1. Playing with plants, inside and out. I've been tidying, repotting, sweeping and staking. I can tell that the weather is milder now, because a short walk down to the end of the garden turns into a happy hour of pottering with sticks and string and, well, pots.
The buds on the peach tree are fattening up nicely, frogs are visible round the edges of the little pond and footballs and tennis balls are once more flying round the patio and (quite often) over the fence.
2. In the reading pile at the moment. Nice simple food from Monty Don. He reminds me how good seasonal English food is. Bear Grylls has some other suggestions that are not for the squeamish. This is reading for the middle boy, who you will remember is all about the fire and the knives and living off of bits of animals that I won't even go into here. And elephant dung. Nope, not going into that here. The compost book isn't much better. I'm thinking about getting some worms for the two wormeries I have. My favourite are the European night crawlers. The top book is the one I'm reading aloud at the moment. One I read and enjoyed when I was little. The biggest boy is exactly like the Ship's Naturalist in the book, always clutching a pair of binoculars and looking out for birds. Books with no references to modern technology or aliens or boys who must save the world with the latest gadget are very refreshing.
3. The middle boy has left a couple of things until the last minute this week. He had a recorder recital in the church, and hadn't practised at all, and had a homework project that wasn't done until the eleventh hour. (We dyed some wool in the manner of an Anglo Saxon, using gorse flowers that we found round the back of Ye Olde Leisure Centre.) It's so frustrating, because he's bright, but he doesn't always propel himself forwards enough. Mostly it's frustrating because I'm exactly the same. I see where I have failed, repeatedly, to make an effort, and I am having to stand by and watch him walk the same path. And yet I am still the same. How do I change? Where do I find the energy and the motivation?
4. I took the biggest boy to a football match after school this week. The littlest boy came along as well to have some fun. He found some secondary school boys to play with. The match was a bit of a crushing defeat, and the biggest boy wasn't at his happiest. I made sure he had everything (last time he left his school shoes behind) and off we trudged. Halfway up the street I stopped to cross the road and suddenly saw the littlest boy running towards me. I had completely forgotten him!!! And he is not an easy child to forget. I have no idea how it happened, usually I have one eye glued to him at all times. Fortunately he saw me leave. He was quite cheery about it and said it didn't matter, he knew his way home from there. Aargh. He has now been drilled in the correct procedure on being left behind by a parent. You know, just in case I do it again.
5. The biggest boy had a wobbly tooth for ages. It fell out at school, and he sneaked it under the pillow without telling anyone. The tooth fairy did not come. I feel he may have been conducting a scientific experiment into how the whole tooth fairy operation works. He was quite miffed at the non-attendance and said he would be suing. I pointed out he didn't have a written contract. He said he would be suing anyway. Fortunately the next night the tooth fairy did come and left some money and a very nice letter. Lawyers have been stood down.