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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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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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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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanks but no.

Weird. Usually my spam is fairly varied with a bit of a lean towards job offers. But of today's fourteen messages, twelve were offering me help with premature ejaculation.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Frisbee in the wind.

The little aliens who pilot my flying saucer are called Trixie, Sparki (with a heart over the i), Hunny (she likes Winnie-the-Pooh), Nina and Fay. Trixie likes to fly vertically, rolling through the air and giggling wildly. Sparki gets distracted by the talent, discussing the grace of the catchers she flies farther and faster away from them hoping they'll run or jump. Hunny tries to make the others throw up with her sudden changes of altitude. Nina starts fights over the controls and then someone will bring out the jelly and it all turns to custard.

Today Fay was behaving for me though, she might be setting me up for something, but anyway, she flew spinny and flat through the wind like the grown-up pilots other people have over and over again.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006


Yes! I caught a frisbee in the endzone.

I even caught it and didn't throw it to the ground during the game. I threw some nice catchable throws to receptive-looking people and that's an improvement. I'll work on eliminating the ones to people who aren't my team next time.

Last night at the Playcentre dinner I was sitting between and Half-pie when the person opposite turned the conversation to meeting people over the internet. He reckons it's odd. The person you meet could be anything, and how can you think "Phooarr!" about an email anyway? He reckons that if he were single he'd go places where people go to meet each other; the pub, a tramping club, maybe pick up a mixed sport.

I'm a woman who role-plays and I did Philosophy at university, I never had to think about where to meet people, I had men of imagination and mental agility with me wherever I went, including the internet.

But I have just picked up a mixed sport, and having done so I'd say it was an almost opposite set of information to what you find out about someone from an on-line interaction. On-line you discover how your new friend uses words when they have the time to do it carefully, what they think is funny, how they think and some stuff that's important to them. At Ultimate I find out how people use their bodies and space, how they deal with failure, pain, stress, and success, how they communicate under pressure, and whether they care about winning.

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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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Friday, November 03, 2006

Too much info? What else are blogs for?

I didn't notice I'd attained perfection at the time, but in the twenty years since, I have shopped for bras looking for the high round breasts I had at seventeen.

The children helped me today. They were each breast-fed for quite some time and they show a kindly interest in my breasts much like I have in past-favourite cafes. In fact Hazel is the person who's managed to say the nicest thing ever:
"I love the way your breasts flow up when you run." (Very trajectory, for the schema spotters among us. Also note how specifically observed it is; that's what "nice" lacks, breasts just are "nice", it's not a description that tries to capture a body's unique beauty, however sincerely meant it may be).

Hazel liked the traditional black lace bra. Iris, of the obscure sense of humour, likes the non-minimizing yet stabilising sports bra (a miracle of modern engineering, I hope it washes well). We all liked the purple bra with the off-white paisley embroidery but when I wore it back to Playcentre it bit into my armpit as I drove, so I had to take it back. Hazel and Iris disagree fairly vehemently about whether the replacement is pink or red but they like that it shows quite a lot of skin, and I recognise the shape.

That Karen at Kirks, she knows her stuff.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Living in the future.

That family with the two little girls talking to each other on the cell phones across the cafe table? Yeah, that was us. No, they weren't faking it. You want to know why?

They can't type yet.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Break out a case of cheerleaders.

"How long have you been playing?"
"This is my first game." I say, shyly.
"Oh!" double-take from the A-grade player, "in that case you're playing really well!"
I'll keep her; what a sweetie.

Ultimate was off last night as the grounds were closed, but 28 people showed up all unknowing and so we played. Like the school dances of my teen years (we couldn't call them discos: that would have been so seventies), it was really fun considering I was anxious, confused and only touched the frisbee in passing a couple of times.

Transferable skills:
  • Marking? It's like supervising a child in a shop of breakables really; you let them go where they want to go but don't let them do anything.
  • Throwing when the person's in your face and counting "Stalling one, two, three..."? It wouldn't really be pressure unless they were also pulling your shorts down and hitting your team-mates.
  • Keeping an eye on the frisbee, the gaps, team-mates, and trying to get away from my marker all at once? Well, it's not like I'm good at it yet, but it does seem rather like getting out the door when we have a baby-sitter.

New Things:
  • On defense: watch your person. On offense watch the frisbee and look out for gaps.
  • When the frisbee falls on the ground everybody runs past it and the last person of the newly offensive team picks it up and throws it to where everyone has got to now.
  • A surprising amount is done without touching the frisbee. Stopping my person from what seemed to be her job of being able to catch the frisbee in the endzone. Making the other team think I might be a threat and run around after me.
  • I'm fitter than I expected.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sick woman.

Splat, splooosh whoosh, drippity droppity and all. Rushing to the toilet, farting, glad it's a false alarm as the children have used up all the toilet paper in the house.

Sean heroically looking after children, making drinks and buying toilet paper.

But do I have any mid-void urges to use the Swiss ball? No. I think I might take another nap though.

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Drizzly Labour Day at the zoo.

