Wednesday, August 25, 2010

those bloody candles

you may remember me writing about amelia's jandals (or as she refers to them) her 'candles' . . . i was a very unkind mother and allowed her to 'lose' them in a park when they were way too small and left blisters on her feet but she INSISTED on wearing them everywhere. seemed a very appropriate way of teaching her that she should REALLY LISTEN to me (even if i knew bloody well that she would not and was in fact banking on it so we would have a good reason to stop her wearing the jandals - previous attempts at throwing them out had resulted in tears, recriminations, and her hunting through the rubbish to get them back) . . . anyway, as a means of helping her forgive andrew for being in NZ all of the last week for the very very sad farewell to our dear mikayla, i suggested that he might like to take amelia to buy some NEW candles. ones that would fit her. and ones that would NOT hurt her little feet. she jumped at the idea, and off they went. she had a meltdown when he couldn't find the shop though - a frantic flurry of texts and phew - she had her new purple candles. she wore them all afternoon, all evening, and then to bed. yes yes, i know, we are indulgent - but we prefer her going willingly to bed so she can wear whatever she likes to bed, as long as that is where she ends up. she wore them, and duly fell asleep STILL wearing them, on the new miniature pink 'princess' foldout couch katie bought for her last week - wearing shorts and a summer top and a fully buttoned mauve cardigan. at around 2am, she arrived, freezing cold in our bed. she refused to get in her father's side, telling him - 'i am not your fwiend. i am mummy's fwiend. move over mummy, i need some space. . . . . do you like my candles mummy. they are booful, just like yours. . . . . where's my nother candle, can't find it . . . . give me some space please . . .. . . . i can take my candles off can't it? (rustle shuffle wriggle squirm) . . .. . . (wriggle puff pant squirm puff . . . Me: 'what you doing bubba? Her" 'just unbuttoning my cardigan puff pant) . . . . daddy - did you see my candles? (holding them up for him to see in the dark) they are vewwy pwetty aren't they? you did buy them for me . . .. . . . where's my candle gone now? . . . . . . . . .... ... .. . .. . . . . . . . . ' she woke a few times after that, looking for one of the damn things before crashing out properly. andrew woke and got up first, followed my me half an hour later, and we had about 40 minutes on our own before she made noises as well. we both turned to see the tousle-haired rosy cheeked creature open the bedroom door and wander out half asleep, ignoring andrew's outstretched arms and saying 'just have to find my candles' before going into her bedroom to search.

needless to say she wore them to daycare this morning, and will no doubt have to have them surgically removed once she has fully grown out of them. next time we shall buy a replacement pair BEFORE we get rid of these ones.

just a few unique phrases to share: she has taken to wearing her old baby one piece suits with the little snap fasteners under the butt. we call them onesies. she calls them her 'babysitters' (no idea why). she has also taken to getting one of her doll's dummies and likes nothing more than to be wrapped up in one of her baby blankets while she is wearing one of these outfits and sucking on the dummy, making baby noises. i would say it is her most favorite game right now.

marbles are 'meatballs'.

her body wash is her 'woddy bosh' - and she OFTEN spoonerises phrases - quite unaware i think.

the narrative about the going to hospital after being knocked off her bike is continuing, and being embellished richly with each telling.

she takes immense delight in making up stories and fitting us all into them. she very much likes being the mummy while i am either amelia, or katie . . . hellishly funny.

since andrew's return it has been very poignant to watch them together, singing and dancing and playacting (when she is not giving him the death stare for betraying her by going away). i am ever more conscious of how precious indeed it is to have children and how fleeting are these days of wonder and joy that we are now relishing.
we have not told her of mikayla's death. it was enough for her that daddy was going to help uncle tim and aunty frankie because they were very very sad. she is so comfortable with open expression of emotions that she never asks WHY anyone is feeling as they do, but accepts merely that they ARE feeling that way. a real gift.

