No escape anymore

If I were to tell you all the stuff I got done this weekend, not only would you likely be amazed, you’d also be horribly bored.

Still, why do people come here if not for amazement and/or boredom?

It’s ok, I’m not going to bother you with the minutiae of my weekend activities. But I did get a lot done.

Look, it’s going to be a tough week. Mrs 6000 has gone down with mild Ebola,  6000 Junior starts his exams on Wednesday and Little Miss 6000 has a Science project due in on Thursday. All that on top of the usual school runs, extra-murals and general family life. I would ask if it ever gets any easier, but I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to hear the answer.

It used to be that during times such as these, one could take a few moments out to watch some football or go onto social media. But the football season is all but over, and social media is a shitshow of people fighting about the most trivial of things in the most immature of ways.

Am I right in thinking that once, it was possible for people to date one another civilly? That they would take the time to listen to the other person’s point of view, whether or not they then chose to agree with it? Or was this just some pipe-dream in the snatches of sleep I managed next to my apparently moribund wife last night?

I actually saw someone who was asking to be sent a screenshot of a tweet* so that she could be offended by it and respond on someone else’s behalf, over the weekend. Wow.

Is this really what we’ve come to?

Her echo chamber was very impressed.

I think I’d rather head back to sickness, science and several hours of revision. Thanks.

 

* The tweet in question was devastatingly hilarious and not at all offensive, as far as I was concerned, but sharing that viewpoint publically would be suicidal in the current climate

 

Parenting and screentime

Got a kid? Got a screen?
Then you’ll likely know just how hard it is to separate the two of them.
Whether it’s TV, phone or iPad, it’s the curse of the modern era.

Or is it?

Because I came across this very amusing article in the New Yorker by Rachel Klein, entitled:

Limiting Your Child’s Fire Time: A Guide for Concerned Paleolithic Parents

which suggested that this isn’t a new problem at all:

You don’t want to be the bad guy, but you also want to make sure that your child engages in other activities, like mammoth hunting and the gathering of rocks and bones with which to make tools. So, how do you set appropriate boundaries for your child on fire usage without jeopardizing the family unit so crucial to the survival of the species?

I don’t want to give too much away here, because there are some lovely little gems in what is clearly solid, age-old parenting advice, so I’d rather just advise that you take advantage of your n free articles each month and head over there for the 5 minute read.

Lion around

OK, we might be in Africa, but (generally) lions don’t roam the city streets. If I said that they did, I’d be… Well, I’d not be telling the truth.

Once again, I’m blogging from the stands at the local indoor trampoline park, but after a crappy week of feeling crappy, I’d rather be chilling in front of the football. This guy, from our Shamwari trip last April, has got the right idea.

But parental duties call.

The trampoline park is pretty much empty – most kids being in the middle of exams at the moment. The boy has worked hard this weekend, and is letting off some steam.

The DJ is taking advantage of the large, near-empty arena to injure those who have turned up with a Cuban/Carribean mix pumped out at 130dB. I’m no expert, but I think that Sean Paul may be “in da house (baby girl)”. (OK, I’m cheating: he’s told us he’s “in da house (baby girl)” several times already.)

It’s basically an offensive aural assault and I wish I was lion at home.

Merit

Props to the Boy Wonder for his hard work at school of late.

The school has a merit/demerit system, whereby good behaviour and achievements (for example) are rewarded with points, while being naughty or being late to class (for example) will lose you points. Each week, the scores are totted up and those with the highest scores are celebrated in school assembly. Good for them.

Here’s my son’s chart for this week so far:

1 point for his simple, but effective Science project. Good.
1 point for “excellent” work in French. Bien.

And 2 points for calmly capturing and removing a decent-sized Cape Skink (Trachylepis capensis) while all around him in his History class were losing their heads. Awesome.

I’m happy to say that my kids have no issues with any of the harmless local wildlife:

…and (equally importantly) a healthy respect for the dangerous stuff.

There’s more to schooling than just academic achievement, and I’m really proud that in a class of 20+ screaming kids (and 1 screaming teacher?), my boy was the one who kept his cool and helped out. And saved the skink, as well.

Nice work.

Maybe Amazing

My eight year old daughter took part in her first Eisteddfod this morning. She stood up in front of 50 or more strangers in a hall with terrible acoustics and which was surrounded by a million or more noisy seagulls and delivered a flawless performance of Maybe from Annie.

Flawless, at least I thought, to my musical (but naturally biased) ears. But then the very experienced and very honest adjudicator stood up and told us (in so many words) that actually, she shared my opinion.

The result? A Gold Diploma for a score of 90% or above, and some very positive and encouraging comments from the lady in charge.

I’m not intending to show off, but I think that every so often we parents should be allowed to crow about our kids’ achievements.
And this is one of those times.

Proud dad moment.