Thursday, March 02, 2006

Trees, telescopes and teeth

We had a lovely weekend at Knowles Tooth with our Woodcraft Folk group. The place was fantastic – a big, beautifully equipped farmhouse with everything a group of children could wish for: a trampoline in the garden,

a sturdy treehouse,

a pool table and a playroom full of soft toys and cupboards of games, a lovely garden,

a shed full of bikes and skateboards,

and a pond with rowing boats!

Pearl slept in a shared room with several other kids, joined in with everything, did her share of the chores enthusiastically, made some lovely maps of the building, and was generally a star. She was thrilled with rowing, loved the treehouse, and had a great time with her friends.

I think only I was aware of how much effort she was making to achieve this – somebody asked me if she was always so mellow, and I was astonished. Mellow is the last word I would use to describe her! I was very proud of the way she kept herself together and had a good time.

We left a bit early on the Sunday, as P. and another friend who had been at the weekend were invited to a birthday party on the other side of Sussex. Her friend's dad kindly drove us to another amazing location, the Observatory Science Centre at Herstmonceux. It was a great party, with a telescope tour, sandwiches and cakes, and a demonstration of some exciting food experiments, plus the chance to explore the wonderful, interactive exhibits at the science centre.

Meanwhile, Allie and Leo had another lie in, then enjoyed their trip to the pictures to see Zathura, followed by a brief but invigorating visit to the beach. We were all very pleased to see each other when we got home at teatime.

The theme was sport at the HE group on Monday – cue lots of tearing around the hall with balls. Leo and his friend J. mostly made comics together very happily but did join in with the rampaging towards the end. P. was thrilled to find a mystery to investigate after our new balls were found to have been put in the after school club's cupboard by person or persons unknown. P. went to Woodcraft in the evening and made a lovely mobile using things found at the weekend. Leo did a beautiful series of robot designs in the evening.

I was at work on Tuesday, and Leo went to the grandmothers'. Allie and Pearl went to a small toyshop after dropping him off, where she was thrilled to find a tiny train for her Sylvanian babies to ride around on and a ring with a pony on it. They came home and did lots of logic puzzles from this book (thanks to the Portico for the link), then made excellent pancake batter for our tea. Yum!

Great excitement today (Wednesday), when cousin S. and her mum arrived at 9am after discovering that her school was closed due to boiler trouble. Allie agreed to look after S. for the day, and they all played with our new air drying clay in the morning. Before they settled down to that, though, there was more excitement when Leo's remaining top front tooth was knocked out in a headstand/knee/tooth incident. It was clearly ready to come out, and once he recovered from the shock he was quite thrilled at the thought of a nocturnal visit from the golden dragon that exchanges teeth for money and leaves Christmas presents.

We swapped over mummies at lunchtime, and the kids all had a Sylvanian fest in the afternoon, with a bit of Octons and some chasing games thrown in. To round things off nicely, the capoeira class was a bit special this week as there was a visit from Mestre Laercio, the head honcho of our type of capoeira. He was very friendly and the kids all had a good class.


merry said...

It all sounds lovely and that place is a dead ringer for the building my junior school was in!

I'm prompted, somewhat nervously, to ask this by something you've written. I hope you won't be offended but i have long found myself curious about it because it is so outside my experience. i can imagine you get asked it a fair bit too, but i've never seen you blog it.

Do you, in any way at all, divide naturally by "birth mummy" or would you say things are utterly 50/50 in every way? And do the children see it differently to how you do in anyway?

You always sound utterly intermingled, in fact, i read every post on your blog and i honestly can't say now who was born by who, which perhaps answers my question :) It's just, i can't quite imagine it, never having had so much as a step sister nevermind a more complex family structure (clumsily put so forgive me) and i'd be really interested if you were prepared to put your thoughts together on it.

With respect and interest :) - please don't howl at me!

Allie said...

Well, I can only give my view point of course, and I'm sure all the others have their own feelings about it.

I feel that our family is a bond built from all the different relationships between its members - like all families, I guess. Facts of birth come into that somewhere but it is not something I consider much.

I gave birth to Leo and Dani had Pearl. We don't deliberately keep it secret, but it doesn't crop up in conversation much these days. The kids know all about it - where they came from, which one of us 'borned them', and they have both had periods of some interest in that.

I consider both kids to be our children, equally. Dani and I were both there for their conceptions and births - and all their lives.

We discussed so much, endlessly, before we had the kids and made a definite decision that we were making a family, with children who would be siblings, and with two mums. We both have lovely extended families who accept us totally as a family unit.

I don't mind you asking at all. Our family identity is not much of an issue here - there are so many gay parents around here. Perhaps we'll blog more on it some time.

merry said...

lol - my lot say "borned" as well.

Thank you for answering the question, what you've said is very much borne out by the way you write about your family too.

Jayne said...

We too have had already wobbly teeth,"helped" on their way by acrobatic feats in the past....I often think it may be better than the kind which hang by a thread for two weeks!!!
Shiny once had his knocked out at the St Davis E.O camp.mass game of footie,and we never found it,and still to this day wonder if ,he did ,indeed swallow it!!!!!