Thursday, December 26, 2013

Emmy, Emmy, quite contrary

This one needs no context I think...

Em: Mummy, do people hate children?
Me: What?
Em: Do people hate children?
Me: What, all people?
Em: No, just some people far away.
Me: There are some people who don't like children, yes.
Em: What if they grow a children?
Me:  Well, people who don't like children usually don't grow children. (pause)  You're a random child.
Em: No I'm not! I'm not random!
Me: It's good to be random! I'm random too.
Em: I'm not random!
Me: You don't even know what random means.
Em: Tell me what it means then.
Me: It means creative and interesting.
Em: I'm not interesting!
Me: Ok, fine, you're boring then.
Em: No I'm not! I'm not boring! And I'm not interesting!
Me: You're contrary.
Em: No I'm not! What does it mean?
Me: It means you disagree with everything I say.
Em: No I don't!

Ha.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

My Little Monster [Ponies]

I came into the living room the other day to discover that Ember had 'coloured in' a number of her my little ponies to make them into 'monster ponies'.  "Daddy says it will come off" she reassured me.

A couple of days later I tested this by taking one of the ponies into the bathroom and scrubbing it with a nail brush and various types of soap. Needless to say, the colouring didn't come off.

Me: Ember, I don't think this colour is going to come off your ponies.
Em: That's ok, I like them like this.
Me: Well make sure you don't scribble on any more of your toys please.
Em: It's not scribbling, they're monster ponies!
Me: It looks like scribbling to me...
Em: Mummy!  They're just monster ponies ok?  You're just going to have to accept that and move on.

I had no comeback.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

It's just not cricket!

Ember and Nana Jay were driving past a school to pick up the rest of our car pool when Ember pointed out the fenced courts.

Em: Do you know nana, that's where they play cricket.
NJ: Yes they probably do play cricket there sometimes.
Em: The fence is so the crickets and grasshoppers can't get away. The people hit the crickets with sticks. That's a bit sad for the crickets isn't it?

Nana J was relaying this conversation to the rest of the carpool as we drove back past the courts, and I was stuffing my fist into my mouth to keep from laughing.

Em: Why are you laughing Mummy? Is that not quite how it goes? Don't laugh at me!
Me: I'm not laughing at you, it's just this sherbet making me laugh.

Thankfully she decided the sherbet made her laugh too!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Flying toilets

Partly because the toilet roll dispenser is a bit of a reach from our toilet, and partly because it's easier (for her), Ember still calls for mummy and/or daddy's assistance when she's done on the toilet. She manages on her own at school, so I suspect it's mostly about habit and convenience at home! Anyway, yesterday was rather funny...

Em: Mummy! Come and wipe me!
Me: ok, coming. 
Em: no, wait, don't come yet.
Me: ok.

Quiet for a few minutes.

Me: are you ok? What are you doing?
Em: I'm ok. I'm just waiting in case the toilet flies me away somewhere.
Me: you're what?
Em: I wished the the toilet might fly me away somewhere!
Me: you'd better hope it doesn't; that might get a bit messy!

We did read a little bit of The Wishing Chair a while back, before going back to The Faraway Tree, so perhaps that's where it's come from.  I don't think that "The Wishing toilet" would be quite so popular a tale...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Squiggle bum

Ember decided she needed to sit on me this evening. Like most five-year-olds she can't sit still for more than 2 seconds so she was quickly squiggling around all over the place. She must have hit an awkward angle or something because she suddenly said:

Em: ouch! Ow!
Me: What?
Em: Keep your hurtings to yourself!
Me: I'm not moving; you're the one squiggling around on my lap.
Em: Well move your lap! Ow!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Speeding Daddies and Pink Beans

I'd like to preface this post by saying that Ember's daddy, Simon, is a very circumspect driver, so much so that on occasion I have called him a "nana driver" ;)  I mention this only because it makes the conversation I had with Ember in the car yesterday, so much more funny!

Em: Muuuummmmmmmyyyyy, are we nearly home?
Me: No.
Em: Have we got a long way to go?
Me: Yes.
Em: Ooooooooooh. Well are you driving one hundred?
Me: No, I'm only allowed to drive at eighty on this bit, so I'm driving at eighty.
Em: When you see the sign that says one hundred, make sure you drive at one hundred, ok?
Me: Ok.
Em: (wee pause) Daddy doesn't slow down when there's a different number on the sign; he just goes one hundred.
Me: Oh, does he now?
Em: Yep he just goes one hundred all the times. And the policemans doesn't give him any tickets.
Me: Is that right?
Em: Yes, because they're scared of big trucks [Si has a Jeep] and when they see him, they just go "AAAAAH!" and run back into their cars and don't give him any tickets.
Me: Did Daddy tell you that?
Em: No, I just know it.  Because Daddy's big and strong enough and if they gived him a ticket he would just rip it up.
Me: Then they'd give him another one.
Em: He'd just rip that one up too. He rips up all of the tickets.
Me: Then they would take him to jail.
Em: No they wouldn't; he wouldn't go.
Me: He would have to go.
Em: No. He'd just push them up into the hills.
Me: The hills?
Em: Yes, he'd push them up into the hills and they'd go "AAAAAH" and run away and away.
Me: You're full of beans today. Did you have baked beans for lunch?
Em: No, Ms Daniels gived them to me.
Me: What?
Em: The beans! And I gobbled them all up.
Me: What kind of beans?
Em: Pink ones; they tasted like strawberries.
Me: I think you're telling stories.
Em: No, I'm not!  Stop laughing Mummy!

