Toilet training has began….. not that successfully. Every night before Ben’s bath he sits on the toilet. Every night we talk about what should be happening and every night…… nothing. However, Ben loves to sit on the toilet. He plays his ukulele and sings away. He dresses up with all kinds of hats and glasses. I think he is a little confused. I am sure he thinks the small room with the funny seat is for entertaining!!
Andrew dusted off a couple of old bikes that we got off Mum and Dad …… maybe about two years ago. Our neighbours had given us a child seat for the bikes so we could take Ben for a ride. After some tinkering, the bikes were cleaned, tires were pumped and seat was fitted. The helmets had seen better days as the inside padding was deteriorating but they did the job. Once Ben clapped his eyes on the bikes and helmets there was no turning back. He was a little excited to say the least. Andrew was the first to take a test ride and survived. I however was a little more reluctant as it has been maybe eighteen years and some ??!! kilos since I last rode a bike. But after some fluffing about I was on, peddling and steering (a little wonky at first). We set off to Limestone Park and had a great ride. Our legs a little wobbly on return but we stayed on with no incidents!! We can’t believe it took us two years to dust the bikes off. It may just have to become a weekend ritual!
The Children’s Gallery at the Ipswich Art Gallery is Australia’s first dedicated art gallery for children. It is a place where children can imagine, create and discover. The current exhibition is – I wished I lived in Wonderland. Emerging artist Rose Skinner created this highly detailed installations using found objects, plastic, coloured sugar,lollies, toys and furniture. From 26 June until 24 July Rose worked, in public view, to create I wish I lived in Wonderland. Wonderland is a unique installation created especially for the Children’s Gallery for an audience of children and families. The installation encourages children to explore, discover and imagine. Children are able to contribute to Wonderland by making small items for inclusion in the installation. They are also encouraged to respond to Wonderland by making their own artworks to take home.
Ben, Andrew and I visited the Children’s gallery again this morning for Morning Stories – an interactive story and art making session. Ben once again loved exploring the installation. He responds to the exhibition differently each time we visit. Initially he was just overwhelmed by all it entailed but now he is more focused looking intently at what there is to discover. Ben was especially focused this morning at the art making table. He snipped away with the scissors with great concentration. We were still at the table when everyone else had moved on. Those who know Ben know that this is very unusual!!
For anyone who is traveling this way or lives locally I would suggest that you pop in for a visit. They have focused sessions – Creative Cupcakes, Morning Stories, Toddler Wonderland, Baby Wonderland that you need to book for but otherwise there is always art making available. Expect the unexpected when you visit I wish I lived in Wonderland . It is even home to live rats living in renovated television sets.
I feel the need to let you know why I photograph and document Ben’s life. Originally Andrew set up the blog and I thought his suggestion for me to add to it was ridiculous – as a new mum I barely had enough time to shower. Well now I am hooked. I think It comes from my background. I have a Diploma of Photography and a Degree in Education – Early Childhood. Before Ben was born I was involved in the Ed Queensland Prep Trial with a focus on assessment. Assessment in Prep is documenting children’s learning. So it is natural for me to document Ben’s life. I can imagine some people who read the blog might think the entries aren’t that different to what most children do. And yes that is so but it is exciting for us because it is our son’s journey. I already look back at the earlier entries and am amazed at Ben’s development. I just wanted to let you know when I write on the blog I have my ‘Mummy Goggles’ on. Every step of Ben’s life is a wonderful adventure for us as a family. I love to blog about Ben and especially love when family and friends comment. I hope one day that Ben will also enjoy and appreciate the effort.