Posted in Parenting, Travel

Picnic at Arendelle

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It is not usual for us to go on long drives. Oh, the joy of driving endlessly with a toddler in the backseat making her demands!

“I want to listen to Let It Go”

“I am hungry”

“I can’t drink water. It’s spilling”

“My dollie fell down”

“Talk to me”

A friend of mine went on a road trip a couple of weekends ago that sounded pretty interesting. Pretty sure we couldn’t do the circuit, but tempted by one particular stop on their day trip, I got hold the route map.

I’d first heard of the Wivenhoe Dam during the great Queensland floods of 2011. Relentless heavy rainfall and a tropical cyclone caused a series of devastating floods that lasted weeks. During an inquiry that followed, there were rumours of the dam operators at Wivenhoe Dam being at fault. A year or two after that, by when life had resumed to normal, someone had posted pictures of the impounded reservoir, called Lake Wivenhoe, on Facebook. It looked beautiful. That so serene a place could have caused any damage at all sounded far-fetched. The place went on my bucketlist that day.

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So calm and serene, and beautiful colours

We found at least 3 route options, ranging from a 45-minute to 90-minute drive. All three were scenic routes, with water falls and lookout points along the way. We chose one of the routes that went through Mt. Nebo and Mt. Glorious, and marked off a couple of pit stops.

All the humming and harring later, it was too late to cook up a picnic meal. Always one with a master plan, I suggested we stop off at the local grocers and “quickly grab some snacks” for the drive. We could stop at a cafe for lunch. Sweet snack or savoury? Maybe both? How filling? Decisions, decisions! The quick stop was 20 minutes long and I’d bought enough to cover snacks and lunch. Five minutes into the drive, R was hungry.

She’s not that into scenic routes. She can barely see what’s outside the window, so the questions began straightaway.

“Where are we going?” 

“Why are we going there?”

“What are we going to do?”

“Are we going to die? Will the car crash, if I read my book in the car? I don’t want to crash. I don’t want to read a book. Dada! Drive carefully. Don’t crash us. Be careful near the woods (we’d just watched Pete’s Dragon the previous night)”

Questions answered, we moved on to demands.

“Can I eat now? What do we have to eat?”

I guess I own the blame for that assumption of ‘options’. Always offering her options so she would eat one of those many snacks. I passed her some cookies and DH turned on the audio book we were going to listen to, on the drive. It doesn’t always have to be music, I declare.

“I want to listen to Let It Go”, says a voice from the back seat. Spoke too soon there, didn’t I?

“We always listen to your songs. Today, mumma and dada want to listen to a book. Why don’t you listen with us?”, I said, bracing myself for tears and tantrums. None came. Not even a sliver of a protest.

Just as I began to breathe easy, I heard, “What is he saying? What is the man saying?”

“You have to listen, sweetie. You will know what he is saying if you listen”

‘Did he say <insert friend’s name>? Is he talking about my friends?”

“I don’t know. You’re not letting me listen. I can’t hear the audio if you keep talking”

Then it came, the tantrum! I wasn’t talking to her. I’m not being nice to her. Bad bad mummy!

“I do not want to eat this cookie. What is it? I don’t like it.” Oh dear!

We stopped at our first lookout point. It wasn’t one on our plan but I saw a sign post and we stopped to have a look. There was not much but it was quite and pleasant in the woods. R was terrified. She still had visions of the poor kid getting lost in the woods, chased by wolves, from Pete’s Dragon. I reassured her that we would protect her and the animals are deep in the woods, while we were at the close to the road. She eased up a bit.

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As we arrived at the next lookout point, which was on our plan, she seemed sleepy, so we drove on without stopping. Add that to the list of sacrifices parents make for their kids. A few minutes later, she still had not slept and was flatly refusing to. Refusing to let that bother us, we turned the car around and headed back to Jolly Lookout on Mt. Nebo. She was excited to see the mountains around us and thrilled to bits at the view from the top! She may have been on mountain tops before but it was as if she was really appreciating it for the first time. It was a revelation for me.

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“We are in the Northern Mountains! Oh my God, mummy look. This is the Northern Mountains.”

