Archive for February, 2012

Historical haircut

Eliza

Eliza has had her hair cut for the first time in over three years. It ends her quest to grow it down to her bottom and came as she gave way to frustration at how tangled it got and the time she had to spend brushing it to keep it tidy. Taken by L to a hairdresser for the occasion, she also seemed to enjoy the attention. It now ends below her shoulders, long enough still for a pony tail.

Robin

When Robin and I spend time together, conversation from his side has a distinctive pattern. Every sentence, every phrase, often repeated, begins with an urgently stated ‘Daddy’. I might hear my name a dozen times in a minute. It’s humbling to be addressed so intensively, as though my being there needs to be articulated over and over.

Gabe

Gabe fitted three days of multi-sports camp, a football match, football training and a cricket match into the first part of his half-term holiday. Buoyed by this organised exercise, he and Robin played competitive, fun-filled football in the garden at home and on our visit to the grandparents. The games were rough, even dirty, but accompanied by lots of laughter and pleasure in their own and each other’s play.

 

Bookworm

Eliza

Eliza is capable of dense sessions of reading, usually in bed. This week she has finished two Roald Dahl novels (BFG and The Witches) in single gulps, coming downstairs long after her bedtime to let us know another book has been completed.

Gabe

Gabe made his return to competitive cricket, playing for Sale in an indoor 8-a-side competition. Of potential significance was that I was coach. But it seemed to neither inhibit nor embarrass him. It was no dream reintroduction: he bowled one complete over of wides and another with four wides. All ten signalled by me. I could see the angst in him, but couldn’t do much to help. He recovered and played some nice strokes when batting.

Robin

Some wise words from Robin:
[Early morning. Robin has climbed into bed with me.]
R: Will you be embarrassed when you’re bald?
Me: No
R: I would be. I’d wear a hat.

Robin on national dietary differences:
English people eat the most crisps of anyone in the world. In Switzerland, they eat the most chocolate.. at every meal, like we have ham.

A rich and varied existence

Saturday afternoon was an exemplar of the privilege and opportunity that can come with being a child in our comfortable corner of north-west England.

Robin

Robin went with his under-six football team to the Liverpool FC academy. For two hours, the boys played on a large indoor pitch, while outside sleet and dark descended. The academy coaches ran skills sessions, before organising a series of matches within the squad. All the time, experienced eyes were assessing the merits of the five and six year olds. Several parents were taken away from the pitch to another type of pitch: to get their talented sons to join the Liverpool academy.

Meanwhile…

Gabe

Gabe was part of a group of schoolmates taking part in a friend’s birthday treat in Oldham. The boys went to a converted industrial building to play laser tag. They were equipped with guns that fired light beams and let loose in an indoor battle-field with obstacles, fox holes, rubble and a graveyard. Shots were rationed and hits recorded as the boys waged hi-tech warfare in teams to eliminate or capture their opponents.

Meanwhile…

Eliza

Eliza took part in a concert in a large and local church hall, organised by her piano teacher. Eliza played first in a rookie string quartet, attracting comment from the audience for being by far the smallest member. Then after an interval, she distinguished herself for courage, as well as musicality, playing a solo piece on the piano.