Posts Tagged ‘fish’

Fear and courage on the Cote d’Azur

We were woken by a shock and awe thunderstorm at 1.45am in our stationary caravan in the South of France. Eliza came to find L and I. I went to see the boys in their room. Eliza followed as L’s wedding ring was too great a threat to her amidst the electric storm. All three kids were terrified. Eliza was shaking. Gabe wanted to know things we couldn’t answer – like when the onslaught would end. Robin alternated between peering captivated by the lightening flashes at the window, to cowering in his bed. Without stopping, the storm quietened enough for us to return to our beds after an hour. We woke before 8am, with it still rumbling around, and it continued until after lunchtime.

Gabe

Gabe ‘s greatest fear may be embarassment. He walked off the pitch, away from the game and disappeared after I upbraided in poor French a big lad, who had joined our game of football, for not passing to the little ones. Gabe walked across the campsite to L, complaining that I had humiliated him.

Eliza

Eliza squealed with fear when we announced our plan to take a boat trip. She was coaxed aboard and clung to L. All this changed when the boat cut its motors at the edge of the Agay Bay and we were invited downstairs to the glass bottom viewing area. There, with fish swimming on either side, Eliza and her brothers chased around to get the best views, particularly when a barracuda came spearing through the fish.

Sea legs

Robin

Robin was the first down the biggest slide in the pools. He skipped across rocks at the seaside. He played football amongst big boys and men, getting stuck in and at one point putting in a block tackle to stop a man’s shot, drawing gasps from players and the crowd, who may like me have expected to see a small, fractured ankle. But the first sight of the Grand Canyon of Verdun was too much and he needed a lot of consoling as we set out on the 25 mile drive along its southern rim.

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Go fish

Robin

The urge for a rabbit has passed and in its place has come the desire for a fish. ‘Daddy, I love you, can I have a fish’, he tells me when I get home from work. He makes a pouting fish mouth as I wake him up in the morning, following it up with, ‘Can I have a fish?’ At school, yesterday and today, he has made me illustrated notes, out of which a surprisingly clear message emerges: ‘I want a fish’.

Eliza

Eliza doesn’t slip into sleep so easily these days. She tries to delay L or I leaving her room, but will often settle to read. Sometimes she appears later in the evening, wanting the landing light switched on, or some reassurance. One night this week, I went up to her on the landing to wish her goodnight and steer her back to her room. Standing two steps above me, she asked for a French kiss. I shook my head and offered my cheek. She kissed me with lips pressed to my cheek for 20 seconds. It turned out that a French kiss meant nothing more than a longer duration.

Gabe

The results of Gabe’s mock 11+ have arrived. He was disappointed; I’m encouraged, and have tried to convey that to him. In numerical reasoning, he scored 41/45 (average score 28). For verbal reasoning, his score was 52/70 (average 46). For non-verbal reasoning, 39/67 (average 35) – this test as challenging as those I have seen set for adults.