Saturday, 20 March 2010

Rubber Balls

I was on a course this week - very interesting and insightful. As part of it I was "volunteered" into an exercise in front of the class where the teacher was a difficult customer.

Basically, my work was to get as much information about a rubber ball -which then turned into two rubber balls. I did ok and my reward was my own pair of rubber balls. [The two balls had different properties - one was bouncy and one wasn't!]

But then came a great tip from the teacher - that I could use them to be "good" dad or "bad" dad.

So, off I went.

That evening I then got one ball (non-bouncy) and asked Alice to help - "I couldn't get it to bounce" and promptly demonstrated it not bouncing. I then handed her the bouncy ball and asked if she could help.

She successfully demonstrated how you bounce a ball. Hmm...

I took it back - switching balls in my hand - no luck.

Alice demonstrated how to bounce the ball. Then Emily joined in, "me too" - she wanted a go. She successfully bounced the ball.

So we had a couple of cycles of the kids bouncing the balls and me failing. Ok, let's try mum. No, she couldn't bounce the ball either.

It was really cool observing Alice and the different conclusions she was making and how she was arriving at them...

"No, not like that, like this..."

"You're dropping the ball from the wrong height..."

"Try dropping it like this..." (holding the ball in a certain way...)

"Dad, you know only kids can do this!"

Well, it didn't exactly live up to a "good dad" scenario, more a "useless dad" scenario but good fun anyway.

Next time I might reverse the balls - but I can almost see the frustration now!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Love hurts

Emily went through a phase of biting - it end a few weeks ago now. Sometimes it was playful, sometimes frustration and sometimes unknown... I've read somewhere that it's supposed to be a sign of affection - but that's one show of affection I'm not keen to encourage.

Well, maybe it was sisterly affection but we'd occasionally hear a scream from Alice - just after Emily had sunk her teeth into her. Half sisterly love and half frustration at being kept out of a game I suspect.

Well, this behaviour has disappeared now. But the sisterly "tough love" does continue, sometimes with a dry observational element...

The other week Emily was crying - combination of tiredness and mealtime. At the same time that I was going to try and get something for her to nibble on, Alice walked through the doorway carrying a small plastic chair - she was tidying away.

However, in her effort to hold the chair aloft and avoid Emily she managed to have a direct hit between chair leg and Emily's forehead. This didn't improve Emily's humour. Alice checked there was no harm done and I said I'd take care of Emily.

Then as Alice left she made the observation, "lucky that Emily was already crying." Yes, from a child's perspective, the situation wasn't any worse... Tough love, indeed!