Thursday, 3 April 2014

Experiments and Thoughts on Society

Today started out bright and sunny, which is always a good chance to get out into the garden! I gave the kids some chalks, and they started decorating the path. Grace decided she was going to write the whole alphabet along our garden path, and Jude (apparently) drew Abba in the swimming pool. Then Grace did a bit of skipping at the front of the house.

We had a mystery appointment too this morning - a note saying simply "11.30am, Thursday 3rd April". We figured it was most likely to be a midwife appointment, so duly stayed at home and waited. At 11.30am, someone came to the door, looking enough like a midwife for me to welcome them by saying, "I'll just get my wee sample for you". Turns out it was our Health Visitor doing an antenatal visit! She was a little surprised to be offered a pot of wee!

Grace asked if she could get the jacket potatoes out of the oven for lunch, and ran off to find the play set of oven gloves that Nannie had made her. We did a little experiment with Luke's coffee to explain why her toy oven gloves weren't suitable for really getting things out of the oven. She was able to put her gloved hands around his mug for 3 seconds in the toy oven gloves, and more than 20 seconds wearing the real oven gloves, and concluded that she would rather wear the real thing for getting out the potatoes.

After lunch we made cards for Great-Nannie, who had a mini-stroke a couple of days ago, and picked some flowers from the garden for her. We haven't been able to see her for a couple of weeks, as we all have lingering colds, and she isn't in the best of health. So we took the cards and flowers over to Nannie to deliver.

Spending time with Nannie is always a great opportunity for plenty of reading and maybe a few jigsaws!

Grace noticed that the new Topsy and Tim book that Nannie was reading was the same as one she already had, but was very confused at some changes to the story and the pictures, which led to some interesting discussion on why things might have been changed. In particular, she noticed that Topsy's shorts had been changed to a skirt, and their mother was looking distinctly more glamorous in the later book, and that an entire storyline in which Topsy and another little girl get inadvertently switched was completely missing from the later book, presumably as people became less trusting of others. I found it really interesting that even in storybooks, society is subtly shaped and our perceptions of what is gender appropriate/safe/etc are altered by what we see around us each day. It is only when you see the two alternatives side by side that you even realise there is an issue.

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