on monday, while the funeral was on, i took her with me to Lone Pine koala sanctuary so we could wander around in the open air and have a peaceful time. she had been inside for the last few days as i was not up to going out much. it was a relief to wander around in the rain and chatter aimlessly about the animals. it was raining, so she held an umbrella up and i got a little soggy - happy to have the rain hiding my tears that came so readily each time i got a text from andrew telling me where the funeral process was up to. it was a joyful but tragic day, and she enjoyed it immensely - untouched by the tragedy unfolding across the tasman.

can't rotate the video sorry, you will have to watch it on its side (hints and instructions on how to rotate it very welcome though)

Monday, August 16, 2010

conversations with 'the little girl'

conversations with the kid are getting funnier by the day. she has a quirky turn of phrase, and a devastating turn of logic, so you need your smarts on when talking to her. some examples follow!

1. (sitting on the deck having lunch yesterday, looking at the house next door which belongs to bob and sue, our lovely neighbours):

A: 'daddy's gone to work. he's gone to HIS work. sue's gone to work too, but not daddy's; she's gone to LADIES work. i will wave to her like this (raises hand and demonstrates) and say "hi sue". and then i will have to kill her.'
Me: 'you will have to kill her? but why is that?'
A:"because otherwise she will turn into a great big ant" (and no, she has not been watching any movie where a lady turns into an ant.

2. (in bed this afternoon, going to sleep)

A: "don't take my arms off."
Me: 'why not?'
A: 'because then i won't be able to walk to the puppy park.'

3. (when leaving a playground, which A was reluctant to leave. Andrew picked her up because she refused to come)

Amelia: 'put the little girl down. put the little girl down. LEAVE THE LITTLE GIRL ALONE"

4. (on saturday morning, said to her father)

'its not a work day today daddy, its a day day.'

5. (same day while we were driving into the city and passed an intersection where we normally turn off to daycare)

A: 'i'm not going to daycare today.'
ME: 'why not?'
A: 'because its wednesday'

you get the idea . . .

we are also being treated to convoluted treatises on different topics, or narratives in which the protagonists have been replaced by Amelia herself.

e.g. while driving to daycare a few days ago we came across a young man who had been knocked off his bike lying on the ground waiting for an ambulance. amelia demanded an explanation ('what's happening, whos that man, why is he on the ground etc). over the next few days, the story got retold thus:

A: 'when i was a little girl, and i got knocked off my bike, i had blood on my face, and i went to hostipal in an amblience cos i had and axediddent wif a car.'

she is also reversing parental/child roles thus:

A: 'one day when i was a mummy, and daddy was a little girl, i told him off because he was very naughty.'

A:'one day i used to be the mummy, and you were the little girl, and i had to smack your bottom because you were jumping on the couch . . .'

or . . .

A: 'one day i will be that big daddy and i will drive the car and go to my office and you will be my little boy and i will buy you a babyccino and a cheese sandwhich.'

then there are the future plans:

A: 'i am only a little girl. but when i am three, daddy will teach me to drive.'

and on it goes.

the diet is marvelous still, although we now need to 'challenge' with foods that have been eliminated so far. we will probably start on the weekend, and with something like melted cheese on toast . . . not too draconian yet. that will take weeeeeeks to get through the entire list, because we are systematically making our way through food groups, then food types, then specific foods. will keep you posted. in fact, i have to keep a diary, so may make this the diary spot . . . that way we can figure out what she can and can't handle. i have just been reading a book called Not All in the Mind, about years old (as in over 100 years old) research on diet and allergy. very thought provoking indeed. the dietitian is a wealth of knowledge and has rubbed shoulders with most learned people in this field. i am loving the sheer knowledge gaining aspect of it almost as much as the results we are getting!

