Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Sickness and cuteness

We have all been sick. Grace came downstairs at about 10pm on Saturday night saying she felt sick, and then was, and proceeded to continue to throw up throughout the night. At about 4am she gave up with bed, and sat downstairs with Luke and a bowl, and between them, they got about 2 hours sleep all night. Then I was sick on Sunday, Jude through Sunday night and finally Luke today. As a result, we have done nothing for the past few days except doze, watch TV and try to figure out what we could eat and keep down. It seems to be a quick bug in terms of actual symptoms, but the tiredness has lingered. In the midst of it all, at some point the fencers came to fix the fence panel that blew down in the storms last month (one of the benefits of renting - we don't have to do it!), and the kids did show a brief interest in what was going on, but it was pouring with rain and the interest didn't last that long. Grace was very sad about how many of our bulbs they trampled on, but we are hoping that they will revive a little....

 On the cuteness front, Grace has taken to eating her dinner in super-quick time, and then looking wistfully at ours and saying "I wish I had some more....". Luke is a sucker for this generous to a fault, and always hands over a bit of his, so yesterday, when I gave the kids a fruit plate to use up some bits and bobs from the fridge, he looked across at Grace's one and a half strawberries and said "I wish I had a strawberry....". Quick as a flash, Grace handed one over, and absolutely refused to take it back. Luke had to eat it in the kitchen as he....... removed the dust from his eyes! It is nice to see that modelling rather than enforcing generosity does actually work though; we have never forced the children to offer their belongings to others, but we have tried to model sharing and taking turns, and it's good to see that as the understanding grows, those kind of behaviours do develop naturally. 

This morning Grace bounced into the bedroom saying "I got dressed myself, mummy - I chose all my own clothes and I sang myself a love song while I was doing it". It may sound ridiculous, but these are the achievements I am proudest of my kids for; developing the inner strength to boost their own self-esteem and learning to have empathy and concern for others. The academic stuff will come; I can see them picking that up and running with it every day - the thirst for understanding is to great for them to do anything else, but I can't help thinking that the self-awareness and concern for the world are the seeds that need to be gently nurtured and not knocked out of them by the academic pressures put on small children in nurseries and schools now.

All summed up, I feel, by Grace's artwork for the day....


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