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We have loads of stargates in our house: they are in the children’s eyes

We went stargazing this evening. The eight-year-old wouldn’t keep quiet so we could point stuff out to the six-year-old, because Vega emits some hundred many times light more than the sun — five hundred? I wasn’t listening, because I was trying to show the 6yo the Big Dipper — and she thinks Altair is a really romantic name for a star.

We actually went out to show off the fig tree we planted yesterday. When we dug the old dead weeds out of the pot, we found an ants’ nest inside, and spent a little while watching them carrying eggs around (“Nah, I’ve seen ant eggs before, Mu-um,” “LARVAE, Mum, LARVAE,”) before emptying the soil out and replacing it with freshish compost. I think the ants will be able to rebuild their civilization in the old soil’s new location. Except for the ones which crawled onto us as we dig and met a sudden and untimely end.


went incredibly badly and I spent much of the day in other people’s foul tempers and some of it in my own. But towards the end, after I had read FOUR CHAPTERS of the scintillating intellectual treat that is £$%^& Noddy and eaten most of the chocolate cherry flan on my own because only one child wanted to help me, the 6yo started repairing a stool she picked up at the side of the road on Friday, and I forgave them almost everything.

I was glad to go stargazing though. A little enthusiasm after a day of negativity goes a long way.

And I have no idea at all what happened with the formatting for this post. Whu?

I realised as I was updating my livejournal that today contained a wealth of education which looks like education, rather than the usual kinds which don’t. Linnea is 4 years old. I quote and paraphrase:

On the bus, Linnea was quite verbose about threading the various parts of Reading together, which streets go where and lead to where and what happened in which buildings. She doesn’t often talk to me about what’s going on in her mind so that was lovely. She also has a better grasp of the geography of the other side of town than I knew.

This morning both girls did sticking and gluing. Linnea also dictated a postcard inviting a friend over, so I wrote that out (and later Rob posted it). After lunch I needed to go to hospital for a blood test. Linnea decided she did not want to come and watch me having blood taken; she at first said she would cover her eyes but I asked if she would prefer to wait in the waiting room and that was a much better option for her, so I checked with staff and that’s what we did. And she gave me a little lecture on not leaving rubbish lying around and made sure to put her drink and packet in the buggy when she was finished with them, for whatever reason.

On the way home we went to a cafe with a layered jigsaw of boy – clothes, muscles, internal organs, skeleton – and we talked about what kidneys are and how they are connected to the bits she already knows about (bladder, wee, tubes, etc). She found it strange that they are easier to feel at the back than the front.

And then very late in the day there was a complicated conversation about time, and how we can’t make it go faster than it does. We have friends arriving in four days. This is not the day after tomorrow, no matter what we do. How sad :(

[crossposted from elsewhere because I initially forgot this existed]
Today I had to make Linnea a model of the human eyeball and demonstrate pupil dilation in different light levels. I made a ring of my hands and showed how the iris works, and looked at “the dark inside my hands” and the light outside the window so she could see different pupil sizes. She was interested, made her own models, drew some diagrams, and said she didn’t WANT a pupil any more because she wanted eyes with no holes in.