Thursday, 21 November 2013

Because Elephants have wrinkles...

Tonight Grace stood and watched me as I covered my face in a thick night moisturiser...

'Mummy, are you putting cream on because your face is sore?'
'No my face is fine. I'm just putting on cream to stop me from getting any wrinkles'.
Screwing her face up she asked 'But what happens if you put wrinke cream on your face when you don't have any wrinkles?'
Hearing this question made my heart skip a quick beat. Was this a compliment? from Grace??? Feeling quite pleased with how sweet Grace can be, I thought I'd fish for another compliment or two... 'Nothing happens. You just keep your skin happy. Why? Don't I have any wrinkles?'
This would have been the ideal point for her to say no.  But instead I copped the very cruel 'Yes. You do. There is lots of them!'...
She then began a very exhaustive list of how much my face wrinkles up when I laugh, smile, look cross, yawn, talk, brush my teeth, breathe.

She then started to sing. A very beautiful but cruel rendition of 'Elephants have wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles, Elephants have wrinkles, wrinkles everywhere!'

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Maybe she could be my Aunt Jean..

Things for our family have been pretty hectic lately hence the lack of any posts in the last month or so but here is a lovely moment that Grace and I shared last month.  Before the end of day light savings and whilst it was still reasonably light at 5:30pm: 
Because things were so busy Grace and I were having to snatch whatever moments we could just to spend a little mummy-daughter time together. One evening, Neil dropped Grace off at my work so that we could share the walk home together. Our walk started off with her chirping about her day with her Nana and Owen and then it somehow carried off into a moving performance of a bear hunt. At some point between swishing and swashing through the tall, tall grass and finding the bear in a pretend dark cave Grace stopped the game, turned to me and whispered 'Mummy, please don't be sad anymore'. I was taken aback. 
This year my parents separated. And in the past few months I’ve become painfully aware that the familiarity of 'Home' back in Melbourne no longer exists and I had been feeling down about it. You don’t realise just how busy and short life is until you blink one day and realise three years has passed. And the recent death of a very dear great Aunt back in September had made me pretty miserable but I thought I’d done a pretty good job of hiding those feelings from Grace. It turns out intuitively, my little girl knows me better than anybody else. So much so that not even a make believe game couldn’t disguise how I had really been feeling. 
 She continued on ‘You know mummy if it would make you feel better, I could be your great Aunt. But not today because I’m wearing jeans and she probably liked wearing skirts…'

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The good little witch

On Saturday morning Grace was performing with her preschool class at the day dare centre's Halloween themed charity fundraising/open day. All the kids were going in costume and in true me fashion, I'd been so busy that I'd forgotten to make Grace a costume. Bad Mum!
And so there we were, Friday night, racing down to Hobby Craft to get a few bits and bobs to make her a costume. On the way down to the shops, I thought I'd ask Grace what she wanted to dress up as. Clapping her hands gleefully she commanded 'I'm going to be a pretty mermaid with legs like Ariel. Make me a tail mummy!'
Unfortunately for Grace her determination to be a mermaid was no match for my determination for her to pick an easier costume to make. I’d already had a look on line at and decided that a no-sew tulle skirt would make a great addition to a witches costume. So we argued the whole journey to the shops. And as usual, my arguments with Grace are about 90% ridiculousness versus 10% sense…

