Anyone would think we were big drinkers in our house, judging by some of the comments that come out of Birdy’s mouth. (I assure you, we’re not!) I recently noted on Facebook that I was lost for words when Birdy asked me: ‘Why can’t monks go to the pub?’ Seriously, how do you answer that question? (The funniest answer I got on FB was something about sandals violating the dress regulations!)
But even more alarming (or amusing, depending on your point of view) was this little conversation she role-played with a couple of dolls.
Doll 1: What’s your name?
Doll 2: Um, I forget. Because I was out very late at the pub last night.
Doll 1: Why would being at the pub make you forget?
Doll 2: Because I just had a drink that makes you forget things.
As you can imagine, hubby and I nearly fell off our chairs when we heard that. I’m hoping it’s just one of those flukey coincidences; that Birdy made something random up and it just happened to make sense. If not, I’m wondering how she’s sneaking out at night without anybody noticing. Should I be concerned?
Recently, Birdy had this conversation with Dad, which I thought was worth recording…
BIRDY: Henri’s in heaven. (Henri was our dog.)
DAD: Really? Who told you that?
BIRDY: God did.
DAD: Really? How?
BIRDY: God talked to me.
DAD: How did he do that?
BIRDY: God lives in my tummy.
DAD: Is that right?
BIRDY: Here, Dad. Listen to my chest. Can you hear my heart beating? That’s God talking.
Last week I had one of those days where I was feeling really positive. It was a Thursday and I usually make an effort to do something nice on Thursdays because it’s the day I look after my niece. We’d been to a park in the morning, then we all did a bushwalk together and I was feeling pretty proud of myself. I was ‘Mumma Fun’ that day. So in the afternoon, I decided to continue the outdoor theme with a bit of backyard camping. Now I have to confess, we’re the sort of family that only camps about once every three years so the concept of me actually pitching a tent by myself (with 2 two year olds ‘helping’) was probably a bit ambitious, but I decided to give it a go.
To my surprise, I pitched the tent successfully and the girls thought it was great fun. They were really excited by the whole concept. But so was our Siberian Husky, Henri who naturally wanted to join in. Before I could stop him, he walked into the tent and sat down. For a moment, I panicked slightly. I thought three people and an oversized Husky all packed into a three-man tent might be asking for trouble, but the girls were having fun so I started to relax a bit. Then Henri stood up to rearrange himself, and right under his bottom was… you guessed it, doggy doo. Inside the tent. So I kicked him out, but not before my niece walked through the dog poo and spread it all over the tent floor. I actually thought I might cry. But I pulled myself together and spent the next half an hour cleaning it up with the remains of the weekend paper. Then just as I was finishing, Birdy tearfully announced that Henri had just licked both their milk cups. By this time, I was seriously thinking of selling my dog off on ebay. In fact, if anyone’s interested, they might just talk to me into it.
I’ve always been one of those people who think that it’s great for kids to grow up surrounded by animals, but by the end of the day I was starting to wonder if the kid/dog combination was such a winning concept after all. When Birdy was a baby, there were times when Henri was the only thing that would calm her down. But there were also times when he howled in her face and scared the life out of her. I still think a dog can be a lot of fun, as long as you can cope when they knock your toddler down the stairs or wee all over the sandpit. But if you think cleaning up your child’s poo takes moral courage, you should try wiping up after a dog! Eewwkk!
Do you have a dog, cat or some other kind of pet? Do you have any disaster stories to share? Have your pets come down in the pecking order since you had a baby or do you still have as much time and affection for your pets as you did before? Did your dog or cat experience any jealousy or anxiety when your family expanded?
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While we were on holidays, my husband and I took Birdy to our local bowling club to enjoy an afternoon drink. (It was raining and nothing else was open.) As she was sipping her milk, my husband asked her if Teddy might like some milk too. “No Dad,” she said, “Teddy’s not real. Teddy’s only pretend.” “Oh, I see,” Daddy replied.
Me: “I’m having a nice cup of Mother’s Day tea in my new Mother’s Day cup.”
Birdy: (correcting me) It’s Irish tea, Mum.
Me: (Absently) Yes, Irish tea, all the way from Ireland.
Birdy: Yes, and my milk is all the way from Scotland!
And then yesterday, when I was about to get my guitar out, I started inspecting my fingernails to see if I needed to trim them first. Birdy then examines my hand and says, ‘Your fingers have gone all mouldy, Mum!’ Why thankyou so much, darling.
The way kids see the world can be really unique. The other day, on the way to the shops, we stopped at a red traffic light. “Look Mum,” Birdy called out, excitedly. “That traffic light matches your hair.” It took me a while to realise what she was talking about. “That traffic light is ‘reg’ and your hair is ‘reg’,” she patiently explained. So my hair looks like a traffic light. Thanks so much, dear.
On the upside, Birdy has learnt a fantastic new phrase, taught to her by Daddy. “You’re the best Mum in the world.” She likes the sound of this new sentence so much she says it over and over. Warms me heart every time.