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100 Happy Days, day 5

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Froglet reading Nutmeg a story he wrote at school, in German. Below is the story. The prompt is in italics.

Eine Reise mit meinem Zauberschuh
Was für ein wunderbarer Zauberschuh!
Mit meinem Zauberschuh kann ich überall hinreisen. Ich muss mir nur etwas ausdenken – und schon beginnt die Reise.
Ich reise mit meinem Zauberschuh nach Lego-City.
Es hat Lego-Autos, Lego-LKWs, Lego-Flugzeuge und Lego-Häuser.
Plötzlich sagt ein Mann zu mir: “Hej! Hol ein Auto bei der Garage, sie sind gratis!”
Sofort hole ich mir eins.
Nach zwei Tagen find ich ein Haus und wohne in Lego-City mein ganzes Leben lang.

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Spring and summer non-posting

My friend MaryLeigh at Blue Cotton Memory was asking where I’ve been. Well several factors have combined to make posting more difficult.

First we got a new computer – an Apple. It took us quite a while to work out how to sync our camera with it (apparently it doesn’t like Canon G10s), and even longer to work out how to put the photos somewhere where I can get at them from my blog to post. For a while I posted sans photos but it’s not as nice, is it? But hopefully that is now solved.

Secondly, Froglet starts official kindergarten this August, so we took him out of nursery at the end of May to give him a summer holiday (and save some money!) Not entirely a brilliant idea, as I now have no free time at lunchtimes when Nutmeg sleeps. But then again, children in Switzerland come home for lunch every day anyway once they start kindy, so I had to get used to it sometime. Now I have to learn to make 20-minute posts, like this one!

And thirdly we have had both visits from and visits to family, including a holiday in Greece, so that has kept us busy and offline. The photo is one I took outside our hotel room there, and I will be posting about the trip soon. With pictures. 🙂

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First words

Froglet’s first word, at the age of about 13 months, was “Cake”. Prior to this he was using the sound “neng-neng” to mean food or more often drink from the age of about 9 months, but that robably doesn’t count as a real word.

About 4 months ago, Nutmeg started emitting a very piercing shriek if food or drink was too slow to arrive, so we began actively encouraging her to say “more” instead. I can’t remember exactly when she first said it, but I guess by the time she turned one she was saying “maaa” and meaning more. (She actually said “more” properly once, but it seems to have been an accident because she hasn’t said it again).
Now she has acquired a second word. “Nana”, for banana. She says the first n a bit strangely, as if she was trying to get the whole “ban” syllable into one letter.

There seems to be a theme here. But at least banana is healthier than cake – if we had a third child perhaps its first words would be “wholemeal bread”?

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Happiness is…

Watching my four-year-old chase my just-turned-one-year old so he can snuggle her, then seeing her turn round and throw her arms round his neck delightedly.

Snow sparkling in the lamplight outside our bathroom window.

Time to do lots of reading (most recently John Ortberg “Everyone’s normal till you get to know them”)

Nutmeg having her check-up and MMR jab without crying or complaining at all, then waving her cookie happily at the doctor afterwards, as if he hadn’t just stuck a needle in her arm.

Froglet finding words for me to help him read wherever we go.

Lying on the floor with a happily-squeaking Nutmeg crawling all over me.

Froglet stroking my arm and saying “I love you Mummy”.

Nutmeg wandering about saying “yeah, yeah” and “oo-ah-oo”. If she says it fast enough, it sounds like wow.

Getting a little box to store paperclips in, complete with paperclips, as a free gift from the pharmacy. I’m always short of paperclips.

Watching Nutmeg dance to the strains of Cuban music.

Nutmeg following Froglet wherever he goes.

An elder brother’s love for his baby sister: “She is my little sister, Mummy. Don’t smack her.”
(For the record, I had no intention of smacking her. I must have looked like I was gearing up to it though!)

Going to our first German-language parent-teachers’ meeting to find out what school will be like for Froglet when he starts in mid-August. Evidently it will be wonderful. The Swiss are remarkably Waldorf in their attitude to education. (In fact the school down in our cantonal capital is named after Pestalozzi, who once worked in the canton).

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More conversations with Froglet

Froglet is four years and 3 months.

Yesterday I taught him how to peel carrots. As I stood behind him explaining how to hold the peeler so that it works properly, he said “You sound like Granwen” (my mother). This to me is a compliment, and I think he intended it as one too. Then he volunteered to teach Uncle Luke, my brother-in-law, how to peel carrots too*.

Today The Engineer received an in-depth explanation of tectonic plates:

(Froglet holding up two hands parallel with the floor.)
This hand is Switzerland and this hand is Haiti. Then they go like this!
(bangs hands together vigorously)
And it makes Haiti wobble.
(wobbling Haiti-hand to demonstrate)

*This is admittedly funnier if you know Luke and are aware that he and the kitchen are not always on first-name terms.

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Conversation with Froglet

We had this conversation at bedtime after reading Guess How Much I Love You.

