Archive for February, 2013

(W)rapping paper

Eliza and Robin

Walking in the door this evening, Eliza and Robin ran to meet me, squawking at me to listen to them. Each had written a rap, which they read with the exaggerated diction of that idiom. Robin went on to write a second rap, which he rolled and sealed (with sellotape), to make a scroll. It was about how great his Mummy is and is to be give to her tomorrow as a birthday present.

And L’s birthday is the unlikely cause of this outbreak of urban expression. Eliza explained that the raps came from her telling Robin that they needed to wrap L’s presents. And with pleasing closure, one of Robin’s raps has been wrapped as a present for L.

Gabe

Gabe reads books by the series and then takes long breaks from novel reading denying there can be anything else he would want to read. Since Christmas, he has completed the Michael Hardcastle books about junior football talent Mark Fox. He is now nearly through the Narnia series, held up by his having borrowed the final book from the library but not the penultimate volume. He first tasted CS Lewis’ work five years ago, when a condensed version of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe came with a cereal packet. It made an impression on him and so he was happy to launch into the series, which he has assessed to be good, but uneven, with Voyage of the Dawntreader the least interesting.

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Silver no more

Robin

Robin’s gerbil, Silver, fell ill and died in the space of one day this half-term holiday. Robin held him at the vet’s as death took hold. L described him as looking like McNulty when Kima was shot on The Wire. Of our three gerbils, only Romano lives.

Gabe

Gabe is a dedicated TV watcher. Evenings, when the other two are in bed, are his perk. He’s inquisitive and sometimes has to be stopped from viewing unsuitable programmes. He walks the line with Top Gear, Stop the Week. Yet, the programme he chooses to watch most often is an animated children’s programme, Arthur. Its eponymous hero is an anthropomorphic aardvark. Similarly, all his friends, teachers and neighbours have animal heads on human bodies. The story-lines are ethical plays about children coping with each other, with difference and with challenges. It’s wholesome and so is Gabe’s attachment to it.

Eliza

I saw the last 20 minutes of Eliza’s gymnastics session. In that time she did around 20 practice back-flicks and another 20 jump-start cartwheels. But, no, she assured me later, she wasn’t dizzy.

The great cough

    Gabe

Gabe started coughing on Saturday. It’s Wednesday and he’s barely stopped. During the day it’s continuous, but settles down at night. By Monday, with no let up I took him to the doctor’s surgery. Gabe was concerned it was psychological (recognising that when he feels sick it often is) so relieved to hear he had a chest infection. I kept him off school, which meant he missed the French spelling bee contest in which he represented his class and hall. Unusually, he put some visible effort into preparing for it.

    Robin

L was away for a long weekend at her parents. Robin turned up next to me in bed around 6am on Saturday. “I don’t want you to feel lonely,” he explained.

    Eliza

Eliza was facing a weekend of football, more football and rugby. Gabe’s cough ruled out one of those events. A timely invite to go shopping with a friend, her friend’s mother and grandmother excused her another. She had lunch with her friend and was wearing make-up when I picked her up. She had a book bought for her by the grandmother. It featured a 13 year old dating a 17 year old boy. This is new territory. Eliza said she enjoyed it.