Reflecting a bit
Its been an odd couple of days really. Dh took all the kids out for the day yesterday and i spent the whole day de-cluttering, tidying, cleaning and so on. Obviously 24 hours later its impossible to tell i did… but i know the cupboards have less crap in them and thats what counts! It was really nice to get some headspace but actually what was nicest was that i wasn’t feeling i desperately “needed” it – dh and i noticed the other day that our expression for worn out, feeling “broken,” has not been used in ages. We seem to have found a rhythm to the household somehow.
In the middle of the day, i had a call from my dad to say our oldest family friend had died of cancer. He was the dad of 3 boys i have known since i was maybe 6 – the middle one and i were great mates at Juniors (he once broke my bullies arm!) and we used to play together often, including regular fake weddings and sneaking off behind a door for a kiss. His older brother was my 8 year old selfs hearthrob and the younger one, good practise for the younger brother i was one day to get (what a little terror he was!) Both the older ones have had babies this year, one only three weeks ago but he was too ill to see that one :~( The dad was quite remote, academic but unfailingly courteous and kind to me – i last saw him when i was pregnant with Moo. My heart is a bit wrenched for the boys to say the least.
Roger, wherever you are, i raise my cyber glass to you.
Aside from that, Moo is playing up a lot about nursery, saying she wants to stay with us, not quite begging but definitely stropping about getting ready, but seeming to go okay when the time comes (although she won’t say goodbye), seems to have had a nice time when we collect her, but is walking on her toes almost the whole time right now (NOT a good sign) and getting some rituals back too. She threw a mental there today over some indistinguishable shoe problem :~( Its really difficult to know how to handle it – my brain is worried, my conscience is worried, my sense of self preservation thinks how much better things have been since she has been going and that i would know if she was actually miserable all the time there, when i pick her up. And she isn’t. I assume its cos she is smart enough to know things happen at home without her, or is worried she is being “shoved out” (lets face it, she is). I can SEE its stimulating her, giving her opportunities and giving her something of her own – so why would she prefer to “stay with us” if all those things add up to something worth being there for? Is she worried its forever? Hmmm. Nothing is ever clear cut. Input from those who count would be good :~) although i don’t think its quite as simple as “get her out” somehow… i think i am “looking” for that cue almost too hard and would do it, but its somehow NOT the cue i am getting.
Today Pud and i watched a whale video, made a mobile with a book we bought at sealife, did some mental maths and did some Hama. The book is excellent – each creature in the mobile has a picture in the book and a paragraph about it. We discussed Baleen whales and their neck filters, whale hunting, products of whales and why people did it, nursing of young, mating (omg – we had a full on “how do you and daddy make babies discussion today – she asked if we had a TUBE!!!!), blubber (yes yes… JUST like mummys tummy) and also looked up where the Northern Bottlenosed Whale lives (Arctic, Canada, Iceland area) on the map. The last thing that came up was “endangered species” while looking at the Blue Whale. I grabbed some Hama beads and said.. “Look, imagine these beads in my hand are our school of whales… every year 1 is born, but 2 die” and showed her how to put 1 from the tub into my hand and then put 2 back, sometimes she chose the baby to go straight back to the dead tub and commented on it. She resolutely went through the whole process until we were down to one bead in my hand and then we talked, using our new mating knowledge, how no more babies could now be made and this was how a species would die out. Amazing stuff, small but amazing.
Later on she said “My favourite thing was reading the book together today.. i love how you teach me things” I went all warm and fuzzy.
This afternoon we went to see some friends – the eldest, who is a month younger than Pud also has a cleft. Hers has not really affected her speech but it has affected her face more noticeably than Pud and she needs more surgery. They also have 3 girls, all similar ages but the kids had not seen each other for ages and hers are much shyer than mine and got a bit overwhelmed by their house being invaded i think. But we decided we would get into the habit of meeting up more- its probably good for the cleft girls to have that alliance really although i don’t know they would have enough in common to be good mates somehow. They seemed so different today! She is in school, had a dreadful time settling last year, has had some bullying to cope with and i got them impression the whole trauma of it has taken its toll a bit. We didn’t get a lot of time to chat today but hopefully we will next week – i’d like to have time to i dunno, be a bit more supportive, even if our mindsets are very different. If Pud ever decides to go to school, i will probably need that support.
I’ve been reading How Children Fail, by John Holt – its an amazing read. I’m too tired to think about it more now – but i will. Incredible to see a picking apart of how classrooms work by a person who at that time was still committed to teaching in schools. Its an eye opener.