Difficult to catch up here as I am pretty tired and lots of the details are lost in my foggy brain.
Wednesday morning Dani went to work and I left the kids to their own devices for quite a while. They were playing very happily and silently upstairs so I started making a lap book about our caterpillars – which we think are large whites.
After an hour or two the kids appeared and we spent a happy hour dancing to various music. This included Pet Shop Boys, Clare Teal and Kate Bush. Pearl dragged Leo around in what she imagined was a tango! After that she wanted to know some other dance steps. I taught her a few line dance steps, a basic waltz and rock and roll. She found it pretty tough but she managed to get a rough idea of what to do. Dani and I used to go to weekly ballroom dance classes before we had the kids so I do know what I'm doing. But teaching it is hard – especially as I am only happy following and this meant poor Pearl had to lead! Leo bobbed about doing his own steps very happily. Anyway, that was certainly a hearty workout for all three of us.
Dani took the kids to capoeira in the afternoon. Pearl is suddenly the only girl in their group – which is a bit of a shame for her as she prefers a mixed group. We are thinking she probably needs to move up to the next age group after the summer break.
Wednesday evening was Dani's work AGM so my mum came to look after the kids until I got home. I think they had a good time together – eating plums, planting plum stones, having baths and reading Loathsome London- which was one of P's birthday presents. When I got home the kids and I curled up in P's bed and I read them a lovely Paddington story about bonfire night.
Thursday it poured with rain all day. Dani and Leo had a quiet day at home watching lots of tv – pursuing Leo's interest in mummification, death and burial. Leo wrote a list of things to do in the morning. The list is all crossed out because Leo crossed the things out as he did them. Leo wants and needs very few suggestions of things to do. I wonder if never having gone to school makes this so. He really enjoys a day at home and never seems bored.
Leo's list for the day
Pearl and I went to the grandmothers' house. My mum was planning to cover another room doing furniture vocab but somehow we started playing a French shop game where Pearl was the proprietor, selling her cuddly creatures to me and mum. This was a wonderful game. We made paper money as we needed it. Pearl tried to remember to keep it French (!) and enjoyed totting up the totals and working out the change.
We also had an exciting encounter with some tree surgeons, who came to work on a tree down the road which has a Tree Preservation Order on it. This is a long and complicated story but the best bit was Pearl offering to tie herself to the tree. Blimey she's her Mummy D's daughter that one! Dani is no stranger to a bit of direct action. Somewhere or other we have a wonderful photo of a young Dani, from the front page of a tabloid paper (late 1980s), under the immortal heading 'Blushing Di in gay girls demo scare!'
To stick with the theme Dani took the kids to a talk on radical Brighton in the evening. The kids had said they wanted to go to this but predictably it was a bit beyond them. Pearlie got very distracted by something out the window – apparently a 'house hypnotised' her. Leo confidently told me he had read a book about 'women's sick'! Dani told me there was a book with a similar title on the shelf but he was actually reading Anti-Fascist Action news. But anyway, they were reasonably polite and quiet and Dani enjoyed herself – so that's good.
Today it was pouring again. I have to say that any jealousy I had about not going to HESFES has evaporated in the face of all this rain. Dani was at work and the kids and I had a bit of tidying to do. Leo found his spy kit and wrote me a message with invisible ink. Pearl wrote herself some notes in a secret detective notebook. Then we had a Tintin DVD fest!
In the afternoon the sun finally came out and we met our friend O. (6yo boy) and his mum in the park. The kids all played very happily for an hour or so – hiding in the bushes and getting muddy and scratched. Then we came back to our house and the play continued. O's mum and I drank tea and chatted.
I am thinking a lot about HE at the moment, and about the world in general. Somehow I even found time to read the whole New Internationalist today.