Robin’s antipathy towards books was short-lived. His current favourite at bedtime is an educational book on the solar system, the galaxy and beyond. While he has a focus on the present, the timescales and distances (apparently, the same thing) described in this book impress him and make him uneasy, even if they are beyond his, and my, comprehension. So he knows that Jupiter has 60 moons, some planets have no hard surfaces, lumps of rock speed through space, blue stars are the hottest and that at some point in the past it all began with a bang and at some point in the future it could all end in one.


Just as a report warned parents not to push their children towards the books they had enjoyed when young, Eliza has had a phase of reading books written for L and my generation and those before us. Eliza has completed Enid Blyton’s Naughtiest Girl in the School series and has just finisted Noel Streatfield’s Ballet Shoes. She has read and listened with an open mind, undeterred by unfamiliar dialogue, behaviours and objects featured in these books.


Gabe’s intelligence is recorded and celebrated in these posts. Here are a couple of recent situations which remind us that he is inexperienced and can seem naive.

Gabe said to me that he would like to find out more about ancient China but there was little written about it. I said that I thought there were books – where had he looked? G: In the horrible histories.

Off school for a day while his teachers struck over the Government’s plans to reform teachers’ pensions, L asked him if he knew why they had gone on strike. He said that he wasn’t sure, but had discussed it with a classmate and had decided it was probably about healthy eating. Gabe had read as a word the acronym for his teachers’ union: NUT.


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