Thursday, January 31, 2013
Fast forward to last year and Lots, who has a big mouth (literally more than metaphorically!) found out at a routine x-ray that she was missing the adult teeth under the very four teeth that Marcel had had to have removed at twelve. How ironic is that?
Fast forward to last month and Léon's adult lateral incisors came through, but because his milk canines were too big he had no space for them so they were pushed back behind the canines and were starting to cause him to speak funny. Remembering from the others that the canines didn't fall out naturally for another five or so years, I dragged him across the road to the dentist for a second opinion. He said they absolutely needed to come out as soon as possible and gave me the option of next week or on the spot! I couldn't see any point in waiting and giving him a week to worry so we went for on the spot.
He was so brave... a tiny whimper at the three jags and a squeeze of my hand and then finally the beautiful, perfect canines were tugged out without a tear. He's such a mature wee guy, I'm so proud of him.
Léon now has his new glasses too and they don't seem to be overly reflective either - I am such a happy bunny!
Into the bargain, for the first time in three years neither of their prescriptions had changed so I didn't even need to buy that obligatory spare pair you need for when they snap off a leg or lose a screw. I can use their old ones as spares.
Excellent news for my bank book!
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Anna had been asked by her teacher to write 'a couple of lines' about a place she goes that is special, suggesting a relative's house or holiday destination might be a good option. (The poor teacher is going to need to ask for overtime given how carried away she got!) Anyway, she only had to ask for help with a few words, managing to sound out much of the spelling herself. Her biggest problem, because it was not phonetically English, was the word 'pizza'. She knew it was an 'i' and not the expected 'ee' and she must have remembered the double consonant in the middle, but somehow she remembered it as a double 's' and worse still she was concentrating so much on the 'zz' sound, she managed to forget the 'a' altogether, so when I proofread it for handing in, she's actually written 'We make piss and we eat piss!' I guess you must get the odd laugh when you are teaching five year olds!
Anyway, all in all I was quite proud of her wee story. It isn't bad for someone who only started school in August.
Monday, January 28, 2013
We held our own wee Burns Supper last Friday and mum joined us. I think if we redo one next year I will film Thomas reading the address to the haggis - for some reason she seemed to find Thomas's version of Scots rather amusing!
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Friday, January 25, 2013
Today I learned that my daughter has not inherited all my personality traits. We were invited to the primary school as she had won a Burns and Scottish poetry competition. I thought that was quite an achievement for someone who only turned five last month. We were ushered into the gym hall where thirty parents, fifteen teachers, ninety p1s, ninety p2s, ninety p3s and ninety p5s were assembled. A lone mic stood on the stage. The head teacher welcomed us and then called out her name. Knee-high to a grasshopper, she made her way up the stairs and stood in the spot light and sang five verses on Ally Bally Bee in front of everyone with no musical accompaniment. She then walked over, shook the head's hand and sat back down again. I don't think I managed to get a single photo of her in focus because I was shaking with nerves! She was as cool as a cucumber. When Thomas asked if she'd been afraid, she looked blank and asked 'What of?'
I'm so proud of my wee p1!
And the same is true for Ursula and Léon, who got on like a house on fire despite not having seen each other since September 2011. It was lovely to sitting and listen to them chatting away happily in Danish, laughing and hatching little plots together.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Léon's been singing this non-stop all week. It is strange to hear him use Scots because he isn't really all that familiar with it. In fact Danish is much more comprehensible to him than this little song, that I had to explain in places! I've always found it quite amusing to hear my kids' mistakes when they try using real Scots words. I grew up with grandparents who spoke nothing else so knew exactly how is should be pronounced even if I spoke standard, boring Newton Mearns English myself, but my kids haven't heard much real Scots themselves so happily sing 'bread' in the middle of a sentence containing the word 'jeely'. Many words I understood passively as a child are more foreign to my kids than the Danish, French, German and Spanish they hear around their own dining room table. Things have changed quite a lot in the last generation.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Léon's name isn't actually Léon... Technically, his real name is Léon-Olivier but that is a bit hard for his Scottish compatriots, so he gets called Léon (which in itself is hard enough as we pronounce it the French way, not the English way).
Anyway, people have often remarked that we chose to shorten it to the wrong half, given his nature. You see, Léon is a very soft and gentle little boy, and is not at all lion-like. He also has a very conciliatory nature - quite olive-branchy! However, I think in the last few weeks he's grown into his name! His mane has taken over! He's been badly in need of a haircut but I kept thinking it was a bit mean to have all that cut off in this cold weather.
I've known since he was a baby that he has extremely thick hair. Once, at the hairdresser in town, when he was just one, the woman who was cutting his hair remarked to me that she'd been cutting hair for thirty years and had never cut a baby before whose hair felt like a grown man's! Anyway, tonight when he spiked it up using little more than his sticky hands, I decided enough was enough - he's just going to have to wear a hat to keep warm because like that he actually looks like he's wearing a fancy dress costume!
