Archive for June, 2016

Nut intolerance

Eliza

Staying with our friends, S&L, in London, we had strawberry cheesecake for dessert. Soon after eating a slice, Eliza complained of unpleasant feelings in her mouth. L helped her swallow an antihistamine capsule. The cake base had pistachio nuts and a vaguely suspected intolerance of nuts was raised again. Eliza felt unwell through the evening. Her unease heightened by what she describes as a phobia of being sick. 

Soon after going to bed she was sick. We moved her to our room and an hour or so later she was sick twice more. The palest girl was even paler. 

Years after the boys shook their allergies (bananas and eggs), it seems we must once more be on the alert. On the other hand, Eliza confronted her phobia and was not found wanting. 

Gabe

Two Mondays in succession, England matches have coincided with Gabe’s German lessons. Each time we’ve only realised when the only option was a late cancellation. Twice we offered Gabe that option. Twice he has declined and sat in the kitchen doing German language exercises with his tutor for an hour while the match has been on in the living room. 

Robin

Conversations with Robin are punctuated with him uttering ‘Wait!’ It’s an all purpose expression that enables him to communicate surprise, contradiction, clarification, emphasis and, occasionally, that we should wait for him. 

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Smashed it

Robin

Robin’s preparation for the 11+ exam, begun in earnest around Christmas, has not been smooth. He often resents practice sessions, slumping on the table when asked to attempt some questions, and he has shown no real breakthrough with his results. He sat a practice exam at a local tutorial college. When I picked him up he had his fixed, stony look. He walked past me and headed towards the stairs out of the college. On the stairs, he turned fist clasped, “Smashed it!” he said with great satisfaction. 

His results arrived later that week and he had indeed performed well, exceeding the average and scoring in the ‘likely to pass’ range. Since then, propelled by this confidence boost, his attitude at home has improved, but he’s still prone to sighs of complaint when summoned for a little practice and can dash off his answers to hurry back to screen or ball. 

Gabe

Gabe sat his first GCSEs – part one of his science qualification. He finally engaged in some revision activity, although only with any real commitment if he was being quizzed by L or I. He felt he did OK in the exams. Interestingly, he spoke enthusiastically of the ceremony of exams, the build-up and formality of taking a public test. He had found that exciting – which bodes well given how many times he’ll be doing it in the coming years. 

Eliza

Eliza has finally got her way: she no longer walks to school with Gabe. Her release has come about because she has come to an arrangement where her friend walks an indirect route to school, a mirror image of which Eliza follows, so they can meet outside the park and from there make their way, chatting, to school.