It’s universal

Ella – You are the best mummy in every world!

Take that, parallel universe mums!


Life in the fast lane

Me – Ella, you hardly ate any of your lunch today. Why’s that?
Ella – Because we had to start packing up.
Me – That means you were eating too slow.
Ella – No, the clock was too fast.

Politics and philosophy

Ella had a busy day yesterday. I interrupted chatting to our visitors to tell her it was time to read books. The argument that followed went something like this:

Me – Time to read books, Ella. Can you please go and choose 3 books and we’ll read them here.
Ella – I don’t want to read books yet. I want to play a bit longer.
Me – Sorry sweetie, it’s way past your bedtime, you can play more tomorrow, but now we are going to read books.
Ella – No, I want to play!
Me – Well, if you don’t go and choose books now, you’ll have to go to bed without books.
Ella – I’m hungry. What can I eat?
Me – All I have is the bread we had yesterday. Do you want some of that?
Ella – Yes, I want that!
Me – But you’ll have to eat it while we read books then.
Ella – No, I want to eat first and then read books.
Me – No, you’ll take way too long to eat and it’s very late already. Either eat while we read or don’t eat at all.
Ella – I don’t want to eat.
Me – Ok.
Ella – But I am right!
Me – Sure.
Ella – I’ll go and choose books now.

I remarked to my visitors that this child would grow up to become a politician for sure.

We read books which suddenly made her so sleepy that she even admitted to being tired. A first. Even too tired to give cuddles, she told me. However, not tired enough to pass on our usual bedtime chat.

This time she wanted to know:

Ella – Mum, when is it going to be the end of the world?
Me – Do you mean the end of the day? (She’s mixed these up before) This day will end at midnight, in about 4 hours.
Ella – No, I want to know when is going to be the end of the world.
Me – Errr, the world is going to end a long, long, long time after we have died.
Ella – But when?
Me – No one knows when. We cannot know.
Ella – But I think about that, you know.
Me – Why don’t you think about something happy now?
Ella – I’ll think about who’s going to come to my birthday party.

Upon my return to the loungeroom I informed my visitors that this child would grow up to become a philosopher for sure.


Every evening Ella declares her love to me when we say goodnight. She goes through a fixed set of phrases but often there’s some variations too.

Last night it was:

Ella – I love you, mum! I love you today and tomorrow and all the days. And sometimes!

More on marriage and gender

Today Olivia, a rather clever and bossy 4yo at daycare, kept calling Ella back to the gate when I was trying to get us on the bike to go home. The last of the very important questions she asked Ella was:

Olivia – So Ella, who are you going to marry?
Ella – Camilla.
Olivia – But she’s a girl! And you’re a girl too. And girls can’t marry girls! So which boy are you going to marry, Ella?

At this stage Ella started speaking very quietly and I couldn’t hear what the reply was. When I questioned her about it later, she said she’d said:

“But I want to marry a girl!”

So I told her that if she really wanted, she could marry a girl. And that she was free to tell Olivia that her mum had said that that was ok.

Half an hour later the topic came up again and – after having to tell her again that one cannot marry one’s mum, or dad, or brother or sister – Ella declared that she would marry Camilla AND Phoebe because they are her two best friends. I had to break the news to her that you can only marry one person because that’s the law. And we should try to stay on the right side of “the law”. She started worrying about who Phoebe was going to marry then.

The rest of our conversation focused mainly on getting the point through that one does not have to marry if one doesn’t feel like doing so. For example, I am not married and very happy that way. And some of our friends aren’t married and doing very well too. Of course some of our friends are married and are happy that way too.

A bit of non-conventionalism and libertarianism never hurt anyone, right?

About going under and bribes

Ella’s been going to swimming lessons for nearly 6 months and still won’t put her head under water. So I decided it was time for drastic methods: I promised her a lollie if she would put her face in the water in the bath! And she did without much hesitation. She had her lollie and when I checked on her 5 minutes later, she offered to perform the trick again, without even asking for a reward. Unfortunately she forgot to blow bubbles and got water up her nose.

I spent the next 20 or so minutes trying to persuade her to put her head under again. Not once did she say that she didn’t want to do it, though she did mention that she was a bit scared but that she would be brave. However, she kept stalling. We went through the steps umpteen times. Then she’d get a sponge out of the bath and say:

“This is my map. I’ll just check the map to see what I have to do.”
“Err… [studying the sponge]… close my eyes, blow bubbles, close my nose, or leave it open.”

She did this several times with several sponges. She got me to count to 3 several times only to bail out again and check the map or find some other distraction.

When the bathwater was getting way too cold… I promised her another lollie and 30 seconds later I watched her put her face under water again.

I am really not an advocate for edible rewards but in parenting matters, just sometimes the end does justify the means.

Gender confusion

Ella was playing with a travel game this morning, talking to the pawns as if they were people, when I found 2 of the pawns on the floor.

So I picked the first one up and gave it to her saying:

Me – “I fell down and I hurt myself!”
Ella – Oh, I’ll give you a bandaid
Me – [Picking up the 2nd pawn] “I fell down and hurt myself too!”
Ella – She can have a bandaid too because she hurts she’s knee.
Me – Her knee.
Ella – No, she’s knee.
Me – No, it’s her knee.
Ella – No, it’s she’s knee.
Me – She hurt her knee. He hurt his knee.
Ella – No, they’re both girls.

I give up.