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Friday, 2 March 2012

A transition.....

Well, we are at the end of week 2 of the Tasmanian school term.....or rather, the not-school term for us.

There was a not-back-to-school gathering with our natural learning co-op a fortnight ago, but we decided against attending.  Some of the other kids were battling a nasty coughing plague and as we're still recovering from whooping cough, we need to avoid any lung lurgies for the rest of the year as much as possible.  I had drafted an email to Jasmine's dance teacher to explain that her return to Contemporary classes would be delayed a few weeks because of the cough, but in a shock announcement, Jasmine said she did not want to return at all.  I did not see that coming!  She has decided to focus all her energy on rhythmic gymnastics for now, so after a chat, we decided to try the first class of term last week just to see how she'd cope with the physical side of things.  She was obviously excited to be back there & could barely contain her energy.  She did have a couple of coughing fits, but managed to get them under control with a drink of water and a few seconds rest.

Jasmine's decision to retire from both forms of dancing means we now have two free afternoons compared to last year.  As a result, I'm going to look into Drama classes for her again.  Last year, they clashed with dancing but she did so love the Drama classes she did a couple of years ago that were cut short by the teacher having to return overseas.  She's very excited by the idea of doing them this year :D

Looking back on what Jasmine did in February, some common themes are:

1) Money (counting, multiplication of pocket money, addition, subtraction, working out change, value of currency, watermarks on notes, serial numbers, how the vision impaired can differentiate between the various notes & coins, negotiation & bartering skills)

2) Computer time/skills (Skype with family & friends,, games on Nick Jr, YouTube videos,, fashion designer game and Sally's Salon time management game....for hours)

3)  Science experiments (temperature & molecules, capillary action of flowers & sprouting avocado seeds)

The really big thing for February has been a total obsession with all things GUINEA PIG!  Jasmine has been asking for guinea pigs for a couple of years now so I know it's more than a passing phase.  I said as long as she did the research on what was involved in their care AND she was willing to do it, then we'd get her a couple of guinea pigs for her birthday in a few weeks.  I think she has watched nearly every YouTube video there is on GP's, she's checked out various GP websites, we've borrowed a book from the library, I downloaded & printed an e-book with info & worksheets and she's visited friends who have guinea pigs.  We've picked out the house we're going to get them so I'll order that next week & when that arrives and we have everything set up, we'll find a couple of girls for her.  She's already named them Sophie & Vanessa, but that's subject to change ;)

Apart from that, we've just been enjoying the last of the Summer weather, albeit interspersed with some decidedly Winter-like days.  The blackberries are past their prime already, but we had some massive ones to enjoy this year.  We've been hanging at the local pool, building outdoor shelters, erecting a new garden shed, grooming the dogs.....and eating more blackberries.  A more socially isolated Summer than we had planned, but I think we worked around the illness quite nicely.  We also returned to our Natural Learning Co-op last week and it was great to see Jasmine playing with her favourite people again :D

Ah yes.....coming back to the title of this post.  A transition.  As I mentioned, Jasmine is having a birthday soon.  She will be celebrating her 7th birthday over Easter.  Each year, I've found the 6-8 weeks either side of her birthday to be times of significant emotional &/or physical development - things like deciding she no longer wanted to wear nappies, or being ready for her own bedroom.  This year, she's right on track for the 'pre-tween' stage.  My blog posts in recent months have documented her increasing independence.  In recent weeks, she's become much more aware of her peers whilst at the same time, much more attached to me.   When I had to go out by myself a couple of weeks ago, she had an episode of separation anxiety the likes of which I've never seen with her.  It took an hour to work through it all, but in the end, she was OK with me leaving.  I called when I was running late as I promised I would & the trust was maintained.  Then just a couple of days ago, she chose friends over family on Skype, letting her grandfather know in no uncertain terms that she was rather busy on a group call with her friends. The pendulum is swinging wildly, along with her moods.  There are already early signs of puberty and her 9th & 10th baby teeth have started wobbling (2 years ahead of average, as she has been with all dentition), so I'm preparing myself as best I can to help her navigate through the psychological & physical changes that this phase brings.  It's interesting to see pictures of hearts & rainbows & fluffy guinea pigs contrasting with a preference for dark colours and an inner darkness.  Tonight, she got me to remove the pink net canopy from above her bed - something that once gave her a feeling of protection; her own cocoon.  She said it felt really different not having it there, but she appreciates the extra sense of space she now has.  She no longer needs it to feel safe.  She really is moving in between worlds.  

Hangin' with the dawgs

Chillin' with Bailey
Ahead of her time

Frankenstein flowers

Finally found where the chook was hiding her eggs - all 50 or so

Dessert - chocolate avocado mousse with berries

Pushing her friends around ;)

Her 'baby sister' (must tell her to check the pumpkin patch next time)

Helping Dad get fit


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