Wednesday, April 23, 2008

the "real thomas" tank engine

last week we took the bean on a special outing - a ride on an actual steam train that looks like thomas the tank engine. it is a quarterly event held at the zigzag railway in the blue mountains and i thought since the bean is so obsessed with thomas, why not an actual train experience?

suffice to say that the bean enjoyed it although it may have been a little overwhelming for her at first. she was also a bit nonplussed about having to sit in the train instead of being where she could stare at thomas's 'face', but the rides at 'tidmouth sheds' made up for the boring real train ride.

but now she calls this the "real thomas", as differentiated from book or tv thomas!

new(ish) speech developments

what's going on?
for at least 2 weeks now, whenever the bean wants to know what i am doing she would come over and ask in a very serious voice, "what going on mama?"
like today. she had been playing on her own for a while when she must have suddenly felt the need for my company, so she came over to where i was hanging up the washing and even though she knew what i was doing, she still asked, "what going on mama?"
i was not sure if she referred to something more profoundly philosophical (such as the existential state of the world) but i just answered as simply as i could, "just hanging the washing to dry."

birthday celebrations replay
i don't know if it's the influence of the song "it's my birthday today" by justine clarke (on a cd - i like to sing - that is constantly played in the car) but this afternoon the bean informed me that, "my birthday today mama. i want presents. with big ribbons. purple. pink!"

where's the tickle monster?
since sunday, when dh or i asks her if she knew where the tickle monster is, she would point to some random place and say, "over there", knowing full well that one of us would be launching a tickle-fest on her by responding variously, "are you sure it's not over here?"/"no it's not; it's here!"

gender-bender & then some
i've posted about her referring to herself as a boy. well now it's a bit more precise: "little boy!"
99% of the time when i sayang her and say that she's "mummy's little girl", she'd retort, "nooo."
if i ask her, "then what are you?" she'd proudly/triumphantly/cheekily say, "little boy!"
but yesterday, instead of claiming to be a boy, she just went, "miao!" and miming a kitten bouncing off my shoulders and head, she went, "miao! miao! miao! little kitten! bouncing off mummy!" she was shaking with laughter and then she finally admitted to being "silly".

missing her daddy
last evening when it was nearing bathtime, the bean suddenly went very pensive and pouty. she moped around the living room and then declared, "i want daddy. where's daddy? i want daddy."
when i asked if she would like to speak to him on the phone (he was still at work) she said, "no! i want daddy here. daddy at home!"
this evening she missed him again at bathtime but it was just a one-line pout this time, "i want daddy."

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

yes i am

the bean had to wait a bit for her tea tonight and she got a little antsy about it, even leaving the goggle box to pester me in the kitchen. so to distract her, i asked her, "aren't you going to watch little einsteins?"

the ruse worked and she immediately turned around, tossing back her reply, "yes i am."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

a puppetry 1st

we attended our first puppet show today, and i think the bean enjoyed it. the show was titled hickory dickory dock so i think she expected more of the clock and the mouse. but in fact, they were featured only at the beginning and end of the show which strung together several disparate stories - like a vaudeville act.

there were 2 parts of the show separated by a short interval. the stories performed were all quite apt for the age group (2-4 yr olds): peter rabbit & farmer macgregor's veg garden (part 1); what's the time, mr wolf? and 10 laughing clowns (part 2).

during the main performances hand puppets were the main 'actors' - all performed by a sole puppeteer (the "lady" as the bean calls her). but the kids were shown wooden, stringed puppets at the beginning of each half of the show. i think leah really liked the frog that came out as well as the dancing monkey and violin-playing gypsy.

at the end of part 2, there was a shadow puppet segment and that was well done. however, because the screen for this was located at a corner, and rather small, i felt that some of the kids may not have been able to appreciate the performance properly. e.g. from where the bean was sitting on the floor, a 'stage' light was actually blocking part of the screen. i told her to stand up so she could see the entire screen to better enjoy the performance.

she was quite fascinated by the puppets as they are really toys that can move. she was especially taken by a green hanging puppet that she insisted was a dinosaur. (the 'theatre', really a sparse shoplot in a suburban shopping plaza, had strung up various puppets from the ceiling as part of the minimalist decor.)

