Friday, April 27, 2007

Stuff and more stuff

Not sure of a catch-up is really feasible so this is likely to be random remembrances.

Pearlie has been writing thank-you notes (I found notelets for the purpose – a use I remembered from my childhood) using her cartridge pen.

On Monday Pearlie had a friend round to play after Kids’ Club. They played very happily for more than three hours, while I popped pills and sat with a hot pack on my head for a horrible migraine. They were playing with Pearlie’s huge collection of Sylvanians. When Leo got in from the grandmothers’ (where he’d beaten them at scrabble!) he was reminded of his Sylvanians and asked me to carry his house down. He’s spent the whole week playing long, elaborate imaginary games with all his little frogs and cats and so on.

Pearlie’s real birthday was a lovely sunny day and we spent a lot of time in the park – and a lot of money in the park café! Pearlie is keeping a spreadsheet of our summer expenditure in the café. I am terrified about what it will reveal. Both kids also went to Squeezebox – the gig approaches!

Kids went to the dentist on Wednesday. P had managed to get a second tooth that had come through with the milk tooth sitting on top of it like a little hat – but still quite firmly in the gum on one side. The dentist gave her an injection and yanked it out. P was very brave – she really hates people ‘doing things to her’ and no-one enjoys an injection in their gum. Leo had some sealant painted on a new molar.

The kids missed their sports session because of the dentist but P was keen to go across town afterwards to the post-sports gathering (in a park) where one of the kids was having a birthday do. L was not keen to go as he has been finding the pace of our social life a bit much at the moment. Somehow the resolution of this problem fell to me, on Wednesday morning, even though I would be at work in the afternoon and not involved at all! We spent a good hour discussing it, including some heated contributions to the debate, and eventually I remembered to call for family reinforcements! So, Leo was looked after by an aunt while D took Pearlie across town to the party gathering.

Both Pearlie and Leo had a brilliant time at Kids’ Club on Thursday – finishing off making bird boxes and then making boomerangs. They took their boomerangs to the next door school playing field to throw them. This evening Pearlie, Dani and I talked about flight – wings, air pressure and all that. I was sitting at the laptop – coming up with useful diagrams and snippets of text – all at the click of a mouse. Gawd bless the internet for the home educating mother!

The kids and I had a lovely time at home today. Pearlie has been wanting to ‘do something’ on the ancient Greeks, together. Leo decided, in the end, that he didn’t want to be involved and stuck with his Sylvanian play alongside us. He wants to ‘do something’ on the Egyptians – again!

I read aloud a short book with some ‘key facts’ in and this sparked lots of discussion. When we got to a bit about the Persian wars we sidestepped into Iraq (via Iran and a little friend we knew called Darius) – and the current situation. Back with the Greeks I skipped through the book and typed a simple chronology out. We talked a lot about how different civilisations rise and fall – and about how there are rarely clear dates for such processes. The internet was useful again – found a good timeline showing how the different ancient civilisations overlapped. Discussion also covered patriarchy and racism and language. Pearlie did a Greek gods word search and quiz. We also paid up for Enchanted Learning membership again so we could print out one of their little books about Greece.

Leo, meanwhile, had quietly got out a library book about rats and was busy drawing designs for machines that could catch rats in your home. He is very fond of rats at the moment. He asked me to print out some info from the internet on black rats – so I did.

Dani and Pearlie went to Critical Mass this evening. They rode five times round the big roundabout on the seafront! Pearlie was very keen to go on this (just in case anyone feels like accusing us of indoctrination again) and seemed to have a ball. She has no sympathy with car drivers - she's far more radical than us.

Leo and I went to the pool for the family swim session. L has got a lot more confident when out of his depth than I have seen before, and was jumping in to the deep end. We had a lot of splashy fun.

Must also mention that I finished reading ‘Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry’ to Pearlie tonight. I remembered it as an excellent, gripping read and it was. We’re in search of the sequel now. Leo and Dani are ploughing on with ‘Eldest’.

Pearlie is reading herself a Lady Grace mystery she got for her birthday – and Leo is having a dipping phase with fact and fiction. This evening he asked me to read him some of his own writing – his Moley stories.

Must get to sleep now. Dani and Leo are off on a Woodcraft weekend at a youth hostel early tomorrow – kayaking and den building are planned. I’ve wangled a weekend off work and Pearlie wants to go rollerblading on her new skates.

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