The bear's learnt to throw things; he balances bark chips or small chunks of lichen on his front paw, sniffs at them a bit and then flicks them off. I think he thinks it's funny. He seems more interested in the people than before, perhaps because his mate is busy. She's sequestered in the den with their month-old cub.

There's a cool primate exhibit near the lions: the more energetic ones disport themselves impressively all over some rounded concrete formations while the older more staid ones merely make vocalisations to each other and do some little enrichment activities where they have to get food out from containers before they can eat it. They look very happy and natural. I think it ought to have a Homo Sapiens sign.

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Things I've done while in labour.


  • Eat at a restaurant (early stages of a long slow part of labour)
  • Take my eldest to our local playground while hanging off trees and yelling during contractions ("Mummy tummy working hard?" "YES! Mummy tummy working VERY hard!")
  • Drink castor oil (didn't seem to speed up the slow one)
  • Machine quilt (brought the sewing machine to the hospital)
  • Eat chocolates
  • Moan, grunt, growl
  • Breastfeed my eldest
  • "I don't think the baby will come tonight but you may as well ring the support people just in case, but tell them to bring their books." (Denial)
  • Bathe (great!)
  • Gaze at a lit Christmas tree
  • Hide my head in a pillow
  • Visualise pushing a truck up a hill with my support people beside me, cheering me on but not helping
  • Bite
  • Demand acapella singing, reading aloud, acupressure, no - different massage, food, drink, ice, cold cloths on the back of my neck, silence and distracting conversation.
  • Move around
  • Wish I could still move around
  • Try not to push
  • Wish I'd mentioned to my midwife that I'd prefer any vaginal exams on my hands and knees
  • Push
  • Poo
  • Bleed on things
  • Forget what people were saying during their sentences
  • Have a baby (twice)
  • Enjoy the boneless sliding of the placenta on its gentle way out (twice)

Both my babies came out fast once I was dilating, the first was late and I didn't start dilating for 10 days of on-and-off-again patches of labour (and having been through "real" labour I can't call that "false" because it was the same). The second was early. I birthed both kneeling, though I wanted to get into a different position for my second as she was part way through and I just couldn't get up. Both were natural and pretty much drug free (I had a little gas when my midwife broke my waters for the first, late, baby. It felt stupid, like why would I do recreational drugs when I was busy having an important baby). The first was in hospital, the second at home. The home birth was fantastic, the hospital birth was fine.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Ten lies about me.

Ruth did this, and I wondered what it would be like to do it too. Actually it was much harder than I expected. (Go on, you try).
  1. I am deeply unhappy on the inside. I just like to keep up appearances for practice.
  2. I have no pride, envy nor shame. I don't care what anyone thinks or does. I am amoral and cheat whenever I can get away with it.
  3. I think men and women are intrinsically completely different and incommensurable. So I can't tell what men think and I don't care what women think because all they are is competition. In fact, I don't really like other people much at all.
  4. I'd like to throw my computer out the window. The "friends" I have on the internet aren't real to me, which is why I have no secrets from you o web.
  5. My children are ugly and boring. My partner is ugly and boring too. I, on the other hand, am possessed of unearthly beauty; which makes up for my dullness in conversation and in bed.
  6. I'm ambitious but my career success is wholly due to my hard work, perfectionism and rigidly keeping to a tight schedule. I am often humbled by the creative intelligence of other people.
  7. I do all my own housework because I just can't trust anyone else to do it well enough.
  8. I wish I could wear beige, taupe, grey and a little olive green but I fear my personality would be drowned by them. I just can't carry off that sophisticated sort of look.
  9. Parenthood has not changed me.
  10. I'm sure the person painting my house has finished by now. He's a great manager and I really liked having him around these last seven months. I will get him to do the interiors as soon as possible.

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Monday, September 25, 2006

Yesterday on the plane.

It's not just the cars.
People keep walking past pretending to have conversations but the things they're using as phones are too big: they're talking into remote controls.
Quarters are the same size as our new 50c, but they're worth a little less (thank goodness). I need to clear out my wallet though, I paid for the Serenity comic I got at Denver airport (not bad, but Wash is hard to draw) with a mixture of New Zealand and US coins.

"Your daughters are adorable!"
"Thank you, I made them myself."

The kids are dressed pretty oddly today. Last night Iris wanted to wear Hazel's 30s starlet aqua Ariel nightie, Hazel was willing once she was installed in one of Sean's rainbow tie-dyed t-shirts. We picked them up and put them straight in the car to get to the airport just in time to check in. We didn't dress them then and they haven't dressed yet. Iris has added a cerise velour top and sandals to her ensemble, Hazel purple stripey socks and sandals. Americans are very positive people though, so they say they're cute.

They've been pretty good today, in fact every day, the nights aren't so good but I blame that on the jet lag and the lack of their own beds. It's improving, last night they took a long time to get to sleep but they didn't fight it as hard. Goodness knows how today will go, we had a short flight, we're on a three hour one, and then there's a three hour drive in the evening, plus we're travelling two hours of time zone East (that is, 9pm, when we expect to get there, will feel like 7pm. They'd be perfectly justified in sleeping in the car and then partying until 1am.

Wooo. They just gave me some cheese whip. A pleasure of a civilization in decline.

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