#423 Playing alongside plaques

Today was a gorgeous day. After visiting Hubbie at work for lunch, I promised baby girl a park visit. She made sure I stayed on track, that I didn’t detour anywhere else, and that our path led straight to one of our favourite parks in Mornington, aptly named Mornington Park.

The park is vast, there is a huge pirate ship contraption which ideally looks out at the sea beyond it, true to its theme; there are rides and playground activities aplenty; a huge field to play sport and kick ball on; public toilets; many barbeque facilities; and just as many places to feast and relax upon. It is a truly playful, yet serene place to be.

And as we got onto the grounds, walking in the brilliant Autumn sunshine, baby girl happened across a circular brick setting holding a kind of flagpole, and in true toddler style just had to jump up onto it. Placed around the circular bricks were various plaques showcasing some of the town’s prominent people, dates and events, and as baby girl ran around the flagpole, mucking about, I read.

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I just love the fact of being in such an idyllic and historic town where so much has happened before us, so many momentous occasions and historic events, and now we, were also going to be part of its long-standing history.

I also hope, in an idyllic and wonderfully momentous and historic way.

And then, playing on the grounds we went…

 

#396 Bonding with the ‘Godfather’

Ooooh, scary huh. Just the way the words ‘Godfather’ seem to evoke images of a suited figure arising from the shadows, with his posse of dark assistants ready to ‘take care’ of your ‘requests.’

Nothing of the sort. Because we spent the most happy and leisurely of Sundays in our Godfather’s back yard, celebrating his sons 7th birthday party.

Although the entire sunny day was supreme in every way – in the way of hospitality, company, and just all-round good vibes and conversation, our Godfather took the time to repeatedly play and interact with baby girl, despite all the other guests he could have spent time with.

He kicked the footy around with her, letting her catch and throw it when her excited shrieks grew constant; he chased her around the fruit trees, in a kind of rugby-type game where she ran almost deliriously with the ball, just missing the important touchdown!; and he took her into the vegie patch, and gave her a ripe cucumber to take home, fresh and healthy from a home-made garden.

It was really beautiful to see, and more so when I saw the ease and relaxed nature with which he did it – he wasn’t rushing through the motions, or looking over his shoulder to look for a distraction to leave the scene. He played with all his heart, happily and repeatedly, with all the kids there, and I know from the beaming smile on her face, baby girl had a ball.

Baby girl had a ball, bonding with her Godfather 🙂

#370 50 + 1 Play School years

It’s definitely a milestone. Growing up in this fair country of ours, if you are about 60 and under, you most likely grew up watching this show. And if you are anywhere near the 70 and above mark, well then you probably watched it alongside your kids.

It’s a pretty sweet deal, when your child ends up watching what you did growing up.

And even better, when she gets to see it LIVE, on stage.

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I am such a sap. Today at the local theatre, I got all teary-eyed as Teo and Emma jumped onto the stage to greet the kids watching with wide eyes below… and baby girl was ecstatic, almost couldn’t contain her wild energy, as she crazily waved back at them.

I can’t be the only Mum who gets emotional at these things… am I?

Maybe it’s because I’m a deep thinker. Maybe it’s because I want to bring as much childish, innocent and joyful times to her life as I can. Maybe it’s because as time goes on, some things stay the same.

Like the staying power of Play School in young children’s lives.

And that in itself is a wondrous and amazing thing, that amidst a world of new technologies, changing lifestyles, and the fast fast fast, busy busy busy pace of life, that children can play, jump, clap and take great joy in song and dance, all while learning about life, and everything around them in it.

Play School celebrated 50 years on our screens last year. And live shows such as the one I saw today, along with their constant on-air presence, inspired to teach and help children have fun, well, I think it will be around for 50+ more.

From baby girl, Big Ted, Humpty and I – cheers Play School.

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#363 Play-doh

You end up doing ALL kinds of things when you are a parent, and participating in ALL kinds of activities to amuse the little ones.

Often you do this, kind of chaperoning and looking out for them during these times, because they are still quite young and naïve, and just need a watchful eye over them as they –

draw on that a4 sized paper with red texta as they lay on your carpeted floor

OR

throw the ball wildly around in the backyard as two of your birds watch above from their cages in slight horror

OR

practice riding their new bike on and around your steep driveway.

