Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Small Person - Final week

Small Person has just left with her Mum, and the house is very quiet.   It's most likely that we won't see her again until the October half-term,  which gives me time to get the house tidied up and my (our)  batteries recharged.

This week we only had the pleasure of her company for 2 days, but they were really hectic. 

Yesterday she and I spent 3 hours at the allotment doing the late summer deep cleaning of all the coops.   She wanted to have a go at everything, and I wanted to make sure that everything was done thoroughly, which meant I had to take the time to show her how to use the sprayer etc properly.  

On the way home we discussed whether to buy  bagels for late lunch on the way home when we were both covered in Stalosan, Diatom, and chicken poo,  or to come out again later after a shower.    Her tummy won, and w etried to buy Bagels at our local Co-op (or Coop  as Small Person, understandably, thinks its pronounced) on the way home.  No bagels.

I tried out local petrol station, and they had some.  So, home,  bagels, and then showers.

I desperately wanted to sit down (and have a Nana nap,  something I don't often do!).  Instead, we played with the chicks, I taught her how to get them to fly up on to her arm.    She had been such a help, and her shoes were in such a state from c*ap at the allotment, that I thought I'd try and buy her a replacement pair. We bought her these  pink shoes last half term, and she's worn them to death. We went to the local town and found a similar pair, not pink. I also suggested we looked in the shop for a plain tee shirt that I could embroider for her.  No luck.  All the Small People stuff was already awash with designs.

On the way back to the car,  we were walking past Next,  so we popped in and had a look there.  I got her to try on some tops for size,  and we ended up buying a couple of multipacks.  This means I can embroider something now,  and have some in stock to do for her over the next few months.

Dinner was entrecote steak with dauphinoise potatoes.  I cooked the steaks very very rare (which is how she has it),  and she really enjoyed that.  She didn't mind the potatoes, but she did try and hide some under her knife so I know they weren't her favourite thing.    One of the things I really love about having her is that (with some exceptions) food isn't a drama.  She eats most things,  she'll try most things,  and she likes proper food.

Curse of the Were Rabbit and Great British Bake Off , and she went to bed. She slep until 9.30 this morning, which was not a surprise AND a complete surprise all in one.

Today was manic.    We started, as usual, with her making Nutella pancakes.  She'd had them as a treat for lunch as well one day last week,  and we were trying to replicate what the restaurant had done.   We nailed it today,  with me putting some nutella in a bowl in some warm water to loosen it, and suggesting that she added some baking powder to her batter.

The loop for her phone case (made by me) fell apart yesterday, meaning the case is useless, and I really wanted to make her a replacement.  She chose the fabrics last night , and I started to do the cutting out, and setting up the embroidery machine this morning.  I'm still not familiar with the machine, and it's a hideously complicated design (with extra back pocket, a tab, and goodness knows what else)  so it was taking a while. 

After I'd finally cut the mountain of pieces, in various fabrics and interfacings, Small Person announced that her Mum had found the Homework Sheet. This sheet had mysteriously disappeared some weeks ago and hadn't turned up despite me asking SP at the beginning of each week if she had homework to do.   

She had 8 pieces of homework to do.  We'd sort of done 1, getting her to practice her Maths, but that left 7 pieces to be completed by Wednesday.      She picked a large project one to tackle (A Skill I've Learned in the Holidays) which had to be detailed and include photographs (i.e. proof).  For the next few hours I battled rying to concentrate on sewing while trying to answer her questions and help her think about how how to tackle the project and then how to do each bit of it.

I had to help her articulate each bit of the skill,  and this involved asking her questions and getting her to really explain,  and then how to word it so anyone who doesn't have this skill could understand.

It was painful.   She has the attention span of a flea.   We'd have a breakthrough in terms of her being able to describe something, and she'd start to write it - but she'd lose steam before the words were written down.   She gets very frustrated with herself, and expends a lot of time and energygetting huffy, annoyed, fed up, etc.  We talked about how pointless that is. I was unpicking stitches at the time and I explained that I was frustrated that I'd made a mistake, but instead of getting cross and wasting energy on being frustrated and moaning about it,  I was instead just unpicking it and getting on with it.

I had to check her work for her, and go through spellings, but we got there in the end.   She then started on her second project which was a textile project.  I gave up all hope of doing the phone case,  and helped her plan her work and helped her find textiles with different textures.

DH and I had to pop out to the DIY shop (old farts discount day), and she asked to be left at home ("to finish my homework").   I agreed, after a moments hesitation,  and explained that we were leaving her at home to finish her homework, and that we expected the homework to be finished.   We gave her some rules about not going out,  not letting anyone in,  what to do if a parcel was delivered, answered her catastophising questions ("what if they say an adult has to sign?").   She asked if she was allowed to have a "short break" ("Of course, as long as the homework is finished by the time we get back. And by 'finished', I mean.... " blah blah).  I've learned that being specific avoids misunderstandings (and takes out wriggle room).

I finished by saying that we were trusting her with this, and if she let us down, well, we wouldn't trust her to stay at home on her own again.

It was fine.  She did the homework (she sent me a WhatsApp part way through to show me her progress.  She later told me that she'd also had a go on  the running machine, had been out to play with the chicks, had stroked the cat....   But her homework was finished to the exact point we'd agreed.

I then had to print out two photos to go on the first but of homework, and get her organised with all her stuff at the door. And then get her to clear up the detritis of her homework,  and her snacks.  She put the chooks away for me, and then her Mum arrived.

I'm knackered, but I'm pleased to have seen so much of her for the holidays. It won't be long before she'll be too old to enjoy coming over and spending time with us

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