Monday, August 10, 2009

Having a lovely summer

Son has been spending time at the holiday club run at his school premises. He enjoys some days more than others.

On the whole I think it is benefitting him. There's plenty for him to do and many boys and girls with whom he could play.

Meanwhile I seem to be working non-stop at one thing or another.

I could be refining embroidery patterns, photographing handkerchiefs or table napkins, putting photographs on the website, etc. One week I spent two whole days just coding in html.

I said to son sixteen hours of coding at £50 an hour would cost -- please work it out -- answer: £800. Dad said it's probably more like £30 an hour. Still that is quite a lot of money.

Anyway the point is I don't have to pay out this sum of money because I do all the coding myself. The £20 I spend on his holiday club is peanuts.

Sometimes there are sales and custom orders I need to take care of. Last week someone ordered nine lilac hankies. I only had one ready-made. So I had to wash, iron and cut fabric as well as hand-sew these hankies very quickly.

Can't sew these "quickly" as such. Each takes up to two hours to complete, depending on the light available. Sometimes it is so hot downstairs I have to work upstairs on a lap-tray!

Then I make hospital visits. A lady at church had suffered a stroke. She's a member of our fellowship group and I feel obliged to visit because she has no relatives in the area. My husband cannot visit as he is afraid of picking up a bug from the hospital.

It is fiendishly expensive to park at the hospital, so I take the bus. I don't usually stay for more than 20 minutes because it is now impossible to communicate with her though she knows exactly what I say. Trip there and back is an hour and a bit.

Sometimes I don't even stop properly for lunch, or forget to take lunch, and wonder why I am so hungry.

Today I was also trying to organize my own appointments to two different hospitals where I have to undergo testing. They now give you a date and time and you simply have to accept it. They wouldn't change anything.

I said it is difficult for me to organize childminding. Sorry, but you have to be seen within six weeks. If we miss the target we'll be in trouble.

That's right: their target is more important than the welfare of the patient.

That just about sums up NHS (Not the Health Service).

Just having a rant.

And son is looking really handsome with his hair allowed to grow longer instead of his usual four-by-two (or is it two by four?).

Saturday, August 01, 2009

My 9-11 boy

That's "nine-to-eleven".

I have this hypothesis -- after having spent many hours interacting with boys at son's school as PTA member/secretary/chairperson -- that boys undergo a 'silly stage' at ages about nine to eleven.

And then as they edge towards 12 and 13 they suddenly learn responsibility, it seems, and become very sensible, thoughtful, and for most at his school, polite.

This is why I think it is better to transfer boys to senior/secondary schools at 13 rather than 11. The extra two years, as the teachers in his school tell me, make such a difference.

When son tells us the jokes that his History teacher tells, for example, and how the boys laugh, I said, "Yes, he's a 9-11 boy."

He laughs at the most silly things, banal jokes and is repetitive to the point of tedium at times. But what is familiar is also comforting. He seems a bundle of contradictions.

Sometimes he loses sleep over the credit crunch and was once found in tears before bed worrying about the world economy, war, etc. Yet he still enjoys Spongebob Squarepants. Right now he's watching -- again -- Indiana Jones, chuckling over the funnies, commentating on the action, and hiding behind cushions when it gets gory.

Then he goes mad over a helium balloon. When we were on holiday he pestered his dad to buy him his first beach ball. (We didn't notice that he's never been given a beach ball as he had all kinds of floats and stuff for use prior to this. A beach ball was what he really, really wanted.)

Thankfully he is still very, very sensible despite being 9-11. He's learning to be very helpful especially after dinner when he helps to clear the dining table. He looks after himself more and more and I am really pleased. I do not wish to mollycoddle him.

He also has this 9-year-old tendency to burp loudly.

Is there anything physiological in this? Someone please tell me.

I remember my nephew who at about eight and nine also used to burp rather frequently and loudly. His visits to us were memorable by the number of times he went, "Pardon me."

Ah, but at least he was polite enough to say that.

My son? He's usually OK, but sometimes he is so comfortable with us his parents he does not remember his manners. Reminding him to form a good H-A-B-IT is another important task.

I don't think parents can ignore the relationship between the physiological and the emotional.

I remember that face when he first sat up (propped up, actually) at four months. Suddenly it seemed he could see so much further and so much more. Life is a bit more than the lights on the ceiling and the stuff that hang from the cot, etc.

As he matures physically, as he is able to handle more practical tasks, he also needs to mature emotionally and learn to use those practical abilities.

I mean what use is a nine-year-old who could handle a sharp knife if mum does all the cooking for him?

After dinner tonight husband said "He is growing up" and it makes him feel old.

I said we must learn to live with it. I anticipate missing him a lot when he goes to boarding school (should he decide to go to boarding school), but that's what I need to get used to. Eventually he would have to leave home.

There comes a time when every parent has to let go. And as I say to my Christian friends we have to "let go and let God".