Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Early Father's Day present

1. What is something Daddy always says to you?
M: Don't hit your little sister
K: Don't hit my big sister

2. What makes Daddy happy?
M: Smiling at him
K: You playing with us when Daddy's gone to work

3. What makes Daddy sad?
M: When we go away
K: Walking into the playroom

4. How does your Daddy make you laugh?
M: By poking a face
K: penis penis

5. What did your Daddy like to do when he was little?
M: join the fire brigade
K: play with you

6. How old is your Daddy?
M: 22
K: this big [standing on tiptoe with arms raised]

7. How tall is your Daddy?
K: This big [photo]

M: no this big, I?m bigger [photo]

8. What is his favorite thing to watch on TV?
M: The news
K: Garfield

9. What does your Daddy do when you're not there?
M: Talks to Kaitereo or talks to hisself
K: play with Mapera

10. What is your Daddy really good at?
M: building
K: aeroplane

11. What is your Daddy not very good at?
M: reaching things cos he sometimes gets the wrong thing
K: not working

12. What does your Daddy do for his job?
M: works at the airport. He says NO to everything
K: he builds his shed

13. What is your Daddy's favourite food?
M: Meat
K: Cake

14. What makes you proud of your Daddy?
M: being a prince
K: give me cuddles

15. If your Daddy were a cartoon character, who would he be?
M: Mickey Mouse
K: Dorothy the Dinosaur

16. What do you and your Daddy do together?
M: play games
K: play and play and play and play and play

17. How are you and your Daddy the same?
M: our necks are same
K: clothes

18. How are you and your Daddy different?
M: we've got different eyes
K: blue and pink blue and pink

19. How do you know your Daddy loves you?
M: because he always kisses me
K: give me cuddles and kisses

20. What does your Daddy like most about your Mummy?
M: talking to her
K: singing

21. Where is your Daddy's favourite place to go?
M: to McDonalds

22. What is one thing you wish you could change about your Daddy?
M: his hair into green hair that was straight
K: Change his hair into purple hair and put it into BUM hair!

23. What would your Daddy do with a million dollars?
M: buy a little mini tractor
K: buy a big tractor

24. What do you wish you could go and do with your Daddy?
M: go and stay the night at my friends house
K: play

25. What is one thing you hope never changes about your Daddy?
M: his legs
K: that he does a puzzle with us

Word association with small children

Word association with small children
L is me, M is Mapera, K is Kaitereo

L: Buggy

M: Ten

K: Gunga gunga gunga

L: rubbish

M: Light

K: Mumpa bumpa bump hahahaha

L: gobbledegook

M: Alice

K: Akug

L: hamster

M: Mamster

K: Canster, oh no Penis

L: vagina

K: Daffodil

M: crown

L: queen

M: King

K: penis

L: Bottom

M: princess

K: daffodil, oh penis

L: Flower

M: petal

K: [laughing too hard to speak]

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Classic quote

We've been reading a book about a little boy who gets an imaginary friend who comes to live with him when his baby brother is born. The imaginary friend (Hullaballoony) is very naughty, and the little boy (Joe) doesn't really like him but can't get rid of him. It all ends very nicely, and is a lovely book, but it got Mapera thinking.

"The naughty mermaid does my bad things Mummy" she said to me

"Well," says I "if that naughty mermaid comes here, you boot it out and tell it that it's not welcome in our house"

"I'm gonna kick it in the knickers" says she

That's my girl.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Smug Mummy Moment

I was tired today, and grumpy, and found my kids very irritating, even though they were behaving very well. I decided to try and do something nice, so when I picked Mapera up from Kindy we went to a couple of shops, then to the library.

I was walking down the street, watching Mapera skip along in the sunshine, with her little sister galloping to catch up and I thought how lovely it all was. We went into the post shop and I walked to the counter pushing the buggy, thinking about what I needed to do when I heard rustling. Like little hands rummaging through a basket of interesting sparkly things.

I turned around ready to bark "Hands off!" and I saw my two precious girls standing next to the Basket of Temptation with their hands clasped behind their backs as they watched two other kids pulling all the shiny pens out of the sparkly notebooks. I was so proud and amazed that I finished up at the counter, then knelt down with them in the middle of the shop and told them how proud I was and how great I thought they were.

We all skipped back to the library and they got 2 books each and a Super Good Bonus star on their star chart at home.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

To lighten the mood after the last post

Questions I asked my children (thanks again to Whoopee for this)

Remember, Mapera (M) is almost 5 years old, and Kaitereo (K) is almost 3. They didn't always answer in the same order either.

