Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Divide and Rule

Today was a case of divide and rule - mainly out of necessity, but also because Roarke and I have been considering how there are a few ways in which William is "missing out" compared to his brothers.

When they were his age, they really did have much more of my attention than he does. To some extent, the "child minding" of William is carried out by his brothers. They occupy him, play with him etc. Now, naturally, he benefits hugely by having them around, and by not being subject to the conditioning of school. Also, I am around all day with him, and he has me there for constant reassurance and support.

But it is true to say that there is an element of the "special" one to one closeness that they had with me.

So, today William had me all to himself. Once we'd got rid of the others, and I'd done my emails, he chose the game. First we built dinosaurs out of Kid Knex. Then William made a millenium falcoln and Princess Leah out of knex (!). Next, we decided to do some colouring, and we hunted the internet for star wars pictures. Predictably, he wanted pictures of Princess Leah to colour in... and specifically asked for one of her in her slave outfit on Jabba's ship... That child is a serious worry to me!

After that, we went down to the high street. As Joshua and Samuel are gluten free, we don't go to McDonalds, so today he was allowed to go - which he was embarassingly grateful about! Next, we paid some money into the bank, then I bought him a comic (spiderman - because he wanted the toy on the front).

Then we went to the house of one of the ladies from church, who had offered her house for a get together of all the pregnant ladies. There are seven that we know of! The youngest is 19, the oldest 43. We have one lady having her first, and myself having the fourth, as well as people on their second or third. It really is a mix! We got one lady due in 2 weeks, one in June (me), 2 in July, 1 in August, 1 September and 1 October!

I have this image of us all sitting at the back of the church, boobs out, breastfeeding, looking for all the world like cows in for milking :0)

That sort of lady get togethers is not, to be honest, my thing, and I was very worried about it, but I have to say the atmosphere was very relaxed and supportive, and I'd like to think that some firm friendships can come out of it. I also had some interesting conversations about HE!

Meanwhile, Roarke took Samuel and Joshua to Hertsmonceux , with SEFLAGS, and had this to say about the day:
"It wasn't two kids from our family that turned up today; it was three! I have to say I think I probably enjoyed it more than the two boys. If you've never been to the Science Centre, I can heartily recommend it. We had one family turn up from Twickenham and they seemed to be getting their money's worth.

We started off with just a "free time" for the children to play at either the water exhibit or the Discovery Park.

They thought they were just playing, but they were actually operating Achimedes screws, pistons - thus discovering syphoning and vacuums.

There is a whole circuit that the water has to follow and again the children discovered that if you only focus on part of that circuit, you run out of water!

That is what I love about HE - we go to a science centre, end up getting soaked, and develop an understanding of supply and demand.

Then we bridge built!

Watching a handful of children hobbling over a bridge that they built, held together by a rickety keystone, made for some fairly anxious but amusing moments, as the more lively of the group realised that if you kick the stones up, whilst people are crossing the bridge, they and it disintegrate.

We also had a science demonstration in which we sat in an audience with a couple of schools that were visiting today as well. What I found fascinating was the difference in attitude of "them" and "us"; they walked out having "done" their science; we walked out with a whole load of ideas to now do. Our kids took part out of interest, theirs out of compulsion.

Today again really highlighted for me the absolute difference between what we are doing, and what the "majority" do, and as we all decided over a cup of coffee at the end of the day, we wouldn't change what WE are doing for the world."


Elle at Ellesfuntimes said...

All sounds brilliant. Elle

philippa said...

It was lovely to hear from Roarke. Stuart and I firmly believe that WE are educating the children. He so loves being able to get involved with the children's education. I think he also gets a bit jealous when we are out doing fun stuff all day and he is in the office!

What a great day for you too! I can only imagine what Princess Leah looks like made from Knex!