Though the kids aren’t in school, all of their activities are during term time-so our schedule is based on the school schedule. We started a bit late as we were away a week ago Monday, but they only missed one Irish dance class. Since then they have attended all of their classes/groups and seem to be enjoying them. We’ve made a few changes for this term, which seems to be going well.
The kids are having a joint private recorder lesson which I believe will be good for them. Their teacher (they had her for group lessons before) seems to think they are going to do well with it-they do seem to be able to make the right sounds and easily follow any rhythm she plays. Listening to them really accentuates how musically challenged I am. At times it feels like my helping them to practice is like the blind leading the sighted. The teacher has no problem with me sitting in—which is good because if I didn’t I wouldn’t have a clue what they needed to do or practice. They both want to play different instruments-but must show us they will practice and learn to read music before I’ll spend the money for the new (expensive) instruments. As of now they are both comfortably able to read & play A & B-and can pick out the different sounds on three different instruments. (I have caught on a bit as well!)
Both children had decided that they didn’t want to go back to gymnastics. I really thought that when they saw the Olympics they would change their minds and go back, but neither did. Funny thing is-it’s only in the past week or so that they’ve done cart wheels in the garden just for the fun of it. Hazel has only ever done it one other time to my knowledge. I need to try and get one more ‘sporty’ activity for them. Possibly swimming lessons, or skating. Need to do check both of those out in the next week.
We are also watching Victoria again on Mondays, but just till half-term. We all missed having her round-they all really play so well together. It’ll only be till October as that’s when Carole goes on maternity leave-as she has a little girl due around Christmas time. I’m sure we’ll have more fun with play-dates after the New Year. Kieran is probably more excited about the baby than anything else. We all had a good day on Monday-they were patient with me in the garden centre, and were rewarded by a sunny afternoon in the local park. The best part is-even Victoria is almost completely independent in the parks as well-so I got to read my book, as Kieran was more than happy to push her on the swings.
They are continuing with their Irish and ballet/tap classes and with Badgers. On the first day back to Badgers they got their first ‘paw’ badge for completing three badges. They were also very excited with the new badge they are working on: Hungry Badgers. They get to make/eat food for the next two months at Badgers-right up their alley! They brought home fruit salad last night, so at least it’s started on the healthy route.
I’ve also decided that even though they don’t always enjoy play groups we were going to try one or two. They aren’t keen on the ‘running wild’ (normal mayhem to you and me) or noise of most groups, but I thought it was time to try again. There are a few groups all within a ½ drive from the house, so I gave them a choice of all of them. I explained as best I could what would take place and if they would know anyone there. They picked one not too far from home-because it has an outside play park and no regular/mandatory structured activities. They just want to play, and preferably outdoors.
We went there today, and I think they did well. They didn’t quite integrate, but did play ‘alongside’ other kids. There is a small soft play room that my two tried out. I decided to stay close as I didn’t think they’d last two minutes, and was worried Kieran might get too overwhelmed if anything happened. Not that I feared for them in there—they just don’t deal well with ‘crowds’ or loud noise. Any accidental ‘bump’ could send Kieran into an amazing tizzy. They lasted longer; they doubled my estimated time—and lasted a whole 5 minutes. They both looked completely overwhelmed—they so don’t like crowded loud spaces. The funny part to me is that sometimes they just do things together out of solidarity. They always support each other and help each other through things-so if one isn’t happy with a situation, the other will stop the activity and go do something else with the other. This was a mutual exit-I don’t even think they talked about leaving; they just both had that ‘I’m getting outta here, NOW!’ look on their faces. But this was a step in the right direction-they tried it all on their own initiative. I also think they’ll try it again—I’ll have to see if they prove me right or wrong.
I always find going to the groups to be very stressful for me-even if I’ve been there before. I just think that by now I should have conquered the fear of going into new settings or any group setting by now. I can ‘deal’ with it—but the stress levels are so high before, during and even after the event-and it always seems like wasted emotional energy. Though I’ve learned to be a ‘highly functioning shy person’—if there is such a phrase (Ooh—maybe I’ve just coined a new phrase! Just Googled it-doesn’t show up!), these situations are always nerve wracking. I just hate that my confidence still takes such a nose dive in social situations, because in most things in life I’m just the opposite, probably to an annoying degree. Something to delve into another time!
Other than the kids classes starting up again we haven’t been up to too much. We took the kids to see a real ballet of Angelina Ballerina last Saturday, by performers from the English National Ballet. They both enjoyed it—but it would have helped a bit if they actually knew any of the characters from Angelina Ballerina (they only know who Angelina is since my sister-in-law sent Hazel a doll and puzzle set because she does ballet.) and if they knew the story of Sleeping Beauty. We had to do a lot of explaining as it went along. The ballet was good, at a level that most children would understand, and yet not too ‘juvenile’. And if it wasn’t so late right now I’d do a mini-rant on how much I get annoyed at these performances due to the audience, but that’ll have to wait.