Finding The Happy

Looking for joy in all the right places


January 2013

A collection of little moments

I’ve been getting rather slack with the photo-sharing, and so after some loving hints (“We’d like to see more photos of Arddun, please!”), I thought I’d load up some random photos of Arddun and caption what she’s been up to lately.

Arddun pats Sienna's head
Arddun loves babies. Unfortunately, what she thinks is a loving pat on the cheek often becomes an overenthusiastic head-squish-into-neck thing. My friends have been very patient with us. (Arddun with Sienna, 13 December 2012)
Hanging out with Shannon and Sally
3 grown women, 4 babies and tots = shopping bags + a lot of vehicular real estate. (From left: Shannon with Malia, Sally with Isla, and Arddun with “Ao-wie”.)
Arddun builds big tower
Lately, Arddun’s started building towers with blocks (wooden and life-sized), only to knock them down again in toddler glee. After this block, for instance, she took a running start from stage left and demolished her handiwork. 
First chocolate milk shake
It’s been so stinking hot, we finally relented that one afternoon and allowed a tiny sip of Tony’s milkeshake for the very first time. Boy, did she make that sip last… (Christmas Eve 2012)
Arddun at the aviary
The aviary at Gold Creek allows tiny tots to feed birds apple slices straight from their hot little hands. Unfortunately, this tot had a tendency to entice birds over with her apple slice, let the birds nibble at the edges, before snatching the slice off and scoffing it down. What a tease. (Christmas Eve 2012)
Arddun and Tony share some tea
Here’s Arddun getting a quick tutorial from her daddoh on how to serve high tea like a proper young lady. (Christmas morning 2012)
Mother and daughter
Enjoying a picnic at a playground/park in Albury. It was real hot that day. (New Year’s eve 2012)
Arddun and Alex in bumble bee car
Our nearest neighbour (in our mother’s group) and good pal, Alex.
Arddun pushing Alex in wagon
Here’s a better shot of Alex, with Arddun literally pushing him around. Taken 7 January 2013
Arddun on playmat during worship
We don’t always accomplish this, but most Sundays, Arddun will keep to her playmat and do some drawing or read her books. The challenge lately is to encourage her to do all those things without singing Row Row Row Your Boat. Taken 13 January 2013
Arddun honks Tony's nose
Arddun and Charlie sharing apples
This is another of Arddun’s friends, Charlie. They’re trying to share an apple. About 3 photos after this one, the bowl of apples mysteriously moves across to the corner chair behind Arddun… (Taken 19 January)
Charlie and Arddun drawing in the garden
Conversing in the shade while doing some landscape art.
Arddun wears green washing-up glove
Gloving up to wash dishes in sink. She hopes. (Taken today.)
Arddun's plaited hair - front view
Arddun’s hair got plaited today for the very first time! Handiwork by Sarah V. (Taken this afternoon)
Back view of plait
Back view of plaits. Cannot believe the little girl sat through the entire thing, while she’d wriggle around like a fish out of water when I so much as attempt to tie ONE miserable whale spout.

Introducing Doggy Doo-Doo

So as it turns out, we’re still suffering the consequences of Arddun’s squeamishness with the potty, and we’re still nowhere near getting her out of diapers. But she’s perfectly happy reading all about it, so today I thought I’d borrow a leaf from our potty-training story book and start role-playing the process.

I don’t expect you to have read the book or any number of potty-training philosophies or techniques, so here’s how it goes.

  • You find a suitable teddy.
  • You role-play the whole potty process using said teddy.
  • Child miraculously understands how using the potty pertains to her, and voila. Diaper free days!

In our case, I decided to use a stuffed toy Arddun had never met before. Rummaged around for a candidate, which turned out to be a dog. Granted – dogs don’t usually park themselves on a child’s potty to relieve themselves, but neither do bears for that matter. So Doggy Doo-Doo had to do.

I made the entire concert as entertaining and positive as possible,

“Oh look, Arddun! It’s a potty! She needs to go to the potty! Okay, let’s have a sit… doo-dee-doo-dee-doo…”

After a suitable waiting time and some ad hoc elevator music, Doggy Doo-Doo stands up and peers into the (empty) potty.

