#877 Shopping with my girl no.8

It is so true that forcing yourself to get out and about when you’re not up for it, can really do wonders for you.

And having a convincing baby girl on board to coax you along, helps too.

As a parent, it’s really hard to say no when your kids are so damn cute and clever.

So, feeling under the weather, light-headed and all spaced out, we headed over to Southland today, amidst headache, crankiness, and cramps…

ALL MINE.

It was great though. After our argument within 10 minutes of being there. We got the shouting out of the way (what will happen to me when she is 14, and not 4?!?!) and then proceeded to actually have, the best day.

Spending money is a really great way to feel better. I know I’ve said this before, but it is so true. We made use of our time, eating and cafe-ing our way throughout the centre, and getting a few bits and pieces along the way too.

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She got a couple of books that she loves, from discovering them at kinder/the library; I got a book on handling fear, something I desperately need as the necessity to share more of my writings and work grows, and with it the inevitable audience which quite frankly SCARES THE SHIT OUT OF ME; some Lego, and a dress for her; and for me/us, a Queen album.

But none of that quite compares to the highlight of our shopping day, which cost absolutely nothing, and gave both baby girl and I insurmountable laughs and joy. Because as we were lunching, I somehow decided to open up my messenger app and show her the filters you could place over our selfie portraits.

What a can of worms… and a fun one at that! We went through filter upon filter, checking them out, watching our faces and features change and distort upon the application, and we roared and shrieked with laughter. We had our lunches half-eaten in front of us, and here we were in a room full of people, cacking up like we were the only ones in it.

It was, absolutely the best. And well, that kind of ruins my earlier hypothesis…

Because it was FREE.

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#813 The ‘I-didn’t-have-to-buy-anything-at-Kmart’ moment…

But then I did. Because, Kmart.

I honestly hadn’t even thought of the store during my tranquil kid-free stroll around Bayside this morning (fist pump kindergarten days!)

But then I walked past it. And as all Kmart devotees and aficionados know, BIG MISTAKE.

I had been after some little knick-knacks, and having not found them elsewhere in the centre, thought to myself “maybe Kmart will have them. I’ll just check…”

Well Kmart didn’t have exactly what I had gone in there for, and yet I still walked out with 3 items.

3! You might think that is not bad, but let’s think through this one all together…

I went in there to find one thing…

I didn’t find that one thing…

And instead I bought 3 other things! That is the power of Kmart!

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Anti-clockwise from bottom… Firstly my Kayla book. I wasn’t even looking for a book, I swear I wasn’t. But my eyes moved to a shelf of health and fitness books as I merely walked past the aisle, and I swear, this Kayla one practically jumped out at me, that’s how much it grabbed my attention whilst in stride.

I had to take a peek at the price, purely out of curiosity. What? Was that right?

$19? It had been $35 at a ‘proper’ bookstore that I had been in only weeks ago!

Well, I NEVER. I hadn’t had intentions to buy that one just as yet, as weeks ago I had bought another health and fitness book, but now I couldn’t let the prime opportunity of bargain-book real estate pass me by. I had to buy it at practically half-price, NOW.

Second, the dusting wand. Simply put, this thing looks so good I actually WANT to clean. The cleaning pad comes off the Velcro base, making it totally machine-washable and super-easy, and then of course there is the added bonus of the $3 price tag.

$3? Are you even kidding me? Not buying it would be stupid. I didn’t wanna be stupid. I wanted to buy the $3 thing that was so pretty to clean the house in, I probably would be reluctant to clean the house with it.

And lastly, the basket. Oh, how the search for this holed basket has given me grief. You’d think it was easy to find a basket with holes on the base, because the sole purpose is for all of baby girl’s bath toys – I want them to drip out through the bottom making for easier drying (and cleaning afterwards), but all the baskets I could find for this kind of thing had solid bases on them – not ideal for wet environments, ew.

Again – do you know how hard it is to find a holed basket? One that doesn’t look like you have placed a peg container/colander/fruit bowl in the corner of your bathroom? Nothing was appropriate or even looked right… and then by chance I happened to go through a homewares aisle of Kmart, and lo and behold…

THE HOLED BASKET.

