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I hate being sick

23 Jul

Hannah went back to school this week, after having a three week between terms break. I don’t go back to university until next week.  Needless to say, I was looking forward to using my kid and uni free time to get lots of stuff done.  Like cleaning the bomb that is Aaron’s and my room.   I clean the rest of the house every week, but the bedroom doesn’t get that luxury.  The kids are bored by the time I finish the rest of the cleaning, so I just vacuum around the mess and that’s it.  Aaron and I are not the cleanest people either.  We both have a tendency to leave clothes around, and put stuff on the dresser with intentions to put it away later, only later never comes.

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I was also supposed to go to a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security student get together on Sunday where we were all going to plant a bunch of native trees at the university’s river site.  I was really looking forward to it since I don’t really know anyone that well since I’m mostly an external student.  I haven’t even met a lot of the other people in my course.  There aren’t many of us, about 20-25 in total including first year and second year students.

But I’m sick.  I’ve been coughing for over a week now, but for the first 6 or so days, it was just that, a cough.  It sounded horrible, but I felt fine and went about my usual business, even running faster at the gym than I have in a long time.  Hannah has a cough too, and since I’m paranoid every time she has a cough, due to the time she had pneumonia, I called the home doctor service on Sunday.  My cough had turned into a deep, phlegmy type of cough that was getting harder and harder to break up, and leaving me short of breath when I did cough, so I had the doctor take a look at me too.  I love that there is a home doctor service for weekends and night time.

Turns out Hannah’s cough was just a normal she has a cold type cough, nothing to worry about unless she develops a fever, but mine is bronchitis.  By Sunday night, I had pretty much no energy, but didn’t feel too horrid.

Monday morning I took the kids to school and daycare and sat around all day trying to get better.

Tuesday morning I felt horrible.  In order to get the kids to school and daycare, I took two panadol.  Hannah said she wasn’t feeling well and stayed home too.  I’m still not too sure if she actually felt sick, but I gave her the benefit of the doubt.  I felt so bad yesterday afternoon that Aaron had to pick Daniel up when he got home from work.

And drop Hannah off this morning.  Oh, and now Aaron is sick too.  He describes the feeling very well: it’s like being blind drunk and you just have to lay down or you will fall over or pass out.  That is how we are both feeling right now.  Fevers, dizzy, aches, the whole thing.  His is a throat infection, that he finally found out about because I convinced him to go to the doctor after he dropped Hannah off this morning.  Lucky for us, no kids need to be dropped off anywhere tomorrow because I’m not sure that either one of us would be up for driving.

I hate being sick, I feel so useless.

I really feel for those who are chronically ill.  They are some tough cookies.

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Number three

13 Jul

Everyone knows that number one is code for pee and number two is synonymous with poop, but what, exactly, is number three you ask?

I think this video explains it best:

Hannah was just a baby when that commercial came out, so naturally, I found it hilarious and actually understood what they were talking about.  I can imagine that a non-parent/caregiver/nanny would watch it and think what the heck.  Poo explosions were a regular occurrence when the kids were babies, but I haven’t had to worry about it for at least a year.  Until recently….

Last week:

“Mommy, I need to go to the toilet!” Daniel tells me urgently at a friend’s house.  I pick him up and run to the bathroom.  At home he wears undies, but when we’re out, I don’t really want to deal with poopy underwear, so he wears a pull up.  I don’t really want to deal with poopy underwear any time, but it’s so much worse when we’re out.  Not to mention the pooped on garments sit there fermenting in a bag until we get home if he poops in undies while we are out.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

I pull down his pants and underwear as fast as humanely possible and lift him up onto the toilet.  He wants down less than a second after I put him up.

“Nope.” He tells me.  False alarm.  He knows there is a poo coming soon, but he’s not so good with the actual timing. I know there must be one coming soon too, he hasn’t pooped in 2-3 days, and he’s a daily sort of boy.  The two tiny little wet fart type accidents he’s already had today make me think he’s holding it in and has a bit of overflow.  Yes, that’s a thing.  I know all about it because Hannah used to hold it in.  She still does sometimes, but I can tell when she’s doing it and make her go sit on the toilet.  I guess she figures if she’s already on the toilet she might as well just go, so it’s not really a problem anymore.

I think Daniel is doing it because he doesn’t want to poop his undies or pull up.  But he doesn’t want to go on the toilet either.

We have about five more false alarms at my friends house before we have to leave to go to a different friend’s house, one who’s house I’ve never been to before.

