Happy Birthday, Percy!

March 27, 2015

To our darling girl,

A very happy eighth birthday to you!

All week I’ve been pinching myself and saying to Pappa that I cannot believe you will be eight on Friday.  And now Friday is here and you are eight years old!  Perhaps not so astonishing to you but remarkable to me.  Remarkable what you have learnt and how you have grown- you’re nearly up to my shoulder!  I’m going to start feeling quite short soon.  You have also grown in other ways.  You are showing us inklings of the woman you will become- head strong, focused, funny, compassionate, friendly and with some nudging, thoughtful too.  You understand more about relationships with other people, particularly with Tally and me.  You understand consequences, apologies and reparation.  Often times you are still ruled by your emotions, and that’s okay.  Don’t ever stop feeling or lose the sense of what your emotions can tell you and help you with.  Just try also not to let those emotions get you in places where you will get too hurt, or hurt others.

The past twelve months have seen you master some pretty impressive skills.  Picking up from our Rocky Mountain taste of snow skiing last winter the whole family now have boots and skis of our own, ready to put to the test on the slopes nearer home.  You’ve already surpassed me; whizzing down blue level runs with only one or two topples.  I still swoop slowly from side to side, not sure where I’ll end up.  You are fleet and fearless.  Getting yourself up after those topples, dusting yourself off and continuing with a laugh and rosy cheeks is a strong testament to your resilience and perseverance.  These are qualities that you will need throughout your life, particularly when the task at hand is not as fun or transitory as skiing.  Develop these now so that you can call on them later when you really need them.

The training wheels are well off your bicycle.  You can zip around quite well now.  As the weather warms we’ll be sure to practice more and more.  Got to find some single track soon.  A bike in the bush is nearly as good as a horse!

You began Grade Two back in September at yet another new school.  Your easy landing and quick assimilation have proved your sunny, friendly nature yet again.  It’s hard to keep track of all your friends, from Grades above and below yours too.  Mme Graham tells us you are friendly, chatty and helpful; sometimes too chatty!  She tells us you must concentrate and not become distracted or be the distraction for others.  Probably we could all do with having Mme Graham pull us into line sometimes!   You are progressing well in all areas of your school work and I know you particularly enjoy dance and drama, music and mathematics.  I am totally awestruck that you are successfully completing high school level algebra equations.  I hope you pursue your special loves and interests throughout your life.  It may not make you rich, but there are other ways to count your quality of life than in dollars.

Hopefully there is a dollar under your pillow tonight; for that eighth tooth that fell out yesterday just in time for your eighth birthday.  Across the world the number eight is tied with significance to the idea of cycles of things- birth, death, karma, power, influence, money, momentum, success.  It’s probably all a little silly, really.  I find it resonates with me though, that Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher who was a great contributor to math and music thought and practice, is attributed with the idea that humans have eight “organs of knowledge”, these being; sense, fantasy, art, opinion, prudence, science, wisdom and mind.  Make of it what you will, I find significance in the change and growth and likely cycles in your maturation that have shown themselves in your eighth year.

One of the harder things I have been thinking about in the lead up to today is that I must let go of my little girl, Percy.  You are no longer a little girl, still a girl, but no longer little.  Perhaps as my fifth cycle of eight years draws to an end I’m just feeling sad, after all, two cycles of eight was the age I was when I left my parents.  But let’s not be maudlin, it’s your birthday!  Time for celebration and happiness, and here’s to many, many, many more!

You are so very loved my dearest daughter, by all your family and more besides.  Enjoy your special day, and know we can’t believe our luck to be a part of it.

with all our hearts and minds,

your mum, petra


Happy 7th Birthday

March 27, 2014

To Persephone Devine Wahltuch,

You are seven years old today.  You climbed down from your bunk bed into my waiting arms this morning still a little fuddle-headed.  We all sat together on Tally’s bunk and wished you a happy birthday while you tore open your present.  I’m pleased that you were pleased with your new clothes.  Just in time to wear them for your school photo today.  I spent some time this morning looking at pictures from the past year.  It is truly amazing what you have experienced and grown with over the past twelve months.  Your family is very proud of you; everyone here in Canada, back ‘home’ in Australia and those further afield.

