Sunday, 26 October 2014

Money, Bugs and Florence.

One afternoon after I had collected Grace from school she asked me if I knew who Florence Nightingale was. I was really impressed and excited that she was sharing what she had learnt with me until she asked if I could find her a video to watch... 'I saw a video today but I missed out on the soldier bit because Miss Harper thought it might be too scary. She said we wouldn't like to see that bit because all the soldiers had been hurt in the war but I'm almost five. I'm big enough to see some blood...'

The other day Grace was colouring while sitting at the dining table. I'd left the radio on and she seemed pretty happy to be left to it. Not long after Neil and I were sitting in the lounge room when Grace came in and announced 'Daddy,  the people on the radio are talking about you. I heard them say your name... It was a hospital man and he said ''Neil Jones was visiting the hospital''. And that is you Daddy...'
Neil tried explaining that maybe it was about somebody else named Neil Jones but Grace couldn't be talked around 'No Daddy, It must have been about you from when you broke your hand at football'.

The same afternoon, Grace decided that she didn't like bugs (again).
'Daddy! There is a wasp in the kitchen. Get rid of it, I don't like it'. She stomped into the living room with both hands on her hips.
Neil replied, 'Don't worry, I think that's a fly and not a wasp'.
Still behaving rather bossily, she demanded 'Just come get rid of it anyway Daddy!'
Neil shook his head and said 'No I can't spray it, Mummy doesn't like when I do'.
So Grace asked him why. Trying to pass the buck on to me, Neil said 'Mummy thinks the sprays are bad for you so she doesn't let me use them'.
Pushing her luck, Grace slyly asked 'So what happens if you spray the bug anyway?'...
To put a stop to the nagging, Neil shot back 'I'm not going to spray the bug Grace'.
Keen to have the last word, Grace asked cheekily 'Well then what happens if the bug sprays you?'....

This afternoon we aimed to give Grace a really basic understanding of money by discussing some basic chores she could do in exchange for pocket money. The cost of each chore ranges in price from 1p to 20p for each chore depending on how small or big the task is. For example, she can earn 1p for doing her homework after school or for simply brushing her teeth or even 20p for letting me wash her hair (According to Grace, hair washing night is the worst thing to ever happen to a little girl) giving Grace the chance to earn up to £4.00 per week if she does every job on the list. It seemed that it was all making sense and I was confident that she was grasping the concept when she got to talking about the job she plans to have when she grows up.
'Mummy, I'm going to work in a shop when I'm older. And I'll be richer than everybody else because people will give me all their money. And I won't be silly and give them any money back ever... No Mummy, it won't be their change. it will be my money...Because! They gave me all their money first! So I don't have to give them anything back. Ever... And when I'm a grown up I'll buy all my own sweets and magazines. I can even buy them whenever I want too'...

