Friday, September 08, 2006

Groups and gripes

We have to try to keep us with this blog better. Life has gone mad busy again – with the end of the summer break for various groups, and me back to work.

Sunday 3rd September

We spent the day at home for a change, after I’d gone out in the pouring rain to get something to prime the bare plaster in our basement. I took a long time to paint that on the ceiling – I thought my neck had set at an angle of ninety degrees to my torso. Pearlie was thrilled to find Poirot on the tv, and settled down to watch in our bed. Leo popped Werther’s Originals into my mouth to keep me going. Dani made all the meals, washed up etc.

I think that was the day that the kids started making flour and water gloop and doing mad things with it too… Yes, it was. I thought it had gone very quiet and then found that they were hurling handfuls of the aforementioned gloop out of Leo’s bedroom window and onto the pavement. They claimed they were not trying to hit passers by. Yeah, right…. Anyway, they cleaned up the street - using their nailbrushes and soapy water – don’t ask…. I have to say that, irritating though the mess is, I am actually very pleased to see P , in particular, larking about with mud and gloop this year. When P was little she was quite reluctant to play with messy substances, which always struck me as something of a shame. Looks like she’s making up for it now.

Monday 4th September

Monday found us all up early! Dani went to work, Leo and I dropped P at Kids’ Club and then we went on to a local park to meet MMs friends. Once Pearlie’s group finished she walked round to Dani’s work and then they both came out to the park to meet me and Leo. From there I went off to work. Are you following this? I wasn’t sure that I was really – I had to start the day with three different bags that had to go with the right people, all of whom had to have the right bus-cards, etc. etc.

We usually get this right but on one famous occasions years ago I arrived at work with a bag containing not my food, diary, stationery, wallet etc but a pooey nappy and not much else.

P said that they will be doing cookery at Kids’ Club this half term, which she was enthusiastic about.

Leo had a melt-down in the park – something of a regular occurrence at the moment. He seems to be very bad at hearing his body just now and pushes himself past barriers of tiredness, hunger, thirst etc. We have to be on the ball to spot what is happening.

Tuesday 5th September

Pearlie went to Squeezebox. As Leo is not going any more I have lost an hour in which I used to drink a coffee and read the paper – shame really. We rushed off to collect a recorded delivery item from the central post office, which turned out to be a letter from British gas that had been sent to us in error. Leo was heartbroken as he had decided it would be his Doctor Who stickers.

In the afternoon we went to the park. A regular group of home eddors often meet there - they are people that we know from Kids’ Club and Squeezebox and other places. We had also arranged to meet two of Leo’s mates from MMs. A new home eddor had also rung us the night before so we met her there too. So, the park was awash with HE kids of all ages – maybe fifteen kids from toddlers to teenagers.

After a while we came back to our house with Leo’s two mates J and J! The boys played with Doctor Who stuff and Power Rangers, and were very happy.

I got to play with M (little sister of a J!) who is two. As I sat on the floor and made Duplo Bees talk I had a sudden moment of sadness that I never get to do that any more. I never get broody for babies but I find children of between one and three such fascinating company. I can remember long winter afternoons when Pearlie was little, sitting on the floor for hours with piles of picture books and toys, watching and listening and marvelling at her. Of course, poor Leo got less of that, but he got his revenge by eating a whole set of teletubbies books when we weren’t watching.

Wednesday 6th September

Wednesday was our first day of looking after cousin D, who is just about to start school. The school does staggered intakes, which they sprung on D’s parents at short notice – so he’s hanging about with us for a few weeks.

The kids played with air drying clay and made lovely things. Pearlie made two little horses and a trough for them, Leo made a mythical creature inspired by the Edge Chronicles and D made an island. Leo and D played in his room, while P and I watched a programme that attempted to teach the idea of a chronology. According to the video box, it was made in response to the fact that lots of children had been taught the isolated periods of history in the National Curriculum but had not real concept of when, or for how long, these periods were. It was ok, but I have seen it done better by Tony Robinson on another programme. Mind you, he didn’t have to try to cover from Ancient Egypt to the present day!

I went to work in the afternoon and Dani took the kids to the park. The kids had a bit of trouble when Leo was accidentally hit on the head with a stone. Of course, it had been Leo’s idea to hurl stones in the air!

I came home to fabulous home made pizzas that Dani and the kids had made. The dough was quite simple – and delicious.

Thursday 7th September

I had a long day of two hours cleaning at the neighbour’s house and then work until 7pm.

Dani took our two and D to Hove museum. I think they had some time there until Leo had another meltdown and they had to come home. This one was because L was hungry and had decided that they were having lunch in the expensive tea shop. Dani had decided that they were all going to have the picnic she had brought. Cue major strop and long journey home…

When they got home Dani made cheese scones which the kids devoured and L cheered up a lot!

After D. went home, Dani and the kids took all our washing to the laundrette (our washing machine is out of action during the interminable decorating), where Dani washed and dried the clothes and the kids organised a round robin tournament of Duplo vehicle races on the sloping pavement outside.

Leo wisely went to bed early in the evening, while the rest of us stayed up late watching a gripping and upsetting programme about 9/11, including a lot of eyewitness testimony and dramatised reconstructions.

Friday 8th September

The kids and I took cousin D to Friday home ed group with us. This was good but L was once again miserable when he got hungry. I managed to calm him enough to get him to eat and then he cheered up a lot.

Pearlie helped me with a concise Independent crossword when we got home and L did some drawing. Cousin D was very tired and watched Scooby Doo for a bit. I hope we haven’t exhausted him too much for his swimming class tonight.


Anonymous said...

hi, i completely do that meltdown when hungry thing you mentioned re leo. rage, paranoiac delusions, persecution complex, the works...followed by crashing headache that takes all day and night to's hugely better if i have regular protein and never do carbohydrates on their own. oh and when i'm over hungry i also get really picky about what i'll eat. emergency oat ( medium GI ) bars are good. also little yogurt things or cheese squares. nuts. seeds. sorry, you probably know all this already, but it was lightbulb moment for me after decades of dysfunction. love, fiona

Dani said...

Thanks a lot for that, Fiona. It's a really useful reminder to us that protein is very important for Leo, and a very interesting point about the carbohydrates - we'll definitely bear that in mind.

Liza said...

that M makes me broody too, aint she just adorable!!

Learning Naturally said...

Hi, we just wanted to say hello. We are the other family who were featured in Green Parent's article on home education - the doubledays. We loved your entry and we love your blog. It is so good to make connections like this.
Congratulations on a wonderful article, warm wishes - the doubledaysX