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Children’s TV

Amazing how kids change what they love from one month to another.

For about a month, DD loved “In the Night Garden”, the theme to which is a dreadfully annoying ear worm. Then overnight she hated it. The reason was that another kid at school told her the show was only for babies.

Her latest love is The Numberjacks, http://www.numberjacks.co.uk/kids/numberjacks.html, which she couldn’t stand for weeks because she saw an episode that she thought was scary.
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I don’t know, I can’t keep up with her at this age. Goodness knows how I’ll manage with a teenager.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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5 bad things I let my kid do

This idea is taken shamelessly from the lovely Kristina Sauerwein’s blog entry. Thinking of the things I did without letting my mum and dad know and yet I allow my 4.5 y-o darling daughter do.

I am aware that part of this is me trying to NOT be a helicopter parent or as uptight as I know I really could be. Underneath my actions is a panic merchant screaming to be let out and be a control monster over my darling instead of letting her be herself, learn things on her own and to be reassured that there will always be comfort and cuddles from her mother if it doesn’t quite work out.

1. I let her climb almost anything. OK, not power poles. 🙂 DD loves climbing trees and is the most adventurous climber in her preschool. Fences, obstacles, you name it. I’m waiting for her to work out how to climb onto the roof of the house ‘cos that will be the limit of my encouragement. Yes, I supervise her. Yes, I’m taking her indoor rock climbing this weekend.

2. I let her watch television. Not such a biggie, eh? Oh yes, it is. Apparently I’m letting her in for a lifetime of obesity, lowered intelligence, poor social skills and more. (Do your own research and work out which bits I’m exaggerating or not. ;-)) Those precious half hours of TV mean I can deal with hard, possibly dangerous things in the kitchen involving moving boiling water and hot pans, or make an urgent phone call. If I could persuade DD to watch an entire DVD, I could get in a nap on a weekend afternoon …. nah, that’s not going to happen.

3. I let her make a huge mess in the kitchen. It’s called cooking. Sometimes we get edible stuff out of it. I also let her try out things on the stovetop if I’m supervising and it’s not pans of boiling water. She had a good go at making a roux for a white sauce the other day. Sure, it was lumpy but she was working hard. Now if only she would help me more energetically to clean up the kitchen afterwards.

4. I let DD choose her own clothes with the proviso that the choices have to be season-appropriate. No bikini and hula skirt in winter. Summer dresses with a long-sleeved shirt underneath and leggings in winter sound perfectly fine to me. I don’t care who gives us funny looks, particularly if I’m having an unfashionista day.* Purple, pink, blue, green, flowers, stripes, and finished off with socks of any colour or style she wants. I don’t mind. All too soon I’ll have a child who insists on wearing whatever everyone else is wearing. Let her be herself for now.

5. I let her ride her balance bike in the house. I would have been smacked so hard if I did that as a kid but honestly, this is my house and DD is a pretty good rider. Her friends think I’m odd but happily join in. Her friends’ parents, for the most part, think I am mad. That’s OK, too.

I could go on. I should really celebrate these and the other ones I shan’t add today because it is me getting rid of my neurotic shackles. Not perfect, not even getting close, and still failing in many ways. But I’m still here.

*Unfashionista is my neologism for today. I’m *almost* an unfashionista today, but if I cover up my yellow socks with penguins on them by wearing leather boots, I’ll be OK. I think.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2010 in Child Development, children, Motherhood, the mummy race

 

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Update

I’d love to tell you that I had an exciting weekend but frankly, it was as boring and frustrating as the one that preceded it.

DD was alternately cheeky, rude and unco-operative. You’d think I’d get a break until she’s a teenager (yeah, that’s wishful thinking). She had a sleepover on the Sat. night and instead of me going to the movies, I ended up at home, celebrating Earth Hour with candles and a new DVD of The Princess Bride. I am not convinced that that film has improved over the years. I know heaps of people my age quote stuff from the film and think fondly of it. Well, it’s OK and um, it’s OK. That’s all.

I suspect part of my peevishness of watching it on DVD is that I had over 12 minutes of copyright notices and extended previews for two other dull 1980s films to go through. No possibility of fast-forwarding through them, or going straight to the menu, which it thoroughly irritating and yes, I tried every combination. I’m seriously thinking of throwing out DVDs that have such long previews on them and no option to go immediately to the menu. The same goes for kids’ DVDs. You try making a 3 or 4-y-o wait when she’s hanging out for Barbie and some twat thinks it’s a FABULOUS marketing ploy to make a kid and her mom wait through that rubbish. (I time how long the crappy stuff is, write it on the DVD cover, and keep the TV turned off for that many minutes until it finally gets to the menu.)