 'Sorry Grace but I don't think mermaids come out at Halloween. What if you be a scary witch instead?'
Shaking her head, she said ‘But I’m not really a nasty old witch. So I’m just going to have to be a mermaid instead mummy’.
Raising my eyebrows and smirking at the irony in her statement, I wasn’t ready to give in yet. ‘Well Halloween is about being tricky and causing mischief. I don’t think Ariel is naughty or sneaky. So I don’t think you should be a mermaid this time’.
Looking horrified that I would even think to suggest that a mermaid would be anything but divine, she folded her arms angrily and shouted ‘No Mummy! Mermaids are beautiful and good. And I’m a lovely little girl so that is what I want to be!’
Not quite put in my place, I battled on. ‘Well you’re already beautiful and good. But Halloween gives you a chance to pretend to be naughty. Wouldn’t you like to be a naughty witch? Besides all your friends will probably be dressed up as monsters. I don’t think a mermaid would really be happy in at a monster party. So wouldn’t you rather be a witch?’
Determined to be a mermaid she shook her head and appealed to my compassionate side. ‘No Mummy. I’m going to be a beautiful mermaid and be very nice to everybody. If was a nasty witch, I’d have to be mean and nasty. And then people would be sad and not have any fun. So I absolutely have to be a nice mermaid. Okay Mummy?’
I decided to get ridiculous and reason with her bizarre logic. ‘Yes but you don’t have to be an evil witch. You could just be a little bit cheeky and then people would still have fun. Besides, you have to sing and dance. How are you going to dance with fins?’
She kept her feet together and sat in her car seat flapping her feet like a fish. ‘Like this. It’s easy. You do it too. Come on Mummy. Let’s be mermaids together’.
I tried another tactic.  ‘Well I’m driving so I can’t be a mermaid but you can pretend for now. And then when we get to the shop we can pretend that you’re Ariel after she loses her voice and that way you can have legs so can wear a pretty skirt and be a witch, just for this weekend’.
She was still sat there staring out the window and flapping her non-existent tail when I heard her say in a very faint voice ‘But I like talking’.
And then all was quiet in the back until I heard some very quiet giggling. After a bit the giggling turned into a very sarcastic sounding laugh. Peering at her through the rear-view mirror, I asked her what she was doing. ‘I’m practicing my cackle for when I’m a witch. But I don’t sound very good’.
Going with flattery, I told her she sounded like a fantastic witch and suggested that she carry on practicing her cackle. It was quiet in the back again before she announced ‘Well I’ve been trying to turn you into a frog for a long time but you’re still a mummy so I’m just not very good at being a witch. So you’re going to have to just make me a mermaid costume Mummy’.
Almost ready to give in, I tried one last time to get her to give up on being a mermaid, ‘What if I let your pick the material and you choose a pretty pink and you can even help me make the skirt…'.
Turning her head to look me square in the eye she demanded 'Tell me more about this skirt!'...WIN! 

 With very little encouragement, she ended up choosing a pink Tulle and a black cobweb patterned fabric. By some miracle she also managed to channel her inner witch and get lippy with the poor sales assistant in Hobby Craft. 'Mummy is my fabric ready? Tell the lady to hurry up. Why hasn't she finished cutting it yet?' Then back at home, with Neils very reluctant help, the project only took a few hours to complete. We reckon she made a fantastic witch, even if she did insist that I call her the 'Pink Princess Witch'. What do you reckon?
 Inspiration for the skirt came from

Monday, 7 October 2013

Spider nests and peanut butter sandwiches for the foxes....

With my return to work I've been a little strapped for time but Grace has kept up with her usual hilarious self and so I have plenty of anecdotes to share so brace yourselves for a lengthy post. In fact, it might be best to grab a cuppa since this post might be quite a read!

Tonight Grace played a magic trick on me and I use the word ‘magic’ very, very loosely.
Holding a deck of cards out to me, she asked me to pick a card. So I did. She giggled as she stuffed the card I had picked behind the radiator. And then she held the deck of cards out to me again. 'Pick another one mummy!'.
Curious to see where this trick was headed, I happily obliged. Again she giggled away to herself as she stuffed the second card behind the radiator. And the game went on much the same as this. I picked card after card and every single one ended up stuffed behind the radiator. We must have gotten about half way through the deck before impatient curiosity got the better of me. 'What is so magical about all the cards hiding behind the radiator Grace?'
Shrugging she answered 'Nothing'.
'Then where is the trick?'
She shook her head and sighed. 'I don't know. Maybe It's hiding behind the radiator with all the cards. You should probably go and pick them up'...
Lovely. The best magic trick of my life, for sure.

Last night while getting ready for bed, Grace kept at me with a constant barrage of questions about animals and what they eat. Trying to avoid the nasty topic of animals eating their prey, I chose to make up a ridiculous fib instead.
'What do cows eat?'
'Good girl Mummy. Do you know what elephants eat?'
'Yes. And now tell me what monkeys eat?'
'And how about sheep?'
'And what about dogs? Go on Mummy. Tell me what they eat?'
'Kibble and bones?'
'Yes. And now tell me, what do ducks eat?'
'Bugs and bread?'
But then she changed the game. 'And what eats ducks Mummy?'
Less than prepared for this type of question, I decided fibbing was the best and easiest answer. 'Nobody eats ducks'.
'Why not?'
'Because ducks are lovely. I like ducks, so nobody eats them'.
It was obvious that I was lying. Standing with both hands on her hips and tapping one foot she demanded that I tell the truth. 'Tell me! What eats ducks?'
Caving under the pressure, I admitted that sometimes foxes do - but only when their incredibly hungry if there aren't any peanut butter sandwiches about. 
I expected her to be upset about the poor ducks. But it appeared that she was more concerned about the poor foxes that don't have enough sandwiches.
'Why did they run out of sandwiches Mummy? Were they greedy and did they eat them all? Perhaps we should make lots of sandwiches and hide them in the woods for the foxes so that they don't have to eat the ducks. Because I think peanut butter probably tastes nicer then a duck does'.
It's always easy to nod and agree then hope that she forgets these crazy plans.
She carried on with her questions. 'So come on Mummy. What do goats eat?'
Dubiously, she laughed and tapped me on my head. 'Don't be ridiculous Mummy. You don't eat straw. You drink your milk with a straw. Sometimes you're so silly Mummy'…