“Yes! That is correct. Look down, that is Arendelle”, I said equally excited. Why not play along with her? It is a lot more fun looking at the world through her glasses. I pointed to the little town or village down below.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah!”, she squealed.

We made an impromptu decision to unpack our picnic basket and lunch at the top of the Northern Mountains (aka Mount Nebo). There were benches and barbecue grills for picnickers like us. If I had bought us some bread and sausages, grabbed a sauce bottle from home, we could have had ourselves a lunch for under $10. Instead, we split the mini-pizzas and drained it with some Vitamin water, following it up with some cookies for dessert. We took a few pictures and headed towards Mount Glorious.

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“Let us go down to the valley. That’s where the village of Arendelle is!”, I said egging her on. She was having the time of her life, singing Let It Go as she ran about a la Elsa from Frozen.

When we passed by the cafe we had intended to stop at, none of us were hungry anymore. It was not another lookout point like we had expected a la The Glasshouse Mountains, more of a roadside stop. Onward we went, without stopping. We drove right past the stores and stopped at the Maiala trail. I remembered seeing in on the internet while we were making our plans, so when I saw the signs, I figured it would be worth checking out. It led to a couple of trails. Tempting as they were to kick on, the smallest trail was a 2-hour round trip while the hike to the Greenes Falls was twice as long. It was late afternoon by then, so we decided to take a raincheck and head on to Wivenhoe Dam.

The 15-minute stop to the start of the trail and back was an event in itself. As we walked across the park towards the start of the trail, we passed by a tree with the grass under it covered by conifers shaped like long fingers… or as some would say “snakes”.

“Aaaah! Snakes! Snakes! Lots of snakes!”, R cried in absolute terror.

To make matters worse, there were the odd long dried fern-like branches with needles that hurt. Of course, they were snakes! How could they not be? They were hurting us! Tears streaming down her cheeks and terrified beyond explanation, she just kept screaming until we were out of the snake-infested area.

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Help! Help! Snakes!

I don’t know if it was the right thing but I held her hand and encouraged her to walk through it. I told her they were not snakes and I would protect her but I refused to pick her up. Maybe I should have comforted her. Maybe I did the right thing by trying to help her be brave. I do not know. We walked through it and then we walked through it again on the way back (even though we could have simply walked around it).

On the way back, I acknowledged that they were snakes and told her that we need to be quiet so as to not wake them up. I instructed her to follow my lead and step in the gaps between the sleeping snakes. It worked for a bit. She was still gripped by fear but seemed to understand that she must be quiet so as to wake the snakes up. I had to hold my breath to stop myself from crying out when one of the needles from the large branches pricked me. It was not easy navigating the ‘snakes’, while trying to hold on to a scared toddler at the same time. Eventually, we made it out of there safely. She ran to her dad and hugged him, crying.

I’d grabbed a handful of the ‘snakes’ that were shaped like letters of the alphabet. I figured if I shower her later, away from the scary pit of dangerous plant parts, she would not mind! We stopped at a park bench. I placed the ‘letter snakes’ on the table and encouraged her to touch it. She would not.

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She was clinging to me, feared for her life, while I was grabbing the “snakes” and clicking pictures for later use

We brought the snakes home in the boot of our car. Once home, I placed them on the kitchen counter. In the comfort and safety of home, the snakes having caused no real harm overnight, she mustered enough bravado to touch them. A couple of days later, she was playing with them. We plan to paint them and make something of it… as one of our weekend activities. For now, the snakes are part of our arts and crafts raw material.

From Maiala, we drove towards Lake Wivenhoe but as we arrived at the turnoff that decided whether we would also go up to Somerset Dam or not, she had nodded off. We turned right, instead of left, away from Wivenhoe and towards Somerset Dam. Along the way, at Kippa Ring Creek, we passed by a gorgeous body of water that we absolutely had to stop at and capture on camera. So we did.

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Notice how the water appears green on the left and blue on the right, with an almost discernible line?

As we left the green and blue lake, I realised that we had no phone signal. I was on phone support for work, so we had to get back to an area covered by cellular network pretty soon. We turned around and drove to Lake Wivenhoe. Just as we arrived, R woke up.

