Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Travelators, trolleys and children

A parenting dilemma: 

When we're at the shops, SP is in the trolley more often than not. He likes it, I like it, I don't have to remember to bring the pram, and we have room for lots of stuff. All good. 

Except that I noted a couple of months ago that one of the posted rules of travelators is 'no children riding in trolleys'. 

I've been ignoring the rule for a while, but my conscience is getting the better of me. So this afternoon, instead of putting SP back in the trolley for the walk from the kids playzone back to the car, I thought I'd obey the rule. 

This is where the problems start. If I am to hold onto the rail with one hand (another posted rule), and also hold my child's hand (yep, that's a rule too), how do I hold on to the trolley?

I guess its between my conscience and the very inconveniently placed lift. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Am I a self-absorbed Mummy?

Just been reading this: 

Actually, I think it should be child-absorbed, rather than self-absorbed. Apparently, not everyone wants to hear every little detail of every little accomplishment in my child's life. 

Oh well. I'm going to keep posting about the little details, uninteresting as they may be to others. You can choose whether to read about them or not :)

But if I start to get too child-absorbed in public, feel free to let me know. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What we're reading: The Tale of Peter Rabbit

I first read this to SP a few days ago and he loves it! I'm a bit surprised that he's taken to it so much, as it's quite a bit longer than your average toddler picture book. I guess it wouldn't have been popular for so many years if it didn't have something special. The copy we're reading from was given to me when I was young, so it's a bit special in that way too.

It may be a bit wordy, but SP definitely has the basic plot down pat. He shakes his head vehemently when Peter goes under the gate into Mr McGregor's garden, and has taken to walking around the house pretending to sneeze and hop away, just like Peter when he hides in a watering can. Cute, but dribbly!

What we're reading: The Shaping of a Christian Family

After my Wolf Hall post, I've decided to blog about the books I'm reading for a while. Hopefully it will help me to distill my thoughts about them, and to finish some books that I've been meaning to for a while.

I've intended to read some Elisabeth Elliot for a while and I picked this one up second hand, so it's become my introduction to her writing. I'll be reading more. 

The 'Christian Family' referred to in the title is Elliot's own family of origin, and substantial portions of the book are taken from her parent's diaries, detailing her life and upbringing. It seems like the perfect family to me. Old-fashioned, yes, but I like that sort of thing :) Life is orderly, routine, and manageable, the kids are well-behaved, hard working and considerate, everybody gets along with everybody else, and faith in Jesus is palpable and contagious. The kind of house I dream of having.

I don't agree with all the methods in the book, but I did find her mother Katherine's diaries to be particularly inspiring; there was some considerable hero-worship going on. I actually got quite a shock near the end of the book when a letter from Katherine to the adult Elisabeth read:
...I try to put into words my thankfulness to our Father for His good hand upon you over the years, for His faithfulness when I have been so faithless, ...  (emphasis mine)
Yikes! If she is faithless, what am I? Never fear, a few pages later...
Be not dismayed! If you are convinced of the value of standard here set forth, never think of the impossible. It is always possible to do the will of God. Begin to be ready to do. What do you want your home to be? What does God want it to be? Waste no time wondering if you can do it. The question is simply Will you? Your weakness is itself a potent claim on the divine mercy. (emphasis in original)
I think I may have that stuck on my mirror for some time. 

Friday, March 18, 2011


I promised my loved ones a photo update some time ago, intending to post quite a lot of photos and info from the last few months. But I don't think that's going to happen, so here's an update on the last couple of weeks.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Ticker

The observant among you will notice that the little picture at the top of the blog that tells you SP's current age has changed. The little sitting baby we had before didn't seem quite appropriate anymore. 

But the new one makes me realise that he'll be 2 in a few months time. Yikes!


Our church Playgroup started (or restarted) this morning! 

SP has been very excited, pointing to the calendar and signing 'play' for the last two weeks or so. And I think it lived up to his expectations - he had a great time. 

A few kinks to iron out, but overall it was a lot of fun for kids and mums. Bring on next Thursday!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Club - Wolf Hall

I read a few of the books that our church book club read last year, but haven't made it to a meeting yet. I'm planning to get there next weekend though - after 600+ pages, a bit of discussion is warranted, I think.

The book was Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall - a novelisation of the life of Thomas Cromwell, who is a key player in the saga of Henry VIII's divorce of his first wife, Katherine, and marriage to Anne Boleyn. 

I enjoyed the book, and once I'd waded through the first 200 pages, the rest went quite quickly. My impressions are unfortunately clouded by a personal pet peeve: the title of the book has almost nothing to do with the book itself. The Seymours, who live at Wolf Hall, are characters in the book, but the story ends well before Jane Seymour becomes Henry's next wife. Maybe the author uses the title as a foreshadowing of the future. Whatever the reason, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Other than that, it's a good read. The cast of characters list at the beginning is worth having, and I'm still confused about where a few of them fit, but the lives and characters of the main players are quite artfully revealed as the story progresses. I found it interesting to see the Catholic/Protestant debate from both sides, although actions, rather than doctrines, are the focus of the book. I think the following quote neatly captures the religious changes afoot at the time:
...he feels a force ready to break, as spring breaks from the dead tree. As the word of God spreads, the people's eyes are opened to new truths. Until now, ... they knew Noah and the Flood, but not St Paul. They could count over the sorrows of our Blessed Mother, and say how the damned are carried down to Hell. But they did not know the manifold miracles and sayings of Christ, nor the words and deeds of the apostles, simple men who, like the poor of London, pursued simple wordless trades. The story is much bigger than they ever thought it was. ... They have seen their religion painted on the walls of churches, or carved in stone, but now God's pen is poised, and he is ready to write his words in the books of their hearts.  (pp 515-516)
There's a sequel on the way, apparently. I doubt I'll go out of my way to get it, but if I see it on the shelf in the library, I'll probably pick it up.

Easter Calendar

We all enjoyed our Noel Calendar so much at Christmas that I'm working on one for easter. A story about Jesus and a picture to stick up for each of the 6 Sundays of Lent, then one each day from Monday-Sunday of Easter week. 

I'm pretty sure that most of the stories I want to cover will be in at least one of our kids bibles, but right now I'm considering reading them straight from the NIV (or maybe NIrV). There'll be a toddler-speak summary at the end, that we'll then repeat and add to each week/day until Easter. 

Too ambitious? 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Helpfulness vs 'helpfulness'

SP loves to be 'helpful', as I think most little kids do. But 'helpfulness' is not always helpful to whoever he's helping. 

Recently though, there are elements of his 'helpfulness' that are actually helpful! In the last few days, he's learnt to pull the dry socks & jocks off multi-peg-hanger that hangs off the clothes line and put them in the basket. Keeps him busy while I bring the other things in, and it's a whole category of clothing that I don't have to do myself anymore!

There are some slight issues when he 'helpfully' pulls off the wet things as I'm putting them out, but we're working on that :)

Long live helpfulness!