Seven

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It was DorkySon’s birthday at the end of March. Seven. Goodness.

As with every year previous, we asked if he wanted a party, and as with every year previous he said no. He is nothing if not predictable – still a boy of simple pleasures. On the day itself he took in some sweets to share with classmates, and asked to have dinner at a local brewpub. (Pulled pork sandwiches for the win!) His present requests also remained modest – books, Lego, and a big shiny balloon. The weekend after his birthday we took a boat trip down the river – an opportunity to see penguins bobbing in the water and sea eagles soar above our heads – then went for fish and chips, and ice cream. He is a boy after my own heart for sure. Continue reading

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The things he has learned

Young boy looking at globe

First he learned the basics: how to smile, and then to laugh.

He learned how to sleep, to sit, to hold a spoon. To grab his own toes, stick a fist in his mouth, clutch a blanket tight when he needed comfort. He learned to crawl and walk, and then to run, to jump, to stretch up high like a tree and crouch down low like a lion. He learned to make noise with a ladle and saucepan, to build towers and knock them over, to roll a ball, and then to throw it.

How foolish I was to think that was it. It does not stop at one year, or two. The learning continues, every day, forever. Continue reading

Now you are six

DorkySon

So now you are six.

You are not a wee soft thing anymore. There is still a slight curve to your belly, and enough for a squeeze under your chin, but otherwise you are all angles and lines, long skinny legs pink with the sun.

What a year we’ve had together. This time twelve months ago you were still settling into kindergarten, sometimes nervous around other children, struggling to hold a pen the right way. But you are in the perfect school. It is a community that has nurtured all your strengths and found the right way to help with your weaknesses.

Like us, they have realised that you like to do things in your own time, unhurried. They know that gentle nudges towards independence work far better for you than rough shoves. So now, one term into prep, it is all falling into place. The building blocks of reading and writing are coming together so fast we can hardly keep up with you. All the life skills – cycling, swimming, socialising – are getting better each week. And at home you are proud to help and get involved – dressing yourself, carrying plates, pouring drinks – you become more confident and less clumsy with every day that passes. Continue reading

The Babysitter

scrabble tiles question mark

Welcome to my tourist guide!” DorkySon shouts with glee.

I have just opened the door to a potential new babysitter, who we have asked round to the house for a quick chat.

Let me show you round!” he says, bouncing up and down on his toes with excitement.

First he shows her the den, explaining that it’s where he watches TV and builds toy car traffic jams on the floor. Then he leads her through to the dining room, where he likes to draw, and to the kitchen where he likes to help cook.

What are you allergic to?” he asks. “I’m allergic to peanuts.

I watch his approval-meter rise as she lists her allergies. He likes this common bond.

But then the test starts to get a little trickier. Continue reading

Motherhood and the senses

motherhood and the senses

A few weeks ago I read Mothers Grimm, a collection of contemporary fairy tales about motherhood written by a wonderful Australian writer called Danielle Wood. There is a line in one of the stories which has stuck with me. A woman has recently given birth and is lying in hospital with her new baby alongside her.

“This night was the beginning of her new way of listening.”

It’s so true, isn’t it? Continue reading