Froglet: I love you as far as the moon and the sun.
Mummy: I love you as far as the moon and the sun and back again.
Froglet: How much else do you love me?
M: I love you enough to make your breakfast, and make sure you have clean clothes, and wash your hair even when you don’t want it washing. How much do you love me?
F: I already said I love you as far as the moon and sun!
M: Well I said that too, but you still wanted to know more.
F (thinks carefully before answering): I love you as far as God.

One happy Mummy. 🙂

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Froglet school week 2: A

Literacy:
This week we revised letter X with some writing, and learnt letter A using the Starfall sheets and website. Although the writing exercise lets you do capital and lower-case letters, we’re mostly focusing on lower-case.

Maths:
Froglet got two new pages of raisin maths adding up to 8 and 9. I like to mix the results because otherwise I think he would quickly work out that the answer is always 8 (or whatever it is). When he’s putting the raisins in the boxes, he always arranges them neatly: the first four in the four corners, then number 5 in the middle, number 6 at the top, number seven at the bottom and eight and nine on the left and right. Not sure what he’ll do when we get to ten!

Telling the time:
We worked on recognising that it’s “something o’clock”. I discovered that although he can count up to 15 quite nicely, he actually doesn’t recognise numbers beyond 9 at all, and is rather hazy on 6, 8 and 9. (7 is fine). So that’s something else to work on.

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Froglet school week 1 – letter X

Like the blog title says, I’m not really homeschooling… but I do want Froglet to learn to read in English before he starts school in German next year. I’ve been teaching him sort of vaguely for about a year now, and he knows all the letters but just doesn’t do much in the way of stringing them together. So now we are starting to work at it properly, every day.

Last week we concentrated on X, which is Froglet’s initial. He played the x game on Starfall, as well as quite a few of the other letters for fun, and we read two phonics books that include x: The Red Hen and It (Floppy phonics). Then we printed out the x exercise sheet from Starfall and he learnt to write X. Last time I tried doing one of these sheets (a) he wasn’t very interested but i think now he’s four he must be just the right age because he did it quickly and happily and then we played noughts and crosses together. He even helped me draw the noughts-and-crosses board!
We also watched the “when two vowels go walking” song from Starfall and the longer version from Between The Lions, as we’re reviewing EE this week too, and did the ee game on the starfall website.

We read the story of how Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, and learnt the verse that says “I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you.” I’m trying to do a verse and story for each letter. Here the relevant word is example. Then we talked about how we can/do serve others. (After this Froglet went down to the basement all by himself and got the washing out of the machine for me!)

We also did some raisin/smartie/peanut maths. We have these in a transparent folder so he can put the smarties straight on the page and I can just wipe it clean afterwards. So far I’ve only done pages that add up to 7 – next week we’ll add up to 8.

And finally, something I’ve never done with him before either, patterns. He wasn’t so excited about this but he enjoyed playing with his peg board for a while after he had copied a couple of the patterns and then tipped everything out again.

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Crawling and commenting

Froglet didn’t express any interest in crawling at all until he was nine months. I think it was due to our tiled floors – not good for gripping with your sleepsuit-clad knees. As soon as we got a rug he was off like a shot. So I wasn’t sure if Nutmeg would wait that long or not. And she hasn’t. Today she crawled her own length (falling over once or twice and complaining vigorously all the way through). Then she looked at me and started to cry as if to say “look I’ve got this far, can’t you just carry me the rest?” So I did. I’m so proud of my baby!

Meanwhile Froglet is developing a great sense of humour. At the weekend we went out with some friends, and as he walked along behind me with their small daughter I could hear him commenting on my clothes: “R, do you like Mummy’s skirt? And her black boots? And her new socks – they come right up to here.” On recounting this to The Engineer later I remarked that I felt like a fashion model, upon which Froglet immediately turned round and said matter-of-factly: “Well, you’re not.”

His father creased himself laughing.

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The things they say…

Some conversations we had with Froglet back in March. F = Froglet, M= mummy, D= Daddy

29 March

D: Get off me… GET OFF ME.
F: *mopes*
M: Did you not hear Daddy the first time?
F: I’ not talking to you ever again!
D+M: *lol*
F: It’s not funny!
D: Yes it is.
F: No it isn’t.
M: You’re talking to us right now!
D: Are you talking to us?
F: *pauses to consider* Yes. I know how you love me.

(later same day)

F: *comes into our bedroom stark naked*
M: Why are you naked?
F: Because I like being naked.
M: Would you like a bath, since you’re naked anyway?
F: No. I will put my T-shirt on, then I won’t be able to have a bath.

30 March, whilst having lunch

M: Stop slurping!
F: I’m not going to talk to you ever again.
M: You said that yesterday so I don’t believe you.
F: I believe you.
M: See, you’re talking to me already.
F: Well, be happy Mummy. Don’t be cross. I love you very much.
M: *lol*
F: Some of your food from your mouth went splat on the table when you were laughing.

(a few minutes later)

M: *scribbling rapidly*
F: What are you doing?
M: I’m writing down what you said, so that Daddy can see it when he gets home.
F: *considers* I love you very much Mummy. Write it down, so that Daddy can see that.

Awwwww. I have to say that while I love the cute love-related bits, the bit I like most is the one about the food going splat. So very small-boy!

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