But let's not focus on the fact I'm averaging one blog post a year. Let us instead focus on chocolate. Because everyone likes chocolate and hey, it takes the heat off me.
It would be too hard to condense the activities of an entire year into a one post (other than to do what I usually do, and to cheat it with photos...which I withhold the right to do, mind...). So I'm going to wax philosophical instead. Because you all love that, and it goes well with chocolate.
The Wigster is now five. Not sure how that happened, but there it is. Here's a photo of it, covered in choc milk and looking five...
We have been making in-roads into our new life in Northern Antarctica. Can't say there hasn't been the occasional bump in the road (and sometimes off the road), but on the whole, we are finding our way forward, while remembering to enjoy the scenery.
Enjoying the scenery. It's such a good metaphor, isn't it? Sometimes, scenery is all there is - so it pays to enjoy it...or at the very least, to take note of it.
Take our walk, the other night, for example. It was quite late in the afternoon/early in the evening, and hyper-child was bored, and my furniture was under threat, so I suggested a quick trip to the park before dinner.
"Let's walk there!" suggested hyper-child.
I pointed out the darkening - but calm and peaceful - evening sky, and the length of time it would take us to actually reach the park, walking, but hyper-child was adamant. She wanted to walk. So we walked. It was a nice walk, but by the time we got there, it was almost dark. We looked for the platypus, and we did see where it was in the water by the ripples, but it was too dark to actually see the animal itself. And it was too dark to make it to the playground.
So we headed home. Amidst much in the way of woe from not-so-hyper-child. Not screaming, wailing woe; rather, lamenting, moaning woe - the kind of woe where phrases such as, "Why...oh why did I ever suggest walking to the park? Now my whole night is RUINED!" emanate with all the pathos of a Shakespearean monologue. For about the same length of time as Hamlet contemplates mortality.
It's time like this the narrator (aka long-suffering mother) can take one of two paths. She could gaffer tape her offspring's mouth shut and frog-march her home (and that thought never even crossed my mind, I swear). Or she could commiserate, not at all through gritted teeth, and try to encourage the mournful protagonist (antagonist?? *cough*) to see beyond the failed playground attempt to the scenery of the journey. Albeit it through the growing dark of night time...
Lucky for the narrator, on this occasion, the stars happened to come out. You just can't get better scenery than that. From the moment we spotted our first star - wow, what a perfect journey we had together. The Wigster even managed to spot a satellite...which we then tracked across the sky, which also then prompted an amazing conversation about what was orbiting our planet, at that very moment - and the relative speeds of such objects in relation to the speed we were currently travelling.
We found Betelgeuse, which prompted a very cool discussion about what happens when a star goes supernova, and we both hope Betelgeuse will oblige us in our lifetime. Then, we found the Pointer Stars and the Southern Cross, which prompted discussions on the Australian flag, the southern hemisphere, finding due south (and north, and east and west), and navigating by starlight in ancient times...which led to talking about how ancient people lived, and found their way across the earth...about how they lived in caves, or made homes or shelters out of animal hides...and how they had to make every single thing they needed completely by hand, using the materials around them...to cave paintings...to walking in the dark with your eyes closed and only using your ears and nose to guide you (she walked nearly 200 metres with her eyes shut, and managed to work out she was near the wood shed and cattle pens by smell, and identified 5 different species of bird, frogs and the sounds of the river and trees)...
It was almost a shame to come back inside, when we got home - to find ourselves so suddenly cut off from all that splendour in the dark, and that wonderful, inspiring conversation...
Anyway, our walk to the playground was declared the "best walk ever" - even though we never actually reached the destination. I was also declared "the best Mummy ever," and Wiggy was declared "the best Wiggy ever."
That's my favourite kind of scenery.
(Oh, and we did make it to the playground the next day...)