however, i was impressed that she was not at all clingy at the theatre. i told her to sit at the front with the other children (most of whom were slightly older - maybe round 3 years old) and she wasn't fazed that i didn't sit with her (she did look back to see where i was). instead, she started chatting with a mother who sat upfront with her 2 charges. the bean kept pointing things out (characters from the performances, or the "dinosaur" above, et al) and that poor accosted mom had to repeat after the bean in agreement.

during the interval when the bean came to me for refreshment, i saw a handbell sitting on the "box office" counter and pointed it out to her. we soon found out the purpose of this instrument, when the puppeteer came out to announce the end of the interval and the imminent start of part 2. as soon as the bean saw the puppeteer pick up the handbell, she zoomed over and said, "i wan ring bell."

their brief exchange was as follows:
"oh, would you like to help me ring the bell?"
"i wan ring bell."
"alright, will you help ring the bell?"
"i wan ring bell."
i guess once the bean has set her sights on something she can be quite single-minded.

in any case, as soon as she got the handbell she shot out the door of the theatre. i dumped my rucksack in a mild panic. as i got up from my chair to check on the bean, i saw a grandfather smiling at me, so i said, "she's making a run with the bell." (or something to that effect.) but the puppeteer was with the bean, teaching her how to hold and ring the bell.

i think she was the envy of some of the other children, but then she seems to be the one who was able to make the most of the opportunity...with a little (unwitting) help from me.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

bf update

i've whittled our bf sessions from 2-3 times per day to just 1 now. the bean's been put to sleep in her "big bed" for several weeks, but she is only just learning to sleep without relying on bfg.

for the first couple of nights there were tears and implorations but i was steadfast that i wouldn't give in. then on the 3rd, or was it the 4th, night she fell asleep without asking for "milk milk". however, and this a huge however, she still needs me cuddled up close to her before she can go to sleep.

i am my daughter's security blanket/ cuddle toy.

my baby has asthma

one of my minor fears has been realised: the bean has been diagnosed with childhood asthma. she'd been having an irritating (to me) cough at night for about 2 months but because it went away during the day and because all of us thought this could be from teething symptoms (all the extra drool), i wasn't unduly worried. at least not until this monday past when she had a very runny nose the entire day, followed by a night of extreme wheeziness.

so i brought her to the doctor's where she behaved impeccably - she went straight to the children's corner in the waiting room and started colouring with the materials provided, and when she eventually met the doctor she wasn't shy or afraid. she was a bit fidgety because she didn't have any colouring materials in the office but she did a little exploring - she even went to stand on the weighing scale without being asked.

anyhow, the prognosis ain't too good. on top of this chronic asthma, she has an ear infection (left side only) and a cold. her breathing is laboured and the doctor was a bit surprised to find the bean so bright and happy, belying the seriousness of her condition. the doc said maybe it's just leah's nature but that with the ear infection she'd have expected her to be more miserable.

so we're back on ventolin and singulair, both medication we're familiar with because of the bean's previous bout of bronchiolitis. she also has to have a not-so nice tasting antibiotic (for the ear infection which the doc suspects is bacterial), which i am proud to say she downs (albeit reluctantly and with a screwed up face) like a little trooper.

i hope she grows out of this asthma soon...

thomas the tank engine

for a couple of weeks at least now the bean has been obsessed with thomas - thomas the tank engine. (thank god it ain't barbie!) everyday she wakes up and asks to "watch thomas deeveedee mamee" or "thomas teevee". i've lost count the number of times i keep telling her that we don't have the dvd nor that i know if a show will be guaranteed on tv that day.

to cap her obsession, just before bathtime tonight she went, "puff puff puff!" i didn't know what she was on about till i was told that "leah choo choo train. puff puff. like thomas."

later, just before she drifted off to sleep she said, "nemo*, thomas, leah's friends."

* yes, nemo from finding nemo - every durn anemonefish is now called "nemo" and any fish that is blue in colour is "dory".