Sunday, 21 December 2008

Plastic ducks, real reindeer and other pre-Christmas oddities

Well we seem to have had a manic few weeks! Somehow we got caught up in that end of term/pre-Christmas frenzy (how did that happen?) and it's been busy pretty much every day.

Any spare moments have been filled with exciting activities like wrapping up the hundreds of small donated items for dd1's preschool Christmas lucky dip. Being someone who quite likes wrapping up presents I thought this wouldn't be too much of a chore, but let me tell you, the novelty does wear off after a while...

The kids had volunteered to run several stalls at dd1's Preschool Christmas 'thing'. I'm not sure what to call it because it's a sort of nativity 'thing', crossed with end of term party, crossed with some fundraising activities and er anything else that happens. The nativity is always nicely chaotic and there is no attempt from staff to make it anything other than that (having been to some fairly regimented performances at other places, it's rather refreshing). Kids wander on and off, occasionally remembering what they are meant to do, and then they sing one or two songs , and then we all rush to the table to get party food.

Once when ds2 was in the preschool Christmas play, they put on 'The Gruffalo'. The role of Gruffalo was so popular that they ended up with about 5 Gruffalos. Unflustered, the staff and children ploughed through this unique adaptation of the book, with random animals appearing and an awful lot of Gruffalos traipsing their warty noses across the 'stage'. Yeah, we loved it!

Anyway, this year ds1 was put in charge of the 'hook a duck' stall and we made the - perhaps questionable - decision that you can't really have a 'hook a duck' in a pool without water. So, poor kid was left to supervise small toddlers intent on drowning themselves in the 2 inches of water we put in it. I suppose I believe those warnings that a toddler can drown in 2 inches of water, but would it have made a difference if we'd only put just a little bit less than 2 inches of water in it instead? This is why I never get anything done, because I am constantly puzzling over inane things like this.

Thinking about it, if this had been a preschool attached to a school we'd probably have had to do a risk assessment on the 'hook-a-duck' (those hooks on the ends of the sticks - the danger! Shock horror!) Even the lucky dip items (ds2 was in charge of this stall) would have had to have been certified choke-free and nut-free and toxin-free. Maybe I wouldn't have had to wrap them though...sellotape would no doubt be considered to be a choking hazard.

Anyway...ds1 did a grand job.
'Don't move - or they'll all drown!' I bellowed at frequent intervals across the craft stall from the adult lucky dip where I was posted. Hmm...well...they already know we're a bit nutty. 'Home Education? You must be mad!'

Ah and we also made the mistake of buying those blow-out party squeaky things as consolation prizes for the hook-a-duck stall. Ho hum, that went down well during the nativity [squeak!!!] and I'm sure lots of parents [squeak!] were loving me as they drove their kids back home [squeak!]. Actually if I'm honest, I have to confess that the inconvenience of the noise did cross my mind when I was buying the things. And then I promptly thought about something else. Perhaps I'm just naturally evil ha ha ha.

So I think we can conclude that it's just as well dd1 has left preschool. It's ok everyone, you can send your children to that preschool now!(the mad family has left). I'm sure we will have left a lasting impression...

Dd1 in party mood [squeak!]

So, what else have we been up to? Well we went to some Christmas festivities as you can see below. Fake snow, Father Christmas, and other festive things.

A Winter Wonderland!

Ok, guys, just humour your mother and stand still while I take a photo...

What do you mean you're shivering??!

dh tells santa what he'd really like for Christmas...

(don't think I have enough wrapping paper for that one...)

Dd1 is always ready to pose

Oh, and here she is again! (Yes that's a real reindeer).

And the kids got to practice their circus skills...

We also visited relatives for a weekend to drop off presents...

Has anyone seen dd1?

I forgot, also, to mention that the boys did their yearly Capoeira Batizado and got their belts back in Novemeber. The Batizado is when the students of Capeoira play against a master (some from Brazil/South Africa) to earn their belt. Ds2 got his first belt and ds1 his 4th. Doing that sort of thing in front of an audience..well all I can say is that the kids are much braver than me. I did try to load up videos of the day, but couldn't get them to load up. Maybe they were too long? Anyway have uploaded another video instead. This is what the kids are aiming for {g}.Think they'd better get practicing!

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