Do you remember your sixth birthday?  It seems so long ago and far away to me.  You might remember we celebrated a little early, in February, because by the end of March we were living in a new country and we had no other family or friends around us.

I think it is a testament to your open personality, your warmth and your all-round appeal that everyone we invited to your party came to wish you well and bon voyage.  Instead of giving you presents, that we may not have been able to pack, people very generously gave you money.  You and Tally both got new bikes from this generosity of your friends.  This summer perhaps you’ll be confident enough to take the training wheels off?

I’m so very proud of your strength and resilience that travelling around the world to find a new home and new experiences didn’t phase you at all.  You have adapted to moving house, plane travel, new schools, very different weather and riding the school bus with aplomb.  From the very first day you opened your eyes and your mind to see what you could see; from the first flakes of falling snow to the new faces in your classroom.

Do you remember what else you have done this year?  You have travelled to even more new countries, meeting more of your extended family, playing so nicely with baby Hamish, wading out into the North Sea with Alison, Pamela and Willie, and cradling tiny newborn Rex in your arms.  You bounced in and out of our rented motorhome to find more friends wherever we stopped.  I wish for you that bounce and confidence and ready smile for new friends for all your life.

We also had a holiday at Christmas time where you tried so many new things for the first time- ice skating and snow skiing chief among them.  Next winter we will ski and skate much more; we’re sure you’ll be a pro in no time!  You didn’t hesitate when it was time to harness the dogs to the sled for our exhilarating mush thru the forest.  And you made sure every dog had a warm bowl of soup at the end.  Your bravery and your caring will stand you in good stead in the future.  Don’t ever forget to be brave, nor to thank and reward those that help you to be brave.

Other new things for you this year include karate lessons; in six months you are already a yellow belt and nearly ready to move up again!  You’ve taken more swimming lessons, music lessons, drama classes and very importantly you have enrolled in a French Immersion school.  For the first three months your teacher, Mlle Benderoff, spoke to your class in both English and French, but after that… it’s been only French!  I cannot tell you how impressed I am that you now talk to your teacher and your friends solely in French.  When I hear you and Rosa, your lovely tutor, who I think has become quite dear to you- all those hugs and farewells, conversing so easily in French I nearly cry.

Yet again you have made so many friends.  It’s truly a talent you have to invite people into your life with such openness.  I never worry that you will be without a playmate or a companion or a friend; you are drawn to people and they are drawn to you.  Over time many more people will come into your life, some will go again and that’s ok, I hope you will treat them all with respect, honesty and compassion.  You’re the perfect ‘social butterfly’, just like the Monarchs you admire so much, your willingness to make friends and see where it takes you, could take you very far.  I hope so.  I hope you soar and fly and explore and love every day.  It takes three generations of Monarchs to complete their epic migration between Canada and Mexico.  Know always that like that forest high in the mountains in Mexico (where you made me promised we will travel to one day) your family will remain forever your sanctuary, all three generations of us, are always cheering you on and holding a sustaining home for you.

My darling daughter, I love you.


fi 2nd thoughts

November 4, 2013

in recent years the demand for french immersion schools in ontario has increased ahead of long term trend forecasts.  seems more and more parents are either finding the francophile in themselves or seeing the benefit of bi-lingual (or for plenty of children in ethnically diverse vaughan, tri- and multi-lingual) language skills for their children.

but i have a doubt.  (quote from the planetary prez from ‘fifth element’.  all my movie references are likely to be old ones, don’t see many new movies.)

my doubt springs from a little research i have been doing on french immersion school and pupil outcomes.  the stats all show that fi students from about grade 4 onwards consistently outperform their english language school peers in not just french language learning but english, music, maths, science, pretty much all school subjects.  sounds awesome, doesn’t it?  so what is there to doubt?  it’s not a level playing field!  the kids that are still in fi in grade 4 are likely to be the higher performing kids anyways.  what’s that?  “still in fi?”

