Thursday, December 17, 2009

more utterances from bean1

on what santa speaks

with crimble really right around the corner, the beans's english grandfolks found a website to get bean1 in the spirit - http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/ - where santa himself can give a message to the young 'un (after a parent has gone through the form filling up with all the relevant details of the child).

so i did that and watched with satisfaction as bean1 sat entranced by a video of santa 'talking' to her. she nodded at all the right spots and responded with appropriate noises whenever santa 'spoke' to her or 'asked' her questions.

later on skype, she told her grandparents about santa talking to her but then added, "he called me lee-ah" (as it differed from the way her name is usually pronounced).

the grandparents said that that's because not being english, his english isn't very good.

bean1 then grinned and said, "maybe he speaks north polian!"


on her chicken diet

took the babies out crimble shopping the other day and our final stop was a sushi restaurant. now, one of bean1's favourite takeout meals is a teriyaki chicken roll, although i hasten to add that the roll's ingredients have to be quite specific - e.g. she prefers cucumber to avocado as the additional filling.

anyhoo, the waitress grabbed a plate of the teriyaki roll (which already looked different as this version was cut into two pieces and didn't have an outer wrapping of seaweed) from the conveyor belt.

when placed in front of bean1, sure enough, she commented on the lack of seaweed surrounding the roll. then she proceeded to pick at the pieces and found lettuce but no cucumber - quelle horreur!

but the last straw was when she found that mayonnaise had been smeared in the roll: "mummy, i don't like tartare sauce!" as she pointed a finger accusingly at the deconstructed rolls.

i told her that it wasn't tartare sauce but mayo adding that both nainai and yeye like mayo. ever her own person, she still insisted, "mummy, i don't like mayonnaise."

she swallowed bits of the rice and left most of the chicken before she turned to the cucumber rolls (i'd grabbed a dish seeing as the teriyaki chicken roll was quite small).

i had to tar pau the remainder as i was adamant she should finish her lunch at home. we had to cut short our lunch at the restaurant as bean2 had woken and needed feeding, and i figured it was better to just head home - afterall, we were only a 5 minute drive away. i informed bean1 of the necessity to finish her lunch at home though.

she must've dwelled on my pronouncement and when i was on the road homeward she piped up, "mummy, what day is today?"

"wednesday honey."

"ah! that's why i can't eat my teriyaki chicken. (pause) i can't eat chicken on wednesdays, mum."

so did she get away with this excuse? let's just say i hear a new one everyday, and i sure wasn't born yesterday either!


on naughty relatives

over a 3 day span, bean1 managed to blame her poor uncle william for quite different things. here's the first one:

bean1 was in my room one morning and we sang songs while bean2 fed. somehow i went onto yankee doodle and bean1 decided to ad lib and do a riff on it. she changed the words and made it even more nonsensical than it sounds (i believe it had chicken and ended up with spaghetti).

when i asked if she had only just made it up, she denied it, "noooo. one of my naughty uncles did it."

incredulous (and curious as to which uncle she could possibly mean), i asked who taught her.

smiling, bean1 said, "uncle william!"

incident #2: a day or two later, in the living room this time, bean1 was being silly with the "poo" word. she was going on and on about "poo pants", "poo bottom" and variations thereof.

i interjected finally to tell her to zip it. defiantly she said, "uncle william told me to say poo bottom."

so that's twice she's maligned poor will.


on colour semantics

i walked the girls to the post office one day last week and as we waited for the lights to change before crossing, a woman with long hair walked by. the bean noticed and stated (rather loudly, i cringed), "she has auburn hair!"

taken aback, i automatically agreed, then wondering if she really knew what it is, i asked, "what is auburn?"

immediately, she proclaimed, "brownish red."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

update on bean2 - 4 months old

4th month report

bean2 is a really lovely baby...she doesn't get agitated often, just only when she needs a nappy change (she is quite a hygienic little girl and doesn't like lying in soiled drawers!) or if i have left her too long without company (she is very sociable and likes to be with the in-crowd).

she's holding her head much better now and can reach out and grasp for things. she likes kicking and when she's on the playmat, she thumps the floor so hard one fears her heels will be thoroughly bruised. when she isn't kicking she often latches onto her toes

Bean1's first outright lie?

