Dear Head Teacher,
When my son is entrusted to your care on a week away, what I don’t want, what I really DON’T want is ‘school calling’ to appear on my mobile…
I also don’t want is to be told that he is being taken to the doctors at 12noon and you’ll ring you me again straight after.
What I additionally don’t want is for it to now be 1pm and you’ve not rung back!
This week, more than any other in my life, I have heard the expressions “well at least you are trying”, “can’t say you didn’t try” and “you know you tried” and then being looked at with a somewhat flummoxed expression when I say that sometimes just trying isn’t enough.
It has literally got to the point where the decisions are so big that in order to bring them down to size I am actually tempted to toss a coin.
Trouble is…both the coins above mean something to me – so how can I chose which one to toss?
He must have been about 3 or 4 when I could no longer ignore that fact that DS1 was stuttering. He would often seem to get stuck on the first letter of a word or he would repeat the first few words of a sentence over and over.
I admit that I was guilty initially of committing the cardinal sin of speaking for him. I would guess at the word, or phrase, I would finish his sentences for him – sometimes with impatience.
I mentioned it to my Health Visitor and remember being really upset when she immediately referred him to a speech therapist.
My brain was flooded with worries of whether there was something wrong with him, he’d had quite a traumatic birth – had that caused a problem, would he have a stammer forever, would that affect his whole life, would it get progressively worse?
The speech therapist was amazingly reassuring.
She told me that stammering in a child of that age was often an indication of intelligence. Apparently some children stutter because their brain actually works faster than their mouth can!
She gave us some verbal exercises to do, and we saw her 2 or 3 more times. To be honest I think the stammer would have gone by itself just as mysteriously as it arrived, but I don’t doubt that the exercises sped the process up.
DS1 is now 11. He is a very bright articulate boy – looks like she was right!
Happy Birthday DS1
My boy is 11 – 22nd Dec, officially at 10.12pm – but he assures me it’s ok to have presents in the morning!
My boy is wonderful, I know we all love our children but he really is! He has a depth of maturity that still shocks me, yet he has a playful sense of humour and is a happy, sunny boy.
He is clever (cleverer than me most of the time), he questions things that I just take for granted and seems to have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Yet he isn’t superior or smug, he is gentle and self effacing. It was he who prompted my post about the shadow on the moon – a question he asked at age 5.
He likes reading, drawing, building amazing things from LEGO, making paper aeroplanes (often balancing them on one side to ensure they fly how he wants), playing DS/PS3/Wii games, watching The Simpsons, comedy in general and CHOCOLATE!
He is also a complete pedant, which I just adore.
I did good with that boy *beams with pride*
His life didn’t start smoothly, the birth ‘went wrong’, after finding out late that I had Gestational Diabetes they decided to induce me on my due date. I clearly wasn’t ready to give birth and despite them trying 3 times to induce me Monday, 3 more times Tuesday and a membrane sweep first thing Wednesday, there was still no action! I was 3 cm dilated by Monday night and pretty much stayed there.
Wednesday ended for me as he was placed in my arms and the last thing I remember is someone shouting “She’s 80 over 50″
I didn’t see my son again until the Friday afternoon, Christmas Eve.
I’d lost so much blood that I couldn’t sit up without passing out. For my own reasons I refused a blood transfusion. Because of the diabetes DS1 had been taken straight down to SCBU, then because I was ill they kept him down there.
I did try and get down there once (2 floors away, might as well have been on Mars) but I passed out.
I can remember laying on the ward, the only ‘mother’ there who didn’t have a baby. I felt so confused. So alone. It was like I was being punished. Until on the Friday afternoon a nurse breezed in and said jokingly “oh haven’t you got a baby?” and I said “I don’t know.”
She was horrified that I hadn’t been taken to see him, she was horrified that no one had given me a photo of him.
When my husband (who had been down to see the baby every day) showed up, she was with him, with a photo and a wheel chair and I finally got taken to see him. Sitting upright that long was a struggle, but it was worth it.
