The perfect pet

Ella – Oh look mum, I found a slater! (See: http://www.ento.csiro.au/education/allies/isopoda.html)
Me – Hm, I’ve never been fond of slaters.
Ella – Oh mum, can I keep him as a pet?
Me – Sure, if you promise you’ll look after him.

So we put him in a take-away container and she added some grass and twigs. She’ll check him now and then – gives the container a bit of a shake to seperate him from the grass.

And today she asked me to look on the internet to find out what they eat: decaying vegetable matter. Sweeeet! She’s now adding some of the veggies from our fridge that are past their use by date to his habitat.

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Randomness

Things I never thought I’d hear my 4yo say:

Ella [holding the adorable 12 week old pup we are minding] – Looking after a pup is not easy!

Ella – Can I clean the oven please, mum?

A joking reply that actually made laugh:

Godmother – We had a lovely time.
Ella – Why did you have a lovely time?
Godmother – Because Fred is rather lovely, don’t you think?
Ella – Yeah… in a skirt!

And just classic 4yo Ella:

Ella – I’m trying to lock the door.
Me – Why do you want to lock the door.
Ella – So thieves can’t come in… without knocking.

Opportunism

The parents of one of Ella’s preschool friends own the local fish and chips shop. She sometimes gets to pay her a quick visit if she’s in the area after school.

Me – Ella, whenever you mention Elle, you only ever talk about the lollies you get when you go visit her. You wouldn’t want her to think that you only like her because of the lollies, do you? Because that would be rather rude.
Ella – Mu-um! I don’t just go visit her because of the lollies. Yesterday her mum gave us an ice cream!

I give up.

The grumpy old woman and the normal teens

This morning I was driving driving Ella to daycare when we came to the corner of a street that is a popular shortcut for commuters. It is also the route from the bus stop to the nearby high school. And this morning was not the first time that I saw some of these teenagers – hands in pockets, headphones in, eyes fixed somewhere on their feet – step onto the road to cross at the corner without checking for cars turning into the street.

Me – Ah, the arrogance of youth.
Ella – Why did you say that?
Me [laughing] – Because I’m a grumpy old woman.
Ella – No, you’re not.
Me – Yes I am. I am a grumpy old woman.
Ella – Na-ah. You’re not.
Me – I said that because those teenagers crossed the road without looking for cars. What a silly thing to do, isn’t it? Don’t they know that they could easily die if they don’t look when they cross the road? Teenagers can be a bit strange like that. It’s as if they just never think about danger.
Ella – I will always look before I cross the road.
Me – That pleases me so much to hear you say that!
Ella – And I will not be a normal teenager, you know.
Me – That pleases me too!

If only. I’m sure when I was younger, I used to say I would never turn into a grumpy old woman too.

Casual remarks

Sometimes I love listening to Ella talking to herself or her toys in play. I have to say sometimes, because other times I find it downright annoying when she’s sitting right next to me and her ‘characters’ are going a bit wild and I cannot hear myself think.

Today I wasn’t really paying much attention when she was playing with the fridge magnets and making them talk while I was cooking. Until I heard her say:

Ella – I promise I’m going to kill my mum.
Me [laughing but trying to sound indignant] – Pardon me?!
Ella – Mu-um! That means she’s not going to kill her mum.
(She gets quite annoyed when I laugh at her play voices.)

You really do wonder what goes on in their head. Should I be scared?

Drawing

I keep lots of Ella’s artworks, but as she does more and more of it at school and daycare, I must say that some of them don’t even get a proper look but end up straight in the recycling. I’m talking about tissue boxes with paddle pop sticks glued to them or pages with a couple of lines of paint in a non-descript colour.

But I love Ella’s drawings. And especially her drawings of animals. The detail in them is quite striking. Without anyone showing her how to draw these, she has a talent for depicting the one or two characteristics that make them immediately recognisable. Which to be honest, is already more than I manage to achieve usually.

Like the jelly fish in this one. (And the cat is probably better than the ones I draw!)

The duck is also a classic example. I adore it’s simplicity and those big feet.

Note the “fairy mermaids” in the above pictures. They used to resemble her barbie mermaid when she started copying that onto paper which I thought was rather clever. But I’ll leave it up to your imagination to decide what these more stylised versions she tends to draw these days resemble.

The bat (the finished one) would be amongst my faves too. I doubt she’s ever seen a picture of a bat, but this has such a cartoon quality about it. This is the bookmark she made for when we read her chapter books every night. There are no bats in the book…

But this is my absolute favourite! I found it in her pigeon hole at daycare and my reaction was (quite genuine too): “Oh, what beautiful cats!” To which she responded immediately: “Mu-um! They’re not cats! They’re flying foxes!” after which she pointed out the tiny wings on their necks or backs. Hahaha! I love their fluffy feet too. They’re delightfully surreal.

As she has always loved drawing, I have bought books on teaching kids how to draw. It explains step by step how to draw a cat, a horse, a boat… But I am very reluctant to use them as I am enjoying this phase of her drawing way too much and don’t want it to ever change!

Caught out

I was 3 minutes late dropping Ella off at school this morning, so all the kids were already sitting down on the floor listening to the teacher reading them a book. Ella quickly went to sit down at the back of the group while I re-tied her pony tail.

As I was doing that the teacher – who was reading a book about a pigeon – said: “He was the kind of pigeon who would sulk and pout if he didn’t get what he wanted. Do you ever do that, sulk and pout when you don’t get what you want?”

And one lonely voice said – without any hesitation or doubt: “No.”

It was Ella’s and of course I couldn’t control the laugh that escaped my throat. The teacher and assistant laughed too and Ella got all embarassed saying “mu-um!” so I had to apologise for laughing.

It was just so funny that she would be the only one in the group to deny ever sulking, being the only one with her mother there right behind her!