One of my frequently used pet names for Bean1 is "angel". Her father's is "princess". No prizes for guessing which one she prefers, and this morning, she made it all apparent.

As I fed Bean2 while Bean1 followed dh to the kitchen for breakfast this morning, she turned back and came to stand in my bedroom doorway, looking very solemn.

"Mum, I have a question for you."

"Oh-kay. What is it?"

"Daddy doesn't like you to call me angel. That's all." With that she turned around and went to have her breakfast, leaving me agog.

Later, I told dh about the porker Bean1 told me. He told her that it's not good to tell lies, and that if she didn't want me to call her angel, she should just tell me that, instead of saying it was daddy's idea.

Friday, November 20, 2009

when dinosaurs roamed the erth (sic)

yesterday, when bean2 and i went to pick up la premiere bean from school, the latter came out from class only to burst out, "mummy! i wrote a story today! about dinosaurs. about dinosaurs when they died and then the woolly bird came around and ate all the horses."

apparently this was for writing practice and when i met her teacher this morning at drop-off, i was told, "it was wonderful. there was a lot of information. it was not easy deciding what to write, but we managed finally. all about when dinosaurs died and then the woolly bird ate the horses." her teacher paused, gave me a knowing nod and continued, "yeah. that woolly bird."

i think i know where bean1 came up with this - from one of her dinosaur books. and yes, there is a chapter on the Tertiary period where mammals and large birds called Gastornis existed. The Gastorni diet (according to the book) seemed to consist of the early form of horses.

here's her writing practice sample:



translation: Dinosaurs died when the Earth changed and the woolly bird ate little horses.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

bean #1's utterances

dds's paternal grandparents are in town - to help with the kids and to enjoy the most of sydney before we shift digs to shanghai - and have been privy to dd1's recent zinging statements...

on yeye's DIY efforts
while yeye was up a ladder changing a lightbulb in the bathroom, dd1 went to inspect. as she stood looking up she said to him, "be careful, old chap." her cautionary words and the soubriquet she used did serve to give yeye some pause.

on salami
the 4 of us - her paternal grandfolks, dd1 and i - were having lunch when dd1 saw that we had opened a packet of salami. curious, she asked what it was, and was told that "it's spicy sausage".

but when asked if she would like to try some, she unsurprisingly replied, "little children don't like salami."

this compelled her grandparents to try to convince her that her half-italian cousin probably likes it, and that not only he, but children in hungary, spain and france would probably eat salami too.

unconvinced, she immediately said, "but not english children."

quite.

on toilet seats
yesterday dd1 went to the loo only to call for help shortly afterwards.

when her nainai went to investigate, she was informed by dd1, "i have superglued my bottom to the toilet, nainai. i can't get up."

i hasten to state that she did not indeed have access to superglue and it was merely a figure of speech.

on what she means to her parents
this afternoon, as her grandparents drove her home from preschool, they played opposites, i.e. asking what's the opposite of a particular word.

they got to "sun", which the bean knew was "moon". then they went on to the homonym of "sun", "son". nainai said that dd1's daddy is nainai's "son", and asked dd1, "so what are you to mummy and daddy?"

"i'm their sunshine," was the bean's wonderfully sweet reply.

on nainai's jewellery
a typical female, dd1 finds her granny's jewellery rather magnetic. whenever she sees nainai with a new necklace or pendant, she invariably has to comment on it.

one time it was about a large white flower pendant, to which she gave an emphatic "i like your necklace, nainai."

then yesterday she tried on nainai's many rings. very pleased with herself, she beamed up and exclaimed, "now i am an old lady!"

bean #2 has landed

(okay, so i mixed my metaphors...)

bean #2 arrived toward the latter-end of july and i've been busy juggling the 2 beans ever since.

bean #1 has been a relatively good big sister - "i luuurve you, little bay-bee", she purrs most days. but there have been the occasional bust-ups with ME.

e.g. last night, bean #1 couldn't get to sleep for a long time (she still needs me to accompany her while she slips into dreamland) and when i had to duck out to feed bean #2, she was completely unhappy. as i stood outside her closed door after feeding the baby, i could hear my oldest recite a litany of my sins..."i don't like my mummy. she's not a good mummy. she doesn't buy me dvds. she doesn't take me to school..." it went on and on till i entered the room. but when i asked if she was angry with me, she shook her head and said, "i love you."