He has another false alarm there before I notice he’s lingering in the bathroom all by himself.  Just standing there, away from everyone.  A quick check of the pull up reveals he’s already started his poop, which is fine, I’m just glad he’s finally pooping.

“I need to go to the toilet!” He tells me.  But it’s not just a turtle head, there is already some poop in his pull up.  If I try to get if off, then put him on my friend’s toilet, I’m likely to get poop all over the toilet seat.  Not exactly what I want to do at someone else’s house.

“There’s already some in your pull up buddy, just finish your poop in your pull up.” I tell him.  If we were at home, I’d get poop everywhere and put him on the potty or toilet anyway.

I leave him to it and he stands in the bathroom by himself for ages before finally coming out.

“I’ll be right back, I just have to go to the car to get a new pull up and some wipes.” I tell my friend as Daniel sits down on the new carpet next to Hannah.

“Ok buddy, let’s go change your bottom.”  I tell him whilst picking him up.

That’s when I notice;  the 2-3 days worth of poop isn’t contained in his pull up.  Not even remotely.  We’re definitely talking about number threes here.  My eyes widen in horror as I realize there is a big brown spot of poop on my friend’s beige carpet.  Her brand new beige carpet.

My mind races.  Should I help clean up the carpet poop?  Should I run Daniel into the bathroom and deal with carpet poop later? I can’t believe there is poop on the carpet.  I should clean it up, but what about Daniel?  Won’t he just sit down again and make more poop spots?  My mind is made up in a second.

Holding Daniel by the armpits out in front of me as if he’s toxic, I run him to the bathroom, where there is a tiled floor, to change his clothes and clean him up.  The poop is half way up his back and oozing out both sides of the nappy.  I don’t even know where to begin.

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“Do you have a hose outside?”  I ask my friend.

She looks at me like I’ve gone crazy.  It is the middle of winter after all.  “Yes, but you don’t need to do it outside.”

“Can I give him a bath here?”

“Of course.”  I think she is stifling laughter.

It’s impossible to peel his clothes off without spreading the poop, so now there is poop not only on his back, bottom, stomach, and legs, but also his shoulders.  The poo clothes are put in a plastic bag, which will have to ferment until I get home.  We somehow managed to get poop all over the bathroom floor as well.  There is even some on the bottom of Daniel’s shoe which has made poop tread marks on the tiles. The once white bathtub is streaked with brown.

Daniel is standing there, naked in the tub, delighted that he gets to have a bath in a foreign bathtub.  I don’t really want to get poop on someone else’s wash cloth, so I splash water on Daniel and wipe him down with my bare hand.  Once all the poop is off him, I use the warm water and my hand to get it all down the drain of the bathtub before using the baby bath I find on the side of the bathtub to wash both Daniel and the bathtub.

Daniel plays in the bath while I clean the poop off the bathroom floor and finally he and the bathroom are clean.  Number three has been dealt with.

Meanwhile, my friend, who is something like 39 weeks pregnant, is in her lounge room with Hannah and her daughter (who is under 2), cleaning up the soiled carpet.

“It’s a poo volcano!” I hear her say.  She is using vinegar and baking soda to fix her new carpet while Hannah’s giggles fill the room.  Luckily my friend has the kind of humour that finds poop hilarious.

Note to self: Always put Daniel on the toilet, even if at someone else’s house and pooping has already commenced.

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Friends

14 Jun

Hannah LOVES prep (like preschool, but it’s at school and they have to wear school uniforms (which is what we do down under, at all schools, public or private) just like the rest of the kids). She likes it so much that she can’t wait for kindergarten to start.  That might be mostly because she gets to wear a dress everyday though, rather than the school’s sports uniform she has to wear in prep.

Every time I pick her up, I ask her how her day was.  She is so incredibly shy that it took her a while to make some friends.  Probably because her response to people saying hi to her was to put her head down and stare at the floor instead of answering them.  I can’t imagine that many 4 year olds would know how to combat such shyness.

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Despite not having any little friends in the first few weeks, she was still having lots of fun and was excited every school day.  She soon started talking about a girl we’ll call Kid1.  “Mommy, Kid1 and I played together all the time today.”  She told me when I picked her up.

I know Kid1’s grandma from the gym and heard similar stories from her.  “Kid1 talks about Hannah all the time.  They are so cute.”  Her grandma told me.

It was like that for a couple of weeks, both girls raving about each other and playing together all day.

But then it started to change.  “Kid1 and Kid2 told me she didn’t want to be my friend anymore.” Hannah told me sadly. I asked her some questions about it and found that Kid2 befriended Kid1 which for some reason meant that they didn’t like Hannah anymore.  Of course we’re talking about the view of a 4 year old, so it could be very different to reality.