In my defence, Nana was also laughing :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Besmirching Mummy's Reputation

I might need to change the title of my blog, as Ember is now a big School Girl!  In New Zealand the school year runs from February to December, but you can start school any time from the day you turn five, and you have to start by the time you're six.  Ember's birthday was on a Saturday, and she started the following Monday, part way into term 3.  The school had opened a new, new entrant classroom at the beginning of rerm 3 so the kids are all around the same age, and there were only seven of them when she started (there are about 12 now).  She's having a fantastic time, and loves her teacher, so that's the main thing anyway. :)

We have a new car pool buddy, Mike, and luckily he knew me quite well before we started car pooling as Ember has been doing her best to sully my good name.  The other day, halfway home, Ember suddenly said to me: "Mummy, I don't like it when you go and see the naughty boys," and refused to elaborate on what she meant.  I still have no idea!

This morning when Nana got out of the car, Ember blew her some kisses through the window.

Em: I blew Nana kissles!  I mean kisses! That was kind, wasn't it?
Me: Yes, it was.
Em: Mummy, are blow kisses real?
Me: What do you mean?
Em: When you blow someone a kiss, is it real?
Me: Well, it's a real thing.  You really blow someone a kiss, don't you?
Em: Some people say it's not.
Me: Who?
Em: The boys.  The boys say blowing a kiss isn't a real kiss.
Me: Which boys?
Em: All of them! Except Curtis.

It was quite hard to stifle my laughter...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Existential Angst

Ember has somehow cottoned onto the idea of playing the 'sympathy card', and when she is trying to distract or delay me, she will often say "Well, Mummy, I'm just a bit sad, because..." and will then quickly make up a reason for her 'sadness'.  Usually this is when I want to brush her hair, or put her to bed, or get her into the bath, or out of the bath or dressed (I know, such a mean mother).

On Sunday, we were driving home from the library in the latish afternoon, when Em pipes up:

Em: Mummy, I'm just a bit sad.
Me: Why are you sad sweetheart?
Em: Because the days are too short.
Me: What do you mean?
Em: Well, I get up and I play for a bit, and then we go somewhere and come home and then it's dinner and nearly time for bed again. The day is too short!  I just wish I didn't have to sleep.
Me: You wouldn't have much energy for playing if you didn't sleep.
Em: Well I just wish I didn't.

It's so hard being nearly five and so short of time for play!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What's her name again?

When I dropped Ember off at Preschool yesterday there was a relief teacher we hadn't met before.  Ember was quite taken with her, partly because she had long hair, and Ember (being obsessed with Rapunzel) is desperate to grow hers long too.  I said hello to the teacher, she introduced herself as Pei Chen, and Ember (who demands that I "give [her] to a teacher" before I'm allowed to leave) was happy to give Pei Chen a cuddle as I was leaving.

That evening when we were talking about Ember's day, I said to her:

Me: Did you like the new teacher today?
Em: What teacher?
Me: Pei Chen, the teacher you were with this morning, with the beautiful long hair.
Em: Oh, yes I did. (pause) But Mummy, is it ok if I don't like a teacher's name?
Me: You mean the name Pei Chen?
Em: Mmmm.
Me: It's ok if you don't like someone's name, but you probably shouldn't say it to them.  Her name sounds a bit different to you because it's Chinese.
Em: What is?
Me: Her name is Chinese.
Em: Her name is Chinese?  I thought it was Pei Chen!
Me: (struggling not to laugh) No, her name is Pei Chen, but it's Chinese.  From China.
Em: So I can call her Chinese?
Me: No, because that's not her name.  Her name is Pei Chen.
Em: Then why did you say her name is Chinese?
Me: Because it's from the country China.  Your name, and names like Tamsyn and Cate and Connor are New Zealand names.  If you were from China, your name might be something like Pei Chen or Mei Ling or Xiaojing, and you would probably think "Ember" sounded strange.  Or if you were from Japan you might be called Kaoru or Michiko or Akiko.
Em: Yoshi [another Preschool teacher] is from Japan!
Me: Yes, and Yoshi's name is Japanese.
Em: Oh, I thought it was Yoshi...

I gave up after that!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Treacle Toffee

I'm currently reading Enid Blyton's The Enchanted Wood to Ember at one or two chapters per night. It's the first chapter book we've tried and she's really enjoying it, and gives me a good recap of where we're up to before we start the new chapter each night. She was particularly intrigued by the description of the treacle toffee Bessie makes for Moon Face, so we decided to make some of our own today.

Ember helped me to measure the ingredients, and was fascinated by the way the thick, gloppy treacle was pouring into the saucepan.

Em: what does it taste like?
Me: it's just kind of sweet and malty. Stick your finger in and taste some if you like.
Em: Ew, no thanks, that looks like a waterfall of yuck!

