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! 

Enough room for two...

While laying in bed this morning I told Grace that I was getting up to go for a wee. In the blink of an eye she was up and racing along the hallway to the bathroom. I heard the lid slam down and her try to suppress her high pitched giggle. Giving it a second or two, I lazily rolled out of bed and stepped into the hallway. The door to the bathroom was wide open and there was Grace. Toilet lid down and sitting fully clothed on the toilet swinging her legs laughing at me.

‘Do you actually need a wee Grace? Because mummy does’
Shaking her head at me, Grace just giggled.
‘Okay then you have to move because I need a wee’.
Shaking her head again, Grace said ‘But I’m on the toilet. It’s my turn’.
‘Yes, but you’re not even using it’. Grace just giggled at me.
‘Seriously Grace. I do need to use the toilet so you’re going to have to move’.
Giggling she slid over a few inches then patted the empty toilet lid space next to her. ‘Okay. You can fit here too’.
‘There is enough room for two. Come on mummy’.
‘No. I’m not sharing a toilet with you’.
‘But I thought you said you needed a wee’.
‘Yes but you’re not supposed to share the toilet. It’s a one person at a time kind of thing’.
‘Is that because your bum is big?’
‘What why does everything with you come back to my bum or belly being big? Get off that toilet’.
‘No. It’s my turn. You’re just going to have to wait till I’m finished’.
‘But you’re not even using it’.
‘It’s still my turn’.
‘Fine’ I yelled. As  I stomped down the hallway back to bed. As soon as I settled back under the covers, I heard the toilet flush and Grace running down the hall way.
‘I’m finished mummy!’….

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Lucky I'm not stuck in a hole...

Tonight I sobbed and argued my way through a very emotionally taxing ‘keep or get rid of’ wardrobe ritual.

 Given the bizarre attachment that I have to every article of clothing basically everything that I own, it is always a hard task to manage sensibly. Much of what I have hasn't, for the past two and a half years, even seen the light of day. I'm the kind of girl who will be sitting surrounded by piles and piles of clothing declaring that I have nothing to wear yet when it comes time to clearing any of it out, I suddenly can't part with a thing. Not even a plain ill-fitting cami. I can't do it. I know, I know. I am ridiculous. I’m a hoarder. Don't be surprised if you see me on an episode of Britain’s Worst Hoarders one day. But they say that the first step is admitting that you have a problem. So, there I've said it. I have a problem. And for the longest of times that problem has been bursting out of my wardrobe.

And so with Grace sitting on my bed, ready to counsel and support me through every hard decision I got to sorting. I hadn't imagined Grace, my girl that loves clothes could be so ruthless. But she was pitiless, merciless and brutal. A ‘takes no prisoners’ type of girl. But that was just the type of person I needed around during such a mission.

The first thing I pulled out of the wardrobe was a black dress that I’d bought two summers before I had Grace. Its bubble hem & low cut front are definite reasons to never be seen in it in public ever again. But yet, it’s evaded every wardrobe clear out since 2008 & I’d even loved it enough to pack it in to the suitcase when I moved to the UK.
‘What is that mummy?’
‘It’s called a little black dress. They say every lady should own one’
‘Then why have you got three?  I think maybe you need to throw two of them away’
Holding up all three, I asked her which one I should keep. She looked at the dresses with an air of disdain before announcing ‘I don’t like any of them. They aren’t very pretty. They don’t have any pretty flowers or pictures. You need to throw them all away mummy’. And so into the sad ‘get rid’ pile they went as did two floral dresses and two corporate looking numbers, leaving me with a gaping hole in my heart wardrobe.

I then hauled out an assortment of jeans and trousers that had been hogging the floor space for the past few years. After asking Grace which I should keep and which should be donated, she eyed me with a certain level of condescension and then announced ‘But I don’t like wearing trousers and you always make me wear trousers’.
‘That is because most of the time it is cold’
‘Yes but I like wearing skirts with tights’
‘I think that in winter it’s probably too cold for those as well’
‘Well maybe we should move to Spain where it is sunny all the time. Then we could live in a big house with a pool and I could wear dresses and skirts everyday’…
‘We’re not moving to Spain and any way, how do you know what the weather in Spain is like?’
‘Nanna told me. I bet Nanna would move to Spain with me and she would let me wear dresses all the time too’…Sigh. The trousers were easily discarded but I made the executive decision to squirrel the jeans away in the hope that they will one day fit my post-pregnancy body.

Thankfully Grace was a lot more helpful in clearing out the many tops that I’ve acquired over the years. ‘Don’t keep that one mummy. I don’t like yellow and it’s not very nice to look at...Blue stripes are probably for boys. Is that a man’s shirt mummy?...I like that Tinkerbelle t-shirt. Can I wear it?...Does that one need to be washed in the washing machine mummy...Why has that got brown flowers on it? Do you like brown mummy? It’s a bit like poo, isn't it?...I’ve never seen you wear that one before. Is it because you don’t really like it? I don’t like it mummy'...
 She wasn’t any nicer when it came to clearing out my jumpers. I have an old white Chambers Sweat Company Royal Rowing Club jumper that used to belong to my dad. My mum nicked it off of him than I nicked it from her. I’m not sure how old it is but it probably predates my life span. In its heyday it was probably quite a cool jumper but it’s seen a lot of life and it’s pretty threadbare, fairly yellowed and slightly stained. It reminds me of home. I’d never been seen with it on in public but even still I love it. Unfortunately for me Grace doesn’t.
 ‘I think you need to throw that jumper away
‘No I’m going to keep this one, I like it’.
Cocking her head to the side and with one eyebrow raised, she asked me ‘Why?’ Her Brummie accent really dragging out the 'y' in the word, making her question sound fairly supercilious.
‘Because it used to be my dad’s and then it was my mums so I like it. It even says Chambers on it, which is my dad’s last name. Isn’t that cool?’
‘No. I think you should give it back to your dad’.

 Since moving to the UK, I’ve built up quite a collection of coats, seven in total. During my pregnancy with Owen my belly grew so big that only the most hated of coats would fit me until I gave up and started nicking Neil’s coat. Then after Owen was born, the summer months provided us with some pretty good weather so there hasn’t been much need for me to wear any of my coats aside from a pretty average looking grey type that lives on the easily accessible coat hook under the stairs.
‘I’ve never seen you wear those coats before mummy’
‘Yes you have. I used to wear them all the time Grace’
‘I didn’t ever see them before. Is it because they don’t fit you?
‘No they still fit me’.
Grace eyed me up and down and then said ‘Maybe’.
‘Yes. They do’.
Screwing up her face she replied ‘I don’t think so’. And then she was silent for a while.
Slightly offended, I turned my back to Grace and kept on with the sorting, discarding all of the scarves in favour of just one black scarf.

I thought Grace had finished her verbal assault on my fashion sense and body but then she pulled out the big guns; ‘Mummy, is it time for the baby to come out yet?’
‘What baby?’
‘The baby in your tummy’
‘That baby was Owen and he came out months ago’.
‘Are you sure you haven’t made another one?'
Defensively, I stood facing her with both hands on my hips 'Yes. I'm sure. There is no baby!’
'Then why is your belly so big and round? I think there must be a baby in there'. She carried on 'Or did you eat too much honey like Winnie? Winnie ate too much honey and got stuck in Rabbits hole. So they didn't let him eat anything, so that he could stop being so fat and get out of the hole'.
'Well I got this tummy from having you and Owen so it's not such a bad thing'.
Sighing miserably, I suggested that she go and see what her father was doing. But I heard her mumbling as she pitter-pattered down the hallway 'It's lucky that mummy isn't stuck in a hole'...