#1439 The toy clean-out

Can you believe from the hours of 1pm to almost 6pm, with two breaks for lunch and coffee, I spent the time cleaning out and sorting baby girl’s toys?

Ashamedly, not even all of them. Today we tackled the area called the family room – it has the second ‘kid’ TV, my computer and desk where I do ALL my writing, and to the side of me, her ‘small’ play area.

Only it wasn’t so small when we started today. It had grown huge and out of control.

Baby girl was fabulous. Funnily enough, culling toys and taking everything out of boxes to reassess and work out if it needs to go in the throw, keep or donate pile, is actually a fun task for kids when you get them involved… they end up discovering a whole lot of stuff they’d forgotten about. Throughout the day baby girl ended up playing with new and re-discovered toys constantly while I kept interrupting her with “hey, focus… keep or throw?”

I kept her involved, because I like to keep her happy.

But when she goes back to school, I am going to focus on the out of reach spot in her cupboard and those A-Z drawers in her room that she isn’t as well acquainted with…

And cull it all. Mwa ha ha.

Today she was absolutely brilliant in her brutal ability to say ‘throw’ for things that honestly, I hesitated and asked “really?” about too many times that I care to admit.

And to have gotten rid of so much stuff is honestly liberating… and now, EXHAUSTING. 😴

 

 

#1426 The city trip

We easily could have had a crap day.

We had a few difficult starts that could have turned us sour.

Like the train station parking.

There wasn’t any.

As it was we couldn’t take our regular line into the city because there were replacement buses at certain stops…

And if you have ever had to take a replacement bus in, you will understand why we never ever want to take a replacement bus EVER AGAIN.

So we tried to jump on another train line.

But every car park was full.

We were on holiday time… but the rest of the world was not.

It was a Friday you see. Business hours applied.

We went to one station, couldn’t find parking, before driving up to the next one trying to get lucky.

We did this at three stations before I said “let’s just drive in.”

I remembered the car park I’d gone to with baby girl when we had our Andy show for the last school holidays.

And we just happened to take the scenic route there.

Boy did it bring back memories.

We were driving along Beach Rd in St Kilda, and I was looking at the palm trees, at the houses facing the water…

AND IT HIT ME.

I remembered going there with Hubbie way before baby girl was around, and how we’d look up at the houses and admire them saying “imagine living here by the beach? Imagine that?”

Well we didn’t live by that beach, but now we lived close to a beach.

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All of a sudden our unplanned drive in was becoming a whole lot more.

We arrived at our car parking destination about 2 hours from when we set off. All the pausing and going from one station to the next and then looking for parking had taken ages.

We could have been cranky. We could have been pissed. Instead we stepped out of the old building, so known to us, and went ‘ahhh’ as the humidity of the day hit us and we spied THAT familiar street.

Lygon street. Our old stomping ground.

Oh wow. We were walking and telling baby girl everything. “Mummy and Daddy used to come here all the time… we used to go there… then we would go there… we’ve been there… look that’s changed!”

It was amazing as all the feelings came flooding back. It was a place that at one time in our life we frequented like twice a week… then it changed to once. LOL. We went there so much the trip there was permanently engrained in our minds. The twists and turns of the street, the best parking spots, and who did the best pasta and steak.

(Not necessarily from the pricey side, and if you know Lygon street you know which side of the street that is 😉 )

We stopped to eat lunch at a place we had before, and looking up and down at the greenery on either side of us, I grew misty-eyed.

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I had a revelation.

I even said it aloud: “I could see myself living here.”

Hubbe was shocked. It was a big thing for me to say that. Me, SmikG, so rapt with the beachside that I couldn’t imagine anywhere else.

I clarified… “I love where we live… but one day, maybe in 20 years, I could imagine living here.”

The memories. Oh the MEMORIES! Even sitting at that table, I was reminded that we had sat at that very café and at that very table and had a coffee, right before going on a little trip together pre-baby girl… I reminded Hubbie and he said “Yes, I remember!”

“Where were we going again?”

After throwing out some names which weren’t right, he said it was at a spot on the Peninsula.

FACE PALM. Where we live NOW.

The symmetry was freaking me out.

Lygon Street made me feel right at home. From the bear-shaped pizza for baby girl and the handmade gnocchi for me that melted in my mouth, I was in heaven. I’ve always said I was Italian in another life. I am more than confident of it after today.

We shared a coffee after our tram trek into the city-centre, where I had the most delicious and iconic Melbourne themed chocolate…

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Before we went to where we had planned to all along.

A children’s theatre show.

It was Room on the Broom, a production based off the iconic Australian children’s book. It was a present to baby girl for Christmas after we saw how enthralled in the book she was last year… and so that was the point of our whole trek in.

We did so much before that to get there, and it had been an adventure.

The show in itself was another great adventure.

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But then like so many times before, shit hit the fan.

