Monday, December 20, 2004


It's been busy since the last entry, but Millie is as beautiful as ever - especially when she dances to 'Bananas in Pyjamas'.

One afternoon a little while back she fell out in the street when playing with her Dad, and would not put her weight on her legs. We imagined the worst, but when she woke up in the morning she was running again. Any ideas about that?

She's had two infections in the last couple of weeks - upper respiratory tract infection (for which the good doctor prescribed antibiotics), and a bug which only lasted 24 hours (high temperature and vomiting) which we think she picked up in a friend's swimming pool. She's over that now, and happy as ever.

She's always asking us to turn the ceiling fans on, with a rotating motion with her hand (so cute!), and still regularly wants to 'shweeesh' the dog and feed him.

A couple of days ago Jan and she were getting something from the pantry cupboard and she got very excited, and Jan discerned that she'd seen a 'baked beans' tin, and insisted 'bake bean'.

Please continue to pray for this little one. She had a wonderful time at our family Christmas party last night.

Rowland Croucher

Monday, December 06, 2004


Oh, my baby, ma curly headed baby
We'll sit below the sky and sing a song to the moo,oo,oo,oo,oon

Oh, my baby, my little darkie baby,
Your daddy's in the cotton fields,
A-working for the coo,oo,oo,oon

Oh, lulla,lulla,lulla,lulla bye bye
Does you want the moon to play with
Or the stars to run away with
They'll come if you don't cry
Oh,lulla, lulla, lulla, lulla, bye bye
In your mammy's arms be creeping,
And soon you'll be a-sleeping
Lulla, lulla, lulla, lulla bye.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004


Amelia now knows lots of words - fan (and her wrist goes round and round), hands, nose, mouth, ears, head, feet, bananas ('nanas'), and of course 'Mummy' (her very favorite person), 'Daddy', 'Pa' (moi), 'Ma' (Jan), Lindy (she pronounces it 'Diddy' which Lindy loves!) and lots more...

She also knows lots of instructions: 'Put it back'; 'Take this to Mummy', 'Don't touch!'

She identifies lots of people from our family in photographs...

She's now a week and a half from being 16 months and loves a couple of special TV programs, particularly Bananas in Pyjamas, and Play School. We've bought her a cheap little CD player, and she wiggles to The Wiggles (she's so cute!). Her favorite song: 'Teddy Bear Teddy Bear, touch your nose' (etc.) and she does all the actions.

One of our special little treats together is feeding the two dogs. We do a 'Shweesh shweesh' sound together and they come below the back balcony. Milly drops dog biscuits down to them.

Her little 'sibling' is due on St Valentine's Day, February 2005, and one of her little games is to ask to see her mum's belly button: she then wants to see other people's, and displays her own!

She's healthy, happy and well - and very obedient. We thank God for her all the time!


Rowland Croucher

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Sorry it's been a while... I've been traveling (New Zealand, Sydney, Canberra, rural Victoria) since I was last here...

Now... What's a 'hissy' you ask? Probably the most common English synonym is 'tantrum'.

She's now had about three of these: when she was a bit tired, or her new teeth were hurting, or she had in mind some game to play which a Big Person interrupted!

She's 15 months old, and according to child development psychologists she's now aware that other Big People are not simply an extension of herself. They are 'other'. And they use their authority (always gentle and loving but firm) in her life, and sometimes she doesn't like that. All very good (and not, as some think, a manifestation of 'original sin'.)

She's very cute about her squeals (which are her way of getting attention, or telling us she wants something - like her dummy etc.). Those squeals go through an adult's head so we sometimes 'Shhhhh!' her. Now occasionally when she squeals, she'll put her finger to her lips and go 'Shhhhh!' herself. She's very cute!

She also knows lots of words - upwards of 30.

She now has a sandpit on one of our balconies (which we have to cover at night to keep the possums out). She loves that.

I also bought her a new knitted fluffy toy at the Baptist Bargain Store - a multi-coloured butcher, with strings of woolly sausages around his neck. She loves her five fluffy toys; the others are four bears.

