Saturday, 28 August 2010

Blood and Salad

Gertie has these strangely precise ideas about the way that life will work out and what will happen when she is a 'bit bigger'. For example, though she currently fears Kempton, our new golden retriever puppy, she thinks that she will not be frightened of her by the time she is four.

She's quite convinced that she will like salad when she is six, though she will not touch the stuff now.

Yesterday, I went to give blood and as I was collecting Gertie and her brother from nursery she asked me about the plasters on my finger and my arm, so I explained the process to her as carefully as I could. She was intrigued.

"I'll probably give blood when I'm a bit bigger, won't I Mummy?"
"Yes, you might do."
"Maybe when I'm ten?"
"Well you have to be a bit older than that. Perhaps when you're eighteen."

She thought for a minute.
"So they just put a tiny prick in your finger first?"
"Yes, a tiny little prick."
"And it didn't hurt at all? It must have hurt a tiny bit."
"Well maybe a tiny bit, for only a second and then it is all better."
"Yes, but it did hurt a tiny bit for a little while?"
"That's right."

She thought for another minute.
"I don't think I will give blood when I'm eighteen. In fact, no. I probably won't."

So, a practice clearly not in the same league as liking puppies and eating salad.

Monday, 23 August 2010

I'm Busy, Darling.

The things people say make occasions, and holidays, special for me.

I will not forget my daughter singing 'Five currant buns in the bacon shop' at the top of her voice all the way down to the south of France in the car. Just why they would be on sale there I was not able to establish.

She was also reluctant to practise any French words, until she discovered the rich rewards that simply uttering, "Gateau, s'il vous plait," might bring.

Gilby, at one year old, is not yet able to pronounce his name properly, but saying 'Gilber', with the softened final consonant was the perfect way to introduce himself to all the French girls.

But the best one came from my brother-in-law. With only sun, swimming and gallons of rose to enjoy, the boys had to come up with ever-more inventive pool-based sporting entertainment.

Diving to catch tennis balls mid-air, various races on inflatables and endless permutations of goal-scoring with an aerobi sufficed for much of the week, until he decided that it would be a good idea to balance a plastic chair on top of a lilo then attempt to sit in it to cross the pool. At the crucial moment with chair in place and he standing on the lilo, just as he was about to manoeuvre himself delicately in to position, his wife called down from the balcony. With not a moment's hesitation, poised in utter concentration, he did not even look up. "I'm busy, darling," he called, in convincing tone as he contrived to complete his operation.

He managed it too, for not quite as long as a second.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Truth is Out Here

We are on holiday in France: a few days in Paris, then a week in the south. I'm not entirely sure that Gertie and Gilby were ready for a long afternoon in the Louvre, but that is precisely what they got yesterday. So far all is good: Gertie was a little disconcerted by the fact that there were no lights on in the channel tunnel, even though we were in a brightly lit carriage; but no one has been car sick and Gertie has cleverly managed not to wet the hotel bed yet. Happy days!

But a few truths have emerged. A few posts ago, I was blogging about Gertie's capacity to make sweeping generalisations. I had assumed that this was her three year old mind attempting to make sense of her world by categorising things. It transpires that she in fact inherits this trait from her father, as a few short quotations should amply demonstrate:

"Right, I've got to be on my toes here, the French are all lunatics." (whilst negotiating large roundabout en route into Paris)

"They love a pharmacie; grooming, preening, waxing, they love it." (whilst driving past a street containing an inordinately large number of chemists)

Now my husband has lived in France and loves it and the people, so I don't think this is xenophobia. I think I have just never noticed this characteristic in him before.

But another truth that has been revealed came from Gertie herself as our plates in a restaurant arrived piled high with an assortment of vegetables. "I only like mushrooms and broccoli at nursery, not at home or in restaurants."

Oh. I see.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Teddy Did It

Ah. A new developmental stage. I wasn't expecting this one.

"Gertie, pick up those cushions you've been playing with, please."

"It wasn't me. Teddy did it."


"Don't throw those toys around."

"I'm not. Teddy did it."

'Teddy' is just three inches high, but he has a lot to answer for.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Sweeping Generalisations, Anyone?

Gertie has developed a profound capacity for the sweeping generalisation, and the tag question which ensures that you have to agree or disagree with her.

A prime example occurred this morning as we went shopping for a few groceries. I accidentally dropped a bag as we were walking across the car park, and she said, "Be careful that a car doesn't get your bag, Mummy."
"Thanks Gertie, I shall make sure of that."
"Because mummies cry if cars get their bags, don't they?"
I don't know how often cars 'get' mummies' bags, or indeed how often they cry about it subsequently, though it doesn't seem unreasonable that they might; nevertheless this appears to be a surety for my daughter.

Sometimes however, she is proved quite correct. The other purpose of this morning's excursion was to get her hair cut. So, on our approach to the salon she tried again.
"We get lollipops when we get hairs cut, don't we, Mummy."
"We-ell, I suppose we might if we are good."
The decision was not left to me however, since the young lad who performed the trim offered her just such a treat before I had a chance to intervene.

So, in fact, we do get lollipops when we get hairs cut, I was forced to concede.