it seems by grade 2 or 3 in fi (remembering fi in vaughan starts in grade 1, in toronto in senior kindergarten) the fi schools have filtered the students enough to know who will be a success and inexorably pressure the less-likely-to-be-successful students’ parents to put them back in english language schools.  you see in fi schools there is no extra support, if you don’t get it in the classroom you’re not going to get it at all.  no reading support, no learning support, no disability support, nothing.  so either you keep up, very likely with your parents paying for supplementary education, or you slip further and further behind.

i’d like to see all the extras that resource english instruction schools available in fi schools too.  seems there’s not the money or enough french speakers.  perhaps in a generation when all these new fi pupils graduate they’ll take up jobs to support a new lot of fi pupils.

by the time a kid is transferred back to an english school are they behind in the normal english school curriculum because they have spent a year or two going back to basics and beginner levels in a fi school.  they are also in a new school, probably without friends or relationships with staff, and more than likely feeling disenfranchised and frustrated about their learning and going to school at all.  it’s no wonder to me these kids score poorly, thus contributing to an overall lower score for the school in general.

those kids that remain in fi schools, studies repeatedly show, come from higher socio-economic families, with greater disposable incomes and tertiary educated parents.  these kids would, more often than not, do better at any school regardless.

my doubt centres on percy (and tally should he start fi too) changing from fi in canada to an english language school back in oz and suffering from being behind the usual curriculum milestones.  yes, she’s a generally smart girl but i don’t believe she’s any sort of genius and she’s just as prone as any other kid, if not more so, to meltdowns of frustration and despair if she doesn’t learn something at what she believes is a quick enough rate.  will all this add to a disillusionment with school and learning and lesser outcomes for her for her entire life?

still, the concern may be taken out of our hands, and come sooner than our return to australia if, coming to the end of this school year, we are one of the parents that are ‘strongly advised’ to put our kid back in an english school!

trip to the dentist

July 17, 2013

the most exciting thing we did today was go to the dentist.  (finally the family’s health insurance, thru paul’s employment came thru.)  tally really liked it!  the dentist has a small kids playroom next to the waiting room so tally felt like he was just going to a play centre.  then they have tv’s mounted on the ceiling above each chair so he just watched angelina ballerina (his favourite show!  until another came on and then that was his favourite) the entire time.  his teeth were all ok so just a short clean and out he hopped.

percy did like it too.  she rode the small car thing in the waiting room, tho she’s much too big for it and got to pick a temporary tattoo out of a goodie box at the end.  in between she needed a filling!  i’m aghast!  i’m pretty militant about cleaning the kids teeth but obviously this slipped past me.  hope it’s the last filling for a while.  she’s on to her third wobbly tooth now.  the second one was the front lower one right next to the first one that fell out a couple of months ago.  this second one was a little bit of a worry because the adult tooth is growing in behind, more ‘inside’ her mouth because the baby one is still occupying the spot it’s supposed to come up into.  the dentist previously advised that if it doesn’t come out soon enough and the adult tooth doesn’t start to move into the right spot something may have to be done.  thankfully the baby tooth fell out about a week after that and the dentist today said the adult one is doing fine, leave it be.

all up the kids behaved wonderfully and thought the whole expedition quite fun.  hopefully there won’t be any irrational fears of “going to the dentist” sprout up later in life.  i’ve never understood being afraid of dentist visits, but then i’ve never had anything particularly painful done inside my mouth.  actually, remembering now, i did have a filling about the same age as percy.  we were living in blairgowrie which would make me 6 or 7 years old. …in victoria back in the 80s a free dental van came around to all public schools.  i was told that i needed a filling, did i want an anaesthetic?  “what’s a filling?  what’s an anaesthetic?  who are these people?  what are you asking me?” was what my brain was doing, my face was doing “duuuuh?” and my mouth said “ok, no.”  i find it hard to believe that a filling didn’t require parental consent, but maybe this was the no-free-choice 80s and who needs consent to stick things in kids mouths?  so while i remember that is was painful, i don’t remember the pain.  i’ve not grown wisdom teeth, meaning i’ve skipped the joys of having them removed, and otherwise my mouth and teeth have been pretty healthy and uneventful.  no dumb-ass fear of dentists for me, and i trust not for percy and tally either.

