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Archive for the ‘Clever kids’ Category

I am super proud of these busy garden scenes the girls and I just spent an hour making:

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I love them because the girls did most of it on their own.

I love them because they look great!

I love them because, despite only having six hours sleep last night, I managed to be totally cool and let the girls take the original idea (a garden) and do what they wanted with it, instead of getting all uptight and perfectionist about it.

I love them because it was relaxing time spent with the girls when we weren’t rushing from place to place.

I love that Molly had a go at writing her name:

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This is the first craft thing we have done in yonks, and it was a good reminder of how enjoyable it can be when I just go with it. With Tiernan at school now, it has been tricky trying to work out what to do with the girls in the small amounts if down time we do have, because I’ve been worried about Tiernan feeling like he’s missing out. It’s a bit silly, I know: he has done plenty of things the girls haven’t, over the years, simply because he is older. But still, it seems wise not to make days at home with Mum sound too exciting, especially while he’s having trouble settling.

Craft seems like a happy medium for now, until Tiernan is secure enough for us to do a few more special things without him.

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I found this idea here, and decided to steal it. It’s a set of interview questions asked to a child on a yearly basis, just to gain a sneak peak into their ever-expanding minds. I already write updates on each of my children about every three months (although I skipped the last lot due to not being able to find suffiicient time…) However, I like that this format allows me to include their exact ideas on things in their exact words.

I was going to interview Molly and Tiernan separately, to avoid them being influenced by each other in their responses, but it ended up being a three-way interview as they were so keen. Afterwards, Tiernan asked me some questions, too.

Me: What is your favourite food?

Tiernan: Crunchy carrot. Not soft carrot, crunchy carrot.

Molly: Tiny Teddies.

Me: What’s a food you don’t like?

Tiernan: It’s another type of carrot. Soft carrot.

Molly: Um, broccoli.

Me: Who is the coolest person on earth?

Tiernan: Ben 10.

Molly: Not coolest. Prettiest.

Me: Girls can like cool things, too. I like cool things.

Molly: No, prettiest.

Me: Okay, who is the prettiest person on earth?

Molly: Barbie. (Me: Inner groan).

Me: When you grow up what do you want to be?

Molly: An Olympic swimmer.

Tiernan: Ben 10, and fight aliens and get a watch.

Me: What is your favourite colour?

Molly: Pink and purple.

Tiernan: Blue and black. And white. (Even though he told me minutes before that white is not a very good colour because it isn’t very colourful).

Me: What is your favourite song?

Molly: Dora, Dora, Dora the Explorer.

Tiernan: Songs with boy singers.

Me: What do you like to do outside?

Tiernan: Play on the monkey bars.

Molly: Jumping on the trampoline.

Me: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Tiernan: To Space.

Molly: To the snow.

Me: When you were little, what did you used to do?

Tiernan: I played with my rattle. If I had one. (He didn’t).

Molly: Did I have a rattle?

Me: No.

Molly: Oh. I loved to sleep cos I was nice and cosy.

Me: Who is your best friend?

Molly: Penny and Alice.

Tiernan: Jack and Harry, who I don’t see much anymore. (Harry that is).

Me: What is your favourite snack?

Molly: Alien Paws. (These are real things, she’s not making it up. Rice crackers in the shape of alien paws).

Tiernan: Muesli bars.

Me: What is your favourite movie?

Molly: The Bee Movie.

Tiernan: Pirates of the Caravan. (LOL!! He means Caribbean. By the way, he has only seen the TV edit they put on sometimes at 6:30pm for kids, which skips the more graphic scenes. Much to his frustration,  I won’t let him watch the one we have on DVD in our cabinet. Another of his favourite movies is ‘Comfy Panda’ (Kung Fu Panda), which he didn’t mention but it’s another one I love to hear him mispronounce!)

Me: Tiernan, what’s your favourite thing to do with Molly?

Tiernan: When I’m bigger, doing handstands. (Okaaay? What about now? He wouldn’t elaborate).

Me: Molly, what’s your favourite thing to do with Tiernan?

Molly: Sharing.

Me: What’s your favourite thing to do with Neave?

Tiernan: I like to lift her up.

Molly: Playing with dolls.

