My love heart ♥ ♥ ♥

September 21st, 2011 by MUM

Dorje “MUM I have hearts in my eyes so I see everyone as hearts and love, even bad people. Bad people have X’s in their eyes, so then they see everyone as X’s :)

MUM to me you are so much love, you are rare and beautiful. And, so is DAD”

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A dangerous outing

September 14th, 2011 by dad

Dorje and I went for a walk this weekend along the river – the Liesbeek River just across the road from us. It’s a dangerous place to go walking; many terrible things happen there, so Dorje took some protection. Although I think others were in need of protection from us.

The most dangerous of the monsters are the vicious flesh-eating grumphsks. They hunt in threes, and have huge mouths to swallow you down in one gulp. We watched in horror as they stalked and then pounced repeatedly on their helpless victims:

Grumphsks taken care of, it’s safe to venture into the water, and I have visions of getting a boat and tackling the next task – however, it’s beyond just two people.

Luckily, the Friends of the Liesbeek are hosting a cleanup at 9am this Saturday (there’s another happening at the same time at Lagoon Beach) so feel free to come and join them if you’re in the area.

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Birds and bees … I mean snails?!

September 13th, 2011 by MUM

I am crying with laughter here. Dorje and his friend Joel found a snail with a snail. They first thought the snail was poo’ing. Then, I overheard them discussing the snail giving birth to a baby snail except they are both adult snails. I guess I should tell them what is happening … but its more fun listening to the conversation

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Heart breaker

September 11th, 2011 by MUM

Ag bless Dorje ♥ he says to me this evening “MUM you are quite cute and pretty and I especially love your winking twinkly eyes” ♥ ♥ ♥

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Two minutes of freedom

July 19th, 2011 by dad

I have a blender, and use it at least once a day to make smoothies. Dorje doesn’t usually like them. Too many failed experiments perhaps. An overly liberal dose of cayenne pepper, or the raw tumeric and amalaki powder (made from a fruit very high in Vitamin C and sour like a lemon) mix not proving as successful as it sounds.

But the blender does provide some enjoyment.

The blender is a high-powered monster, and when its dull roar takes over all conversation stops. At first, he made harmless “vroom vroom” sounds along with the engine. Although maybe he got that from me.

But recently he’s found a new expression of blender freedom. While the motor roars, he lets out a blood-curdling shriek to put any banshee to shame. The kind of shriek even babies can’t get away with before being plugged with a dummy or a bottle. With me standing next to the blender, and him across the room, I feel like a dentist’s drill is piercing my eardrum. I have to block my ears, and can barely stand to free one hand to top up the blender, or switch it off. When the blender stops, so does the shriek.

How many of us manage to find such a wonderful two minutes of freedom in a day?

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Wax on…

June 21st, 2011 by dad

Dorje started karate classes a few months ago, and yesterday was his first grading. He was quite excited about it and it turned out so was I!

He’s a white belt, and the most junior in the class, which consists of two blue belts, a yellow belt and two other white belts, both of whom have “stripes”. In the Karate Jutsu school that Dorje’s attending, they seem to hold gradings every three months. Each time you attend a grading you get one stripe, and it seems, at least at this level, that three stripes is the norm before getting a new colour belt.

The “stripes” system was apparently introduced to make things more child-friendly. A year is an interminable eternity without progress for a child, so by getting a stripe each time you attend a grading, there’s a more regular sense of achievement.

I’ve missed Dorje’s last few classes, and anyway usually spend the time doing tai chi outside, so I haven’t seen him in a formal environment for a while, but settled down to watch his grading.

Generally I’m hard to impress, and don’t compliment very easily, but Dorje’s karate stunned me. It was all I could do to avoid shouting “that’s my boy” or some such cliche while I sat watching. If I had to face him in a dark alley I think I would have run. I’m glad that all the hours beating me up has been put to good use.

The judges seemed to agree, and gave him two stripes instead of one, which added to his excitement levels and led to more of me being beaten up back at home.

Luckily in a bright garden, not a dark alley

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From addition to humph

May 15th, 2011 by dad

I enjoy watching Dorje’s creativity. When he learns or plays a new game, after a few times he’s adapting it, inventing his own rules.

