Monthly Archives: May 2007

Sick – at Daddy’s work

Lillian has had a cold the last few days. Today she had a bit of a fever. Effie at the child care centre called me, suggesting she go to the doctor. At lunchtime I took her to see Patrick Campisi, our doctor at the Student Health Centre, just across the road from my office. Patrick said it was just a bit of a cold, nothing to do but give her some panadol to keep the fever down, and rest, fluids etc.

But what to do with her now? Teresa was at work, and I had urgent work to complete. I asked her if she’d like to come to my office. She seemed to think that was a good idea. I was hoping she’d curl up in a chair and sleep.

Lillian is popular at work, especially with the women. People were running around finding toys, pens etc. for her to play with. She was soon very well supplied. But she did spend much of the afternoon trying to sleep in my lap. Surprisingly, I did manage to get some work done.

When Teresa finished work she picked Lillian up while I stayed on to finish my tasks.


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Lillian is in that phase where she is constantly asking “Why…?”  Often the hard part as a parent is not knowing the answer, but knowing what sort of answer would make sense to her. 

Lillian: “Why is the moon up in the sky?” 

Me: “Because that’s where it lives.”  (Was I really going to try to explain the origin of the solar system, gravity, orbits, etc.?)

Lillian: “Why does it live in the sky?”

Me (floundering): “It lives in the sky with the sun.”

Lillian (closing in): “Why does it live with the sun?”

Me (game is up): “Um…. I don’t know.”

Lillian: “Daddy, why don’t you know?”

Check Mate.


Lillian likes to have some honey on a spoon to lick.

“Mummy, I want more honey on the spoon.”

Teresa: “Sorry, you’ve had enough.”

“But I want more!”

“If you have more you’ll get a fat tummy.”

“Yeah, just like you.”


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Another weekend at the farm

lillian_mushroom.jpgAutumn in the hills of South Gippsland is fungus time.  Lots around, though not many of the edible field variety.  But Lillian prefers picking the big red spotty ones that look like toadstools straight out of a children’s book.  She picked about a dozen this weekend. We didn’t take any photos this time, but here’s one from a previous weekend – similar type of mushroom, though not spotty:


At one point,  Lillian was stepping from foot to foot in that way that says “struggling to hold it in, but too interested in something else right now.”

I said: “Lillian, do you want to go to the toilet?”

She says: “No, I’m just dancing.”

This is interesting because it indicates a growing grasp of what psychologists call “theory of mind” – an ability to understand that other people have minds, or more particularly, beliefs about the world, which may nor may not be right, and which are often based on how the world appears to us.   She realised that she appeared to us to want to go to the toilet; but also realised that her appearance was similar to when she was dancing; so tried to engineer in us the false belief that she was in fact dancing.


We went to the Foster Anglican church today.  There were about ten kids there, and a proper “Sunday School” though it seems to be quite a romp.   Towards the end of the communion, all the kids went up to receive a blessing.  Lillian was taken up by Elizabeth, the minister’s wife.  She dutifully knelt in place.  As Elizabeth told us later:

Minister: “The blessing of the Lord blah blah blah…”

Lillian, loudly: “I’ve got a pretty pink dress on.”

After the service, we were hanging around chatting and having tea and scones and looking over the remains of the previous day’s garage sale (I bought a couple of books).   Lillian disappeared somewhere.  We eventually found her with the other kids in the backyard of the rectory, up to her armpits in a bucket of mud.  Oblivious to the fact that she was wearing her “sunday best” including her red patent leather shoes.   She was coaxed into the car with the help of a biscuit with pink icing on it.  Before long she was asleep – all the fun and games at church had tired her out.

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Tiger Room program, May 24th

The children have been very busy exploring all areas of the room indoors and out doors.
Art and craft is still the most popular experience in the room. Children have been  cutting pasting and creating master pieces. They are also making items to give to each other this is great to see and them developing friendship with each other.
Painting with the thin brushes at the little table is going well the last few days the children have been painting their hands so we may have Finger paint for the am session…
Slime was taken away as the children eventually did lose interest.
We thought we may make some play dough with the children to use at the area where the slime was set up this can give them the opportunity to be involved in the experience and also choose the colour they would like to use.
The Doctor’s corner is very popular the children have been pretending to be doctor patient. They seem to be really enjoying role playing. We will also talk about dental care and add books about it. The children all really enjoy brushing their teeth; some of the tooth brushes have gone missing please check with staff to see your still has a tooth brush.
The car mat with cars has gone very well the children are using the cars well on the mat and talking in great detail what each car is colour size etc.
The book corner has been going very well down stairs, some of the children have been going in there to have a rest and relax. Some have even had a sleep which is great to see. They are realising when there body needs a rest.
The reptile table moved into a cubby has been used well the children have been sitting at it looking at the bugs, frogs etc. Most of the crystals that were added have gone missing. Please if you find any in your child’s bag, jacket etc please return back to crèche…
The children have been great at expressing their emotions they have been explaining to each other how they feel. We have not yet got the Paper Mache experience under way but will begin this next week.
We made the Spider man cookies today. It’s not a very healthy food but the children really wanted to make them. They enjoyed making them, some of them ate them as they making them other’s decorated them with a web and said they wanted to take them home to show their families.
We thought about using foods to make the colour but with discussion with some parents and staff decided to use the food colouring.
For the families that have not as yet bought a photo in could you please bring in a photo from home to put on our walls so the children can look at it and discuss with each other.
The dolls house and farm animals are being used by the children they have been moving them around the room with the blocks and reptiles.
They are also enjoying the puzzles upstairs they have been sitting down in pairs and working out how to put the puzzle together.
They have really enjoyed the Alphabet squares it was planned for one child but we have increased to two children and they have been sitting there putting there names together etc.
We have not yet introduced a children’s sign in book but most of the children have been writing their names on their art work which is great to see, we will do this at a later date when more children show interest.
We have been talking about Super hero play with the children and they are only allowed to be super heroes out doors where there is space for them to run around and not allowed to run at all indoors.
There seems to be some confusion about children been dressed as super hero’s. As Maryanne stated last week’s program they are allowed to come in dressed up as long as they do not behave like super hero’s indoor’s and only outdoor’s.

