Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You've Got the Cutest Little Baby Gates

Thieu took down the two baby gates which have blocked the top and bottom of the stairs ever since Mads was about 6 months old. It is so strange not to have them there. The stairs suddenly seem so open, so dangerous. Every time I go upstairs my hand reaches out automatically to open the gate, like some sort of nervous twitch.

The other big change is the enormous Peter Dombrovskis mural has been taken off our wall. I really wasn't happy about it going up initially, but I grew to quite like it and now that it's gone the room seems incredibly small and cramped. It's like we used to have an amazing view out of our window and someone has just blocked it with a big brick wall.

Mads has just started asking for her dummy again over the last couple of days, which she hasn't done for six months. Is it because we're moving? We saw a girl her age with one the other day, and perhaps this alerted her to the unfairness of hers being removed, when other children still have theirs. She announced yesterday that she wanted to be a 'bushranger'. I was supportive - I rather like the idea of being a bushranger's mother, and I know her grandma (badger) would approve. Then I asked her what a bushranger does and she said 'They arrange the bushes,' so I think she thinks a bushranger is perhaps some kind of florist. Which could be good too, but very different to what I'd imagined.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More Rubbish

We've been shedding stuff - or attempting to, at least. I bundled up some stuff to take to the charity bin at a local church today and after daycare, Mads and I stopped off to donate. Someone else had donated something that couldn't fit into the slot and had left it beside the bin. It was a manky, broken dolls' highchair, and luckily, Mads immediately realised that we needed to take it home straight away for her dolls.

Mads has two dolls, both called Donnie, (this is how she used to say 'dolly'). To distinguish between them they are known as Soft Donnie and Hard Donnie. There is also Softest Donnie, but she's not really a major player. Hard Donnie is anatomically correct and, consequently, generally naked. This works for her, though, because her main purpose is to be submerged in water. You get the feeling she doesn't like it much, but she endures it. You have to give it to Hard Donnie, she rarely complains.

It's Soft Donnie who is the trouble-maker, the cheeky one. She's smaller and less spiky and because of this she often gets picked to go on adventures. It was Soft Donnie, not Hard Donnie, who joined us on the trip to Queensland, it is Soft Donnie who is cuddled up with Mads in bed right now, and I suspect that while both Donnies will be coming to Germany, it will be Soft Donnie who gets to travel in the plane and Hard Donnie who travels in a box along with everything else, via the relocation company. It hasn't been spoken about yet, but we all know it, not least of all Hard Donnie herself.

So I can only guess at Hard Donnie's astonishment when it was she, and not Soft Donnie who was selected to try out the newly acquired treasure. Of course, she was selected because of her other attribute besides being able to go in water - sitting up (Soft Donnie tends to flop around a bit) but still, it was a great honour. Hard Donnie's pride was palpable a she sat up between Mads and me for dinner this evening, in the high chair. Mads even got her a little bowl and spoon. If Hard Donnie could twitter, she would've been twittering like crazy about this incredible turn of events.

I felt happy for Hard Donnie. She might be a little humourless, but she's so stoic and so loyal. I felt that she deserved this little victory. And I wanted to celebrate it, somehow. So I picked up the spoon and started to feed her. I'd only given her a couple of mouthfuls when Mads shook her head.
'Don't feed her, mummy,' she said sternly. 'Hard Donnie has to learn to feed herself.'

Of course. I should've known.
She's still sitting at the table now, bowl and spoon in front of her. Naked. Anatomically correct. But happy, I think, in her own way.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Do We Own the World's Most Boring Books?

One thing you discover when you move is that you are a Collector, whether you intended to be one or not. Or at least, this has been my experience. Whenever I move I always find masses of notebooks, all with only a few pages used. I have a ridiculous amount of them and really, I don't write notes much. I also seem to collect packets of Panadol and twenty cent coins. It's odd. Thieu collects articles from newspapers and seeds from interesting trees he has come across on walks, stored in baby-food jars.

The other thing that Thieu and I have in large proportions is books. They're everywhere. And one thing that I've always suspected, but which has become clear to me as we pack up, is that we have a lot of extremely boring books. Take this random selection:

The 'Canals of England' and the 'Computers: Concepts and Uses' is Thieu's, but the Grammar Games one is mine. There are many, many more titles along similar lines, but the one I came across yesterday which I think deserves the prize for the most boring book in our collection is this one:

The worst bit is that these books are not in the 'throwing out' pile. Oh no. They are in the keeping pile. Because who knows when we might want to play some grammar games while finding out about the history of kerosene lamps?

German phrase of the day (this one was actually used by someone we know): Es ist ein kaka in das Schwimmbad.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sixteen Days to Go

It's now only just over two weeks before we head to Frankfurt. Well, first we're going to stop in Singapore for two nights to recover from the hideousness of moving. And hideous it is.

I thought I'd plateau-ed with my panic, and kept telling myself that it wouldn't be the horror that moving usually is, because Thieu's work is paying for the relocation. But that was before it dawned on me that while his work would pay for the fairly modest amount of crap we are moving to Germany, they obviously wouldn't be paying for the much larger amount of crap we need to store here. So much rifling through of old diaries, awful sketchbooks, ancient letters and tiny, stained clothes (Mads') has ensued. I've been selling stuff on ebay, but I'm going to stop because it's just not worth it for the most part. I am glad, however, that we've finally found someone who will take the Ikea cot. Thieu tried to flog it off via an ad in the window of the local shop. He headed the ad 'Scandanavian Cot'. Funny, but it didn't work.

I was much more honest on ebay and some good people from Templestowe and driving over at some stage (hopefully very soon) to lug the wretched thing away. They are even giving us fifty bucks for the privilege, which makes me feel a bit guilty. But still, I'm sure they probably have a very impressive ebay profile and simply intend to resell it to someone else.

So, because I have way too much to do, I've started to blog. Because this is what I do when I'm anxious. And I've just handed in a Go Girl draft so my typing fingers were feeling all weird and under-exercised.

So why start a blog again? Bad habits are hard to break, I guess. Plus the Rents have started one so I thought I may as well respond in kind. Maybe it will be a nice record of our time in Frankfurt. Maybe I'll save it all to disk and present it to Mads one day and say 'here's a record of our two years in Frankfurt' and she'll look at me sullenly (she's a teenager in my vision) and say 'but mum, we didn't stay for two years, remember? You freaked out after a week and we came back. So yeah, thanks for reminding me that I never learned to speak German and now I'll never be a diplomat/translator/Goethe expert/Miss World' etc.

Dunno. Rambling. Better stop. So much to do. Still not sleeping. How long will the insomnia continue? Surely it will stop once we finally arrive in Frankfurt? But maybe it's like the drought not really being a drought but the 'new dry'? Maybe this is not insomnia but the 'new non-sleep'? Well, at least that will free up plenty of time for blogging.

German phrase for the day: Ich spreche kein Deutsch.