Questions by Alison.
1. If I said “I bet Fran would be reading today whatever you did last summer”, would you hit me?
No, i wouldn’t hit you but i wouldn’t believe you. I think that she was capable of learning this time last year, and would have been just as capable this year but i’ve seen her build up skills and build up a realization that it’s achieveable in such a particular way that i do think she needed help to unlock the concept that she could do it. My instinct tells me that if i hadn’t helped her with regular practise, she might have got it next year, or by the time she was 9 on her own but by that time she would have been angry that Maddy and Amelie were right up on top of her and we’d all have been angry that she couldn’t entertain herself. To be honest, i think that another year of a non-reader might have pushed me into “I can’t face HEing at this level of intensity” territory – i’ve been feeling really hamstrung and frustrated by her not being able to find things out herself when she is so inquisitive and so keen to know things. So, almost regardless of whether it was essential, the actual process has been useful for us both – i know i can teach her something complex, she knows i can teach her something complex and she knows she can learn something complex. Win, win, win…
1a. Reading? Really? Is she??? 😀
Did i mention that????? 😉
2. Where would you like to see youselves in 5 years’ time?
NOT living in Peterborough, probably minus my tonsils, hopefully still HEing, hopefully working with Max in our own book/toy/resource business. Up North or down South would be good. I’d quite like to live abroad but i’m not sure where that would fit in now really.
I’d also like to be 2 stone lighter, i’m reasonably sure this morning i could achieve that by having my tonsils taken out.
3. Do you think that the You of 5 years ago would be happy with where you are now?
Ah… you know i was only saying the other day that when i left Drama School my goals were to have 4 girls by the time i was in my 30’s and to have my own business. So basically, i’ve achieved that goal. 5 years ago we were just selling up as a temporary measure though, so i wouldn’t have been too pleased to know we were still renting. I probably wouldn’t have been too impressed to know how much i was going to weigh either but on balance, those are piddly things. I’d have been delighted to know that MuddlePuddle was going to exist and that i wasn’t going to have to put my kids through the hell that school was for me. This time 5 years ago, i was “just about” to find out about HE.
4. Are there 3 books or films or TV programmes that have really changed the way you think?
Well (can i have a whole series?) The Chalet School books can probably be quoted as a major part of the person i am if i’m honest. They had a thread of do-to-others-as-you-would-be-done-by running through them that really struck a chord with the young me and moulded me a lot. Bit old fashioned and not very impressive as an admission but true nonetheless. Plus Joey was my “mother of a large family” role model and genuinely is responsible for me always thinking a large family (although perhaps not 13) would be nice.
Three in a Bed was on my shelf from when i was a really little girl because it arrived in a bundle of books for the Book Magazine that my Dad edited. I read it when Fran was about 20 months old and it was like a weight of stress about “being the right sort of mother” just dropped off my shoulders. It was too late for Fran, who had been put through sleeping separate, sleep training and horrible, horrible nights of us all being miserable, but i read it just in time for Maddy, who was in my bed from day 1. (Odd, it was published in 1989 so i can’t have had it as long as i thought i did. But look, one of her children is called Frances!)
There is a scene in Charlotte Gray which has stuck with me since i read it; the mother is having her children taken from her to go to a concentration camp at a train station and she is glaring angrily at them, Charlotte can’t understand why. Then she realizes that the mother is frantically trying to fix the image into her head because she knows they are going away to unimaginable horrors and she has no way of protecting them or staying with them. I’d just had Maddy and i suddenly, in one dreadful moment, realized that the mothers of babies crying in famines and world disasters, were mums like me. I suddenly realized that when they have weeping, hungry babies they are tired and worn out like i get and have no way of changing anything. It made me dreadfully grateful that i am who i am, where i am.
5. What would your dream holiday be? (And let us know when you book it so we can come too 😉 )
lol… HESFES… no, not really. My dream holiday would be on the Mediterranean coast of France, just with Max and perfect weather, where i was slim and money was not an issue. I’m a girl of simple tastes – that is the holiday we had when i was just pregnant with Fran.
I’d quite like to see the Northern Lights too.
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