spa pool at a resort famous for its unobtrusive but efficient service. Newborns tell you something's wrong, but they don't know to tell that you've got it right. Newborns do love to breastfeed but not everyone has the superpower of making their milk, and their tummies are often a bit dicky. Newborns aren't as tolerant as a doll or as grateful as a cat, they can't even hold onto their presents.

Hazel cared desperately and wanted to know that Iris loved her back or even noticed her, and the only feedback Hazel had found out how to get reliably was negative, I was feeling a bit panicky about their relationship spiralling down for the 6 or 8 weeks before Iris learnt to smile when a friend, who'd had had 5 of her 6 babies by the time I'd had 2, told me about the funny baby kisses.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Iris is on form.

And now to collect the lovely H and K from school (thank goodness we live in walking distance) and then to play my violin.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Bike park.


Monday, June 09, 2008

Wanda Harland's expectant!

I'm not getting around to reading the web much these days, but I'm not at Playcentre where I wonder if Iris is missing Rosa, I'm sitting with Hazel as she doesn't vomit some more (keep not vomiting Hazel; it's a good look) drifting through months of words and it turns out that Wanda Harland's expectant! Omigodomigod!

(Examines self for urge forth to go forth and do likewise... nope, it's still schadenfreude I'm afraid, I prefer other people to do the vomiting.)

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Waiting for the win-win situation to emerge.

The other day Iris and her cousin H had a completely incommensurable difference. H wanted 5 more pick up sticks and 4 marbles. Iris wanted all the pick up sticks. I talked, listened, and eventually Iris went off to do something else.

While I was doing such a delicate thing I was totally engrossed in the moment, and H and Iris, and so when I'd finally got to the end I looked up to see what was going on with my adult guests and I discovered I'd had an audience. They had interestingly varied expressions. Shannon's looked like professional respect, Traveler's like a tourist watching a police negotiator (a little mind-blown but interested), and Sean and D both seemed to be feeling profound relief that it wasn't themselves in the hot seat that time.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Small naturalists.

Iris is crying bitterly in the bath, neither Hazel nor I can staunch the tears. Suddenly her attention is caught by a Disney figurine of a seagull,
"Seagulls don't normally have webbed feet."
"Don't they?" I ask, wondering again whether being constantly corrected or discovering that you've been patronised for years is worse, "we could look at the beach," she brightens further,
" I hope there's a dead one", Hazel enthuses, "to look at really closely."
Iris is completely cheered by the thought.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Toilet paper.

"Look Mummy, I am wrapped in the toilet paper!" Iris laughs, invisible except for her muscular little legs.
"Oh. Iris." I say, tiredly, humourlessly, but fondly.
Slightly disappointed she returns to the loo to unwind.

I'm sorry. I wish I hadn't suppressed the laughter. I wish I'd let it rip. She'd laugh if I wrapped myself up and capered half naked for her.

Perhaps it's the connection with the only place in my life with a lock on the door. The children use the toilet paper for things other than its intended purpose. It's not wasting, it's using; they are exploring ideas with it. It's a cheap resource, usually it is not even rendered useless, merely less pristine. We have more, they use it clean so it's not a health risk. But sometimes I get disproportionately distressed by it anyway. I try to guess when it might matter and just put the toilet paper up high so that we won't come into conflict un-necessarily. And that's why I didn't laugh; I was amused this time, but I didn't want to reinforce playing with toilet paper only to become a shrieking ogre about it some other time.

I told her aunt.
"Is she Mummy's mummy then?" she asks.
I'm still groaning on the inside.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Transitions and objects.

Mary, carrying her own baby and shepherding her own almost-not-a-preschooler anymore took a rotten branch taller than she is a.k.a. The Most Inconvenient Transitional Object Yet out through the crowded zoo foyer for Iris. It's still in the car (although I shortened it a little so it fits in the boot). I start to get it out and each time Iris becomes anxious and pleas "not quite yet".

One of the features of life with Iris since Hazel has been going to school is that she usually likes to take something from the place she is leaving with her to the place she is going. She needs to borrow something from Playcentre at the end of the session in order to leave happily. She often asks people if she can have something to eat as she's leaving and carries it with her as she goes. She surreptitiously picks up litter, leaves, gravel, and carpet fluff to hold in her hand until she's settled into the journey. She took a toy meerkat she'd borrowed from her cousins when she was visiting them to the zoo.