Every school day it was the same.  I picked Hannah up and she told me that Kid1 and Kid2 told her they didn’t want to be her friend.  She said they played games where Hannah was in jail and they would laugh at her or they would pretend she was dead.

“Did you tell them you don’t like playing those games?” I asked Hannah.  She is so shy though, so of course, she said no.  “When they are being mean to you, why don’t you go find some nicer kids to play with?  It’s important to be nice to everyone, but that doesn’t mean you have to play with people who are not being nice to you.  If they are always mean to you, it’s better to find some new friends who won’t be mean to you all the time.”  I told her.

My sweet little shy girl

My sweet little shy girl

“I really want to play with Kid1 and Kid2.”  Hannah told me.

Why does she want to play with girls who clearly don’t like her?  Why not find some friends who actually want to play with her?

I didn’t think I’d have to have to deal with such things at 4 years old.  Maybe she was making a mountain out of a mole hill.  I was only going off one side of the story.

I decided to speak to the teacher who told me that lots of the girls have been saying they don’t want to be friends with the other kids (but that Hannah hadn’t said it to anyone).  At least they weren’t singling Hannah out, but that doesn’t make it any better for anyone.  The teacher said she has been talking to them about it and telling them multiple times every day that they can’t say that but that they still do.  She asked them why they were saying it and found that they said it when they don’t want to play what the particular child they say it to is playing with at the time.

“Hannah is more advanced emotionally, so she seems understand the severity of their words better than the other kids.”  The teacher told me.

It’s true, Hannah emotionally advanced.  She is so sweet and compassionate, which is great, but can also mean she gets hurt more than the other kids.

The teacher said she’d keep an eye on it, and didn’t know that Hannah was upset by it (which is not surprising since she doesn’t say anything about it).  Apparently a lot of the kids had been taking turns being in jail and also playing dead.

“If they tell you they don’t want to be their friend anymore, tell them that’s not nice, and walk away.  Go find other kids to play with.  You can tell the teacher if they are mean to you.  You don’t have to, but you can.  And you don’t have to play things that you don’t want to play.”  I told Hannah.

She still tells me that Kid1 and Kid2 are mean to her.  I still don’t know why she wants to play with them.  “I’m not inviting them to my birthday party.” Hannah told me when we wrote out her party list.  She is only inviting 10 kids to her party (my limits, gymnastics parties are expensive), and only 5 from school.

“Kid2 played with me all day today because Kid1 wasn’t at school.” Hannah told me the other day.  I didn’t let my frustration show, but I find it so annoying that when Kid1 and Kid2 are together they are mean to Hannah, yet when one of them isn’t there, it’s Hannah they go to for a playmate.  “I want to invite Kid2 to my party.”

“Sorry, you can’t.  Remember, I said 1o kids only, and that once we got the invites out, we can’t add anyone.”

Judging by the fact that Kid2 handed out birthday invitations the same day as Hannah, and Hannah didn’t get one, I think they really do mean they don’t want to be Hannah’s friend when they say that, not that they just don’t want to play with her right then.

It’s heartbreaking to see my little girl not have any good friends at school, but I know that some of it is her own shyness.  We saw a different girl from school (who is nice to her and whom she invited to her birthday party) at playgroup the other day, and Hannah wouldn’t even say hi.  The other girl kept saying “Hi Hannah!!” all excitedly but was met with a downward head and eyes staring at the floor.  I’m not sure how I can help her, but I really hope she can overcome her shyness.

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Mouse in the house

1 Jun

“What’s with Rosie?” Aaron asked this morning as I walked out of the bedroom still half asleep after the kids jumped on us when their clock turned green at 6am.

Rosie was in the laundry room, barking whilst desperately scratching at the outside  door.  She went out her little doggie door a couple times, but quickly came back in again to scratch at the door.

“Maybe there’s a bug or something.”  I said.  She loves hunting things, and we get a lot of crickets in the house.  I probably should have investigated a bit, but it was my sleep in day, so I didn’t.  Instead, we ignored her while Aaron played with the kids and I made a cup of tea to take with me back to bed.

For ages, I could hear her scratching and barking.

When it was time for me to get up, the kids and I played fetch with her to get some of her excitement out.  Rosie chases after the ball like a little deer, bounding down the hallway randomly as she runs.  After I put the ball away, something small, black, and furry caught my eye.  It was scurrying very fast, but there was no mistaking it’s identity.  A mouse was making a break for the living room.  I only saw it for a few seconds before it disappeared behind the heavy bookshelf.