Milly now is into 'filing' lots of things. All the bears have to be carried one by one and are sat down next to each other; then she takes them all one by one and 'files' them somewhere else. We have to help her with the big bear: he's too heavy and cumbersome for her, and she gets frustrated!

When she's put down to sleep my wife Jan (Milly's grandmother) sings the Paul Robeson song she sang to our children:

Oh my babby, my curly-headed babby

Oh lula lula lula lula bye-bye
Do you want the moon to play with?
Or the stars to run away with?
They'll come if you don't cry...

Oh lula lula lula lula bye-bye
In your mammy's arms a-sleeping
And soon they'll be a'creeping' lula
Lula lula lula lula bye...

And she knows it's time to sleep: no arguments. She settles down (and these days gives us a little wave with two hands as we leave the room!)

Milly has a little brother/sister on the way: we call her/him 'Billie'. Next February. Everything's going well: please pray for all four (now) members of this little family!

Until next time,



Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I've been away in New Zealand teaching at the Bible College in Auckland, and after two weeks Millie and I needed a brief re-introduction! She looked at me for a long couple of seconds at first, when I returned, but soon softened up. And now we're back to our best-friends status again.

She's walking securely, and it's just wonderful watching her wander around the room randomly picking up things. She likes having two of the same thing - one in each hand. Like two plastic '4's' from the fridge door, or two square blocks.

If we tell her not to do something she's usually pretty good (we'll have to figure out a way for her to stay away from the TV screen). But if we remove her dummy, or deprive her of something else she wants, she protests!

She always responds to the school bell (the school shares our back fence), to plane-noises, and to birds.

She has lots of new sounds. One mimics my 'shewish' to call the dogs for a treat. Now she makes the sound, and wants to throw down the dog biscuits from our back balcony. She calls our daughter Lindy (her auntie of course) 'Diddy', and Lindy loves it!

Today we had a friend clean the other balcony, outside her upstairs bedroom (thanks David), and soon there'll be a sandpit and some nice play things there, as the weather gets a little warmer.

Each day we have our little routines - like saying good-bye to her cousins Jay and Will (who live next door) on their way to school (beyond the back fence, remember?). We sing her a little song before her meals:

Thank you for the world so sweet hum! hum!
Thank you for the food we eat yum! yum!
Thank you for the birds that singalingaling
Thank you God for everything. Amen!

She's a pure delight! Especially when she runs away from us as we pretend to chase her!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Our little one is very proud of herself - now toddling more than crawling...

But she has a heavy cold - middle ear infection, chest infection, etc. so the doctor has prescribed anti-biotics.

Please pray for her. It's great that we're free of any concern for her fontinelle closing too soon, but the neurologist says she's going to be short - about 5' 2" when an adult (and as a short friend said in response 'And what's wrong with that?')

Nothing really - except all of us are fairly tall!

Monday, August 30, 2004

She's Started Walking!

Sorry for the silence: too many people with problems have been wanting to talk to me about them (that's my job).

Amelia is growing so beautifully. She 'crawl-gallops' and sometimes when we chase her she crawls quickly away then flops on to her tummy on the floor, arms spread out, head side-on on the ground as if in sleep or surrender!

She's also taken her first few faltering steps, and is very proud of herself.

She knows about 20-30 words now (dogs, plane, light, fan, 'children running', car/truck (vroom vroom!) birds, mum, dad, grandma, grandpa... And also, now 'No!' (especially when she wants to tear up paper, or pull my books out of shelves, or drops her food on the floor.)

Keep praying for the appointment with the neurologist at the children's hospital on September 6th.

BTW her mum - our daughter Amanda - is pregnant again, with 'Billy' (we actually don't know the gender but it rhymes with 'Millie'!!!)

God bless

Rowland Croucher

Thursday, August 12, 2004


Amelia went to the pediatrician yesterday. He said there's a bit of 'ridging', and referred her to 'Melbourne's best neurosurgeon' (a woman) - September 6th.

Had a lovely two hours with her yesterday. We went shopping then had a picnic at the Food Mall. Her favourite - Petit Miam: know what that is?. She also likes McDonald's french fries - but only two or three!

