Last weekend we split the children up between parents on Saturday and had the most successful Saturday on record. No more family outings for us. I took herself to a cafe in the morning while the boys were at the GAA with their father. I bought her a magazine and me the Irish Times and the pair of us sat and ate our tea and buns and read our newsprint. Really, very satisfactory. In the afternoon, she was at a party and I took the boys horse riding. While I am mildly concerned that the Princess is eschewing all forms of exercise, it is much less tiring not to have to drag her unwillingly to the GAA and watch her sulking on the sidelines.
The children and I planted two apple trees, a pear tree and two gooseberry bushes on Wednesday week. At first, I was bitter that the garden centre had forgotten to pack the 10 raspberry canes I ordered but once I had dug five holes in the ground for the other plants, I was relieved. My efforts were somewhat hampered by 3 eager fellow diggers with plastic spades and a bag full of compost. When asked to hold the tree upright, Michael let go, saying it was too tiring. All of the children inadvertently stood on the plants as they lay flat, roots on the ground waiting to be dug in. The cat joined in the excitement also and added her mite to proceedings by hopping into the holes as they were dug and having a look around while the children and I tried to insert the trees and plants. I am not entirely optimistic about this adventure.
A woman from Junior Achievement visited the Princess in primary school. The Princess is unimpressed by the stickers they are offering. She and her extraordinarily named friend have invented their own stickers for their own club and are developing an online forum for their work. She is convinced that this is far superior to anything that might be offered by a well-meaning NGO. Who knows, maybe she is right. Her friend is a boy and this has been a source of some unhappiness to her. Although her school is mixed, she and this boy appear to be the only people in her class who have made friends across the gender divide. The other children tease them and that old classic “K-I-S-S-I-N-G, A&B up a tree, first comes love then comes marriage etc.” has been getting an outing. Does 6 seem a little young to you for this kind of behaviour to manifest itself?
We had parent teacher meetings with the school last week. I raised the Princess’s difficulties with her friend with the teacher and she said that she thought that sometimes this class were like teenagers. She had seen something in the past but thought that on foot of teacher disapproval, it had stopped but she will keep an eye out for it again. Otherwise, they’re all fine although only one of my three children appears to have any degree of application. Still, they are all under 7, they have time, I trust.