Monday, July 26, 2010


to the lovely people who are leaving comments - would you PLEASE translate them into english for me? i would love to read them, but do not have any knowledge of your language = your english must be rather good though because you can understand MY writing. THANK YOU!!! :)

chicken itza

well, its getting on for two weeks and the good results are still being got. amelia is settled, calm, and very happy. who would have thought to just feed her some sugar and butter he he. well, its a little more than that, but effective nonetheless. we had one off day on saturday, after a too-late night the night before. (andrew and i were watching a movie with some 'suspense' built in . . . she heard the music - nothing more - and yelled out that there was A BIG BIG MAN on the TV - which, at that moment there was - a HUGE statue of paul bunyan . . . go figure. she is that sensitive i guess). THEN we had a bad night's sleep (andrew coughing and snoring intermittently with a heavy cold), and THEN she had ONE CHOCOLATE FRECKLE WITH COLOURED hundreds and thousands on it. i kid you not. one!!! (andrew ordered her a babyccino with white marshmallows and no chocolate sprinkled on top, but forgot that HIS coffee would come with its own freckle. it was flogged and eaten by amelia before he registered). well. WELL. hell let loose that afternoon. she wouldn't - couldn't - get to sleep. then until bedtime she was a screaming whining grizzling angry little person. quite a familiar sight BEFORE we started the diet. but this was its first outing since. she had a reasonable sleep, woke up kinda grumpy (first time since diet started), and came back into a good frame of mind and being by mid-morning. PHEW.

andrew and i were blown away by how tiring and difficult for EVERYONE that one blow-out had been. and how frequent that kind of day/afternoon has been of late. we are very very grateful that we discovered joan breakey. although still bemused at what amelia can and can't eat. joan's book is very clear on how severe a reaction can be for a little kid - but we are hoping that it was a multi -level reaction, not just one little artificially coloured, flavoured and sweetened chocolate freckle. although, she is NOT getting her nibblers on one of those things again for a VERY long time. we need our sleep!

she has been saying some super cute things lately: i shall share.

i told her that daddy and i are looking for a new little house closer to his work so that we can live there. she asked solemnly: 'can i come too?'

we drove andrew down to work yesterday, and came home in time for lunch and a sleep. she cried just before going to sleep because: 'my daddy is in his office all by himself, and i'm very sad.' (she is one of the main reasons we are moving closer, so she can see her daddy at work during the week.)

she will look us up and down before we leave the house and ask: 'are you wearing that out today?'

she also tells us that things are her 'fravorite', that we are her 'best fweinds', that 'one day when i was a big girl and you were little, i used to tell you off.' . . .

imagination is running riot. we have BABIES by the truckload being put to bed all over the house. my personal favorites are the neatly folded table napkin, tucked into bed between very meticulously laid out top and bottom sheets made from two teatowels; and the clear plastic salt grinder laid gently to rest beneath the arm cover on the couch after being breastfed. heaven help us if we step on, sit on, or move a baby without asking. seeing a folded teatowel on her chest, being 'burped' and patted is a lovely sight.

she has mad intricate phone conversations with people using anything as a phone.

she has a running dialogue with boys on our ceiling touching the blue and green sings (things). andrew and i are frequently asked to intervene when one of her imaginary people is playing up. we get to tell them to go into their room or to say sorry to amelia.

she has a totally imaginary language going as well, and chats to us and her 'friends' in this.

music is still a very very very big thing. she is now singing plenty of songs by memory, making up words and verses, or splicing different songs together. it is a regular thing before she goes off to sleep.

no pen is safe in her reach. she dismantles them, including removing the nib, and they are beyond repair. she has also learned how to unlock the toilet door from the outside. andrew won't allow her to come into the loo with him (how very dare he), so she endeavours to break in before he comes back out, using a spoon or butter kinfe blade very proficiently. she practises this skill, locking door, closing it with lock on inside, and then breaking in. handy.

her drawing is coming ahead in leaps and bounds. she makes lovely owls, corncobs, koalas, and daddy with his coffee (enormous long legs, big eyes, a frown and a teeeeeeeensy weeny cup at the end of an extraordinarily long arm). she has also drawn anatomically correct parents more than once . . . i include a sample for your amusement.