Tonight she had her triple antigen needles - three of them - in each arm and a leg. She didn't like it one bit!

Here's a nice weblog, put together by a friend, Christine Jones.

Be in touch!



Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Today Amelia went for her checkup to the pediatrician. For a while the clinic sister and pediatrician have been monitoring Amelia's fontinelle, which they thought may be closing too quickly.

So today an upset mother (Amanda) heard the doctor suggest that Amelia have a precautionary x-ray. So between tears and prayers our little one now has to prepare to have this test. Please pray for her - and the parents, and doctors, and us.

Last night Amelia's grandparents took her out to the local mall for dinner. She enjoyed her yoghurt, and pieces of fish, and diluted fruit juice... And for the first time we gave her a lemon quarter to play with (we'd received it with our fish meal). Of course it went straight to her mouth (as just about everything does) and her facial expression was one of quizzicality (is that a word?).

But then she sucked it some more, squeezed it to make a nice mess, and thoroughly enjoyed herself.

I remember studying 'cafeteria feeding' experiments with small children in undergrad psychology, so we have always figured that until they learn bad eating habits, something like a lemon is OK if she wants it in small doses (and a source of vitamin C.)

God bless


Sunday, July 25, 2004


Been away in Newcastle, NSW this past weekend, and this morning 'Millie Moo' (our affectionate name for Amelia) greeted me warmly.

I chatted to her for about 15-20 minutes - particularly about the butcher-bird which was singing outside our place - then it was play-time with her wicker-backet full of safe toys. It's important for her at these times, before she has her morning sleep, to spend some time on her own, without anyone talking to her...

Her four new upper teeth are beautiful and even...

It's a busy day today: Amelia's mum's (Amanda's) birthday party here tonight. Amelia will join us in four family birthday do's in the next couple of weeks: so singing 'Happy Birthday' and blowing out candles, and having family-fun, will become special for her.

God bless!


Thursday, July 22, 2004


(But doesn't every doting parent/grandparent say that?)

Well... let me tell ya.

There's a little poem she likes:

Teddy bear, teddy bear go upstairs
Teddy bear, teddy bear say your prayers
Teddy bear, teddy bear turn out the light
Teddy bear, teddy bear say goodnight!

And our Milly points to the light before she hears that line!

It's late morning, and I've picked her up from her sleep (and to show her off to our visiting Wesleyan Methodist pastor!). She's at her best after her morning sleep. Drank all her orange juice: good girl!

She's now 'cruising' (I understand that's the correct word, though I've heard that term in other unsavoury contexts in my counselling). Milly walks around things like chairs, holding herself up.

Her four top teeth are forming beautifully too.

I'm now going away for a weekend to speak at an interestate conference and will miss her!



Amelia loves her bath, and that's her dad's delightful job each night. Even if she's tired, she loves playing games with her bath-toys.

But there comes a time in every baby's life when - you guessed it -she was playing in the water and tumbled under.

She got a very big fright, and took some pacifying.

But soon she was back in the bath and playing again... wiser.

She's better now. Today I sat with her on our back verandah listening to the wonderful music of the grey butcherbirds, and the raucous cries of the gang gang cockatoos.

I'm off to Newcastle NSW tomorrow for a combined church's seminar. Back Sunday night.


Monday, July 19, 2004


She's brave, doesn't complain too much, but isn't smiling much.

She's off her food, and sleeps poorly. Amanda had to bring her to Jan at 3 am this morning, and today we three have spent most time with her just holding her.

I might have mentioned 'Pinky' her pink (!) bear. She loves that bear. When her mother brought her up to us after dinner to say goodnight, she cutely went for her 'Pinky' rather than come to one of us.

We've been on holidays to Lord Howe Island, and I have some notes from that trip which I might write up tomorrow if I get a chance.

Please pray that our little one will be well soon.


Here's her first book - and one of her favourites (given to her by her aunty Lindy):


Millie the monkey liked to joke,
and play tricks on the jungle folk.

As soon as Millie ate her meal
She threw away the banana peel!

Down it went into the traffic...
And Millie laughed at all the havoc!