He looked a bit of a fraud in SCBU though – at 8lb13 he looked big enough to eat the other babies!
I was terrified that the separation would affect how I felt about him. Or how he felt about me. But it didn’t. I love him so much, I’m so proud of who he is and I’m so proud of who he’ll become.
I did take a photo of the moon last night, and there WAS a planet to the right of it, not quite the ‘2 moons’ extravaganza but there was something there.
But. What planet was it?
The rumour is:
“Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August. It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. This will cultivate on Aug. 27 when Mars comes within 34.65M miles off earth. Be sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 12:30 am. It will look like the earth has 2 moons.”
The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.
Whether it is tonight or in 2018, NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it again.
My 10y/o is very excited about this (have promised faithfully to wake him up at midnight if I can see 2 moons…..) but I’ve also heard that this is an internet hoax – hmmm.
True or false – what do you think?
A quick post, it’s a review but I want to stress that it’s a review because it’s a product that I wanted to try.
One of my sons has quite severe eczema, this is worsened by almost everything and means that finding suitable laundry products are a bit of a nightmare. Please see The Itchy & Scratchy Show for details of our battle with eczema.
I recently tried a laundry product from Alma Win which claims to be completely safe for people with eczema.
I have tried several other washing products that weren’t meant to be skin friendly and in general have either found them to be completely ineffective at washing or in some cases, actually make his skin worse.
But, I have to say that this stuff actually got the clothes really clean! And he has shown no effects from it.
The bain of my life (well, one of them!) is the kids school polo tops. They seem to be dirt magnets and almost never come clean. But, this liquid detergent got them clean!
The only downside to the product, and it’s an obvious one really, is the smell. It has a very subtle aroma of herbs. I quite like it now but found it unusual to start with. It honestly is quite subtle. They do also sell a lemon concentrate that you can add to scent the wash but I was scared of trying it as one of the major things that upsets his skin is citrus.
What do you think about the 11+?
My oldest son is quite a clever old sausage and always does very well at school.
We had to move schools recently (1/4 of way through year 5) for 2 reasons, 1 because we weren’t happy with the head teacher at the old school (long story, more of a politician than a caring head teacher), and 2 because we wanted to move nearer to a better comprehensive school. The one we were near was getting around 46% in the league tables which we didn’t feel offered the boys a good enough chance.
The subject of the eleven plus had come up at the old school and the head had said #quote “he hasn’t got a hope in hell”. So, much as I disliked the man I did accept that he probably had a better idea about that sort of thing than me and we forgot all about the 11+.
Fast forward to new school – after 2 weeks the class teacher asked to speak to me and asked me how he was getting on with his eleven plus tuition. I explained that he wasn’t sitting the eleven plus (and why). She was horrified. She said that she was very sure he would have a really good chance of getting into the grammar school and literally said that she begged me to reconsider.
Extra dilemma here is that the grammar school near us is Colchester Royal Grammar school – one of the best grammar school’s in the country. That should be a good thing, BUT, it means that the curriculum is massive and very intense.
From a pressure point of view, it is only acceptable to get As.
Oldest stepson lives in Kent, near him there are 3 grammar schools all of varying degrees of excellence. If we lived in Kent I would be very happy for oldest son to do the 11+ as he would almost certainly pass (nearly 500 boys get in there as opposed to 96 here) and the 2nd/3rd grammars aren’t as intense.
We discussed this with oldest son who said he DOES NOT want to go the the grammar school. He did do 11+ tuition for a while but was incredibly unhappy so after a lot of conversations we agreed to stop the tuition and let him go to the comprehensive.
505 boys sat the exam last year, only 96 got in.
This is a quote from the local gazette (by James Calnan):
TOP selective schools in Colchester are attracting parents who cannot afford to go private.
A “Migration Monitor” used by home move website moveme.com finds the town, which has two of the country’s top five grammar schools, is the third most attractive destination for people looking for a new home.