her drawings are intricate, detailed, meticulous, and involve much huffing and puffing to be properly explained. we are gobsmacked at her abilities. i will get andrew to scan some stuff so i can put it up here. there is always a story afoot, and much to learn from letting her tell it. the combination of music and drawing, for her, is a very powerful one. she gets on a very productive little path and hums and sings happily while churning out her art. she is also taking photos with a wee camera that is easy to use. andrew's rear end was one subject recently, and was photographed from afar, close up, very close up, and too close up to be socially acceptable, which had her in fits of giggles at his reaction.

in short, all is delightful, sweet, and very very calm. we are so grateful that this diet has allowed her to feel more at ease physically, and thus manage her reactions more rationally. it has allowed the whimsical nutcase to fully surface and to enjoy full days without going into the depths of despair unnecessarily. we think that had we known some of this stuff earlier, her ratty days as a baby may have been a thing of the past.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

update - looking good!

well, almost five days in, and things are looking good. amelia seems able to hold it together more easily - where she used to melt down and totally lose it, she is now getting a little cranky but pulling herself out of the tailspin before she crashes and burns! yay.

she is sleeping better: as in, no nightmares, no night terrors (were common, also with chelsea!), she is lying very still in her bead, not thrashing and tossing and generally migrating around the bed five times. she is going BACK to sleep easily when disturbed. this has NEVER HAPPENED before. normally, once her sleep is disturbed, she is up and at it - regardless of what anyone else might want. twice now during afternoon sleeps, she has been fully woken, and just decided to drift back off - the first time for an hour, the second for half an hour. she is also NOT CRANKY if woken in the morning - usually she takes quite some time to get over early morning grumps.

if i had to put these results on a graph, i would say way less highs, way less lows, and more of a balanced but flexible line around the middle of the page.

physical symptoms, as in asthma, we have to wait and see. we expect her to get worse before getting better, but she is on steroids, so once she comes off those we will hopefully see what is happening.

i now have a mean recipe for a french yoghurt cake, serve with cream, that is allowed, and also a rich rice custard pudding - and as mentioned, the home made icecream. andrew is in pig heaven, because i have never been much of a pudding or cake baker (was when the others were little though - how times change!) . . . add to that buttermilk pancakes with fresh maybe syrup, and you get the picture. he is also rejoicing that i am not trying to get him to eat fruit in any form (except with brown sugar on the yogurt cake, baked to caramelising). he would be happy if i never brought any fruit into the house again. humph. the kid is also drinking a mango juice cordial made with a heavy syrup (i make it myself mind you). i dole out the sugary liquid and wonder how the heck this can be ok - mind you, it is only for a month, and then we start challenging with salicylates and amines and the like. my money is on salicylates, given the family history, they are strongest when fruit is fresh - i.e. a crisp tart apple is chokka with them, whereas a sweet very ripe golden delicious has less. amines come when fruit is more ripe, and other foods too - i have an aversion to ripe bananas, so they are on the suspect list for now.

in the meantime - we will be baking caramel coconut slice this arvo, so amelia has some soggy sweet stuff to put in her lunchbox!!! a river ditchy!!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

the elimination diet- warning, explicit food content follows

i have been making murmurs about putting amelia on a Food Sensitivity Elimination Diet for a while. just had to find someone to talk us through it - as in, i wanted a real pro to tell me what i could feed her and what i could NOT. the woman i eventually located and consulted is called Joan Breakey, and has been in the dietitian business for over 30 years, and is the leading person on kids and food sensitivities in australasia. she not only does research, but has had a practice over those years, and has a list of impressive results - as in truckloads of testimonials of people who saw amazing results in their kids, or in themselves.

