Friday, September 22, 2006

"Up" is relatively new. Ellie uses it in different contexts; she lifts her arms and says "up-up-up", to be picked up. She also likes reaching up to put blocks on the table, announcing "up" for each one. And when she's being lifted up to my shoulder from my lap she announces "up" for herself.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

I'm slowly realising how much freedom I have. Today we went to the library, for their "Tiny Tots" reading time. Ellie really enjoyed seeing all the other babies. She crawled up to a few and introduced herself. She's very social.

Most of the children there were older, probably 2-3; they were following along in the story, and doing the actions for all the songs. I hope Ellie can do the same when she's older. My dreams for her have become quite modest.

Afterwards we went to do some shopping. On the way out we came across a juggling show in the mall. It was nice to be able to stop and watch it, and not feel pressured to run off and do other things. I really like juggling, and Ellie liked the crowds. I'm going to teach her how to juggle when she's older. Juggling is a good metaphor for all sorts of learning; most people can learn, and it rewards practice. New tricks are learnt by breaking them down into smaller parts, and through more practice, practice, practice. It's a good lesson for most other learning. There's a lovely 2 frame cartoon; the frame labelled beginning juggler is looking at 3 balls on the ground, the frame labelled advanced juggler is looking at 5 balls on the ground.

We took the bus home and I set about putting Ellie to sleep for her morning nap (now 1 1/2 hrs late). She wriggled on to the floor and looked at books, and I fell asleep in the rocking chair. I dozed lightly, and she happily played with her toys on the floor. Woke up after an hour to my now mildly whinging baby who wanted to be picked up. Bounced her for two minutes, her eyes rolled back in her head and she conked. My time now-- and the house is pretty clean so I can just enjoy myself. Some days feel really easy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The land of Queen Ellie has very strict zoning regulations. No towers of any height are allowed to stand. Should they be built, they are dashed to the ground, and the pieces spread out widely over the land. The rule applies equally to architectural marvels as well as to your everyday towers. Woe betide any elephants, tigers, monkeys, lions, zebra or giraffes that may be standing on top of them when the Queen passes by.

So that's what I'm thinking -- what is she thinking?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Today I posted a bunch of entries which had been sitting on my computer since July, waiting for "some spare time". Yesterday I realised that I'm never going to get any spare time-- for blogging, for programming, for learning keyboards, for taking photos, for writing emails to friends; the time I have right now is the time I've got, so I just have to make better use of it. That's ok. So today cleaning the kitchen will wait for a few hours, and right now my daughter is happily finishing her lunch while I type this.

The dream of a bit of time to myself is a good one to give up; I can decide to get up early and spend the first hour before she really wakes up doing something more useful that sleeping; I've been staying up late to have some time, but by then, I have no energy so just end up browsing stories from, which is about as useful as watching TV, and leaves me frustrated (I'm adding too many things to the To Read list).

And having given up the dream, I can ask Granny if she'd like to look after Ellie for a morning now and then, and get a few concentrated hours. Granny and Ellie would both like that-- I've been putting it off because I want to seem competent. Silly.

She's throwing her nice apple bits on to the floor, so I think she's finished. Time's up!

(of course I let her yell at me a little bit while I touched this up. )

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ok, so there's not stacks of time to sit quietly and think on some aspect of the day. Ellie's just gone down for her late morning nap, so for a change, I'm going to try writing some stuff down rather than cleaning the kitchen and doing the laundry, which has been my normal morning routine. And it works-- but then there's no time for reflection really, or at least no time to record reflections.

We went to the zoo yesterday, just for a couple of hours; it was great-- not a beautiful day, and it was after 3, so there was hardly anyone there. We had all the treetop monkeys to ourselves, which was nice. Ellie was quite excited, she saw monkeys and giraffes and elephants and the pygmy hippo and ducks and meercats. She likes animals, or she knows we like it when she gets excited around animals, so performs for us. It's hard to know what's actually going on.

Before her naps, I sit in the rocking chair with her and let her pick books from the bookshelf beside the chair. I think she likes the picking as much as the reading. Sometimes she drops the book, other times I think she just throws her least favourites on the floor. Her favourites are
  • Baby Signs for Mealtimes which has nice pictures of babies
  • ? - let's explore the house with sam the kitten. Not my favourite, and she seems to rush through it, quickly touching the thing she's supposed to touch before turning the page. The last page has a mirror on it -- she really likes that, and kisses herself.
  • My first colours board book -- She likes this one, but maybe because I talk about each coloured thing that was recently in her life -- a red shirt, like the one you wore yesterday, yellow butterflies-- we saw them at the zoo, etc. So it changes a bit.
  • Oops, and Oh, David-- these were her favourites for a long time, and are probably still her most favourite, especially Oops.
  • Ellie's Photo Book-- some photos of her and people she knows and some of her old toys that she doesn't play with anymore (it really needs to be updated)

There's a bunch of others that she's ok with-- but often she'll close the book before the end. And then there's some she really doesn't like, that she'll close after the first couple of pages. Most of my favourites fall into the last category, not surprisingly.

So it's been busy, and mostly fun. I find the endless drudgery of housework to be a bit like endless drudgery, and I think that taking pride in a nice clean house will just frustrate me when my partner messes it up, so I'm not going there. I like being organised, and having things ready on time, cause then I can have a few minutes for one of my own projects-- which, sadly, mostly involve organising other things, so that eventually I'll be able to do that really great thing I've always wanted to do, whatever it is.

I'm not seeing many people, which suits me pretty well for the most part, but I think I'm becoming more curmudgeonly.