Saturday, October 29, 2005

Life lessons

Tonight we found a little baby bird inside. The cat had obviously brought it in, whether it fell out of its nest first or the cat got it out of the nest, who can know? It was still alive but not moving very much, other than to open its beak occasionally. The kids all had a close look at it, and then we tried to work out what to do with it. It was cold and rainy outside. There were a couple of agitated birds flying and calling outside that we decided were its parents. We couldn't see a nest in any of the trees. Anywhere that we could put it, the cat could reach it. The kids wanted to keep it inside, but I explained that we didn't have the right things to feed it and we couldn't get to a pet store to buy baby bird food (Ryan's suggestion) until the next day when it would probably already be dead. We ended up putting it under the tree the birds were in and locking the cat inside, to try and give it at least half a fighting chance. I explained that it would probably die as it couldn't fly up to its nest, its parents couldn't lift it back up, it was cold and rainy, and there was no food and a cat. Optimistically, Bethany decided that it would grow up and then it would be able to fly back up to its nest. I did weaken from my realism at all costs stance and concede this was possible.
We moved into the bedtime routine and Bethany got quite upset about having to get dressed in her pyjamas. Out of nowhere she then burst into tears and said 'I don't want the bird to die'. I gave her cuddles and let her cry. She said 'I'm so sad because birds are my favourite flying things'. Again we talked about it, and I stressed the positive possibilities (like maybe the parent birds would grow opposable thumbs and be able to lift it into the nest) while also mentioning the negatives. It all seems forgotten now, but I daresay we will be checking outside in the morning to see how it fared.
This all got me thinking a bit about my stance on death. Now Ryan is as logical as me, and the thought of things dying and not being here any more is just part of reality for him. We have had very few problems of this sort with him. Bethany is a little more, um, sensitive? A few weeks ago she got very upset about growing into an adult, which was actually about having to die eventually. Paul talked to her about heaven which made her happy (the thought of being an angel, i think). I was a bit unsettled about this as neither of us have ever pretended to be Christian or religious in any way. But then I realised, it gives Bethany some solace, and is essentially equivalent to the tooth fairy in terms of me having to not be as truthful and honest as I usually try to be with the children. So I try to answer her questions about it ('how do you fly to heaven when you're dead?') as well as I can, without putting my usual 'some people believe' qualifier on it (though Ryan will often chime in with that).

'Nose' by Bethany

Monday, October 24, 2005

Swimming blind?

I've lost my digital camera (or it's been stolen). It doesn't seem right to not put photos on this page. But I hated that camera anyway so I'm glad I now get the chance to buy a new one. This time I will get one that has optical zoom (that one only had digital zoom, which sucks - it pixelates straight away). Also one that takes photos almost straight away. This one takes forever for the flash to warm up or whatever so you can't take photos quickly.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Seven years in the blink of an eye

It's incredibly hard to believe, but Ryan turned 7 yesterday. It's cliched of course, but it seems such a short time since he was born.
We had a fun day for his birthday - pancakes on request for breakfast (yes he's his mother's son alright), then off to visit Nanny and Poppy, who of course had some fun presents and lunch for us all, then back home to pick up Ryan's friend Nik, who came ten pin bowling with us, which was also lots of fun. The birthday boy won with the amazing score of 102. On the adults plus Hannah team, Hannah won! She beat me by one point, despite me getting three strikes (had to slip that in there). After that it was off to the madness of Fasta Pasta, always good for the kids who can be noisy and run around without seeming too out of place. Ryan and Nik shared a bowl of spaghetti which was a scary thing to behold. Sophie was her usual fourth-child happy, and slept all through the bowling, then all through dinner.
The cake was a fabulously home-made caramel mud cake (Ryan's request again, following in mum's footsteps) delicately decorated with a Bart Simpson icing picture. Hannah was very fond of the cake, except the 'brown stuff' which would be the icing and the cake, ie she only liked the Bart picture.
The highlight of the day for me was Ryan coming quietly up to me at Fasta Pasta and giving me a big hug and saying 'thank you for everything, I've had a great day'. How thoughtful and pleasing it was for him to take the time to do that for me (and I asked around - none of the other adults suggested he do it). What a great kid. And seven already!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

School holiday frolics

We've had such a busy week these school holidays. It's been good fun. On Monday I booked Ryan into an activity at Carclew which involved an inflatable skydome, I thought it sounded kind of cool and I was quite disappointed when they said it was kids only. Ryan enjoyed it, he came home with all sorts of information about the stars.
Tuesday we went to a play at the Bakehouse Theatre. Ryan and Bethany enjoyed it but it was a bit beyond Hannah. The stairs of the theatre were much more exciting for her.
Today Hannah was in childcare and I took the two older ones to town to see a Lego exhibition, always a winner. They sat for hours building lego, then we thoroughly explored the toy section of Myer (Bethany's top Xmas wish - a Furby!!) and the Xmas section (yes it's nearly that time already).
Our drama of the day came when Ryan wanted to take the escalators to the ground floor (from 5) while we took the lift with the pram. When we got to the bottom, he wasn't there. We waited and wandered around at the bottom for a while, then finally left the pram at the information counter while I took the girls and did a quick run up and down the escalators, checking even the Terrace (basement) and all the ways out into the Myer Centre. No Ryan. Bethany was just wandering along behind me, not noticing quite how frantic I was getting. I asked the girl at the info desk to put a call out, but there was some whole big procedure to that - she had to ring security, the manager, security again, the switch, on and on... eventually they put the page over, and at the same moment, a security guard walked over with him. We were both very happy to say the least. It turns out that when he'd said he would meet me at the front, he meant the front of the Myer Centre (ie OUTSIDE) and not the front of the down escalator (as I assumed). He said he walked to all the entrances in case I was at the wrong one, and also went up and down the escalators himself, waiting for a while at the Lego displays as well. He said he was just about to approach a shop-person when the security guard came and got him. Phew.
So we hugged a long time and both cried a bit. Then we worked out that we have now learned to really confirm where we intend to meet. :) And to ask for help a lot quicker. And to stay in one place (since I'm sure our paths crossed several times).

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Spot the odd one out

This is dessert last night, three bowls of boysenberry icecream and one of pumpkin soup. After devouring an almost-vegetarian risotto (it had bacon in, alright), the middlest child decided that soup was preferable to icecream. Bethany-world must be a wonderful place...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bethany took about 60 photos with the digital camera. They show a good eye for the ordinary. This is one of my favourites. Posted by Picasa

Bethany: Self Portrait Posted by Picasa

Playground of adventure

Went on the long trek down to Port Noarlunga today. We thought it would be fun to check out the adventure playground there, and it was. Mum as usual packed a great picnic, the kids played on the different things there, Ryan got bored and wanted to go home. What's new? We also went to the beach - it was fun to see how much it hasn't changed from when we used to spend hours down there as children. We couldn't believe that our parents would leave us abandoned on the beach for hours on end while they fished on the jetty. I guess it was a more innocent age (not that I'm that old!).