“Oh LOOK, Arddun! It’s a POO! Yay! Well done! Good job, Doggy! What a great effort, Doggy Doo-Doo! WHOOO! Now… we take a bit of toilet paper…” (I let Arddun tear a piece. She tears 3 long strips straight after that, so it’s obviously a huge job.) “Oh-kay enough toilet paper. Alright, let’s give Doggy a wipe… All done! Now throw the paper into the big toilet, aaaand… FLUSH TOGETHER! Yaaaay!”

We do this twice, Doggy Doo-Doo and I. We make a huge fuss over the imaginary turd, and what a triumph it was. We emphasise that toilet paper-tearing is a privilege reserved purely for potty users, and that flushing the toilet after is extra special.

And then Arddun starts making gestures that she wants to give it a go.

So I watch as Arddun seats Doggy Doo-Doo on the potty. Very cute.

Two seconds later, she flings Doggy off the seat, sticks her face into the potty to peer at the imaginary turd, and yells “OH NO A MESS!”

Obviously my rendition was NOT how she remembered things.

Back to the drawing board?

Arddun role-playing potty-training with Doggy Doo-Doo
Found ten minutes later: Arddun reading to Doggy while the latter’s “on the can”.

The art of negotiation

Overheard yesterday around lunchtime, at the café we frequent…

Beautiful blonde 4yo girl: Mum, I’m hungry.

Mother: I think it’s time for your tea anyway.

(Which, in Australia,could mean any meal from morning tea right down to supper. I mean, who knows. I get thoroughly confused some days. But in this context and given the time of day – 12:15pm – it seems clear the mother is referring to actual lunch.)

Mother: (Looking at menu) So… what would you like to eat, sweetheart?

Daughter: Chips!

(Mother looks slightly vexed.)

Mother: Anything else?

Daughter: Um… ice chocolate. And ice cream. And a milkshake. And a lolly. And chips!


Mother: If I get you the chips, will you promise to eat all of it?

Daughter: Okay.

Got 15 minutes? International parenting survey

Giving a shout-out to the following survey conducted by the University of Queensland.

Tell Us What You Think About Parenting

Complete a 15 minute survey and you could be in with a chance to win one of twenty $20 Coles-Myer gift cards!

The Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland is interested in parents’ thoughts about parenting and parenting programs.

If you have a child between 2 and 12 years,
we would love to hear about your parenting experiences and views
on the services that are available to you as a parent.

To find out more or to participate please visit

Use the brakes, please

slow down mummy, there is no need to rush,
slow down mummy, what is all the fuss?
slow down mummy, make yourself a cup tea.
Slow down mummy, come and spend some time with me.

slow down mummy, let’s put our boots on and go out for a walk,
let’s kick at piles of leaves, and smile and laugh and talk.
slow down mummy, you look ever so tired,
come sit and snuggle under the duvet and rest with me a while.

slow down mummy, those dirty dishes can wait,
slow down mummy, let’s have some fun, let’s bake a cake!
slow down mummy I know you work a lot,
but sometimes mummy, it’s nice when you just stop.

sit with us a minute,
& listen to our day,
spend a cherished moment,
because our childhood is not here to stay!

R.Knight 2011

“How to make my morning” – Lesson #573

We had just finished breakfast, and Arddun was still sitting in her highchair and kicking her legs while I was getting ready to clean up her station.

All of a sudden, she started clapping her hands.

“You clapping?” I asked the obvious.

“Happy!” Arddun announced, grinning.

“Are you happy?”



Tony and I double dated with Graham and Penny yesterday afternoon and went off to watch Les Miserable on the big screen. All this was made possible because of this fabulous family affectionately known in certain parts as The Turkeys. Again, thank you for babysitting so we can have some semblance of a date. :)

Anyhoo, while we were sitting through that amazing musical feast of pathos and high drama, this is what the Little Girl got up to:

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

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