Daniel James Covington
born September 2014
his personal Blog
Hi! I’m Daniel, and I’m told I’m the world’s cutest baby. I’ve been watching pretty much everything since the very day I was born, and so far I like looking up at trees, listening to running water and teaching Mummy and Daddy to say new sounds. Sometimes it takes them a few goes to get each one just right, so I have to say it a few times until they get it, then I move on to the next one. I give them a few brand new sounds to work on every few days.
I also like eating. Lots and lots of eating.
Gramps thinks I’m pretty awesome too, so he’s going to start taking me out to show me lots of new things around the farm soon.
So far, my favourite farm animal is Mummy’s biggest, blackest horse, Graffiti: her nose is as big as my head, which is a bit odd, but she’s very gentle and gives me lots of nice kisses.
I’ll tell you a bit more about stuff I’m doing when I have time, so come back soon.
In early December I made a brand new buddy… Delta the baby llama. Mummy says all this season’s baby llamas are going to be given names beginning with “D”, in honour of me! (Last season’s babies all have names beginning with “C”, because that’s when Mummy and Daddy became Mr and Mrs Covington).
Delta and her mum Pandora live in the special nursery paddock not too far away from my house, so I go visit her most days.
Pandora doesn’t have any milk yet, so Granny is feeding Delta from a bottle.
She also likes to suck my toes. Delta that is, not Granny.
It’s not too far from here, and is home to lots of exciting animals, and some really cool trees. I mostly looked up at the trees, whilst Mummy got to show all her old work friends how cute I am, and tell Daddy lots of science-y stuff about all the animals. (I’m not sure if Daddy actually asked, but Mummy told him anyway).
Next… it will be my very first Christmas!
Well, my first Christmas was busy. On Christmas Eve, Mummy and Daddy and I had dinner with Granny and Gramps, which was nice, although I thought it was pretty unfair no-one would give me any chocolate pavlova. I did make it very clear I wanted some. Mummy said I could have some next Christmas: she’d better remember that.
Next, on Christmas day we went to see Daddy’s family. No one gave me any pavlova there either; although I did get lots of presents!
Then on Boxing Day I got my best present: a tiny pony foal named Tulip. She’s just learning to come up and sniff me at the moment, but later Mummy and I are going to teach her to do tricks like her Auntie Primrose. Apparently, Primrose used to be able to stand on her hindlegs on command, but she can’t now, because she’s too fat. (Mummy says she hopes Primrose is pregnant, otherwise she has a problem. I don’t know why – obviously she just likes eating as much as I do.)
Since Tulip was born, she and her mum, Tallula, have been living in our garden just outside my nursery window, so I can see her everyday. Primrose isn’t very happy about this, and keeps breaking out of her paddock and turning up at the front door, so Mummy and I spent a while making all the wires tighter, hoping she won’t be able to fit her tummy through them.
Busy start to the new year with lots of supervising of Mummy and Daddy. They really need watching to make sure they do stuff properly. Mummy’s been grooming and training lots of naughty dogs, and Daddy’s been preparing the site for Granny and Gramps’ new glasshouse.
Not sure why they want a glasshouse. Their stone house seems pretty good to me. Granny says it’s to grow more fruit and veggies in, but I don’t know why she wants more – Mummy tried to give me some fruit the other day, and it was disgusting. Milk is much, much better.
In between all this hard work, Mummy and Daddy took me out to lunch in Marysville. Silly Mummy forgot my hat, so I had to borrow Daddy’s. Sitting in the sun outside the Marysville Bakery was very pretty, with lots of interesting trees.
Trees are still my very favourite things, so after lunch we went to a place called Bruno’s Sculpture Garden, where I could see even more trees, which I really, really liked.
I especially like Camellias. Not the flowers so much, they’re a bit girly – but the leaves. They have really good leaves. We have a few Camellias in our garden, and Gramps says he’s going to grow more for me in the glasshouse. Guess I’ll have to supervise him and Daddy building it, to make sure they get it right.
It’s very tiring, all this supervising.