Typically a Transitional Object is something like White Bear, with whom Hazel has slept almost every night that she hasn't slept with us. Iris doesn't have one beloved object that she sleeps with, she likes variety; at the moment the thing she wants to have in her bed as she drops off to sleep is me,
"Lie down and stop typing or I will never get to sleep!"
I don't suppose I count as a transitional object in the original sense as they're some kind of substitute for the mother, but she's certainly using me to make a transition less of a change, and I think that's what the other things are about too.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Raisin bread and sprinkles.

Today Iris decided we live in a busy cafe and we made bread and muffins and fluffies and were as polite to each other as if we'd never met.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Oh, I could cry.

They love each other. They hit each other of course, they're sisters and they're only 3 and 5, but it's usually preceded by something the other could have responded to that was verbal, or at least vocal, and it's definitely an expression of passing frustration rather than lasting enmity. They spent their days together for all of Iris's life. Hazel went to school and now they are separated for over 6 hours of every week day. Hazel did some emotional processing and seems pretty settled by now.

Iris seemed more all right at first, but she never coped well with drop-offs and pick-ups and has become very stressed. She has been night-wetting for the first time since she was 20 months old. Her first response to every suggestion of a change in activity from anybody is negative. She is having to take more and more awkward transitional objects everywhere. She's edgy, demanding and sad. All she suggests doing in Hazel's absence is watching DVDs. We went to the pool with school and she wanted to be left in the classroom. I took her away. She was heart-broken anew and has re-interpreted events to suggest that if she had been able to fold her clothes like a school girl she would have been allowed to join Hazel at school.

Iris has not wanted to go to Hazel's ballet recently, she used to demand to watch it. Last week Sean was home sick and so I left Iris in front of a DVD and took Hazel. Today I asked my father to come over so I could take just Hazel. Hazel said she didn't want to do ballet anymore because Iris doesn't like it and she wants to spend more time with Iris. I explained we've paid for the term and she herself would have to tell her teachers that she was leaving and why and hug them goodbye. Hazel spent the lesson, curled foetally, thumb in mouth, watching the other children dance.

But Lois McMaster Bujold says to lower the wall, not increase the pressure.

I'm trying to help my children through this separation and change. I'm trying to remove unnecessary transitions from Iris's life, I'm trying to empower Hazel to walk to and from school so that Iris doesn't have to come face to face with the source of her grief twice a day. I'm trying to give Iris lots of opportunities to use scissors. I too have been cutting things up in order to make new things out of them. Emotional processing through displacement perhaps; I am trying to remain calm.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Iris swam today!

She dived down and swam through the water, she came up, face alight with pride. After her swimming lesson she swam right to Hazel, doggy paddle, a stroke that probably has a romantic fascination for this small dog lover.

Yes! One more risk of death diminished, one more source of health and happiness given!


Friday, March 30, 2007

Shallow grave.

Wish my rodent was imaginary; I had a tug of rat with Moab, the rat's tail-skin stripped off, the shiny naked tail bled on the carpet as the rat tried to flee from us. I took the rat outside and convinced Iris it wouldn't make a good pet now, not with its tail smarting and its internal injuries slowly killing it. I explained we had a choice, it could die slowly or I could kill it fast. We decided I should kill it. I picked it up by its poor naked tail and swung its head hard and fast onto the concrete step to snap its spine.

As it quietly died Iris called it a cutie and admired its perfect little pink feet.

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Baggage claim.

My lovely physiotherapist said I wasn't getting better enough and referred me to a podiatrist so that if I was doing something in such a way that I kept re-injuring myself he could help me fix it. I am and he is. I've been running wrong, of course I've never been taught and I don't do it in order to annoy anyone, frivol ACC funds or even to make my team lose because our women are slower than the other teams' women, but it's still wrong both injurious and inefficient.

So I have work to do, it starts with exercises. I'm supposed to run while I do some of them. It transpires I can't think about my exercises in the game, I'm too busy thinking about the game. I also break into sheer stage-frighty panic at the very thought of doing them anywhere public. So I'm trying to fool myself into doing them around the barriers of my sports-phobia and my tendency to avoid effort in situations that may lead to failure.