“We are here! We have arrived in Arendelle”, I announced.

We ran along the park to the water. I pointed to the mountains across the lake.

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Lake Wivenhoe, with a view of the “Northern” Mountains

“Remember how Elsa freezes the lake and runs over it, to the Northern Mountains? Well, this here is Arendelle. The lake is the one she freezes. Those mountains over there are the Northern Mountains we were at earlier”, I explained.

She was happy as she could ever be. It fit. It was so beautiful. The park, the lake, the mountains were all in line with her imagination of the beautiful kingdom and nature in her favourite movie, Frozen. She was living the dream. We spread out our picnic blanket, opened our bag of snacks and munched on a couple of rainbow cupcakes each. On the lake, we also found the abandoned tree house where Pete and Elliot, the dragon from Pete’s Dragon, lived. She wouldn’t go inside but we took some pictures from outside the ‘door’. Best day ever!

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We found Pete & Elliot’s old haunt aka treehouse!

On the way back, we stopped at the allegedly famous The Old Fernvale Bakery, to pick up a pie for dinner. The pie we brought home was truly amazing! They had some interesting flora in their backyard. Like these angry flowers.

It was a fun day. Not half as tiring as we imagined long drives would be but good enough for all of us to gorge on the pie and sneak into bed for a nice long sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Celebration, Parenting, School, Wins

A Date With Elsa

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R is crazy about all things Frozen. It has been her favourite movie since she first watched it. She has watched it so many times, she knows every line in the movie by heart. When she is not watching the movie, she is reading the book. When she is watching the movie, she has the book open in front of her comparing scenes to pages. She dresses up in blue dresses every chance she gets and has me braiding her hair every single day. She pretends to be Elsa and even has everyone at her daycare is used to greeting her with “Good morning, Elsa” each morning.

One Friday morning, she said she wanted to wear the red and cream dress aka her “Anna dress” because she was going to be Anna. I was surprised that she chose this day, of all days, to be Anna. We were going to watch the free screening of Frozen on a big screen, under the stars in the evening. There was going to be a ‘Meet-and-greet with Elsa’ too. The rest of the day, she told everyone she was going to meet Elsa that evening.

Just as I started to pack my bag at work, people came at me from all sides. As it happens. Of course, the one day you have to leave early, your manager must approach you with an issue that is urgent and needs to be resolved without delay. Of course, you’re the only person who can come up with all the important information required to make life and death decisions. I manage to ward off all the issues, in true ninja style, and arrived at the childcare center with just enough time that we would still make it to the showground and meet Elsa.

Her friend A’s parents had decided to come along with us and had just arrived too. Calmly and as if it was just another day, they were picking up A. A was telling me that her mum had a surprise for her. On the other hand, there I was, excited and hurried, hair flying, clothes flaring and arms flailing. I grabbed R and told her we must rush, told A that I had a surprise for her too and we’d see her in an hour. Normally I’d like to pretend that it’s the life of a working mom trying to make the best of work and be supermom, but there was the case of A’s parents. Same gig, but a lot calmer and together. Damn!

By then, I was on too much adrenaline, having left work in a hurried state with my mind running at a 100  miles an hour. Running out of the daycare, R in one hand and dialing with the other, I tried to arrange for R’s dad to pick us up from the train station, to save time. Why was I late while A’s family wasn’t? I couldn’t quite tell. Anyway, we took the train, DH picked us up and we arrived at our destination. R and I jumped out, while he looked for parking. We walked quickly, as I started to dial again, to find A’s family. As usual, multi-tasking. We found Elsa before we found A.

Having waited all day to meet Elsa, I thought R would be excited to see her. I should’ve known better. When has she ever? She was shy. In fact, she was so shy she wanted me to pick her up. I convinced her to stay on the ground. I’d hold her hand. In a while, dad arrived and so did A, with her mum. We joined in the dancing, staying a safe distance from the numerous ‘Elsa’ girls around us. Yeah, there was the DJ who was the pretend Elsa. Then there were the numerous kids, all dressed up in Elsa costumes. Most kids (or their parents) seemed to think the obvious thing to wear to a meet-Elsa event was to dress up in their own Elsa costumes. Mine thought she ought to dress up as Anna, if there was already going to be another claim to the Elsa role. Clever. Different thinking. Interesting, for a kid her age?