Now it’s Autumn and not so hot outside, Mummy and Daddy are taking me for even more walks. I visit my friend Tulip everyday to give her soft black nose a good pat, and I’ve really gotten to know the donkeys and Chief the big-daddy-llama. And Primrose still comes to the front door when she feels like it.
I’ve also decided I like Oak and Maple trees just as much as Camellias… but Mummy is trying to get me to like what she calls native trees best. I’m not so sure about that yet. Their leaves just aren’t as big and squishy. Mind you, last week we went on a really exciting walk through the Cathedral Range State Park, across the road from our front gate. It had the BIGGEST trees I had ever seen, and lots and lots of little bushy ones too, so although they were native and the leaves weren’t as good, I really liked being in the middle of all that green. Green is the best colour ever. AND I got to ride on Daddy’s shoulders for the first time – Mummy was pretty nervous about that, but Daddy and I thought it was cool.
Then yesterday we went for a walk in the Yarra Ranges National Park, where Daddy used to work. Wow. It had even BIGGER trees. So maybe this native thing is ok afterall.
Mummy made Daddy wear my baby harness that time though. He felt silly.
Over Easter, Daddy and Gramps and I built Granny and Gramps’ new glasshouse. It took a loooooong time, as Mummy kept telling Daddy she’d missed some of the instructions so he had to pull a whole bit apart and build it again a different way. I was in charge of holding the instructions, whilst Mummy read them out. Though sometimes Gramps kept helping by reading the part which said it should only take 2 people half a day to build a glasshouse. That didn’t seem to help Daddy very much. Especially not on the fourth day.
But now it’s up and Granny says when she’s put the raised beds in I can help Gramps play in them. I don’t know why she’s putting beds in a glasshouse though, mine’s in our proper house. They’re pretty funny looking beds too.
Since then we’ve being doing a lot of driving, which I don’t like very much. We had to go to the big city to buy some food for Daddy’s pet goanna, so we went to visit Mummy’s friend Adriana, who has a wildlife shelter there called Human Seeds. Mummy says sometimes she brings wild animals to come and live at our place. I got to pat some nice baby possums – they were very soft. I’ve seen them in the trees at home but those ones don’t let me pat them.
Then the other day Frank went missing. Frank is a very small dog who comes to Mummy’s dog school every week. He’s much smaller than my dogs, so I guess that’s how he got lost. Mummy likes him very much, so when he didn’t come to school we all went to Alexandra to help look for him. Daddy drove round and round town whilst Mummy and I walked all the way from one side to the other and back again. We met lots of people and saw lots of interesting places, but we didn’t find Frank. Everyone was getting sad, especially me because I had missed my dinnertime and bathtime and everything, and now it was dark and we couldn’t look anymore.
Luckily it was ok though, because after we went home and I had my bath, Frank came home by himself anyway. Mummy says he was a very naughty boy.
May was a super full month!
I took Mummy out to lunch for Mother’s Day at her friend Russell’s new restaurant, The Bunker. Russell makes the best milkshakes: Mummy and I shared two. Daddy wouldn’t let me try any of his beer though. The restaurant is on the Marysville Golf Course, so it was interesting watching the golfers go by, playing under all the pretty-coloured Autumn trees. Daddy says he’ll teach me to play golf there when I’m bigger.
I started my swimming lessons each week at the Yarra Centre. It’s terrific. Mummy and I sing songs, chase toys and do lots of splashing. The instructor thinks I’m pretty cute, and so does a little baby girl called Rylea. The pool is near where Grandma and Pa (Daddy’s parents), and Auntie Sandra and Uncle Gianni live, so sometimes they come to watch me show off.
Also lately, Mummy and I have been helping my Auntie Bec at the Taggerty Vet Clinic. She’s not really my Auntie like Auntie Sandra, but she’s one of Mummy’s and my favourite people, so we call her that anyway. She’s an animal doctor, and Mummy used to be her nurse before I was born.
For all of May and June, her new nurse has been away with a very sore hand, so Mummy and I have been helping her do surgery on lots of dogs and cats. I give Auntie Bec plenty of loud advice whilst she’s operating and she finds it very helpful.
