Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Growing wings

On Monday, it was the last meeting this term of our German playgroup and six of the children are off to pastures new and will be starting school in August. Cubling was one of them, and the eldest at that. For a few weeks now, she had lost a bit of interest in going to the Kinderclub, she was getting bored, so it was really the right timing.

The mums of the 4-5 year olds had met one evening to make the must have for any German school starter, a Schultüte. This is a cone shaped container, nicely decorated, which bears sweets and items for school, and which children take along on their first day at school. I have no idea where this comes from, but it is such a quintessential starting school thing that it has a lot of meaning to me, and I would assume, most German mums. More meaning than the British equivalent, the graduation ceremony (which we had at the forest kindergarten and also at the pre-school). Cubling has known for a while now, at least a year, that as a German\Scottish child she would get a Schultüte, and the prospect has had a definite effect on her wanting to be German (whereas before she was just English or Scottish).

She didn't know though that she would get it early, namely at the last day of Kinderclub because I can't really send her to school with the Schultüte, that would totally single her out, possibly in a negative way or in a way that would make her too aware of being different rather than special.

We had been busy making it, decorating it, and finally filling it. I had gone through hoops trying to buy the contents without her noticing it. And finally, the big moment was there. The look in her eyes as she realised what was about to happen was priceless. Utter excitement, delight and pride all in one. She wouldn't let go of the Schultüte. And when I explained that she'd have to wait until daddy was home to open it, she sat on the stairs watching the clock for 3 hours, keeping herself busy with this and that, so that she wouldn't miss the time that daddy comes home, which she knows is 7pm.

With daddy eventually home, she proceeded to unpack her bag, and suddenly I saw a pre-schooler turn into a school girl. There was something so grown up in how she had waited without a moan, how she unpacked the bag and went through every item in good time, how she shared the chocolate equally with us, and how she made plans of how to use each item that made me rather emotional. Pens, have been used, as have all kinds of rulers, and she is now doing "work" and copying words, and even writing them from memory.

For a moment I could see her wings. It won't be long now until she takes off into the world and will move further and further away from us. I can only hope that we've given her enough grounding to support her on her flight, and that she'll be able to find her way back here to refuel whenever she needs to.

So this is it, a few weeks of summer and then she'll be at school 5 days a week. What a horrible and wonderful thought. She needs a new challenge, and yet I already mourn that she'll spend more time with her friends and teacher than with me. She of course takes it all in her stride. "what will you miss most when you go to school?" "Playing with my old friends" "What are you looking forward to at school?" "Playing with my new friends".

Oh man, how she has grown up.

Friday, 22 June 2012

of transitions, graduations, inductions and headaches

We have officially entered transition to school territory.
This is what it looks like:
2 one-hour sessions at school, perfectly placed in the middle of the day.
A graduation at the forest kindergarten (in the early afternoon)
A graduation at the pre-school (perfectly placed in the middle of the day).
A dress rehearsal for the latter (morning)
3 parent meetings, two of which are also during my working day.

That's a total of 7 half days during my working week (they always fall on my working days of course) in one month. Which will be followed by a full 3 weeks of part time schooling in August. Transition to school is definitely not made for the working parent. If I miss out, the school will have me down as a non caring or even bad parent. But really, it's all a bit much even with the best of will.

I'm losing my hair fast and quick. How do working parents manage? There is a real chance that I will have to send Cubling to her big graduation at pre-school by herself because daddy is abroad and there's a REALLY IMPORTANT training day on, that I'm sure many think I shouldn't or even mustn't miss.

Of course, I'd rather be at her graduation, then find out all about data protection (which is very important for my job, no doubt). Be there for an important day in her life, or be at a training session which in theory can be repeated but in practice may well not be. Either way I feel bad.

Now can someone make a decision for me AND make me feel ok with that decision? My head is hurting big time and I can't think anymore.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Printing away

I'm not one of those deal addicts. But when I saw on Facebook that there was a special deal going on a beginners workshop of screen printing, I had to explore it. And bought it.
The trouble with these deals are that you then have to use your voucher, and the weeks go past, busy as busy can be, and the end of the validity is nigh. Not one to waste a voucher, I made the time, even though I couldn't really afford to, so I was not in the best of places to start the workshop.