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2010 in Odd stuff, Rant, Television

 

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Mind your own business

Well, that’s what I feel like saying to people when they decide to “help” me by criticising my choices that I make for my daughter regarding food, entertainment, activities, bedtimes, sleeping patterns, clothing, and more. Sometimes it’s so-called experts (all that OMG your television will ROT your child’s BRAIN), sometimes it’s pretend-friendly acquaintances who want to guide me into the path of approved righteousness. Now comes the irritating news that childcare staff will check children’s lunchboxes for unhealthy nasties. No, I don’t mean cheese that’s going off, but rather, targetting poor choices of those awful adults who think that the occasional sweet treat is acceptable in a lunchbox.

And y’know? All this does is make me dig in my heels. Yes, I can see many sides to situations, one of those useful skills I learned at school and university. Equally, I learned how to analyse and test data and put forth my own propositions and findings.

Excuse me for taking my daughter to swimming lessons. I am not intentionally trying to ‘hothouse’ her into physical and mental excellence by providing additional activities. To be frank, I am not a brilliant instructor for swimming and though we have a fine time splashing about in the pool together, DD gets a better idea of how to move her arms and legs and how to float by some instruction from one of the lovely teachers at the swim school.

Excuse me if I don’t feel obliged to put my child in a woolly singlet because generations have done it in the past. Obviously my dereliction of duty in that area means that my child will freeze into a popsicle and I will win the prize of Fail!Mom.

Excuse me for letting my darling daughter watch Dora the Explorer on TV. Even if we spend time in the garden when we come home, exploring the plants, looking for birds and bugs, working on the compost heap, and pulling out weeds, that activity counts for naught because … DD watches TV for a while afterwards. Every minute she watches it, apparently she will get grams of fat wriggling from the screen onto her beautiful legs and arms. My care in creating meals from scratch doesn’t mean a thing – that evil LCD TV will grab hold of DD and take her over to the Obese Side.

Goodness, I could go on and on about this. I guess it’s my ornery nature. 🙂

If you want to read someone else’s rant on this subject, go to Susie O’Brien’s opinion piece in the Herald Sun. She reminded me of some points that I had forgotten.

Looking through the guidelines for kinders and childcare centres, which are being considered by the Federal Government, there’s a long list of nasties.

Besides TV, high on the black list are parents who drive their kids to kinder or child care, use food as rewards or punishments, give their kids “sometimes” foods sometimes, and give them treats in their lunchboxes.

Susie, you’re welcome to come over to me and join the ranks of Fail!Mom. 🙂

 

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It’s Music AND Lyrics, gal!

I have the theme tune for Thomas the Tank Engine going through my head at odd times: getting changed, putting out the compost, sorting recycling. The weird thing is that I can’t get the words right. I end up singing “Shunting hucks and trawling fate”.

Beth Hering’s recent post has reminded me of that show. I reckon Beth knows all the words, but my darling toddler daughter screams “No Thomas! Mummy, please! No Thomas!” whenever she hears the familiar tune. It’s Dora the Explorer and Diego all the way. I now know several verbs, nouns and short phrases in Spanish thanks to those shows. Can’t spell them but I can pronounce them.

The problem with lyrics is a longstanding one. As a singing student and later on a teacher, I couldn’t remember the blasted words for peanuts. The melody was no problem – stuck in my mind but minus the rather important words. Italian arias, English oratorios, German lieder, even my favourite Debussy and Faure songs: all were met with concrete walls when it came to learning lyrics from day one.

Nowadays the only songs I can remember are Viva La Vida by Coldplay, Don’t Get Around Much Anymore (oh, how true!), and Copacabana. The latter has a *very* important function. It is my talisman against earworms, a very common affliction. Out of the goodness of my heart, I’m sharing this helpful tip. If you have a tune running round in your head that you simply cannot make finish, start singing Copacabana, adding your own verses if necessary, and it will conquer the vile, unstoppable tune that previously took over your mind.

ETA: the Maimograph Machine will generate an anti-earworm tune. The one I got was She Bop, another blasted earworm!

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2008 in Music

 

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