now, in case anyone might wonder WHY we decided to go down this road; in a few years time, if we didn't find a way of damping her down, we believe that amelia would likely have been diagnosed with ADHD or similar. her irrepressible energy and determination, but also at times impossible to manage behaviour (of all sorts, from grumpy to whiney to resistant to manic high) is unpredictable and difficult to keep a lid on. we have managed pretty well so far, by devising all sorts of management techniques, and especially - andrew's favorite - of taking her to a park and swimming pool and running her completely ragged so she is too tired to do anything but eat and sleep. being with her can at times be completely exhausting, much as being with ME can be the same :( we don't want her to end up labeled as naughty, or as difficult. these are labels that can stick like the proverbial, and can hinder a kid from reaching their full potential, because they see themselves as the cause of most bad things that happen to or around them. and we definitely don't want to fall into the trap of punishing her for stuff she can't help. i am not talking about letting her run amok either. no, we still expect manners and kindness and consideration and obedience appropriate to her age. we think there is a middle road, where by tweaking her diet and environment we can help her be the delightful elf that she is, without the trappings of behaviour and responses that stem from her body being under assault by the food we give her.

add to that her tendency to hives, big fat enormous itchy hives, at the drop of a hat, skin rashes that appear from nowhere, eczema (although this is largely a past issue thanks to melaleuca - only contact eczema now), a persistent 'allergic' asthma styled cough, and the weird super high fevers that run for one to three days with no apparent cause. her hot body issue, as in her need to strip no matter what the weather, is also hard to manage. especially when she gets too hot in a supermarket aisle and drops her pants when my back is turned. she is FAST.

we have also eliminated all artificial colours and flavours from her diet, as well as preservatives, and seen a definite improvement across the board. especially with the hives . . . we had a spectacular 'proof' situation involving an icecream that had a number of identified colours and flavours in it that andrew bought without reading the label (he does now, believe you me). she got mobile hives. hives that chased themselves around her body face, chest, tummy, butt, legs etc. and scratchy moods with it. we did some detective work, found the icecream label and read it, took her off it for a few days til the hives were well gone. then andrew made her an icecream. within two hours - TA DAH - bloody great hives all over her wee body again. he ate all of that icecream himself from thereon out. a true sacrifice!

a compounding factor was the comprehensive family history the dietitian asked me to obtain, from both sides. grannIE's one was so well written the dietitian said she would like to publish it. that in combo with all the other stuff from my side added up to a fairly formidable body of forensic evidence.

in fact, when we went to the consultation, Joan looked at the document and then at me, shook her head and said, "the poor kid hasn't got a chance has she?" phew. amelia was all over the place at that appointment. climbing singing dancing fiddling talking telling me not to talk interrupting manically getting on and off her chair asking questions on a loud voice shouted over the top of ours. . . . which was excellent really, because it was a good example of her on a 'bad' day, as in when her body and energy seem to drive her to total distraction, and when she finds it hard to settle in with people and the situation around her. in the old days, you would have said it was naughty. i see it as her body and mind being so restless that she has to move and make noise to shake it off. typical ADHD etc stuff. Joan complimented me on my management, said i had some excellent techniques and then commented on how tiring it is to keep that kind of attention up. i almost cried then, because i do find it exhausting, but have never had someone who really 'knows' validate that. when i got home later that night and started to read the book Joan has written on becoming a diet detective, i DID cry. just in one paragraph that talks about people looking on at a kid like amelia and passing comments on how the parents just need to manage them better, without realising that the parents are 'managing' to the last nth of their ability, especially if the child is disruptive during the nights as well - oh, yes, that should have been in my list of 'why' - the nocturnal habits of the amelia chicken. hmmm. broken sleep for almost 3 years. torture. fine, subtle TORTURE. anyway, i digress.

