Friday, November 25, 2005

Hectic Days

Blimey, where did the week go?

No point in me doing a day by day recap, since there's lots I can't remember - it's been an extremely busy time business-wise, and an even busier one with health appointments and errands and whatnot. Highlights of the week include:

  • Meeting all our article deadlines. Just.
  • Massive increase in ebay activity as well as amazon and shop sales.
  • Jon coming out in a rather scary rash as a reaction to new medication, which cleared up just before we decided on a dash to casualty, as advised in the leaflet, but was rather alarming just the same...
  • Emily mastering two new notes on the recorder.
  • Taking Nana swimming and Emily showing off her water skills.
  • Lovely play at Romy's on Tuesday.
  • Making a plaster of paris brain, which Emily's going to paint in different colours according to what goes on where.
  • Lots and lots of maths, including some tears when Emily realised that a) she needs to know the 2, 5 and 10 times tables in random order not just one after the other and b) that she can't yet do that.....followed by lots of smiles when I pointed out that (probably) nor can the kids in her school year, yet, and that it doesn't matter how long it takes her to learn, we'll get there in the end.
  • Tons of very impressive spelling. Emily now has all the various vowel combinations off pat, I think, so she can do spellings like the boil/soil, cloud/sound, could/would, bread/head, air/chair, boat/moat type groups without thinking now, as well as -le and wh- words and quite a few of the miscellaneous words like because, usually and so on. More to the point, she's starting to spell them correctly in her own writing too, rather than just when "tested". She asks to do spelling a lot, for some strange reason!
  • Suicidal kittens. Yes. Romeo has taken to tightrope walking along the very narrow bannister at the top of our front stairs. The one with a good 25 foot drop down at the furthest edge. He likes to wander along it, and then sit, poised to leap at a cobweb hanging across the stairs on the wall. Oh how we laugh. Not. It's been fun sitting in our "work" area in the open plan room at the top of the stairs watching him doing that and waiting with bated breath for him to fall to certain injury. Yes, I know cats are supposed to have a good sense of self preservation and won't do anything daft. Think Romeo was away when they handed out that particular skill, though. Oh and of course, Juliet now copies him. It's even more fun when you have two of them there, poised to fight and pushing past each other on this extremely narrow piece of wood.

There's been rather a lot of carol singing, too. Emily's found her Christmas CDs and has had them on, um, lots. She knows all the words and has been singing her heart out, lol. She can't wait for the carol service on Christmas Eve. I used to feel hypocritical taking her there, since I'm by no stretch of the imagination a Christian, but I've now come round to a different point of view: just as it's morally wrong to push a religion on a child, it's also, imo, morally wrong to push a child away from a religion if they've expressed an interest in it (which Emily frequently has, it's not just a once a year issue). It's very easy for me to pooh-pooh Christianity, but how is that any better, or any more right, than forcing her down a path of my own choosing? Jon is a little more Christian than me (but not much) - but it's funny, isn't it, how none of us would dream of pouring scorn on a different religion, yet it's OK to pour scorn on the one most familiar to you. I haven't found anything particularly meaningful in any of the religions I've investigated - but that doesn't mean that Emily can't, or won't, or shouldn't. If we had easy access to other places of worship, or knew people of other faiths and could join in their celebrations we'd jump at the chance for Emily to experience that....yet I balk at taking her to the one religious centre we do have ready access to. Odd - and worrying, too.

Emily definitely has an interest in God in the Christian sense, and it's not just what she was brainwashed with in that first year at school, either - it's lasted beyond that. We often talk about God and spirituality and religions. We've explained how, for instance, in our opinion, the Bible stories cannot be considered actual fact, but we've also been careful to point out that many people believe they are, and that it's up to her to make up her own mind about that and other aspects of Christianity as she grows and matures. I hate the thought that she should automatically take on our views and opinions on anything at all, including religion. She's not a Nikki'n'Jon clone, and we wouldn't want her to be. It's a fine line to tread between explaining your own point of view and not, on the other hand, crushing a child's emerging personal opinion. Now if only we could leave all that moral guidance malarky to school, lol.......

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