ontario science centre

June 8, 2013

since percy had a pupil-free day today, and i can only bear legoland again if i wear a bag on my head, we went to the ontario science centre.

bloody lazy teachers needing a pupil-free day.  you already get 8 weeks more holidays than anybody else, working only nine months a year, what’s the deal?!  today i also finished reading a book by the ex-actor/boxer/talk show host tony danza that gave his perspective on his year of teaching english to i think a year nine or ten class in an enormous, not-prosperous high school in phillidelphia.  interesting read, by no means literature, tho an honest peek into the crushing load carried by teachers.

the day percy’s over-worked teacher and her colleagues took a day for whatever re-grouping they needed, also felt like the day every other school had decided to take their kids to the science centre! my god, it was packed in there!  trying to tell a six and a three year old that they have to stick close to me because quite frankly if i lost them in there i would just give up and come home empty-handed, is not a task that has a high likelihood of success.  so, yeah, i did lose them a couple of times, actually tally i misplaced about 5 times.  little bastard. next time i have to remember to dress them in fluoro colours and tie a bike flag to their asses.  do you know what 238 less-than-waist-high kids dressed pretty much identically, moving at high speed, looks like?  ONE BIG BLUR!  pick out the darling rosebud that you have raised and lovingly gazed at daily for years?  not a chance- anything distinguishing is lost in the blur.  anyways, i’m pretty sure the right kid is tucked into bed now.  paul didn’t ask me “who’s this?” when he saw him.

the ontario science centre rocks!  i wear my nerd hat (not cap) with happiness.  two trips now and we still haven’t seen it all.  that’s the good thing about membership- lots of visits means no one panic to see it all in one go.  there’s great sections for the kids to get all hands-on as well as plenty to keep adults busy and informed.  ‘course the two don’t mix.  watching and occasionally helping percy and tally out precludes any learning or pursuing of interests that i may otherwise get to do.  tho, nicely, i think they had worn themselves out enough, and percy is being indoctrinated into answering questions (thank you school) that i was able to spend some time in the section on paper  making, writing, books and printing.  largely because there was a small quiz of true/false questions that we answered together.  more correct answers than wrong, phew.

and surprisingly the cafeteria makes good hot chips.  thank you membership; they’re pretty cheap too.  ticking off two essential food groups in my kids diet; hot, deep fried potato sticks and ketchup we continued our exploration.  given the number of people there today i think we did very well.  percy and tally didn’t spear tackle anyone into the ground, i didn’t swear once.  successful day out al’ round.  i will have to look up the imax cinema they have too as the touted movies/docos looked interesting, but they don’t seem to have the screening times displayed anywhere.  plus we didn’t get outside.  not sure what’s outside but it’s on a big piece of forested land, in my computation there’s got to be something.

trip home was a bit more annoying.  i really thought they would fall asleep.  irritating and distracting is what they did instead.  which lead to them being sent to bed when we arrived home at 3pm.  this is a boon punishment.  but i’ll tell you about that another time.

i definitely like the ontario science centre.  my membership gets two adults and four kids in for the year (ending march 2014.)  if you want to go with me, entry for two of your kids is free!

school uniforms

June 1, 2012

summer uniform, totally different one required for winter.

hi, if you have any influence over the school uniform your child/ren will wear here’s my tips for making it easier.

1.  make it unisex,

2. girls are just as dirty as boys in primary school- they shouldn’t wear white shirts while the boys wear coloured shirts!

3. peter pan collars are a pain to iron and should be outlawed,

4. skirts are nice on roman gladiators but they just mean little girl’s parents are required to buy “sports undies”, or “scungies” or whatever dumb-ass name you want to call them to wear under the skirt and over their normal underpants- for fucks sake!  shorts or track suit pants are good for everyone.

