Monday, April 30, 2007

Would a Maia By Any Other Name...

Maia has decided that she doesn't like her name at the moment. This afternoon she decided that she would like to be called Rose. This evening, Eve was the front runner... So far, so girly.

She still likes the Ani-Jo Sunshine Packington-Cull bit... but thinks that Maia "doesn't really suit her".

Have been having weird visions of tiny playground Trinnies and Suzannas telling her she needs to wear a spring palette, avoid horizontal stripes and ditch the hippy-chick name.

Anyway, not sure where it has all come from, but I am trying not to feel affronted. Hoping that by being a bit non-committal (i.e not calling her by her adopted name, whatever it turns out to be) she might come back round to being Maia again.

Either that, as she is a determined little soul, cross fingers that she sticks with names that I could possibly have chosen for her. Weird how evocative names are. Weird how much as I feel so attached to that name, even if she isn't at the moment. I remember how it felt just right when we hit on this one. We did lose our nerve at the first application for a birth certificate and omit the "Sunshine".... went back a week later and re-registered her to put it in - the name didn't feel right without it.

Ho hum. We will see. Her cartoon of choice at the moment is SpongeBob Squarepants. Maybe the kid will out do even us and give herself a really....ummm.... distinctive name.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fringe Benefits (?)

Having tried her hand at hair chopping with Barbie, Maia decided to go one better. She is now sporting a fringe that looks like I cut it, which, lemme tell ya, is pretty bad.

We are going to have to go visit Justina and get it straightened out.

One benefit is that it isn't getting in her eyes anymore. I was patiently taken through her thought process:

"My fringe was getting in my eyes. I got some scissors and cut it, and now it isn't in my eyes anymore. "

Which is about as pure an example of KidLogic as you are going to get. Nevermind that her hairline looks like a mountain range...

Barbie Loses Some Weight

Barbie has lost a couple pounds - of hair.

Maia decided that SkinnyMinny's hair was too long. It was getting in the way when Maia played hairdresser and shampooed it in the sink ... SO she hacked it off. Barbie is now sporting what can only be described as an interesting haircut - more sk8rpunk then showgirl.

Totally unconcerned that Barbie's hair won't grow back, Miss M is toting her about by the remaining locks. I think she is a mere burst of artistic inspritation away from The Great Magic Marker Makeover. Bring it on!


Friday, March 16, 2007

Strawberries Sweeter for Red Nose Day

Maia came home yesterday and said that she wanted to wear her strawberry suit to school today.

"Uh huh?" I said...

"It is RED NOSE DAY and we have to Not Wear School Uniform" Maia said, in a tone that held a lot of authority for such a Small Person.

I will admit being a bit wary as nothing had come from the school to say "School Uniform not required on Friday. Feel free to turn up as your favourite fruit."

Anyway, time came to get dressed this morning and I figured the safest way forward was to combine the costume with the red elements of her uniform. Therefore, if no-one else was dressed up, she could whip off the strawberry and fit right in (ish), if she fancied it.

After a red themed breakfast (mini babybels, mango and raspberry smoothie and porridge) off we went, Miss Maia in her Carfield regulation issue Red Jumper, red patterned leggings and the strawberry suit over the top. We skipped all the way to school, signing Cauliflowers Fluffy (with particular emphasis on the "Strawberries Sweeter" line).

When we got there we saw lots of dressing up. Kids, parents, teachers. Maia turned to me with an expression that read "See!"

There was a kid there with a sombrero big enough to protect several of his classmates from any passing meteor showers, a few princesses and a Spiderman or two.

Cue much exclamation/spluttering when Maia arrived. Joshua came up and said "You are a STRAWBERRY!" to which Maia replied "I KNOW!" then they ran off to go Do Stuff. Happy Red Nose Day, kiddo.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Shine On, Springtime

"It's SPRINGTIME!" Maia bellowed at me last week when she spotted a bunch of daffs growing in someone's garden.

We were on the way back from a play in the park. Maia was stopped every 3 feet or so to look into people's gardens and pass comment on their choice of garden gnomes ("Look Mummy, that one looks like George!"). We stopped to play with ginger cats that crossed our path. She hit Excitement Level 7 when we passed her school and saw her teacher, Miss Keyworth, coming out.

"Miss Keyworth!" Maia said, sunshine shining in her eyes "It's SPRINGTIME!"

The sunshine is making fairly regular appearances at the moment, and her bounce levels seem to rise the more she gets.

I am glad we went for Sunshine as her (second) middle name - it certainly seems to make her happy.

