This week, we were not feeling up to much (more about this here). We went out a little, but mainly stayed at home in the warm, relaxing and doing whatever we wanted.
Socialisation: At a Halloween kids disco, W joined in with the games and the dancing and coped very well with the noise and general chaos. Later, it was trick-or-treat time. W was determined to go out, despite not feeling great this week, so we did and we met up with friends to go together. She absolutely loved it, although last year, someone opened their door and properly scared the children, so this time, W hung out at the back of the crowd of children, then asked her stepbrother J, 10, to take her to the front when he thought it was safe. J obliged every time, bless him.
We met up with friends in a cafe, but didn’t stay long.
Science / Nature: We had a good look at the moon and the stars as we were out after it was dark. We said we’d go and find some bats next time.
I lit a fire in the garden to burn the dry grapevine and W learned again that fire needs 3 things in order to burn. She later asked where the grapevine disappeared to when it had burned and I explained about ash and smoke. While the fire was burning, we cleared the leaves from the back garden, founding acorns and snails as we did so.
On Tuesday, we watched a vet program on the TV while W rested on the sofa. She watched them reduce a dog’s temperature, fix a dog’s legs (they didn’t show the gory bits) and she also learned about venomous snakes.
I had a hospital appointment and W came with me. She told the nurses that she has a toy blood pressure machine and a thermometer. She was a little subdued, but she was interested in what was going on around her. When I went for a blood test, she watched the numbers on the screen change until it was my turn to go in.
We looked at a poster of the stomach and intestines and W was interested in how they worked. She then rearranged a children’s toy to categorise the animals within it.
I had an ECG and the nurse explained to W what it was for and what the electrodes did.
Caught a spider in a glass and W had a look at it (she would usually be too scared to approach)
Arts: W did quite a bit of colouring-in and drawing this week.
On Monday, I didn’t feel up to going to our usual social meet, so W suggested we stay at home and make a cat house for our cat, Flash. I asked her to design it on paper first and then make it from cardboard etc.
Her drawings were great and so we set about making it together. Instead of telling her what I thought would work and what would not work, I allowed her to do things and then change her mind if something didn’t fit. We both really enjoyed figuring it out together and she did very well at working it out. She drew windows and doors on a cardboard box. She told me how she wanted them to be cut out. We stuck cellofane on the backs of the windows, then W wanted curtains. She decided by herself that we should stick string up behind the windows and then she cut curtains out of wrapping paper and attached them in her own way to the string.
Later, we carved pumpkins for Halloween. W drew her cat design on paper and then drew it onto the pumpkin so that I could carve it.
We watched the Disney Robin Hood cartoon film together. She was curious about whether the story was real, so we talked about legends. It was actually a rather boring movie, but we sat through it anyway as she didn’t have the energy for anything else.
Play: W made beds for her toy dogs out of shoe boxes, using all the face cloths, napkins and towels in the house for bedding.
She also played with her magnetic pop-up toys a lot, then later played independently with her dolls and cars, getting them set up for a journey and working out a complicated hierarchy regarding who sat where. This lasted over a few days.
Board Games: My stepdaughter, D (8) had a new board game – Chinese Chequers. We all played it and W picked up the rules quickly and followed them well. She even figured out skilful moves.
Politics: General conversations with W this week have covered: the law around sending children to school, children’s rights in relation to this, Donald Trump and his wall, who pays for the Queen’s palaces, gay rights, racism in America, gun control in America, and women’s rights. All of these conversations were instigated by W, who appears at this stage to have a keen interest in politics and how the world works.
Hopefully, we will do more next week and will get out more in order to develop W’s new-found interest….