We watched a few minutes of the ANZAC Day parade on TV last Saturday. I explained to Ella that they were marching to remember all the soldiers who died while they were fighting in the war to protect our country.

She watched for a minute and then asked: “When are they going to start fighting?”


We watched the last episode of The Biggest Loser (Ella loves it for some reason). I told her that one of the contestants lost 1/3 of his body weight.

Ella – What is 1/3?
Me – Err… if you would cut him in 3 pieces, then 1/3 is one of those pieces. That’s how much weight he has lost.
Ella – Are they going to cut him into pieces now?

TV would be a lot more interesting if 4 year olds wrote the shows.


D’uh moment: 234-235

Ella loves talking on the phone, but sometimes doesn’t quite get the courtesy questions people ask her, which resulted in a few “d’uh moments” recently.

When she and her godmother were discussing the details of her 5th birthday party – which after all is only about 8 months away – and they’d covered the dress code and decorations:

Godmother – And what are you going to do for the cake, Ella?
Ella – Eat it.


When she came on the phone when I called her grandmother who was minding her for the day:

Me – Hi Ella. What are you doing?
Ella – Talking to you.



This morning when I said goodbye to Ella at daycare at the gate.

Ella – Mum, I wish we didn’t have to work to get money.
Me – That’s just how it is, sweetie.
Ella – Actually, I wish we didn’t need money to pay for anything. I wish everything was free.

She and I and only most of the population! Or is she a communist in the making?

Happy days

We spent the Easter weekend at a friend’s folks’ place near Wyong on the Central Coast. We all had a good time, enjoyed the warmer weather (especially the mornings) and the humidity made a nice change too.

We did make “a bit” of a detour getting there when Googlemaps let me down for the first time ever by calling the road from Sydney to Newcastle by another name than what was on the sign at the turn-off. So before I knew it, we were driving over Sydney Harbour Bridge. I’d never driven in Sydney before so I was very excited about it – albeit a tad worried that we’d never get out of Sydney again and to our destination. Ella was well impressed too. She called it Bindi’s bridge (as in Steve Irwin’s daughter). Claimed that Bindi lived there. Couldnt’ see the connection, but what do I know. She told everyone at our destination that we’d driven over Sydney Harbour Bridge, but the embarassment was cancelled out by my pride at not panicking driving through the big smoke.

Ella definitely had a ball. My friend’s three year old nephew spent lots of time with us and Ella and him got on like a house on fire. Which surprised me at first, because she has shown signs of being ageist and sexist before. But something clicked and they laughed a lot, invented games and role-played. I especially enjoyed watching the game which involved one of them sitting in a plastic car and the other pulling it back a meter or so and then crashing it into the wall. I hope the wall didn’t suffer any damage. They thought it was hilarious and it kept them getting fits of laughter for ages.

They also played superheroes (“We are going to save the day! We will save the world! Is anyone in trouble? We’ll save you!) and dragons, got pulled sitting together on the billy cart when we went for a walk with the dog and did lots of climbing too. We were all moved by seeing her teach her little friend to climb down from the roof of the playgym. She guided his leg to the ledge she had used as support. Which prompted me to immediately warn her not to pull him off. It’s hard not to see the worst case scenarios in situations like that sometimes.

Of course it did result in episodes of being overexcited. During one of those Ella came over to me with her little friend in tow while I was in the middle of a conversation and stood next to my chair yelling at the top of her voice: “MUM! Listen to me! Listen to me NOW! I NEED TO TALK TO YOOOOUUUUU!” So I turned to her and said in a no-nonsense voice: “Ella, you WILL not talk to me like that. You can go away and come back when you can be polite and talk to me in a nice voice”.

After which Ella left promptly with friend and as she walked off I heard her say to him very casually: “She’s not nice. C’mon.” I shouldn’t really find that funny but it totally cracked me up.

Easter Sunday was fun. Because I would not risk the local wildlife eating all the easter eggs overnight and Ella and I woke up at the same time, I had to be sneaky about the whole thing and could not mention the Easter bunny to Ella when we got up. She forgot luckily. I finally managed to get her to agree to go play in the front of the house, while I quickly hid the easter eggs in the backyard. I then placed one little easter egg on the top step of the stairs that led down to the yard and another one on the bottom post. I insisted on playing our game of Monopoly downstairs and urged her to watch very carefull where she stepped (Ella – Why?, Me- Why do you think?, Ella – So I don’t trip and fall?, Me – Exactly.) after which she discovered the Easter egg and realised the Easter bunny had been. She told everyone that “we” forgot about Easter and that “we saw a little Easter egg at the top of the stairs, which was a very silly place for the Easter Bunny to put it, because you can see it straight away when you walk down the stairs”. Very cute.

We also went to The Entrance which is a tourist paradise with rides for the kids, a paddle pool with fountains and multi-coloured sculptures and show bag stalls. Ella told me a couple of times that it was “the best day ever”. Her face when she got in the pool – in her undies as I forgot her swimmers – and was watching the way too many kids climbing on the sculptures and playing with/in the fountains was just priceless. It seemed to say “I cannot believe my eyes!” so clearly.

We went back – just the 2 of us – before we drove home and I endulged her by letting her go on 2 rides, 2 jumping castles and buying her a show bag and an ice cream. Then we drove home – a 4.5 hour drive. When we got home she told me she was so happy because it had been such a happy day and she actually got teary while she said it! Aww. Made me all teary too.

Lovey dovey stuff

This morning as I was doing Ella’s hair before school:

Ella – Mum, I just love the way you love me.

Awww. I think that’s probably the nicest compliment she’s ever given me. It makes me think I must be doing something right on the affection-giving part of the parenting job. Which – believe me or not – is not always the thing at the fore of my consciousness when I’m faced with the task of moulding my child into something that resembles a good human being.

I wish…

Ella got a bit upset today because she had decided that she wanted someone to come pick her up from school tomorrow and got voicemail on both the person’s landline and mobile when she tried to call them. I don’t think she’d ever heard a voicemail before, so she got very upset when the voice stopped responding.

So after a lot of “I wish they would talk to me, I wish they would come pick me up” (and my favourite: “I wish they would buy a new phone”) she started to expand her wishlist, seemingly with the main purpose of making herself more sad. By now it was about 30 mins past her bedtime (ignoring the end of daylight saving, that is) so she got more and more melodramatic.

We got:

I wish I was six, so I could stay up later.
I wish I was 7 or 8 or 9.
I wish I was a grown-up so I could stay up as late as I wanted.
I wish kids wouldn’t have to sleep as long.
I wish grown-ups were only as big as kids.

I tried my best to be sympathetic as she really seemed very sad and I tried to make her see the positives of the way things are but eventually had to decide to treat it as a ploy to delay the inevitable bedtime and told her that some things just are the way they are, that she should stop trying to make herself sad, think of happier things and go to sleep and left with a teary “Ok, mum” from her.

I think she was asleep soon after her head touched the pillow…