I throw the disc to the other end of my lawn, I quickly look around to check no-one's watching, I run, slowly and awkwardly, thinking of all the instructions I'm trying to follow, to the disc, I pick it up furtively glancing around to see if anyone's started watching, I throw the disc to the other end of my lawn, I glower around to check no-one dared watch, I run, fuming at my incompetence in following this kind of instructions, to the disc, I pick it up and pull it viciously into the bushes at the other end of the lawn... after I while I get sick of myself and jump to the disc, trying to use my bottom as if it had muscles in it, Iris jumps with me, she gets to the disc first, grabs it and runs away from me laughing; effortlessly and visibly using her beautiful glutes.
I swear, "Bum!"
She falls to the ground giggling.
We start again.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A day with Iris.

The day Hazel started school the skies were scorching clear. Iris and I went to a cafe with friends and lunched on fruit and carrots in the bush listening to the birds. Iris ran to the toilet and got there with bone dry undies, danced to every car stereo we overheard, took off all her clothes to play in a sprinkler and we agreed we'd had a day of delights. All day I felt Hazel's absence as an emptiness in my stomach like a new love.

Hazel walked out of school a three-metre tall born-again pupil with a new book bag , she told me it was the first day of homework and read her homework book to me in the playground, and to Iris at home, and to Iris and me at home, and she got Iris to read it to me too. She then told me
"Ella was kind to me," and asked "can I start my homework? How do you do homework?"
As she had already read the book I told her she could copy the words out of the book if she wanted to do extra homework. She copied out the title and first sentence, and drew around the book ("not on the book!" she explained hotly) "to see what shape it is." She was a little disappointed to hear that although the teacher had given her the book it was not hers to keep, but vastly cheered to hear the school has a whole library.

She tells me she played with Ella, Nyah, Zoe, Tara and Maria, but not the other Ella who lives next door. That she took the principal 3 of the 4 pictures she did today because when she was visiting he'd said that sometimes people bring him things they are very proud of and it's the best part of his day.

I'm as threadbare as a thousand year old rug and I haven't even done the washing so Hazel has no clean knickers to wear tomorrow to the school picnic I found out about today (Iris and I are invited too).

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Thursday, February 01, 2007


Iris gave up nappies at 20 months. But she never got into the keeping one pair of undies dry all day mindset. Now she has dog and fairy stickers and a place to stick them which she can see from the toilet her undies have been "bone dry" for 24 hours.

Hazel had sticker rewards a long time ago for "being a good big sister" (not making the baby cry). Knowing Iris was getting them for toileting, Hazel wanted a reprise. She's been giving up toys to Iris willingly and asking for her input into choices.

It's amazing the motivational power that putting a sticker on a piece of paper has.

Perhaps I should get one too. I could put a sticker on the chart every time I do something the way I want my children to learn to do it, for getting down to their level and interacting with them, for cleaning up messes, tidying things, keeping my cool, admin stuff, and doing my foot and bottom exercises.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Iris watches Star Wars.

Iris, to Han Solo: "Why do you let the space monkey drive?!"

Six-year old Star Wars geeks to Iris: "He is not a space monkey", "His people are wookies", "His name is Chewbacca." Iris, at her cute three-year old best, smiles at the Star Wars geeks, they look pleased to have educated such a nice little girl and everyone settles down.

Chewbacca reappears.
"Look! Space monkey!" Iris exclaims to the Star Wars geeks.
They go nuts. Iris smiles again.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Priority inversion.

Hazel wants to go to Tumble Tots very much (and whatever I think of their modeling, the kids' sheer enthusiasm for the programme won out in the end). So she started getting dressed early, which is good because while Hazel needs to get dressed before she can go to Tumble Tots, Hazel wants to get dressed in private. Hazel decides in order for her room to be private it needs a sign on the door. Hazel is not yet five, she writes very very slowly, after an hour's work the sign says "CEpOtDAng" which means "Keep Out, Danger" it is a huge achievement and she has to celebrate her new sign before she gets dressed (in the public playroom).

Iris also wants to go to Tumble Tots very much, she also needs to be dressed before we can go to Tumble Tots, unfortunately, just after she manages to become willing to take off the beautiful nightie that Anne made her that says "Sleep well Iris" and has a kiss in the pocket, she finds the bag of fabric scraps I was given yesterday and gets the urge to design clothes made out of them that would be perfect for Tumble Tots. I do not have time to sew her new clothes before Tumble Tots.

