Archives

Books ūüďö

image

I’m sorry but you will not convince or convert me…..I am a book lover. I believe in the magic, the feel, the smell, the touch, the words, the comfort, the company of a book.
Any book is better than an electronic replacement.
You can tell a lot of a person character by peeking at their bookshelves.
Money spent on a book is not wasted. Books passed down through the family hold a meaning; hold a history.
Buying a book as a present indicates that you have given your time, your understanding and included your effort into that person, what they like, whether they are they a dreamer, a realist, a history freak.
The magic of a book will never be lost on me.
Xx

Age appropriate reading….?!

My 5 year old, T is in reception class at school and I am extremely proud to say is a real whizz at reading, writing and spelling – Cringe a proud mummy moment, apologies!

T reads anything and everything; adverts, road signs, newspapers, magazines, everything and if it’s a bit too advanced she still gives it go. I will be honest sometimes it gets a bit tedious, but I ALWAYS try to encourage it. On the other hand my eldest daughter, L, who has just turned 11, hates reading. She can read and is actually¬†good at it, but cannot be bothered and¬†finds it boring. I accept this, not everyone is a natural bookworm and each child is different in a variety of ways. My Husband and I have tried in vain to temp L to read more, but she just will not do it.

T’s school actively encourage reading at home, books are sent home with a “reading diary” so we can keep a record of what is read by T and how she is doing. I imagine this is fairly standard in all primary schools these days. We use this and always make a record for her teachers to see. If however I were to write in there all the things T actually read when she was at home, I would be forever filling the blasted thing in and would probably be asking for another one.

Last Sunday evening, I had just sat down to start a book my sister had lent me, “The Lincoln Lawyer” by Michael Connelly. I had never heard of it, and it looked quite interesting. (I now know that the book was made into a film in 2011 – a bit behind in the times on that one!) T came and snuggled next to me on the armchair and was asking me about the book, “did it have any pictures?” “Did it have any princesses in it?” etc,¬†the normal things 5 year old girls want to know. I was four pages in to the book when T started reading along out-loud¬†from the top of the page. I was happy to let her carry on with this and was excited that she wanted to. She did remarkably well. ¬†T read probably one complete page, it took a while, but I was fine with that; it’s all good practise after all. I decided that I would put a note in her reading diary to let her teacher know, but instead of writing it in the book itself I put a wrote a note on a post-it, just outlining what she had done and letting them know. I thought, na√Įvely perhaps that they would think this was good progress. I was wrong!

Wednesday afternoon (2 days later!) T came out of school and inside her reading diary was a post-it note in reply, basically saying that T should be reading material more suited for her age, and they have given her more books to read at home. I was a bit dumbfounded, and felt like a criminal, like I should be run out of the school playground and locked up. Had I done the wrong thing by allowing her to read one page from one of my books? Could I have scarred her for life?

I relayed this to my Husband that evening, and he much like myself was slightly stunned. What is age-appropriate for a 5 year old? Only the books the school sends home? Am I only to allow her to read those? Do I have to discourage her from reading anything but those? If I had been sitting reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” then yes I could see where the school was coming from, but I was FOUR pages in a book about an American lawyer – nothing sinister had happened in the book at that point! Lets be honest here, T is only 5 she will not have taken in the story from the page she has read! However, now I each time I pick up my book to continue reading it’s been tarnished, as¬†I get a heavy feeling in my chest,¬†I’ve been made to feel like such¬†a bad parent.

I have yet to speak to T’s teacher about this, and with the parents evening just around the corner I am very much looking forward to!

Do you censor what your children read? Was I wrong to encourage reading an adult book? I would be very interested to hear if this has happened to anyone else or what you would do, if anything? Please leave me a comment, let me know what you think.

Thanks

S xx

 

 

Personality Vs birth placement

So I saw this picture on Twitter recently…..

children

 

It got me thinking about my children: Girl one is 10 years old (going on 17!), Girl two is very nearly 5 years old and the boy is 3 on Saturday. Does this apply to my children in any way?

