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Singapore very convenient leh.

The other day I asked Finn to make a story, which I would write down. This is what he said:

A shark was going to eat you and then a big bad wolf was going to eat it – a purple pencil.

He wasn’t going to be angry any more because someone who was happy cheered him up, and the three piggies said “don’t be angry later!” And he sat on the chairs and broke all the chairs and broke the light.

The wolf was going to get some fish for the little piggies to share with everyone. He caught some swordfish, and some cows had some delicious things for them to eat. And edamame beans too. The house has a Japanese restaurant. It’s attached with a magnet.

He wrote another shorter story. This one has a title.

The Three Little Cows

They get some delicious ice creams for everyone to share and I think they’re going to eat a big bad wolf and a pig was going to get fish for them and the lights turned on and then… “HOORAY!”.

I think it’s the end of the story.

Reading something like this makes me feel like the best parent ever:

stellar parenting

We have had a wonderful Christmas of all the wide-eyed delight I’d hoped for. Finn’s Christmas wish of being cold came true at the delightfully down-at-heel Snow City, even though its snow was too icy to build a snowman or even a snowball. His shy but hopeful request from Santa for a Transformer was also granted.

I have been very conflicted about Santa. My inexplicable puritanical streak makes me loathe to lie to my child; this fear is worsened by a child from my first-grade class, looming in my memory as a proud but ultimately tragic figure, declaring that Santa must be real because “my parents would never lie to me”. On the other hand, I have fond memories of the MAGIC of Christmas, and don’t want to ROB my child of MAGIC, or be turned on by an angry mob when my child tells his friends that their parents are indeed, all liars.

Adding to my worries, now, is his precocious understanding of reproduction, which is entirely my fault. He is doggedly fixated on the why of gender, and there are only so many genuine yet evasive answers in my repertoire. In the end, I had to tell him about two cells that join together, and one of them can be a boy or a girl cell, depending on who’s swimming fast that day. I refused to gift him the term “sperm”, again for fear of other parents. I had always anticipated pride in my matter-of-fact and scientific explanations when the time came to explain reproduction; that’s gone out the window now I realise I have to do it at age three.

Part of the interest in why he is a boy and Anika, for example, is a girl, is driven by dissatisfaction. On Finn’s part. In the past week, he’s said, “I don’t want to be a boy”, “I want to be a girl”, “when I grow up, can I be a lady?” and more pragmatically, “how am I going to be a girl?”. Once again, I find myself tongue-tied in a way I hadn’t anticipated. A normal parent would just say that you can’t be a girl, you will always be a boy. Probably, he’s just being a normal three-year-old demonstrating Kohlberg’s stage of Gender Stability acquisition (due by five years, by the way, in case you were concerned). But my neuroticism is such that the extremely tiny possibility that ACTUALLY he is voicing genuine nascent gender identity issues prevents me from making this appropriate response. So far this week, were you a fly on the wall, you may have heard such ridiculous answers as “perhaps you will like being a boy, later” and “well you can’t really usually change from a boy to a girl… I don’t think”. I sincerely hope that no Freudians, gender politicians, or sensible people read this blog.

But it doesn’t end there. This week we also introduced Finn to the idea that he could get married to a wife one day. And have a child. He declared that the child would be a boy, and his name would be Purpley-pink. He then named his wife (Jenna, from pre-school), but the following day said he would get another wife, from a different country (Charisma Man, watch your back!) and would in fact have five wives. As I’ve never exposed him to any examples of this, I can take some pride in the fact that he single-handedly invented polygamy.

Anika can finally walk! Thank god!

Well it’s finally December, so we can finally stop wincing every time someone talks about Christmas, or sees a Christmas decoration. The first decorations went up around here in October! That’s two months of suspense to maintain. Ridiculous. Anyhow, we have had a wonderful tail end of the year so far, with a visit from the inlaws and a perfect island holiday on Nikoi. I am assuming everyone who reads this has my flickr so you can see the photos there. I remembered how much I love diving and snorkelling.

Finn is really excited about Christmas. He kind of got it last year, but this year he gets it enough to be thinking about what he wants for Christmas, making tree decorations and other Christmas crafts and singing Christmas carols to himself as he drifts off to sleep.

Today he was playing with his toy measuring tape and came running up to me. Curling it around my bicep, he declared, “I’m measuring you to see if you’re big enough to be a fireman…. You are!”
“Hooray!” I replied, but I think I will keep searching for my calling.
Then a few minutes later he said, “Is your chair the wrong size? Is it not big enough for your bottom that is very huge and giant?”
It is testimony to the social cluelessness of my child that I can say with certainty he meant that as a compliment.

Often is I who say the hilarious thing, eg, “Don’t put a finger puppet on your penis.”

Regarding a female friend with a gorgeous mellow voice who visited recently, in full hearing of that friend:
“Who’s that one that talks not like a lady, like a man?”

F: I need to pee
K: Ok…
F: But it’s darrrrrrrrrk *whine*
K: *sigh* *gets up and goes to bathroom, turns on light*
F: Why did you turn the light on? It’s sometimes exciting in the dark.

Regarding a waiter of Indian appearance:
“What’s that brown man’s name?”

And there was an even more embarrassing one that I’ve (somehow!) forgotten.

I just remembered I have this blog (wow, that sentence must echo across the web thousands of times a day and never get more interesting). So to update you: Finn is three and a half, still fairly hilarious, and enjoying preschool and such activities as “going to a place with toys”. This is his preferred activity at any time of day or night. He also enjoys visiting his friends’ houses (probably for the toys), being read to and playing educational games on the computer. I do try to restrict screen time of course like the anxious middle class parental stereotype I am and always will be. But he does really enjoy playing educational games on the computer.

Anika is turning one in under two weeks! It’s truly exclamation mark-worthy, isn’t it? She is extremely cute, enjoys smiling at people, eating grownup food and dancing. She shows no interest in walking, unlike Finn who was mister early walker, but is an extremely agile crawler and beguiler of people into carrying her. Her dancing occurs whenever there is music to be heard, and mostly involves bouncing up and down on her knees while beaming at all present. The main thing people notice about Anika is that she is blonde with brunette tips and a hint of red. This is certainly an unusual hair colouring and I have been asked how I get her to sit still at the salon (mostly by people who are being funny). She also has a lot of hair which Jean greatly enjoys tying back elaborately. I am determined to figure out how to at least do a pony tail by the time she goes to school. We think she may be talking, and have about 5 words, but it’s all pretty ambiguous at this stage, and frankly I’d feel a lot more comfortable if she’d just come out with fully formed sentences.

On the “new sofa” front, the house has reached a kind of stasis as we unconsciously decided a few months ago that it was good enough and stopped decorating/fixing/adding things. Instead we have been working a little bit on our social lives, going out with friends more often and attempting to do unusual things like watch theatre and live music. This weekend represents a herculean effort at getting out of the house, where I am going to risk exposure to a major car race and many people who enjoy watching major car races, in order to see a Missy Elliot concert that is taking place in the middle of the car race. I am not the hugest Missy Elliot fan in the world, but I figured $38 was a bargain, and project getting out of the house required my attendance. I will placate my inner (and increasingly protuberant) old person with a pair of earplugs.

It’s already nearly Christmas. We probably won’t go back to Oz this year, but we are expecting at least one trip to Sydney early in 2011, so I hope to see as many as possible of my dear readers and other Sydney friends. I am looking forward to seeing all the changes and getting back in touch with the city I do eventually hope to call home again.