Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy midwinter

This picture pretty much epitomises our eclectic celebrations here:

That was dawn on the day of the solstice. We got up at 6am on that day, lit fires and candles and ate nice food, while the mist sat in the valley like a white sea. The nice food and gifts have kept coming ever since and I think some of the teenagers have fireworks planned for tonight. For me, tonight is just the turning of a calender page - it's just a number. But we did buy yet more nice food and I do wish people a happy 2008.

We'll be celebrating our baby's first birthday in January, so 2007 has been a good year. She's an absolute pleasure for us all. She's not bothered about playing with toys though - her favourite activities just now are climbing, receiving rounds of applause (with which she joins in), polishing things with tea towels when the washing up is being done and putting things in the washing machine. All sorts of things.

Lyddie has just grasped the sound-blending aspect of reading and is wanting to read things all the time. Like with the baby and toys though, she doesn't want to read children's books but the books she considers to be mine, and newspapers, instead. I can understand this. Children want to join in and be useful members of the group, not to live in their own artificial but separate world.

The other thing they want to do is reciprocate. So, if I put a piece of carrot in the baby's mouth, she wants to get some carrot to put in my mouth. And if I teach Lyddie something about reading, she wants to teach me something about reading. It seems very important to them that the slate in these respects should be kept equal, as it were. They don't want to feel as if they owe a person something.

I'm very impressed by them anyway. They constantly teach me that instinctive human nature is innately wise and sensible, if only it's trusted and respected.


Blogger Elaine said...

Happy Midwinter :)

10:40 am, January 01, 2008  
Blogger Clare said...

I can relate to the reciprocating thing. My babies have always tried to 'feed' me whenever they are eating anything, even though I don't 'feed' them.

Also, on the reading front, Flopsy asked the other day for some books that she would be able to read on her own so I got her some first readers. We already had a load of puddle lane books that were mine as a child, but she didn't like them because there was an 'adult' bit too! Having said all that, she also loves reading my books/newspapers over my shoulder and when I'm reading her chapter books she's always asking me where it says something I've just read, or pointing to a word and asking me about it.

Happy winter celebrations!

4:56 pm, January 01, 2008  
Blogger Gill said...

Thanks Elaine. Happy midwinter/ Christmas/ New Year/ everything else to you too! ;-)

Clare, that feeding thing is so endearing, isn't it? And I gather learning to read from your parent's newspaper is a surprisingly common way of doing it - quite a few people I know learned that way. Happy winter thingies to you too!

9:55 am, January 02, 2008  

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