so, the upshot is that amelia looks like the typical 'supersensitive' kid, as in irritated by naturally occurring elements in foods - usually foods we would define as 'healthy' (more about this later - wait til i attack organic food :0), such as amines, sulphites, salicylates, glutamates etc etc etc. they cause a multitude of symptoms in the child, starting with ears and nose, tummies, behaviour, skin issues, learning difficulties, sleep problems, behavioural issues (grizzly, whiny, angry, aggressive, oppositional defiance etc - a huge spectrum). in effect, the child has a low threshold of irritation, and once this is reached, will experience a raft of symptoms that the parents will generally seek help with - but ONLY with the symptoms, not the underlying cause. i.e. asthma will end up being treated with steroids and ventolin, which dampen down the reaction, but don't take away the cause. the irritants in the food affect the airways, and then when exposed to cold or viral/bacterial illness - the kid gets asthma. the theory is that if you reduce the initial irritants, then you don't get the reactive airways, so the child can get a cold or flu, or go out in cold night air WITHOUT getting asthma. the same applies to all of the other symptoms that are all just the body's way of manifesting its irritation.

the elimination diet starts out by not allowing ANY known or suspected irritants into the child's mouth (or environment as much as possible) for four weeks. this clears the body of all residuals. then, we do weekly 'challenges' of each group of irritants/substances and see how she reacts. the initial part of the elimination are meant to be pretty hairy, as withdrawal is experienced, and usually symptoms flare up before settling, but with a toddler it only takes one or two days to get them past this point. adults have been hospitalised with extreme migraines and asthma etc, so are advised to eliminate slowly.

it is already looking promising.

we have been going for 3 1/2 days now, had a nightmare day on the second, and an angelic day on the third, with near perfect behaviour, sleep and just general demeanour. (amelia was pretty good too). things that are normally a struggle, such as visiting a mall (takes her 20 minutes or so to meltdown on most occasions. we don't tarry!!!) were very very easy. we went to the first to meet up with a friend and her kids, and there amelia played in the playground for four hours WITHOUT any aggression, tearful meltdowns because someone did something or other to her, she also cane and sat with us to eat lunch. sitting at a table. on her bottom on a chair. eating. not interrupting. not wriggling and spazzing out all over the place. my friend veronica noticed a massive change in amelia. one that she was not being aggro to the other kids. another that she was actually sitting still. and also that she sat with us to eat, and held a pleasant conversation with her. now, this is not unusual with family, and in familiar situations. but in a mall, and public play space, it is NOT usual. i avoid taking her shopping, because she deteriorates so fast it is not funny, for anyone. this is likely her response to light and noise (other typical symptoms) especially the types of light in malls here in oz. i have been know to break into instant severe migraines in some shops and other family members have similar responses, so its not surprising. it was a real pleasure yesterday to take her to our local mall to return a library book and pick up a few more, and then to buy the ingredients for home-made ice cream (oh yummy) without her spinning out in ANY shape or form. she was compliant, giggly but manageable, companionable, and actually LISTENED to me when i outlined where we were going and what we would do there. seriously cooperative. a huge contrast to the resistant oblivious little maniac who loses all sense of perspective the minute we venture into that lighting. there was some craziness in the supermarket. lots of down-dog in the central aisles and running madly to the next thing, but no running away (which is usual), no tantrums (also quite usual) at the checkout, and her staying with me all the way. a first. is it a miracle cure? is it me projecting my hopefulness that this diet will help? or is it a combination of both? i think the latter. andrew noticed the wound-downness of the household when he came home, not having to scrape anyone off the wall at any time. and again. no meltdowns. that was the first day ever that the poor lil munchkin hasn't melted down at all. a few tears on leaving the park, but that's a kid thing. no distraught unmanageable meltdown of the usual epic proportion leaving me and her exhausted.

that's a day for the record books.

the diet is bizarre, and goes against my long held ideas of healthy food. looks more like (surprise!) a pre-war farm kids diet. as in mild fresh cheese, WHITE bread only, butter, peanut butter (not sure if that was a farm kid thing back then though), cream, eggs, white flour products only, meat - as long as it is fresh and not preserved in any way, limited veges of the more old fashioned variety (no tomatoes, capsicums, mushrooms etc), and very limited fruit - just ripe bananas, pears (no peel), mango, pawpaw, some lychees. she can drink water, some milk (it is limited), and mango nectar (made of fresh mangoes and sugar . . .). sugar is NOT NOT NOT a problem in any way. Joan's findings are that 2 families in a hundred have issues with sugar, where as about 40% of families show a reaction to home made tomato sauce.