Last weekend Grace & I went on a mother-daughter date. 
We chose to be adventurous and decided to get a bus into town to see a film at the cinema. After much debate, we decided to watch Monsters University. This was Grace's second trip to the cinemas and given the first time was last January, I had taken a little time to explain that people were very quiet in the cinemas. But perhaps I should have tried to explain a few other things as no sooner had we sat down, did Grace begin to fire questions at me. 
 'Why is it so dark? I don't like the dark. Ask them to put the lights on. No Mummy. I can see the screen fine with the lights on. Tell them now!'
 'Is this Harry Potter? Well I want to watch Harry Potter'. Turning to the older boy in the seat beside her she said 'Do you want to watch Harry Potter too?'.
'Can we watch Dora? Tell them to change the channel to Cbeebies. I want to watch Numberjacks'.
She made it through a good while but twenty minutes before the end of the film, she was adamant that she had had enough. 'Let's go Mummy. No I don't want to see the end. You can bring me back at Christmas time'....

The other night a spider smuggled inside, hiding in the clean washing.
I'd taken the basket into Graces room to put her clothes away when I saw it try to make a break for it. Without even thinking I gave it it a good wack with my shoe but then I had to get some tissue to clean the mess. Feeling slightly guilty with the 'blood' of a spider on my hands, the guilt was magnified when I head a little voice exclaim 'Mummy! What did you do?'
Busted! I had no idea how long she had been standing there but I wasn't about to admit to being a cold blooded bug murderer. So I lied. 'Nothing. Just..'
She cut me off before I had time to invent a good story. 'Is that a spider mummy?'
'Yes. But he is sleeping'.
'And what are you doing with him in the tissue?'
I tried to sound innocent and reasonable, 'Putting him outside'.
I struggled to find an acceptable answer 'Erm so that he could be with all his friends?'
And then I guiltily rabbited on 'He will probably like the garden better than your bedroom anyway'...
Shaking her head she said 'No. I don't think so'. 
I thought the game was up. But she went on...'I think he was looking for a nice warm nest. So maybe we should find somewhere inside for him'.
This took me by surprise. I never expected Grace to become an advocate of spider rights. Especially not given the completely irrational and very inconvenient fear of flies and other bugs she sometimes has. Not wanting to admit that a spider nest in my house sounded about as appealing as watching a never-ending marathon of The Teletubbies, I tried to offer up alternative suggestions to building a spider’s nest but she wasn't having any of it. 
'No Mummy. We must build a spider nest. I'm not going to bed until we do'…
And so there we were, just leaving inconspicuous bundles of odd socks around her room for the spiders to find. Except for dead Fred, he was safely flushed away. And when she finally fell fast asleep, I was in her room like a flash getting rid of every spider nest so as to make sure none of Fred’s mates even concidered it!

 I'm still got a bit more to catch up on so expect some more tomorrow night... 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Do fish have bums?

After being away for work since Sunday, I was keen to snuggle & watch a film with Grace.

I expected her to demand any of the usual favorites; The Rascals, The Land Before Time, Alice in Wonderland or Winnie the Pooh. But instead she chose the girly Disney classic 'The Little Mermaid'. We had watched most of the other films on repeat for such a long time that I'd forgotten about the million and one questions that Grace would harress me with through this new film...

'Why does Ariel live in a clam? Does she have a bed in there? I'd like to live in a clam. I'd have a pink, blue, green, yellow and white one and it would be nice. And you could visit but it would be to small for you to fit so you would need your own house'.

'Where are Ariels' friends? No mummy! Sebastion and Flounder aren't her real friends. Little girls don't have crab or fish friends'.

'Is Ariel a fish? She is a bit like a lady and a bit like a fish. But she doesn't have a bum. Do other fish have bums? How do they go to the toilet? I don't think there are any toilets in the sea. Sebastion is all right. I think he has a bum. Do crabs have bums?'....

Saturday, 21 September 2013

No baby spinach for our garden...

