Changing the guard

black & white at the palaceJust lately I have begun to notice that six year old JJ seems to be having something of a developmental leap forward. For such a long time now he has been stuck on picture books and the only reading he has done has been his homework (Biff, Chip and Kipper books) from school – often under a bit of duress! However we recently went into a local bookshop together with EJ and I told them each they could pick out whatever book they liked. EJ went standard – Blaze of Glory – a picture book based on the Nickolodeon cartoon character, however JJ picked out his first ever paperback – Supercat vs. The Party Pooper by Jeanne Willis.Supercat

read more

Everyday miracles…

appleThe magic of Spring seems to have extended itself to my children. Whilst outside sticky buds have burst open pushing forth vibrant green leaves, and little splashes of colour are popping up where before there was only brown earth, inside I am noticing lots of small changes and developmental leaps in the boys.

JJ is becoming more independent, rejecting offers of help with dressing himself, becoming a bit of a whizz on a tablet and soaking up information like a little sponge (just in time for starting school come September – first choice and we’re in – huzzah!). At four years and 8 months he helps me by keeping an eye on his little brother and alerting me to any potential dangers. Meanwhile EJ has suddenly, after a couple of months of silence and nonsense baby babble, started saying recognisable words. This is probably the most exciting development for me as, at nearly 21 months, I was beginning to feel a bit anxious. For a while it was either ‘yea’, ‘noooo!’ or ‘yay!’, all of a sudden he is very clearly saying ‘mummy’, ‘daddy’, ‘thank you’, ‘hello’, ‘tea’, ‘cheese’ (those two are possibly interchangeable!) and then, this morning, and very clearly, ‘apple’.

read more

Never accept a negative label…

plodding donkey

OK so I recently read this post by Mummy Tries and I wanted to comment but, you know, do you ever read a blog post and feel that your comment would be inappropriate without a prolonged explanation? Well that’s how I felt. So instead I thought I’d just mention it here.

(Just as a precursor to these thoughts I should mention the fact that I come at this perspective from the point of view of a deep thinker who loves words and language and loves to analyze and deconstruct meaning. I studied literature at degree level and that included literary theory which encompasses the writer perspective and the reader perspective for pinpointing meaning so I am well aware that this is only my take on what was written).

read more

On the miracle of language acquisition

look-whos-talking

About ten years ago I decided I was fed up of my job and quite fancied a career change. I had a bit of a brainstorm and came up with these options: horticulture; curatorship; TEFL. As I quickly realised I couldn’t tell my hydroponics from my hydromatics (is that even a word or did I just get that from Grease?), my knowledge of art history pretty much extended to some fictionalised Vermeer antics (Girl with a Pearl Earring) and a little bit of Bruegel (Headlong – by Michael Frayn – well worth a read by the way!) it didn’t take long to realise that a little evening class in the joys of teaching the English language to foreigners was in order.

read more