Friday, December 26, 2008

Shopping centre crawl

We were in Darwin doing a big food shop. While DH was paying and loading the trolley I took the girls into the open section in front of the shop and got Midget out of the pram so she could stretch and Widget could run around. There weren't too many people around, so we didn't bother putting her back in and let her crawl through the shopping centre to the car park.

Widget crawled ahead of her to be chased, but of course went really fast and so kept coming back and forth. DH and I went slowly behind and next to her so no-one could trip over her. It was probably around 60m and she had a ball. Everyone else thought it was gorgeous, especially when she started talking too and you could hear "aaaah-aaaah-aaaah-aaaah" echoing through the shops. Most people smiled and slowed down to watch, except for the one woman who harumphed and muttered "Where are the parents?" Um, we're the ones behind her with an empty pram.

Why is it such a novelty to see babies crawling around in public? Obviously it would be too dangerous in a supermarket itself with all the trolleys around. And I wouldn't do it somewhere crowded. But there are many other places that babies can get out of the pram or down from the sling and explore, such as pedestrian malls and quiet shopping centres. We have a fairly child-unfriendly society, but at least part of that is because of parents - there are many things we could do to make babies and toddlers more visible and normal. Planners won't take them into account if they don't remember they're there. (Although they're pretty good in Darwin, with a playground and big fountain in the middle of the main mall and heaps of parks everywhere.)

A lot of it has to do with attitude and planning. It took Midget a good 7 minutes to crawl the 60m, because there was so much stopping and changing direction. If we'd been in a hurry it would never have happened. If the goal had been to get the shopping done and get home to cook dinner there would never have been the time, but we were just on a family outing that happened to involve shopping. There are so many things that can be like that - maybe living somewhere where there's not much to do changes your perceptions, but our grocery shop has been a fun outing for many years and we've just continued that with the girls. When we're in the city Bunnings is a particular favourite because of all the lovely wide aisles and it usually isn't crowded.

Having children and doing the household chores don't have to be separate jobs, they are all just part of life.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Damned if you do ...

Have you noticed how many things with children are about making decisions and you'll never know if you were right? You can't rewind and try the other way, so you never know if you made the right choice. And it's a fractal pattern (I love that phrase!) which means it repeats at all different scales, from the trivial to the most important.

The current musing is caused by Midget's sleeping. With Widget I made various decisions, and I won't say I regret them but I do wonder if I just made the situation worse. Midget is even more apalling than Widget was, and has just gone through several weeks of not sleeping unless she's sucking. No slings, no cuddles, no comfort suck for a while then let go, if it's not in her mouth she's awake (and it MUST be the real thing!!!!). We've been working on it and have got to the point where I can put her down for a nap which will last 20-40 minutes, then DH can hold her to extend it. He's actually quite happy with this, he missed his Daddy naps and has had more sleep than in the whole year. She will also let go after about midnight so has gone back to having a few distinct feeds and cuddle the rest of the time, rather than screaming if she lost the nipple. I can get her down for the first nap of the night, but about 20 minutes later that's it and I'm stuck there for several hours.

The other day I had a little decision - she was showing tired signs, so do I put her down at the first opportunity or try to keep her happy until she's really tired? She's a very light sleeper which is part of the problem - she wakes so easily and you have to go through the whole rigmarole again, or she decides that she's had a nap and is now awake. I know that being overtired makes it worse, but the 20 minute naps just mean she is tired and grumpy until the next nap. (She's generally a very happy little baby, she's getting enough sleep it's me who can't cope with having to hold her all the time.)

Then last night it was a big decision - I just got sick of it and tried to hold her for a while instead of having her suck. Big mistake! She screamed hysterically, and I don't mean crying I mean screaming, until she threw up. This is with someone holding, rocking and singing to her. So it looks like we will be going back to the softly softly approach. As DH said as we were calming her down in the lounge room, at least she's very forgiving.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bats and thermal pools

We are up in the city for the holidays, very nice to be back in our own house. We've done the trip heaps of times before, but we're changing things now Widget is a bit older. Instead of going straight through we took a couple of days and did some sight seeing, stopping at the thermal pools overnight.

It was a lovely swim in the rain, it's not really a natural pool but has had a wall and steps put in, plus a ledge all around that Widget could stand on. But it still has beautiful sand floors and a current flowing through and is an amazing place to swim. It is in a National Park and all around are huge palm trees with an enormous flying fox colony. So you can sit in the warm water and watch the bats flying above you.

For the driving I sat in the back because Midget doesn't like travelling alone facing the back. Widget was fantastic playing with her, and she had a great book where she looks for things in the pictures. She has also got the idea of 'I Spy' using colours, so we had a good time playing games.

It reminded me of all the great holidays we had when I was a kid, and it was so exciting to be showing Widget these things for the first time and watching her being fascinated. Much nicer than 10 hours stuck in a car with a DVD player and some toys.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I love hankies!

I've been meaning to do this for ages and not got around to it, but we all have colds at the moment and are going through a ridiculous number of tissues. So I cut up some of my soft fabric scraps and tried them out.

They're fantastic! I love them! We're probably the only people in the world using bamboo velour for hankies, but it is so yummy and soft, who needs aloe vera in the tissues. They washed really well and stayed soft.

So my new project to add to the list is to get/make some little boxes or bags to store them in. I'm not going back to tissues.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Never happy

For the past couple of weeks Midget has been velcro baby, and especially won't sleep without sucking. I've ended up spending about 5 hours a day holding her and trying to get her to sleep. At night it's gone on and on until I give up and go to bed myself, at which point she sucks all night.

We've tried carriers and all sorts of things, but the couple of times DH held her so I could go to the toilet she got so hysterical she threw up, so I've just been holding on until the holidays started and we could work on a plan.

Well DH started holidays and we've been working on her naps, and she's getting the idea that maybe she can sleep without a nipple. Last night was brilliant, I got to put her down, DH settled her later, then she actually had a couple of feeds after midnight rather than sucking constantly.

So now my boob is incredibly sore because it wasn't emptied for several hours! I think that's the longest it's gone in her entire 7 1/2 months! This is a problem I could learn to get used to.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


We were off to the pool and I had just dressed Midget in her bathers.

"Doesn't she look like a little pink swimmer?"

"No Mummy, she's not a swimmer, she's too little. She needs Mummy or
Daddy or she will go down to the bottom."

Ooookay. I suppose there's a certain simplicity to the toddler outlook.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Never work with children or animals.

I had to go away unexpectedly, plus I've been flat out getting WAHMtique up and running but it's finally here!
I had a fun time getting modelled photos of the fairy outfit, hence the title. I'm going to be self-indulgent and put lots of photos of my little girl in, and I have photos of them in their Christmas outfits to add later as well. But this is what a photo shoot with a 3 year old looks like!

Told her to run around. Great action shot, but doesn't show the outfit very well. Actually I have a whole series of photos as she ran round and round me in a circle which look pretty weird, so this one I told her to run straight to me.

Told her to stand still, hmmm, not very happy about it.

So just run around and have a good time, which means


and near misses,

and shots taken at just the wrong time.

Let's get some standing still.

Don't forget the baby climbing up my leg while I'm taking the photos (that's my excuse).

But my gorgeous girl had a good time.