dd2 has been a relatively easy babe. she doesn't feed for as long a period as dd1, but she has been easy-ish to settle. she does look like dd1's twin at the same age, albeit with more gravity-defying hair, a widow's peak and a chin inherited from her father.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

why the bean doesn't draw elephants

it's interesting that the bean doesn't do many representational drawings anymore. at least, none that qualifies in the traditional sense.

she is more interested in doing 'action' art - as she draws, she relates a story, but the end result is often something akin to a cy twombly piece without the calligraphy/graffitti (hey, i'm not equating the bean's output with that from an abstract expressionism icon, but there are similar elements!), where the scribblings will only make sense to the artist, not the viewer.

see an example here that she'd dashed off today, which i shall title emergency rocket ship*:

when i asked her to explain her drawing she informed me that it's an "mergent (sic) rocket ship, mummy" - "it brings people to the emergent (sic) in mars to the hospital".

visual components include: 2 policemen (the blue sperm-like squiggles on the left of the picture) ; a long chain of "prison" cells for the "baddies"; fire from the rocket ship; an area to lock up bad policemen; not forgetting the emergency rocket ship; and a jellyfish.

yes, all quite disparate elements but she has a bizarre narrative going as she drew the picture, all about baddies killing jellyfish and the policemen who put the baddies in jail, in parallel with a rocket ship that flies to mars to help people in an emergency.

anyhow, before she embarked on this 'epic' i had asked if she could draw me an animal, like an elephant, only to be told the obvious, "no-o. the elephant is too big for my paper."

when i asked if she could draw a small/baby elephant instead, she said, "no. it's still too big."

don't ask me about her logic: why rocket ships will fit onto the paper but not an elephant.

then last week, whilst i was cooking she came to the kitchen with one of these 'action' drawings and told me she was going to read me a story. she held her artwork like a parchment, looked at it and then 'recited' a story about 2 children flying all the way from london to visit her in australia.

when i interjected with a question, she paused and said, "mummy, don't interrupt!"

*click on the picture to enlarge

Sunday, June 07, 2009

the bean & her cousins: the trio of cheekiness

we had the good fortune of having the bean's eldest (twin male) cousins visit us from the uk for 3 weeks in may.

i had idly wondered if there would be fireworks when the 3 got together but all fears were unfounded.

they had to share the bean's room (as we have no extra rooms) - the twins on mattresses on the floor. but the bean absolutely loved their company, sharing her toys with them, as well as playing with their toys. she was an eager follower and accomplice to whatever shenanigans the boys got up to.

inevitably, she picked up a few behaviours and speech from them. such as, "cuddlies" for soft toys, and "love" for hugs and kisses ("can i have your love mummy?"), but also more cheeky ones such as the boys' penchant to spout "poo" and "bottom" at inappropriate times.

while she was a willing participant to their games, sometimes she stood her ground. one time, one of the boys declared, "i am going to marry you."

she was indignant and hotly replied, "no! i am not going to marry you!"

i doubt that any of them actually knows what "marry" means or entails* but it was funny to overhear their dialogue nonetheless.

*the twin who was proclaiming marriage had previously told dh that he was going to marry a tree, and later on, a leaf, so marriage to him is not a very exclusive (either species- or duration-wise) arrangement.

the "umungous" jellyfish

i awoke this morning in the bean's bed (having been summoned by her in the middle of the night), and when i turned around to see what she was up to, i found her sitting up already, looking over the side of her safety rail.

without turning round to look at me, she said, "my toys are in the sea mummy. i have to rescue them and put them in the boat."

with that she got out and returned with the few soft toys that were on the floor, placing them on the bed in front of me. fearing that i would be overwhelmed with a bombardment of toys, i told her that her settee was a rock where the other toys could be safe too. she took up that idea and set the rest to safety. then she clambered back onto the bed.