Coincidently, I was recently struck by a realisation that despite I have brought my children up in the same way, by the same rules, values and beliefs; they are all very different in personality. Girl one is sporty, tomboy-ish, nervous and eager to please and fit in. Girl two is a girly-girl, wants everything purple and sparkly, wants to wear dresses, be a princess with lipstick. Boy is football mad (yes even at the tender age of 2!), loveable, stubborn and loves laughing, and wants a bit of everything. So even though they have been raised following the same rules as each other, their individualism is starting to creep out.

But does the pecking order of birth into the family have anything to do with it? I have looked at the list and broken it down.

I will start with the First born: Girl one

Natural leader: When amongst her siblings, yes she is very much a natural leader!

High Achiever: As with most children I suspect, only when it comes to subjects she likes, enjoys and is good at. Jujitsu for example, she is doing brilliantly with this.

Organised: Not at all! I am afraid that her bedroom is like a constant bomb-site, clothes everywhere, can never find anything let alone remember where she left something. Very much the opposite in fact.

On-time: Mostly, but as with any child her timekeeping is usually handled by the parent. I suppose I will have to watch this space on this one.

Know-it-all: She very much likes to think so, but she isn’t afraid of asking. She will argue her point, especially if she knows she is right. Like Mother like Daughter!

Bossy: Yes Very. A mini-me in this respect. Occasionally she will over step the mark with her siblings. But she does like a good boss-about.

Responsible: She likes to think she is, and when given the confidence is showing good signs that she can be.

On to Middle child – Girl two

Flexible: Mostly yes. Although routine has always played a big part of her life, as she is getting older change doesn’t faze her, and usually as long as she sees that the end result is the same, she isn’t overly bothered.

Easy-going: Yes she is very easy-going. She doesn’t look for arguments, and is a delight to spend one-on-one time with, but she can be demanding when the need calls for it.

Social: Extremely, especially with people she is comfortable and confident with.

Peacemaker: To date she is showing no signs of being a “peacemaker”. Unless you want to turn it on its head and use the phrase “walk-over” in which case I would say that she can be a walk-over, particularly when she is the less dominant child in the room.

Independent:¬†A close¬†relative recently¬†defined Girl two¬†as “having the¬†perfect only-child personality” By this they meant that she is more than happy to go and play on her own, she doesn’t require her siblings to entertain her. Yes, independent she is.

Secretive: Oh my goodness, She is a child of such subtle cunning, you have to see it to believe it. She is such a good little liar, actress, and sneak that I have to stop myself from smiling a lot when telling her off. Her slight of hand is AMAZING!

May feel life in unfair: I am sure if you asked her this, she would say that it is unfair, and then probably perform the worlds best sulk to prove it.

Finally, Last child – The boy

Risk-taker: He knows no fear. He is the boy who will jump feet first into the swimming pool without any armbands on and give Mummy a heart-attack in the process. He is the boy who will try every type of new food put in front of him without asking what it is. This is the boy who will jump off anything. Why? Because he can. Because he wants to be Superman and fly.

Outgoing: At first he isn’t. Put him in a new environment with new people and although he is comfortable and confident, he is not what I would call “outgoing. For example he recently had his first settling in session at his new preschool, he went in and focused on the toy cars and trains. He was more than comfortable playing on his own with these. He didn’t immediately hunt out someone to play with. When other children came over the join in with his game, he was more than happy to make friends. He seems to be more silently confident than outgoing.

Creative: When he goes off on his own with his many toy cars, planes, trains, action figures I love listening to him. His imagination is simply wonderful to witness.

Self-centred: He is mostly a very caring and loving little chap, however he does have a streak of self-importance about him. This comes out occasionally but not all that often.

Financially irresponsible: Not relevant in this child – He is not yet 3 years old. Time will tell, but I sincerely hope he isn’t.

Competitive: This should be his middle name. Everything is a race or competition. Who is going to be first up the stairs? Who will finish breakfast first? Who will get dressed the quickest? It drives me absolutely insanely nuts! I am always the referee!

