Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I just acquired a Kobo and am unreasonably excited about what really amounts to a small piece of plastic. But, a small piece of plastic that can contain 1000 books - how good is that? It comes preloaded with 100 books - all out of copyright, mostly Gutenberg Press titles - which is also very exciting. Finally, my chance to come to grips with Dickens and others. It doesn't work with Amazon but any e-book or magazine in the ePUB format will work with it which is one reason why I got it. And, it is relatively cheap, very simple and looks pretty good to me - although I would not say I was an expert on e-readers. We are preparing for a family trip to Japan in a few weeks and I am hoping to take most of my reading material (and Chet's) on the Kobo. This should lighten our luggage load considerably - I usually travel with at least three books and get edgy if I don't know where my next reading fix is going to come from. I have spent hours in cities in non-English speaking countries looking for bookshops with books in English, much to the frustration of my travelling companions. Now, I just have to download interesting reading material before I go and need panic no longer. It won't stop me from going to bookshops though - I just can't help it.

And, it looks as though Chet is also in danger of becoming a bookshop fanatic. When I pick him up from day-care he says to me "book shoff" in the hope that I will take him to Gleebooks around the corner from his day-care. He loves running in there, shrieking and searching for all the Thomas books. He often grabs a book, and lies down on the floor of the shop, in the aisle, and says "reading". How can I resist?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Note to self ...

Some Mondays it is just not worth leaving the house. I should have known it was all going to go to hell in a hand-basket when I woke up snotty and with a sore throat. I had thought I had been suffering a bout of hay fever but no, it seems that a cold is setting in. Then, the landlord arrived when I was in the shower and I could hear him banging around outside looking for the source of a mysterious leak we have been having. So, shower cut short, I get dressed and go outside to find that he can't find the leak and that it was all for nought.

Then I decide to visit Aldi to collect nappies and other supplies. I really should remember that unless the conditions are ideal then a visit to Aldi is ill-advised. The conditions this morning were far from ideal - I was sick, I hadn't had breakfast, it was just starting to rain and I had absolutely no money on me so couldn't fork out the $2 for a trolley which meant that I had to go in there with a very active Chet (who refuses to get in his stroller) and carry whatever I wanted to buy as well as make sure Chet didn't steal deodorant, bread or crackers or run out the door and into the road. Now it has to be said that I was not at my best. I was winning no mother of the year award this morning. I was tired, cranky and impatient and my poor little exuberant boy bore the brunt of it, with me rudely pulling him away from tantalising displays and hurrying him through at a rapid pace. The only positive outcome is that I spent less than I would have as I could only cope with getting the bare essentials.

Aldi done I envisaged a relaxing coffee and breakfast at a local coffee shop called Babycinos. This coffee shop caters towards mums and small people - there is a good kids menu and lots of toys for the small ones to play with while their mothers chat, or in my case, slump desperately over a cup of coffee. Things were going ok when Chet tried to grab a toy off another little boy who also wasn't having a good morning. He ran away with the toy, Chet followed him, tried to grab it again, and then little boy latched on to Chet's fingers with all his might. I ran over, as did the boy's mother but it was too late. Chet was bleeding (a little bit) and crying and the mother was remonstrating with her son and didn't even look at me for some time (I guess her day wasn't going so well either). Anyway, I took Chet and sat down with him and gave him a cuddle and some toast and he kept crying and saying "go home". Eventually the other mother came over and apologised on behalf of her son and then of course we all happened to be at the counter at the same time. Chet held out his hand to the little boy and said "hand hurt" and the other mother just looked tired and embarrassed. She said to me that at least her son hadn't broken any skin, to which I had to disagree as he had really sunk his teeth in and Chet had quite deep gauge marks and a small bleeding graze. Those toddler teeth are pretty sharp.

All the way home Chet just kept saying "watch Thomas" - which is one of his catch cries at the moment. And for once the answer was a very positive "yes, yes you can watch Thomas". I might even watch some Thomas myself - I don't think that today was a day meant for great achievement ...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Been reading ...

I have actually managed to read a bit lately. Not sure how, perhaps it is the welcome addition of Gleebooks to the local shops. Perhaps it is the fact that there is less on tv, or my appetite for tv is waning at the moment. Whatever the reason, it has been really nice to reacquaint myself with the joy of words on a page, as opposed to a screen.

One of the books I have read recently is Breastfeeding older children by Ann Sinnott. I am breastfeeding Chet at 22 months, and while I don't really consider that at 22 months he is an older child I guess I am probably moving into that territory. There were mothers interviewed in the book that were feeding children aged 6 and over and also tandem feeding long-term. An interesting point made by the author was that (of course) feeding a 4 year old is very different to feeding a newborn. A 4 year old would probably feed a couple of times a day compared to the 8-12 feeds required by a newborn.

Although I didn't agree with everything in the book - I am not sure, for instance, that it is possible to suggest that all positive aspects of your child's personality and development are down to having breastfed long term - it was certainly a thought provoking book. I must admit to feeling some unease about really long term breastfeeding but I guess with children you never know where things are going to end up. I do know that when I started breastfeeding I was more focussed on whether it was possible and on the logistics of getting it all happening to even think of an end date. And I guess for us we will keep on until such time as either of us wants to stop.

I particularly liked one of the author's final points: "Sustained breastfeeding is however not emerging in developed societies but re-emerging. Today's long-term breastfeeding mothers ... are not only picking up almost-forgotten threads but they are also the continuance of a line of rebellious women." p253. Bring on the rebellious women I say!

Naturally there are many ways of being a rebellious mother - those Mamabakers down the south coast made me laugh out loud with their antics - thanks Mama Mogantosh for reminding me that us mothers can be tired, rebellious, feminist and funny as all get out.

Further reading:
Mothers who breastfeed beyond babyhood
Can breastfeeding really be good for older children? Emma Cook meets mothers who keep going up to school age and beyond.
The Guardian, Saturday 9 January 2010
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