Saturday, June 30, 2007

An old cat's new tricks

I read JK's post a few days ago, the second part is about little girls and a much loved evil cat. Here is our story:

Andy is not an evil cat. Well, not to me, or at least not to me often. Well, maybe that's because I'm good at reading his mood and getting out of the way. He's the kind of cat that gets really into being stroked and rolls over to show his tummy but if you touch it you'll have sixteen claws embedded in your arm. He plays fast and dirty; he just watches when you wave a toy in front of him, watches with every nerve in his body then suddenly springs and bites the hand holding the toy.

I was worried about having two naive, trusting, soft, slow, wriggly, defenseless animals around him. Fortunately he found babies about as off putting as kittens and avoided them. As they got older K and him worked out a relationship quite fast: they are both prickly characters who like respect. H found it much harder. She loved Andy, he was soft, furry and beautiful. She wanted to hug him soooo much. Very occasionally he'd let her but then the next time she'd assume too much and he'd bat her away and she'd cry every time he went near her. No claws though and that is a pretty big deal.

Now H & K are older Andy has slowly grown to tolerate them. He mostly puts up with being inexpertly stroked, patted and having toys ride him. When it is too much he just makes himself scarce. I am very grateful for his forbearance.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

It's a small world

Someone forgot to tell Pluto he wasn't invited.

[I'd love to acknowledge the source of these but I got them zillionth hand in a tacky email from a workmate.]

Betelgeuse is Orion's red toe:

[This image from hubble via a boojum].

Those of you who are under the misapprehension that it is summer will also think that Betelgeuse is Orion's head.

Drain angel

This morning I looked out our bedroom window at the dirty water and food particles from the sink gently trickling across the deck. I spent the next half hour kneeling outside in the cold, bailing stinky water and scooping gritty slime out of the drain. Ever since I've been feeling very virtuous.

I also keep sniffing my hands. I swear I can still smell the stink of the drain on them. I empathise with Lady Macbeth.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My eyes are dim I cannot see

Yesterday I forgot my glasses and both D and I forgot our cellphones. I hadn't realised before that one of the unexpected benefits of glasses is getting extra visits at work from the two loveliest people in the world.

They were in good form. They very cutely answered all my workmates' questions in twinly stereo, and apparently, when they got to D's work, H stood in the foyer and called "D___ C____!" while they were waiting for him.

The title of this post comes from the song "The Quartermaster's store" which is sung by soldiers and children with different lyrics. For the curious here are a bunch of marching songs with unexpurgated lyrics (you have been warned).

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

If the suit fits

Warning - the following post includes feminist ranting.

K likes to wear "suits" with matching tops and bottoms. She has recently grown out of her stripy pink suit with butterflies on the top and so I went looking for a replacement.

I got sucked in and bought H & K each a suit and a long sleeve T-shirt at a name brand kids clothing store. The suits were from the girls range and the tops are size 5. The long sleeve T's were from the boys range (because they had better colours). They are the same shape, the same length in the arms and body. The only difference is they are cut slightly wider in the body. They are size 3.

So are 3 year-old boys the size of 5 year-old girls?

From the New Zealand growth centiles the average 3 year-old boy is 96cm tall and weighs just under 15kg. The average 5 year-old girl is 108cm and just over 18kg. So there is 12cm (more than 10%) difference in height and over 3kg (more than 15%) difference in weight.

What about the difference between 5 year-old girls and 5 year-old boys? The average NZ 5 year-old boy is 108cm and just under 18.5kg. So there is no difference at all in height and less than .5kg in weight.

So why are their clothes so different in size?

I think it is because it creates an appearance of more gender difference than their really is at that age. Boys in baggy clothes look bigger, with the implication of more muscular and masculine. Girls in tighter clothes look sleeker and closer to the current slender feminine ideal.

Little kids do a lot of developing their gender identities. I have no problem with that. If K wants to wear a purple fairy dress, own pink shoes and ask me lots of questions about which pictures are boys and which are girls that is fine. What I have a problem with is when gender difference is pushed on children. When it is impossible to buy neutral clothes for children that are androgynous in size and shape. When all the toys are divided by gender.

About now I lose the rational argument and start raving and gnashing my teeth.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I have just added 'RECENT COMMENTS' to the sidebar. This lets you see links to the five most recent comments posted here. The first blog I ever read frequently had a feature like this and I really liked it. It helps readers notice each others comments and respond to them. Let me know what you think.

We're all going to the

H and K have recently started wearing undies, rather than pull ups at night and... *drumroll* ...there has only been one accident.

Then on Friday H asked if she could use the toilet at night (rather than the potty in her room) and I agreed. K didn't. K was very upset at the idea that H might leave her alone in their room. H worked out a compromise - when she wants to go to the toilet K has to come too. So up to three times each evening, and once in the very early morning, two little girls patter off to the toilet together.

I'm hoping that before too long our very cold bathroom will reduce the number of unnecessary trips.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

A good days work

At the final count I raised:


for Wellington Women's Refuge. (The explanation is here and here.)

It is amazing what a whim can achieve.

In other good news the time limit for the nanny we fired to raise a personal grievance against us has now passed.

I'm thinking of going to The King and the Clown tonight to celebrate.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The post that time forgot

Long time no post.

Still here.

Nothing to say.