Susan would prefer the children go to Tumble Tots than to pass the day with grumpy children who missed out. In order to go to Tumble Tots her children need to be dressed. She could spend her time putting the fabric scraps away again, stuffing her children into clothes suitable for Tumble Tots and writing Hazel's sign, or in a consultancy role: talking them through making their own choices and surfing the web.

Oh well, so much for time management skills, I guess it's time to start modeling working well under time-pressure.

Want more? See Wikipedia on priority inversion.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Valiant little people.

Hazel's been coughing at night during the weekend, and last night she complained about her ear hurting, Iris had lots of nightmares last night and was hot to the touch. I took them to the doctor this morning. Turns out Hazel's been much more valiant in her wonderful bee performances than I realised, she has quite a rattly chest but the show went on anyway. Iris also has a chest, and some other part of her body (not ears, maybe tonsils, I'm a bit short on sleep and can't remember), she's quite floppy today.

This is what DVDs were invented for.

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Poor wee Iris is squeaking with nightmares, I'm sitting by her and making comforting typing noises while she re-settles.

We started our new role-playing campaign today. I am optimistic about it. We're playing some people employed (or about to be) by the Lucky Ali Detective Agency (est. 2189), but before we got to that the GM gave us a fairly serious action piece using pre-generated characters who broke a guy out of a subterranean and Antarctic prison. My current group is good. Everyone's able to drop into different characters fast and well and so doing various parts of the story/world (whatever it is that we make up when we do this thing that we do) is going to be rather a pleasure. We then got to Tazeem Willoughby (who sprang so oddly fully-formed out of my forehead a couple of weeks ago) and Lucky Ali interviewing the others, the candidates and the current staff of the agency are weird and wonderful, intriguing people all of them. I'm looking forward to finding out more about them, and about Tazeem. Backstage at Hazel's ballet show I've been watching how dancers talk differently from normal people and thinking about how Tazeem (who is a dancer) will use hand gestures and body language a good deal, along with rather stagey facial expressions.

I'm also considering starting a Theatre Thing (dress ups, drama, dance, music, and movement) for pre-schoolers with a friend of mine who's a trained teacher and, like me, spent a long time at Drama Christi. We're just talking it through at the moment, but it feels like a gap in the community, and it's certainly something we could do.

Sweet dreams my cheery little Iris who laughs at my jokes, you deserve them.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

But for historical accident there go I.

Ruth's looking for a great nanny. When my children are driving their parent cracker I sometimes envy her lifestyle with the washing virtuously put on the line and someone bringing professional calm to their interactions with her children while she goes out to manage her team of adults in their well-ordered workplace. Her workmates don't remove their clothes, bite or pee on her, they can take turns, and when she asks them a question they usually answer. But I don't envy her this search, and after the kids have watched this David Attenborough DVD and I've got my template working we will go outside and throw the frisbee while the lasagne cooks and the sun shines. Ruth will go to meetings and read boring emails under flourescent lights.

P.S. Iris went to playcentre with no other family members and Hazel had another good time at school today.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Way to drive your parent cracker.

  1. Whine.
  2. Take off your clothes. (Bonus points for complete nudity at lunch time outside Parliament).
  3. Bite people.
  4. Ask for something, ask for it a lot, beg, plead, yell, then get polite. When you get the thing glance at it and hurl it away.
  5. Pee on your parent.
  6. Don't respond if your sister asks you nicely, wait until she pulls your hair, then do what she wants.
  7. Don't get in the car.
  8. Yell very loudly "I am!" whenever someone makes suggestions about your behaviour.
  9. Don't eat when people are watching.
  10. If you listen, don't look, if you look, don't answer.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Hobby horses.

Last night Hazel liked the mop so much she mopped up after Iris missed the loo so she could ride it back to the cupboard.

If anyone said "Hey Susan, do you want to run after a frisbee in the rain?" I'd be so there.

I made up a person, it's just a game you know.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Toilet seat.

I think the girls and I will be buying a toilet seat today, the old wooden one has been cracked for a long time but what with very energetic short people putting the lid down so they can stand on it to flush, it's got to the stage where it bites people who fidget. Iris says she wants a pink one, I'd like a clear one with strange stuff embedded in it (if anyone's seen those available in Wellington do pipe up about where).

By the way, here's a game theoretic discussion of when the seat should be left down and up. I've never minded putting the seat down myself, but then I wash my hands after using the loo.

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