Sadly I don't have a recipe for pop biscuits :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bad Dreams

I've been weaning Ember off Dora and Barbie movies and getting out more interesting ones like Labyrinth and The Neverending Story (gotta love those synthesiser soundtracks).  Last night she was trying to roll a tennis ball around her hands like Jareth in Labyrinth (played by Michael Moschen) saying "If you turn it this way, and look into it, it will show you your dreams."  Classic.  She found an old-looking book in my office the other day, and started "reading" it, telling me that she had to save Fantasia from the Nothing.

The downside is that some of the creatures have been invading her dreams - she dreamed that the Gmork was at her Preschool, for example.  Yesterday morning when I got up for work, a plaintive little voice called:

Em: Mummy!  I need a cuddle.
Me: Ok (supplying cuddles)
Em: Can I tell you about my dream? It was a bad dream.
Me: What happened in your dream?
Em: There was a witch, and she wanted me to be her darling, but I didn't want to be her darling because I just wanted to be your darling. 
Me: And what happened?
Em: I punched her and she died.

I'd like to note that we do not advocate violence as a problem-solving technique in our house!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Give me your digits...

In the car on the way home tonight, Ember said:

Em: Is Christmas a long time?
Me: Yes, it's still quite a long time until Christmas.
Em: It's after your birthday?
Me: Yes.
Em: What's your number?
Me: The third.
Em: Third?  But what's your size?
Me: My size? I'm not sure what you mean.
Em: What's your number for your size?
Me: I don't know what you mean Ember, my size for what?
Em: FOR YOUR NUMBER!
Me: I don't know what you mean Ember.
Em: (frustrated noise) I just want to know your number.  How long you are.
Me: Well, I'm 169cms tall, I weigh 68kgs and I wear size 12. 
Em: Oh.
Me: Is that what you want to know?
Em: No, I want to know your number of what you'll be on your birthday.
Me: Oh, you mean you want to know how old I'm turning?
Em: Yes!
Me: 34.
Em: How old are you now?
Me: 33.
Em: Wow, that's really old!
Me: Thanks...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fish slippers

We went for a walk this evening, and suddenly out of the blue, Ember said:

Em: Mummy, I like fish fingers again.
Me: Do you?
Em: Yep, I like them for my dinner.
Me: Where did you have fish fingers?
Em: At my home!
Me: You haven't eaten fish fingers since you were about two... Have you had them somewhere else recently?
Em: No, I just remember them from when I was three and I like them again now.
Me: Ok, we'll try to get some for you then.  Do you think they're really made out of fish fingers?
Em: No! Fishes doesn't have fingers!
Me: Oh, don't they?
Em: No! Fishes just has slippers!

Of course... silly me!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mandarins and butterflies

I accepted Ember's challenge yesterday to get all the peel off her mandarin in one piece (it was an 'easy peel' so it wasn't too much of a challenge! That's a 'satsuma' to my UK friends...)  Having succeeded in my challenge, I handed it to Ember.

Em:  Look, it looks like a butterfly!  Fly, fly!  (closing it up) Now it looks like a raccoon!

I was slightly confused at this point, until she continued, in storytelling voice with accompanying actions...

Em: Once there was a little caterpillar who ate up all the leafs and got big and went into a raccoon and then one day out came a beautiful butterfly...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The value of money

We've been trying to teach Ember about money, and have set her up with a money box (although at present it's just an empty vege stock tin!).  She's enjoying collecting money, but doesn't really have any idea yet of how much various coins etc are worth, or how this translates into buying something from a shop.  The concept of foreign money is particularly...uh, foreign...

Today whilst building, she came across a UK 10pence piece in amongst the blocks.

Em: Look Mummy I found a dollar! I'll put it in my money box.
Me: Well, that one isn't New Zealand money, so don't put it in your money box.
Em: Why not?
Me: You can't spend it.  It's not for spending in New Zealand.
Em: Oh.  Shall we give it to someone from that land?
Me: It's only 10 pence, so they probably won't be all that worried about having it.
Em: I'll give it to Daddy, he'll know what to do with it

She runs off to the kitchen to consult Simon

Em: I gave it to Daddy and told him to get it out of Raglan.  To fly it to the new village. Where it lives.

Friday, May 3, 2013

An Epic Sleepover

Ember is going for her first sleepover at a friend's house tomorrow night.  She's stayed at Nana's a couple of times without us there, but this will be the first time at a friend's.  She's very excited about it and couldn't stop talking about it this evening.

Em: I'll miss you when I'm at M's house.  Will you miss me?
Me: I sure will.
Em: I'm just staying at M's house for one night aren't I?
Me: Yes, just tomorrow night.
Em: Oh.  I wish I could stay lots of nights.  I wish I could stay for one thousand nights! That would be long, wouldn't it?
Me: It would be long.  That would be about three years.  You'd be there till you were eight!
Em: I'd have to have my birthday there?
Me: Yep.
Em: Ok, I want to do that.
Me: I'd miss you if you were gone that long.  Wouldn't you miss Daddy and me?
Em: You could come and visit.  You could come too!
Me: Where would I sleep?
Em: No, not to stay.  You could just come for the party and then go off again.
Me: Thanks very much!
Em: Tomorrow is going to be so much fun, ay Mum?  But not for you ay Mum?  You're not staying at someone's house; you're going to have a boring day!

Here's hoping it goes as well as anticipated...

Monday, April 29, 2013

It's (a kind of) magic?

Ember was in the bath yesterday when she did a "bottom burp"...