"do you know the name of this boat?," she asked me, and then said, "it's a dinghy." when i posed the question back to her.

she picked up her mini bolster and said, "this is my oar. i can row with it. to get away from the umungous jellyfish. row row row," she puffed before adding, "oh no, it's stuck in the slimy kelp."

i asked her why the humungous jellyfish was chasing us. maybe it's trying to be friendly because it was lonely. but the bean said, "noooo. it wants to sting us." like i was some kind of benign moron.

when her daddy came into the room, she told her daddy to get into the dinghy as we were being chased by the jellyfish. delighted, i told dh that it's a "umungous jellyfish" but he wasn't surprised, telling me that yesterday, she told him, "it's invisible", which is why daddy couldn't see it (of course).

she's been obsessed with the dinghy and the octopus/jellyfish ever since i read her the story, the hidden forest, a well-illustrated australian book by jeanne baker. her previous book was where the forest meets the sea, which i had read to her when she was in the under 3s montessori programme. it's a book that i have been meaning to buy, but always forget.

anyway, in the hidden forest, the young protagonist, ben, is initially wary of the sea and what lurks beneath the waves and when he gets accidentally thrown overboard he imagines that something sinister is trying to grab hold of him. here, the page shows a translucent giant octopus reaching for the dinghy and ben.

the bean can't discern that this octopus is supposed to be what ben imagines and not a 'real' one, so she gets excited when we get to this page.

i recall that her first enactment from the story involved an octopus, but lately it's evolved into a jellyfish.

pink camel



I think the Bean did this drawing a few days ago, but my memory is hazy, and it could've been done a week ago. Anyhoo, I can't remember the context, but she told me that she'd drawn and coloured a camel (in one of her favourite colours). The face of the creature can be clearly discerned I think, and I have marked out where she had put the humps of the camel. The 4 legs are there too, with the space between the limbs coloured in.

It seems to be a kind of progression to a more realistic representation of animals. Certainly a development away from the blobs with stick arms and legs that stood for ALL humans and animals when she first started.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

mandarin in oz

a video of justine clarke singing 'gumtree family' was on the telly just now, which prompted the bean to exclaim, "she's in australia!"
i nodded in agreement, and said, "she's australian."
to which the bean added, "she doesn't speak mandarin."

she's learnt that a lot of aussies don't speak her second language. which reminds me that i've not been using it much on her lately as well. yikes.

going on a slight tangent: it's interesting that there aren't any chinese schools in oz. i mean, there are jewish schools a plenty, and french and german schools, even a japanese school. i had been thinking about this for a while before another mama from the bean's mandarin playgroup class voiced it too. she said that she would be eager to enroll her children in one if a group of parents could set one up.

hmmm...i wonder how difficult it is to organise something like this to set up such a school? chinese parents are notoriously pushy and achievement oriented, so the teaching standards will have to be pretty high. anyhoo, an interesting thought.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

kuringai wildflower garden + "a nice lady"

a nature activity
yesterday, i took the bean to a 'bush kids' program at the ku-ring-gai wildflower garden (kwg), which is a lovely bush setting. one of the kwg officers read the 16 children a graeme base book - uno's garden - before leading them to kwg's vegetable garden where they had to search for some of the creatures from the story and then do a craft project*. the kids were also shown a real blue-tongued lizard that was about a year old.

apparently the garden breeds these critters and releases them in suitable home gardens. (they survey the gardens of potential lizard adopters before giving the green light.) it's an initiative** to reintroduce more native animals into the suburban environment, whilst also introducing a 'novel' non-pesticide way to reduce snail populations in gardens: the blue-tongued lizard's favourite meal is snail.

at the end of the session the bean was very reluctant to leave ("i don't want to go home!" she wailed), so on the suggestion from the kwg officer we went down one of the trails that led to the garden's picnic area. some playground equipment there kept the bean happily occupied for a bit, but only after she had some snacks was she happy to leave with me.

kwg is a lovely bushland that is relatively civilised: there are loos, picnic areas, and stroller-friendly tracks besides a couple of more challenging ones for better walkers. we heard the tweeting of fairy-wrens as well as the croaking of frogs in the pond - all surrounded by banksias and gum trees.

however, evidence of civilisation is not far away: we can hear the roar of the traffic nearly all the time as the garden is just beside a major road. but still, it was a delightful way to spend a morning. i just wished that i had done this with the bean sooner.


