Tuesday, November 10, 2009


My battle to get Ava to eat more fruit and vegetables is ongoing. After a promising start, we've sort of stalled out a little. She will eat grapes, carrots, and corn and that's about it. And when I say "eat", I mean that she will gag and swallow miniscule amounts with much drama, sighing, and hair flipping. I tell you, this girl will make an excellent teenager.

This afternoon she and I were in her room. I was helping her get her swimsuit on. Not to rub it in, but we've had some great weather and the kids wanted to swim after Ava got home from school. As I'm getting her ready, she says, "Mom, I don't think I wanna go to school tomorrow." I ask her why, and she doesn't want to tell me. Oh dear, I'm thinking. We've had such a great transition to kindergarten. All of the little girls in her class are really sweet, there's been no cattiness. Has that come to an end? What's happened? I'm picturing some traumatic event on the playground or something. So I question her a little more and finally, she throws herself down on her bedroom rug, putting her arm over her face. "They're giving away apples at the canteen tomorrow during morning tea. And I don't want one!"

So, let me get this straight. The school is giving away apples. And if anyone wants an apple, they can walk to the canteen during the morning tea break and get one. You don't have to get an apple. There is no jack-booted Apple Gestapo to come force them upon you. They're just available. And this is why you don't want to go to school tomorrow. I confirm all this with her. So I say, "Babe, during morning tea, just go up to the playground with your snack like you usually do. No one is going to force you to eat an apple." I hope you admire my restraint in not saying, "It's an apple, for the love! They're not asking you to handle vipers or anything!!"

Apparently the presence of fruit on her primary school campus is too upsetting to deal with. Fruit and the social pressure to eat it. It's a powerful force. I tried to reassure her that no one is going to be paying attention to whether or not she goes and gets an apple. But she is her mother's daughter: all too consumed with doing the right thing and worried about what others might think.

And speaking of my issues, three times today I freaked myself out when I walked into our backyard and saw this:

It wouldn't be completely unheard of to have a lizard this size in our yard. Or in our house, for that matter. Remember this?

That's why today, every time I went out there, my immediate reaction was that there was a big ol' lizard in our yard. But it isn't. It's Nate's toy crocodile that he has poised on the wall there. I know that, you see. But knowing it doesn't keep me from startling each time I see it.

You might ask why I don't move it out of the way, or chuck it into the bushes or something. It's a perfectly reasonable question. One for which I do not have an answer.

And on a related note, if you're looking at the first photo and wondering if that's a muddy, stained baby bathtub in our backyard, why yes! It is! We feel it is our mission to bring a little more redneck to the Sydney suburbs. Just doing our part. I cropped out the part where you could see Nate's underwear hanging over the back of a chair. We are nothing but klass.

Update: Jason just read this and informed me that there is, in fact, a big ol' lizard living in the bushes back there. He and Nate saw it skittering into the grass yesterday. It's about as long as the toy croc, but not as "husky", he says. Maybe that's why Nate is leaving his crocodile there. I'll let you know if I meet him.


  1. Nate's lizard would have freaked me out to, and the thought of the real lizard is freaking me out more! Keep your eyes open out there! ;)

  2. Ha! I love how you got to the bottom of Ava's anxiety! And I think you're right--she is her mother's daughter. There are apples, and people might expect her to eat one, so better to just skip the whole entire thing! It's a good thing she has you to understand her.

    And I don't think you guys are redneck, just rustic!

  3. Are the lizards dangerous? Or just the snakes?

    Poor Ava. It must be horrid to think you're going to be force fed fruit eh?

  4. Most lizards, as far as I know, are not dangerous. It just creeps me out to see them when I'm not expecting it!

    Our neighbours have a truly big one that is living in their yard--so hopefully they'll get a picture and I can show that one to you. Let's hope he doesn't decide to move to our house!

  5. hee! thanks for the laughs! (you should've left the underpants in the photo)

    Lily pulls that 'I don't want to go to school tomorrow' all the time. I used to panic a little, too, at first, but mostly now it's just about her being bored.)

    Now it has evolved into roundabout questions from her trying to determine what qualifies her for an absense. Our conversation yesterday was about how she needs to drink more water, it's good for you, etc.
    She asks 'what will happen if I don't?'
    I say 'you'll get sick'
    And, checkmate for Lily, she exclaims 'So could I miss school then?!'
    Clever girl....

  6. That lizard has its legs on its tail. I would die if that were in my house. Just keel over dead, I assure you.