So, we danced, got ourselves a candy and then queued up for a photo with the ‘real’ fake Elsa. Kids cuddled her, posed with her and smiled at cameras. R jumped on me and clung to me as if she thought Elsa would bite her. She wanted to go away. She did not want a picture. I knew she would enjoy seeing a picture later but she just wanted to get away from there at the moment. So, we took a picture with Elsa, with R clinging to me for life. Elsa asked for a cuddle but R just wanted to leave as soon as possible. A was quite the poser, cuddling Elsa straightaway and posing with her while her mommy took a couple of photos. I asked R if she was sure she did not want any pictures. She just wanted to leave. I was already looking like the mum who wanted the picture that the kid did not. R was distressed. I decided to let it go, even though I knew she would have loved a picture, in hindsight. I mentioned to A’s mum to never show R the picture of A with Elsa.

Back home, I showed R the photo of her and me with Elsa. She was thrilled! She loved that there was a picture of her with Elsa. Duh!

The girls loved watching the movie on the big screen. We had front row seats too, thanks to both dads who were setting up the picnic rug while us girls were dancing with Elsa. A had only ever watched it on an iPad and her parents had only ever “listened” to the movie from the back seat of the car. R and her dad have watched it numerous times on the big screen TV but nothing like the massive screen, in the open air, lying down next to the grass and chomping on food. Best way to watch a movie, with friends and family. Dreams do come true.

Posted in Parenting, Review, Talents

Book Review: Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Diary

We were all in bed and knocked out by 9PM last night. It was a crazy day (that’s another story) and by the time we got home, we could not wait to hit the sack. So, at 4AM this morning, I was up and unable to sleep. Finally, I hopped out of bed at 5AM and decided to do some sketching I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

Hairy Maclary From Donaldson’s Dairy is R’s current favourite book. They have been reading it at the daycare. She asked me to tell her the story last week and that was the first I even heard of it. I looked it up on the Internet, then went ahead and bought the book. Before that, I bought the TV episode because it was available straight away (plus we can play it in the car). When it comes to books, we are suckers in this family. The 3-year old has more books than most adults I know and the collection keeps growing rapidly.

The first time I leafed through the book, I fell in love with the pictures. I had to try to paint these or draw them! I knew I simply had to. It was like a craving that was gnawing away at me every day that I did not do it. Time has been hard to come by (yeah, yeah, I know… make time and all that). This morning, I sat down with my “Art book”, a case of sketching pencils I’d bought DH for one of his past birthdays, a pack of felt pens and the story book.

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So, this B&W messy sack of fur is Hairy Maclary, aptly named for his hairy demeanour. He heads off on a walk and is followed by 5 other dogs, each one cleverly named after their appearance. At the end of the walk, they are surprised by Scarface Claw who holds the title of “the toughest Tom in town”.

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The story moves along at a beautiful pace, following Maclary as he goes on his morning walk. The words are few and repetitive, perfect for the little ones to remember the characters. The names of the dogs are descriptive enough to identify them easily and remember then. They are funny enough to fit into the sing-song rhythm of the narrative. As each dog makes an appearance, there is a picture of him on the left with the introduction on the right.

The pictures, as I already mentioned, are fabulous. They keep the cheery attitude of the story and fit beautifully with the theme of the book. The end is a surprise and funny. Miss R also finds it scary. The appearance of Scarface Claw and his fierce mewing has her putting her metaphorical tail between her legs and burying her face in my chest. Scarface Claw haunts her dreams and she is now officially more scared of the dark than she has ever been. Still, she loves the book and will read it everyday. Her dad and I love it too.

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I was going to draw one of the dogs. I ended up drawing all of them, and the cat. Now that I’m finished, I want to do the other pictures too. They are such a delight to try your hand at. I wish I could paint better, so I could do them in colours. I was sketching when Miss R woke up this morning. Chuffed at being able to finally get to sketching and thinking the sketches did resemble the characters in the book, I proudly displayed my pictures in front of her. She smiled when she saw them. I waited for her words. She said,

“This is wrong. Hercules Morse should be brown. He is not black and white!”

