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Friday, January 20, 2012

On Daleks, Bobcats, Houseboats, and other things

This week, my husband and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary.

We got our wedding bands back from the jeweler

mine sized down, because it slipped off my finger and got lost at a Christmas party and was thankfully returned,

his sized up because he broke his hand last year and forever changed the shape of his knuckle.

And I gave him a CubeeCraft Bad Wolf Tardis and the 9th Doctor by Cyberdrone.  Doesn’t seem like much, but how does one find the time to build more than that and keep it a secret when the kiddos are always around, hmm?

Of course, once the kiddos found out about these, they each had to have their own dalek.

David is flying his around the room right now, saying “EXTERMINATE!”

They also have ideas about building all the doctors.  And, of course, Sarah Jane Smith.  And Ace.  And the other companions.  But I’ve vetoed Tegan.

Because, yeah, we’re a little geeky around here.

And paper crafts can be a fun homeschool project, as long they aren’t too complicated.

Took Peter and Mary for well-child checks.  At the same time.  With the other kiddos in tow.

Because sometimes that’s how schedules work out.

Won’t do that again.

Mary needs a spine study, because at the tender age of 8, she shows some signs of scoliosis.  No curvature, it’s in the muscle development.

I have scoliosis, my Dad had it, my brother has it, and my husband’s sister actually had her spine fused for scoliosis, so this is no surprise.

Sometimes genetics stink.

Talked to the doctor about some other stuff.  Like Mary’s anxiety issues.  She fears natural disasters.  She fears small animals.  She fears, well, everything.

Not really abnormal stuff on the face of it, but she tends to go to extremes.  And it makes me crazy.

Because I feel utterly at a loss when it comes to helping her with this.  I need to find a way to help her.

Being afraid all the time surely stinks.

So we talked and agreed that talking to a pediatric counselor might be helpful to her.

And that brings me to the other lunatic in our house.  Ok, he’s not really a lunatic, but he sure makes me crazy some times.


That’s not his problem, by the way, it’s mine. 

The past 6 years have been a constant struggle to work at improving Peter’s quality of life and to learn how to parent him.

He stretches me in so many different directions.  Sometimes it is very painful.

But it’s always very worth it.

It’s just been very stressful lately.

I’ve talked before how Peter is very different.  He processes things differently.  He reacts differently from the average kid.

His ped ophthalmologist suggested Asperger’s Syndrome.  Just certain behaviors he was noticing.  Of course, it’s more complicated than that.  Because there isn’t an average anything in real life, not even an average kid with Asperger’s.  If that’s even a part of what’s going on with Peter.

And so we talked about Peter, our family doctor and I, things I know he does, things the doctor notices.

Things I’ve read about.  I’ll talk about this more in-depth at some point, but I don’t want to bog you down with details right this minute.  

His glasses really have helped some things.

But he still has issues.  And so we will talk to a counselor and have him evaluated to see if we can put together the particular pieces of his special puzzle.

The good news is that he’s doing much better with the glasses.

And he’s almost completed the Cub Scout requirements for Bobcat, which required a good bit of memorization (he has to know the Cub Scout promise, Law of the Pack and so forth) that I wasn’t sure he could handle…he’s getting it!

Cub scouts has been really good for him.  We didn’t know how he would do there.  Peter typically doesn’t do well in big groups, but his den is very small (like a half dozen boys?) and everyone has been very supportive and accepting of him.  He’s thriving and feels at home with this group.

This week we’ve been trying some different things “school” wise.

I hate that word.  School.

My kiddos hate it, too. ;0)

At some point, soon, promise, I’m going to share with you some of the thoughts spinning around in my head, but, again, I don’t want to bog you down here.

Let’s leave it at:  we need to make some changes.

Again?  Yeah, again, sigh.

One of those changes is more family read alouds.  Because we had gotten away from that.

This week we started The Wind in the Willows.

I wasn’t sure about this particular book, because it seemed like it just might be a little too, well, prosaic for Peter and Emma.

But they listened in rapt attention to the first chapter yesterday.  Absolutely enthralled.

Oh, this didn’t keep Peter from peppering the air with constant questions every other line…

When they got home, the Rat made a bright fire in the parlour,---“

“What’s a parlour?”

“It’s a room where you visit with guests in your home. ---and planted the Mole in an arm-chair---“

“What’s ‘planted’ mean?”

“It’s another way of saying he put him in the chair. ---in front of it, having fetched down a dressing-gown---a dressing gown is like a robe--- and slippers for him and told him river stories till super-time.  Very thrilling stories, too, to an earth-dwelling---“

“What’s ‘dwelling’ mean?”

And so on.

He’s paying such close attention.  This one is very sharp.  He misses nothing.

But, understandably, reading to him can be quite exhausting at times.  And there’s a tendency (at least in me) to stick with well known or simple stories because reading more difficult books becomes a marathon.

There were a number of things and animals mentioned in that chapter, things the kiddos knew nothing about and explanations seemed so…inadequate, so today has been a little research day.  I located images, articles and even a few videos on the web to help them better picture what they were hearing about.  It’s a whole different world, you know.  So, we learned about punts and houseboats.  And water rats.  And moorhens.

And I thought I’d share those links here with you.  These are just some of the things mentioned in the first chapter of The Wind in the Willows.  What a learning experience!

Illustrations of the Wind in the Willows, includes Toad in his wager boat

On rowing and various row boats

Various rowing and sculling boats

Punt boat, includes diagrams
Poling the planet---vid by two punters who make their living offering punting tours of the River Cam in Cambridge, England.

Houseboats (lots of great pictures included of houseboats around the world)
Manufacturer of houseboats (lots of pictures of houseboats with modern conveniences)

History of steamboats
Some of the animals mentioned
Water rats (European Water Vole)
Video of mama river otter and her pup
Video of mom teaching baby otter to swim
Heron Pictures

How was your week?


  1. I love your blog!

    If, for no other reason, than that I feel we are close friends again living where we can actually get together.

    I also love keeping up on your struggles as a mom. Misery loves company, ya know.

    I am so sorry to hear about Mary. We try to always remember our Godchildren in prayers, and we will say a special prayer for her.

    As for Peter, he seems like a really neat kid. A kid that I would want my kids to be friends with.

    Have a good weekend!

  2. Thank you, that means a lot coming from you, Modest Mama. :0)

    I always feel a little wary when I post something personal like this. Your prayers are always appreciated.

    Peter is an awesome kid who continually amazes me. I sometimes feel ill-equipped to nurture his awesomeness. That kid is definitely going places.


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