Princess Paleo

Papi bought Maia a great toy when he came visiting. A block of plaster.

But this is a special block of plaster - it has DINOSAUR BONES inside.

Not only that, but these are special dinosaur bones - they are TYRANNOSAURUS REX bones!


When it comes to dealing with Things To Do with Dinosaurs, Maia tends to place lots of emphasis everywhere. And drops in a ROAAAAARRRRR!!!! or two.

Anyway, Maia has been scraping away at the plaster block for ages now, and is still excited about the prospect and process of uncovering her fossils. Once we do, we have top fit them all together to make a dinosaur bone model.

That kid has an attention span longer than mine - without a doubt. She is also pretty into the idea of a Paleontologist Princess.

Better than the old idea of Princess-Do-Nothing-But-Wait-Around-For-Her-Prince.

Blowing Her Own Trumpet

Now, on the list of A Few Ideas for a Peaceful Life, I think this one is probably pretty far down...given that it involves a four year old with a love of performing and a trumpet.

But man, she can actually get a pretty good sound out of it. And we get a great picture.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Improv Queen

Maia was singing us her "Cauliflower Fluffy" song this evening at dinner.

She got through the first verse ok

"Cauliflowers fluffy and cabbages green,
strawberries sweeter than any I've seen,
beetroot red and onion white,
all grow steadily day and night
the apples are ripe the plums are red
the broad beans are sleeping in their blanketty beds!"

we all duly applauded. She beamed and said "there's more!"

And then froze. She had clearly forgotten the rest of the song.

So, she looked up at us, looking at her.

Then she looked down at her plate and said

"There's no bacon in that song, is there?"

To which we had to reply that no, there wasn't.

Maiasaurus Suit

Noonah is making a dinosaur suit for Maia from some lovely fluffy green Dinosaur patterned material I got last week. The suit (which is an amazing creation - nay, work of art) has spikes, a tail, room for arms (at the side, or at the front "like a Tyrannasaurus Rex!") and a bright red belly.

The fluffiness of this particular dinosaur material makes for an interesting time for the seamstress. She has had to stop once already to dislodge a hairball.

Early Signs of Vegetarianism?

According to Miss Maia, she now knows ALL about dinosaurs, having been learning about them this week at school.

She knows how the dinosaurs began... in fact, she started to tell me all about it.

She began with the immortal words "In the beginning..." and I had a minor panic that she was going to follow up with "there was the word..." and we were going to have to have The God Talk. But she followed up with "there was a big ball of gas."

Thank Darwin for that...

Anyway, The History Of The Earth According to Maia:

"In the beginning there was a big ball of gas. Then there was lava. Then there were little bugs. Then there were fish. Then they went to the land. Then there was dinosaurs and they ate things. Then a Meat Eater killed them (but not the sharks) then people came. Then I was born!"

Which sounds about right to me.

S'no Motivation Like Snow

Maia Pie was reluctant to get out of bed this morning. I went in at five past eight (when we need to leave the house at twenty to nine) and tried to rouse her. She was not co-operative.

That is, until I told her that it was snowing outside...

Her eyes popped open and she bounded out of bed squealing. We opened the curtains and saw it was all nice and white and STILL SNOWING!

Breakfast was porridge (to have lots of energy for playing in the snow) and she and Noonah got dressed in record time.

On the way to school she caught snowflakes on her tongue, and marvelled at the scrunching sound under her New Waterproof-and-Snowproof Boots.

I am going to make her some fairy cakes dusted with icing sugar snow for a home time treat. All in all, we think snow is pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Can't Spin This One Any Different

Well there we go. Maia and I have just completed a major part of the emotional damage we call Growing Up. We have just finished Charlotte's Web.

OHMYGOD!!! Why didn't anyone tell me?? I remember the fluffy/cartoon/Disney, yes-it-is-sad-but-happy-in-the-end version. Not this mawkish, nay terrifying tome. I have been editing a little bit in the telling, avoiding the great swathes of overblown prose and moderating the nastiness of the rat, Templeton.

Halfway through the last chapter this evening, I was tempted to change the ending and make it a Happily Ever After story but couldn't think quick enough. I tried to deflect her with the offer of a different story, but she was not to be deterred. I then thought that she might just be listening to my voice, rather than really absorbing the story. Nope. When Charlotte died, Maia cried.

Then she broke my heart - she said that she didn't want to be like Charlotte. Wow. So Charlotte's Web made me cry as a kid, and now again as an adult because my daughter has suddenly linked death with something that could possibly happen to her and the people she loves.