1. What is something Mummy always says to you?

K: Don’t put things in Hakopa’s mouth

M: We can’t put toys in our mouth

2. What makes Mummy happy?

M: Poker face [sticking out her tongue]

K: This [pointing at my handbag]

3. What makes Mummy sad?
M: I don’t know

K: Great Grandma died

4. How does your mummy make you laugh?
M: By poking a face

K: Poker face

5. What did your mummy like to do when she was little?
M: Read

K: Laugh

6. How old is your mummy?
M: 23

K: 23 again

7. How tall is your mummy?
M: I think 6 foot tall [I am 5 foot 3]

K: [laughing hysterically]

8. What is her favorite thing to watch on TV?
M: Footrot Flats

K: dog channel

9. What does your mummy do when you're not there?
M: goes to playgroup

K: stay at home and play with Hakopa

10. What is your mummy really good at?
M: Computer playing and computer writing

K: Daddy

11. What is your mummy not very good at?
M: tidying up

K: going away

12. What does your mummy do for her job?
M: Stay at home

K: a digger

13. What is your mummy's favourite food?
M: Lasagne

K: turkeys

14. What makes you proud of your mummy?

M: playing with her

K: paper mache

15. If your mummy were a cartoon character, who would she be?

M: Rangi

K: Dog channel again

16. What do you and your mummy do together?

M: work

K: play

17. How are you and your mummy the same?
M: cos we’ve got long hair

K: bare bum

18. How are you and your mummy different?
M: cos we’ve got different faces

K: wood

19. How do you know your mummy loves you?

M: cos she always kisses me

K: cuddle me

20. What does your mummy like most about your daddy?

M: getting the wood out for him [!!!]
K: playing

21. Where is your mummy's favourite place to go?

M: park

K: Spotlight [massive haberdashery store]

22. What is one thing you wish you could change about your mummy?

M: make her hair turn purple

K: change into a blue girl

23. What would your mummy do with a million dollars?
K: put them away

M: put them away safely

24. What do you wish you could go and do with your mummy?

K: come with her

M: go on a train

25. What is one thing you hope never changes about your mummy?
K: Playing

M: her glasses

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Contemplating eternity

I have always had an irrational fear of getting old and dying. It was a big scary thing when I was a kid that my poor parents didn’t know what to do about. As I got older it sort of faded into the background, but lurked like a bad dream you can’t shake off the next morning.

Now I have kids and it’s cropping up again.

I think it’s because I always seem to be doing the next thing, or getting ready for something or preparing something in advance or making sure we’re ready to be somewhere or trying to remember the routine that I don’t get the chance to just live in the moment. Spontaneity is pretty difficult with 3 kids. I have tried to ensure that if Tareka wakes up one morning and says “lets go swimming” we can just grab the “swimming bag” and off we go, but I am finding increasingly that we have to take account of Kindy, playgroup, doctors appointments, shopping trips and soon school. I know this is what life with kids is all about for a good few years, and I am in no way complaining, but I keep feeling that I am simply not going to have time to do everything in my life! I have visions of the future of me as an old lady on my deathbed saying “but I never got to take them paragliding!” before shuffling off the mortal coil.

I feel like I am constantly planning the next event and never taking time to enjoy what is going on right now. Mapera’s 5th birthday party seems to have intensified this feeling one hundredfold. I have spent the best part of 2 months preparing – guest list, invitations, decorations, supplies, food, games, wet-weather plans and costumes; mainly to save ourselves money, but also so I am not doing everything over one insane week. Having Kaitereo’s birthday 4 days before also adds complications, as it requires birthday tea at Nana and Poppas, and a cake for playgroup. I am very glad Tareka and I agreed that parties were for special birthdays only (5, 10, 13 and 21) and NOT for every year. I can’t imagine how people put on massive events for their kids every year, it would drive me batshit crazy.

I have sat and thought to myself if I am trying to do too much, as I have a knack for over-committing myself to things, but I have been very careful not to do this since we moved to a new community, so this is all just “every day with kids”. In one week we have Kindy, music, playgroup and ballet, along with the epic shopping trip once a fortnight. When Mapera starts school this will ease off for a few months, as school is only a 10 minute drive away (and only 5 minutes when she starts on the bus) and Kaitereo won’t be starting Kindy til next year, but it all starts up again when Kaitereo goes to Kindy and Hakopa starts crawling and walking.

Right now I am sitting at the computer typing and my girls are playing ballerinas while my boy sits and gurgles at me from his chair. I can watch them play and enjoy the moment for a good 30 minutes til I have to start on dinner, then the bedtime madness begins. Oh bliss!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ethnic labelling

I had an interesting issue come up when I dropped Mapera off for her first school visit today. I had filled in all her enrollment forms and when I got to the "ethnicity" box, I put what I put on all forms to reflect our
multicultural family: English/Maori/Burmese. This has always been the way I describe my children's ethnic grouping and I've never had to think any further about it. Today I was asked by the school secretary to pick one which was the main group our children identified with and as I was on the spot I ended up picking one I'd never ticked on any form "NZ European".