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Naturally, I did what most girls would do in that situation: I yelled for Aaron.  “AARON, THERE’S A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE!!!!!!”  Not only that, I was yelling to the kids as well.  “GET ON THE COUCH!  BOTH OF YOU, GET ON THE COUCH!!!!”

Because obviously all mice are rabid people eaters whose sole purpose in life is to bite me and my children, and I don’t think the kids would be particularly fond of rabies shots. Or the plague. Or hantavirus. Or whichever other diseases mice could possibly carry.

Aaron helped me pull the shelf away from the wall, revealing the little brown mouse hiding behind it.  Stupidly I called Rosie around to the pulled out side.  She ran in, scaring the mouse out the other side.  It ran frantically from the shelf to under the couch, out of Rosie’s reach.

They may be cute, but disease carrying, pooping everywhere mice have no place in a house. Unless it's in a cage.... Image courtesy of wikipedia.

They may be cute, but disease carrying, pooping everywhere mice have no place in a house. Unless it’s in a cage…. Image courtesy of wikipedia.

The kids were beside themselves with excitement, elated that they caught a glimpse of the cute little mouse.  Rosie ran around the couch, trying to find a way to fit herself under it so she could bag herself a hunting trophy.  We haven’t seen it since.  Maybe it’s still under the couch.  Maybe it’s under the shelf.  Maybe it’s in my bed.  I have no idea because we went to church this morning, via Bunnings to get mouse traps, so we were gone for almost 3 hours.  It could be anywhere by now.  Maybe there are more mice.  I don’t know.  Rosie did catch one outside a while ago (then she brought the dead mouse inside and put it in Aaron’s lap), after it/they chewed holes in the bag of dog food in the garage.

They also chewed holes in my potting soil.  And in the bag of dinosaur poop.  It’s not really dinosaur poop, it’s Dino fert, an organic fertiliser that has a cartoon dinosaur on the front and stinks. Daniel and Hannah called it dinosaur poop and the name stuck.

Yesterday I put all the soil, the dinosaur poop, and the lawn dressing into thick plastic garbage bins in the garage and swept up all the remnants that leaked out of the chewed bags.  I guess the mouse (mice maybe?) was hungry and came to the house instead.  It makes sense, but that doesn’t make it less annoying.

If only I’d listened to Rosie this morning when she so desperately wanted to get at the mouse that must have been between the screen door and the regular door in the laundry room.  Maybe then we wouldn’t have to set traps and dispose of a cute little annoying mouse probably with a broken neck from the snap trap.  Yuck.  But I don’t want it in the house either, so let’s hope the traps work.  Or that it comes out long enough for Rosie to get it. She would certainly love that.

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call to the police

25 May

“Do you guys want to go to the park?” I ask the kids.  Despite being nearly winter, it’s shorts and t-shirt weather outside.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, it’s a beautiful day.

“Let’s go on the country track!!”  Daniel says excitedly.   That’s code for the dusty little dirt trail that connects to a couple of bridges.

As we get closer and closer to the stepping stones water crossing, the sound of dirt bikes rings louder in our ears. “Mommy, I’m scared.”  Hannah says every time one goes ‘BBBRRRRRMMM.’  Her voice waivers and she hides behind my legs, grabbing my pants with both hands.  I should be able to take my kids to the local park without them being frightened of being run over.  Motorised vehicles are not allowed at the park.  Yes, there are trails and fields and plenty of space there, but that space is not for dirt bikes, it’s for kids running around, dog walkers, parents, bush walkers, pram pushers, people playing sports, the elderly, people in wheelchairs.  It is for all people, but not motor vehicles, which is clearly stipulated on signs around the perimeter of the park.

I can’t tell exactly where the bikes are until we pass the stepping stones and get to the field.  I hold Hannah and Daniel’s hands tightly as a man on a dirt bike tears by.  Usually I let them run off ahead, giggling through the field en route to the playground.  Near the trees on the other side of the field is a large group of men, teen, and tween boys, a 3-wheeler atv and the dirt bike that is being shared around.

As we walk towards the playground, the bike is speeding on the sidewalk, tearing past the playground, and doing circles in the field.  Kids may look like they are walking nicely next to their parents, but in seconds, they can be 20 feet away, running and giggling.  Can a dirt bike rider really predict that, especially one who is going really fast and is clearly too young to be licensed?  There is a reason dirt bikes are not allowed at the park.  What if a kid on the playground suddenly decides to chase a bird and runs out of the playground area? Can a dirt bike rider tearing by 10 feet away from the playground swerve or stop in time?