Em: (giggles) I did farties! 
Me: I know, I saw the bubbles.
Em: Farties in the bath makes bubbles.  That's maaaaagic, isn't it Mummy?
Me: Well, not really.  It's science.  Farts are air, and when you release air under the water it makes air bubbles.
Em: No, it's magic.  Lots of things are magic.
Me: What do you think magic is?
Em: Magic!
Me: Magic is mostly things we can't explain. Things that we know why and how they happen are science.  Like bubbles, and how plants grow, and why the sky is blue.
Em: I know why the sky is blue.
Me: Why?
Em: Because that's its colour! (pause) Magic bubbles!

Sometimes conversations with Ember just make me realise how little I know...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Delusions of Cinderella

Today is ANZAC Day in New Zealand, which is a public holiday, and Ember and I decided to make Anzac biscuits.  We needed golden syrup, so we popped round to Mum's (aka Nana Jay's) to borrow some.  Her small dog, Kanji, was very stinky, and Ember was delighted to "help" give him a bath while we were there. Poppa John arrived back home just as we were leaving...

Em: (to Poppa John) We gave Kanji a bath!
Me: (to Nana Jay) Ember and [her friend] M ended up having a bath today too, because they did some painting and ended up painting themselves.
NJ:  I'm sure they did.

This conversation continued as I was strapping Em into her car seat, and in the car on the way home:
Em: I painted on my tummy by accident!
Me: I don't think it was an accident...
Em: Why? Did you saw me?
Me: No, but it's pretty hard to paint dots on your tummy by accident.
Em: Mummy.  I'm very sorry but I did do it on purpose. 
Me: That's ok.
Em: Are you cross at me?
Me: No.
Em: You should be cross at me, because I did it on purpose.
Me: Well, it's not the world's greatest crime.
Em: But I did it on purpose.
Me: Do you want me to be cross with you?
Em: No.  (pause) Why do you always get cross at me?
Me: I'm not always cross with you!
Em: Yes you are, you say "Darling! Wash the floor!"
Me: No I don't!
Em: (laughing) Yes you do!  You say "Darling! Wash the floor! Darling! Clean the kitchen! Wash the table!
Me: I do not!
Em: I'm just tricking you Mummy.  Shall I trick you again?
Me: Ok
Em: Mummy! There's a monster about to eat you! (pause) Just tricking!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Trees have all the luck

We were up at Starship (the Auckland Children's Hospital) today for Ember's MRI scan - it looks like she has the all-clear, so we've been discharged from Starship and will now be seen by the visiting oncologist at Waikato once a year.  Hurrah!  Ember and I had some great conversations (she wants to live at Ronald McDonald House, where we stayed last night), but this one in the car coming home was a particular classic.  It came completely out of the blue; I hadn't told her off or anything...

Em: You can do everything you want to do Mummy?
Me: Um, no... What do you mean?
Em: Well you're a grown up, and grown ups can do everything they want to.
Me: No we can't.
Em: But just kids have to do what the teachers and their mummy and daddy say.  Grown ups doesn't do that.
Me: Grown ups have rules they have to follow too.  We have laws, and there are things like manners and customs too. It's a bit hard to explain, but we can't do anything we want to do.
Em: Oh.  Just trees and leaves can do everything they want?
Me: Yes, I suppose they can.
Em: Why?  Because they just sit there and say hello and wave their leaves at us?
Me: ...yes, probably...


Saturday, April 6, 2013

A lesson in sharing

It's been a while since my last post, but certainly not because there have been no Emberisms, more because of illness and lack of time.  I had three days in Auckland for work in late March, followed by a family wedding during which I got a nasty flu-like virus, then had to have a week off work, and then spent most of Easter recovering as well.  Ember got it too, but all she had was a slightly raised temperature which a paracetamol/ibuprofen combo knocked on the head very effectively.  She revelled in being sick though, telling everyone she met "I've got the germs.  My mummy gave me the germs!"

The wedding (my cousin's) and celebrations took place over two days, so we stayed at  little pub hotel  in Clevedon for a couple of nights.  My mum and 'Poppa John' stayed in the same hotel. Ember was delighted to meet up with her big cousin (second cousin technically, but who's counting?!), ten-year-old Isabella again, and Bella took Em firmly under her wing.  They had such a good time that Em was determined that Bella should come and have a sleep over with us...

Em: Can Isabella come for a sleepover?
Me: Yep, we'll see if she and her Mummy or Nana can come to our house in the school holidays maybe.
Em: No, I want her to come for a sleepover tonight!
Me: She can't Em, we're staying at the hotel, there isn't enough room.
Em: Yes, she can sleep in the bed with us.
Me: Ember, you, daddy and me are already sharing one double bed, there really isn't room for anyone else, and I'm sure Isabella wouldn't want to do that anyway!
Em: She could sleep in Nana's room!
Me: No sweetie, Nana and Poppa John are already in there, there isn't room.
Em: Isabella could sleep in the middle!
Me: No, Poppa John needs his space.
Em: Well I'm going to ring Preschool, and they'll tell him he has to share!

Needless to say, Isabella did not have a sleepover that night, but "I'm going to ring Preschool and they'll say you have to share" has become a bit of a catchphrase around here!

Friday, March 15, 2013

If you go down to the woods today...

