Saturday, April 14, 2007

News of the Week

1. We had a lovely (though not restful) holiday in Mount Franklin, staying in a house called Arda Cluggen with Martin's best friend since primary school, Matt, his lovely lovely woif Kate, and their kids Mieke (10 weeks older than Fred) and Quinn (2 weeks older than Una, actually Quinn was born on Una's due date). Photos to come. Fred and Mieke rode a pony. Fred and Mieke collected pinecones in the deep, dark forest. Una rode around and around the house on her little bike/trike/quadcycle (it has four wheels). We went to the Chocolate Mill where I had the best hot chocolate ever. They brought it in a bowl. Words cannot describe.
2. Fred has an angel and a devil on her shoulders at the moment. We've had some bewildering tantrums that have lead to us having to enforce some pretty harsh rules (for me anyway, as I am not a natural disciplinarian). Last night she refused to hang up her towel and it escalated into a hugely dramatic stubborn battle of wills which everyone lost. It resulted in Fred going to bed without her stories - a huge deal in this house and Martin and I were in and out comforting her all evening until she went to sleep, though we stayed firm, no stories if she wouldn't just FREAKING HANG UP HER TOWEL (why why why wouldn't she just hang it up??). Today she threw a similar enormous stubborn wobbly about putting sunscreen on, absolutely refused to back down and so I went out without her. Martin said it took her twenty minutes to calm down, then she started screaming at me as soon as I got home an hour later (she doesn't usually maintain her rage so long). She's begun lying too (she told us last night that she had hung up her towel but she didn't want us to go and check), she's testing every boundary. I know it's a stage, it screams developmental from every quarter, and I know she's still exploring the difference between lying and imagination. But it's fully hard to live with.
3. Frederique spent Tuesday up in the kinder room. I'm wondering if they're thinking about moving her up. Perhaps the extra stimulation would help. She's at an awkward age, because her birthday is the 21st April and we had to decide whether or not to start her in 4yo kinder this year (the cut off is 30 April). In the end because she's such a wild child we decided to wait, also she's a wee little thing and the trend, particularly for parents of boys, is to hold back so I felt like we had little choice. But occasionally I question it, mainly because in other senses she seems so ready to move on to the next level, particularly in terms of reading.
4.Una has her cast off...hooray!!! She got it off yesterday and seems to be missing it...she keeps peering up her sleeves. But last night's bath was fantastic for her. The doctor expressed slight concern about Una not walking. I'm not so worried, because I'm pretty sure it's more related to personality than anything - she's just not that interested. But I am so way fully ready for her to walk. She weights 12.5kg (1.5kg less than Fred), and if she doesn't walk soon I'm going to need back and shoulder surgery. Mmm...general anaesthetic...doesn't actually sound all bad.
5. I am a writing machine. I hope to finish Indigo Girls (chicklit novel) by the end of next week. I am loving writing it and as it takes shape I am beginning to feel like it has some really nice aspects. The two main characters (it's a headhopper, switching between the p.o.v of 2 very different girls) are taking on a life of their own and there are some new elements in the story I didn't plan on but that give it depth and dimension. Both girls are surfers, which has meant lots of research - I will have to find a surfer to read it for me to tell me whether the surf scenes ring true. Writing with an outline is actually kind of liberating - every time I slow down, I just go back to the plan. It also means that I get to enjoy the way the story unfolds, instead of worrying if I am writing myself into a corner. I still find there's room for spontaneity, particularly in terms of backstory and characterisation, it's not as limiting as I feared it might far. 12000ish words to go.


  1. willow and i have been doing similar stuff with headbutting, and i feel like my mum must have when i would do something and then get something taken off me as punishment.

    I remember wondering how my mum could not understand the gravity and importance of what ever the gone thing or event was.

    Like I really have no bad feeling telling her that one Yakult a day is enough, followed by 1/2hr of screaming and writhing tantrum during which i ask her to go away as she is hurting my ears, she turns the volume up, i put her in backyard, she howls like a stabbed cat, i close back door (without slamming) and then she quietly comes inside and says shes sorry for yelling and can she have a drink of water now.

    pork chop.

    glad the cast is off, thats quick! did you keep it? (like lost teeth, umbilical chords and baby fingernails are sometimes kept)

    I reckon Fred'd be fine bumping up. Girls can be pretty resilient, and they are so different in those environments where you can't see them doing all the stuff they would NEVER EVER be doing at home.
    (like, say, eating peas, and zephyr going to the toilet).

    Glad you had holiday, i've been in hozzy with 4 (count em) infections and G has had glandular fever followed by pnuemonia.

    To cap it, zeph is getting molars and I'd totaly forgotten about miserable teething children are, and am now quite fearful and hoping 3 is born with all teeth pre-emerged.

    7 weeks.

  2. *lost my post* argle.

    feel free to email us any of the novel, i'm dying to read it anyway, and matt can check out the surfie stuff.

    darn fredwinkle and her incredible stamina! stay strong is all i can say, i'd be inclined to not go into her room to calm her down, just leave her to rant, but i know that's hard. asha does a lot of that behaviour too.

    oh i'm glad to hear una is a big girl, like lulu!! more to cuddle. :)

  3. We didn't keep the cast. I probably would have (being almost pathologically sentimental, but Martin took her. We do have the x-rays though...
    Eek Zose, all those hospital trips and illnesses...ick.

    Thanks Dusty Jo, I'll take you up on that when it's done!! We thought we should "comfort" Fred (meaning shut Fred up, but in the nicest possible way) because she shares a room with Una - though Una went to sleep anyway even with Fred's full regalement.

    Of course after writing that post Fred has been beautiful all day and is playing with Una outside, I can hear lots of giggles and occasionally some extremely reasonable, calm conflict resolution coming from Fred. Little bugger.

  4. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Sounds like a lurvely holiday Penn.
    Feels like ages since we've caught up. should send you an email or something! Any plans to come down?
    No need to worry about Una not walking. Liam was 18.5 mths old and A & L are now 17 mths and not walking. I bet like my boys that she's a mighty fast crawler.