Monty’s library selections last week were as follows:
- The Bird Atlas by Barbara Taylor
- Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds by PJ Higgins
- Encyclopaedia of aquarium and pond fish by David Alderton
- The sausage roll maker by Sophia Young
- Finding Australian birds: a field guide to birding locations by Tim Dolby
- A beginner’s guide to terrarium gardening: succulents, air plants, cacti, moss, and more! by Sueko Katsuji
- Bug: the ultimate gardener’s guide to organic pest control by Tim Marshall
Yes, at five he has developed a wide range of interests and hobbies suitable for a forty-three year old.
With Christmas on the horizon Monty’s mind has turned to what treasures he might receive. Thus far he has humbly requested the following: a terrarium building kit, a guide book for building ponds and a recipe book that might teach him how to make curries.
Yes, Monty had burgeoning cooking skills; he loves to experiment in the kitchen and the ‘Monty salad’ is famously polarizing in our family – cucumber (roughly chopped), ripe tomatoes (diced), 100s and 1000s and finished off with native violets freshly picked. The perfect accompaniment to any meal.
Monty’s palate matches his hobbies; he guzzles home-made kombucha, loves coffee foam and enjoys nothing more than tucking into a big bowl of mushrooms.
But he has a restraint uncharacteristic of a five year old. Last Halloween he Trick or Treated for one and a half streets before declaring “I have enough” and walking home. Half-muffins are routinely left on plates ‘for later’ and a box of Tic-Tacs will last all year.
He shows no such restraint with his hair however, which is currently pink with a long plait dangling down over his face. His hair, he declares, will not be cut until it is well beyond his bottom. Recently, while swimming in the local pool, a girl paddled over to Monty and asked him why his hair is pink; “because it looks awesome” he replied and paddled away. Touché.
Monty loves birds and currently goes nowhere without his ‘Birds of Australia’ guidebook under his arm and his binoculars slung around his neck. Whilst visiting his grandma last week Monty pointed out the birds printed on her dining room chairs are not Sulphur Crested Cockatoos (as has always been presumed) but are in fact the lesser known Major Mitchell’s variety.
He loves sloths, puzzles, National Geographic documentaries, eating herbs and kale directly from their plants like a goat, and his favourite records are (in order): The Kids are Coming (Tones and I), Graceland (Paul Simon), Welcome to the Madhouse (Tones and I).
Monty does not want to learn how to ride a bike. We have been out together four times with his new bike, evocatively named the GT Stomper. On each occasion he has hoped the bike might propel itself forward without the requirement for him to pedal. On our last such fruitless effort I displayed some sub-par parenting and, in a frustrated tone, said something to the effect of “why did we buy you this bike if you don’t want to ride it?” As Monty wandered off in the direction of the car he calmly called over his shoulder “I dont know. I didn’t ask for it.” Which is completely true.
This is a hip dude at the peak of his game who knows what he likes, what he doesn’t like, and what he has no time for. All critical life attributes that most of us take decades to work through.
He’s off to a great start.