Chelmsford, with two more grammar schools in the top ten, heads the list and experts believe one reason is that parents who cannot afford to send their children to a fee-paying school are instead paying for private tuition in a bid to get them into a grammar school.
Colchester Royal Grammar School (CRGS) saw the numbers of youngsters hoping to gain entry in September this year increase by nearly ten per cent.
Last November, 505 children hoping to join CRGS sat the 11-plus exam, compared to 464 the previous year, while Colchester County High School has seen a smaller rise, from 485 to 499.
Roseanne Bullen, sales and marketing manager for Linden Homes Eastern, predicted this trend could become more marked in the next few years.
“As a growing number of families shun private schools and their expensive fees in favour of some of the UK’s top grammar schools, Colchester is set to benefit from a surge of families moving into the area,” she added. Read more in the Gazette
I discussed this recently with a lovely lady on twitter – who suggested that I was insane for not putting him in for the 11+ as passing it would mean that he would be educated at one of the best state schools in the country.
Since this conversation, and because I am the queen of indecision, I have discussed this again with oldest son. I also shared with him the aforementioned lovely lady from twitter’s opinion. “No” he said “I don’t want to go”. His reasons are pressure, losing friends, too many languages to learn (he prefers maths and science stuff).
Next day, at bedtime, oldest son says “Ok, I’ll go, but can I do the tuition at home?”
So, with just 3 months to go we are now planning an emergency 11+ tuition programme…. fingers crossed!
But what do YOU think about the eleven plus and about grammar schools? Let me know?
Today my boys have taken over the kitchen!
They have made their breakfast (cereal and brioche), made their lunch (grated cheese sandwiches) and for the finale they have made @DhruvBaker1‘s ‘Easy peasy chicken curry’ and some chocolate muffins!
Here is how they got on in Kids’ Kitchen
This is youngest son, who turned 9 last week, he has expressed an interest in becoming a chef, so let’s see how he gets on! We don’t have a whizzy blendy doodad so this is him using a mezzaluna to chop the garlic and ginger.
Ok, so now he is adding some chopped chicken. As mummy is a bit squeamish with bones we’ve gone for just chicken breast, although the recipe does suggest that you can use whole chickens that you’ve cut into pieces. The onion is a bit rougher than the recipe suggests as again I don’t have a whizzy blendy thing, we’re hoping it won’t adversely affect the overall result.
Seems like an awful lot of fluid! Fingers crossed it will reduce ok and make the ‘thick sauce’ alluded to in the recipe – find out in 40 mins! One thing that you can’t convey on a recipe or indeed a blog is the smell – it smells amazing!
It has reduced beautifully, sauce is quite thick now and tastes gorgeous. Nice one Dhruv!
And so, dessert
This time we have the 10 year old, he has no interest in becoming a chef, but a LOT of interest in chocolate cake!
His only questions during this whole process were “Can I have the bowl?” and “Can I have the spoon”
These babies taste as good as they look! Have a feeling they will be to die for if warmed slightly in the microwave and then served with some cornish ice cream. Mmmmmmm.
Blimey O’reily my name has popped up in the MADs list!
I wonder if it was my rants about coffee and customer service?
My frustration over my son’s battle with eczema?
My honest account of my recovery after the breakdown of my marriage?
Maybe it was learning that Dermot O’leary used to lay on my desk?
My tale of a random act of kindness?
Maybe someone liked reading about my cats Elvis and Maisy?
I doubt it was my infinite playlist….
Whatever it was I am very grateful to Twitter and the blogging world because it is really fun to share experiences with people, I’ve been reduced to tears (both of sadness and laughter) from other peoples blogs and I know I don’t stand a hope of winning with my 7 posts, but it is still pretty cool to take part!
If you would like to vote for me – I’d be delighted! Just click here and then enter my blog name www.coffeecurls.wordpress.com into the areas where you’d like to nominate.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE