This picture is of Mo’s birthday present to me. It’s a stingray, made with paper, pencils, tape, sticks, and a frond-like thing from a plant in the yard for the tail. I love love love it.
We’re still planning as though we’re moving to Adelaide at the end of the year, despite the fact that the chances of Alan finding a job exactly when we want him to are slim. Sydney seems to be where all the work is at right now, unfortunately for us (you suck, Sydney). I’m making back-up plans to avoid the need for a meltdown if we’re still here in November; I tend to believe that the more I get attached to the back-up plans and start thinking of staying, the more likely it is we’ll end up moving. Alan is very keen to go, mostly for the garden we’d be able to have if we lived somewhere cheaper. He spends many an evening looking through Adelaide properties on domain.com and longingly stroking photos of backyards on his computer screen. When not drooling over vegetable patches online, Alan’s been watching Breaking Bad, which I’m not watching with him (I had to ban him from debriefing with me after particularly intense episodes; I find even recaps of the show disturbing). As for Alan’s daylight hours, they’re generally busy, with five days of work now crammed into four (he’s off on Fridays now, which are my study days). And at night time he sleeps.
Moses also sleeps at night times, and wakes up at or by 6am. He’s four-and-a-half! He’s growing up! It’s weird, but also wonderful to watch. He can swim now! And he’s not happy just riding his bike, he wants to stand up while riding! And ride with only one hand! And try riding with no hands! (He fell off. He’s back to just one hand again.) He’s mastering monkey bars and trying out skateboarding and generally being a kid rather than a baby. Sometimes I watch him sleeping and marvel at how much of his bed he’s taking up these days, and remember when he was cot-sized and couldn’t walk, let alone break- and ballet-dance in the kitchen. The thoughts of Mo- and bed-sizes is all thanks to a new project I’ve started: taking photos of Moses and Roary sleeping in the same positions.
Mo’s also learning what sounds words start with, making up rhymes, recognising letters, and taking small steps towards reading. The other day at the park he pulled his bike up beside a little boy who was on the ground (I couldn’t tell if he was yelling because of a fall or a tantrum) and asked the boy if he was okay, and if he’d like Mo to ride and tell his mum she was needed? The little boy said no, and then Mo waited with him until the boy’s mum arrived (she was walking a little way behind, with a pram) and then rode off, while my heart burst with pride: Look at my kind child! Isn’t he lovely?! Later he found approximately 34 new ways to irritate Hazel, but LET’S NOT DWELL ON THAT. Watching Mo help Hazel put her shoes on is the sweetest thing ever.
Speaking of shoes, Hazel isn’t quite so obsessed with them anymore, possibly because I made sure she only had one pair that fit her this summer to put a stop to our arguments over which ones she’d wear. She’s 19 months old now. In February I realised it’d been a while since I last measured Moses up against the bookshelf (it’d been a whole year, I discovered), so I marked his height and then marked Hazel’s for the first time. A couple of weeks later, after numerous comments along the lines of “I think Hazel grew during her sleep today!” and “Does Hazel look taller to you?” we decided to measure her again and found she’d grown a whole inch. Jeans which I used to have to roll up are now slightly too short on her.
|Turns out only one child was drawing with textas. The other was eating them.|
Hazel loves puzzles that involve plugging things into other things: keys into keyholes, Lego pieces into other Lego pieces, earphones into earphone-hole-thingies on iPods. She likes drawing on anything that’s not the paper she’s been given to draw on. She’s adding to her vocabulary daily. Whenever she sees a child under the age of (around) 10, she points and yells “Baby!” I’ve tried explaining that this could be taken as an insult, given that some of the children are obviously more than triple her age, but she won’t listen to me. She also tries to pat “babies,” usually on the head. This is not making her many friends in parks at the moment.
Then there’s Doggy, and also Back-Up Doggy 1 and Back-Up Doggy 2 (the latter two are Duplo dogs which look absolutely nothing like Doggy, but seem to be satisfactory replacements simply because of the fact that they are also dogs). Doggy goes everywhere with Hazel, unless she’s put him down and forgotten where he is, in which case Back-Up Doggy 1 and/or Back-Up Doggy 2 go/es. There was one outing where Doggy, Back-Up Doggy 1, Back-Up Doggy 2 and a mini soccer ball came along with us, but I found it was too stressful keeping track of this large an entourage, so I’ve now limited it to one Doggy per trip. Hazel also sleeps with Doggy (or a Back-Up Doggy, if Doggy can’t be found). Alan’s worried that the bones in her hand are becoming Doggy-shaped thanks to her tight, 24-hour-a-day grip on Doggy. She also loves (LOVES!!!!!) real-life dogs. And geese.
I think that brings you up-to-date on all of us. Oh, and Oranges and Sunshine was heartbreaking and awful (story-wise) but good (movie-wise).