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Category Archives: Nephews

A couple of weekends ago (a lifetime ago) my sister went into hospital with complications arising with her pregnancy (she was twelve weeks along).

Her two boys, Master 5 and Master 3 came to stay with mum and me full-time. I arranged for Master 5 to change schools and we made room for the boys in our lives.

My sister after a few days, unhappily, lost the baby. Mum spent most of her time travelling to and from the hospital helping my sister through her grief, and helping her partner through his issues. I spent my time with the boys, talking to teachers, walking Master 5 to school, enrolling Master 3 in the local library storytime, making lunches, helping with homework, teaching the boys to count and tell time and start to read and the endless endless clothes washing and washing dishes that happen with children in the house. I loved my bonding time with my nephews, but sad it had to be under such circumstances.

Now my sister is out of hospital, she is staying with us for a while to physically and emotionally recover. If any extended family members are reading this, and you don’t know mum’s phone number, ask Uncle Ross or Uncle Grahame.

Unfortunately the last couple of days have proven that there just isn’t enough room in mum’s little cottage for five people, so Abby and I are moving to Melbourne.  This move has been on the cards for a while, but my sister’s needs have sped up the timetable.  My sister and her kids need to bond again, and they all need mum now.

Abby was picked up by the ever wonderful Miss A this afternoon and will be staying with her for a few days before flying down. I’ll be travelling to Melbourne tomorrow via rail. Some friends had already arranged temporary accommodation for me next week for my specialists visit and they are happy for me to arrive a week early.

If all works out, it is a place Abby and I can move into for a long time. Meanwhile my sister can get the help she needs here.

A Cat's Life by Debbie Draper Designs

Over the Easter weekend I started stitching the Counted Cross Stitch design A Cat’s Life by Debbie Draper Designs.  Debbie had recently died and I wanted to start the piece in memory of her art. I also had my nephews here at the time, Master 3 and Master 5. I tend to pack my stitching away while they are here because Nanny (my mum) has safety concerns about little boys and needles and embroidery scissors.

6 Apr 2012 Start

This picture here represents around two hours work. It’s the tail and the bottom of the haunches of the cat in the middle of the design sitting facing away from us. No I didn’t have that massive an attack of the frogs 🙂  My nephews were interested in my stitching.  They wanted to know how my 8″ Qsnaps worked. So they pulled apart my Qsnaps and put them back together again until they understood the mechanism.

Qsnap assembled

Then Master 3 went into my bedroom, found a set of my 6″ Qsnaps, brought them out, pulled them apart and fitted them with the 8″ pieces until he figured out how to make a rectangle. There’s something magical watching a child three years old looking at pieces and deliberately selecting a piece, carefully removing it, examining it, examining the other pieces and selecting a different piece. Now I understand why Lego is such a global empire! It’s not just the fun we had playing with it as kids, its the feeling the adults get from watching us use it!

Qsnap disassembled - no disassembe!

Master 5 quickly learned how to snap the covers on and off but then he ran off to see what Nanny was doing. It was Master 3 who decided to learn how they all fitted together.

When Master 5 returned, I told them to go and wash their hands and I would show them how the Qsnaps hold the fabric.  They did, so I did.  They both touched and tested the tightness of the fabric and then went and found more fabric (out of my stitching basket) for me to put in and tighten for them to feel. They watched me lay the fabric and then they snapped down the four covers for me and we all practiced turning the covers to tighten them.  We did this a few times before I returned to my original piece.

A different fabric in the Qsnaps

While Nanny was serving up afternoon tea, I loaded the needle with floss, found the middle of the fabric and put the first couple of stitches in.  Two boys raced off to the bathroom on their own accord and came back with clean hands wanting to know what I was doing, so  showed them the pattern and pointed to the middle motif I had just started. Master 5 wanted to pull the needle through for me a few times and put it back through and eventually he held the whole project and put a few wild stitches in it for me before getting bored and asking Nanny to play a game with him.

I didn’t think to take a photo of the stitches before I quietly pulled them out and went back to stitching the original motif.

Master 3 is quiet, reflective, and always knows and understands far more than he ever lets on.  Master 5 is loud, attention-seeking in every manner, has no focus or attention span and usually every topic is about killing or destroying.  Every moment he is interested in creation instead of destruction, in learning and helping and working as a team with his brother, I call a win.

Mum has some 10-count Tula fabric pieces here.  Next time the nephews visit I’m going to ask her if we can offer some to Master 5 with his own Qsnap and a selection of larger floss or wool to choose from (being mindful that it has to look like Aunt Missy’s) and letting him loose on it.  He doesn’t have the focus to follow a pattern, but abstract art is still art.

Mum is still unhappy about children being around needles and embroidery scissors so Master 5 would have to sit next to Aunt Missy so we would stitch together, and I would have to do the threading and cutting for him. But I think one large blunt tapestry needle should be alright for him to use?

My nephews are visiting regularly for weekends these days.  Although I do have a fairly eclectic DVD library, I had been recently buying DVDs specifically for the boys. Dora the Explorer. NumberJacks. The Magic School Bus.  We watch these together and then I pull up supplementary information on the Net after each episode and we chat about it all.

Needless to say I’ve been horribly accused by the boys’ parents and grandma of ONLY buying them educational materials. Personally I failed to see to see the problem seeing as I am the only on who is.  However today, I have rectified this issue.  For today I have ordered the box set of Bananaman!


Next on the list will probably be SuperTed and The Trap Door 🙂

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