Now I feel like crap. I spoke to her about memories and how we live on in the love we have for everyone, and the love that they have for us. I promised her that no one she loved was going to die for a very very, long time. Then I sat with her until she fell asleep. And spent the whole time cursing E.B. White.

Maybe we will stick to Roald Dahl from now on. No big themes in his work, right?? Ugh. Time to buy a book about pink fairies.

Bob Bob Bobbing Along

Grown up haircut alert! Photos to follow, but Miss Maia Maia Jumbalaya has got a new, grown-up, super-cute hair cut. It is a little bob, hitting just below her ears, topped by a little fringe (that she can now see out of).

She was a touch concerned that she wouldn't be a princess any more (as princesses always have long hair) but was persuaded that princesses with short hair have a better chance of keeping their crown on their head. Less hair to blow about in a strong wind.

And pirate princesses always have short hair. All the better for sword fighting, you see.

And as for Architecht-Doctor-Lawyer-Musician-Ice-Cream maker Princesses, well, you never see them with their hair trailing out the window waiting for the prince to climb up it, do you? Nah, it is only boring princesses who never DO anything who have long hair.

Bare Bones

Maia is learning about the "skelington" at Big School. We have a little chat on our walk home everyday about what she has learnt, what she ate, who she played with - that sort of thing. Yesterday, she said to me

"Mummy, if I peeled all my skin off, and all that was left was bones, what would you do?"

"Hmmm," I said (choosing not to tell her that I would weep forever because people don't survive as just bones...) "Probably help you put your skin back on again, like a pair of toasty warm pajamas."

"Mummy!" she said, shocked to the core by my ignorance, "No! You must call a Ambliance and tell them to come and help me! Then the Doctors will make me better. Now what number do you call? Nine-nine-nine. That's right."

She then fixed me with a glare that left me in no doubt that she thought she was probably not safe in my care. Especially if any skin-peeling was going to occur.

I assured her that I would remember to absolutely call the ambliance in such a situation. Slightly mollified, she told me about her lunch. Lasagne. Without bones.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Humble.... Moi?

Maia is not lacking for self-confidence. She is not shy, and she certainly is not retiring.

We had a couple of examples of this last week.

On the way back from school last Tuesday with new possible-pal Arwen (and new possible-pal por moi, Maria), Maia was chatting away, telling us all about her room, her house and what she had done at school that day. She paused for a beat, turned round to Maria and with a nod of the head and not a dash of humility said

"You know, I am a Funny Kid"

Later in the week, The Mother's Union brought the kids round for tea. George and Sue arrived first. Maia had dolled herself up in a fabulously clashing combination of purple tights, yellow summer dress, all the jewels she could find and her pink Clicky-Clacky heels. She sashayed into the kitchen and said to us

"You know, when Isabel arrives, she is going to see me and I am TOO pretty, she won't believe it!"

I love it. I love the fact that she has such a wildly positive and happy image of herself. I don't think I could bear it if she thought she was naughty/ugly/a pain.

Not sure how much is due to her nature or is somehow inherent, and how much is due to the fact that I tell her how wonderful she is every day.

Well, I figure if I don't, other people might forget to tell her...although I imagine Maia would probably be the first to remind them.

Awright Treacle

Maia tried and failed to get me out of bed this morning. Hannah is staying, and we shared a bottle of wine last night while watching rubbish telly. Which, let me tell you, is not quite the ideal preparation for a bouncy Maia at 7.30 am.

Anyway, Maia Pie is a big girl now, so I told her to go play for a while. Having failed to get me to get up and play, Maia went downstairs to Mum's flat (where Hannah is staying) and failed to get her to play either.

So, after foraging a banana from Hannah's kitchen (sorry honey, will replace) Maia pottered about, playing with the cat.

She came upstairs after a while with a pretty insistent request that went something like this

"GET UP MUMMY! I am boring with this now."

Her pajama top was covered with a sticky black substance that she claimed was ink. She said she tasted it, but it wasn't that tasty. When she wanted to get it off her finger, she wiped it on her pajamas.

Jolted from my lie-in by a fear that we might have to rush to Casualty with a rather random explanation of how it was that I allowed my child to drink ink, I asked her to come and show me exactly what she had tasted.

We hared downstairs, where she presented me with a pot of Lyle's treacle.

I tasted it too, and it really isn't that nice. Which is a bit of a relief. I think had it been tasty, Maia would have had more than a fingerful, and then would have been sky-high for the rest of the day.

Lesson learnt.

For Ideal Lie-ins, Hide the Treacle...Awright?