3 things. 3 simple things that have wowed me and made my life immediately better/more convenient/inspirational.

All hail Kmart.

 

 

 

#794 Family Reading

When baby girl first brought me the book while we were out at the library, and we were waiting for our regular cappuccino and babycino order (with smiley face bikkie) I didn’t think much. She would often browse the shelves and grab any book, judging it PURELY by its cover.

She brought the large hardcover and placed it on the table, smiling. The book was facing her, therefore upside down to me. It wasn’t a book I recognised at all, and I thought to myself, just another to add to the ‘borrowing’ collection. As she opened the first page casually, she said slowly

“That’s Not Mine.”

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I balked. Even from my upside down position of the book, I could see that the title indeed, was that: That’s (Not) Mine. I paused, thoughts flying through my head as I tried to process it all.

Baby girl was 4.

Did she know how to read?

Had she somehow taught herself?

Was she a genius with an extraordinary IQ?

Did I have to start looking up specialist schools from now?

And then, just as quickly, a reasonable thought crossed my mind.

“Honey, do you have this book at kinder?”

“Yes,” she replied still smiling, turning another page.

She then proceeded to read the book to me. Page by page. Sure not every word was exact, and she was going off memory. But I could see she was roughly repeating the story as it was told, and was so happy to share this story, this very simple and funny story about sharing, with me.

It was a joy to watch. Needless to say, we took the book home that day.

We have had it at her bedside ever since. Every night we read it.Β When the return date was up, she refused to let me take it back, so I had to renew it: I fear I need to find a copy of the book and purchase it before my repeated renewals expire, or else she will go into a frenzy.

It is the simplest premise, and yet so fun and silly for a child to read, hell even parents to read. And she has wanted it read to her, EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

Or should I say, she wants US to read it with her. What started out as the both of us sharing the two main roles of the book and acting them out, has since progressed to Hubbie listening in, and offering the last and third viewpoint of the book that comes in right at the end.

Without even meaning to, without even planning, or realising what was happening, we have created our own little family tradition.

I realised it tonight as baby girl and I headed into her room. I got into bed with her, and she picked two books, the same two-book combo she has been picking for over a week now: That’s (Not) Mine, and The Very Sleepy Bear. Tonight, knowing that Hubbie wouldn’t be able to join us immediately, I told her we would read the latter first, before moving onto her pride and joy book last.

And so it was…

Baby girl: “Mine!”

Me: “Mine!”

Baby girl: “Mine!”

Me: “Mine!”

Baby girl: “Mine!”

Me: “Mine!”

Baby girl: “Get off, it’s mine!”

Me: “Go away, it’s mine!”

BOTH: “IT’S MINE!”

Baby girl: (“Crash!”)

“I’m sorry.”

Me: “I’m sorry too.”

Baby girl: “Wanna go play?”

Me: “Yeah!”

Hubbie: “… mine!”

β™₯β™₯β™₯

#765 Reading break

I think I can say properly now, that I can really appreciate Winter. Sure, it’s not here just yet, but with the cooler weather slowly creeping towards us, some days are getting not-so-pleasant to spend outdoors.

Like today.

I did some odd jobs after kinder drop-off, toyed with some writing stuff at home, and then went…

“Hmm. That couch sure looks inviting.”

The background to the couch showed it was grey and cold outside through the window, so I took a book, covered myself in the couch throw, and began to u-n-w-i-n-d.

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It was great. Amazing. I felt a little guilty that I wasn’t actively doing something. But I have to repeatedly remind myself that when I am reading, it is in fact, research, and learning, not just enjoyment.

And when the days are cold and miserable, the act of reading becomes less selfish, and more, therapeutic. Like all the things we put off in Summer because we should be getting out and about and living life to the full, the presence of Winter reminds us that we, like the bears that hibernate, also need to take pointed time out, to replenish our bodies and minds.

And having a new working heater makes going into Winter a bit easier too.

