Night vision

I was on the phone with my mum tonight. I talked a bit long when I was actually supposed to be reading Ella bedtime stories. Suddenly she switched off the light and continued jumping on the bed while I sat there in the dark talking into the phone. I finally interrupted my phone conversation and asked:

Me – Ella, why did you switch of the light?
Ella – Because I ate carrots and I want to see if they help me see in the dark.

That made total sense to me too.


Schoolground politics

This is a drawing that one of Ella’s best friends at school made a couple of days ago.

The blond girl in the picture is Ella, the other one is the friend. The drawing worries me on a number of levels. Combined with the stories about the way the girl treats Ella. The girl’s tactics to control Ella usually involve crying and threatening to tell the teacher. The latter is what really gets to Ella, which I think has a lot do with a bad experience at daycare last year.

I try my best to convince Ella to stand up to this girl, but I think it may be time to get the teacher on board. All I would want her to do is to assure Ella that she will not jump to conclusions when the friend ‘dobs on her’ but will give Ella a fair go. Because I am confident that there isn’t anything to “tell”.

I am very proud that my girl has a solid set of morals and values at the age of 5. And I can’t just stand by while some other child is trying to take advantage of that and Ella feels powerless to defend herself. My aim is always to give her the skills to deal with issue like these without needing any help from grown-ups. But she needs to be reassured that the significant grown-ups in her life will always stand by her if she does the right thing.

Schoolground politics? It’s a minefield.


Ella – Today at school, I read ‘sat’ all by myself!
Me – Wow!
Ella – I read s a t. Sat!
Me – I’m so proud! You can read!
Ella – I can only read ‘sat’.
Me – I’m sure you can read other words too. See if you can read this.
Ella – p a t. p a t. p a t. Sat? No. p a t. p a t. Mat? No. p a t. p a t. Pat!
Me – Well done! See, you can read.
Ella – I can only read some words.
Me – But that’s a great start. Let’s try a harder one. What does this say?
Ella – t a p. t a p. t a p. Pat? No. t a p. t a p. t a p. Mat? No. t ap. t a p. t a p. Cucumber!

I expect this is going to turn into a running joke from now on, where she’s going to yell ‘cucumber’ whenever she can’t work something out..


Thursday afternoon:

Ella – Do you know what we talked about in school today, mum?
Me – No, what did you talk about?
Ella – We talked about “My stuff my responsibility.” And your stuff, your responsibility.

Friday evening, sitting on the bed watching tele:

Me – Ella, would you please fetch my mobile for me?
Ella – Mu-um! Don’t ask me to do stuff just because you’re lazy!
Me – Fair enough, but I just feel really tired because I’ve had a busy day. Could you please do this for me, that would be really helpful of you.
Ella – Mum, remember what I told you: “Your stuff, your responsibility”!
Me – Ok. If it’s like that, from now on you can do your own shopping, make your own sandwiches, cook your own dinner, wash your own clothes, mow the lawn,…

I’m not really sure where the lawn mowing fitted in, but it cracked her up. And she did get my mobile for me!

Anti-nagging mission

I got so over the nagging in the morning to get Ella ready for school that this morning I made a firm decision not to ask anything more than once. But I did need a back-up plan because it would’ve ended in drama if I would’ve left her to her own devices.

So I used post-it notes!

After I reminded her just once of what she needed to do, I allowed enough time for her to do it and instead of repeating the request I drew and wrote the instruction on a post-it and stuck it on her dress (or her body before she got dressed which took her close to an hour I think). After that, if she wouldn’t have completed the previous task, I wouldn’t even verbally remind her of the next task, but I just kept adding post-its to her. I think the maximum she had stuck to her at one time was 4.

(She wasted valuable time colouring in and improving 2 of the post-its before she got dressed.)

We were still 20 minutes late, but oh boy, I felt a lot calmer after not hearing myself repeat every instruction 10 times until I started sounding desperate and angry! The 20 minutes were added as a penalty to her wake-up time and bedtime, ie she had to go to bed 20 mins earlier tonight in order to get up 20 minutes earlier in the morning. If she can prove that she can get ready in less time tomorrow, we’ll move the bedtime and wake-up time back again.

Say NO to nagging!

Random conversations #3

Me – Ok, pack-up time!
Ella – They [school (Lin)] don’t say pack-up time anymore. They just put music on.

So I played Pink full blast and only once had to point at something she’d missed and everything was packed up before the last notes of Rockstar had faded. You gotta love school!


Me – I wrote on Facebook that I’m half superwoman, half supergrump.
Ella – [laughs out loud] – You’re right, mum!
Me – Which part is right, superwoman or supergrump?
Ella – Err.. superwoman.
Me – You’re so nice, Ella.
Ella – I didn’t want to say supergrump because I didn’t want to be mean.


Ella – You are the best mum I ever had!