For a bit of perspective on the world, read what Desmond Tutu has to say.
Archive for December, 2004
I just came across the blog Comparing Notes with Paul Cantrell. I used to work with Paul until he gave up his job as a programmer to do more and more musical things. I’m glad to see that he’s keeping the tech and musical sides of himself together, and look forward to reading more from him.
As I may have mentioned, and will no doubt continue to mention for some years, Toby’s talking is continuing to develop apace. With hilarious results! Usually cute results. Last night before bedtime he was saying good night to people, including the cats. He gives them each a good night hug, which involves leaning over them and putting his arms straight out on top of them with his head to the side so that he’s kind of lying his face against the cat. Last night after he hugged Nessie he said “night night Nessie”, then specifically said good night to the things that make her a cat: “night night ears, night night tail, night night paws”. All very solemnly.
This morning I noticed a new language development: he’s generally been using “I” much more, for “I do it” etc in the last couple of weeks, but this morning he was talking about the shower and said a couple of times “I did go in the shower”. First time I’ve heard him mixing the past tense and a pronoun. You could see him thinking it through as he said it, very interesting.
As we were getting out of the car at daycare I picked up my bag and Toby said, “Daddy pick up my bag”. Of course I said, “It’s actually my bag” to which he responded, “yes, my bag”. I tried to explain that he would refer to it as “your bag” but it got very confusing. He even refused to say “posessive pronouns”, opting instead for “look at the garbage truck!”.
Our local paper, the Star Tribune, has an excellent editorial on Bush’s embarrassingly pathetic behavior in response to the tsunami: Editorial: The stingy U.S./An appalling performance. A couple of quotes:
Comparisons were drawn, for example, to the additional $80 billion that Bush has requested for the war in Iraq and the $30 million to $40 million that his January inauguration will cost.
From the very first hours it was apparent this was going to be an almost unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Yet Bush remained at his Texas ranch where, aides said, he spent time cutting brush and bicycle riding. He uttered not a single public word about what had happened in Asia.
Obviously clear and strong leadership, and worthy of Time’s Person Of The Year. The only reason I’m sorry that I cancelled my Time subscription last year is that I can’t do it now in protest. But that man continues to make be sick to my stomach. Here is a good post on pharyngula.
El Presidente has finally made a statement (no rush – he was on vacation of course) about the tsunami disaster, where right now it’s looking like more than 100,000 people may have died, and nobody knows how many are homeless, facing hunger, thirst, disease… Even in the mainstream media there’s some criticism of Bush in the fact that he took so long to even say anything, and the article obviously makes the connection between what’s happened there and what happened here in 2001 when much of the world very quickly made statements – even if they didn’t contain specifics they at least expressed shock and condolences. From the article:
There was an international outpouring of support after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and even some administration officials familiar with relief efforts said they were surprised that Bush had not appeared personally to comment on the tsunami tragedy. ‘It’s kind of freaky,’ a senior career official said.
It’s more than that, it’s a lost opportunity to show American ideals of compassion and leadership and it’s frankly yet another embarrassment from an embarrassing leader.
Last night I was getting Toby in his pajamas when he started singing the ABC song. For those who don’t know, it’s to the tune of Twinkle Little Star, and goes all the way through the alphabet (finishing with Zee rather than zed because it’s American) with the final verse “now I know my ABCs. Next time won’t you sing with me?”. He almost had it all the way through before he and Em went on vacation but now he can sing the whole thing quite well. We sang it a couple of times in his room – him on his own and both of us together, once with us taking alternate letters which was fun. Then I asked if he wanted to sing it to his mummy seeing as he did it so nicely. We went downstairs to the kitchen and he stood in the middle of the floor with his hands behind his back, looking up at Emma, and sang the whole thing through really nicely. It was almost unbearably cute. He did it again for the video camera – I’ll try to get it on his site soon when I have time.
The tsunami which hit southern Asia over the weekend carries with it gut-wrenching stories of people who were lost, and those who survived. It sounds like many people have been separated from their families – who knows how they’ll find each other. The thing which has hit me hardest so far was the following sentence from this MSNBC report:
At a Thai resort, a blond-haired 2-year-old of unknown nationality was recovering at a hospital after being found sitting alone on a road. His parents were presumed dead.
UPDATE: just saw the following in this BBC news update:
Meanwhile, a Swedish toddler found by a roadside on the Thai resort island of Phuket was re-united with his father at a hospital where both were receiving treatment.
Last night for the first time since he got back from the U.K. (and also moved to a toddler bed rather than a crib) Toby slept right through the night. Most nights before he’d been waking at around 4:30ish which was getting quite wearing. Unfortunately as usually happens in this situation I’m feeling rather dazed, not being used to getting so much sleep. I’d love to have the chance to get used to this situation though – fingers crossed.
We had a very nice Christmas this year. Kind of quiet at home, but that was a good thing after Emma and Toby being away. They got back Thursday late afternoon – apparently Toby was wonderful on the plane again and very cooperative. Top tip is always to order the children’s meal as it’s much better than the grown-up food, at least according to our son who wolfed down the whole lot. I’m amazed at how much his speaking has come on in just two weeks: sentences are longer and better structured, and he’s learning pronouns, especially “I” and “me”. Unfortunately there’s a bit of jetlag going around, and he woke us all up at 4:30 Friday morning which meant that I had a very long Christmas Eve, having to stay up for the midnight mass at St Mark’s. He was up early again on Christmas Day, but fortunately Emma didn’t mind getting up with him for an hour or so before me, as she’d gone to bed at 7ish the night before.
Toby seemed to really enjoy opening the presents in his Christmas stocking. We just did small things, like a ball, a new toothbrush and a new fork and spoon set for him, but he was really excited by all of it. He also seemed quite happy to be at church in the morning, and being at childcare with his teacher Jason. Before and after his nap we opened bigger presents – I got him a Little People fun fair set, with a car that zooms down and around a ramp which brought on squeals of delight. Emma got him a Sesame Street DVD – learning about letters, which he watched at her parents’ and loved. We all got very nice presents from family too, only problem is I don’t know when I’m going to have time to watch the Lord of the Rings DVDs and read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, but I’m sure I’ll cope. In the evening Paul came over for dinner which was excellent – great to see him. I made roast leg of lamb with loads of garlic and rosemary, chopped up on the new herb mincing set and carved with the new carving knife Emma gave me, and we drank champagne from the new champagne flutes I gave her.
Sunday I had to sing at morning and evening services at St Mark’s – it was quite exhausting with everything that’s gone on over the weekend, but in many ways it was nice to give over a lot of the weekend to all that. Overall it was very pleasant indeed.