Archive for July, 2010

Rock climbing

Robin

There were two notable bits of courage demonstrated by Robin at Gabe’s school barbeque. The publicly visible one was being the smallest child to attempt and indeed scale much of the climbing wall. For this he got encouragement and cheers from parents and kids. But to get to that position, Robin had walked up to one of the men operating the wall and, by himself, asked if he could go on it.

sent up the wall

Gabe

Between me dropping Gabe off at school and L picking him up, G’s vocal chords stretched. Speaking a little huskily, he may have had his first joust with puberty. If so, the infant Gabe prevailed as his old voice returned the next day.

Another rite of passage: his first cricket match played with a “corkie”. Batting for the first time in pads and helmet, Gabe attracted a lot of sympathy. The smallest pads were too large or too unfamiliar making him unable to run. Twice he was nearly lapped by his partner. The second time Gabe stood his ground leaving the other lad high and dry by the length of the junior pitch.

Eliza

Eliza designed an obstacle course in the garden and excelled, matching Gabe for the fastest time – down the slide, round the lawn mower, over the play car, dribbling the ball to the bucket and back to the beginning. As with any running event, Eliza’s fluency is disturbed by her need to pull up her leggings which slide down her skinny waist and hips.

End of the school year

Robin

Robin ends nearly two years uneasy association with St Anne’s Playgroup. As a fresh two-year old, he sobbed when left and didn’t want to play with the other kids. As time passed Robin moved from upset to indignance. Finding out it was a Playgroup day tripped him into a surly mood with complaints that he didn’t like the place. This hasn’t been the experience of the group’s staff who report him as active and cheerful. Will five days each week of reception be better welcomed by Robin in September?

Gabe

For the final month of term, Gabe’s homework has been to work on his project. This has given him nearly four weeks to procrastinate and put barriers in the way of getting on with the task. Then faced with a Monday deadline, he buckled down on Sunday evening and early Monday morning. He has produced, with strong moral and a little practical support from L, an interesting and well illustrated 16 page project on Spain.

Eliza

Eliza has ended the year just as she began it: by getting a Golden Book mention for being “really super at everything.” She showed unusual thrust in this final week. By responding fastest to the teacher’s enquiry, Eliza has brought home three stick-insects for the school holidays. They’re even coming to Devon with us.

Splendid isolation

Eliza

Walking with Eliza down the road leading to her school, a car pulled up and a young lad shouted through an open window from the passenger seat, “Eliza, Eliza”. She didn’t flinch, head held forward and not a sign of acknowledgement. I asked if she knew him – yes – then why didn’t she say ‘hello’. I got a slight shake of the head and pursed lips, but broadly the same treatment as the schoolboy.

Robin

L bought Robin a lego Star Wars plane. Gabe assembled it for him. He played with it throughout the afternoon, took it to bed with him and played again at breakfast, once the pieces had been recovered from his bedding. I’ve offered to buy him another one if he lets his finger nails grow.

Gabe

Gabe took a morning off school to sit his first piano exam – pre grade 1. It was held in a large old house and was taken on a grand piano. Gabe rated it the second most nerve-wracking thing he has done this year – after the choir competition in St George’s Hall. Nonetheless, he performed well and received a certificate with complimentary comments.

Pool party

Gabe

This Californian staple came to the North-West. Gabe and four friends gathered at their host’s house where the garden has been transformed into an entertainments complex: hot-tub, bar, swings and slides, decking, artificial turf, widescreen tv and 3ft deep 5 metre wide circular pool. The boys splashed, shouted, tussled and played ball. It was Gabe said, ‘the best party ever.’

Robin

Robin coped well with L’s absence for the weekend. Disappointed that he wouldn’t see L until Monday morning, he crept downstairs and set himself up, cross-legged on the floor to wait for her reappearance. He was defeated by tiredness, and was asleep in bed when L arrived home.

Eliza

Helping Eliza don her swimming cap at the local pool, my eyes were seized by the sparkling gold of her front tresses. They seem to have not just been bleached by the sun, but absorbed and now radiating its energy.