I haven’t always been as encouraging as I could have. Sometimes the new rules are “creatively” skewed in his favour, and I, being the ungracious loser I am, haven’t applauded his creativity.

We’ve played Monopoly over two boards (he owns three sets!), we’ve played Totopoly with obstacles and magic powers, Sorry with 5 dice and, most recently, he adapted Pyramid (a difficult form of solitaire) to make it easier by reducing the levels and using another pack.

Dorje hardly ever volunteers information about school – it’s a black hole to me – so I was asking him about what he enjoys and what he’s learning.

“Sums” seemed to be his favourite, except that he claimed they were too easy. So, we did a few more difficult ones, and for fun we went beyond addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, looking at powers and square roots.

But that soon got boring, so Dorje invented some new sequences. It became quite fun for me too, as I had to work out the sequence. For example, 9 “humph” 6 (“humph” drawn as a plus sign with a circle around it) equals 6, while 6 “humph” 3 equals 3. Humph basically disregards the first part, and always equals the second part. Highly useful I’m sure.

It was even more fun for me coming up with sequences that he could work out, but were slightly more challenging than “humph”. Of course the sound and the symbol were an important part of the sequence, with me being told off if I didn’t draw them accurately enough!

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Tables turned on the Easter Bunny

April 24th, 2011 by dad

Dorje turned the tables on the Easter Bunny this year. He made a number of small boxes out of paper and hid these for the Easter Bunny to place the chocolates in.

This meant the Easter Bunny spent the night trying to find the boxes, including one he knew was in Dorje’s room, all without waking him up.

Even though the Easter Bunny’s attempt at hollow eggs were a flop, the hearts turned out well, and he even found enough foil to wrap them all:

As always, the most stressful part will be making sure all the chocolates are found, although if I find a chocolate or three in a week or so, I’ll enjoy the chance to eat it, all by myself.

I’m sure all the Easter Bunny’s offerings will be demolished before I even wake up…

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Grandpa turns 83

March 7th, 2011 by dad

It was Dorje’s grandfather’s 83rd birthday this week. Since he was the only young child at the party, and even sitting around eating chips can get boring after a while, we hit the swimming pool.

The blue thing under the water is his boogie board – we had fun trying to keep it submerged, and dodging when it went flying skywards.

Some of Dorje’s ancestors – my parents and I.

where'd the hair go?

The eagle-eyed may have spotted a few oddities in the last picture. Everyone seems to have changed clothes, Dorje’s had a haircut and my father’s scar has miraculously healed.

Quite a party. Or perhaps it from his 82nd birthday, and just surfaced at the same time.

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Karate panda

March 6th, 2011 by dad

Dorje loves nothing more than fighting with me. Usually it’s not a fair fight…
It's not fair
and I end up an exhausted wreck on the floor.

This time however I wasn’t alone, and he’d been weakened by a marathon session with a ‘purple belt’ before he got around to me.

With years of tai chi practice I managed to stay standing

just long enough to find a weakness in the rear
rearguard attack

and smash him to the floor.

Glorious victory was mine at last:

Dorje’s obsession with fighting was sparked by Kung Fu Panda, and is about to be taken to the next level now that he’s started karate.

He seemed to be loving the first class. The teacher asked him whether he was enjoying it, fully expecting an enthusiastic yes, only to be answered “not really”. He decided later to go back the next week and again seemed to be loving it. Asked by the teacher whether he was enjoying it, he answered “it’s OK”.

Again he decided in the week to give it another try, this time with a new teacher. The previous teacher is sailing solo across the Atlantic, and after enthusiastically telling his students of his plans, Dorje put his hand up to proudly tell the teacher that “my auntie has also gone overseas”.

Again he seemed to be loving it, and the new teacher again asked him whether he wanted to come back, and was answered by a long pause and a tentative ‘yes’.

That was his last chance as if he wanted to go back again we’d have to buy all the gear and pay the regular fees, so I asked him carefully again in the week whether he wanted to go back, explaining what had to happen if he wanted to go. He seems to be taking after his father when it comes to commitment, and I was worried that thanks to his Monopoly training he’d refuse just because it involved spending money.

However, he decided he wanted to go regularly and it looks like if I want a chance to knock him to the floor again, it’s time for me to oil those rusty tai chi skills.

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