We were lucky to have Auntie Bec a few weeks ago when my friend Primrose the pony got sick. When Mummy, Daddy and I found her way out in the paddock, she was really bad, so Daddy ran off fast to call Auntie Bec, whilst Mummy tried to help. I said I could help too, but Mummy wouldn’t let me. She tied me to a tree in my baby harness until Daddy got back with Granny and Gramps. I was a bit peeved about that. But in the end, Primrose was ok, so I forgave Mummy.
Then, for the Winter Solstice, Mummy and Daddy and I lit the great big bonfire our volunteers put together every year, made from all the prunings from all the gardens and driveway.
Mummy said this was the first time Daddy didn’t catch fire, so it was lots of fun, and all Granny’s pet peacocks came to watch.
Finally, last week, I turned 9 months and got my first two teeth. Everyone keeps wanting me to show them, but I don’t know why. They’re my teeth.
Anyway, I’m too busy practising standing up so I can walk soon.
That’s going to be really cool.
Tomorrow, I am turning One. It has been a great first year. Every day, I do new things, learn new things, say new things… and grow taller. Every day, my Mummy and Daddy have told me they love me best in the whole world. Every day, I have patted all my favourite animals and looked up at trees, birds and the sky.
Every day has been even better than the day before. Now Spring is here and the weather is warm and sunny, Mummy and I have been out most mornings fixing fences whilst Daddy’s at work, and catching up on all the things we couldn’t do over Winter. I love crawling around the soft grass in the paddocks, picking dandelions, chasing Primrose and being followed by the llamas.
So, tomorrow for my birthday, Mummy and Daddy are taking me to Melbourne Zoo, with Auntie Sandra and my cousins. I’m going to see my first Elephant! It’s going to be another great year… watch this space!
Now I’m such a big boy, Mummy and I have joined the Alexandra Playgroup. We have lots of fun with the other local boys and girls, especially when we go on bushwalks with our Junior Nature Club, and I get to point out all the birds to everyone. Birds are my new favourite thing, and Daddy told Mummy she’s not allowed to lecture everyone in Junior Nature Club about wildlife, so she keeps quiet whilst I do all the talking.
That is when I’m not trike-ing, of course. I do lots of trike-ing. After I turned one, Granny found me Mummy’s trike from when she was my age, and I ride it everywhere, really, really fast. I can do wheelies too. It’s LOADS of fun; except when Mummy keeps borrowing it to try to paint it red. It’s pink, coz she was a girl, so Mummy wants to make it red, coz I’m a boy, but the paint keeps coming off. I don’t care what colour it is, as long as it’s fast, but she keeps trying. Daddy says she’s crazy, but I still stop by the garden on my trike and pick her flowers every day.
Trike-ing has made me think much more about going around upright, so the day before I turned 14 months, I took my first steps, out on the balcony. Mummy and Daddy were super excited, and phoned everybody, but I don’t want to rush it, crawling is still so much faster, so I’ll probably stick to that a bit longer.
In between trike-ing and swimming lessons and playgroup, and fixing even more fences with Mummy, I’ve been helping Daddy build the new Playground. It’s for all the kids who come to stay here to play on, and for me too of course. It has a slide, and swings, and a cubby and everything… and one day it’s going to have a sea-saw and a trampoline as well. The slide is my favourite. Granny is a real spoilsport and says I can’t go down it face-first… but Mummy lets me sometimes, so long as I let her hold me. Mostly I go down it the proper way though, as I can do that by myself, if someone helps me climb the ladder.
My other big news is this week, I met Santa. He was at our Playgroup Christmas Party. He looked very, very strange. Almost all the other kids were excited to see him, but I don’t know, I think he was scary. I much preferred the train ride: we had our party at the Alexandra Timber Tramway Museum, with free train rides for everybody. That was much more fun, and the train driver wasn’t nearly as scary as Santa.
Summer has been a bit crazy this year. We hosted Daddy’s whole family for Christmas lunch, so it was pretty busy here… but I wowed everyone by eating lots and lots of yummy vegetarian lasagne whilst sitting up at the table like a big boy, so that was good, and I got loads of terrific presents.
