Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rainy Day

Wren is watching the water gushing out of our downspout into a bucket he asked me to set there. He didn't like to see the water going into a big puddle in our herb garden.

After a while he called me:

"Mummy, mummy come and see. Something strange is happened and I a little bit broke it."

I come out to the deck and find the downspout dangling at an odd angle with a large gap between the guttering and the next length of pipe.

"What happened Wren?" I asked.

"I was pulling it back and forth" He demonstrates with his hands, one of which is covered in a sock because he was "fighting". "I didn't know it would do that" he points up to the break. "I really didn't know it did that!" "I was shaking it back and forth and it was keeping it in the middle so it [the water] didn't hit the herbs the outside!"

Clearly, we do need to get the roof and guttering done, eventually.

PS. Wren wants to "TELL IT TO GRANNY - I LOVE YOU!"

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Volcanic experiment

Recently, Frost and Wren have been playing together with more commonality of purpose that before. Where there was once tolerance there is now collaboration. I am not sure this is in my interests in the medium term, but overall I value their complicity.

Last sunny day they both wanted to do scientific experiments.

"We want to do EXPERIMENTS," they announced.

My gut level reaction is "no." Actually, its more of a shriek of denial "nooooo." I find it hard to find the educational benefits of simply mixing things to make a mess of fizzing goo which they then leave... on the floor.

However, before I could defend my denial one of them added that they would particularly like to make a volcano.

Bless whoever it was who figured out that vinegar, detergent, food coloring and baking soda could make an eruption. Its the lowest impact scientific experiment and is great because it involves benign ingredients that are freely available in the average kitchen. Also, Frost is old enough to have done many of them and can run the whole show himself.

Here, the boys make a volcano - together.

Wren pours in the vinegar.

Frost watches as it erupts.

They both watch as it erupts. BUT it doesn't erupt fast enough or with realistic lava so they add more of everything and some red food coloring and "WOOOAH!"

Wren stirs to make sure all the baking soda has 'rupted.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The incredibly favorite dinner

After a long period in which the children would not eat anything without threats and cajoling, tonight I scored a home run.

Frost started by saying:

"OH MY GOD, this is the best gravy I HAVE EVER TASTED!"

Wren soon followed with "This is incredibly my favorite dinner EVER!"

After a long period of silent eating... yes, you read it, S-I-L-E-N-T E-A-T-I-N-G, they had a conversation with each other about how wonderful it was and how they would like to eat it every night.

Their shared appreciation of dinner started to spiral in a rhapsodic fashion. My obvious pleasure led to even more goodwill. They both finished their meals and they had a small glass of mango juice and one maple syrup cookie for desert.

Frost remembered to clear the table, without prompting. He then THANKED ME for cooking dinner. In the bliss of goodwill, Frost asked whether he could give Wren his cookie and Wren said "thank you."

Ten minutes later, Wren has just added to me "Thank you Mum, that was the BEST dinner I have ever tried."

So, here it is in all its simplicity.

The Incredibly Favorite Dinner

Trader Joe's Chicken Gyoza [This is being used up until I switch to a vegetarian one. Hope that goes down as well]
Steamed white sushi rice.
Age-dashi tofu gravy [made with clear stock, mirin and soy sauce then thickened with starch] over rice and veg.
Steamed broccoli & sliced carrots.
Shelled endamame

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wren and the iPad

Wren has a bad case of PvZ addiction. For him, an iPad is merely a tool for Plants Versus and as a result of frequent tantrums I have asked Joshua to take the iPad to work so there is no room for negotiation.

Yesterday, Wren accompanied me to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store to get my keyboard sorted out. While I spoke to the Genius, Wren played iPad. The Apple store attaches the devices to the counter with a cable. Since the cable was too short to reach to the floor and Wren was too short to reach to the counter, he stood on one of the jelly ball seats.

When you arrive at the Apple Store you are greeted by an employee with an electronic device, headphones and a sunny personality. They meet you and direct you to a sales / support / Genius person. This was the conversation when we arrived:

Wren [looking up at a tall young man with bleached tips to his spiky hair and Lennon glasses]: Do you have Plants Versus?
Him: I don't think so.
Me: Its on the iPad. Do you have an iPad with Plants Versus Zombies on it?
Him: No, that's not something I've seen.
Wren [grabbing an iPad and standing on tiptoes with iPad hanging half off the counter.] "HERE IT IS!"
Me: Oh, he has found it.
Him: Huh? Oh. Good.

While I was busy at the Genius Bar Wren attracted a lot of interest for his cuteness, adroit use of the iPad and absolute concentration on PVZ (which he explained to the non-Genius apple guy was "Like you must stop the Zombies or they will EAT YOUR BRAINS".