Out door program

The children are really enjoying the outdoors despite the weather condition’s we are encouraging them to rug up as it is getting cold. When we have had rain they have been also enjoying collecting water from the water tank and using it in the sand pit, dirt patch and also in the veggie patch we have been encouraging all the children to be very careful in the veggie patch as we wan t out vegetables to grow.
The children are also enjoying collecting food for our new Worm Farm we have been talking with children and staff what we can put in it and most are remembering to empty that food into the worm farm container.
We have had lots super hero play outdoors which has been great to see, we have been encouraging them to watch out for each other and to make sure that they do not run into each other.
They have really enjoyed the new changes to the program, the tennis ball and rackets the children have been using these there were a few conflicts at the start as it was a new experience, with us talking to them about it they have been following through and waiting their turn.
They are still enjoying the parachute throwing balls up at it or attempting to catch it.
They have not really been using the easel for drawing that much so we will put this away for now. And introduce Chalk drawing for the children to draw with on the ground.
They have really been enjoying the books but with some of the wet days the area it was set up has not been dry for them to sit and look at the books so we may move them to the decking.
They have enjoyed the blocks both plastic and wooden so we will continue with these.
They have also enjoyed the swings and also the tyres rolling them around and sitting in them.
The rubbish bin lids have been used as stepping stones the children are still enjoying these.
With the obstacle course, some of the children have been using it but most have lost interest so we will move it around to make it more interesting. We will discuss it with the staff and see what we can all come up with?
We may a row of tyres around the obstacle course so the children can through them.
And we the footy season the children have been enjoying kicking the balls around and also talking about what teams they go for most change on a weekly basis.

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A 3 year old remembers…

How much does a 3 year old remember? 

We tend to think they don’t remember very much.  If we ask “What did you do at school today?” it seems that she can hardly remember anything that happened earlier in the day – though this test is misleading, since (a) she can remember much more if prompted (Did you play in the sand today? Yes…) – cognitive scientists call this the distinction between recall and recognition; and (b) she doesn’t fully understand the question, i.e., hasn’t sufficiently grasped the social practices of asking and answering such questions to know what sort of an answer you want. 

Also, we ourselves don’t remember very much from our first few years, so we assume that a three year old doesn’t either.  

Well, last night Lillian showed that she remembers much more than we thought.

She came up and asked “Where’s the hitting thing from when I was a baby?”


“What do you want?  Tell me again.”

“The hitting thing.  From when I was a baby.”

I’m at a loss.  What thing is she talking about?  

Grasping at for any clues, I ask “What colour was it?”

“So many colours.”  (“So many” is her way of saying “lots,” i.e., multicoloured.)

Then I remember – the dangling soft toys she used to whack when lying on her back on the living room floor, or in her cot.  These are certainly very colourful.  We go and dig them out from the basement.  It is what she wanted, even though she hasn’t seen them for almost two years. 

Last night also she pointed at the laundry trough as we walked past, and said

“I used to go in there, when I was a baby.”

True, we used to put her in there for her bath.  When she was much smaller, it was an ideal size and height.  But it is well over a year, I think, since she had a bath there.

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Just try it

Lillian loves to explore and experiment.   Anything she picks up, she’ll look at it from all angles, press, poke, toss, shake…  She’ll experiment with sounds and words, singing nonsense songs.  She’ll experiment with sitting on a chair, finding every possible way to sit, lie, stand, climb or balance.  If you tell her “Don’t do that!” she’ll right away start exploring numerous variations to find out what exactly what is prohibited and what is OK, carefully watching for your reaction.

Today she was with Teresa’s parents who had bought seafood from the market for lunch.  She was helping clean the Blue Swimmer crabs.  She found that you can poke the eyes of the crab back in the shell.  Then she found that if you squeeze the crab’s tummy, the eyes pop back out again. 

None of us had ever discovered that…


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Another day…

 Another green Chinese lolly for the Green Man on the way to work…  As we headed off when the light changed she said “Goodbye Green Man!”

When I picked her up she was being difficult – didn’t want to cooperate in coming home.  Then when we got home, she descended into a tantrum, which I was ignoring… at one point I went to the study to do some stuff on the computer; Lillian, annoyed at being ignored, grabbed the (wireless) mouse and walked off with it.  So she knows that the mouse is the crucial thing you need to control the computer…

Soon after that she wanted to be in my arms, and not long after she was fast asleep.

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