THIS though, is the KICKER. on no account are we to let her eat ORGANIC FRUIT OR VEGES during the elimination? she is to be allowed 'mild' carrots and pumpkin - mild, mild, what the HELL is a mild carrot????? well, apparently (and again, we are talking about a woman who REALLY knows her stuff), organic produce is STRONGER than commercially grown stuff. stronger, stronger. as in my carrots could kick your carrots' butts? well, sort of. it is more that the organic stuff has to have stronger defenses against pest and viruses, so they build higher and more potent levels of the active ingredients (naturally occurring mind you) that are the culprits in food sensitivities. so, a sensitive person will react more to an organic carrot than one bought from, beause the one has been grown using pesticide, which means that is doesn't have to develop its own defences.

Joan has had truckloads of people trying alternative diets, including supplementation and the like. but BUT, her findings (again, an archive of real-life cases) show that the most effective way of improving these types of issues is by identifying the naturally occurring substances in HEALTHY foods and eliminating or restricting those within ones diet.

once the elimination and challenge period is over, then there is a well-defined list of forbiddens, but also a huge list of possibles, and Joan helps people figure out - in her words - 'as much as they can possibly get away with'. she is all about pushing the envelope, not being rigid and fanatical - hee hee.

we have to wait and see. but in the meantime, amelia is very much enjoying home-made icecream (eggs, cream, evaporated milk and sugar), porridge and cream (cream is better than milk because it doesn't have the suspect substances in it), white bread sandwiches with cream cheese, butter (same as cream - no problems), tasteless savory mince (no stock allowed >_< ) and mango juice made into a cordial . . . . and mashed spuds with butter whenever she wants. homemade cakes and bikkies galore (i am baking up a storm), and again, butter and sugar are NOT an issue. crackers and cheese (mild), the odd banana, tinned pears (TINNED are recommended due to low allergy) and lychees. rice custards, rice puddings, the list is endless. and she is CONTENTED.

i will keep you posted as to how the next few days go!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

daddy's girl (aka -GET LOST MUM)

this little girl just happened to be walking back to her car with her family at the same time as we were leaving the playground. amelia asked her if she wanted to hold hands, and off they went. they had not even been formally introduced! the other parents were as bemused as us :P this towel is amelia's all time favorite. and it is worn this way whenever it is used. preparation for a burka? who knows. can't see her conforming anytime soon.
tom has his own brand of resistance, well, with one eye and ears that don't work - that's reasonable isn't it? he and the kid get along pretty well though, all considered. he is a marvelous pet for a first-time encounter, altho not as interactive as she sometimes hopes he will be.

we have a little power struggle going on in our house. one that involves amelia spending much energy on keeping her daddy to herself. methods and approaches include: me being told yesterday, as i stood on the threshold to mine and andrew's bedroom . . . 'don't come in our room mummy. you can't.' i asked, 'whose room is it?'. her reply (of course), 'mine and daddy's. not YOURS.' i am often asked to 'not talk to my daddy please, we are busy.' at times, she becomes so insistent on my backing (read buggering) off, that she ends up in her room to cool off a little . . . while andrew and i drink copious amounts of strong liquor and try not to imagine life 12 years down the track. we HAVE responded to her obvious desire to get more daddy time though, and are not being mean or draconian (we are happy drunks). she now has regular daddy/amelia dates where they solemnly plan what they will do for the day, sitting at the kitchen table and drinking their respective coffee and milk. these usually involve our local godsend cafe called Breathing Space, where kids get to go into proper childcare in a room off the main cafe, and dabble in playdough, trains, painting and the like, while parents drink coffee and eat breakfast while trying to hide the porridge stains on their clothes and keeping nervous tics under control as best they can. she will also often ask andrew, 'lets just hang out together hey, just you and me?' . . . i am usually told fairly firmly that 'you can't come mum, its just me and daddy', at some point. i gather my shredded soul together and think of drinking a nice cup of early grey on the balcony, in the sun, in complete and utter silence. *sob*