My baby seems to have become grown up all of a sudden, and some of the change seems to have resulted from her first foray with the Ngahere Explorers, the group of oldest kids at Preschool who spend one day of each week exploring the natural world.  Based on the German Waldkinderg√§rten ("forest kindergarten") philosophy, two teachers take a small group of children go to Pukemokemoke bush reserve for the day where they play and learn in the bush.

Ember was a last-minute ring in on Thursday, and I wasn't entirely sure how she would go, not being a keen walker in general.  However, away from the parentals she stepped up to the challenge, walked the whole way and had a fasntasic time.  

She was telling me all about it on the way home, and some parts of the conversation were rather lovely/funny, so I've tried to capture as much as I remember!

Me: Did you have a good time being a Ngahere Explorer today?
Em: Yes, we goed on the bus, and I walked all the time.  Teachers can't carry you.
Me: No, they can't.  Who did you sit with on the bus?
Em: I sat with A and we talked all the way, but just quietly so we didn't distract the driver.
Me: That's good.  And did you have a backpack on when you went walking?  Or did you leave it in the bus?
Em: We had the backpacks on with our lunchboxes when we got to the hungry place.  And some of the backpacks had whistles and I wanted a green whistle but I didn't get any whistle.
Me: Maybe the kids who have been explorers a few times get to have the whistles.  What are the whistles for?
Em: In case there's a mergency.  We saw lots of Tane Mahutas* and A was ripping the leaves and killing the Tane Mahutas.  That's not kind is it Mummy?
Me: No.
Em: And we saw a nikau plant and Tim ripped the leaf but it was a dead one so he's allowed to do that.  I'm not a plant of tree am I Mummy?
Me: No...
Em: Why is there a Niko plant and not an Ember plant?
Me: Well, it's not a Niko plant (Niko is a boy at Preschool), it's a nikau palm.  Niko and nikau sound the same but they're spelled differently.
Em: Well Tim said it's a Niko plant.  But there's no Ember plant.
Me: There might be, somewhere in the world.
Em: No there isn't, Tim told me.
Me: Ok then. (pause) Do you remember meeting Jeanie in my office today?  She lives just by Pukemokemoke reserve, the place where you went today.  Her family look after the bush reserve.
Em: I want to go to her house.  Does she have toys there?
Me: No, I don't think so.

Em: Oh.  That doesn't matter, I can just take my toys to her house.  Why doesn't she have any toys?
Me: She doesn't have any kids.
Em: Why not?
Me: I don't know.  Not everyone has kids.
Em: They have to!
Me: No they don't.  Some people don't want to have kids.
Em: They should. They should just grow one in their tummies.
Me: Well, it's not quite that easy.  Some people don't want to have kids. And some people can't grow babies in their tummies.
Em: They has to!
Me:  Why does everyone have to have kids?
Em: Because they're so lovely!

Well that may be debatable, but I decided not to go into it!  She certainly learned a lot from her first day as a Ngahere Explorer; I'm looking forward to hearing what she gets up to next.

* 'Tane Mahuta' (tar-nay mar-hoo-tah) means God of the Forest and usually refers to the biggest of New Zealand's native kauri trees.  I'm not entirely sure in what context Ember meant it!

Friday, March 8, 2013

The rainbow gates sound horrid...

Ember and I were at the playground today and she met a little friend called Trinity.  On the way home I was telling her that Trinity was one of the names Simon liked, and that we had thought about when we were deciding what name to give her, along with Azura and Isabella.  Ember liked the idea of Isabella because it's the name of a Queen in one of her movies.

Me: Well, there's a book and a movie called "The City of Ember".
Em: Really?  Can I watch it?
Me: One day.
Em: Is there a girl in that movie called Ember?
Me: No, they all live in an underground city, and the city is called Ember.  Like we live in Raglan, they live in Ember.
Em: They live in Ember! That's funny! People can't be called a name of living!
Me: There are quite a few people's names which are also place names.  Like Paris.  There's a city in France called Paris, and there are some people called Paris too.
Em: I know one, it's called Shance
Me: Chance?
Em: No, Shance.
Me: What's Shance?
Em: It's a living place and a people name.  There is heaps of treasure and chocolate coins!
Me: In Shance the place?
Em: Yep.  And all the gates are made of rainbows! (throwing her arms into the air, dramatically)
Me: Wow, that sounds cool.
Em: Yep.  And animals!  Just baby animals with no families, and they stay baby animals all the time.  Kittens, and lions, and dogs, and T Rexs.
Me: T Rex? Uh oh, what if it eats everyone?
Em: No, it won't eat the people because it's just a baby one and he's a she... she's a she.  Is she means girl?
Me: Yep
Em: Oh.  He's a he.  And when he grows up, he's a nice one.

Just as we arrived home, a whole flock of sparrows took off from a tree, flying overhead.

Em: Look at those birds!  They're so horrid.  Horrid means lovely.
Me: No it doesn't, horrid means horrible.
Em: Well in my words horrid is a different one and it means lovely.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Religious Education, of sorts

Ember and I drove past the Anglican church on our way to the shop this afternoon.  We drive that way most days, but something about it must have caught her eye today.