the nice lady
after lunch that same day, we headed to a fabrics shop to get some haberdashery items. whilst walking down a step to the boardwalk outside the shopping centre, the bean stumbled and fell forward. i caught her in time but an elderly lady coming round the corner was quite concerned. she made a bit of fuss over the bean and then said, "isn't she beautiful!" to me.

naturally, the bean lapped it all up and when she heard the compliment, she said to me, "this is a nice lady."

the 2 of them had a short chat. the bean volunteering most of the information: we were going to buy ribbons, mummy doesn't like the colour pink, mummy likes red. then the bean did a dance - spinning round and round - in the middle of the walkway, becoming a minor obstruction for pedestrian traffic. when she finished dancing, she bowed deeply twice (because the "nice lady" didn't see her bow the first time).

when we finally said our goodbyes to the "nice lady" and walked away, the bean said, "she's old. she's a nice old lady. i did a dance for her."


* i almost forgot: the kids had slices of watermelon that was grown from one of the patches in the veg garden itself. very refreshing...i had a slice too!


** the kwg only releases lizards that are a year old or older because young ones are easy prey for magpies.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

our easter long weekend + some choice bean-speak

friday circus
we've just had a rather busy long weekend. it was the easter break and we began by going down to darling harbour for the hoopla! festival on friday afternoon. the fest is/was essentially a gathering of different street juggling/ acrobatics/ magic acts.

there was a 'big tent' where free performances were put on every 2 hours or so, and we managed to catch one act, which could be italian or albanian or gypsy. the most notable part of this couple's act seemed to be how the female half was able to contort her body to fit inside a smallish acrylic see-through box (with lid). w-o-w...

we also managed to watch some bits of a dance/acrobatics performance. a group of 4 men and a girl did rap-style street dancing combined with some human pyramid-type formations. all quite impressive but i was sorely tempted to yell at one of the performers to tie his hair up. it was long, shaggy and flopped everywhere. thinking of the heat and how sweaty he was, it made me wince with distaste whenever it was his turn to perform.

one of the more impressive acts we caught was a french-canadian who cracked lame jokes, usually at the expense of the audience members. his act was of the lying on long, sharp nails, swallowing flaming batons and juggling nasty, short swords variety. not bad overall and we rewarded him with some dosh at the end. oh, the box in which he keeps his paraphernalia is shaped like a coffin, and we did wonder how he managed to clear all the rather sensitive items through customs.

there was also a mime artist. she had greasepaint on her face, wore a ruby-red lampshade on her head and was garbed in semi-victorian dress. she seemed rather taken with the bean (who was sitting on her daddy's shoulders) and blew kisses at her. the bean similarly blew kisses back at her with both hands and waved goodbye.

as we walked off though, the bean remarked excitedly to her daddy,
"she's white! she can't talk! she's a may-leeyan dad!" (may-leeyan = alien)

saturday mammoths
the next afternoon, almost on a whim, we went to the australian museum for the special once-off woolly mammoths exhibit. the museum is perhaps the bean's current favourite place. she loves the dinosaur fossils upstairs and also likes touching all the stuffed animals poised around the place.

she seems to have an obsession with death and has been asking nearly daily, "why do dinosaurs die out?"

anyway, after coming back from looking at the mammoths, the bean decided that one of her toy elephants is also a mammoth. and her question morphed into, "how do the mammoths die out?"

p/s. once, after we had given her the theories for how the dinosaurs became extinct, the bean asked, "how did nanny and dordon die?" she seemed very thoughtful at the answers we gave her and was a bit concerned that people she loved would eventually die too.

sunday easter show
we tried to rise early for the sydney royal easter show, but alas, only managed to get there around 10.30am. i think the bean expected a large easter bunny to be prancing around shoving chocolate eggs at everybody, so she was a wee bit disappointed when we got there and none was to be found ("where's the easter bunny?"). i don't know how the idea of one was implanted - certainly not from us.

at the show, i think we did less than last year, for some reason. maybe because i'm preggers and don't have the same stamina/speed. we did get a look-in at the following though: woodchop (just one event regrettably), cat pavilion (bean got to pat/stroke an enormous, shaggy grey and white persian-ish cat), pony rides (bean went on 2 rides, and dh made up the names of the ponies for her as the handlers were obviously students on holiday jobs and didn't know the ponies' names), pig pavilion (there was a cute 3 little pigs pen with a straw house, a twig/wood house, and a brick house, but the piggies were asleep in a children's toy nylon tunnel instead), fashion pavilion, food pavilion (the bean was asleep in the stroller by that stage so dh and i could go do our own thing)...and finally, a ride on a carousel.

