Tag: 3yo (Page 1 of 2)

The way home

Save the Great Barrier Reef

Small Z has been involved in a protest once before, but she doesn’t remember it. This time she was very vitalised and keen to present an opinion. We happen to live in the electorate of Greg Hunt – the environment minister of our recently elected government. GetUp are running a campaign to protect the Great Barrier Reef from the development of coal exports. They had a petition signed by over 240,000 people (including me) to deliver to him, so we gathered at our local park and then walked en masse to his office.

Look at Small DB hanging tough on her wheels in her PJs. Small Z clutches emblematic seabird and has on a bath-toy fish necklace, hastily assembled 😉

I was heartened at how many people gathered. Not all of them were from Hastings, but I’m sure quite a few were – an encouraging thing. I made Small Z a placard to hold. I explained that we were presenting a letter signed by more than two hundred thousand people who wanted Greg Hunt to say there would be NO dredging close to or through the Great Barrier Reef for big boats to carry coal out of some proposed coal mines. We hoped he would also say NO to the coal mines as well – this being an era where we hopefully promote clean energy and the health of our planet and people over dirty coal mines and a quick buck.

How not to win my heart

Usually I would avoid such events like the plague. It was some kind of Mornington Peninsula Kids Family Expo and I was roped in (OK, I volunteered…slowly) to help with the stall for our local toy library. The weather was a-b-y-s-m-a-l. It was pouring. We were due there at 11am, and dutifully left home at 10.30am. We reached the corner of the side street (the aptly named Sunnyside Road) we were to turn into to get to the Morning Star Estate…and everyone else did too.

We sat there, inching forward now and again, for half an hour. ORGANISATIONAL FAIL. I was so annoyed by the time we made it in there that when one of my fellow committee members offered Small Z a bowl of lollies I refused them tersely. Apparently Small Z had already said, “I have to ask my mum if I can have some.” To which I shrieked “NO.” Because WTF – I have to stand there for two hours with a sugared up kid to deal with as well as the public? No thank you.

I was then asked how on earth I got Small Z to be so brilliantly obedient, and replied, “By instilling fear.” Yes. I am a lolly nazi. No, I don't care. Small Z and DB took off and had a largely excellent time. The tent was massive and all the activities were free – trampoline, jumping castle, yoga sessions, some live music. The whole ticketing thing was weird because people had apparently prepaid $25 for the day, but no one was checking tickets when we walked in (and we were free regardless, as volunteers). There were even roaming princesses…

The gardens at the estate are just divine, and I promised Small DB we would return on a less crowded day to investigate them. (That's the sea, in the background.)
We left somewhat acrimoniously when I refused to pay $5 for one tiny ice-cream. Or line up to do any activities. My tolerance for all that crap is low. We consoled ourselves by visiting our friends with the lambs! and the chickens! and the House Full of Awesomeness! on our way home. My savage soul was soothed with tea….

The latest logistical fail. Again.

Small Z is similar to me in that we both become fixated with THINGS. Not a wholly pleasant trait. But we love the chase! She has gone through the Dinosaur Train fixation (used her paltry funds to pay for figurines she played with for a week and then cried about her boredom with them), the Octonaut fixation (I used my paltry funds to buy her a figurine, same deal as before) and now…the fixation is an expensive one. Sylvanians.

Yes. Tiny titchy little animals that probably cost twenty cents each to manufacture flogged off for about five bucks a pop – and of course you can’t get them singly – you have to buy them in pairs or ‘families’. Sigh. Our lovely friends have a five-year-old Small Z equivalent – but she has two older sisters – and it is that situation that means Small Z gets to latch on to/experience all these things that would otherwise go unknown… Polly Pockets are another thing… My eBay searches of late have all been about these tiny little things…


After a week or so of concerted petitioning, I took the Smalls to a toy shop. Small Z and I had agreed we would go halves on a Sylvanian. I would buy one for Small DB who doesn’t have her own money yet (thereby unable to count it every day to see if the total has magically grown). Massive logistical #fail (did I mention that in the title?). The previous night Small DB had woken at 2.30am into a full throated scream of, “SMOOTHIE. SMOOTHIE. I WANT A SMOOTHIE.” After speaking to her savagely several times, I realised it would be easier to make the goddamn smoothie than have M and Small Z awoken. I smoothied. She slept. Eventually.

Therefore, by the time we got into the car at 3pm (what was I thinking?), Small DB was a looooong way past rational. She just hid it well. I was hoping she would sleep. Sigh. This is how it would have happened if she didn’t exist.

Go to toy shop, luxuriate in picking the cheapest possible Sylvanian (two babies = $9.50), get back in the car, go home, drink wine. Happy single child. Happy happy me.

What actually happened was that Small DB fastened on to two different boxes, neither of which she could do without. I reasoned with her (idiotic), pleaded (stupid), demanded (useless), and finally paid for her little Sylvanian baby ($8.50 for one baby WITH A CRADLE – honestly – they are less than an inch high) as she threw the ones she couldn’t live without on to the counter and I had to ask the lady there to ignore them – then I carried the screaming and kicking Small DB out of the shop and had to sit on her to get her into her carseat. The joy.

Of course, by then I had been reduced to seething, “I’m NEVER taking you to a toy shop again. EVER. EVER.” Indispersed with self-loathing about failing to recognise what a stupid time I had chosen for such an expedition. Small Z tried to comfort me, “No, you’re not an idiot mama. Don’t worry.” Then she couldn’t help herself, “Are you really never taking her to a toy shop ever again?” I drove grimly onward. Small DB eventually passed out utterly. For at least three hours. That hasn’t happened for such. a. long. time. that I literally luxuriated in the splendor of Only One Child. Yes. That sounds harsh – but it is SO RARE. And on reflection – oh my god a three-year-old demands so much energy! And the combination of both of them increases that again.

I busted out the white wine, the Kindle, the knitting, the blue cheese and biscuits. Small Z entertained herself with her new toys, dinner, and a special extended iPad session (hooray for Dinorama). It was like I’d had a holiday – and almost worth the drama. Almost.


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