Em: One day can we go in there?
Me: In where? In the church?
Em: Yeah, one day when it's open can you park outside there so we can go in?
Me:  I suppose so.  Why do you want to go in there? What do you think is inside?
Em: I just don't know that.
Me: Well, it's a church.  There's not anything to buy or really anything to look at.  There are just lots of seats and things.  Sometimes they have beautiful windows. People go there to learn about God and Jesus and things.
Em: I want to do that.
Me: Do you know about God and Jesus?  Do you remember me telling you about it another time?
Em: No.
Me:  It's a bit hard to explain, but some people believe that God made the world and everything, and is still all around us.  Jesus was God's son.
Em: I want to visit him!
Me:  He doesn't live in the church.  He lived a long long time ago.  Anyway people who believe in God and Jesus are called Christians.  There are other people who believe in  different god, or gods; people who are Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist.  I don't believe in any gods, so I'm called an atheist.  And there are some people who don't really know whether they believe in a god or not, and they're called agnostics.
Em: I know there's a God.
Me: Do you?  How do you know that?
Em:  I just does.
Me: What do you think God does?
Em: He protects us.  And he says "Roll the boat!" and we have to say "Yes Sir!"
Me: Oh. Ok. (pause) "Roll the boat"?
Em: Yep, he says "Roll the boat, roll the boat" and everyone says "Yes Sir!"
Me: Right.  Where do you think God lives?
Em: A long long long way away, with the enjers.
Me: Enjers?  Do you mean angels?
Em: Nope, enjers.  The enjers are little things which are really scary and dangerous.

Fortunately, at that moment, we arrived at the shop!  I'm not sure our version of religious education is quite the same as anywhere else!!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A fishy tale

Ember was eating her dinner tonight when she suddenly said:

Em: Mama, is the big big fish under our path?
Me: Um, what?
Em: Is the big big fish under our trees and our path?

She's had a wee cold and her voice was croaky, so I couldn't quite hear what she was saying.

Me: Sorry hun, I can't quite hear you.  Is the big fish where?
Em: Under our trees and our path? And under our sky?
Me: Is the big big fish under our trees and our path?
Em: Yes!
Me: I don't know what you mean Ember.  What big fish?
Em: In the Maui book.

Finally it clicked.  One of Ember's favourite books is "Te Ika a Maui - The Fish of Maui".  It's a Maori legend about a demi-god, Maui, who fishes up the North Island of New Zealand using his grandfather's magic jawbone. (Trust me, it all makes sense)  If you look at the shape of New Zealand, the North Island looks a bit like a stingray, and the South Island looks a bit like a canoe (waka).  Hence the legend. Ever since we first read that story, Ember has been fascinated by the fact that we live on the back of a giant fish. 

Of course, it's been about three months since we last read that book, and it was completely out of the blue, so hopefully Mama can be forgiven her slowness!

Monday, February 18, 2013

So that's where she gets it...

Simon has been earning son-in-law brownie points recently helping Mum and John with their deck and fence requirements at their new house. Today I headed straight round there after work as John was making "thank you pizzas" for dinner. Si had popped home for a shower and I rang him to ask him to bring up my Cheezly (dairy-free "cheese") to put on my pizza.

He was walking back up to Mum's with Tabasco, our dog, when he passed the retirement home at the top of the hill. There was a rather doddery looking Elderly Gentleman outside, so Simon said:

Si: Good evening.
EG: What a lovely morning.
Si: Cheezly! (suddenly remembering my request)
EG: Oh, I meant lovely dog!

The Monty Python crew would be proud...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

No herald angels...

Another addition to Ember's dictionary:

Em:  Mama, do you know what 'hark' means?
Me: You tell me.
Em: It means, you're having really really really big fun, and then a parade comes next Tuesday!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Somewhere over the Rainbow

We went to Waingaro pools today and afterwards when we were getting changed, Ember looked at both our swimsuits (we call them 'togs' in New Zealand) and said:

Em: I like your togs Mama.  I like them better than my togs because yours have stripes on and almost like a rainbow.  (long pause) I wish I had rainbow togs, so that I could have a happy future...

I guess I should buy her some, if that's all it takes!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Inventive expletives

Ember's latest expressions of frustration or annoyance are "Oh, bilge-water!" or occasionally "Oh sugar-water!"  I have no idea where she has gotten these from as when I ask her "Where did you hear that?" she says "Nowhere, I just said it!"  Given that bilge water is not common four-year-old vocabulary, I don't believe her! But I haven't heard it on any of her DVDs myself, and I know it's not from any of her stories.

Anyway, I quite like it and it's certainly better than the alternatives (!), but if anyone knows where these expressions might be from, I'd love to know.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Caring and sharing

I have a decent commute to work each day (45 minutes), and three days a week Ember joins me in order to  go to her preschool, which is just opposite my office.  We drive into the sun both ways, and at particular times of the year this does make for some pretty spectacular sun-strike in some parts of the journey, like this morning...

Em: Mama, can I borrow one of your sunglasses?
Me: No sweetie, I need them.
Em: But I need to block my eyes or the sun will get in them! You have to share!
Me: I need them to drive Ember, I can't see without them.
Em: But that's not fair!  I make you all kinds of necklaces and nice things and you have to share your things or it's not kind!
Me: We'll have to get you some more of your own to keep in the car.
Em: But the sun is trying to get in my eyes now!
Me: Close your eyes then.
Em: No, that's not a good idea. You give me your sunglasses and you can close your eyes.
Me: I'm driving; if I close my eyes we'll crash!  I tell you what, I'll see if I can get you some today and then you can wear them on the way home.