we didn't get to see the magnificent diving pigs (apparently the only ones in australia) - long queues were turned away at each performance time slot because of the act's popularity.

but we did get to watch part of an erth dinosaur petting zoo, where 'actors' had their arms stuck up the behinds of puppet dinosaurs or manipulated puppets on strings.

monday mooch day
the only day we didn't have a fabulous activity planned was easter monday. dh mowed the back lawn, trimmed a hibiscus bush, and we went to officeworks for stationery supplies and later to borders bookstore. yes, very exciting.

because it rained in the afternoon, the bean philosophically told us, "we can't have the easter hunt," which was an activity that had been promised her by dh.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

weird figures

[figure below] the bean calls this "the maylien". it's actually an impression of the alien from cocoon 2 (the movie) - she saw it last saturday afternoon when dh was watching the film on tv.


[figure below] and this is a "bad man. he catches bad people and puts them in pwison." i had to explain that policemen aren't bad. although they put people in "pwison" it's usually only "bad people" who get put away.

an interesting feature of this figure is that it actually has a body. previously, the limbs of a person just simply sprouted from a giant head, but this time she's added a torso. she's also added fingers to the stick arms - those shorter twig-like additions at the end.

the "funny potty seat" & independent toileting

our current rental home has a non-standard loo, so the toilet seat adapter that we had been using perfectly fine before, does not fit snuggly on this one and slips. the bean often complained "mama i'm sinking!" when the adapter seat shifted under her weight and a part of it sank into the bowl. apart from this fit issue, the bean finds it difficult to climb onto the loo because she's, well, vertically challenged.

she therefore prefered to use her portable potty instead of the grown-up loo because of all the above issues.

so, when we went to a baby equipment shop recently to get some car seat boosters for the bean's cousins (they're coming over from balmy england to see us in may), i scouted round the store to see if there was a suitable loo solution for the bean.

et voila!
it's a bambino toilet trainer that folds up and stands against a wall when not in use but otherwise, the bean has been able to unfold it, put it on the loo and climb up and down it by herself.

she sometimes goes on her own without telling me first now, but usually she gives me a holler to let me know that she needs to do a wee/poo. when she comes off it she then goes on the little step stool to wash her hands. thus, now she can do her toileting all on her own.

she calls it the "funny potty". e.g. "mummy, can i use the funny potty seat? i like it. it works very well." (she's a hoot!)

it has been a really good investment as an independence-developing tool. i think it's super.

p/s. oh, on the occasions when she uses the portable potty, she often brings it to the loo to empty it by herself. then she washes her hands. i woke up one morning to hear her conduct the entire process, after which she came into the bedroom to play/change clothes.

Monday, April 06, 2009

school daze begins

in the second week of march the bean formally began her school life --- hub-unit did remark that it's the start of something she will only finish in about 16-17 years time!

however, it was an inauspicious start on a warm, sunny day as the bean fell and grazed both knees as we crossed the road to the school gate. so her initial excitement about attending "big school" was severely dampened as she wailed from the pain. after she was fixed up in the admin office, her directress took her hand after she showed some initial resistance/reluctance to leave my side, and i made a quick getaway. but she seemed fine when i went to pick her up 1.5 hours later (the first 3 days were only 1.5 hours each, to make the transition and separation from me easier). she enjoyed the class and told me that she wanted to bring all the children home to play with her.

however, the excitement or novelty wore off after 5 days. and she was soon telling me "mummy, i don't want to go to _______ montessori school" (she always mentions the school by its full name) whenever we got close to the school in the car.

she did wail once or twice and she often shook her head and shied away from the assistant teacher who greets her at morning drop-offs (the kids have to shake the teacher's hand and say good morning at the door before they enter the premises proper). the first time she wailed, the teacher just carried her in while i ran off.

i later heard from the directress that she would ask "i want my mummy" only to be told by the teacher and/or the older kids that "your mummy is coming at 12" or "your mummy will pick you up at 12". thankfully, the activities in class are usually enough to take her mind off me.