5. white socks are stupid, stupid, stupid!

6. a number two buzz cut hair do would be great for everyone,

ok, that was going a little too concentration camp.  but seriously!  why do the uniforms have to be so varied and so complicated?  i can’t think of one bloody good reason.  i think it’s even more infuriating for parents with kids of both genders ie. percy will have grown out of her uniforms without leaving a mark on them, but i can’t pass them to tally because it’s a totally different uniform.  GGRRRRRR!!

tip no. 7. don’t buy anything new if you can avoid it.  it’s way overpriced and you’ll never see a return on your investment.  get into the school and find out the uniform shop open days, rock up and go thru the second- hand stuff.  far cheaper and you won’t tell the difference.

if you have a girlie girl who, when given the choice, will always wear a dress over trousers, buy more of those.  even if you want to encourage/impose your gender neutralising preferences on your daughter, don’t bother.  hence percy has three perfectly good short and shirt sets worn perhaps twice and only one dress, worn every day (and it’s still close to pristine due to her growing out of it.)

don’t schools, and i suspect the mob that has more influence over these decisions- the dread p&c, have better things to concentrate on than the freakin’ uniforms?  here should be your mantra- unisex, unisex, unisex!

good luck.

percy is doing brilliantly at school.  i think she has settled into kindergarten very well.

she has made friends and we’ve got a couple of lovely families that live one minute around the corner that we walk to/from school with every day.  so many families are popping up so close to us- how come we’ve missed them the past two years?

percy’s teacher is mrs stevenson, who appears very professional and caring.  it’s a large class she’s in.  there are three kindergarten classes at oyster bay primary this year.  each class has 23 kids in it.  apparently if there had been just one more enrollment, the school could have made four kindergarten classes.  oh well.  i think it does percy a world of good not to be the centre of the universe all the time.  i have noticed her temperament, behaviour, consideration, vocabulary, sharing, thoughfulness and general maturity are all changing and improving.  it’s nice.  yeah, we still have disagreements and altercations but not as many and not as fierce.  (i wonder how much this has to do with me being home full-time, also?  there’s no non-stop rush to be out the door at 7:20am every day now.  in fact percy is occasionally still asleep at 7:20am!)

she has already attended her first school friend birthday party, has invited seven friends to her own and has an invitation to another.  i predict a busy year of recycling gifts!  oooh, that’s a bit bad of me, isn’t it?  by way of explaination/apology, i haven’t a clue what present to give percy, let alone another five year old child.

percy is reading her “reader” (a simple book, for all those non-school attending people) every nite with paul.  he has far more patience to sound out the words with her than i do.  she is enjoying mathletics (an online maths teaching program), playing outside when the weather permits, taking things in to talk about for news day (mondays) and otherwise not telling much about it at all.  which apparently is typical.

i’m concerned her reading ability is behind that of her peers. i haven’t much proof of this and i do remind myself that she is not yet five years old while some in her class are nearly six.  we have been advised to give her time and plenty of encouragement and soon enough the “light-bulb” moment will happen when she “gets” reading and then there’ll be no stopping her.  if i was the praying type, that’s the day i would pray for.  if all four us could be curled up on the day bed together, each reading our own book with a gentle breeze and a pleasant sun, i’d be in heaven.

speaking of praying… percy attended scripture class yesterday.  needless to say i was ropable!!  this morning it got worse.  a class mate’s mum and i both approached mrs stevenson to voice our displeasure.  mrs stevenson will do more to ensure it doesn’t happen again.  however the other mum told me her daughter came home to her with this message “the scripture teacher told me to tell you that i should be doing scripture.”  WTFFFFFF!!!!  it’s sometimes lucky that percy doesn’t communicate much about school with me because if she had said that to me i would be demanding to know the name, telephone number and home address of the scripture teacher so i could give her a taste of hell before she gets there in the natural course of events.  they have next week to get things right before they get a letter from my lawyer!