Then at New Year, Mummy and Daddy took me to Grandma and Pa’s house at Phillip Island to see the ocean for the first time. It was AMAZING. I loved playing in the water, and squishing the sand between my toes… and because Grandma and Pa’s house is all carpet, and there were no dogs to knock me over, I really got my walking organised: it is SO much better than crawling!
Now I’m walking and don’t hurt my knees on the ground I can walk all around the farm wherever I want to go. My friend Primrose the pony has shown me how to climb through the fences so they’re no problem at all. There are just SO many interesting sticks and rocks and leaves to look at, and of course all the animals to pat and give kisses to.
And now I’m walking I can be so much more helpful to Mummy. I’m almost three feet tall, so I can put things in the bin for her, organise the laundry, tidy up all the kitchen cupboards and even push the button on the toilet.
But my favourite thing is doing the dishes every morning: of course I still need to stand on a chair for that, but now I’m walking it’s pretty easy to take one from the table and push it over to the sink.
And Mummy’s needed my help lots lately, because some of the animals have been really sick, and she and Daddy and I have been very busy looking after them with the help of our vet Aunty Bec. Aunty Bec was here almost every day for a while – sometimes even her husband Bert too. He has a really cool cowboy hat, Bert does. When I’m bigger, I’m going to have a hat like that.
Luckily all the animals are getting better now, so we’ve had more time with Daddy to add new fun things to the playground, like a Toddler Rocker and a big round trampoline. Daddy can even do flips on the trampoline, but only when Mummy and I aren’t watching.
The last two months have been super busy. Now it’s not so hot Mummy and I have been out in the paddocks every day building or fixing fences. Mummy says whilst I was tiny, she got way behind on all the fencing that the naughty horses break all the time, so now I’m big I can help her catch up.
I know the names of all Mummy’s tools, and bring them to her when she needs them, and then put them all away again. I also hammer in the staples with my own big grown up person’s hammer, and check that the new posts are straight with Mummy’s pink spirit level. Sometimes I also try to feed the screwdrivers to Seth, Gramps’ friend the Black Swan, by throwing them in the water for him, but he doesn’t seem to want to eat them. Never mind, I’ll keep trying.
When Daddy’s not at work we’ve been going for lots of bush walks too; in the Cathedral Range State Park across the road, and even up Lake Mountain. I love being out in the bush, it’s my favourite place of all.
Some days at home I go help Gramps feed all the animals. I help by emptying the water out of all the buckets, and then testing the animal’s food before he puts it in, just to make sure it tastes good for them. Then I carry the buckets over to the fence, and he puts them through to the horses and the ponies. At the llama paddock, I’m allowed to come in too even whilst they’re eating because they’re so gentle, and then I decide who gets to eat from each bucket, and chase the geese away if they try to come and steal anyone’s food.
This month was really fun – all my friends from Junior Nature Club came to visit us here at home. My friend Huon’s mummy used to run Nature Club, but now she’s busy having another baby, she asked my Mummy to take over as the big leader. So to celebrate everyone came here to meet all my animals. I couldn’t believe it when everyone came, more and more cars driving up the drive with lots of little people the same size as me. When they were already and we were all wearing our gumboots, we started out across the main llama paddock, and met all the girls.
Then I led the way up to the biggest dam where Seth the Swan lives. His wife Sadie has come to stay for a while, so she was there too, and I showed my friends how to throw them tiny pieces of food. I ate some too, just to make sure it was ok. Next we went across the bridge over the creek to Wombat Hollow, and we all played up and down the hill whilst Mummy showed us the big burrows. Then I led the way back down the drive to my favourite jumping puddles. My friend Ashleigh got very very muddy and had to change all her clothes whilst the rest of us played on the playground and had morning tea; then we went and talked to my ponies.
Later, when everyone else went home, I took Ashleigh into my room and closed my door (but Mummy opened it again), and I showed her all my toys, whilst her mummy and my Mummy had a cup of tea. Then I went to sleep, and slept for a very long time.
