to everyone who has commented, asked how I was or tried to get in contact. I’m fine thanks, just kind of got bored of blogging. Sorry! I might start again in a very low key way, just for me to keep up with what’s happening with the children, and if so will post something here to that effect… Hope everyone is well!
Our neighbours have an ancient apple tree in their garden. Each year they bag up hundreds of fallen apples and give them to us. Recently they brought 12kg of them over in plastic bags and we have been slicing and peeling ever since. Our freezer is full of bagfuls of brown goo – cooked apples with raisins and spices – ready to make Delia’s spiced apple crumble. Usually we have enough to keep going through the whole winter though now the children eat more they might not last quite as long…. We had our first one this weekend. I think winter might be on its way.
So I think it would be fair to say that Ned’s settled in to school. If you take any notice of the fact that he strolls up to the head teacher and high-fives him or winks and gives a thumbs-up to any of the female members of staff – all of whom declare themselves flattered; “over-familiarity” is a concept I’m trying – and failing – to introduce. One day last week as we walked home he told me that they’d had circle time and talked about the things that made them happy and those that made him sad. Apparently “everything” made him happy whilst the thing that makes him sad is “mummy and daddy hitting me”. Oh yes. When asked why he’d said it his answers ranged from the fact that he couldn’t think what to say to the explanation that it would make him very sad. After a night of paranoia I had a word with the teacher who laughed hysterically and told me that it had been a class theme – apparently most of them claimed to have been punched by parents or siblings.
So maybe it wasn’t great timing that Ned then fell out of Belle’s midi bed on Saturday night. They were sharing a room as we had guests and it was Belle’s turn to have the sofa-cushions-on-the-floor bed. Ned has bruises from his head, all around his right shoulder, down his right arm and along his leg. Great.
Earlier that evening we walked into Belle’s room to discover them somersaulting onto the mattress on the floor. Except that Ned wasn’t doing a traditional somersault. He was leaping from the floor and then somersaulting in the air using no hands and landing on his back, completely straight. It no doubt shows skill or strength or something. Something too terrifying to let him continue with though.
So Ned started school. Gulp. Thursday morning he was so excited he even got himself completely dressed in his new uniform, moaning only a little that the shirt collar and tie were too tight (they weren’t but he’s never worn that sort of thing before). He wobbled slightly as we got nearer to the school and clung a little as we went into the playground but he went in with only one cuddle and no backward glance; I felt a bit guilty for being the only parent who didn’t actually walk their child into the classroom but I can’t help feeling it would have been worse for him. He has 3 weeks of 1/2 days now but he’s already fairly keen to stay full-time. He’s stuck mainly to playing with one of the boys he already knew but he’ll branch out in time no doubt. He brought home a list of words for the fridge on Friday – words that he should be able to read by the end of this academic year. He was soooo proud of himself to realise he could already read all of them.
* * * * *
I booked his birthday party. Despite its being almost 2 months away. I knew that there was no way I could cope with hubby and I organising a party for his peers – there are a whole load of *ahem* challenging boys in his class and I have no intention of shutting them all up in a church hall with me, hubby and a CD player. On the other hand I feel that it would be good for him to have his own party, partly because he’s never had a proper one before and partly because he’s so old in his year group it will hopefully help them to get to know each other more. However…. I have booked an indoor football party. We couldn’t justify the cost of a party where we could invite absolutely everyone (although this place I have found is fantastically amazingly cheaper than anywhere else around) so I blithely assumed we could just invite the boys in his class and we wouldn’t look too mean. What I hadn’t thought about was what Ned would think about it. He’s perfectly happy to only invite boys (apart from his sister and one of her friends) because “football’s more of a boy thing really you know” but it hadn’t occurred to me that he might say that he didn’t “want to invite any of the naughty boys; I don’t want anyone there that has been told off by Miss C_ or anyone that fidgets during carpet time because they are too naughty”. So far that seems to rule out about 30% of the children; hopefully he will change his policy soon….
* * * * *
We dragged our poor children around yet another kitchen showroom and yet another flooring shop this weekend; luckily for us the flooring shop happened to be in a village where there was also a visiting funfair which cost us £7.50 in 4 rides but gained us significant Good Parent Points which we needed after hours of discussions about which work surface and which flooring. However we have now pretty much decided on work top and units and we are off next weekend to decide whether we want to go for reclaimed timber boards for the floor or to get wooden flooring from a floor shop. Boring for everyone else, deadly dull for small children, but really quite exciting for us……
Hubby at the weekend: I thought my new 6th form girls were very appropriately undressed this week.
Belle has had a cold for 3 weeks and it is making her reluctant to eat her normal breakfast which she complains tastes horrible. This morning I made her a smaller-than-normal bowl of the moaned-about weetabix, bran flakes and milk and gave her anothe bowl of dry shreddies at her request. She looked down at the bowls.
“Mummy, I feel as though you are trying to fatten me up so you can shoot me dead and eat me”.
And she loved it. She came home buzzing and was still buzzing by the time I got home 4 hours later.
The main highlight apparently was having school dinner – she had pasta with tomato sauce, sweetcorn (“but only a tiny portion – no more than a handful”) and a piece of pitta bread followed by crackers and cheese “I thought it looked a bit like Brie or maybe Port Salut so I chose it but it was really horrid” (it turned out to be a Dairy Lee triangle). The other option was sausages and Yorkshire puddings for main course and milkshakes or yoghurts for dessert which would also have gone down brilliantly so she’s happy. Thank heaven.
The “friend” she had issues with last term was off yesterday which seems fortuitous as she has now settled herself onto her table between 2 girls she really likes and they are not allowed to swap seats so hopefully that’ll help her determination to choose her own playmates from now on. She is on the top table – or the “hardest work” table to use her words. She said she hadn’t expected it (though we had) so I asked her why. “I wasn’t sure I would meet all the targets”, she said. Goodness me. Is this the language they actually use in front of the children or is she just very very good at earwigging the grown-ups?
They were straight into work, writing factfiles about themselves, doing self portraits and getting reading books already. No homework till next week though.