The other week we walked to the park and a police car pulled up when we were in the parking lot. I had just seen a dirt bike, so I pointed towards the field.  The cop ignored me.  He did a lap of the parking lot, whilst I flapped my arms and pointed to the field, but the cop didn’t stop to ask me anything, he just pulled back out again, making no effort to actually catch the person or people responsible for endangering children’s lives by tearing around in the park on dirt bikes.

The playground at the park. Behind is the field.

The playground at the park. Behind is the field.

I put Daniel in the swing and call the local police station.  “Hi, I’d like to report a dirt bike at ____________,” I tell them, as I stand about 5 feet away from another mum.

“Yeah, we’ve had a lot of complaints about that.” She tells me.

“Are the police going to come?” Hannah asks me when I hand up after the brief conversation.

“I don’t know sweetie, they said they’ve had a lot of calls about it, so hopefully they will, it’s very dangerous to ride dirt bikes around a playground.”

30 seconds later, the bike speeds past the playground and ducks into the country track. The same track we were just meandering down, often stopping while the kids bent over to agitate the dirt with sticks to make “smoke.” The small dirt track that a speeding dirt bike would have trouble stopping really fast on if a kid was there.  The track where swerving is not an option due to large logs lining both sides of the path.  The short dirt path with trees all around where it would be too late to react by the time anyone realised those echoing BRRRRMMMs were actually coming from the same path they are on.

Inside, I was freaking out.  What if he had turned down that path when we were on it?

“Let’s go feed the ducks.” I tell the kids to distract myself from such thoughts.  A group of ducks is foraging on the cricket field next to the playground.

The mob of dirt bikers is staring at us as we feed the ducks.  I watch them in my peripheral vision as they push the 3-wheeler into the bushes, as if they somehow know I’ve called the police.

That’s silly, I’m just being paranoid, how could they know? 

The sound of the dirt bike is gone.  He has clearly gone down the country path to make a quick and hasty get away.

Maybe they saw a police car.

We run out of bread and go back to the playground.  Next to the woman who was near me when I made the police car is a tween in a motor bike helmet.

The rest of the group are walking up, pushing the 3-wheeler.

“Let’s get this in the back of the truck.” One of the men says to the woman.  There are about 10 of them all together.  All rough, hard looking men and boys with mullets and rat tails. All giving me the death stare.  Maybe they are actually really nice guys, but maybe they are planning to punch my lights out.  I don’t really want to find out.

I act as if I’m too stupid to put two and two together, like I don’t realise I know that they know that I called the police.  I pretend I’m so engrossed with pushing Hannah and Daniel on the swings that I don’t even notice they are there.

I look at my watch, long and obviously.  “Ok kids, time to go home and cook some dinner.”

“Please, just a little bit longer?” They beg.

I force my voice to come out as strong and unintimidated “No, it’s almost dinner time, we have to go home now.”

They hop off the swings and follow me towards the field, not our usual way home, but if we go through the parking lot, the men could watch us and see which house we go into.

The ducks are still waddling across the field, and I’m still freaking out a little inside, so even though I wouldn’t normally suggest such a thing (about ducks, not about pigeons or something), I feign excitement and say “WHO WANTS TO CHASE SOME DUCKS!!!???”

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“I DO!!!” The kids say in unison and we take off running, quickly putting distance between us and the scary looking mob who knows I called the police on them.

When we get to the bottom of our street, a police car pulls into the parking lot down a hill and to the left of us.  If we go down there talk to him, the men will see us, but if we don’t, they might get away. Maybe they are still putting the 3-wheeler in the truck.  Maybe they will be caught red handed.

One thing is for sure though: I don’t want them to see us.  They don’t know we are at the top of the hill and I don’t want want them to.  Instead of turning towards the police car, we turn towards home, towards safety and anonymity.

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The first poop

11 May

2 weeks ago:

Daniel and I are eating dinner together by ourselves.  Hannah is at Grandma and YaYa’s house for her weekly sleepover and Aaron is out with work friends because he is moving offices for a couple of months on Monday.

Daniel isn’t very hungry because Grandma filled him up when dropped Hannah off.  He is picking brown rice slowly, but mostly he’s just playing with it, and he’s not touching his Indian butter chicken.  I am about halfway through mine when Daniel suddenly stops twirling his food around his plate.  He forgets about everything else as a look of concentration crosses his face.

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“QUICK DANIEL, LET’S GET TO THE POTTY!!” I tell him, trying, but failing to contain the urgency in my voice.  I don’t exactly want to be attempting to remove poop that’s been amalgamated with undies in the middle of dinner.

