Posts Tagged ‘trampoline’

Flight time birthday

Robin

As a birthday treat, we took Robin to the Trafford Park free-fall centre. Twice, for 60 seconds, he stepped into a wind tower, assisted by an instructor and was suspended in the air as if he had jumped from an aeroplane thousands of feet above the ground. He was fearless and enthralled.

Two days later, for his party, he was again airborne. This time at JumpNation, the trampoline centre, with a group of five friends, plus Eliza and her best friend.

The birthday week is over now, and his feet are back on the ground.

Eliza

Back in the summer, on Father’s Day, Eliza presented me with a special cheque book, filled with vouchers. She reminded me recently that I hadn’t used them. I remembered today and tore out the ‘clean my shoes’ voucher. She looked irritated at my choice of timing, but when I came back from cricket practice this afternoon, my work boots were waiting at the front door, clean and shiny, with a note on them: “Happy?”

Gabe

Gabe’s musical interests are diverging. On the one hand, there’s classical. On the other, he’s interested in indie music, preferring Radio X to Capital; on a third hand he’s consuming and performing the Beatles. Imagine is his favourite piano piece and gets played most days at a variety of tempos and sometimes with members of the family singing Lennon’s words at his shoulder.

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Piggy-back to the exam hall

Eliza

With one day separating two of the school entrance exams, L organises a treat for Eliza. We all go to JumpNation – the warehouse with a trampoline floor and walls. The kids bound around, racing across the trampolines. Eliza completes somersaults and back-flips. Their faces turn pink and their hair damp with sweat. Then we look up from our tea to see Eliza being carried by a steward. She’s twisted her ankle and receives immediate, thorough first aid.

The next morning, what was to be the easiest exam to reach becomes the most difficult. I drive mother and daughter close to the school. L gives Eliza a piggy-back to the queue waiting to be let in and then gets dispensation to carry her all the way to the desk. How it has affected her exam performance, we don’t know.

Gabe

Gabe is in the top maths set. At the end of last year they did some GCSE level papers. This year, he thinks, they may be heading higher. He does his homework at home – a new departure, perhaps signifying its difficulty. He asks me to help. Quadratic equations – we look at the examples. Without an explanation I don’t know how to approach them. Gabe remembers another technique and applies it. He’s successful with some, but doesn’t feed his answers back into the original equation to check. Were he to heed me, that would be something I could teach him.

Robin

Robin is annoyed that his new teacher is making him read books at a level below where he feels he reached at the end of last year. L and I emphasise the importance of reading them quickly if he wants to be issued more challenging books. The book he wants to read is an award winning account of Guardiola’s Barcelona, that he bought with his own money at Waterstone’s. It’s an adult read (by complexity, not subject matter), but he’s ploughing through it – preferring to be listener, but reading it to himself as well.

World Championships of Trampolining and Tumbling

The week-long celebration of Eliza’s birthday ended with a trip to Birmingham to take in the World Championships.

Eliza

Eliza, fittingly as the intended beneficiary, was the most engaged of the kids by the action. She was happiest when watching from a position on L’s lap and so able to natter to her Mum. Her highlight may have been the visit to the kit shop at the arena. She tried on several leotards and blew her birthday money on a black outfit with silver and purple swirls.

Gabe

Gabe was made anxious by the visit to the arena, the crowds at the Christmas market and by the stay at the hotel with partying youths in a nearby room. He relaxed and revelled in the trip to Brum’s Sea Life Centre, dashing between exhibits and lapping up fishy learning.

Robin

Robin’s thrills were a slide down a helter-skelter at the Christmas market and a climb to the nose-bleed seats at the top of the arena. He stayed up late and woke early at the hotel and didn’t stop moving until we began the drive home, which he slept through (but denied).

 

Trampolining

Eliza

For the second year running, Eliza’s birthday party was shaped around trampolining. The most changed aspect of the party was Eliza herself. Visibly more self-confident, Eliza sat happily and at ease amongst her friends at tea. Where before she was overshadowed by some of her louder, more insistent friends, now she handles them and engages with a wider group of girls. The party was a success.

On her birthday, Eliza took part in her school’s musical performance afternoon (soiree). She played a piano piece well, but L said she had looked as though she was shaking when getting ready to play.

Gabe

Gabe missed Eliza’s party as he spent that afternoon, as well as the evening and night with a friend as a birthday event. Gabe was nervous about the sleep-over because of his snoring. He sought reassurance: yes, I said, it is loud, but it doesn’t go on for very long. His friends either didn’t hear him or were discrete as there was no mention, or teasing of him for snoring.

Robin

Robin can whistle. His repertoire is limited, consisting almost exclusively of the Harry Potter theme tune, which for much of the weekend can be used to locate him around the house.