I’ve only just started to let Ella watch ‘older’ movies, as she seemed ready for it.

The first one – Willow – was a mistake because it featured trolls. She could’t sleep that night and ended up in my bed.

So last night we tried Narnia (the lion, the witch and wardrobe). As expected, she crawled under the doonah whenever she heard the “suspense music” (it was about 35 degrees in the bedroom!). But this time there was another aspect of the film that affected her too. When the sad music played as the kids are on the train after being sent away from London to avoid the dangers of war, she commented: “They are very sad, aren’t they? It’s a bit of a sad movie, isn’t it?” Then – when the little girl starts crying because her siblings won’t believe her when she tells them about Narnia:

Ella – [crying] This film makes me cry!
Me – Oh sweetie, it’s ok to feel sad because of a movie. It’s not a bad thing. Look, she stopped crying now and everything is fine.

She definitely doesn’t lack empathy.


No fun

This morning Ella was watching ABC Kids in the bedroom and a show called Go Yabba Yabba was on. She didn’t react when I commented that this show was weird. Too weird. So weird that it was almost creepy. Then – as I was searching for clothes for work:

Go Yabba Yabba: What do you think is fun?
Me – Not going to work is fun. And sleeping in is lots of fun too. And someone else cleaning your house, now that’s fun!
Ella – Mum, it’s on the tv. They can’t hear you.

Always ruining my fun with her common sense!

Flying monsters

Ella came out of bed to tell me she couldn’t sleep because of the thunder. But it turned out it wasn’t really the rumbling that kept her awake.

Ella – I’m scared the monsters are gonna come.
Me – If they come, I’ll scare them away. But I don’t think they’ll come.
Ella – The monsters live far away from our house, don’t they.
Me – Yeah, I think they do.
Ella – They only live in Belgium. And that’s really far away. And they don’t let monsters on the plane, do they?
Me – No, they definitely wouldn’t let monsters on a plane.
Ella – And not bad people either.
Me – No, they can’t go on the plane.
Ella – But they let old people on the plane. Because they can’t do nothing, can they?

I’m sure there is some logic in there somewhere.

Favourite things

I was trying to tell Ella that she is getting a bit too heavy for me to carry. She enquired if her dad would still be able to carry her and I confirmed that he probably could because he is a man and men are usually stronger than women.

Ella – Is papa a man?
Me – Yes, papa is a man. And I am a woman.
Ella – I want to call him a boy.
Me – If he’s ok with that, that’s fine.
Ella – Because it’s not my favourite thing.
Me – What’s not your favourite thing?
Ella – Men are not my favourite thing. That’s why I want to call him boy.

The birthday party

Last Saturday was Ella’s 4th birthday party.

These are the things I learnt from that experience:

– I am not superwoman. I don’t even look anything like her.
– Organising a kids birthday party at home is a sure sign of insanity.
– I do not want to miss seeing my child enjoy her birthday party ever again. And not just because I deserve some immediate gratification after so much hard work.
– My child needs constant reminders to not to behave like a brat in public. I used to mainly remind her because of how it reflected on me. Now it dawned on me that it is my duty as a parent to tell her for her own benefit. A bit like when you make a fool of yourself when you’re drunk and you ask your friends the next day: “Why did you not stop me?!”
– All it takes to stop her yelling orders is a gentle but unambiguous reminder. She’ll immediately switch to her nice voice then.
– Making sausage rolls from scratch is so not worth the effort and one of the most thankless tasks I can think of.
– Home cooked food in general is overrated. Store bought food and snacks are adequate food for a kids’ party.
– Eating however is hard to overrate. Not doing it while running around from early morning till late at night may result in having to take pain killers and feeling sick.
– Forgetting to put out the plastic plates and cutlery is rather silly.
– I am so incredibly lucky to know a very talented and patient face painter and other friends who were willing to help in various ways. (Next year, I won’t have to rely on you as much, I promise!)

So, a very educational experience in the end.

I asked Ella if there was anything at all she would’ve changed about her party and she gave me a convincing “no”. So mission (impossible) accomplished.

And the cutest story which I did get to witness was when I found the only boy (Quin) at the party standing at the toilet, with the last 2 remaining girls (Ella and Lucy) watching on.

Ella – Quin! You have to come outside to do [so and so]!
Quin [glancing from the toilet to Ella’s face and back] – I’m doing a wee.
Ella – Quin! When you have finished… doing a wee, come outside and do what I do! You have to do what I do!
[No response from Quin]
Me (whispering at Ella) – If you want to?
Ella – If you want to Quin, come outside and do what I’m doing!
Quin – OK.

Drawing drama

Today in the car on the way to daycare, drawing a picture for her grandmother:

Ella – I’m drawing a sad fairy.
Me – Hm.
Ella – Do you know why she is sad?
Me – Why is she sad?
Ella – Because the police put her in jail.
Me – Oh. Why did the police put her in jail?
Ella – Because they think she killed the sheep.
Me – The fairy killed a sheep?
Ella – But she didn’t do it. But the police put her in jail. That’s naughty isn’t it?
Me – Oh, but when they find out she didn’t do it, they’ll let her go.
Ella – No they won’t.
Ella – And now I’m drawing the fire. The fairy is in the jail fire.
Me – They don’t put anyone in the fire in jail, Ella. Jail is just little rooms people have to stay in.
Ella – Yes they do! This jail has a fire. It’s a bit of a dangerous jail.
Me – There are no dangerous jails, Ella. And could you not draw something more cheerful? I don’t know if S will like getting such a sad picture.
Ella – I’ll draw something nicer on the other side, ok?
Me – Ok.
Ella – And they cut off the fairy’s wings.
Me – I don’t want to know. I’d just rather not know, because it makes me all sad.
Ella – But they’ll grow back!
Me – Oh ok then. As long as there’s a happy ending, I suppose I can cope with sad stories.
Ella – And there’s a baby one, and she’s happy. She’s happy because she’s yelling at the police: “Let me out of the fire!” And fairies don’t burn or go brown or anything in the fire.
Me – That’s good then.
Ella – I won’t tell S what it is.
Me – Why not?
Ella – Because then maybe she’ll get sad. I won’t tell her the story and then she won’t know.
Me – Maybe that’s best.

Senior days

After coming out of the supermarket today:

Me – Ella, for the 5th time, get on the bike now please, I’m fed up waiting.
Ella – I just have to do this.
Me – Ok, then I’ll go and you can walk home.
Ella – Nooo!
Me – It was just a joke, Ella. You know I’d never do that. But I just don’t want to be kept waiting any longer.
Ella – That makes me very sad if you say that.
Me – I’m sorry, sweetie. You know I would never, ever leave you behind anywhere. Just get on the bike now.
Ella [climbing on the bike] – If you say that again, I’ll be very sad.
Me – I’ll try not to say it again, ok? But you know it’s only a joke, don’t you? I would really never, ever leave you behind. I have told you that plenty of times.
Ella – I forget sometimes.
Me – You forget that I would never leave you?
Ella – Yes. And you have to remind me lots of times on the days that I forget.
Me – Ok.
Ella – I’ll tell you which days I forget.
Me – Ok?
Ella – Thursday…
Me – [burst out laughing]
Ella – And Wednesday. And Sunday. That’s the days you have to remind me.
Me – Ok, on Wed, Thurs and Sunday I will tell you lots that I’ll never, ever leave you.