You hang around, for their safety, for other’s safety, and also, for cleanliness.

That’s a BIG one for me.

Many of the times I hang around and make sure baby girl is in line is simply to make sure she doesn’t make more mess. Sure, she is rapt and thinks “Mum is playing with me!” And, I am. But I scold myself that I don’t live in the moment more and appreciate the time spent with her, instead watching warily to see if any mess will be made.

I just can’t handle the thought of having more stuff to clean up, when already I am the primary person who cleans up SO MUCH. It bothers me to an infuriating point, to think there is some kind of mess or disorganisation made, and to someone who already spends so much of their day doing it, to do extra when it could have been avoided…

well it just really gets my goat.

Play-doh is one such activity I have to be right there, next to her, ‘helping’ her make creations. I get all OCD and make sure she doesn’t mix up the colours so she can use them again. And then I think ‘these things are dirt cheap, I could buy more tubs at the supermarket if she blends them all into one dough-y heap!’

But then today, after promising her for half the day that we would take out her play-doh, when we did, I found myself not just getting into OCD mode, but Lego mode too.

‘Lego’ mode is when I get soooo into the Lego making, that when she deviates from the instructions and wants to make her own block creations, I get exasperated and exclaim “baby girl! why do you want me here if you don’t want to do it properly!”

So OCD, I know.

But, we had a lovely moment with our play-doh date. I lost a bit of my OCD, and though we were keeping the colours separate, we both got really into the art of making play-doh flowers, play-doh icing, play-doh fruit, and other kinds of cupcake toppers using some tools from a recent set she was given.

She loved it, and I really loved the creativity we both got into, expressing ourselves with colourful, dough. I actually lost myself in the moment, several times.

Doh! Appreciating the Doh.

 

 

 

#203 First kinder visit

In amongst hard, and long, and trying days, I think it’s really important to try and pinpoint something worthwhile, something positive, something to be grateful for amidst the madness.

I can speak like this because I have had a very trying day.

However, in taking my own advice, I’m sitting here exhausted on the couch, and thinking of what tugged at my heart strings earlier today. And it was baby girl’s response as we walked into the first kindergarten as part of our mission into choosing a school for her next year. I can’t wait until she starts kinder, only because I believe she will thrive, and she LOVES playing with kids and exploring new things. And as she cast her eye over the room, picking up random toys, a train from Thomas the Tank Engine, exclaiming in joy as she discovered the painting corner of the room, and a boy from the current 3 year old group decided to befriend her, I must admit I got a little teary.

I’m holding onto that thought, that image, as that is the only one serving me any good right now. So I’m grateful for it.

#153 Playing in tents and singing to Halo

I was pretty cranky as I washed the dishes tonight, and that’s an understatement. I don’t even know why I was cranky, and thinking of what to write for my daily gratitude gave me no inspiring or enlightening moments, making me feel helpless.

And then Hubbie started mucking around. After one of my moody outbursts, he proceeded to pretend to hide from me with baby girl eagerly following suit. They peeked at me from the other side of the kitchen bench, ducking their heads low every time I looked over. These two, cheeky, encouraging, silly smiles beaming at me.

Then they decided to run to various corners and peer at me from the laundry, around the corner, and behind the kitchen table. Each time, gasping and quickly hiding in obvious glee when I caught them.

Their joy was contagious. How could I not smile? I was thinking ‘you two are the best.’

Suddenly they disappeared. Moments later, Hubbie yelling out “Mama!” on behalf of baby girl. I followed the voice to see movement inside baby girl’s little tent under the stairs. I poked my head in and found these two bodies squished inside. Baby girl patted the floor, telling me to hop in.

With the stereo blaring my ipod from the kitchen, that’s how the above title came to fruition. Beyoncé came on and we were just singing out loud, squashed against each other, pushing the limits of this tiny tent with mine and Hubbie’s legs sticking out the front.

Hubbie: “What would someone think if they saw us like this right now?”

Me: “I think they’d think we’re having the best time.”

I love these moments.