Bored easily: Like any child he is capable of having a short attention span. However, he attends football matches and manages to stay focused on those (which is more than you can say for me!).

————————————————————————————————

What’s my conclusion of my children and whether or not their personalities match up to the picture. If I am honest I¬†don’t really have one I suppose. Not at this stage of their lives. I feel it unfair to base their entire temperament, personality and outlook of life¬†on their ranking of birth. I am sure that many people could turn it around and say that Girl one is bossy because she is the eldest, but I can assure you that the other two are equally as bossy.

Each child is different. Each child has their own¬†sparkle. Each child has it faults. And each child brings something different to our family, whether is it stubbornness, kindness or competitiveness.¬†By bringing them up in the same way and loving them same, they will grow and develop¬†in their own way. And I will continue to love them regardless of where their “ranking” is in the family.

 

 

Thank you William Boyd

It is said that keeping a diary is a place where you can be truly honest and open about and to yourself. No holds barred. No censorship. No need to lie or pretend. There would be no point, you would only be lying to yourself, which kind of contradicts the point of the diary. A blog is a type of diary isn’t it? Or is it? It’s out there forever on the world wide web. Public record. Never to be deleted.

I have struggled with this, worrying that I cannot always afford to be completely honest and open for fear of offending people; opening up my true feeling and opinions towards controversial topics can lead to a loss in followers, a drop in stats, negative comments and occasionally the need to have to go back on what I have said. What’s the point in that?

I am well aware that not everyone would agree or care to read my opinions on politics, my money and financial rants, complaints or observations on other peoples parenting skills (or lack of); so generally I have endeavoured to keep my past posts optimistic and light-hearted apart from the occasional rant (sometimes things need to be said).

I find the ease to write comes more naturally to me when I am troubled by something, irritated by someone, angry with a situation, confused, hurt and upset. Is everyone like this? Probably not.

I get frustrated when I haven’t got or found the inspiration. I have started and subsequently not completed between 10 and 15 posts. I start with real conviction, but once I get to a point I hit the wall and lose interest; worry too much that I’ve rambled, that it will bore the reader. Mostly I leave it telling myself that I’ll come back to it the next day; I don’t and there goes another unfinished post in the draft folder.

But writing a diary, keeping a journal, posting a blog is allowed to sporadic. I don’t have to write every day. I wish I could afford the time and concentration. I read many other blogs which are, or seem to be, updated daily and as a reader I truly enjoy them as well as greatly admire the blogger. How, oh god, How do they find the time to commit every day. They seem to roll out post after post, which are honestly bloody brilliant.

Cover of "Any Human Heart"

I recently re-read William Boyd’sAny Human Heart“. I liked it 3 years ago; I love it now. It was adapted slightly (by WB) for a television drama series which is also just as good. When it was released on DVD, I nagged the Husband to get it for me (he did). I will confess that one of the reasons I loved the television programme¬†was that it starred Matthew Macfadyen, even though I have to say that to me he will always be Tom Quinn from Spooks. ¬†Sorry – gone slightly off topic there.

My Father-in-law (FIL) also watched the television programme (please note he is a HUGE bookworm who, I’m sure, has read nearly almost every book, ever). FIL said that he thought the adaptation from book to television was “actually very good”. For my FIL to say that, then you can be sure that it was. Period. End of discussion.

Anyway, back to my point (see, am I rambling?)….the book is the ongoing journal of a fictional man called Logan Mounstuart. It begins from his teenage years and continues throughout his life. The journals are not written daily, but in fits and starts, on again off again, sometimes with vast periods of time missing. A properly good read.

Upon re-reading I suddenly wanted to start writing again – stupid isn’t it. After nearly 2 months of nothing a made up story of a man and his journal writing has helped me pick up my own pen (yes I mostly manually write everything out beforehand – old school I guess!) and start posting again.

So I will endeavour to continue being light-hearted as much as possible – I will also address the drafts which sit waving at me, trying to get my attention and their fifteen minutes of fame.

Thank you William Boyd

xx