(The book has a fluffy tail poking out of it which Amelia uses to tickle her face.

(We like to call her 'Millie' - or 'Millie Moo')

Sunday, June 27, 2004


It's Monday morning, and when she wakes I'll be taking her shopping. It's one of the most wonderful adventures she and I share together.

Have you noticed that mothers (mostly mothers) talk to their babies and children in public places and don't mind who hears? I used to think that was a funny (as in peculiar) thing to do. But as we go up and down the aisles of the supermarket, I hear myself talking to Amelia - sometimes in 'baby talk' - and don't mind who listens!

I tell her she's beautiful, rehearse what I have to buy, and give her safe things to hold - and which she can safely bite on with her two lower front teeth.

I'm away for a while, so will be in touch when I return in a couple of weeks. Feel free to leave a comment or greeting!

Rowland Croucher.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


Every day our little one does something new. Today, she graduated from crawling to sitting (not just kneeling!

She's now asleep, all is quiet, but I must go to speak at a conference on mentoring (and will be interested to hear Tony Campolo again tomorrow at the same conference)


We're a bookish family, I have a library of several thousand books (which I'm gradually paring down and giving away - except for the theological books which Lindy has laid claim to). All our four children have post-graduate degrees and qualifications, and our two oldest grandchildren are currently in university. I've had about a dozen books published, and our eldest son Paul has also written a book - on the history of Buddhism in Australia.

Amelia, our fifth granddaughter, rarely gets cranky except when she's uncomfortable in terms of nappy (diaper) needing to be changed, hungry, thirsty or sleepy. The only time apart from all this is when we read a favorite story only once: she wants it again.

She loves stories (remember she's only 10 1/2 months). And essentially her stories are about the only important things in life - God, family, animals, birds, trees, flowers etc.

One of her favorites:

On the ground,
in the air -
I find blessings


Best-est friends
in three-way hugs,

butterflies -
blessings everywhere!

Silly shadows,
tickling breeze,

Forests filled
with Christmas trees!

Silent sunsets,
quiet, please -
blessings everywhere!

Camping out,
camping in -
Sometimes loving

Knowing God
forgives my sin -
blessings everywhere!

Skipping on a
winding path,
Bubbles in my
bubble bath!

Muddy puddles,
muddy me!
Blessings everywhere!

In the sky,
on the ground,
Little blessings
can be found.

Thank You, God,
for giving me
blessings everywhere!

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Every day our little one makes an advance of some sort. Today she smiled (again) at a stranger who visited us. And she hands us things when we say 'Ta' (though she's loathe to release her precious 'Pinky' - a read fluffy bear!).

Today a couple of counselling sessions, a bit of reading, and writing (see below)*, a nice lunch with Jan, scored 245,000 MsPacman during a break, and told the two Usenet newsgroups I won't be around for a while.

* I've created a new blog for articles and reviews -

Have a good day!



Monday, June 21, 2004


Hi there!

Welcome to page one of what might become an interesting blog.

(Note: It's now 2007 and as we have two gorgeous little granddaughters, I wanted to include Bella, so I've changed the heading here... but you'll need to read a couple of dozen posts/articles before you get to Bella).

Amelia's asleep, and it's a quiet afternoon in the leafy suburb of Melbourne where we live.

She's ten and a half months old, and the light of my life.

Mind you, I love all five of our grandchildren, and all four children, but being 'notionally retired' I've had more time to bond with this little one than with any of the others. Which is a joy and a pity respectively. I've written on that subject in my book The Family (HarperCollins).

So who's Amelia's granddad apart from Amelia? Husband of Jan (very happily married for 44 (how do I make a half? - alt-plus-171 won't work!) years, father of Paul (poet and philosopher, husband of Kiong, father of Jay and Will), Karen (medical editor / marketer, wife of Ross, mother of Abbie and Coralie), Amanda (Amelia's mum, counsellor, ESL teacher, piano teacher; husband John is Amelia's dad) and Lindy (urban missionary)...

Now let's see what happens when I publish this (but first ctrl A C and V!)


Rowland Croucher