Sadly, I do think that however long the fashion gets, poor Léon is never going to be able to opt for anything other than a short back and sides because it just becomes way too overstated and unwieldy when it gets any longer.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Having bought some of them in Primark over Xmas, we decided that was the obvious place to get one for those members of the family who had not yet succumbed to losing their dignity in favour of warmth and comfort. So over we went to Braehead, driving through the snow and walked in the the ladies' department to find they'd got rid of their fleece onesies and replaced them with bikinis and beachwear. What is it with these big chain stores? How often are they so busy rushing ahead to the next season that they miss all the money they could be making now? I cannot believe that with outdoor temperatures on the minus scale and no holidays imminent, they would have had a rush on bikinis, and they missed out on selling Miriam and I something ridiculous and fleecy on Sunday... I guess it is a bit like my rant back last Halloween.
Having fallen in love with this video over Xmas, Léon bounced outside last night and made his own little Snow dog (which was quite a feat with less than one millimetre of snow!) He then proceeded to score the 'real pet owl' off of his birthday list (no idea why he's already written that with nearly nine months to go), citing the fact that his snow dog would come to life on the stroke of midnight and he wouldn't need two pets!
The poor wee man is just desperate for a pet.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Anyway, she may not have been able to wear any bobbles on her first day but she was absolutely thrilled to be allowed to go out with her siblings at 8-45 wearing her own little (recycled from Charlotte, Léon and Anna) uniform jumper! She refused to zip up her jacket despite the sub-zero start so everyone would see her jumper and badge on the school drop-off. And Anna and Léon showed her off on the way in to school almost like proud parents!
She was happy to be left alone for the settling-in hour doing jigsaws, weighing fruit and happily sitting with her teacher who'd come to our house last week to meet her. Having met her in her home surroundings, Amaia immediately clocked her teacher (who we knew well as she'd been Lots' teacher nine years ago) and felt safe to go to her. The home visits are definitely a positive innovation.
When it came time to leave, she was full of smiles. Tomorrow she's back for a couple of hours and I'm sure by Thursday, she'll be ready to start her full sessions.
Monday, January 14, 2013
Amaia got Play Doh for her birthday. Playing with it with the girls reminded me of Derek's Fuzzy Pumper Barber Set. He got it for Xmas or a birthday when he was six or seven, so I would have been pushing ten and trying to play cool. Play Doh was for kids! But to be honest, I was desperate for a Fuzzy Pumper of my own! In fact, if truth be told, I wouldn't say no to one even now! Anyway, I think I simply opted to casually help him play, much in the same way Charlotte has been helping Amaia play for three days now!
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Friday, January 11, 2013
I love my Bopster.
Monday, January 07, 2013
An appointment was made for her at the Victoria infirmary the last week of October so I took her along happily for her new prescription, only to be told they were just checking her current glasses were ok and that her prescription appointment was three weeks later. Given I have to take her out of school, and I potentially have to take time off my own work, I moaned that these two appointments should rolled into one but my complaint fell on deaf ears.
I was told to make an appointment as close as possible to November 20th for her new glasses. When I rang for the appointment the closest they could apparently give me was December 24 in the afternoon. I wasn't overly pleased with that given we do Xmas on the 24th, being Danish but decided the glasses were a priority and prepared to take her.
A couple of days before Xmas I got a letter telling me they'd had to cancel and her new appointment was mid-January. Given I had been told in October her eyes had improved to the point that her current glasses had too strong a prescription, I was seriously annoyed. But I hadn't counted on that letter being followed by a second one two days later moving November's appointment to 18 February! I'd had enough but couldn't get through so emailed them a rant about my child in the wrong glasses for potentially five months when they were the ones constantly moving the appointment. I told them it was unacceptable and to send me a cancellation if possible.
Eleven-forty this morning the postman came. My new appointment! At last! I opened it half expecting it to be March, but no! Go on, guess??? 'We are pleased to tell you we can fit your daughter in on January 7 at 11-30am!' FFS. I'm now on hold while the orthoptist tries the Southern and Gartnavel for an emergency appointment. Deep breaths...
Update 10-1-13: We got them to move it to Jan 21st - woo hoo!
Sunday, January 06, 2013
How about this for spooky? Marcel's been doing a paper round for two years. It takes in six streets around Crookfur. While he was out last night his boss phoned and asked if I thought he'd be willing to increase his round by a few more streets. I figured it'd be ok, but agreed to send him over today to find out the details. In he went, and Martin came out with It isn't much of an increase - I just wondered if you could add on Douglas Court and Buchanan Drive?
If I was in any way superstitious, I'd probably take that as some sort of supernatural contact.
Well it would appear winter this year was that week at the beginning of December when the ground froze for two days. Now that we've had ten days of 11 degrees, our garden has decided, for better of worse, that it is officially spring, and the rhubarb, that only died off in November is back in all its glory! It's definitely another funny winter. If there isn't even an afternoon of snow, I know two kids who are not going to be happy bunnies... though I guess they may be luckier on their February trip to Scandinavia (that I am unfortunately missing out on!)
