Thursday, August 24, 2006

Turtle showcase

As I type, Huck is cowering shivering in the corner of his tank, muttering over and over to himself 'the children! so many children!'. Yes, today was show-and-tell day at school (or 'hotel day' in Hannah-speak). First the turtle was trapped in a circle of 26 squealing five year olds, then transported in a box only to be trapped in a circle of squawking eight year olds. He did perform well, and was rewarded with some extra food afterwards.

Added picture: Bethany's interpretation of Huck at school. Note the circle of children, some with blue and some with yellow tops. The two arrows point to me in the middle of the circle, and Bethany as part of the circle. I don't doubt that each person in the drawing relates to a particular child in her class as well. The text on the other side of the picture reads "Hava a grat time at your holadae OOOOOOOOOOO Love love love love love I hop you hava a grat holadae I LOVE YOU!"

Photo: Unrelated to turtles and school, this is a photo of 'Winterlicious' at Port Adelaide. 'Crap' as declared by Ryan. 'Crap' as confirmed by mum. A little mound of snow that we queued 50 minutes for to play on for five. Woo-hoo. At least it was sunny and there was a guy selling rainbow sno-cones. And donuts. Don't forget the donuts.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Made redundant

Today is Sophie's second day at childcare. I didn't post about her first day as I didn't take photos, but after forgetting to take photos today as well, I faced up to the fact that she will probably be at school before I remember to bring the camera, so a thousand words will have to do instead.
I'd hoped (kind of) that today she would be a bit sad that I was leaving her again, after the uneventful first day she had, but in true Feuerherdt child style, because the children were sitting down eating fruit, she practically jumped out of my arms, pulled out a chair and started commanding and gesturing to the staff that she wanted a bowl too. My departure was a mere annoyance, interfering with the consumption of food (including oh so precious bananas - so that's where my fees go!).
She really has settled in very well, probably because Charlotte is also there Mondays, and Hannah stays in the baby room for a while too, so she is surrounded with familiar people, as well as being so familiar with the centre anyway.
So I'm enjoying today child-free. Of course, I'm used to it to a degree, as mum and dad have the kids on Fridays, but I work then! Today, I'm just working at home, cleaning up the debris from the weekend. Oh, and writing interminable blog entries.

Turtle fishing

When we inherited the turtle it came along with a big green net that my brother bought to catch little fish in the river to feed to the turtle. Notice I said he bought it for that purpose, not that he actually ever used it for that.
Ryan found a good use for it, as 7 year old boys do, namely catching bees. As we have a big row of lavender bushes along the front of the house, there are always plenty of bees to feed this hobby. Once he's caught them, he puts them in a bottle and leaves them lying around the house like everything else. He believes he is immune to bee stings as he 'got stung once and it didn't hurt'. Knowing my son's pain threshold, I beg to differ. I think a bee might have accidentally lost its stinger somewhere near the vicinity of his finger. When he gets stung for the first time, I'm sure we will hear about it loud and clear.
The time came, as was inevitable, that merely catching bees wasn't enough. He wanted to catch fish to feed the turtle, because that's what the net is actually for. Finally he wore me down and we went down to Clonlea Park yesterday to see what we could get. Fortunately Sophie (and Bethany) stayed home with Paul as that reduced the number of children in close proximity to water and therefore reduced my stress levels. After much fruitless swishing of nets in water (we knew there were things in there to be caught, after Ryan's class excursion to the very same spot this week, where the yabby nets captured yabbies (of course) and some sludge-suckers or other such fish), I finally emerged triumphant! A tiny, almost transparent, shrimp-type thing. Success. I managed in the end to catch two of these minute creatures. Standard response from Ryan was of course disappointment that he wasn't the one catching them. Following on the heels of the unsuccessful day fishing with Papa the day before, he was concerned he was losing his fishing prowess.
But, of course, we took them home, tipped them in with Huck, and he ate them. A bit of excitement because one lasted almost 10 minutes before he saw it (yes, they were that small) but nature ran its course in the end.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Midnight snacks

Recently we adopted a turtle, well, I guess more accurately we have fostered a turtle. My brother and sister in law have headed overseas for a couple of years and we are looking after not-so-little Huck for them. He's pretty easy to take care of, feed him when you think of it, clean the tank if it gets really dirty, drop the odd snail or slater in for a bit of entertainment. Ryan loves having a turtle, particularly since the fish tank got retired (after the seventh fish died I thought it was time for a break).
Adam said we need to feed the turtle four squares of turtle food once a week or so. To increase the excitement factor, we thought we would feed him one square every other day. Ryan has taken this seriously. The other morning he came into the bedroom at 2am, whispering some long story that my weary brain couldn't compute. I asked him to state in three words what he wanted. 'I need to feed the turtle' he said. Well, at 2am that is not my priority so we told him to get back to bed.
Apparently he didn't, he went out to the kitchen, got the turtle food, cut it into pieces and fed the turtle. The next day he said he had been very worried because we had missed a day feeding it and he was worried it would die of starvation before he woke up in the morning. Given that my brother had fed Huck when he remembered, even forgetting for as long as a month, I suspect that wasn't an imminent danger. However, Ryan is a very caring child (at least when it comes to turtles).