Friday, September 15, 2006

Trees, leaves and blossoms

Today we were trees, my youngest and I.

It started when I was trying to get her dressed. As usual the two older ones were already dressed and outside waiting to go to school. Youngest saw no urgency in divesting herself of pyjamas and was having a nice time playing. I whisked into the bedroom to magic her into clothes in two seconds flat. I wish!

I sat on her bed with a selection of clothes and tried to get her attention. At this stage we regularly have a falling out and get in the car ten minutes later, all hot and bothered, with little black clouds over our heads. Today though I managed to take a breath before losing patience and, as she fell towards me saying “I’m a tree”, I managed to unearth a remnant of sense of humour, which had long been buried under piles of dirty laundry, acres of scattered toys and heaps of unfiled papers. I dusted it off and came up with a suitable response: “Well let's get some new leaves on you then”.

A miracle! Suddenly this recalcitrant pyjama lover was immersed in the game and within a twinkling we’d kitted her out with pink leaves, pale blue bark for her trunk and some blue roots. It only needed another layer of warmer leaves and we were ready to go. Lots of talk followed about saplings and mummy trees and we even bore fruit, which we ate at snack time (I hope that’s not too cannibalistic!). I wish this were a magic formula for every day. I fear though that tomorrow it’ll be something different, keeping me on my toes, making me exercise that errant sense of humour anew.

There is much excitement about tomorrow. It is my son’s school Spring Fair. We have been busy making felt flower badges to sell, bright, smiley, cheap and cheerful. I hope you can tell the difference between my sewing and my children's, but the sad fact is that they are pretty much on a level with my impressive needlework skills already. They are certainly better at threading needles than me - the proverbial camel gets through the eye about as easily as my thread, even with my glasses on, so I generally pass them to my six year old to do.

My son thinks the badges are cool and that we’ll be sold out in no time, my daughter is wondering which connoisseur will come and select her butterfly design as the very thing for them...and youngest was slightly annoyed that she didn’t get to sew any herself for the sale. As this is another area where we can easily fall out, and as I’d spent part of the morning sewing a spring butterfly to her stringent specifications, I felt justified in declining her help.

It’s tough being not quite four – you just can’t keep up. I think this is part of the reason why she has suddenly decided not to go to kindergarten for a while. As well as the newly developed seperation anxiety, there is the constant challenge of keeping up with the older ones, wanting to do everything that they do, as well as them. Exhausting. She is now having a gentle time bossing me around at home and telling her toys what to do. She and her big sister were playing school this afternoon and I overheard youngest saying “..and I’m going to go in a race and I’m going to win cos I’m the biggest and oldest...”.

We’re bringing the craft things home to do, so she doesn’t miss out on her treasure bag and butterfly. She says she is going to go to school again when she is four, which is less than a month away, so we’ll see. Watch out world when she is the biggest and oldest!


  1. Ah, the humor. It works so well so often when they're this age, why oh why is it so hard to dig it out of the bottom of the proverbial bag of tricks?

  2. Yay! I get to leave a comment! Woohoo! Kit, I have to say, You are the luckiest Mom with the greatest kids! (Except for of course, mine;)) It's so amazing to see where their little minds are.

    I like your suggestion with letting the bread rise overnight in the fridge...I have a cinnamon roll recipe that calls for that but it never ocurred to me to do that with the bread. hehe.

  3. You're SO right about the sense of humour! My second child is rather similar to your little tree-lover, and mornings are often ruined by her and me screeching at each other - not nice for us, the other two or the neighbours. When I remember to crack a joke - often hard, because I'm trying not to climb the walls with frustration - it defuses the whole situation and our mornings become sunny again. I just to have to keep reminding myself to find that funny bone.

  4. I was drawn to your blog! Hello from Canada. Your toddlers are so sweet, and the rusks sound delicious.


  5. my mom often said "make life a game when you want your children to do something, think creatively, make it a game, children listen and learn when they are playing."
    Trees and leaves is a beautiful game of learning!

    Lovely story!


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!