Bam! That’s Little Miss Perfectionist, for you. How can it be the same dog, when it is not even the same colour? I must introduce her to the concept of pencil sketching.

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Posted in Parenting, Questions

The Mystery Behind Her Birth

“Mummy, did you eat me when I was a baby?”

My head snaps up as I stop whatever I’m doing and try to process this question. Where is that coming from? She is sitting on the toilet and I’m loading the washing machine while I wait for her to finish. Neither of us was talking. Until now.

“No! I did not. Why would you think that?”

A pause, while she tries to unravel the mystery in her mind. Instead of answering me, she counters with another question.

“Then how did I get inside your tummy?”

Ah! I do not know what brought this thought into her mind today but at least that explains her original question. At this point, I am not quite sure how to answer her but I must, for she is waiting for me to explain. Her dad is no help. I can tell he is not even trying to come up with an answer, as he continues to brush his teeth or wash his face… I forget now. So, how did she get inside my tummy?

“You didn’t get inside, sweetie. You were born in my tummy”

As soon as I say it, I realise that I haven’t really answered her question. I have but not in a way that I can clear the confusion a 3-year old has. I try again.

“You were already in my tummy, like a germ. The good kind of germ, not the bad ones like you have when you fall sick with a cold. This is the good germ. Then it became an egg. Do you remember the chickens at your daycare?”

It’s a rhetorical question. She doesn’t know that but I haven’t made my point yet, so she does not say anything. Maybe she nodded. I think she did, now that I think of it.

“So, just like the eggs became chickens later, you became a baby inside my tummy and then you came out”

That is about how far I can go with my explanation. I hope she got it. The hen and chicken analogy should help, I pray. They have just got a couple of chickens and some eggs in an incubator at her daycare. Some of them have since hatched into chickens. She and I watched some videos of eggs hatching when they first brought the eggs and chicks in. They were painfully slow videos but I guess no one can speed up the hatching of an egg to make a better video. I tried showing her a video of the hen laying an egg but she was grossed out. It was a excruciatingly slow process and the end was a bit confronting. The idea of the hen pooping an egg did not sit well with her, so we stopped watching it before the end. She watched the eggs hatching a few times.

The baby in the tummy conversation stopped with my last sentence. I could tell that she still was not a hundred percent sure of how she was born but the analogy made sense, albeit only vaguely. I am sure she will process this over the next few days and have more follow-up questions. Until then, I’ve dodged the bullet.

I’ve considered showing her some pictures or videos but she is too young to understand. I’m not sure what she will take from those.

How do you explain to your kids how they were born?

 

 

Posted in Parenting

Complexities Of Modern Day Parenting

It’s takes a snap to break a habit but an effort to keep at one. I skipped a couple of days of writing and then it was a month when I came back. Things have happened in the last one month and I meant to make notes so I don’t forget all the things I want to write about. None of that happened. As of this moment, I cannot think of one anecdote to narrate.

From the moment, R was born, I’ve been planning, plotting and trying various ways to record important events and milestone. For some reason I can’t quite explain but I’m sure is shared by many parents, the need to chronicle my child’s life is strong. I used to have an app that recorded her feeding and pee/pooping times, when she was an infant, just like the tracking sheet of paper the nurses used at the hospital during the 5 days I was there. One day, months later, I lost all my data when the app crashed. Just like that, it was all wiped out. poof! I never went back to it. There was no way I could get it back and by then I was not as interested in recording that sort of data anyway. Then I found an app to record milestones, called Tinybeans, which I don’t update as diligently as I thought I would when I downloaded it.

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There is an app where I can record the funny and cheeky things she says, called Little Hoots. I try and do this as often as I can but sometimes I can’t get to the app straight away and then much later I don’t remember the words they way she said it! I have another couple of apps to record pictures and the like but I haven’t bothered. It gets too hard to keep up with so many apps and ways to note down everything. I bought a hard cover book that I meant to update, with her dad, as a fun activity. We have to record moments and add pictures in each page, documenting the first year of her life. He hasn’t spent 10 seconds looking at it and has zero interest in partaking in the activity. The book is sitting somewhere collecting dust.