but more distressingly, the directress has told me that the bean has had a few "meltdowns" when she would just stubbornly say "no" and refuse to do something, even when offered alternatives. after reiterating "no" she would then wail and cry very loudly, so loud that the other children would cover their hands over their ears. so sigh...the bean has not exactly exhibited model montessori behaviour...

anyhoo, when the bean hasn't had her "meltdowns" she has been doing typical montessori (and early childhood ed) work (for her age) such as brick polishing, brass polishing, buttoning frames, water transference, beading, threading, pasting, window washing, the pink tower, brown stairs, cylinder blocks, etc. and she does enjoy working on those activities. yet, inevitably, inexplicably, she would end her enthusiastic description with a petulant "mummy, i don't want to go to ______ montessori school".

i don't know if this is because it entails being away from me. she has asked if i could stay with her in the school (often in a tone and with such a hopeful look it made my heart twinge), only to look disappointed when i had to explain that no mummies are allowed in the school, and that i will, however, be there to pick her up when school finishes. this is rarely satisfactory of course, so i only get a sullen, "but mummy, i don't want to go to ______ montessori school" again.

the bright spark for her and often a good way to entice her out of the car is to point out the children i see heading to school. i would say, oh look it's so-and-so and immediately, the bean would ask "where?" and want to get out to see them.

she loves the older kids. and the older girls love her. at home one afternoon, she told me that she was kissed on the cheek by one of the girls. when i said that was nice, and if she had said anything back to her, the bean said, "i said sank you." i then asked if she likes the girl, only to have the bean reply, after the barest of pauses, "she is quite nice."

this is only just week 4 of school of course, so it's still early days as the bean settles in. unfortunately, we have the long-ish easter break now so it means that the bean will need to re-settle into her school routine at the end of april! i wonder if there will be more tears and meltdowns...sigh...

Monday, March 09, 2009

bean #2 and bean #1's reactions

at the v beginning
yup, the bean will no longer be just "the bean". she's bean #1 now, as #2 is in the oven.

when we broke the news to the bean, she was initially quite excited.

"can i talk to the baby?" she asked.

"of course. come over here to mummy's belly."

she leaned real close, stared at my bellybutton and asked seriously, "would you like a biscuit?"

i'll admit that her first words to the baby took hub-unit and i by surprise. but i suppose she was eating a biscuit herself and probably thought she was being nice and 'sharing' to the baby.

subconscious rivalry?
a week or so after the revelation, the bean began behaving really intolerably. severe tantrums became a near nightly/daily occurrence. and this lasted a month or more.

but i bought her a book, 'i am a big sister' and began reading this to her nightly. this seemed to have some effect, as she now says, "i am a big sister now! i love my baby."

and today she actually looked at a photo of a baby and remarked, "look! a chubby baby. it's lovely."

jan-feb : bean's imaginings & tall tales

her pink & yellow polka dotted dinosaur
whilst her yeye and nainai were visiting us, the bean regaled them with various stories, such as her going on holiday, airplane trips, on jungle safaris etc. one of those tales concerned a pet dinosaur, who kept getting lost.

to aid us in our search, she gave a description of it - "it's peeenk, with lellow spots. yes, it's got lellow polka-dots. and it has an orange-striped tail. it's lost! where is it? we have to look for it! it's in the forest! we have to follow that road into the forest!"

she actually talked non-stop in a 40 minute drive, all the time about embarking on this search for her missing dinosaur.

welcome to her world
one day she solemnly said to her grandparents, "welcome to leah world."

after her long spiel about looking for her ("friendly") dinosaur, she announced to us, "dinosaurs live in brazil. they live far far away. they live in dinosaur world."

then she clarified, "dinosaur world is in leah world. of course!"

hedgehogs
infestation next door
while having breakfast one morning the bean suddenly sqawked excitedly, "look look look! it's a hedgehog! a hedgehog walking on the fence!"

her yeye was nonplussed till he looked at where she was pointing. just then, a couple more 'hedgehogs' appeared, which got her more excited.

he laughed when he realised what those 'hedgehogs' truly were. as our neighbour was having his house remodeled, there were builders walking along the fence and the tops of their spiky-haired heads were what were observed by the bean.