Sunday, 19 October 2014

This one, That One, Another One, One More and The Last One

With my upcoming redundancy Grace and I have been talking jobs. According to Grace I could stay at home and look after her. But she plans to pay me with pennies. 'But not too many pennies or she might run out...' Her other great suggestion is that I could work at the local garden centre. 'If you worked at the Garden Centre, I could come and visit you any time I wanted...Yes I know I can see
you at home anytime. But at the garden centre I could also see all of the fish...' 
Grace has a crush. A very scary yucky crush.
The other morning before school, I spied her giving a little boy in her class a cuddle. She then leant in close and gave him a kiss on the cheek. A KISS ON THE CHEEK! Oh. My. Gosh. Just wow! And I have to say I was a little relieved when he wriggled free of her grasp to run away. But it seemed a little pointless since she only chased after him anyway. He managed to lose her somewhere out on the basketball courts. She gave up the chase and then came skipping back over to me. She didn't seem disappointed.
But while I was laughing with one of the other mum's and discussing just how grown up all of the kids seem to be when that same little boy came running over to her. He wrapped his little arms around her then gave her a big kiss. ON THE MOUTH... It was only a peck but I stopped laughing pretty quickly.
They said they grow fast but not this fast!
I think being a Diva may come a little too naturally to Grace.
She had her first school disco this week and we had a lovely time getting her all dressed up for it. With some persuasion, I let her wear some makeup. Nothing to crazy - just a little lip gloss, blush and ummm... mascara. Yep. Mascara! 'Mummy can I wear mascara? Why not? I know my eyelashes are beautiful. But with some mascara I can have pretty lashes like you!'. Because sometimes flattery really does get you what you want. But look at just how lovely she looks!
I stayed at the Disco for about ten minutes or so to make sure that Grace was all settled in. Before leaving I gave her a couple of glow sticks so she could really rock out. Unfortunately she burst one pretty much straight away. It went all over my coat and I'm pretty sure my parts of my face were glowing a pretty shade of highlighter pink! But I took that as my cue to leave. At home I had about an hour to kill. The first thing I did was scrub my coat because while 'You're glowing' is always a great compliment, I'm not sure that 'Hey man, your elbow is looking so fluorescent these days' really counts as much of a compliment. And then I spent the next forty minutes pacing the kitchen and clanking at the clock while eating a carrot. I think I was more than a little nervous for her. But in next to no time, it was time to go pick her up.
After the Disco, Grace was sitting eating some pasta with Neil and me. We were discussing how her evening had gone and then we got around to talking about boys and how you mustn't go about kissing them. Ever. Never Ever (I really can't stress this 'never' business enough). But according to Grace she has a 'front friend' and a 'back friend'. At first this statement raised some eyebrows. But after some questioning it was explained...
'Mummy, I have five friends... Yes friends. And my friends are boys. So they are my boyfriends. This one, That One, Another One, One More and The Last One' (Okay, just to explain that is obviously not their names but that amounts to what I heard her say). As she listed them off she counted them each on her hand. 'This One is my front friend and The Last One is my back friend. My front friend is the one I like the best. And The Last One is the friend that I like the least because sometimes he doesn't want to sit near me. Actually I think maybe he isn't really my friend. I don't really like him at all. So he is my back friend...' (It makes complete sense if you think about it). 'And This One is my favourite. We pretend to be firemen together. I like him the best. I like him so much that I Just want to give him a big kiss!' So I told her what she needed to hear - Kissing boys makes you turn into a boy. So that should be the end of that.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Hello thunder cloud - we meet again!

 Those of you who have read my recent face book posts will be familiar with the Thunder Cloud situation at Grace’s school. And given that Grace has a strong personality, it might not surprise you that we’ve had another run in with said thunder cloud. Now Grace is a good girl and while I think she is pretty special she does have her moments that can test the adults in her life, but like everybody she is learning that there are consequences for bad behaviour. And at school the typical punishment for naughtiness seems to result in a stint of being ‘put on thunder cloud’. Now I don’t know what this thunder cloud is or what it involves but according to Grace it is the absolute worst so you can imagine the mood she was in the other day when she was for the second time, placed on said cloud.
When I picked her up at home-time, she stormed out of the class room and threw her book bag and coat at my feet then stomped up the path towards the school gate. After stooping to collect her things, I hurried up the path after her. Don’t be fooled by her little legs. They can move pretty fast so I was a little out of puff when I finally caught up to her. Choosing my words carefully, I asked whether she had had a good day. She didn’t answer. Walking hand in hand, we crossed the road in silence. I asked her again how her day had been if something bad had happened. This did the trick – ‘I had a yucky horrible thundery day! My teacher put me on the thunder cloud and now I’m really, really cross with her!’ After some questioning, I discovered that Grace and her teacher had fallen out over who's job it was to lead the class...'She told me that I have to be quiet when it's her time to talk but she talks all of the time! When is it going to be my turn ? And why do we all have to do what she says? It's not fair! I wanted my friends to play 'Numberjacks' with me but she said we all had to practise writing our names on our white boards! It's just silly. I know how to write my name'...
Oh dear! Needless to say, the rest of the walk home involved much discussion about how she should behave during class time and why it's important to listen to and follow her teacher.  Let's hope we don't have any more run ins with any more stormy weather.