“I DON’T WANT TO!!!!” He screams.  But I don’t listen.  By the time he’s finished with his sentence, we’re already half way to the bathroom, despite his flailing arms and legs.

I pull down his pants and undies and put him straight onto his little potty.  The concentration fills his face again, this time laced with a look of excitement. His protests cease and the room is silent.

Plop.

“I DID IT!!! I DID A POO ON THE POTTY!!!!”  He stands up excitedly and looks at in the toilet bowl. “THERE’S A POOP IN THERE! I DID A POOP!”

He is jumping up and down with huge smile on his face as I give him a chocolate Easter egg and promise that we will go to Kmart tomorrow to get a pirate tent.

Daniel

Daniel

“Good job buddy, let’s go finish our dinner now.”  We walk towards the table, but before we get there, my elation is replaced by annoyance.  Our bowls are empty.

“ROSIE!!!!!!”  She comes bounding in as if nothing happened.  “NO!  You DO NOT get on the table!”  I tell her whilst pointing my finger and furrowing my brow.  “OUTSIDE.”  I tell her sternly.  Little thief.

I was wrong though.  I thought it would take just one poop in the toilet and Daniel would lap up the praise, rewards, and excitement and continue to poop in the toilet, just like he did with pees.  But he didn’t.  He’s only pooped in the toilet once since then, and again only because I recognised poo face and ran him to the toilet at Grandma’s house.

Time is out though.  The cruise is tomorrow.  I had an alternate plan: putting Daniel in kids club with a pull up, and then telling the carers to call me if he needs a nappy change, until Jess pointed out that we won’t have any phone reception.  You know, since we’ll be at sea.  I’m still not giving up.  Daniel is a sweet, charming boy, so he is going to tell them that he really wants to go to kids club with Hannah. Maybe there won’t be that many kids and they’ll like him so much that they will take him despite his lack of toilet skills.  How can anyone say no to a 2 year old that tells you how much he wants to be there all by himself?  He has incredible language skills.  I’m not giving up.  He will have fun there. He really, really, really wants to go to kids club.  Hannah really wants him to go to kids club (she is looking forward to kids club the most out of everything on the entire cruise), and I really want him to go. You know what they say, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

Also, there won’t be any posts whilst I’m away, except the guest post on Thursday that is set to auto post for me, since the only internet available is ridiculously expensive.

BON VOYAGE!  I’ll post lots of pictures when I get back :) YAY I’M SO EXCITED!

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Copyright 2014 Sheri Thomson

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The unobservant biker

7 May

As soon as I turn onto the residential street that connects to my dead end road, I slow the car down.  The road isn’t marked with lines, and is fairly narrow, plus kids could be at play, or animals could be running across the street. Going the speed limit here doesn’t seem safe.  As I turn the final corner onto my street, I see a teenager on a bicycle riding towards me, on the left hand side of the road, going the wrong way in my unmarked lane.  I can’t see his face because his head is down, looking at something that is not the road in front of him.  Slowing the car down even more, we drive towards the centre of the road to avoid the wayward cyclist.

UrbMatinpost

He still hasn’t seen me.  He isn’t looking where he is going at all.  Is he texting?  One hand is on his handle bars, but the other is in front and below him, holding a phone.  He is veering towards the centre of the road, so I stop the car completely.

My mind is racing.  Should I honk?  What if that startles him so much he falls off.  If he breaks his phone, he might get violet.  kids can be crazy these days.  No, surely he’ll look up soon, he has to check where he’s going.  He’ll look up before he hits me.

He’s still riding straight towards the car.  Everything seems to be in slow motion but I’m frozen inside the car, unable to decide whether or not I should honk.  The thought that he has to look up before hitting the car is winning the honking battle, but he’s still coming closer and closer, not once looking up.

My hand migrates towards the centre of the steering wheel.  He’s seconds away from hitting the car.  I’m about to honk and scare the daylights out of him when finally, he looks up.  He is so close that I can clearly see the panicked look on his face as he instinctively swerves away from the car, narrowly missing a head on collision.

And that, people, is why you don’t text and ride.

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There’s pee on the floor

24 Apr

“Choo Choo!!!!”  I say as excitedly as I can possibly force myself to whilst moving my arms around my sides like that straight thing that goes across old train wheels to make them go all at the same time.  “It’s potty train time.”

“I DON’T WANT TO!”  Daniel yelled.

