Yee-ha! I am sitting here on the sofa; Julian has pedalled off to work (god bless his hard working soul!), Abby is making the most of her last day of summer holidays and is sleeping in, Toph is curled up beside me, my very first issue of Marie Clair Idees is on the other side (found it at a newsagency in Brighton yesterday – never seen it before in Australia!), the fridge is making a very strange noise (but we won’t mention this in case it stops altogether – shush!), and we are ONLINE! Awesome! Just in time for my geeky boy and huge Apple fan to sit and watch Steve Jobs’ presentation of the new iPad.
But there’s more to life than wireless laptops - yeah, really, there is. Abby and I have been visiting Brisbane (which Abby said was bizarre given we had only just left) to spend time with my little sister and her wee babes who are visiting with my mum all the way from Vancouver.
Here’s Sam – he’s about 14 weeks old and truly divine. His head is so round and velvety – I spent hours rubbing my check on it whilst breathing in all that baby loveliness. When awake, Sam makes lots of little grunts and snuffles – especially when he’s feeding. Oh how I adored it :-) Janie would bring him in to me each morning when he woke up and I would give him his bottle and then we would snuggle for a few hours, whilst he slept – absolute bliss.
And guess what both he and his big brother Oscar (almost 3) loved – my wool! Sam would lay on the chaise lounge, between my legs, snoozing, his little feet massaging the ball of New Zealand alpaca/wool that I am knitting bedsocks for Abby with. He would end up with little bits of pink fluff all between his toes!
Oscar was completely intrigued by knitting – he loves all kinds of making – and would stand there inspecting the knitted fabric, the needles, the wool. Then, whilst we read – we did lots of reading, Captain Pugwash, Hairy McLairy, Curious George – he held the ball of wool in his lap and would massage it with his hands. It was so sweet. What a shame I didn’t have my swift and wool winder there – Oscar would have been delighted!
But he and I had good times aplenty. He loves to cook – this boy can concentrate for as long as it takes if there’s “making” to be had and we made cupcakes and playdough and pancakes and more. On our last morning, it was apple pancakes for breakfast. He donned his little apron (a Save the Children family hand me down from Aunty Jackie – it needed a few modifications to make it small enough and he LOVED it) …
Up at the bench with a chair, the mixing bowl, spoons and measuring cups – and not to forget the wet cloth to wipe fingers after breaking the eggs. The best bit was grating the apple with our old Italian grater …
First he had to build it – pull out its tripod legs, insert the grating disk, and add the turning handle with its big red knob. Then he packed it full of apple and turn, turn, turn. I do believe it’s the ultimate device for getting little people interested in cooking. Especially boys – every boy I’ve ever shown it to has been fascinated. Beats the pasta maker every time.
An ongoing safety lesson about using the stove – gas makes it so very visible for little people and thus so much easier to understand the “hotness” of it. Finally, learning to watch the pancakes’ bubbles form and pop. Every single moment of standing at the stove was filled with wonder and joy for Oscar. He never tired of it.
And what’s a little cooking without a little song!
Ten pancakes, cooking on the stove
Watch their bubbles forming, cook them nice and slow.
Along comes Oscar and gobbles them all up,
Lick, lick! Yum, yum!
Pancakes in his tum.
(now if you know the song “Wet washing, drying on the line” – a Playschool favourite here in Australia – that’s the tune to use – and change the name as needed :-))
Such a simple song delighted Oscar (and reminded me of the wonderful times Abby and I have had making our own music over the years) and when we were ready to leave that afternoon, he was playing on the back deck, singing to himself, “lick! lick! yum! yum!” over and over again.
Just as good as apple pancakes – the frozen raspberries. Each one that he popped into his mouth on that hot and steamy Brisbane back porch, was greeted with giggles and gasps of “Oh! Cold! Cold!”
Thank you dear Oscar and Sam for sharing your special holiday with Abby and I. We made such lovely bonds and good memories. And I had the chance to enjoy the magic of mothering little ones for just a few days. -sigh-