After playing in the garden, Grace came inside to give me a cuddle. Her breath smelt suspiciously like plant-like;

'Grace, have you been eating anything?’
'Have you been eating plants from the garden?'
'Will baby spinach grow into adult spinaches?’
‘Probably not’
‘Why not?’
‘Um… Because the farmers probably pick them out of the ground before they grow too big’
'Tell me the truth, is it because I keep eating them?’
‘Is that what you were eating outside?’
'I think baby spinach is for babies. And I'm not a baby so I'm not eating it ever again'.
'Were you eating spinach in the garden?'
'Or maybe baby spinach isn't a baby or for babies to eat. Maybe it's just a plant'.
'So you were eating spinach in the garden? Because there is no spinach in our garden'.
'Yes there is. There is baby spinach. I saw some'.
'When did you see some?'
'When I was eating it?'
'Can you show me what you were eating?'
'No. It's all gone now. I ate it all up'.
'I think it's best that we don't eat the plants in our garden. They aren't meant for eating'.
'So will I not have to eat salad any more?'
'You'll still have to eat salad just not the plants in the garden, okay?'
'But I like our spinach in the garden'.
'I don't think you ate spinach Grace'.
'I did. It's not going to be an adult now'
'Is that why you ate it?'

Friday, 20 September 2013

Today's little gems #3

Neil had cut the top off of a kiwifruit for Grace and given her a spoon to eat it with.
Holding up the kiwifruit, Grace exclaimed 'I've got a scrambled egg'.
Correcting her, Neil said 'Noooo, that's a kiwifruit'.
'Yes. But it looks a bit like a boiled egg daddy. So I've got a kiwi-egg'...
After being silent for some time, Grace said 'Gooseberries'.
'Gooseberries?' Neil and I asked.
'Yes. Gooseberries make you freezing'.
'Do you mean Goosebumps Grace?'
'Yes. If you go to bed with out the covers on and you wake up freezing. Then you get gooseberries'....

Grace was playing around with her toy stethoscope & toy thermometer, innocently skipping around the lounge room and then Neil thought it would be a wise idea to suggest that Grace ‘fix’ me.
Excitedly Grace exclaimed 'Oh yeah. Gosh Yeah. I'm coming to check your stomach Mummy'
'Because, you're feeling poorly'
Sighing, I lifted my shirt and sat back on the sofa so that she could place the stethoscope against my belly button. 'So, Doctor. What is wrong with me today?' I asked.
'Shhh' she whispered. 'I can hear the baby'.
‘And for the billionth time! There is no baby'
'Yes there is. 
'No there isn't'.
Nodding, she whispered 'There is and her name is Lily'
'Yeah? What is Lily doing then?'
'Oh, She is crawling about in there. But it's time that she went to bed now. Say goodnight Lily'.
'But there is no baby Grace'
Tutting and shushing me, she snapped 'I said say Goodnight to Lily'.
'Goodnight Lily'...

Neil and I were both sitting on the couch watching Grace play. She had lined up her doll's potty and the doll's bath and was playing a very methodical game that involved sitting on the potty and then standing in the bath. The potty itself is probably the size of a tiny a rockmelon and the bath isn't that much bigger. I let a few minutes pass, then as she was standing with both feet in the bath, I asked her what she was doing. Looking at me as thought as I was thick she said 'I'm putting myself in the bath. Silly Mummy'...

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Today's little gems #2

While having her bath, Grace bought up the subject of seahorses.
'What a silly name. They don't even look like horses. I think they look like dinasoars so I'm going to call them Sea-soars'.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Today's little Gems #1

Among the many gems that Grace uttered today;
Her response to Owen pulling my hair was  ‘Let me check your brain to see if it’s okay’. Running her fingers along my scalp she said ‘You know mummy. I can’t really see your brain. I can’t find it under all of your hair’.

When being asked to drink a glass of water, I tried to coax her into drinking the whole glass by explaining that everybody drinks water to keep healthy. I even showed her my cup of tea and told her I was drinking a big drink to keep healthy. ‘Yes’ she shouted. ‘But you gave me a big drink and I only need a little drink because I’m a little kid!’.
‘Drink the whole cup and you can have an episode of Numberjacks’… blackmail. Works 90% of the time.

While driving Nanna to the dentist, Grace said she was hungry and asked if we could go to the sweetshop. Trying my best to keep to my new no sugar rule, I told her no.
‘Yes, I want sweets please’.
‘No Grace. Not this week’.
Dragging out the ‘eeze’ in ‘Please’, she pleaded and pleaded.
‘No. You can have some fruit or something healthy when we get home’.
‘But sweets ARE a type of fruit’… since when? Nice try kiddo!