Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recent happenings

I've been getting the odd subtle (and sot so subtle!) reminder that I haven't updated for ages. There is a very good reason for this - nothing's happening!

We're trudging on in post-quake Canterbury, avoiding driving into Christchurch where possible, which our pockets are thanking us for in light of the truly horrific petrol prices these days. Whenever I think I might like to pop into town, I ask myself if it's worth spending $15 on - usually it's not!

The other day I ventured into the city to buy some of the alternative flours that I mix to make Caleb's gluten free bread mix. What is usually a 35 minute trip took forever, as I constantly hit the cordoned off 'Red Zone' that is keeping the worst hit areas of the CBD off limits. A thousand U-turns and curses later, we reached our destination (Discount Food Warehouse, for those who care - worth a look for flours, nuts and spices. And scary-looking Hindu pictures of ladies with lots of hands to terrify your children :D) and I was nearly at the point of tears over the stress of it all. This particular building was the only one green-stickered and open down what is usually a very busy inner-city block. Very sad, but I'm choosing to be excited about what our 'new' city will be like, instead of mourning the past. Perhaps we dare to hope that they might get public transport right - actually have a system that runs on time and inspires commuters to leave vehicles at home. There is talk of buildings being required to be 3 levels or less, and obviously they will be as quake-proof as current technology and design allows. The city-scape will be very different, but potentially a very exciting place to live, work and play. I think I should work for the council ;)

I have also been very busy at work. Typically, my planning for this term included many grandiose ideas that will drive to the brink of insanity before they are realised, but I'm still of the vain hope that we'll get there, providing there are no more earthquakes closing us down again.

Our biggest trial of late is the continual toilet-training drama that Caleb has us all engaging in. I'm pretty sure at some point he's going to decide that really, there are better things to be doing with his precious 2 year old time than requiring Mum, Dad and even Sophie to dash around, stress, wash copious amounts of clothing, clean up puddles and foul messes while he watches on with a smirk on his face. Or maybe he knows he's onto a good thing...

We have days that are perfect, and days that he and the toilet are not on speaking terms. We also have days when he is fine, until he spots that shiny, sparkly thing on his way to the loo and forgets he needs to go RIGHT THEN **head> - < desk**

Anyway, he's the routine that must be adhered to for all toiletting, and NO HELP is accepted. It really is no wonder we have messes!

Step One: Remove trousers and undies entirely.
Step Two: Close toilet Lid.
Step Three: Climb on toilet lid and turn on light.
Step Four: Climb off toilet lid.
Step Five: Lift up lid and seat of toilet.
Step Six: Climb on toilet.
Step Seven: Realise seat is up and bottom is cold on toilet bowl.
Step Eight: Hop off toilet.
Step Nine: Pull down toilet seat.
Step Ten: Hop on toilet and do business.
Step Eleven: Shake off drips VERY thoroughly. There is always one more when you think you are done.
Step Twelve: Hop off toilet
Step Thirteen: Pull lid down.
Step Fourteen: Climb on lid.
Step Fifteen: Flush toilet
Step Sixteen: Hop off toilet.
Step Seventeen: Realise light is still on so climb back on toilet and turn it off.
Step Eighteen: Try to get undies and trousers on. Fail.
Step Nineteen: Decide life is less complicated with no pants anyway, so run off and play bare-bottomed.

Bless his trying wee soul...

This morning he did some threading to make a collar for his stuffed dog. Pipe cleaners made the threading much easier and it actually kept him quiet for more than 5 minutes. Or maybe that's an exaggeration. It was at least 3, anyway!

Today we went to the park, and for poor Sophie, an inevitable travesty has occurred - her brother now balances out the see saw! She was furious to be left stranded at half altitude and a lot learning regarding the laws of physics ensued. I think she worked out where she needs to sit to bring it down in the end, but not without a great deal of swinging, bellowing and declaring that "I'M THE BIGGEST, you're only TWO!" The joys of being of mousy proportions and having a brother just 16 months younger!

Caleb has always had an oddly obsessive nature, and although he is still fiercely fond of windmills, hot air balloons and eggs, he has developed a fascination for space and bugs. I suspect a certain Space Ranger may have something to do with this. The park we went to today had a climbing frame shaped like a planet, and he was delighted to have "Satuuuuuuurrrrrrn" to clamber on and have as a base to call 'Star Command'.

He startled me in the supermarket the other day by spelling out C-U-S-T-O-M-E-R S-E-R-V-C-E before attempting to sound it out. Being the neglected second child, I really haven't had the time or inclination to teach him anything other than to use the freaking toilet (please, dear child, PLEASE!) and to sleep through the night. Both of these have been somewhat spectacular failures. Obviously the Leap Pad Fridge Phonics that drives me so batty works. Either that or his sister should follow me into the teaching profession!

So that is it, really. The city is still mostly munted, Caleb's toileting is obviously ruled by the lunar cycle, planetary alignment or the number of shiny, sparkly things to be found on the way to the loo, and he's obviously a certifiable genius that will undoubtedly provide extremely well for his long-suffering parents in their retirement.

Pretty quiet month, really!

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