One good thing about Winter is we keep the fire going all the time, which means Daddy and I fetch wood every few days. I love fetching wood, especially pushing the wheelbarrow, which I do really, really well.
Unfortunately, Mummy can be really boring when it’s wet and cold. I want to go outside and jump in puddles, but some days she won’t even let me. Even the dogs don’t want to go outside; and Mummy has to keep telling my Dobermann, Seamus, to go and sit on his bed so he and I stop licking each others’ tongues.
Luckily, when Granny comes to visit whilst Mummy’s working, she does almost whatever I want. I can say lots of different words now; like up, down, on, off, eahh (that means yes), nooooo, door, up’d’ere and o’er’dere, door, and of course my special “I want Mummy and boobie” giggle… so it’s really easy to make it clear what I want to do.
Because it’s so cold, not as many people have wanted their dogs’ hair cut, so Mummy and I have spent lots of time making the verandah where she works look really pretty. She calls it her “grooming salon”, whatever than means. We put cupboard doors on the shelves and painted them pink, we put a new pink cover on her stool cushion and painted the legs pink, we scrubbed the dog cages and painted those pink, and hung a board across the gate where my doggies live so they can’t see the dogs being groomed and bark at them; and we painted that pink too. Mummy really likes pink. I guess that’s why her business is called In The Pink. Daddy is not so sure. I don’t mind it, except when I get paint on my hands. I don’t like that at all.
Winter was very long this year and Mum and I kept getting sick. Once we were even rushed to Monash Hospital by ambulance because I was having lots of trouble breathing. It was very scary, and being made to stay in hospital was really, really awful. I hated it there, and cried and cried every time the doctors and nurses came near me with their weird tools. Luckily a Border Collie named Dodge from the Lost Dogs Home Pets as Therapy program came to visit me there, and seeing him helped me be less scared.
After a day or so we were home again, with Granny and Gramps and all my woofs waiting for us, so I felt much better. Though I had lots of nightmares for a while; they passed once I was well enough to go outside and visit all my animal friends everyday, like Seth and Sadie, our wild swans who come here every year to have their babies.
When Spring finally came it was MY SECOND BIRTHDAY! It was AMAZING, because Mum and Dad got me a red Balance Bike, which is really really really awesome. I was SO excited when I opened it, and have ridden it every day ever since. Now I can go REALLY FAST.
Granny, Gramps, Grandma and Pa all came for my birthday and we ate lots of chocolate cake. When it was finished a few days later I took the container back to Gramps myself and told him “Rumps! Make more dake!”
I can say everything now, and have really good hearing too. Mum calls me her Little Enforcer, because anytime she asks Dad anything I go to him and tell him to do it over and over until he does it! I don’t like taking naps during the day anymore, so I’m around to look out for Mummy all day.
Dad started a new job as head barman at the Black Spur Inn, which is lots of fun when I go there with Mum because it means I can take over the WHOLE place. They love that. And they make me good chips with sauce. It’s nice Dad does lots of his work late at night whilst I’m asleep, so when I get up good and early every morning he’s here for me to wake up for playtime.
In October Mum and I went to GroomEx, a huge dog grooming competition and trade show in Melbourne. Being in the centre of the big city was very strange, but interesting, and when I got tired I just tried out all the different dog beds for sale until I found the nicest one to lie down.
The start of Summer is the busiest time of year for Mum with grooming, and I helped so much this year. I know how to bath, brush and card the woofs’ hair; and I help Mum choose which colour bows for the girls’ ears or bowties for the boys.
I love woofs. My favourites are Poodles and Bichon Frises. Daddy’s not so sure about that.
Playgroup had our Christmas Party at the Timber Tramway Museum again, and I spent lots of time playing in their big trucks – they are so cool!
Christmas was terrific: I got lots of great presents from everyone. Then I spent the afternoon in my new paddling pool from Grandma and Pa, which was great because it was super hot.
Mum says she and I are going to go to bed early for New Year’s Eve whilst Dad’s at work… but even so I know 2017 is going to be amazing!!!