oyster bay public school is split over two campuses.  there about 200m apart along the same road.  one site is the k-2, the other the 3-6.  except this year because the year one student body is so large, as is the kindergarten intake, the year 2’s have been booted up to the 3-6 campus, as space is at a premium on the kindy site.  it makes for a rather sweet, small school with just the kindies and year one kids together.  the new kindergarten kids get teamed up with a buddy from both year one and year six (tho with only one year six class, the year fives have ben drafted in to be buddies too this year.)  i don’t know who are percy’s buddies yet, they may not have been paired up yet.  percy has been down to the 2-6 campus for an official tour, plus that’s where we go on weekends to practice bike and scooter riding on a flat surface.  so when she moves up there i don’t think it will be a big transition.  it is a shame that she’ll be on a different campus by the time tally starts kindergarten.

i made the mistake of only buying one uniform dress and three shirt and short sets.  of course, she only wants to wear the dress.  which she does, four days running until sports day on friday which is a different uniform.  oh well.

i’m waiting for a call back from the principal… about the scripture attendance…

i figure once you get to thirteen years of something you can consider it a career.  kindergarten to year 12 is a long time to stick at one thing.  of course that one thing is aimed at getting you into your next career; uni or a real job.  one hair cut to go please!

last monday 8th august 2011 percy become enrolled at oyster bay public school.  yesterday, thursday 11th she, along with paul and i, attended the kindergarten open morning.

after a short welcome from the principal we were divided into small groups accompanied by a year six student to tour the rooms and facilities.  i must say i was pleased and impressed with our guide laura.  she conducted herself very well, answered our questions and was patient with our pre-schoolers.  i ought to write to the school to say so. 

the classrooms look much like the classrooms i remember, except for the whiz-bang ‘smart boards’ (thank you kevin rudd) and perhaps more craft and creative thingys hanging from the ceilings, windows and walls.  I don’t remember much of that, but that could just be me.  i remember reading mostly, and the look on my teacher’s face when she looked down at all her little charges neatly sitting cross-legged on the floor to see my friend had neglected under wear that day.  (paris hilton is sooo johnny-come-lately.)

i thought the library looked a little thin but as there seemed to be a great many books in the classrooms and the special reading room, perhaps it doesn’t matter.  plus i imagine a good number of them were borrowed out.  the playground is nice with lots of mature trees and grass as well as surfaced areas and under cover areas.  the vegetable garden is huge and i was pleased to learn that some of the produce does make its way to the canteen, the rest is sold for a gold coin at the school gate on friday afternoons apparently.

kindergarten class size is 20 kids.  seems a lot to me but i’ve never tried to look after 20 kids in one go!  the school is anticipating three, maybe even four kindergarten classes next year.  they often have composite classes too.  i think it would be lovely if percy could be in a class with our friends meghan and/or aiden who started school this year.  i think it would help her confidence and let her settle in even faster.  later on i’ll ask if this could be accommodated.  the school runs a buddy system that teams up a newbie kinder kid with a year six kid.  they get together once a week to do activities together.  i hope this works well for percy, i suspect it will as she loves the company of older children- particularly if they are accommodating of her and let her take the lead!

 At the end of our visit we re-grouped in the OOSH (‘out of school hours’, for those on the learning curve with me) care room for question time.  i chickened out and didn’t ask the question i wanted to until everyone was milling about preparing to leave.  “what do the children that don’t attend scripture classes do instead?”  the answer was delivered a little ‘round-aboutly stating that ethics classes aren’t offered yet so the children are supervised in reading or other activities.  personally i think it’s unethical to have ‘special religious education’ classes in secular schools!  take your god-bothering where it belongs…  (where? oh, you know, safe injecting centres, brothels, homeless shelters…)

i’d already been in touch with the st james ethics centre so i knew there is no co-ordinator or volunteers to run the ethics classes in oyster bay yet.  perhaps if i can find some time next year i’ll volunteer for it.  i reckon i could learn a lot too!

 there is an orientation day and two transition days to come later this year.  adventures, adventures!

