Sunday, December 23, 2012

Botanical Gardens and the end of the world

Today we went to the botanical gardens because the morning mist had evaporated to leave behind a picnic day. We packed up a lunch and found a nice spot in the shade of a giant palm tree where Aba ate and ate her sandwiches and chips, while Lucia was coerced to eat one sandwich with the promise of an animal cookie. We went on a walk through the coolest parts of the gardens, the girls crossed a small stream by hopping from rock to rock for the first time and were excited to come back the same way to try it again. Lucia wanted to feed the rest of her sandwiches to the ducks, but it was so hot even the ducks couldn't be moved to eat and our bread joined the rest of the bread that floated on the surface like some strange pond weed.

The gardens are great for Abacus, because she loves to wander - usually in directions away from where we are supposed to be going - in the gardens though she leads us to places we might not have gone.

We decided to go to the beach rather than the playground at the gardens because of the heat, but as we neared the coast, the surrounding hills became shrouded in cloud and soon we couldn't see 100 meters in front of us. Island Bay's Island ceased to exist, as though the world were being effaced by some Mayan prophecy. In fact the land had disappeared for those who were flying and flights were diverted away from the city. We would learn later the sea fog that had rolled in over the land was the tail end of Cyclone Evan. And thus ended our beautiful summers day on the shores of the world's end.


Lucia waits on the footpath by the car as I chase Abacus down the road, I don't need to tell her to, she just stands there patiently waiting for us to return, it's just a usual part of her life.She doesn't try to emulate what Abacus does and she doesn't necesarilly think that what Abacus does is bad/different, it's just what Aba does.

Aba and Lucia are climbing out of the pool and jumping back in and I'm catching them, before Abacus decides to climb out and run away. I say something to Lucia like don't move - but I don't really need to say anything because I know she'll wait there patiently, at just 2 years old while I bring Abacus back. She just patiently waits.

Lucia is screaming outside.I go out to see her holding Abacus by the shirt as Aba has learned to open the front gate, and she's crying and pleading "Don't go on the road Aba!"

Lucia and I are pretending to talk on the phone while Aba's at creche, I ask "How are you today?" "Um, a bit sad." "Oh, why?" I'm genuinely surprised because we've been happily playing to this point. "Um, I miss my sister."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

the water slide and other stories

I think Abacus might be some fashion genius, she wears clothes in ways I would never think of. She'll go to a pile of clean laundry and come out looking like some darker edged Blossom throwback.

One day Goldilocks came and ate up the three bears. That's Lucia's abridged version. Another version is that the three bears visit Goldilocks. Speaking of bears, someone bought tickets to Grizzly Bear thinking it was Bear Grylls. The weirdest part is they were disappointed...

Swimming class has been awesome lately. Lucia has been attending too and having the whole family in the pool is a lot more calming for Abacus and I think it's good for Lucia too, who has gotten really good at kicking and doesn't feel left out. Abacus still shies away and asks for cuddles, but it seems almost out of habit than genuine anxiety. She has been a lot better at doing the drills and seems to love going under water. Last week she wore goggles which was the cutest thing, their instructor got them both goggles so they could dive for toys.

The most fun thing about swimming class now is that they've been going on the water slide after class - as a reward. It's a big windy tunnel slide, dimly lit with colorful lights and can go extremely fast. The girls absolutely love it. The first day Lucia asked why these other girls screamed when they went down, now Lucia has taken to screaming too and Abacus has followed! They go down with us and we come out in a huge splash, sometimes backwards, or spinning out of control, depending how fast we've gone.

One of the cutest moments I've had with our girls was at a Saturday dinner time, when Danielle said 'Tomorrow at swimming class we can go on the waterslide again.' And the girls faces came alive with smiles and they laughed and said YAY! with completely uninhibited excitement.