Because I think that from now on you will start to collect your own memories of your experiences as a young child, I want to give you a record of what your typical day is like when Nana and Papa are minding you.
You and your mum arrive around 7.30 in the morning and I like to open the front gate and wait in my study until I hear you arrive in your pusher. When I come out to welcome you, you are always so pleased to be here and when I take you down to the kitchen to take you out of your pusher, your little arms and legs start flailing around in an effort to be free of the pusher straps. You leap out into my arms and start shrieking with pleasure and point around the kitchen.
For quite a while you would bring the newspaper in when you arrived. I had already loosened the wrapping so when you sat on my knee, it was easy to unwrap. When you finished, we would play Scruncho where you scrunched up the plastic wrapping of the newspaper before trotting off to the rubbish bin with it. As time has passed, you become less interested in this as there are more exciting things going on.
Now, we have a game where you and I go looking for Nana Di and as we go round the house saying “Where are you Nana Di?” and looking behind the doors, you cling onto me, too excited to look. Excitement reaches a crescendo until Nana leaps out from behind the door and says, “Peepo Bo, Winton.” Then you dive into her arms and to give her a huge hug. It’s a wonderful way to start the day.
The first major event of the day is breakfast. You have recently graduated from sitting in your high chair to sitting on a stool at the bench. When you were sitting in the high chair, I would sit next to you and help you eat. It was a wonderful time because you would alternate between wanting me to get as much food into as quickly as possible and a growing desire to be in control of the spoons and forks.
Breakfast is a multi-course meal beginning with toast and peanut butter, followed by Weet-Bix and honey and then fruit and yoghurt. At present, we are working on the idea that you can’t eat yoghurt with your fingers.
It’s a work in progress.
We would often eat breakfast or lunch together and sometimes we would share.
For a while, you quite emphatic that we both needed to wear stack hats for this hazardous enterprise.
But now you’re a big kid and sitting independently, you generally want to be in charge of the knives,spoons and forks. Particularly the knives, as they are what gives you access to the butter which often goes straight into your mouth off the knife rather than getting there by way of the toast.
When you finish breakfast, you stand up on your stool while I hold you and you jump up and down while I sing “Jump, jump sugar lump,” and Nana Di endeavours to wipe your hands.
You usually play with some toys before Nana Di takes you out for your morning walk. This normally encompasses a visit to the park or finding a digger at work. You two favourite toys are a digger and a rubbish truck.
Monday is rubbish collection day and as soon as we hear the trucks coming down the street, we rush out to greet them. The rubbish truck men are always glad to see you and always put on a little display for you.
But the main purpose of the morning walk is to get you go to sleep. Usually it works and you spend a couple of hours asleep on Nana and Papa’s big bed.
You take your sleep very seriously and it is almost impossible to wake you up until you’re ready. You are often the very beautiful mood when you first wake up and you enjoy waking up slowly and this involves long cuddles with Nana or Papa. You’re not a naturally cuddly kid so we both make the most of this time.
After you wake up, there is a huge range of activities that your Nana has arranged for you. Painting is a favourite.
You approach painting with the same gusto that you approach eating. It is meant to be a total experience. We seem to have gone past the time when everything automatically went into your mouth so we don’t have too much of a problem with your eating the paint.
As is drawing.
You also enjoy playing with balloons. Often with large bunches of them which are tied together.
You also enjoy hitting them up and down the hallway with a fly swat. You have an interesting technique. It involves running full tilt at the balloons flailing with your fly swat. Inevitably, something connects:a foot, a hand or perhaps a fly swap. It is interesting to watch as you refine your technique. You are getting pretty good at kicking and are developing a fairly formidable backhand.
You are also developing a love of reading. In typical fashion, you will sometimes share your reading particularly with Nana Di but your preference is for reading to yourself.
Your favourite summer activity is playing outside with a hose and a bucket.
Average daily water consumption per household in our street as 160 litres a day. Average daily water consumption at 170 Mary Street is 1000.
Here are some shots of me at 30 Clifton Terrace in Wellington. I would have been 2 1/2 at the time, just six months older than you are now.
These photographs are now nearly 70 years old. Isn’t it strange how small kids seem to enjoy the same kind of stuff.