Baby girl wanted merchandise. A tiny $40 stuffed toy witch, or a $25 stuffed toy cat.

I shouldn’t even mention the money. The money doesn’t matter. It was the principle.

She has LOADS of stuffed toys. Do you think she plays with them?

Noooooooooooooooooooooo.

She started the hysterics. The tantrum built. Cries and shrieks. “No I want it!” Stamping of the foot. It is almost hilarious if it ISN’T happening to you.

We’d done so much to get there. Spent so much. Travelled so far.

And now THIS.

I looked outside the open doors as she cried behind us. People crowded through the foyer, some looking over and others dealing with their own demanding brood.

I could see it – gone was the humidity that had enveloped me during my delicious Pomodoro gnocchi as I sweated it out at 1pm…

Because now at 4pm, it was windy and raining and people were getting drenched outside.

I put my foot down figuratively, told her “NO!” and stomped outside.

And instead of –

“But how the witch wailed

And how the cat spat

When the wind blew so widely

It blew off the hat.” – 

It was –

“How baby girl wailed 

And how her Mum spat

As the wind blew so widely

and her Mum yelled ‘that’s that!'”

LOL.

She cried as we pulled her along through the rain, pelting down on us as we ran towards our tram stop.

“You don’t need another stuffed toy!”

“Yes I do!”

“No you don’t!”

“Yes I do!”

“No you don’t!”

And as we ran, our feet sploshing through puddles and water sinking through our sandals, our arguing turned into banter, and the water on her face was suddenly from the rain, not her tears, as baby girl started to laugh.

“Yes I do!”

We got some much appreciated shelter from a woman holding an umbrella as we waited to cross the road, and within moments, all was well again.

The wild weather could have thrown us off.

The tantrum, the crying and yelling could have put us in a real sour mood.

But it didn’t.

And all of a sudden, we were full circle in our feelings again. 🙂

It was one of those weird days where it was a little bit of everything, but mostly a lot of fun and crazy.

We didn’t let anything unexpected throw us off our main task of having fun, whether it was a long drive, no parking, wild weather or a demanding 6 year old…

Our task was to make memories, with the added bonus of reminiscing past memories.

It was a happy day. ♥

 

 

 

 

#1303 Homer in hiding

The other day while at the MILs, Hubbie went in search of some personal items he had left behind in his old bedroom, what seemed like eons ago. Baby girl went up to search for him… and came back with an additional, someone.

Something.

Homer.

This massive stuffed Homer doll that was almost as tall as her, had been hiding out in Hubbie’s wardrobe all this time. I have no idea where he got it, only to say that I was definitely there when it happened, and it was probably at some Melbourne festival like Moomba.

Baby girl was rapt.

At some point last night a game developed… it was nearing bedtime and as she left her room to get something, I remained behind with a firm grip on Homer…

But alas, as things happen in sitcoms and cartoons, so too do they happen in real life.

Because I ‘conveniently’ (as all TV plot points are, convenient) fell asleep… and this led to Homer creeping out of my arms and into baby girl’s bed!

D’oh!

She loved it. We repeated the game a number of times in a variety of ways, all with him ending up in her bed, reading a book, and the sight of him like that in her bed made her crack up in laughter every time.

It was funny. We did it this morning. We did it again, tonight.

I ramped up the game when she went to grab a book from her school bag…

I grabbed some ‘friends,’ a blanket, book and beanie, and voila –

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Homer was now fully decked out in her bed.

She could not contain her excitement and laughter as she re-entered. I was meant to be ‘accidentally asleep,’ and yet I couldn’t keep the grin off my face.

He was wearing her beanie, her slippers were now his, and he was covered by a small blanket as his friends gathered around while he read “Thelma the Unicorn.”

It did look very amusing if I do say so myself.

Your kids being happy is one thing… but being the reason that they are laughing is an entirely different feeling.

It left me feeling incredibly chuffed and grateful tonight. ♥

 

 

 

Do, d’oh.

#1270 Books where they should be

Today furniture was moved around.

Hubbie went to task putting some flat packs together while I blew my nose incessantly, sneezed when some stray dust blew my way from the open Ikea packages, and hurriedly drank lemon and honey tea in between holding the instruction book open and pointing at what Hubbie should do next.

Sneeze.

Sniffle.

Sigh.

And after all the arranging of new furniture, and re-shuffling of old, I am pleased to report…

Bibliophiles, the books are back.

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I lost my bookshelf a long while ago to baby girl’s toys… it wasn’t even her fault, it was entirely my own suggestion. And in this massive re-arranging, my books went in various, not very nice places all around the house.

It was not ideal.

But today, they are back where they began… and the shelf is entirely for me! (except for that cassette player for Hubbie, temporary though!;)) Looking at it makes me so happy, and also, almost, made me forget about my flu…

Until I re-shuffled some books and dust got to me and I sneezed.