Inspired by a colleague who makes photo-books of every holiday, I’ve started doing the same. It takes an enormous amount of effort and time (which is one of the reasons I haven’t been able to get to this blog) but it is something we can look at without turning on the computer and trying to scroll through a few thousand pictures. I make it so that she can remember the experiences and places she has been to. I try to include our pictures and some information about the places we visited. Cutting down over 3500 pictures to 60 pages of 3 – 4 photographs each means that a lot of them don’t make it into the album. While making the book for our Europe holiday, there were so many pictures that I decided to make another album of just her memories with her cousin separate to the holiday book. At least, that was an idea while I made “the London book”. So, a lot of ‘cousins photos’ and ‘home photos’ didn’t make it into the photo-book. I haven’t gone back to the photo software since. Trawling through those 3500 picture again and picking a couple of hundred, arranging them into suitable layouts, picking colours for background and borders, captions, book title and writing little notes is a lot of hard work. It needs hours of focus and patience. The hours are hard to come by in blocks.

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The constant nagging at home aside, I enjoy spending time looking through those pictures and reliving memories. I enjoy the creativity involved in the exercise. R does not understand what I am doing while I’m busy with the book but she is patient with me and lets me have my time, even when I have to ignore her to concentrate on my work. In the end, when the book finally arrives, she enjoys it the most. That is the best part of it all. When the London book arrived, DH brought it over to me at work and we looked at it together. We thought it was a good book. I felt that I could have done some bits better but it was here and it was good. When I went to pick up R at the daycare that evening, I had the book in my hand. She grabbed it from me and wanted to “read it” straight away. Within seconds, she and her friends were seated in a circle around the book. She was explaining places to them – pointing at Eiffel Tower, London Eye, castles, her “bwother” and they were totally into it. Watching this exchange made all those hours and effort seem worthwhile. It was the best reaction I could have hoped for. The kids loved it. She ended up taking it back to the daycare the next day, for her Show-and-Tell.

It’s a start. Maybe one day, I will go back to the pictures of the first 3 years of her life and make albums or photo-books. It is too hard. There are over 10,000 photographs to sort through and while I’ve tried to make a start a number of times, it has been daunting. I have given up. I made a little booklet for her out of the Ekka festival we went to, one weekend. That went to the day-care for one of her Show-and-Tell too. That seems easier to do. Short little books for every weekend out. I have not seen her at the S&T but I imagine she must be narrating some version of her experience to her friends. I hope she is. It will do wonders for her communication skills in the years to come!

When I think about it, I don’t think my parents ever worried about these things. There are no books or blogs or records of the silly things I might have said or the cutesy faces I made. I grew up in an era where I had to negotiate with mum and dad to let me buy the 36-photos Kodak film instead of 28 but they did not want to spend extra money on that. We had to hope most of the pictures came out okay and chose what we clicked. That’s about it.

How has parenting become more complicated now? Is it the ease that technology affords us? Or are we too busy to stow away memories within ourselves that we feel the need to store them externally?

Posted in Parenting, School, Talents

What do you mean by…

As soon as R started talking, we began to wonder how she ever survived the months before she was able to talk. She had so much to say. We were warned that very soon there would be questions, beginning with “Why?”

Then the Why happened. She wanted to know why something was the way it was and for every answer thereafter, she countered with a why. It was easy enough for her, she just had to say “Why” but it was impossible for us to keep up. I tried my best to answer with something such that I had a good answer when the next why came. After a while, I tried to answer so that there just had to be an answer for th next one, didn’t matter how good. Even so, her whys outlived my persistence. I would remind myself it was a phase and be over soon… and keep trying. Her dad gave it 10 seconds and had enough. He started to counter her why with his own why. Sometimes she would say something and he would get on the why wagon straight away. Winning with a headstart. Poor kiddie had no way to turn. Eventually, the why stopped. Whatever the reason, they did and we could move on. 


