Monday, February 27, 2012

The Child

We double booked. When Brighton Antique Dealer rang and asked us to hers for a drink and nibbles then dinner across the road at her local Italian restaurant on Friday night, how could we say no. We had forgotten that Bone Doctor was giving a lecture in the city on Saturday and so she and Little Jo were staying Friday night and we were looking after Little Jo on Saturday.

Well, we could combine the two. Bone Doctor and Little Jo have to have dinner too, so they can come to BAD's soiree. I changed in the car at work, in 35 degree heat. My clothes were lovely and warm as if they had just come out of the dryer, but that is not what you want when it is 35 deg. Bone Doctor picked up R and we arrived within ten minutes of each other. BAD had her usual collection of miscreants, but tonight they being her neighbours in her posh Brighton retirement apartment complex, the youngest being about seventy.

Also there was our ex NT politician friend and his Fijian Indian boyfriend. I amazed at how chummy the misogynist old curmudgeon has become with BAD. Maybe he sees her as a fellow political traveller, and I suspect she is.

Little Jo was sooky and shy. After drinks and nibbles we went to the restaurant.

Our food at the restaurant was fine. The service was excellent. I won't name the place though as I consider the food is overpriced. Little Jo grizzled on and whined away and mock tears, until some food arrived at the table.

Little Jo had a raspberry drink, don't tell Mummy. A bowl of shoestring chips and some pizza, don't tell Mummy, and an ice cream sundae, don't tell Mummy. Not BAD, but one of her neighbours illustrated to me how older Brighton women stay slim. They eat a meal of lettuce for dinner.

Back to BAD's for coffee. She had some unusual meringues she had bought at her local bakery. They were cup cake like, but hollow inside, the hollow lined with jam. Very tasty.

Next morning Little Jo wanted to go for brunch. She had in mind the place across the road where R has taken her twice. She still doesn't know the proper name of what we refer to as Nanny's Restaurant, aka Maccas. Mother likes going to her local one when someone will take her, often Sister and Little Jo.

Little Jo was determined to be difficult, she whined and whinged and tried to create some fake tears. I don't want to wait for the bus, as we sat in the shelter. Look out, here comes the tram, we will catch that instead. I don't like trams. R gave her a ride on the merry go round as soon as we arrived and against my advice, gave her a chocolate milkshake, which meant she ate little else but a few chips to top it off. While they waited for me to finish my triple stack of pancakes with mixed berry and sauce, with ice cream, R took her to kids play area but he did concede that she is just too old and too big for such things as crawling tunnels.

Her humour did improve as they day went on. Once back home we took her down for a swim, which was very refreshing on such a hot day. I was pleased to see she can jump into deep water and swim unaided. Sister was like a fish when she was her age and the local pool was very close to Mother's where Sister grew up. In fact Sister was a non local person who helped save the pool from the advances of the cost cutting local council.

After swimming Little Jo reluctantly had a bath and reluctantly had her hair washed. R used to give in to her so often, but I note now he is becoming firmer as she gets more challenging. She pulled the bath plug out before her hair was washed. R just refilled the bath and made her get back in for her hair wash.

There is no doubt she is spoilt and gets too much of her own way, but that seems to be the way children are brought up now. I think some things are negotiable with children, but mostly not and I don't believe in offering them unlimited choices, so a phrase like 'what would you like to eat', is wrong. 'Would you like this or that?' is much preferred if they are to be offered a choice at all.

Some craft was done, some gingerbread men made and Bone Doctor returned. Within fifteen minutes of their departure, the High Rise was back in order.


  1. What a fun weekend you all had! I swear every time I see a new photo of Little Jo she looks so much bigger and it really does not seem like it has been that long I've been looking at her pictures.

    I agree choices are much better than open-ended questions for kids, and of course many of us adults.

  2. First time I've met Little Jo. She'll remember these times as good times, hopefully, even though she was a trial, sometimes. And as Jubye implies, us adults can be too.

  3. Sorry, morning! *Rubye*

  4. Rubye, she is past four and a half now. I think she is quite tall for her age. Where has that time gone? So much has happened. I agree about adults too.

    I hope she does remember Christine. We, well more R than me, has formed a pretty strong bond with her, but already we see signs of less interest in playing with and going out with two ancient uncles.

  5. Lordy, she is growing up fast!
    Just be firm, set the boundaries and enjoy the time ;)

  6. We try. You of course remember her from what? When she was about two and just started to walk?

  7. My father wasn't a believer in choice when I was a child. 'You'll eat what you're given!' End of discussion.

  8. Victor, your father was a pussy.
    What's for dinner usually drew the response *** with sugar.. AND YOU'LL LIKE IT [or else!].

    I've now known Little Jo for little more than 7 months, and she has doubled in length already.

  9. ooh your parenting skills are good. I don't agree with open ended options either, it just leads to much trouble.

  10. just say "here is (whatever food)"
    as offering a choice turns into greater negotiation than the Gaza Strip.
    I noticed how TALL she is going to be. But never say that to her - it foments a complex and leads to round shoulders.
    You two are terrific uncles and she is very lucky. so are her parents.

  11. "they ate a meal of lettuce for dinner". I know people who do that, but at home, alone, they stuff their faces with everything in sight. i also once knew someone who'd eat normally whenever she was out and we all wondered how on earth she stayed so slim. Then we found out that when home she ate nothing but dry saos with vegemite, not even butter on them and no more than two or three per meal.
    I agree with your thoughts on child raising re choices.

  12. Victor, much the same for me. Different times.

    FruitCake, your Dad did have a good turn of phrase. I think in seven months Little Jo's manipulative skills have doubled too.

    Fen, I do the theory and I don't get to put it into practice. I'd forgotten what my sister was like when she was young. Now I am remembering, just like Little Jo.

    Ann, I don't think she will be really tall but yes, I see your point. We present food as fait accompli as she will say she does not want that and she is not here long enough to get really hungry.

    River, you are doing your own battle with food but don't take it too far and allow yourself the odd treat. I think I might become a sao and vegemite person. I don't get much pleasure from eating. I do it because I have to. I would add butter though, nice salty and fat full butter, rather than the cholesterol lowering margarine I now have.

  13. I won't have to worry about my new niece/nephew, it'll be too busy bringing up its parents.

  14. Never know Jah The, it might be the making of them.