seriously, it is a beautiful thing that she has such a powerful bond with her dad. from the moment that she was born, his was the first face (apart from the bemasked faces of the surgical team) that she saw; his was the voice that calmed her while she lay naked and vulnerable under a superbright light while her vitals where checked - she stopped crying and REALLY listened to him - heartachey stuff; his was the hand that patted and soothed her while the paed's did all the bloody invasive things they do to babies of pre-eclamptic mothers, born by emergency caesar. andrew's name for her from that moment on was 'chicken' - because she looked like one being readied for the oven. naked, plucked, DREADFULLY scrawny, and very fragile. like a chicken, she bonded with the first face/person that she truly interacted with. so, it is RIGHT that she is a daddy's girl. (plus, i think i am being slightly 'paid back' for weaning her. she wasn't ready. altho, could i have managed to wait til she was 30? i think not!)

music is becoming a more dominant part of her life. she has had a little CD player since she was 8 months old. this was partly due to her fiddly fingers needing a challenge, and also because it was only $8 and i am the child of my parents. it has 4 mini cds, in super-robust plastic, and has a volume button, speed button, and is made in - did i mention this already - SUPER-ROBUST plastic. . . it has been thrown, sat on, stood on, without missing a beat. it has ALSO just had new batteries installed. not bad for so many hours of tortuous (in andrew's mind) listening . . . she is remarkably adept at changing the CDs and spends ages dancing madly (think grannIE and granny in their respective living rooms here) to songs like 'five little monkey', 'bingo', etc. she also shares a passion for indy rock with andrew, and they spend many happy hours surfing the net (her perched on andrew's knee. him saying, 'please stop pushing all the keys at once') looking for clips of their favorites. he sings these to her at bedtime, or just when he feels like it, and she has started singing many of these herself, including any no verbal vocals - you know - those 'twiddly bits: 'its like for . .getting . . ., the words, to your favorite song . . . eee eee eeeeee eee ee e eeeee eeeee eeee'. 'you are a radar detector do dodododddoo' well, of course, i laugh until i cry. it is priceless. we will try and capture it on video soon. i just added something else to the mix - in the form of a cheap little midi system that i bought for zumba classes, but that i can't use because the cds skip (think me, times 20, all 'dancing' on a wooden floor. well, if YOU were a CD with that going on, you would do more than skip - wouldn't you?) it is now on the floor on her room, and she has a selection of kids cds . . . and has been having a ball lying on her floor singing very loudly to equally loud music (volume HAS been an issue already, of course). andrew won't go in the room to 'listen' with her, which i see as being very unsporting, but does smile and nod even as his ears are being assaulted with the din. 'bingo' is a firm favorite, and boy can she sing THAT name loud or what?

add to that ZUMBA music, which she loves, and will dance to at any given instant. she also dances to anything vaguely latinate in supermarkets and stores - she recognises the rhythms. she has a few favorites from that repertoire, especially one whose chorus sounds like bum bum bum. it is the subject of many a request when driving through the city, and she dances and sings madly in her carseat as she goes . . .

she has just got out of bed - (ours, after coming in freezing cold at 4am - she wakes up in the middle of the night and takes clothes off, then gets cold, go figure!!!), carrying with her the CD case, (which she had managed to find at THAT hour of the morning in her dark dark room to carry into OUR bed . . . ). the CD case is being cuddled very closely. i suspect that music will be a large part of her life - if the previous years are anything to go by.

she is now sitting on the couch in her RED TROUSERS (more holes than fabric now), watching a musical segue on her favorite DVD du jour, Handy Manny - about an hispanic handyman with a case of talking tools, who all go around solving people's problems and 'fixing things' . . . the latin-based music played throughout this programme has her up and dancing instantly. and singing. madly. what a combo. tools, problem solving, latinish accents, and jiggly music. a winning combo!