Note to Ella

When your mum has just discovered that the paint stains – that you carelessly made on the 5-day old lino in the new rental kitchen, because you did “not hear” her advice about putting some paper under your painting – won’t come off with water and soap, “Whose fault is it?” is most definitely the wrong question to ask. “Will I ever get pocket money again?” or even “Will I live to see my 6th birthday?” are probably more apt questions in this situation. Though the wisest option would probably be to stay well clear of your frantically panicking next of kin until her blood pressure has come down considerably.

I wonder if the smell of tea-tree oil – which turned out to be the miracle cleaning aid that saved mum’s sanity – will forever make this memory surface for her now?

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Training boys

Ella just tells me about this game she plays with “the boys” at school. She sits somewhere up high and pretends she’s having a picnic. And all the boys are dogs. And she is their owner. And they’re really bad dogs. And they end up knocking over the whole picnic. And then she has to train them. Then she went on to demonstrate how she says “Sit!” and then sits to show them. And then she says “Come!” and runs away and they all run after her.

What a great image!

And better than the stories she tells me about her so-called best female friends who seem to spend most of their time fighting with and excluding eachother.

Sharing poverty

We were talking about helping others (triggered by some pretty selfish behaviour displayed by Ella, but anyway).

Ella – And it’s good to share money too. People should share money.
Me – That’s right. And we do that too. We give money to our sponsor child in Africa because we have more money than they do and without help they might not be able to eat or go to school.
Ella – And the people in India, they are poor. And people should give them money too.
Me – Remember, when you’re 11 or 12, I’m going to take you to India?
Ella – Oh no! I don’t want to have no money! Will they take our money from us when we go there?
Me [laughing] – No, but everyone will want us to give them money and buy stuff from them.

I’m now going to make an effort to remember to give her pocket money, just so she can give some of it to charities.

The living dead

I felt a bit emotional when I listened to the song about kids leaving home in the Mamma Mia movie that Ella was watching.

Me – This song makes me sad because it’s about kids leaving home and one day you’ll be all grown up and leave me too.
Ella [getting all teary] – Mum! Don’t say that! Remember, I will always live with you? And we were going to work together?
—–
Ella – Do you know what makes me sad? When I think about how you are older than me so you are going to die first. [Chokes up again.]
Me – We should stop getting sad about things that won’t happen for a long, long time.
Ella – Is that when you will never see me again, when you die?
Me – I suppose so.
Ella – Yes, because if you would come back alive, you’d be a zombie!

That cracked us both up and then we practised our zombie imitation.

Favourite things

I’m selling a benchtop dishwasher and was checking my Ebay listing today. (And then typed as Ella talked: this is a very literal transcript.)

Me – Seven people watching, but no bids yet.
Ella – Why don’t you make it look a bit better?
Me – It’s a dishwasher, how would I make it look better?
Ella – You could draw fairies on it and… Every one would want one of those!
Me – Not everyone likes things with fairies on it.
Ella – Everyone does!
Me – What about boys?
Ella – Boys like butterflies. I’m only joking!
Ella – Boys like Spiderman and Superman and … Girls like fairies and Batgirl and Supergirl and Wonder Woman and Spidergirl. Those are all the people that girls like. Coz I like those things. And also girls like nature. And animals. And boys like animals, but nothing else, for boys. And girls like dresses and tights and socks and leggings and dresses and t-shirts and skirts. Look, girls like much more things than boys do. And girls also like ponies and unicorns. And horses. And girls like heaps of animals. Which you probably already know coz I love animals. I don’t just like them, I love them. That’s why I care for Luna.

The advantages of literacy

I’m starting to notice the benefits of Ella being able to read. For example, I suddenly realised she is now reading the whole title of recorded tv shows on our PVR hard-drive instead of just looking at the first letter and guessing. Or asking me to read it for her.

And it’s quite handy that I can now write notes to her, as I discovered this morning.

We got to school early today only for me to discover that there was no food of any description in Ella’s schoolbag. I put the blame fair and square on her as it is her responsibility to pack her bag. And I was not impressed about having to now lose time by dropping off her lunch order and recess on the way to work and the potential nightmare of having to find a carpark at the school around 9am. So when Ella asked me if I could also get 20c from her money stash so she could buy the jelly that I had agreed she could get, I refused. My argument to her was that I did not want to waste yet more time by having to get the money from her room though my real reason was that I thought she should feel the consequences of forgetting to check her bag before we left.

But as I grabbed her food from the dining table, I mellowed and went to get 20c of her bedside drawers. I didn’t want to distract her by giving it to her directly in class, so I decided to sticky-tape it to a bit of cardboard and stick it it in her bag of popcorn. And as an afterthought I wrote on the card – in my neatest printed writing: “Best mum?”.

  

New technology

They started on our kitchen renos yesterday. As we had no power for a while, I was having a rest under my warm doonah while Ella entertained one of the tradies who was having a break. She walked back and forth to show him an array of balloons and toys. Then I heard following monologue from the kitchen:

Ella – And you probably wouldn’t have done this at your school when you went to school, but we have a special song. It’s ‘Count us in’ and the song is on the internet. And an internet is err… an internet is err…
Me – Ella, I’m sure he knows what the internet is, sweetie.

I should’ve not said anything to find out how she was going to explain ‘an internet’ to an ‘old person’.