Cooking

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Making tea and drinking it was WAY better than a temper tantrum.
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And we began a balsa wood model, no photos by request, and painted with acrylic, and baked, and briefly looked at baking powder, water, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda. Oh, and fractions.

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I’m most interested in the 6yo and the 2yo teaching each other to read. The 6yo really cares about the rules and gets cross when books do easy to read texts “wrong”.

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.

Today

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?

We were supposed to go to the hospital for a tedious checkup thing today, and I was going to enliven it with a visit to the Museum of English Rural Life again, but the toddler has possible chicken pox so that was out. I cancelled my appointment, the sun suddenly came out, and this happened:

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Digging up our Grow Your Own Potatoes bag.

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Finding a recipe…

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… and following it…

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… and finally, serving it to their adoring and hungry mother. It was delish, actually, and there’s more dressing left over for later.

I was so impressed and pleased that I decided to dig out their corner and make it nice again:
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L(8) did a science experiment. Actually, it’s ongoing. She’s testing the effect vinegar, water and air have on chicken bones. The answer is “not much after 18 hours.” We’ve been getting along much better in general, and I’m learning how to tie her physical and emotional and mental stuff together to create a new wholeness for her, an integrated self-experience, or something. That seemed fine until I wrote it down and now seems really woo-woo and poncy. She has also recently developed an interest in cooking, which is great.

E(almost 6) has been cooking up a storm and is very competent at separating eggs, peeling and chopping, pouring, and so on. Not so hot on measuring. She relies on L to use the microwave for her, because it’s very high up. She’s also ploughing on with learning to read, and writing a fair bit.

A(very nearly 2) is walking, talking, climbing, dressing herself (can’t manage socks yet), using the toilet or potty, counting to two and sometimes three, and learning more about names and how they work – she can now answer “what’s your name?” with her own, actual name.

I’ve been painting and selling paintings at another blog for a while and then I opened an Etsy Shop and it’s very exciting, for me and for the children – they find the process of painting, selling, using the money to buy more canvas, etc, novel and exciting. E in particular is very vocal about it.

Dishwasher maths – what’s nine and nine and three? Ten and ten minus one-and-one plus three… EIGHTEEN!

Checking up on the peas, carrots, mange tout, and berries – they are growing, hurrah!

Weeding with a hoe.

Playing in ever-changing groups of children aged under one to over eight.

Shopping for food.

Making toad in the hole.

Pronouncing de-sigh-zhuns, and other words which are interesting to read.

Running around yelling like mad.

Climbing.

Sliding.

Drawing.

Checking the post and using limited reading skills to hand it to the right recipients.

It’s been a busy day.

I’d like, after the slog of illness, Christmas, New Year, more illness, DIY, etc, to get back into blogging.

I thought I’d start by getting a little more up to date.

This week, we started Monday by doing Bananagrams before breakfast; the seven-year-old (L) mainly sees words I don’t, and vice versa, and the five-year-old (E) was fascinated by how many words she could make by going through the alphabet and sticking each letter in front of AT. It all petered out before I won, which was good.

We did some sewing. It turns out that E is a natural at cross-stitch. She also made a dress for a wooden spoon doll, hemmed and all. I sewed a sort of dreadful buttonhole around the neckhole, which may or may not stop it from fraying. I can’t tell. I’m not a good sewer (er…)

We made a menu for their café, where they priced things very oddly, especially E. Thirty cupcakes for the cost of one piece of cake, whole raw peppers on the menu, that sort of thing. But it depended on what we had in the play food baskets, apparently, and that was that.

In the afternoon E invited N from two doors down over to play, and they played separately but in the same room for a longish time. Meanwhile L was doing jigsaws – she’s sticking to really, really easy ones, and I’m not sure what she’s doing with them, but it involves telling stories. L has grandiose animation feature film plans. We Shall See; she has roped an adult friend in to help, so you never know what could happen.

Today we got up and tidied frantically, which ended up being great. E got breakfast out for us, which was lovely because looking at the kitchen before I tidied it made me feel completely stopped. The children made lunch (potato salad and tuna sandwiches) and sort of cleared up afterwards. They got out the air-drying clay to make iceberg models (?!) and later did a lot with Lego. There was reading. And writing. I can’t remember which day they spent ages with L teaching E how to write “POO-BUMS” but it took ages and the lesson, well, stuck.

Part of our evening pickup involves gathering all the piles of paper, sorting them into used and unused, and returning the unused to the paper drawer. I’m not sure how long this will continue before I get completely tired of it. We did find E’s map of the Pacific ring, so that was nice.

And the 18-month-old (almost)? She’s fab. She’s talking, more and more, though I don’t think many people other than me and the other two children understand her, most of the time. She dances. She hides and makes jokes. She’s very good at stacking toys and shapesorters. She, like her sisters before her, likes to be naked and takes all her clothes off at every opportunity, leading to… well, I’m glad we replaced the carpets with laminate. Very glad.

And I’m still learning huge amounts. If I could learn how to go to bed at a sensible time and get enough sleep, instead of Internet FOREVER, I’d be golden.

My daughter, today, is two years, 4 months, 27 days old. She is learning with knives.

She’s in the kitchen with Rob right now. I think she expressed an interest in peeling potatoes but he might have offered. The potato peeler is a bit blunt, but she sat on a high stool in front of the sink and had a go. The potatoes were very slippery, mind. She said so.

Then they chopped and rinsed broccoli.

Now they’re peeling the leaves and silk off the sweetcorn.

She’s have a fabulous time, she’s out of my hair, it’s not slowing him down much…

Last night, she and I made Bara Brith in 15 minutes (er, plus 90 minutes baking time, but you can’t have everything). It hasn’t been cut yet but it looks fabulous.

She sees no difference between this and the games she plays with her plastic animals, except that for this she has company and for the animals she does all the voices herself. If anything, she likes this far, far more.

I know for sure that Linnea learned something, from me, today. It’s not often I can point at something and say “This she has learned from her mother!” but today she learned that eggs are runny inside their shells sometimes (though as far as I know they still default to hard-boiled).

A week or two ago she started asking to peel her own hard-boiled eggs at lunchtime, which of course I proudly permitted, and today she was about to help me make scrambled eggs by cracking the eggs open exactly as she does for hard-boiled ones. I snatched one from her tender infant grasp and cracked it myself, to demonstrate, and then she agreed to be more careful. She was intrigued by the runniness (“Is very juicy!”) and enjoyed whisking them.

Unusually, she wasn’t interested in stirring them in the pan, but she did watch them cooking.