(longish pause)

Em: (muttering loudly to herself) It's not fair Mama, you have to share your things.  I always share my things with you and make you nice things and you have to share your things. It's not good if you don't share.

Needless to say, her willingness to share is often directly related to her desire for someone else to share with her!  Although she is pretty good at sharing for her age - better than Mummy, apparently!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A hairy situation

I've had my hair short for a while now, but for the last few months I've been growing it longer. This was partly because I couldn't decide what I wanted to do with it, and Em said that I "look more pretty when your hair is more bigger". This, despite the fact that when I first shaved it (for a charity fundraiser) she told me she loved my "spicy" hair.

Anyway, it was getting a bit mullety at the back, so I went to the hairdresser on Friday. Now that my hair has grown a decent amount, we have starting shaping it into a real asymmetrical style, so while one side is being allowed to get longer, the other side is now quite short. It's really funky, and I love it, but Em was not impressed.

Me: Do you like my hair cut Em?
Em: (absently) yeah... (then actually looking) oh no! You're supposed to be getting it longer, not shorter!
Me: It's longer on one side! It's called asymmetrical.
Em: Well you shouldn't do that Mummy, you need to grow it on all the sides. You need hair on this side (pointing to the lefthand side) and you need to grow your hair on your backside!

I really don't think I'll be following this advice..!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Mama's revenge

Those of you who know me have suggested more than once that Ember gets her... quirkiness... from me.  Although my mother assures me I was not quite as odd as my daughter when I was Ember's age, I do tend towards the theatrical, and both Simon and I have more than enough of our own quirks to go around.  The other day I managed to completely irritate my darling child (and not for the first or last time, I assure you) when she was trying to get my attention in a particularly whiny voice.

Em: Mama...
Me: (singing) ...just killed a man... Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger now he's dead.
Em: Mama!
Me: (singing)... life had juuuuust begun! And now I've gone and thrown it all away...
Em: MAMA!
Me: (singing) oooo-ooooo-ooo-oooh.  Didn't mean to make you cry. If I'm not back again this time tomorrow, carry on... carry on...
Em: Mama, stop singing! (puts her hands over my mouth, so I lick them.  We end up in a laughing heap)

We do have fun together.  And it's a great way to stop the whining!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The next Stephen King?

I wasn't feeling great yesterday so came home from work a bit early. Needless to say I probably would have got more rest at work, as Ember was overjoyed to have Mummy home, and decided to "look after" me.

Em: (lying on top of me with her ear on my chest) I heard your tummy rumble! That means you're hungry!
Me: It might do. I haven't eaten very much because I wasn't feeling very good.
Em: It rumbled again. (Serious voice) Uh oh. Do you know what Mummy? That's not a hungry, that's a quawawus.
Me: A what?
Em: A quawawus. Do you know what that is?
Me: No, I have no idea.
Em: A quawawus gets in through your little boobies (quick giggle) then it goes down into your tummy and it drinks up all your blood and eats you up from the inside.
Me: oh dear. That sounds terrible! I hope I haven't got one of those in my tummy.
Em: Well sorry Mummy but you has, I heard it. But it's ok, it's just a baby one and he's a nice one. Baby ones doesn't eat you up and drink your blood.
Me: Thank goodness.
Em: (listening to my tummy) Uh oh. There's a daddy one in there now.
Me: Oh no, is he going to eat me?
Em: No, the daddy ones are nice ones too. Only the mummy ones eat you. (Pause) Uh oh. I can hear a mummy one in there now. The daddy one is kicking her and kicking her while she's eating you.
Me: I don't think I like this story.
Em: (tickling my tummy then up my throat) I'll get it out for you... There it's gone back out your booby.
Me: Well, thank goodness for that!

I suppose if laughter is the best medicine, I should be well on the way to recovery!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Who's the parent?!

We did a bit of touring round the place this weekend, to show [crazy] Uncle Neil some of the sights.  Sunday we went to Mount Maunganui on the east coast, we did have a lovely, sunny day.  However, the journey was a little bit longer than I had anticipated, and I always get a bit stressed if I'm the person who has suggested something, and it either doesn't go to plan, or I think people might not be enjoying themselves.  As we travelled the last few kms, Ember (who had been very good and amused herself with the iPad for most of the journey) finally said:

Em:  Are we nearly there now Mummy?
Me: (seeing the Mt Maunganui sign) Yes, we're here now.
Em: Are we going to the pools?
Me: Yes, we'll go to the pools first [ we went to the hot salt water pools, highly recommended!]

A few minutes later when were still driving...

Em: Why aren't we stopping?
Me: We're just not quite there yet, sorry sweetie.
Em: (pause) Why did you say sorry?
Me: Well, it took a bit longer to get here than I thought, and I know we've been in the car a long time.
Em: It's ok Mummy.  I wasn't cross with you.  You didn't have to say sorry.  Don't worry about it.