Friday, January 04, 2013
Thursday, January 03, 2013
I suspect my translator/linguist friends are likely to be treated to a monthly head-shaking session induced by the faux pas of printing something that has been google(or similar)-translated without being proofread by anything close to a native speaker, or even proofread at all! We bought it in Cortona last year with a view to cooking a nice Italian dish once a month but as it was shrink-wrapped we didn't see the added bonus of it providing hours of blog-rant ammo...
The Italian is obviously the original. It reads reasonably well. The Spanish is passable, though has a few minor errors but has been translated directly from the Italian. If you only speak English, you will be surprised to hear that the English is actually miles better than the French or German! For some reason once the English has been produced by machine-translating the Italian, they have fed the machine-written English version through the translator to produce the French and German, rather than using the original. Maybe they thought it would cope better with that? (They were wrong!)
The German is beyond laughable. It makes me want to cry. I don't know where to start with it - it goes off the rails at the first word, and by the second verb has jumped person. And there's a wee bit of Italian left over in vergine! By the second sentence the phrasal verb has lost some bits, and the choice of verb leaves a lot to be desired! What happened to German word order in the next line is beyond me but the meaning leaves a lot to be desired too. In the next sentence I am hoping you don't burn your hands too badly while you are mixing it with the 'fire'! Grammatically the next bit is completely meaningless. I'm crying already... The following clause has no verb at all - I guess that is one way to make sure you don't get the verb wrong! But I think the crescendo has to be the use of Spread - you know that great thing machine translation does when it doesn't know a word - it leaves the original! And of course who can fail to appreciate the beautiful mismatch of geröstetem and frisches?!
Even the list of ingredients in each language is wrong! I suppose we are lucky to speak all the languages used - that way between them we might manage to cobble together a version that works!
(And for the really pedantic amongst us, don't you love their choice of abbreviations on the other half for the days - I am particularly fond of G/T to mean Thursday! :-D)
But on a more positive note, maybe I'll go and check if the calendar has a publishing house printed on the back and I will send in my business card (and Thomas's given his Spanish is better than mine) and offer our services before this year's print run!
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
We do Xmas the European way. My first years as a mother were spent in France and latterly, being married to a son of the manse (however unreligious he turned out!) it just seemed normal to carry on that tradition. Introducing Santa and Xmas morning presents to kids who were six or eight when Thomas and I got together would have been a bit odd. So in our house the presents are unwrapped on Xmas Eve after dinner. They are given by mummy, daddy and the rest of the family so there are no great 6am wake-ups in this house, just calm present-giving. I can definitely recommend it as a way to go when you have kids after 40 and can't face the early morning hysteria! They also know not to expect gifts beyond our means and appreciate our part in it which is lovely.
Anyway in Europe, although Santa doesn't bring all the presents, he has been introduced occasionally to drop by after dinner with a present for each kid. Thomas decided (when he found a Santa suit reduced to a fiver) that it might be fun for Santa to drop by this year for the first time ever. He borrowed an old pair of sun glasses so as to disguise himself better. He rang the doorbell after dinner. Marcel and Charlotte played along. Anna and Léon looked vaguely puzzled muttered that he sounded a bit like daddy, mentioning how odd it was that Santa spoke Danish! Amaia on the other hand was completely taken in by it. She looked utterly terrified and squirmed on the spot, her whole body language screaming at 'scary Santa' to get lost! She was not at all a happy bunny. She couldn't wait to get rid of him! Sweet.
I wonder if kids ever really like Santa? I remember when my friend's husband dressed up as Santa for Marcel and Charlotte when they were little Charlotte was even less impressed than Amaia!
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
What age am I? Yes, technically I am 44, but what age am I mentally? If you'd asked me fifteen years ago I'd probably have said something like 23. I felt 23 was old enough to be an adult but young enough to be full of life and be fun. Of course, with the wisdom of middle age comes a knowledge that although I got married first time round at 23, I was little more than a child who shouldn't even have been contemplating settling down. So I'm definitely not 23. I have far too much life experience to be 23! Then I remembered a passage I read, interestingly, at 23 in Marcel Pagnol's autobiographical story 'La Gloire de mon Père'. I haven't looked at it in more than twenty years but I remembered it almost verbatim.
L'âge de mon père, c'était vingt-cinq ans de plus que moi, et ça n'a jamais changé. L'âge d'Augustine, c'était le mien, parce que ma mère, c'était moi, et je pensais, dans mon enfance, que nous étions nés le même jour.
I know this is quoted from the child's perspective, but if altered slightly, it rings true... Mon âge, c'était le sien, parce que mon fils, c'était moi... nous étions nés le même jour. Realistically a new me was born on 27-7-97. That is the cut-off between my life before I was someone's mother, and after. And after, nothing was ever the same again. The centre of my universe altered forever. So in a way I too was born on 27-7-97. I was born at the age of 29, if that makes any sense. I have a lot more life experience and baggage than I did at 29, of course, but essentially I think I feel 29 inside. I couldn't feel any younger because before 29, the me who I am today did not exist, but I think I'll try to stay 29, mentally, even if everything on the outside is heading further south.
I wonder what age my friends and family members are?