This is Daniel's <a href=

I try numerous tactics to make going potty (and getting to the potty) fun:  potty train, bug potty (he really likes bugs), bribery, etc. but none of them work.  Instead, Daniel prefers to wear no underpants  or nappy and then pees on the floor.  Or the bed, or lounge, wherever he is at the time, really.

Finally I am able to coax him into wearing undies after I buy a pack of way overly priced Thomas the Tank Engine underwear. They do nothing to get him to sit on the potty though.  He still pees where he stands and then walks around with wet undies without a care in the world.

I can see that he knows exactly when he needs to pee.  He stood in the bath one day, looked at his penis, and then watched as he soiled the bathwater.  After that, I notice the he often stops and looks at his crotch region, even though it is now covered in Thomas underpants, before peeing all over the floor quickly followed by walking away as if nothing happened.  He is just being stubborn and won’t sit on the potty.

Time is running out, so I lay down my nice-y nice-y tactics and go for something I know he will respond to: threats and bribery.

“Potty time,” I tell him cheerfully.

“NO, I DON’T WANT TO, ” he yells stubbornly.

“Well, you can either sit on the potty, or go in time out, your choice.”

He stands there for a couple seconds deciding his best course of action, before happily stating that he’ll sit on the the potty like it was his idea in the first place.  He runs to the bathroom with a smile on his face and sits on his little potty with glee.  Why didn’t I think of this before?

He sits there while I read him an entire Thomas book, but nothing happens.  We repeat the process every hour.  I know that as soon as he pees in the potty once, he will get it, so I wait patiently, reading the same 10 or so Thomas books over and over again for days. He’s finally happy about sitting on the potty, and I’m happy because that is progress.

One day, Daniel runs to the bathroom, opens the door by himself, and then stays in there for a while.  At first, I think he’s going potty, but he comes out saying nothing, so I say nothing too.  He must have been playing with his bath toys.

UrbMatinpost

“Come on buddy, time to sit on the potty.” I tell him a few minutes  later.  We get in the bathroom and I open the lid on his little potty.  “There’s pee in there!” I exclaim.  “You did a pee in there all by yourself!”  That’s when I notice that his dark blue undies are wet at the front.  The wet patch blends in so well with the dry that it’s hardly noticeable.

“Yeah, I did.” He said, as if it were nothing.

So what that he forgot to pull his undies down, he actually peed on the potty!

I make a big fuss and give him a lollipop which he is delighted about. Plus, I’m right, it only takes one pee in the potty and from then on, he consistently pees in there.

It’s so nice not having to clean pee off everything all day.

Poo is another story.  He has no problems pooping in his undies and then walking around in it as if it’s not sticking to his butt and smelling disgusting.

He still likes running around with no undies on sometimes, which sometimes equates to pooping on the floor.  Usually he waits until we go out to poop because he is wearing a nappy.  It’s kind of a running joke with the creche ladies at church.  Every time he is in there he poops.  They only have to come out and look at me and I know they want me to come change his nappy.

We only have 18 days left.  18 days to somehow get Daniel to poop in the potty.  18 more days, other wise he can’t go in the kids club on the cruise the kids and I are going on with a pregnant Aunty Jess.  18 more days or he’ll either have to tag along  with Jess and I all the time on the boat (which means Hannah probably would too), or I’ll have to pay for a baby sitter, which wouldn’t be nearly as fun as kids club.  They won’t be in kids club all day everyday, just for a few hours each day.  It’s fun for them, they love stuff like that, plus Jess and I can relax without worrying about kids falling overboard, in the pool, or running off with strangers.

18 days.  Fingers are crossed.  Bribes are being upped.

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Daylight savings (is my nemesis)

19 Apr

I’ve been really tired recently.  Partly because of the intensive three day chemistry workshop I had to go to since I take introductory chemistry externally.  We external students still have to do lab work, so the best way for us to do so is to cram all 6 labs that the internal students take over an entire semester into just 3 days over the mid semester break.

Each morning, was spent getting myself and the kids ready, eating breakfast, and then making lunches.  I dropped them off at a friend’s house for the day and then I was at uni all day.  When I got home, I made a quick dinner, washed the dishes, and then spent the rest of the evening preparing my lab book for the next days experiments before going to bed.  Preparing the lab book was really time consuming since we needed to make all sorts of tables with rulers, write experiment aims, etc.

The main reason for the tiredness though, is daylight savings time.  Whomever thought it was a good idea to turn the clocks back in autumn clearly didn’t have small children.  According to Wikipedia, one of the original purposes of daylight savings time was to reduce the use of incandescent lighting. The U.S. has only had daylight savings time since the 1970s due to the energy crisis.  In Australia, only New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, and Tasmania use daylight savings time.  The other states do not.