Talk about 4 going on 24!  Bless her, she did make me take a deep breath and calm down, and I realised I was the only one worried about it!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Crazy Uncle Neil

We have been looking forward to a visit from Simon's brother, aka Crazy Uncle Neil, and Ember has been very excited to meet him (last time she saw him in person, she was less than a year old).  She was a bit confused though, as one of Simon's friends came to visit a couple of days ago, and it took me a lot of convincing before she believed that Ray wasn't Uncle Neil!

Neil himself arrived last night and Ember spent the first 10 minutes or so hiding behind my legs and giggling maniacally whenever anything was said to her. She pulled me back inside and told me that:

Em: I'm just a little bit scared of him at the moment, but I'll get used to him soon and then I won't be scared anymore.  I'm just a bit scared at the moment.
Me: Ok, that's alright.
Em: Is he the one from the brown house?
Me: Which brown house?
Em: The one we went to see.
Me: I'm not sure which brown house you mean Em, but you haven't seen Uncle Neil since you were a baby. He lives in England.
Em: Oh!  I thought he lived in Raglan in the brown house!
Me: Oh, you mean Ray! Ray is staying in the brown house round the corner for a couple of days. Ray is Daddy's friend. This is Uncle Neil. He's Daddy's brother.
Em: (pause, then confides doubtfully) Uncle Neil's a different size from what I thought.
Me: What do you mean?  You mean he's tall?
Em: Well, he's even higher than you Mummy!

I'm not sure what she was expecting, but I'm sure after a day with Uncle Neil and Daddy today, she'll be bossing everyone around again pretty quickly.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The most beautiful place of all

We went for a wander last night, and Ember (who is currently a little obsessed with Barbie: Island Princess) was pointing out all the "islands" she could see.

Me: Do you know what an island is?
Em: Yep, it's when you live and it's a beautiful place and there's no lots of people.
Me: Well, sometimes.  But an island is actually just a piece of land completely surrounded by water.
Em: (completely ignoring me)  When I'm bigger I'm going to have a beautiful island with a house, no, there's no house, just a beautiful place and me and Aidan and Frank and the other kids are all going to live there and their families.
Me: What will your island be called?
Em: Um, it's called "the most beautiful place of all".
Si: Can I come to your island?
Em: Yep, there's the side that's for Daddy and all the girls.
Si: That sounds good! [I punched him]
Em: You won't like it Mummy because it has roses and too much pink. There's just pink everywhere. That's why it's beautiful.

It's odd, because she's more of a green girl really.  But apparently the media has done its job in convincing her that pink = beautiful, even if she doesn't necessarily follow it herself!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The pub. Again.

It was a scorcher of a day in Raglan today, and a bustling wee town it was too, being the last day of the holidays for many.  (I've already been back at work for two days, so no sympathy!)  Ember is playing lots of imaginative games with her My Little Ponies and other little toys and accessories at the moment, which is great, but as a consequence she's turned into a bit of a homebody and it can be a mammoth effort trying to get her out of the house.

Today I was determined to get to the beach, as work starts in earnest tomorrow, so we lured Ember out of the house at 2.30 with a promise of an icecream.  Said icecream purchased, I suggested:

Me: Shall we go over the footbridge to the beach?
Em: No!  I want to go home.
Si: We can go to the playground too.
Em: No!  I don't want to!
Me: Come on Ember, it's my last day to get to the beach before I have to go back to work for the week, I want to spend some time enjoying the sunshine.
Em: I don't want to.
Me: What do you want to do?
Em: Well, you'll probably just think this is funny.
Me: Tell me.
Em: No, you'll laugh at me, so I'm not going to tell you.
Me: I won't laugh, I promise.  And if you don't tell me what you want to do, we won't be able to do it, will we?
Em: OK, but don't laugh at me.
Me: I won't.
Em: I want to go to the pub.

I managed not to laugh, and we duly went to Ember's second-favourite pub, the Harbour View, for a beer (Si), soda (me) and pink lemonade (Ember).  Meanwhile, Ember finished her icecream to the last crumb and then pronounced "I really didn't like that."

We did, eventually, get her over to the beach and then she didn't want to leave.  I think I might have to change her name to Mary - she really is quite contrary. !

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ember's Dictionary

One of Ember's things at the moment is asking me what things mean.  This has been quite interesting for me, trying to work out how to explain what different words and phrases mean in a way that isn't just repeating the word!  Often she does know what they mean anyway, but wants to get confirmation I think. 

Recently, this has morphed into her making up new words, and telling me what they mean.  If she says "Mummy, what does 'I'll tell you what' mean?" then I know she actually wants to know.  If she says "Mummy, do you know what [nonexistent word] means?" I know she wants to tell me instead!

For example, while on the potty:

Em:  Mummy, do you know what fullologies is?
Me: Fullologies?
Em: Yes, do you know what fullologies means?
Me: No, I don't.
Em: Well, fullologies is when you go poos and then you keep going poos forever and ever for all your life!
Me: Oh dear, that doesn't sound very nice.
Em: No, but that's what fullologies means. You didn't know that, did you Mummy?

After a trip to the zoo:

Em: Mummy, do you know what possles is?
Me: No, what's possles?
Em: Well, it's like a chimpanzee, but it's really really tiny, like this [holds her thumb and forefinger a hairs-breadth apart]
Me: They sounds cute
Em: Yes, but if you put your finger up to the cage, they will have a little nibble on just one of your fingers.
Me: Oh, does it hurt?
Em: No, because possles is just small.