Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Playing Catch-up

We had a super visit to Queenscliff last week. I'm so lucky to have nice friends who invite us to stay with them in their (hired) holiday house! We stayed with Cherub's best friend, who is an only child; he was mostly delighted -and occasionally slightly overwhelmed- to have another 2 boys in his space for 48 hours straight. It gave him the full story of having a big brother (previously he had been very star-struck by Climber); on one hand they're so much fun and so cool, on the other hand they are completely bossy, and they will always be faster, bigger and know more, and will usually make sure you are aware of this. For Cherub, being slower, smaller and less knowledgeable is a way of life, the only one he knows. It makes him endearingly humble. And it irks him occasionally but mostly Climber is his Holy Grail, the one he wants to be with and tell things to. I find that whole sibling dynamic fascinating.


The boys had their hair cut yesterday. The good news is that Cherub no longer looks like a scarecrow (he was growing out the backyard hackjob I did on him when school swimming was on last year, the hairdresser said it wasn't too bad apart from being noticeably longer on one side) and you can see the Climber's eyes now, but we've kept the indy-rock-boy look fairly intact.

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Also yesterday, the lovely Stacey, aka Sheeps Clothing, and I put our matching sets of boys together at the playground at Birrarung Marr and they seemed to hit it off, shyness aside. As the 6 of us walked back towards town, we chanced on a free trapeze show in the City Square which was good fun.

city square trapeze 02

I finished off Philippa Gregory's The Other Boleyn Girl and skipped through The Boleyn Inheritance and although I quite enjoyed them I had to go straight off and read Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time as an antidote to Tudor horridness.

For his birthday, I bought Climber the first 6 of the 39 Clues books, plus the 2 card packs. The final 4 books will be released this year. If you haven't heard about them, go here. As I sit here writing this, the Climber is beside me, completely immersed in the online component, solving clues and unlocking cards. He also started Book 1 last night and has read about a quarter of it. (And just by the by, Climber is still reading like a maniac and has powered through several Zac Powers, the entire Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and the first of the Spiderwick Chronicles since Christmas)

Another birthday present, this one from my Dad, was a fiendish skateboard thing called a Rip-Stick, which instead of 4 fixed wheels -2 front and 2 back- only has one wheel at the front and one at the back, both of which are castor wheels. Climber seems to have the hang of it already, Fixit and I are too scared to even attempt it.

ripsticking 9

And a week of scooting around balancing on a pedal-less bike was more than what was required to finish the job of getting the Cherub riding a bike without trainer wheels. Today the 4 of us went down to the local school once more, but it was merely a formality. The Cherub had already worked out how to start himself off, and rode the whole way there, then proceeded to circle round the school ground at considerable speed, simultaneously talking and dinging the bell as he did so, for a good half hour. He only (slightly) crashed into a pole once.


I had dangled a reward in front of his eyes, a yellow Puffle no less, which spurred him on like you wouldn't believe. Especially because I already had it in the house - he kept going into my room to look at it, and during Climber's Party took all his friends, including Nell, into my room to show them. So here he is, with his haircut and his prize and his proud face: the Cherub, who Does Not Need Training Wheels.

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  1. They are both heartbreakingly beautiful children.

    Happy birthday to Climber!

  2. Sounds like the perfect holidays so far!

  3. I find the sibling thing fascinating to watch in the lad and lass. They love each other abundantly but the lass will not be bowed by being the youngest!

    The lad got the ripstik for xmas, got the hang of it in half an hour and completely goggled the minds of assembled adults. And in a sibling aside, my younger brother was made to feel old when he attempted to ripstik. Some moments in life are just a little bit satisfying...

  4. Sounds like you are all having some fun times!

    Dave works with the author of the Zac Powers books... H. I. Larry. Funny thing is, it's actually a lady named Hilarry! Actually she might be a Hillary... not sure. I'll ask Dave to chat with her and see if this connection has any benefits. Will get back to you. :)

  5. Gorgeous boys! And such a milestone the old no-trainer-wheels-on-the-bike.

    Happy belated birthday to Climber.

  6. You go Cherub, you humble, gorgeous child you! Love how you write about the sibling thing.....it takes me back!

  7. Your boys look so happy. A ripstick and a puffle will do that. We just took the training wheels off of Abby's bike and her excitement has turned to dust at the reality of how difficult a regular bike is to master!

  8. Your children are gorgeous! :)

    I've been meaning to read The Other Boleyn Girl. Would you recommend it?

  9. What the hell is a Puffle?

    (My kids are beyond all of that. Is it on a tv show or something?)

  10. We're lucky too - we have friends with two boys who invite us to their (hired) holiday house in Wye River each summer.

    And having just read The White Queen by Philippa Gregory (read the Boleyn ones last year) I must now reread The Daughter of Time to find out all about the princes in the tower again.

    Lovely boy shots, as usual.

  11. I have read so much Tudor fiction in the last 18 months (Gregory, Weir and another couple) I feel I could do a masters degree on it (in it?) The Princes in the Tower does distress me more than anything now having stood in the room where they lived in the Tower, and then seen the sad little casket where their bones are in the Abbey. It is such an awful event. Daughter of Time is FAB.

  12. Great photos and it sounds like a good time has been had by all.

    I would not be getting on that skateboard thing for a million bucks!

    Love that Climber is reading like crazy.

  13. Hi Stomper, hope the back-to-school thing went well for the boys this week.

    Your boys are so photogenic ... very cute.

  14. Hey, i have friends who know the person who 'road tested' the ripstick!

    Your photos are fab - the boys look gorgeous (as ever) and I'm jealous you had a day out with Stacey in Melbourne city!!

  15. Lovely boys indeed.

    A Puffle??? I feel very out of tune with popular culture.

  16. Aaah, the ripstik - beware the over confident boy who thinks that ripstiking down steep hills would be fun. Our 9yo ended up with much of his torso skin removed. yeowch.

  17. Welcome home Stomper! I once flew to Newcastle to visit my BFF and I took Peanut with me. To be honest, it was so stressful that I don't think I would contemplate flying with one of the kids again. And I've just realised that this comment is probably more to do with what you wrote on FB than the content of this post, but since I've already done all this typing... it's a shame to waste it x


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