The first day of daylight savings was rather unfortunate.  Both kids had been sick, one with croup, the other with bronchitis.  Despite going to bed late, one of them woke up coughing at 4am, which of course woke the other one, followed by Aaron and me.  The second day was pretty much the same.

UrbMatinpost

The next couple of days they slept until 6 (their usual wake up time), probably because they were so tired from all their 4am starts.  I was so excited at the prospect of them sleeping until 6am again, adjusting to daylight savings time.

Except they didn’t.  It’s been what, 2 weeks now since daylight savings started?  Something like that.  Every morning they wake up at 5.  FIVE a.m.  Their body clocks are so tuned to what used to be 6am that no matter what time they go to bed, that is when they wake up.  Except that now 6am is 5am.

“Mommy, I want my light on.” I heard Daniel yell this morning at 5.

I ignored him.  He’s been yelling different things at 5 for about a week.  One morning he wanted a bandaid on his foot.  Another he wanted to go sit on Grandma’s bed (Grandma’s bed isn’t even in this house).  Sometimes he wants to get out of his room.  It’s always something though.

He kept yelling “Mommy, I want my light on!”

We kept ignoring it, hoping he’d give up and lay back down and go to sleep.  Plus we didn’t want to give in to demands from a 2 year old at 5am every morning. You know what happens, you give in once and then it becomes the new normal.

The cheeky 5am waker

The cheeky 5am waker (he gets contact dermatitis from slobber and food, which is why he has a rash around his mouth)

A couple minutes later, all was quiet.  I closed my eyes and tried to go back to sleep.

Click.  We heard the distinct noise of a light being switched on and saw a faint glow of yellow through our open bedroom door.

Little footsteps came closer and closer to our room then suddenly stopped.

Click.  Daniel giggled after he turned our light on and then climbed into our bed, clearly very proud of himself, and jumped on Aaron as soon as he got up.

Daylight savings – I hate you.  Actually it was the end of daylight savings time, but whatever, it still sucks.

P.S. Click here to check out this interview I did on Media Shower.

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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And we’re back

8 Apr

Toy trains and wooden tracks were strewn about on the living room floor. The couch cushions we stacked precariously to make a little cubby house, or as Daniel likes to call it, a “bug house.” A big plastic truck sat in the middle of the hallway. Daniel’s pants were laying on the playroom floor (he likes to take them off). Dishes were piled on the kitchen bench. I only do them once per day, and I hadn’t and that time hadn’t come yet. Crumbs covered parts of the dining table because I didn’t have time to wipe them up before taking Hannah to school.

Daniel in his "bug house." Rosie loves bug houses too.

Daniel in his “bug house.” Rosie loves bug houses too.

At least I was dressed properly when the Telstra guy unexpectedly knocked on my door today though.  Not like the time the mailman knocked on the door when I was brushing my teeth and only wearing a towel. TPG did say that someone would come today, but then we called Optus, and requested to switch carriers. I assumed the Telstra guy wouldn’t come. Even if he did, I didn’t expect him to come inside.  How embarrassing.  Normally it wouldn’t be so bad, but Daniel has bronchitis and wasn’t at daycare today. Or yesterday.  He only goes two days a week.  I let him watch movies all day and even put the train stuff in the living room.  I normally don’t let them bring toys in there.  That’s what the play room (a.k.a. the dining room) is for.

Today was his second day at home all day, and he was feeling much better.  Yesterday he sat on the couch pretty much all day feeling pretty miserable and coughing lots, but today he was jumping around, dumping out toy buckets, making messes, and getting stir crazy in general.  I couldn’t play with him very much though because I have to keep up with my uni work.  The two days that he normally goes to daycare, I do my university stuff.  If I don’t, I’ll fall behind, and there’s no way I’ll be able to catch up.  Not with chemistry.

Needless to say, it was kind of embarrassing letting someone in the house when we were sitting on the couch watching a movie in the middle of the morning (I was watching my lecture on my computer. Daniel was watching a movie as he jumped on the couch and spread trains all over the floor) while the house is a bomb.  Oh well, we have internet now, so I don’t care.

UrbMatinpost

If you enjoyed reading this, please vote for my blog. All you have to do is click the link below. That’s it… Clicking the link brings you to the Top Mommy Blogs home page. You don’t have to do anything else. Any clicks from my site to theirs is a vote.  THANKS!
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Copyright 2014 Sheri Thomson

The Best Mom Blogs

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