I thought about it on the way home and then discussed it with my husband (who is 1/2 Maori, 1/2 English but born in NZ) and he said that NZ European was for people decended from European settlers.

Like his Dad, who came over from Lancashire at the age of 7 with his parents and siblings.

Like me, who came over in 2004 from the UK.

Oh, says the husband.

So I sat and thought about what label I want to stick on my kids when there is not enough room in the box to put in their full heritage. I asked hubby what he wanted and he went away and thought about it too.

We came back with the same conclusion; Maori.

Although my hubby is very close to his English side of the family (especially his Dad), and spent a lot of his time in the UK with his English rellies, he is a Maori boy at heart. We both love being on the Marae, being part of the Maori tikanga and we both try and speak Te Reo as much as we are able (which is not a lot, admittedly). I feel most at home and relaxed amongst the whanau and my children love being part of a huge extended family, where everyone your own age is your cousin, and everyone older than you is Aunty or Uncle.

Hearing the karanga at a tangi or a powhiri never fails to make me emotional, and I love Te Reo Maori as it is unlike any language I have ever learned before.

I remembered a crazy dream I had as a teenager that I would go find a lost Amazonian rain forest tribe and disappear into their midst, to live as a native. I should think this could be partly considered typical teenage solipsism and alienation we all feel during those years, but when I thought about it, I have found my Tribe. I am an English Maori.

So, as for my children, I contacted the school and asked for the enrollment form to read Maori as their ethnicity. We will teach them all about their English and Burmese roots, alongside all the Kiwi heritage that will surround them, and the Maori culture they will undoubtably be part of, and one day I hope they grow up knowing that they are children of Aotearoa, and anywhere else they choose to live.

He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another online questionnaire

I've been reading back over one of my favourite blogs Whoopee , and saw this post. I liked the idea of answering a silly survey with serious answers, so here goes:

1. Are you a male or female: Female with male showering-personality

2. Describe yourself: short without my spikes, brown, curvy and wobbly, multi-cultural

3. How do you feel about yourself: I am finally starting to think I might be quite a nice person once you get to know me

4. Describe your parents: English/Burmese/Catholic/Agnostics

5. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriends: Many and varied and a bit blurred, not unlike holiday snaps from the 1980s

6. Describe your current boy/girl situation: Male with female housework-personality

7. Describe your current location: Slice of Heaven

8. Describe where you want to be: in a decent pub with all the cool people I have met online since I moved massively far away

9. Your best friend(s) is/are: Evolving as I type

10. Your favourite colour is: octarine

11. You know that: Any fule kno that

12. If your life was a television show what would it be called: I Have Never...

13. What is life to you: Something to be lived and experienced and a place to discover that there is a special hobby for you out there

14. What is the best advice you have to give: don't listen to advice unless it is along the lines of "don't jump in there, it's full of pihranas"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What have you DONE all day?

I try very hard to keep on top of housework and mundane stuff, but there are days where I just don't manage it. Today was a good example. The breakfast dishes are still on the bench and I only just emptied the dishwasher at 4pm thanks to Kaitereo deciding she was going to make a start on it, so I had to help in order to minimise losses.

Today was a grocery shopping day, this is an epic undertaking in our household, as we go shopping once a fortnight at a town 40 minutes away, and I go around all the cheap bargain stores to stretch our budget that little bit further. So, today we got up at 7am and rushed about having breakfast and getting dressed, making lunches that I failed to make the night before (silly Mummy). After feeding Hakopa we piled into the car for the 20 minute trip to drop Mapera at Kindy.

I fed Hakopa his solid breakfast at kindy and then Kaitereo, Hakopa and I were back in the car and off to Hamilton. First stop was bargain-hunters paradise The Warehouse for household stuff, then off to Pak n Save for the main grocery shop. Finally off to the butchers for cheap meat.

In amongst these stops I also fed the kids morning tea and lunch, got myself lunch and sat through a 20 minute tantrum by Kaitereo who had refused to use the only toilet available, despite doing the wee-wee dance all around the shop. I ended up telling her that she had to go to the toilet, or wear a pull-up in the car, or she would fall asleep and wee on the seat (which is exactly what happened the last time she refused to go when we found a toilet).

We then drove back to Kindy, fed Hakopa his post-lunch snack dealt with another 20 minute tantrum and collected Mapera.

At home I unpacked the shopping, fed the kids afternoon tea and sat down for a coffee and a quick peek at the computer.

It's now 10 to 5 and we're having fish fingers for dinner.

People wonder how I find time for everything I do, and the honest answer is that I don't. Sometimes the dishes don't get done, and the house is a mess and the dinner is fish fingers and frozen peas. BUT my kids are fed and happy and playing together, I am sane (relatively speaking) and I know I will catch up with things on another day. I don't beat myself up about it any more and I find life a lot less overwhelming when I put my kids first and forget the rest.