tellyless, advent, and flexischooling

Well, the lesstelly experiment is going ok.

We have managed to watch minimal telly all week, although there have been a couple of blips with Boo not being very well again. But even then it was just 3 episodes of Noddy not an all day tellyfest and partly due to me being busy mailing out Newsletters while the girls attempted to entertain a grotty Boo…. It’s been a busy week as the catch up I’ve already posted suggests.

The tellylessness is proving quite productive…



tents have been built and played in



biscuits biscuits and more biscuits have been baked (the chocolate stars taste like lebkuchen)



and the girls have got out more. Most importantly for me, other than a few explosions from Muffin (due to the school situation) the girls are enjoying each other more. They actually want to spend time playing with each other and after the first few days I didn’t hear ‘I don’t want to spend time with Boo she has to be entertained all the time’ now they all contribute, Boo asks to play shops or to build towers or make cakes and biscuits. The girls ask to do crafts and baking and they just get on with things and they make suggestions for things to do with Boo. ‘do you want to do gluing?, shall we make biscuits?, shall we go out for a walk?

 With plenty more busyness to come…. and also over the weekend!

Saturday 1st 

 the girls went off Kickboxing again, which they seem to be really enjoying, and then they swam. We helped out a friend by looking after her 16month old son while she headed out to observe an NCT antenatal class. We took both babies out with us to Lewes to the Farmers Market where we didn’t buy anything because lots of people tend to leave me feeling a little overwhelmed! We did see lots of things I wanted to buy mind you, and I think my New Years resolution will be to not be intimidated by crowds of people…. We had a nice time in Lewes once we’d waited out the passing hail storm in the car! Part of the issue with the crowds was having the 2 babies in pushchairs. If they’d been on our backs it would’ve been much easier but I hate it when babies are at hand height and any idiot with a cigarette or a careless hand can hurt them. Pushchairs generally leave babies at the perfect height to get bumped and whacked, o worse still burnt, also people don’t always notice them and trip over them! We did take the MT for one of them but the worry of a further hailstorm meant we couldn’t use it. I really do want to get a rain poncho, not the most attractive of garments but wonderfully functional. We had our usual indulgence of Pakoras from the Pakora van ( a bit like a burger van  suppose but soooo much nicer!)  and Tom managed a wonderful organic quiche (again a regular for him!).

 We didn’t make it to the homebirth group again of course but we did enjoy our trip to Lewes in spite of the many people and the rain and the pushchairs.

On the way home we finally made it to Eliza Browns where we got Boo’s new shoes. Not quite the ones i wanted but they fit beautifully which is the most important thing. My mum just squeezed my feet into pretty shoes and wasn’t particulary bothered about the consequences, which is fairly shocking considering her profession – chiropidist!

They opened their first days advent envelope today which Boo insists on calling ‘handbags’ and they were really happy. That’s what I love, doing something for them and watching their faces when it works! I keep getting told what a wonderful mum I am and how none of their freinds mums would do this. It’s good, it makes the crap times more bearable and we’ve had plenty of those lately……


I had hoped to go to Ikea to get Boo’s new bed. We want to get her an extendable bed so that it lasts all the way through for her, although we’ve had the offer of a friends toddler bed which we were going to go for but the ‘toddler’ it currently belongs doesn’t want to give it up just yet…. even though she’s now curled up in order to fit in (now she’s no longer a toddler)!!

Unfortunately I wasn’t very good at communicating my Ikea craving to Tom so I got frsutrated and he wondered why I was being a grouchy moo. The morning wasn’t helped by huge winds that blew stuff around the garden and even managed to fell a roof tile. The horses out the fron didn’t sound too happy either. Luckily no real damage done and Tom and I managed to go through Christmas wish lists and pretty much sort out what needs to be done. Tom and Boo also managed more time in the garden, I like that they spend so much time out there but now I don’t have a coat that fits I’m finding it hard to find the enthusiasm for it


All that was left was to prepare for our school visit the next day……


Finally the day had arrived to visi the school that Muffin might end up going to, but only part time. The school seemed nice enough, Tom liked the atmosphere and the Headmistress. I was concerned when she told us we had re-inforced the idea that school was awful by removing Muffin in July 2006. School had been awful, she’d been bullied for years in spite of numerous requests that the school deal with it, in spite of me speaking to one of the girls mothers. Her move to a mixed age class had knocked her confidence and no one had bothered to correct her assumption that she’d lost ability when she went from ‘top group’ to second to top after going into a class where she was a year younger than the majority with only 6 others of her age in. We were then told about how the curriculum colapses in January in order to revise for the May SATS. Basically from January until the SATS in May all the children would be doing would be revision, science, english & maths day in day out. She told us it wasn’t fun, she told us it was pressured – although she did try to counter this by telling us that the children didn’t end up in tears or anything…. and she told us she wasn’t ready to accept Muffin without further consideration. She needed to investigate what support would be available and she was concerned about incorporating a part-time student into such a pressured environment. At least she acknowledged Muffin has complex emotional needs due to past experiences. I know I don’t want to put Muffin into that environment. The same school, not at SATS time might be ok but for this coming term I don’t think it’s right. Unfortunately Muffin is desperate to go, she doesn’t understand just how much pressure she’ll be under and she has a dream that there won’t be horrid kids there. I want to contact the LEA whom we have had absolutely no contact with since the girls left and discuss the possibility of re-introduction to school with them (only ever part-time mind) but Tom wants to hold off for a bit longer.

 I don’t know how I’m going to cope or support Muffin in the meantime. She’s desperate to go back. She has no desire to work at home, or at least she can’t find any enthusiasm for anything. This means she’s quick to explode and I’m so frustrated I find it hard not to get cross back. She wants to work, she wants to learn but she doesn’t see what she does at home as learning. She did, and maybe she will again but she has a pipe dream about the school setting. About a wonderful teacher and lots of lovely classmates. I hope it works out for her, if it doesn’t of course I’ll be there to help her recover.

On a positive, while we were out she decided to do this


she wasn’t 100% happy with how it turned out and she says she doesn’t care about real volcanos but at least she did enjoy it while she did it.


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