Me: What’s your favourite thing to do with Daddy?

Tiernan: When he lifts me up, and when he chases me around. And also when he shared lollies with me on Father’s Day.

Molly: When he tickles me.

Me: What’s your favourite thing to do with Mummy?

Molly: Cuggling.

Tiernan: When we do craft.

Me: What’s a book that you love?

Molly: Dora. And The Gruffalo.

Tiernan: My favourite colouring book is Ben 10. I like The Gruffalo, too. (Neave’s favourite book is also The Gruffalo. Our copy is so well-read that it’s falling apart!)

Me: What’s your favourite sport?

Molly: Dancing.

Tiernan: Running and jumping.

Me: What’s your favourite thing to wear?

Tiernan: Pirate dress-ups.

Molly: My pretty, pretty dresses.

Me: If you had one wish, what would it be?

Molly: Fairies could come alive and give lots of toys to us.

Tiernan: A Ben 10 toy that is Armodrillo. I will tell you some questions now, Mum.

Me: Okay.

Tiernan: Who is your favourite character?

Me: Hmm, I like Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore, Bilbo Baggins and Elizabeth Bennet, to name a few.

Tiernan: Who are those people? What is your favourite food?

Me: Chocolate.

Tiernan: What is your favourite sign language?

Me: Um, that’s a tricky one. I like them all. Signing is fun. (All said while signing. I like showing off. Well okay, I don’t know the word ‘tricky’ yet).

Tiernan: What’s your favourite thing about glasses?

Me: I don’t have a favourite thing about glasses… except sunglasses, I like that they keep the Sun out of my eyes.

Tiernan: What’s your favourite thing about teeth?

Me: Teeth? I like that they chew up our food for us so we can swallow it.

Tiernan: What’s your favourite thing about smiling?

Me: You’re asking great questions, Tiernan. Um, my favourite thing about smiling is that you can tell people you are happy by smiling, and you can also tell them with your smile that you would like to be friends. What’s your favourite thing about smiling?

Tiernan: I like when people smile because you think they really like you and want to play with you. That’s all the questions I’m going to tell you now. You can think of some of your other favourite things.

Some say it with kisses and hugs.

Some say it with flowers and hearts.

Tiernan says it with Duplo sculptures.

This ‘I love you’ was placed on my bedside table (Tom got one too), where they are supposed to remain indefinitely. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Aww, sweet.

I haven’t done anything creative with the kids since… Christmas. I think it’s because I overdosed in the Christmas lead-up and afterwards the limited interest I have in crafty projects with the kids diminished completely. It’s not that I don’t like craft. I’m pretty crafty myself, when the mood takes me. But I’m also a control freak and don’t like relinquishing power to the messy ones. Because they are messy. They don’t care whether all of the paint ends up in one tub, or all of the tiny little googly eyes end up scattered all over the floor, or whether the things we end up making even remotely resemble the things we actually set out to make. They don’t care one little bit. I try not to, but I do. I really do.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling guilty about not having much time to sit and do things with the kids lately. Or, more to the point, that sometimes I do have time, but I choose to spend it checking Facebook or my email instead. So today we did craft. It was inspired by the craft that was offered at playgroup – they blew up balloons and stuck stuff to them to make animals. I thought, “Sure, we have balloons, we have crepe paper, we have googly eyes – we can make octopuses!”

But Tiernan had different ideas. He wanted to make a bee. And because Tiernan wanted to make a bee, Molly, who had been excitedly describing to me the octopus she was going to make, changed her mind mid-sentence and also declared she was making a bee. So they made bees. I didn’t really give them much guidance about how to make their balloons bee-like, I just helped them with the steps they wanted help with. Here is what they came up with:

Beeeeeeeeeeeeees!

Some pretty cute bees, I reckon. I love the cheeks most of all.

I learnt some lessons in this: craft can more fun when I’m not trying to control everything – since there was no plan to follow, I didn’t have to stress when the plan didn’t go to plan; I also learnt that these two are pretty good at using the tape and the glue (which is no thanks to me – they must have picked it up at preschool and daycare), so I should give them more credit, and more freedom to explore, in future.

Did we end up with permanent marker on the table? Yes. Does it really matter? No. The kids had fun, and for a change, I did too.

