Friday, 5 April 2013

The power of FOUR.

I had one of those days this week.

A determined four year old had his grip on all of us.

Exhausting, consuming & really just super dooper HARD.

It will never cease to amaze me  HOW much power a FOUR year old has.

There are a couple of typewriters dotted around our house and I leave them with paper so the kids can just click clack away.  I often find the most wonderful things written on them- often by guests who are intoxicated by their charm.

Jasper -my eldest- loves to write and often does so at the typewriter.
He wrote this - about a four year old's mind- the other day.  He was happy for me to share.
'....4 years old is the place where your mind has no limits. it doesn't care if it is impossible, it just does what it pleases....'

I should feel like I know what I am doing given my four year old is my fifth child.

But actually on a day to day level it is the same thing as every parent out there.

The self doubt, the questioning of whether I am doing the right thing.

I am.

We are.

We set strong boundaries.  We have consequences.  We enforce them.
We work as a team.  

My kids know the boundaries.

But sheesh ....every single time the FOUR year old just knocks it out of me.

I find it SOOOO hard and so very exhausting.

I had the wind knocked out of my sails that day.

But looking at that piece of writing by my eldest made me think.

He is right.

It is that belief that a four year old has that it's mind has no limits.  Both a blessing and a battle.

Do you feel like you could be the one singing this at the end of the day too?

At the end of that VERY long day I needed comfort.

So did the big kids.

Moonrise Kingdom & a bowl of Chicken Chowder was our medicine.
If you haven't seen it yet you really MUST.

Possibly my favourite movie ever. A most wonderful heart filling so the eyeballs overflow type movie. Watching it a hundred times is still not enough.

Afterwards the world looked better again.

And I was reminded of Why haven't I painted our Piano red? and Why haven't I got myself a megaphone yet?

Must get onto that.

I have been making Chowders for years.  
This one has fond memories for me of a first grade get together at our place that went so well we still had guests at 4am which may have involved riding dragsters indoors & restorative chowder at 3am. Surely a sign of a good night.
You can substitute fish (it is DIVINE with snapper) for the chicken but add it just 15 minutes before serving.

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 4 potatoes, washed well & diced ( i leave the skin on to keep all the nutrients)
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced fine
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • a few sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 rashers good bacon, diced
  • half a bunch of italian parsley, chopped super fine (stalks and all)
  • a few leaves of kale, taken off the stem and chopped fine
  • 5 chicken thighs, diced ( or 300g fish of your choice cut into chunks)
  • 2 whole corn cobs, chargrilled and kernels sliced off
  • 1 tblspoon butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 litres chicken stock (or fish stock if using fish)
  • 2 cups milk
  • S & P (i prefer white pepper in this recipe)
In a non stick pan add the butter, fry onions, bacon, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, smoked paprika & thyme till soft.

Add chicken and fry for about 5 minutes or so.

Add flour and stir for a minute in order to cook the flour (otherwise you will be left with a raw flour flavour- not pleasant).

Add the milk and stir- the mix will be quite thick.

Add the chicken stock and other veg.

Cook through for 20 minutes or so.

Season well and serve with good crusty bread.
I served it with my Olive, Fetta & Thyme bread toasted- recipe here
Wes Anderson always has the BEST soundtracks to his films. The Moonrise Kingdom soundtrack is no exception.
I LOVE Francoise Hardy- another of her songs is in Moonrise Kingdom. I just wanted to share this song of hers- a fave ~


  1. I would love for you to write a parenting book. Something real and honest and loving like you seem to be. I always find your honesty about being a parent a great help (I have a one year old boy and I worry about whether I'm doing the right thing) I really like your whole life ethos and would like to know more about how you do it! I find reading your blog reassuring and I'm sure other mums do too! I think you should do a recipe book too! Phew that's a lot of work for you isn't it? 2 books by Ruth! Both of which I'd love to own :)

  2. Love the typewriter idea. So great. Isn't it fantastic that your boy considers himself a writer already. How cool.
    My youngest boy is nearly four and I'm a bit nervous! He's always been tricky. As a baby he made me feel like a new mum. He is my sixth! Crazy monkey. Loved the mummy's getting cranky video! Going to check out moonrise kingdom. Definitely going to make your bread this weekend and now off to check out franchise hardy who I've loved since discovering her lps as a child in my mums record collection. Thank you xx

  3. I have a 4-year-old boy and this letter helped me today too. It just does what it pleases indeed! x

  4. Loved the song. At least you know what makes you fell happy and sane again! Thats the key. Stay strong. G.x


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