Archive for December, 2011

Christmas countdown

School breaking up on 15 December has given plenty of time for anticipating Christmas. Useful distractions have come with play dates, games and the gerbils but wet weather through the long week has also strained fraternal and sisterly relations.

    Robin

Robin has been overcome by the pending excitement more than once. Australia having Christmas a day early, he believed, was one cause of a strop and sobs.

    Eliza

Eliza lay on the kitchen floor wailing while L and Robin made egg-free pancakes – a special treat for him. He defended this treat by forbidding her to help out.

    Gabe

Gabe’s meltdown had nothing to do with Christmas. L got an electric shock from the sandwich toaster that left her on her backside and shaken. Gabe’s terror took over, imploring her not to turn the switch at the socket off, refusing to touch her or to eat anything at all for fear of getting a shock himself.

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Good elf

Gabe and Eliza

It’s a school tradition for year three pupils to write letters to Santa, which get intercepted on their route to Lapland, and are read and responded to by year six. Eliza’s letter was passed to Gabe. He told me he had it and that she hadn’t been honest, claiming as evidence that she had been good that she made a cup of tea for Mummy every morning, always helped Daddy in the garden, etc.

Gabe drafted a response in the guise of one of Santa’s elves. He swallowed his indignation at Eliza’s exaggerated claims of virtue, limiting himself to replying that Santa found it hard to believe everything she wrote. To further the deception he had a girl in his class handwrite the letter that was returned to Eliza.

Robin

Nan and Grandad spent a weekend of Christmas preparations with us: buying and decorating a fir tree, Halle carol concert and a day of child-minding involving wii games and chip shop lunch. When they left, Robin fought back tears. He had been anticipating their stay – perhaps as a sign of Christmas approaching – and was so sad when it was time for them to go.

Elected representative

Robin

Robin is his class’s representative on school council, having won the most votes cast by the boys in his class. He gets to wear a metal badge on his school jumper, although he finds it a challenge to remember where the badge is each morning. His reports of school council meetings are sketchy, but he has mentioned a manifesto to do with football in the playground.

Eliza

Gabe described how a girl in his class has a talent for twisting her arm. Eliza followed the instructions: place hand palm down on a table; rotate hand 180 degrees so it is palm up; rotate again in the same direction so it is palm down again. It turns out she has the same talent. That far it is a curious sight, which becomes freaky when she lifts her hand off the table and her arm twists back into place.

Gabe

The enthusiasm for Harry Potter endures. Gabe has completed a full second re-reading of the series of books. He moves around the house reading and has found that the bathroom sink’s taps will hold the larger novels open so he can continue reading while he brushes his teeth.

And the overall winner is..

Eliza

Eliza went one better than last year at her gymnastic class’s competition. Second in the vault, first in the floor exercise (scoring 9 point something) and overall winner. L had a word with the teacher after the event: couldn’t Eliza be given some more stretching activities? Her walk-over and cartwheel spring (where she lands on both feet together) are self-taught.

Robin

“Bonkers”. This is Robin’s verbal response to frustration and self-admonishment, although it seems to deflect real upset. I’ve not been able to trace it’s source. Unlike “soz”, which, as an apology, has transferred from his brother.

Gabe

Hormones are stirring. Currently, it’s the ones that create male body odours. L has equipped him with a natural deoderant and we are both on alert at bathtime to ensure there is a thorough scrubbing to efface the smelly bateria.