Saturday, 27 April 2013

School induction already!

Suddenly my baby has grown so much he is going to go to the reception class in September. How daunting when he still does not pull together proper sentences and runs around and is not listening the nursery assistants like a three-year old. More alarmingly, it seems that I will be a working away researcher mother that adds an extra butterfly to my tummy. However, one archaeologist has to have a steady salary, and although the coming position will be only for a year, I will be partly clearing the decks and partly looking for and testing new ideas. One never knows: may be they will be able to offer us a small family flat, but it seemed unlikely when I asked the accommodation office.

Any way, now a busy archaeologist mum has to put her sight to more earthly matters and scrub the toilet and head for a birthday party picnic after that.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Bad behaviour

Number One Son’s behaviour has taken a turn to the worst and our bet is that this has to do with the frustration of not being able to communicate effectively with his peers. He makes progress, but it is still painfully slow, even if Archaeologist Husband did notice a clear difference over a couple of days he was away in the TRAC. Nevertheless, our son is far behind from the other children, who converse in full sentences and can tell their parents what has happened during the nursery day. Number One Son may be conversing, but we cannot decipher most of it.

When trying to understand what is happening, it turned out that we at home have been using totally different language in telling Number One Son off from the nursery. They have had problems when Number One Son throws a tantrum or pushes other children, and worse. When they have put Number One Son apart, he has not stayed 'on the naughty spot' and has not understood the significance of the practice. I asked them, if they make it explicitly clear that he has been naughty, it turned out their house practice does not allow using that word and they say ‘you have been very silly’. Many families may use this expression, but we do not. For us, as the children of the 1970s, silly is a walk by a tall Monty Python and refers to funniness. Thus, the message may have been totally muddled.

Now we are trying to incorporate the silly word and ‘brainwash’ Number One Son not to push other children. He is in the phase in his personal journey where he tries to rule the roost, so everybody has to be very firm and consistent.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Steam trains a plenty

The last weekend of Easter holiday ended up being a railway themed. A friend who is also the organiser of the local NCT coffee group sent a text circular telling people that there was a model railway event in the ‘poo’ museum, a.k.a. Abbey Pumping Station. This turned out to be an exciting visit for Number One Son. He got really excited joining the other boys in following the travels of a plastic poo in the model toilet and drain. The museum itself was interesting and gave the children a lot. Not only the definite ‘poo demonstration’ but also other machinery and the original decorated features of the pumping station itself.

However, the real draw was the marvellous model railways presented by different local societies and private hobbyists. Number One Son really enjoyed the model of a harbour in Yorkshire made in a year by a model railway society member from Syston. It combined tiny model trains, painstakingly prepared harbour scenery and boats. The older children could help in operating the model, which was ace for them. Suddenly, I got a glimpse of a possible future where the local model train shop will get a new small customer...

Even better was the ride on the narrow track railway on site. It was marvellously sunny day after the greyness of this ‘cold spring’ and the surreal sight of the Space Centre added to the experience. It just then occurred to me that even if we have had a ride on the Great Central Railway with Number One Son, he has never travelled with train. We have to take him to the British Museum relatively soon.

On Sunday I could not resist going to the Rothley Station to check their outdoors model railway and see a real full-sized steam engine in operation. Number One Son was so excited following the stopping train in the Charnwood Forest (Garden) Railway that he was running back and forth checking the end points. He also enjoyed playing with Thomas the Tank Engine outside the cafeteria as well. The real engine made him hopping in excitement. We waited two services to pass so he got a good look. Although he did not appreciate I did not allow him to run to the track in front of the stopped engine but kept the gate hooked!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Looking for Richard

Masses of people have visited the exhibition on the finding of the remains of Richard III. Now with the Easter bank holidays we as a family were drawn towards the presentation. Naturally, Number One Son probably would not care a bit of the panels or information, but Guildhall is a beautiful Medieval Hall and the cobbled courtyard would have given him an unusual place to explore.

Leicester's Search for a King (Leicester City Council)

But it was not going to be. We had hoped that the variable weather and the coldness had kept people away from the centre. The New Walk Museum was definitely less crowded than I expected, but that may have something to do with their children’s area and the Egyptian collection being closed for some building work next door. The dinosaurs the small boys come to see anyway were there and the computer graphics and joysticks were once again roughly manhandled by our toddler. But appreciated, much appreciated.

After spending quite a lot of the holidays indoors due to the grey and chilly weather, we wanted to have a proper walk and let Number One Son to have enough exercise to give him a good night’s sleep. Thus we continued down the New Walk towards the Cathedral. Just when we entered the Cathedral precinct, the snowflakes started to float in the air. We had just one look at the not-so-long-but-long-enough-when-holding-an-impatient-small-boy queue and decided to return to the car. Richard can and will wait. Unless he goes to York after the court case.