Reading wasn’t the only thing I indulged in today, as after my ‘couch time’ I accidentally discovered Dawson’s Creek re-runs on TV…

No. Not Dawson’s Creek. All my productivity is now SHOT.

But that’s another post, for another day… πŸ™‚

 

#757 Reading books at bedtime

A small realisation today. Because quite often you don’t realise you have succeeded in a vision you used to have a while ago, long after it has come true, and you are actually living it.

I have always loved books, to read, and to write, and I knew that I would make sure books and reading were a big part of baby girl’s early life… I couldn’t control what she did later on, but I wanted to expose her to as much fun, imagination, creativity and wonder that I knew books could bring to her, as I could in this still early stage of parenthood.

And so tonight, as I finished her second book of the night at bedtime, and she then said to me “one more book?” at first I said no.

1, it was getting late and she had an early start for kinder tomorrow.

2, she had had a BIG day.

And 3, well she was stalling – plain and simple.

But, I succumbed, as I always do, because I too, love books. She shuffled onto my lap as I started to read ‘Good Night, Sleep Tight,’ by the Australian children’s writer Mem Fox. We turned page by page, and I sang the rhymes with gusto and enthusiasm, maybe a bit too much for bedtime!… and it was in this moment, I had a pull-back.

I was able to see with clarity, almost in an out-of-body experience, that this is what I had always wanted. The reading to my child at bedtime. The interaction. The fun. The genuine willingness of my child for me to read to them, again and again and again.

The LOVE.

So when I finished that book and got out of her bed, and she asked “one more book?”

With all of the above in mind… I had to read one more πŸ™‚

 

#747 Library sessions no. 3

I was in a cranky-pants kind of mood this afternoon, which meant getting out of the house was absolutely necessary.

Baby girl came to me about half hour after finishing her lunch, proclaiming she was still hungry. Rubbing her tummy at me, in that low, testing, needy tone of voice, saying that tiny teddies would apparently do the job.

But little did she know I also needed a fix. So I raised her.

“Why don’t we go to the library, get some books for you, and have a babycino?”

PAUSE from her. “And biscuit?!”

I nodded. Really, my underlying meaning was also ‘get a coffee and sugar fix for Mum too.’

A little while later, and we were much more relaxed.

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I found an interesting book on writing children’s books in my favourite aisle, and ended up borrowing it, because hey, I may just be able to finish one chapter of it now, what with baby girl at kinder 3 times a week.

I particularly thought one part was brilliant. The part on why you should write a children’s book included common reasons why you should not go into it, one of which was wanting to write an adult bestseller but thinking that a children’s book was an easier option to start with.

No?! Apparently that was wrong. I almost closed the book there, because that was HALF of my reason for going into this line of query.

But then I stopped. Thought. Kept reading.

A children’s book is harder to write, you say….

Challenge accepted.

MWA HA HA.

#738 Bedtime reading/singing

It’s going to be a mild night. We lay stretched out on her bed, our legs pushing back the blue sheets that will be even too much for a night like tonight.

She rests her head on my shoulder. The battery-operated ballerina lamp glows nearby.

“10 little ducks went out one day

Over the hill and far away

Mother Duck said ‘Quack Quack Quack Quack’

And only 9 little ducks came back.”

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We do this page by page, and she sings along with me, emphasising the ‘one day,’ ‘far away’ ALL the ‘Quack’s, and bops along to the sing-song-y tune.

I then have an idea. All we do is read at night in her bed as she is winding down for sleepy-time. But she has been singing a song ever since coming home from a kinder class the other day, so I put the books aside and face her.

“GALUMPH! went the little green frog one day, GALUMPH! went the little green frog!”

And so the song goes. For those that need a refresher or don’t know what the hell I’m getting all delusional about:

Is it GALUMPH? GARUMPH? PATOOF? Maybe even just WOOF, hell it’s a kids song, so anything goes.

But the slow build-up of the frog bouncing, the fun actions, leading to the jazzy “la di da di da” bit, makes the song so much fun to sing and dance to in its absolute entirety.

Even more so when you have a very cute 4 year old beside you, singing the song with absolute delight and gusto πŸ™‚