Friday, 7 March 2008

Happy talk, keep talking happy talk, talk about things we like to do...

(I'm thinking the Captain Sensible version which if you're as ancient as me you'll know what I'm talking about...)

I've been spending the past few days adding various bits and pieces to the blog layout, including a visitor counter and some home education web ring links. I'm yet to hear whether I'm accepted into the rings and not entirely sure what their criteria are. Are the ramblings of a slightly demented home educating mother worthy enough I wonder? I guess I'll find out sometime soon. I'm not entirely satisfied with the layout, but not being knowledgeable about html code and not having the time or inclination to learn, I'm limited by the basic framework provided by

After ds1 has been to his Capoeira* class tonight the boys are being taken to a science talk on Science and Music. It's advertised as being aimed at age 11+ I think, but having 2 scientists (well, one practising scientist and one ex-scientist) as parents, the boys are probably quite advanced in science compared with their primary school peers. Anyway, as dh is taking them I don't really care whether they'll be bored or not as for once it wont be me having to put up with their fidgeting . At least they'll be out the house and I wont have to cook a proper tea tonight. If I ever get to be rich the first thing I'm going to do is hire myself a cook. Oh the luxury of not having to think about what to cook, buy the food, cook the food, negotiate the eating of it with 3 fussy eaters and clear up after the food!

Dd1 is currently emptying out her money boxes on my bed (oh joy!) and talk talk talking. If there was ever a good reason to send a child to school it is probably to stop a parent going mad from the constant talking that small children do. I know it is all very educational and very important for their language development (and of course educated middle class parents aren't meant to say these sorts of things),but oh for a bit of peace some time! When books mention mothers' abilities to multi-task they forget the most important example of multi-tasking - the ability to concentrate on or do anything while small children witter inanely 2 inches from your ankles ALL DAY.

And of course there is the 'look at me' phase. For those who don't have children I can best explain this as follows: at a certain age young children develop the concept that they are the centre of the known universe. Therefore in their mind everything they do has universal importance and must be viewed and commented on (usually with overenthusiastic praise) by any adult in the viccinity. If the required adult is not paying the child their full and total attention person the child has a foolproof way of attracting this attention. The phrase they use to get this attention is 'Look at me'. While this might sound innocuous at first listening, or even on first repetition, it has a stealth approach. After any adult has heard 'Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! Loook at me! Look at me! Look at ME! Look at ME! Look at ME! LOOK at ME! LOOK at ME! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT MEEEEEE! ' over a hundred times, they will have no choice but to acknowledge whatever event the child wishes them to notice.

<-- Look at me!!!

'What a lovely drawing/model/mess, aren't you clever?' followed by intermittent approving sounds 'mmm' or 'oh yes mmm' is normally suffice to satisfy even the most egocentric toddler. BUT...The adult has to be careful to slightly alter these textbook phrases during the day, otherwise the authenticity of the adult's response will be questioned by the child. This will elicit this type of retort, 'But Mummy, you're NOT looking' , and in my experience is usually followed by a long piercing wail that can only be appeased by giving the child some item that the adult wouldn't normally allow the child to have. If this was a war of two opposing armies the adult army would be guaranteed to hold up the white flag every single time.

Call me crazy, but I've developed a theory about why parents are not very good at listening to their teenagers. My theory is that these parents have spent so many years filtering out the natter natter natter stream of mostly irrelevant talk that children produce, that by the time their child reaches his teen years and actually has something relevant and interesting to say, then the parent no longer has the ability to listen to them. I'm not sure what the excuse is for teenagers who don't listen to their parents, but I'm guessing that will have to be a completely different and very silly theory too.

Anyway, now my brain hurts and my mattress is covered in coins.

*Capoeira (IPA: [ka.pu.ˈej.ɾɐ]) is an Afro-Brazilian blend of martial art, game, and dance created by enslaved Africans in Brazil during the 16th Century.[1] Participants form a roda (circle) and take turns playing instruments, singing, and sparring in pairs in the center of the circle. The game is marked by fluid acrobatic play, feints, and extensive use of groundwork, as well as sweeps, kicks, and headbutts. Throughout the game, a player must avoid a sweep, trip, kick, or head butt that may knock him or her on the floor. Less frequently-used techniques include elbow-strikes, slaps, punches, and body-throws. Capoeira has evolved from one main form, now referred to as capoeira angola, into two other forms known as capoeira regional, and the ever-evolving capoeira contemporânea.

Taken from which also has lots of information about the history of Capoeira and even some links to videos of the various Capoeira movements.

[by the way, the little picture of the man up there is meant to move - it's a flash animation of one of the Capoeira moves, but no matter what I do, it isn't doing what it's supposed to. Ah if only I was a bit more IT literate]

There's some videos of Capoeira on the internet, this being a good example: (takes a while to load, so be patient), which shows just how fast paced it can be!

Ds1 has been doing Capoeira for over 3 years now (he has been to 3 Batizados - see Wiki for explanation) and has received 3 belts. Ds2 started Capoeira more recently and is in his first year, but has done really well.

Ds1 receiving his Capoeira belt at the 2007 Batizado

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