Friday, July 08, 2005

London bombs – and a day as an evacuee

It's (once again) too late at night to do a proper catching up blog, but we have been very busy lately so I thought I'd put some highlights up:

P. went to a great 'Evacuees Day' at Michelham Priory today, organised by a local home educator. She was dressed in appropriate clothes, with a cardboard box for her gas mask, a label with her name and address, and her paper-wrapped lunch carried in a pillowcase. We couldn't go with her today, and it felt strangely poignant as we sent her off with her grandmothers this morning, looking like a real wartime child.

Later on, of course, we were reminded of the blitz in a much more shocking way.

She came home having seen and handled some wartime artefacts, done maths with old money, made biscuit dough, written a postcard with a dipping pen, and had a PT lesson on the grass. She (and her grandmothers) enjoyed the day very much.

Allie and the kids have been working on a joint project about the Quangle Wangle's Hat this week. They divided up the list of creatures that live on the hat and each made several pictures, which they then arranged on a big hat, decorated with ribbons and buttons. Leo and I bought some more decorations today – bells, buttons and lace – and P. made a very tiny Quangle Wangle Quee this evening. They plan to write and type out the poem tomorrow, and add the finishing touches to the hat.

P. has created a spreadsheet which she is using to log the number of sweets of each colour in each packet she eats. Over time, we should be able to work out averages, make charts, etc.

Leo's egg fixation continues, and he is happiest when making nests while absorbing information from Discovery Kids.

Leo and I had a bizarre experience today, when we were shopping. He was tired and grumpy about having to visit more than one shop to get the food we needed, and had sat down on the pavement, refusing to carry on walking. I knelt down beside him to talk to him and work out what to do, and we stayed there for some time, talking and cuddling, working our way to a solution.

First we were asked if we were OK by a passing policeman – fair enough, that's what policemen are supposed to do, I guess. But then, a woman walking past stopped and declared that if I didn't stop whatever I was doing to "that child" and allow him to stand up, she would call the police! I was shocked, and explained that he didn't want to stand up, that he was my son, and we were just talking. She muttered something about it not seeming right, "stroking him" like that in the street, and went away.

I assume she thought I was a man – I had my hair cut very short this morning, and she would have been unable to see my face when I was bent down talking to Leo. But that's almost more depressing, in a way – the idea that a man showing affection to a child in public is somehow distasteful and not to be allowed is very sad. The shopping street where we were is frequently the site of mothers (and fathers) dragging their screaming children along the street and dishing out slaps – nobody bats an eyelid.


Heather said...

(((Dani))) that must have been horrid for you. I agree, it's an odd society we live in where showing our children physical affection makes people more uncomfortable, or at least more likely to react, than verbally abusing and smacking them (I'm thinking in particular of a nasty event I witnessed in a swimming pool on Sunday).

a said...

Ridiculous reaction, silly woman. Very sad.
The evacuees' day sounds good.

peri said...

What a totally bizarre reaction Dani. It must have been distressing enough having an upset Leo on your hands without that as well.

Just also need to add - Pearl looks so cute dressed like -but what a sad face.

dawniy said...

dear dear dear what is the world coming to? If you had dragged Leo to his feet maybe she would have approved? !!

Sounds as if the work you are doing with the kids is really good fun :)

Little Minx said...

How very sad.

Now I wish I had known about the evacuation day as we are doing WWII!!!!

Jayne said...

I mean I just hte that thing when those people in the street think they can pass comment on our lives with our children full stop.
Sorry to hear that......bless that boy and his egg thing

Dani said...

Thanks everyone. The more I think about it, the more strange it seems. Maybe there was something else going on in her mind that I couldn't see...

The evacuees day was in the Sussex newsletter, Roslyn - what a pity you didn't see it. P. has really enjoyed learning about children's lives during the war - we've been learning loads, too.