last sunday percy and i attended a musical afternoon at the sutherland entertainment centre.  i complain a lot about the lack of activities that the kids can participate in or that we can do as a family out here in the ‘burbs.  i’ve been corrected, and i do see that there is plenty for them and us to do.  i think my whinge at the time should have been more that everything requires a vehicle to get to.  we’d been spoiled for options living in erko- three train stations in walking distance, buses to the beach and just being in walking distance to most everything anyways.  so, sigh, “get used to it!”

back to our sunday outing.  we had a great time (even tho we had to drive there.)  i really wasn’t sure what to expect from the concert, nor from percy.  the concert turned out to be a thirty piece brass band and two vocalists, playing a mix of pieces lasting for two and half hours!  the two and half hours is significant because that is a very long time to expect a four year old to sit thru and listen to music they have largely never heard before.  there was an intermission, at which time i introduced percy to the fun of maltesers, one of many favourite chocolates!

the program ran thus: strike up the band, puttin’ on the ritz, edelweiss (to which percy sang along dreamily), le vie en rose, mr sandman, largo al factotum, myfanwy, nella fantasia (which i, call me a musical infidel, can not remember having heard before and really enjoyed), west side story (medley), vienna marches – intermission – grand march from aida, sing sing sing, new york new york, april in paris, i dreamed a dream, bring him home (two of the saddest songs, along with ’empty chairs at empty tables’ that i know), singin’ in the rain, merry widow waltz, aspects of andrew lloyd webber (medley), my way and time to say good bye.  phew!

percy was a doll up to nearly the end.  she marched in place during the marches, sang and danced too.  we were fortunate that the remaining three seats at the end of our aisle were empty such that percy occasionally took her folded up jacket as a pillow and lay down on the floor along these seats.  she did get restless at the end.  partly because i had said we would go to the library after the concert, not realising that the concert ran well over library closing time.  she really wanted to get to the library!  so at the end, when an encore started, even tho it was waltzing matilda, a song we often sing together (don’t get me started on explaining suicide and the great depression to a four year old!) we climbed over the chairs and made our retreat.

i really do think she did a good job of displaying “concert manners.”  a concept we have learnt from our painist friend carl- “if you don’t like it curl up on your seat and go to sleep”, whose daughters have attended hundreds of concerts from birth.  those of you at our wedding may recall carl played while his elder daughter sang during parts of the ceremony.  aren’t they great?

and percy too is great.  i hope she enjoys music and movement throughout her life.

earth girls are easy

June 9, 2011

or at least i think they are compared to earth boys!  i’m still undecided if it is a boy thing or a second child thing or just the different personalities of my two darlings but percy was far easier to influence and direct than tally is proving to be.  some examples: i told percy more than a year ago if she runs onto a road or doesn’t hold my hand when we walk across a road there’s a good likelihood she will be hit by a car and killed.  she got this and behaves very well on roads, tally on the other hand (!) thinks it’s a great joke to tear up the driveway and burst onto the road the moment he is let out of the front door- continuously.  back in erko we had our hundreds of books on bookshelves ranged about the house.  percy pulled a few shelves down once and was reprimanded and asked not to do that again, and she never did.  i’m kind  of thankful that all our books are in storage for this year or two because i’m sure i’d be packing away books all day long, every day if tally could get to them.  percy understood the requirement for warm jumpers and enclosed shoes in her first winter, tally screams blue murder if you try to put anything but sandals on his feet (yes, he looks very stylish in long, thick socks and sandals) pulls off his slippers and socks at the first opportunity and is a struggle to get into anything beyond a singlet.

sure, percy is challenging and difficult in more a negotiating, having control of her environment, asserting her will and understanding that other people require things in life that she must contribute to, way.  for instance she needs to pee and get dressed promptly in the morning so mamma can get her to day care in time to also get to her train in time, to get to work in time.  we are seeing improvement…

overall i do find having to tell or request of tally the same thing repeatedly thru the day and day after day, wearying.  i know it won’t last forever but it is lowering my patience quotient quickly.

hence, in my experience, earth girls are easier than boys!