Is 16 months old too young to be able to read?
Yesterday several of the boxes of cereal on the breakfast table had less than a plateful left in them so Thomas took three of the internal bags and put them in one box. The result was that inside a box marked Cheerios we had Weetabix minis, Cheerios and Golden nuggets.
This morning Amaia sat down to breakfast. She pointed at the Cheerios. Thomas pulled out the Nuggets bag and filled her plate. She's a baby after all - krispies are krispies... she looked at them, she looked at the back of the box, then she looked at them again in disgust, shook her head and pointed at the box. Thomas took out the Weetabix with the same result. He then fished down to the bottom and pulled out the actual Cheerios, she nodded and held out her bowl!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Is 16 months old too young to be able to read?
- He went to Spain
- The girls are going to Germany
- I am going in Japan
- He went in Denmark
Monday, May 30, 2011
Léon keeps talking about Moshi monsters. I am not actually sure he knows what a moshi monster is but he hears everyone else raving about them at school so wants to be in on the trend. I decided to adopt him one but was a bit snowed under with work and life so asked Charlotte to read up on what you were meant to do with it on the web page.
She came down the other night and announced it was some kind of tamagotchi-like thing that you had to feed, play with and stimulate to keep happy. When you log on it asks for nutritious snacks and new decor for its house that you pay for by earning money doing general knowledge and mathematical quizzes. No issues there - or so I thought...
But I hadn't banked on my daughter turning out to be some kind of sadistic lunatic! With a gleam in her eye, she started force-feeding Pudge's monster bowl after bowl of soup to see if she could make it explode! She then tried giving it 20+ cans of juice in a similar (failed) attempt to kill it! Around midnight I caught her googling 'how do you kill a moshi monster'! I began to worry I was raising some sort of psychopathic offspring.
On Sunday my brother dropped by... my respectable, 40 year old (this week), lawyer brother. I started to recount what moshi monsters were and how they functioned with a view to asking him if he thought Lots's behaviour was worrying. Before I got as far as that though, his eyes lit up like the little boy I remember from my childhood and he mused - I wonder if you could starve one to death or overfeed it!
Bloody hell - it all came back to me - the jars he'd caught wasps and bees in at 10, the bugs he'd used a magnifying glass and sun rays to heat till the popped.
When I told him about Charlotte's behaviour he simply looked proud rather than appalled. So if my daughter is a psycho, I guess the gene comes from her uncle!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Two weeks ago Léon came home from school with a letter telling the kids that the last day before the long weekend holiday was going to be their annual crazy hair day.
Léon's been unable to contain himself ever since. Every morning he's asked if he can dye his hair (while Charlotte, of course, is refusing as usual to even comb her hair into a different parting as that would be far too daring!)
Last night we told him today was the day. We fully expected to be woken at 6, but at 7-30 he bounced down announcing he'd lost the battery from his wall clock. Thomas had told him he couldn't come down till 8 so apparently he'd taken it off the wall and sat on the top bunk watching the hands go round until the battery fell out the back and he lost all idea what time it was!
So he's off at school now as pleased as punch, and I'm just hoping face-paint does come out of hair after a whole day!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
At the end of last summer, I took the stabilisers off Léon's little bike and then Thomas and I started the chore of running along behind him breaking our backs as we tried to teach balance to a child who already knew how to pedal. Snow came prematurely and coincided with Léon getting his first glasses so we only got 60% of the way there when we put his bike away for the very long winter.
Last month we started the running again. And as we ran, once again 3 year olds were shooting past us on pedal-less bikes. Suddenly the penny dropped. These pedalfree bikes were 'balance bikes' and were teaching tiny kids to cycle all by themselves so adults didn't need to intervene. I stopped watching Pudge and started watching the tots on the balance bikes. I was right.
I went straight onto ebay when I got home - no luck - all the cheap ones were pick-up only but even on amazon they were only £30 and with three kids who still needed to learn cycling, I figured it was worth a tenner each to save my back and Thomas's.
It arrived last week and within an hour Léon was tentatively balancing all by himself. Three trips out onto the road at the back of my house by himself without us even looking on and he was also shooting by with his feet in the air. I was so confident by today that I dragged out a real bike the same size to test my theory. He hopped on and cycled across the road without the slightest look back over his shoulder. It had taken less than 3 hours to teach my boy cycling, cost £10 and it didn't even make my back twinge!
Today I have lowered the balance bike's saddle to Anna's height and though I guess at three she might take longer than Léon, I will be more than surprised if she hasn't learned to cycle before the end of the summer.
Balance bikes were possibly invented as parents became older. You may be able to run crouched over a bike behind your five year old at 28 but by 43 another solution was necessary! They certainly have my vote. Any idea I had that they were a waste of money is definitely wrong. It made the whole process stress free and Léon looked more than pleased to have taught himself! Three cheers for balance bikes.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
- 6 Swedish cinnamon rolls
- 4kg of sweetcorn
- 1 garlic bread
- 6 slices of svenskt tunnbröd
- 6 rolls
- 3 fruit scones
- 6 potato scones
- 1 bag of lamb stock
- 4 battered haddock
- 4 chicken breasts
- 3 square sausages
- 1 sage and onion stuffed chicken
- 1 IKEA almond cake
- 1 sticky toffee pudding
Monday, May 09, 2011
I have spent the best part of two weekends prising open tins of paint, sealant, tile adhesive and the likes in my garage, finding paints have turned to porridge and adhesives to cement over the course of the last winter. I have then had to drag them up to the dump as there are far too many to fit in our fortnightly bin collection. I have owned a garage now for ten years and these last two winters have been the first to see temperatures cold enough to destroy everything water-based stored within. So I am away to write on my calendar for the first weekend in November to bring all surviving pots into the house for the winter. I suggest you do the same.
Léon announced tonight that he quite fancied going to Japan to see what it's like and to eat sushi (I'd have thought Silverburn was closer, but there you go!) I mentioned that Thomas could read and speak Japanese so was perhaps a handy person to take along. Léon seriously agreed that that was a great idea given he'd be able to read all the road signs and check if there were any earthquake or tsunami forecasts on them. If only it was that simple!
Sunday, May 08, 2011
Friday, May 06, 2011
Unlike my two older children Léon loves ties and has been badgering me for weeks now not only for a school tie but even a blazer. The other two always wore the casual uniform at primary and have never even owned a primary tie. Léon is definitely not going to follow suit. Today the kids had a dress as you please non-uniform day and whereas most kids turned up in bright cartoon t-shirts and shorts, Léon insisted not only on his party shirt and tie but also his smart cardie! He has definite fashion ideas for a 5 year old - I am beginning to think he may have to change the spelling of his surname from Gautier to Gaultier!