I’m Just a Little Black Raincloud (who won’t do her homework)

It’s been a Sunday. We’ve built up a bit of a routine here. Sunday morning is Homework Morning. I have planning to do for the week ahead and it’s the optimum time for BeanPole to address her 2 hours or less of ‘home learning’.

So this morning we started at 8.30. I sat and in between ranting at her for her lack of any productivity, I spent 4 hours creating an array of worksheets, test papers and death by PowerPoint for my lucky lucky students. BeanPole stropped, sighed loudly, scribbled, doodled, and when this did not have the desired effect cried, sobbed, and snotted on her homework sheets (did I mention, she has a mild cold that is putting her at imminent risk of death? The rest of us have the sniffles.). Eventually, my mum ushered her up to their room where she used mum’s desk to actually do her work before I throttled her. Seriously, how hard is it for a G&T 8 year old to write a list of adjectives and ten sentences?! She has a reading age of 13! It took her THREE HOURS.

LSH and I are holding onto the fact that eventually, the more we push the regular time for homework thing, the easier the habit will be and we won’t be having this screaming match with her when she gets daily homework at high school. We’re in denial. Please don’t let this continue for the next 10 years.

My head hurt and being a believer in fresh air, we headed out for a walk. We went to the one place where our family walks MUST take place every autumn!

Back in 2006…

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And then again today…

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Same tree, same family. This is affectionately known as ‘our tree’ – it’s looked like it’s on it’s last legs for years. I love this place. It’s where The Gruffalo used to live when they were diddy. Now it’s a playground for survival camps and catching weird wildlife.

It’s always nice to witness IT Consultant in outside of his natural environment (yes, iPhone in hand, but he was just geotagging the walk….)

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The walk was lovely, and as hoped did all of us a lot of good. The kids when combined with mud, instantly forgot their germy moaning. There was no bickering. Just squishing through the woods with the occasional rushing into the bushes with cries of “I’m Bear Grylls!!”.

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We found things hopping around (thankfully, Miss Grylls decided that eating the frog wasn’t on the agenda).

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As we walked conifers conkers (argh autocorrect!!) were discovered and collected.

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And we collected a bag of sweet chestnuts which have been stored for roasting later on during the week. (Get us foraging for food!)

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Throughout the walk we found a variety of mushrooms – generally unidentified, but very pretty (wont be eating them!).

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Finally, it was back home to make the final bits of the roast ham dinner that had been sitting in the slow cooker in brown sugar for the past 5 hours contemplating its fate. And a resounding success with the Yorkshire puddings! Extra eggs in the batter. Who knew!

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And the cat agreed, we’ve ended the weekend rather relaxed!

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Fresh air. Curing all ills from homework tantrums, to the common cold!

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These kids don’t even know they’re born! (and other old person mutterings)

It’s day 4 of the Easter holidays and the following phrases a now on repeat:

“I’m bored”
“I’m hungry”

“Stop irritating your sister”
“Tidy up”
“No, not yet”
“Leave people alone”
“Take that OUTSIDE!”

And here I utter the phrase that firmly puts me into OLD woman territory: “these kids don’t know they’d born!”

Take today. A lovely Easter Monday (cold, but nice). We had breakfast, went into town to get the much promised new earrings for the girls, had coffee with G and V, then headed up to soft play whilst LSH had some time in the gym. But they were BORED?! How?!

Then we got home and it all became clear…

BeanPole ran outside with her bow to shoot arrows at stuff like the cutesy girl that she (and her mother) is.

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TinyPants got down to some serious pig painting indoors because she doesn’t “like outside”.

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Eventually, I chucked them both outside to get some fresh air. Then they discovered that our rock pool that got flooded over the winter had dried out, but we had mounds of frogspawn! This of course meant that we had to get the fish box out and “rescue” the eggs. Cue me and LSH trying to scoop frogspawn out of the rocks into water stolen from our fish tank.*

So, now we have a tank of frogspawn taking residence in the conservatory which have brought with them a gang of weird little fresh water shrimpy things. We’ve had to post a picture online to see if anyone knows what these things are. Mainly because I have visions of waking up to find a swarm of flying insects greeting me. Ew ew ew!

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Moral of this story? Stop trying to direct the fun. Give them space and let them make it up.

And try to not freak out about the mess or weird nature in the house.

* NOTE: frogspawn is grim. It is essentially thick mucus expelled from an amphibian. Touching this with your bare hands when the ambient temperature is around 4 degrees is not a pleasant experience. On the up side, frogs have got it right on the whole childbirth thing – this is gooey and pliable and way easier than the gargantuan boney head that beanpole tried to barge her way through with (for reference, she failed and had to be extracted through the sunroof).