But the books. Ohhh, the books. I have little section left at the bottom to assure myself, I am allowed to buy more books…

After all, it IS birthday month. 😉

#1262 My mini environmentalist

We parked at the local homemaker centre and got out of the car after school.

“Mama look!” She pointed to an empty car spot a few metres away. There was crumpled up packaging on the ground, from one of those Woolies Lion King ooshies that has most kids in a spin.

“Someone opened theirs up and left it there… I’ll throw it in the bin.”

I hesitated. It was on the floor. It was dirty. Who knows what had gone over it.

She hadn’t thrown it there.

I stopped my thoughts in their tracks. Sure she hadn’t been the cause of the litter… but she cared… she was taking action… how dare I even think to dampen her fire, when the intention was so pure, so positive, so genuine?

“Ok,” I replied slowly. “Just don’t touch your face after!”

She picked it up and held it at arms length as we walked over to the nearby store. On our way I spied a bin in the corner and pointed it out to her. As she dropped the empty packaging in the bin she said so proudly, “see, look how beautiful the road is now!”

Awwwww. My heart. ♥♥♥♥

I was so happy. So proud. Kids like her are changing the world, bit by bit. I know many think the state of our future is in crisis… what with an over-emphasis on technology, increasing mental health issues, and overuse of natural world resources among many, many other things…

But the little things make a difference too.

Baby girl is the first to compliment or say well done to a friend who has achieved something.

She tells me it’s important to give to people, as it makes them happy.

And she knows littering is not good… for anyone, especially the Earth.

If all of our kids took little steps like these, no matter how big or small, or many or few, well then the state of our future Mother Earth may be a beautiful one indeed.

 

#1216 The singing doll and the box

Even before baby girl’s good news yesterday, something was in the mail.

You see, kids love toys, right?

And sure, if we were to leave her to her own devices she would buy ALL the toys when we went out to the shops… which is why we try our best (keyword, ‘try’) to limit her intake to certain days and special outings, and say to her “no, you have enough!”

But everyone so often, she will latch onto the idea of something, and honestly, there is no getting around it.

About two weeks ago she saw on TV a Jasmine doll from the movie Aladdin, and it came complete singing “A Whole New World.”

She was immediately obsessed. Never mind she saw the ad only 3 times that one day ONLY… she then and there decided that she had to have it.

I looked around, I checked out shops, and I found that I actually couldn’t get it anywhere near us. The day I said to her “Mama will buy it online for you,” I think she repeated that phrase about 56 times, so relieved and excited was she that there was a magical cloud-like place where I could request things to be delivered from.

How appropriate, that her doll then came after her shooting star award yesterday.

You know what else is appropriate? In the song, Jasmine sings –

“A whole new world

a hundred thousand things to see,

I’m like a shooting star

I’ve come so far…”

Hey, hey? Shooting star? (Nudge nudge wink wink) ;);)

Anyway, when we pulled out the box tonight, baby girl was suddenly flying on a magic carpet of her own with happiness, so rapt she was with her new singing doll…

And the positive side effect? Mister F wandered on over to see what the hell we were doing, trying to get this little doll out of a plastic box that was fastened so hard I nearly needed an axe to get it out… and he instead found his own box, the one that the doll in the box came in.

THIS CAT WAS SO BLOODY RAPT WITH THE BOX… seriously, I can’t. He went absolutely ape-shit over apparently nothing in there, just sitting in there, grabbing at nothing by air, with his eyes frenzied and wide like saucers.

OMG.

It was the most hilarious thing. Baby girl walking around the house pressing the song on Jasmine’s dress on repeat, with the crashing sounds of Mister F flying into the box time and time again in the other room…

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We made her happy, but also we made Mister F, unintentionally and deliriously happy too. 🙂

#1076 The (ice cream) shop before school starts

I wasn’t only preoccupied with thoughts of navy navy navy.

Navy polo shirts.

Navy hair ties.

Navy socks.

Freaking navy skorts.

I had something else on my mind as we bought a whole lot of stuff for baby girl’s imminent primary school start next week.

I was thinking, ‘this is it.’

The shopping outings during the week, hand in hand.

Baby girl encouraging me to ‘buy that dress’ (I love this girl ♥ )

Deciding whether it is rice, or a happy meal that day?

Coffee breaks.

Talking about just “one more really small toy” that she would like to get.

And, cold and soothing ice cream breaks.

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I told her I had a surprise for her as I took her to Twisted Sista. She screamed out loud, no hesitation as she saw the extravagantly twisted ice creams with lavish and brightly coloured toppings through the glass display.

I love how she was sooo excited. Her happiness completely unrestrained.

Baby girl, take your time growing up. There is plenty of time for everything.

I am happy for her to act so childlike, because she is after all, a child. My child, growing up, and heading off into school in 5 days time.

I savoured the moment as we sat at the table, slurping our ice creams, and saying “it’s good.”

It was good in every way. ♥