It may come as a surprise but I didn't actually know what screen printing was, or what you could create with it. Not that it's anything complicated, but if I were to do it again, I'd bring lots of boring t-shirts or other fabric to embellish. As it was, I had to use the thin cotton and one plain tote bag that was provided, while others printed really cool t-shirts for themselves and their families.

The venue was the Bespoke Atelier at the Glue Factory, which was actually a glue factory originally. It's one of those massive factory buildings, or rather, the rooms are massive, the building itself isn't particularly big. The venue is managed by 7 artists of different fields and through their work, this old building is being maintained and worked on bit by bit. It's still freezing cold in it and I can't see how anyone can survive a day in the winter in there, but apparently people don't get frostbites.

The process of screen printing was much easier than I expected, literally it's about cutting out a design which serves as a template or stencil, and then it's fabric, stencil, screen (which is effectively a mesh), colour and a squeegee transfers the colour through the mesh and stencil onto the fabric. It's all quite easy and the results were fab. I was pretty pleased with my own creations (considering that I'm not great at drawing and I had to draw the stencils freehand and then cut them out with a carpet knife freehand too), but when I saw what some of my art school graduate neighbours had come up with, I was green with envy extremely impressed.

My plan is to stick my creations to simple wooden frames and make them into canvas to use them to decorate the yet empty wall of the girls' bedroom. I'm very tempted to get a small screen printing kit to decorate t-shirts and the like but considering that I already have arts and crafts supplies for a) knitting b) cardmaking c) felting d) sewing and e) crochet and pretty little time to do any of them, or in fact not enough space to store all of the stuff, I may file this for now.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

That Dress

I'm a sucker when it comes to handmade. I mean really, does my 5 year old need another piece of garment, apart from a school uniform maybe? No, clearly not. But can I resist beautiful fabric made into beautiful swirly dresses? Rhethorical question. Knowing my dress loving 5 year old, I also knew that she would have to have an input into the choice of fabric.

You know, I tried my best.
There were the cutest fabrics to choose from.
And what did she go for?
Who would have guessed.

I mean, it's a niceish pink. I do love the fabric. But it's pink flipping pink again. Sigh. She will grow out of this right?

Check out Anna's, aka Tiny Viking's facebook page to admire her wonderful creations and dream of your own perfect dress/babygrow/hat - she's go photos of all available fabrics up so it's literally pick and choose. You can also find her ware at Merry Go Round Glasgow in Nithsdale Road. I won't take any responsibility for your bank balance.

As for Cubling: She luuuurves her dress and would wear it to bed if I let her. However she decided that her hat isn't so cool after all and has gifted it to Snowflake. The benefit of having two children...

Disclaimer: this post is not sponsored. I paid full price and probably will again.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Launch

The park is a 20 minute walk from us.
In theory.
But life with children is life in slow motion.
With 4 children, of which two are discovering treasures and shouting words that contain a lot of "poo" and "bum" to one another, one who happily is pushed in a trike and one 20 month old who has to walk all by herself while pushing her dolly pram, the trip to the park took well over 6 hours. And we even took the bus back.

Yes, we only walked to the park. That's what we adults did.
The children, they did an awful lot more.
They picked flowers and explored the pattern of petals.
They collected stones, sticks, tiles, flowers, treasures and what not in their pockets and the trike storage space.
They found bizarre treasures and wondered where they came from and what they can become in their pretend play.
They watched the river run below them.
They watched the ducks swimming on the river.
They pushed toy buggies.
They rode a trike.
They had sword fights with sticks.
They tested the pond for depth.
They collected pond mud.
They climbed on the climbing frames of the swing park.
They went down the chute, hopped on the trampoline and were upset that the swings were forever busy.
They slept (some).
They had picnic in the sunshine.
They played hide and seek.
They fell off picnic benches and bumped their head.
They climbed mountains.
They pretend played with all they found.
They checked which of the sticks collected might float and which might go under.
They found feathers and discovered the different textures at the tip and at the butt end.
And, above all, they launched a purple paper boat.




Blog Widget by LinkWithin