Posts Tagged ‘tv’

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.

Reveillé

    Gabe

In recent weeks, Gabe has got up in the morning, woken by his alarm, without prompting. He has come downstairs for breakfast dressed for school and completed his other preparations quickly. It’s a sudden change from years of moving slowly and reluctantly, slumping and fiddling, as if school could be resisted that way. With up to an hour freed each morning, Gabe spends it watching TV.

    Robin

Robin is usually up first in the morning. Hunger, boredom or some other need draws him out and about – into our bed or to wake Eliza. At breakfast he eats one and one-half or, if unsupervised two, bowls of cheerios and his own, special, soya milk, using his own blue-handled spoon. And he’s loud, singing and barking, unable to retain a warning to be quiet.

    Eliza

Eliza casts off her morning sleepiness, evident the moment she wakes, in minutes if not seconds. She is the least habit-bound in the morning. She’s easily distracted at breakfast and errs from getting dressed and ready for school into games with Robin and playing with the gerbils.

Gerbils

First came their home, the gerbilarium, a three storey wire and plastic cage. Gabe, Eliza and Robin sat around it, imagining how it would be inhabited. Over a week later, the gerbils came. Three eight week old brothers, bought from a different store of the Pets at Home chain that had supplied the unlucky Sandy. Gabe was particulary conflicted about this: he so wanted a gerbil, but so distrusted any store that had sold us Eliza’s short-lived hamsters.

Romano (light gold, with a white patch on his back), Bayjay (darker gold) and Silver, belonging respectively to Gabe, Eliza and Robin. Better than telly, said Eliza, about watching them skitter about the cage. After three days they were judged to be settled enough to be handled. We took the gerbilarium to the bathroom and placed it in the empty bath. First to emerge was Bayjay, who slithered and slid around Eliza and my hands before running circuits around the bath. Silver came next, nipping at fingers, too agitated for Robin to hold comfortably, driving him to tears. Romano stayed buried in the wood shavings. He debuted two days later, giving Gabe, the most nervous of pet owners, the thrill of a hold and stroke. Silver, still apt to lead with the teeth, made up a little with Robin. Eliza, with an air of experience, had a play with Bayjay.

Choir boy

Gabe

Gabe’s first term in the school choir culminated with the Christmas concert. The choir sat on a stage to the right. Gabe was in the front-row, keeping the perfect posture, but looking slight and short, legs dangling and feet well above the floor. He looked anxious throughout, whether singing or waiting to sing. The choir sang beautifully and Gabe, despite his nerves about making some higher notes, enjoyed the concert. L shed a tear.

Robin

Robin left nursery in tears. Two of his friends had been given special rewards for their drawing, but Robin had received nothing. Kind words from L couldn’t console him until she offered him a reward if he behaved well until gym. Duly motivated, he behaved and was rewarded – with a bouncy ball, which he played with for the rest of the day.

On the last day of school, Robin left nursery with a prize for being gentle: for helping a girl hurt by his two prize-winning friends of earlier in the week.

Eliza

Cable TV has given us the ability to call-up recent programmes to watch whenever we choose. For Eliza, this almost always means, ‘Charlie and Lola’, a cartoon about a brother and his little sister. Eliza has watched every episode over and again. She’s charmed by the stories of ordinary infant schoolgirl activities (having new shoes, a friend getting glasses, wanting to play with a friend and also go to a party at the same time) and by Lola, who gets words wrong and amuses with naive redundancy (extremely very).