More drawing, inspired by Crappy Pictures.

I come from a family of singers. My Mum’s a singer. My sister’s a singer. I’m a singer. Not in a professional sense. Or even in a strictly melodic sense. I just mean that we are liable to burst into song at any given moment… to us, there is a song for every situation or circumstance: happy, sad, stressful, embarrassing – there is always a song that can sum the moment up perfectly. Unfortunately, not everyone appreciates our musicality, so it’s something we usually reserve for at home, or in each others’ company.

So, imagine my delight when Tiernan spontaniously burst into the perfect song recently:

Anyone who lets their kids watch a little too much ABC2 (like I do), will have seen Justine Clarke’s song Why does the baby cry? It’s beautiful.

I’ve never been more proud of Tiernan. He’s one of us!

I found this post in my drafts. It was written back in March, but for some reason I didn’t publish it. So here goes.

Every now and then, Tiernan wishes for a better life.

“Oh, I wish I could be a TV!”

“Why, Tiernan?”

“Because then I could be black. And big.”

 

“I wish I was a toilet. Because then everyone would sit on me, and I like being sitted on.”

 

“I wish I was a road. I want to get steam-rollered.”

 

“I wish I was a door. Then you could slam me.”

 

“I wish I was small. Then I could go inside my body and look at my skeleton.”

 

He’s a funny guy.

We spent the weekend down at my Mum’s house. It was lovely to get away. I needed a little holiday. I needed a little holiday from thinking about and planning and cleaning our house for our big holiday next week. We’re doing a house swap, which is completely brilliant, but it means I have to clean, doh! So yeah, I needed a holiday from that.

Driving home was a nightmare. The trip is only supposed to be a little over two hours, but we had to stop four times in the first hour. First Tiernan needed to wee. Then we needed fuel. Then Tiernan said he needed to poo. But he was only joking. Then Tiernan dropped his teddy, but we didn’t stop because we were sick of him. Then he said he needed to poo again, and we fell for it again…

I wasn’t in a good mood after all this, but at least it confirmed for me that taking the kids on the plane to Queensland is absolutely the right thing to do. It will be messy – I will be on my own because Tom is driving the car up and meeting us there. But at least it will be over quickly.

So, when things finally settled down, and we actually got to do some uninterrupted kilometres, we realised we were all getting hungry. We made one more stop at a drive-thru. And then the car gymnastics began. How to get food to the child in the back row? We recently bought a 7-seater, and Tiernan sits right up the back. I wanted to avoid stopping anymore, because Neave was finally asleep after the previous nightmare stoppages, and I was loathe to wake her again and have her scream the rest of the way home. So, we had to get food to Tiernan while on the move. 

Passing the food to Molly for her to relay on to Tiernan didn’t work – on her first attempt she tipped the food all over herself, and on her second attempt we realised her arms were far too short anyway. But bless her for trying!

So, I leaned back as far as I could (trying not to bop Neave on the head) and, after securing the box as well as I could, tossed Tiernan’s dinner over the middle row, and into his waiting hands. It could have been rather messy – as I prepared to throw, I was picturing chips and nuggets showering down onto Neave’s sleeping figure, but it worked. A classic catch!

Feeling pleased with myself, I concentrated on my own dinner. Then I heard, “Mum, I’m thirsty.”

Our next routine involved trying to get Tiernan’s water bottle from the third row into the front. I wouldn’t let him throw it, even though he desperately wanted to follow my bad example. We tried going via Molly again, but her arms hadn’t grown any since last time. Instead, Tiernan managed to (lightly) drop the bottle onto Neave’s seat, where I was able to grasp it with my fingertips. I tipped some water into it, and threw it back to him.

It got him on the head this time, and dropped down onto the floor. Bugger.

“Oh, Mum!”

“Sorry Tiernan, you’ll just have to wait til we get home. We’re not far now.”

“But I’m thiiiiiiirsty!”

After whining for a few minutes, Tiernan engaged in a solo routine of his own devising. He picked the bottle up with his toes and manage to creep it up the back of the seat in front of him, until he could reach it with his hands.

“Got it!”

Did I mention I used to be a gymnast? Maybe I should enrol Tiernan soon…