February 21, 2013

Empathy Trumps Ego . . . (sometimes)

Last Tuesday morning as I was emerging from the crazy, nonsensical land of the 5am dreamscape (you know the kind of dream I mean . . . where you're the curiously ugly ten year old love child of Don & Megan Draper living in a cave in the middle of Manhattan and eating pistachios through a straw), when I heard a muffled expletive. At first I thought I had dreamed it (perhaps Don ran out of whiskey & cigarettes) but then I heard the kitchen door open and realised it must be Ryan.

Ryan is our 22 year old rower and is often up at dawn's crack to scull the waterways of Sydney's harbour, so the fact he was awake at that time wasn't unusual. But something was amiss. I entered the kitchen to find him bleeding from the knee and shoulder. He'd missed a step in the dark on his way to the car, taken a tumble and shoulder-charged the tyre of the car whilst his knee made love to the pebble-crete path.

Later in the day, Francesca became fascinated with Ryan's injuries, with the following exchange occurring at least twenty seven times before bed time:

Francesca: "Ryry?"
Ryan: "Yes Francesca?"
F: "What happened?"
R: "I fell over"
F: "Hurt your knee?"
R: "Yes I hurt my knee"
F: "On tyre?"
R: "Yes on the tyre of the car"
F: "In dark?"
R: "Yes, in the dark"
F: "Oh"
F: "Okay?" as she pats Ryan on the leg
R: "Yes, I'm okay"

Pause for ten seconds.

F: "Ryry, what happened?"
R: "I fell over"
F: "Hurt knee?"
etc., and so on and so forth.

This exchange continued on for days, in almost exactly the same order. The most fascinating part of the whole affair seemed to be the bit about it happening in the dark. Sometimes we'd turn the tables and ask Francesca "What happened to Ryan?" and she would answer "Fell over", then add melodramatically "In the dark!!"

Oh it seems so boring written down like this but honestly it provided hours of amusement for us last week. What can I say, we are thrill seekers who love to live on the edge. And none of the good TV shows have started yet. We take our entertainment where we can get it. We're also cheap. No fancy Foxtel for us. We'd rather spend our money on booze and pills and pokies.

JOKING! We only spend big on booze.

The thing I really loved about the whole Ryan-falling-in-dark episode, however, was that it showed how much our little girl is growing up. The ego in a two year old is always firmly present - the self-absorbed pop princess diva is still in residence, ordering room service, leaving lipstick stains on the pillows and yelling at housekeeping - but the empathy gene is getting a look in.

Suddenly the plastic newborn doll whose head she was previously using as a step ladder to reach inside the cutlery drawer, is her special baby. She takes Baby to bed, cuddles her, feeds her and washes her. Baby often does a poo and needs her nappy changed with the assistance of MANY wet wipes. Baby also seems to be rather grizzly and in need of cuddles with her mama cooing "It's okay, it's okay" over and over. It's such a joy to watch.

Just don't try to separate the girl from her biscuit or you will discover that the toddler version of Nicky Minaj is alive and well and dishing out death stares in Collaroy.


  1. Love the story, 2 year olds are awesome. My great niece is visiting tomorrow and she is an absolute scream. We all need a laugh (in a good way), these cherubs make you forget about the stresses of life..big hugs Francesca you made me smile today xx T

    1. Thanks gorgeous! I still find it bizarre that a young chick like you is a Great Aunt! xx


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