A couple of days ago, the What started. Her obsession with the movie Frozen and story of Rapunzel are unparalleled. Every morning she asks her hair to be done up in an Elsa braid or Anna hair or Rapunzel braid. Often, I find her looking at the book in deep concentration. One day, I walked past her while she was flipping through a Frozen book when she pointed to a page and mumbled something about Elsa’s attire. She would go on about exactly how many times Rapunzel wore a crown in the movie/book. When we told her the story at bedtime, she’d stay awake to make sure we got the details right. Apparently, she has finished her PhD on the picture details and progressed to dialogues. So as we walk to the train station on the way to work/daycare and back in the evenings, our conversations hover around things someone in one of her books said. 

What do you mean by, “I tried to save her but it was too late?” 

I tried my best to explain. It took a couple of takes. She mulled over it and asked again later; it wasn’t entirely clear.

What does “tries to save her” mean? What does “it was too late mean”?

The next one was…

What do you mean by “Why do you shut me out like this? What are you afraid of?”

Again, I tried my best to explain. The second question was fairly obvious, so she didn’t chase it but she is still trying to get her head around the “shut me out like this” part. I tried to explain using the literal incident where Elsa shuts he door on Anna when they were children. Obviously she wasn’t convinced because at dinner, she asked me why Anna would say that as a grown up because Elsa wasn’t in the room anymore. She had thought about my answer but she felt there were gaps. I had underestimated her logical & reasoning abilities! I gave the answer another shot. Now I have to wait and see if that cut it. 

While that’s processing, we’ve had the next question. 


Where did that come from? Leak? Anna leaks? Anna takes a leak? I don’t remember any reference to anything leaking in the movie (not even the snowman Olaf)! I’m almost sure there is no mention of a toilet break. I could be wrong as she knows the story in way more detail than I do but I’m fairly certain there is no Anna pissing in front of Elsa. 

Anna leaps in front of Elsa”, her dad says, from behind me. 

Ah! Of course! I don’t remember that line in the book but it makes sense. I can see where that would’ve occurred… Anna leaps in front of her sister. Yeah, I see that now. This has, by far, been one of the easiest questions. I told her it meant Anna jumped in front of her sister. She understands jump, so there were no follow-up questions. 

One more done. I’m a bit wary about the “shut me out” issue cropping up again but I think we’ll be okay. Bring on the next one!

Posted in Parenting

Taming The Night Time Nappy Beast

So, night time toilet training has been a disaster! She not only wet the bed every night, she did it twice last night. What makes it worse is that she sleeps in it till we realize it. Then it is a round of her dad angrily changing sheets while I change her clothes delicately, trying not to wake her up altogether. It has not been a fun week.

This is just a fail-safe, okay? If you need to wee, you wake mummy or daddy up“, I heard him saying to her, as he wrapped a nappy around her bottom.

I’ve been telling her every night to wake us up if she needed to go. I don’t think she even knows that she needs to go. It just happens in her sleep. She continues to sleep in it till one of us (usually me) wakes up to take her to the toilet, only to find out that she has already gone. It looks like it is back to the good old parenting forums and books for us. We need to learn how to teach her not to wee at night. It might turn out that we simply have to wait it out, till she is old enough to understand it. In the meanwhile, she is back to her night-time nappies and, oh boy, is she thrilled to “be a baby” again!

Between last night’s sheets and the ones from daycare this afternoon, I had a load of smelly washing to do. I asked her why she hadn’t gone to the toilet at daycare.

My teacher didn’t tell me!

But I told you not to wait for your teacher. You go when you have the urge to go.

Yeah, but the teacher said only one. She said old Elsa, not new Elsa. I am new Elsa.

She didn’t go because her teacher did not address her properly! If she keeps up with this, she is going to be coming home with a lot of wet clothes over the next few days. She is either Elsa or someone else. Who understands her distinction between new and old Elsa (from Frozen and Frozen Fever respectively), baby Elsa and grown-up Elsa, etc? Her parents, that’s who. The rest of the world thinks either she is Elsa or she isn’t. In fact, she is lucky they even know her as Elsa and are careful not to address her by any other name. Princess much?

I wish there was an Elsa movie for night time toilet training. Maybe there is a Daniel Tiger one. That sort of worked for us during her daytime toilet training. There may be an easy way after all.

How did you toilet training your toddlers at night? How old were they when they went off nappies overnight?