Monday, June 30, 2014

On Boys and Girls

We are currently reading aloud The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit {affiliate link} and have found it to be wonderful.  This passage from last night so struck me that I wanted to post it here.

'Well,' said the Doctor, 'you know men have to do the work of the world and not be afraid of anything - so they have to be hardy and brave.  But women have to take care of their babies and cuddle them and nurse them and be very patient and gentle.'

'Yes,' said Peter, wondering what was coming next.

'Well then, you see.  Boys and girls are only little men and women.  And we are much harder and hardier than they are' - (Peter like the 'we'.  Perhaps the Doctor had known he would.) - 'and much stronger, and things that hurt them don't hurt us.  You know you mustn't hit a girl -'

'I should think not, indeed,' muttered Peter, indignantly.

'Not even if she's your own sister.  That's because girls are so much softer and weaker than we are; they have to be, you know,' he added, 'because if they weren't, it wouldn't be nice for the babies.  And that's why all the animals are so good to the mother animals.  They never fight them, you know.'

'I know,' said Peter, interested; 'two buck rabbits will fight all day if you let them, but they won't hurt a doe.'

'No; and quite wild beasts - lions and elephant - they're immensely gentle with the female beasts.  And we've got to be, too.'

'I see,' said Peter.

'And their hearts are soft, too,' the Doctor went on, 'and things that we shouldn't think anything of hurt them dreadfully.  So that a man has to be very careful, not only of his fists, but of his words.  They're awfully brave, you know,' he went on.  'Think of [Roberta] waiting alone in the tunnel with that poor chap.  It's an odd thing - the softer and more easily hurt a woman is the better she can screw herself up to do what has to be done.  I've seen some brave women...'

If you haven't read this one aloud to your children, I highly recommend it.  My seven year old son has been so inspired by this book ("They saved the train, Mom!") and my five year old has listened pretty intently to the story, and I am finding it captivating as well.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of my girls and boys, just doing what boys and girls do best, playing:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Got It Good

I signed my children up for swim lessons.  Those lessons put our family at the pool's side every day except Monday from 9 until 11:30 for the next two weeks.  Sounds luxurious right?  Sitting by the pool everyday with nothing else to do except eat pretzels and bask in the sunshine...Not exactly.

By 9am it's about 90 degrees here and by the time we left at 11:30 it was 102, but that's fine.  There's a pool to cool us off.  Sunflower has the first lesson and the older two children jump in and swim around and have a grand time, and I have only to keep the baby entertained and keep an eye on things.  This is as close as it gets to the luxury stated above and I will admit it is quite fun.  It is a bonus that a good friend is there during this time as well.

As time goes on it gets hotter and the baby gets less willing to hang out in his stroller.  After Sunflower's lesson we have a lull when none of my children are in a lesson.  This is when it gets a little...wonky.  Ensuring Fritter is not getting too wild doing his jumps and twists off the side of the pool, that Ladybug is staying close to the edge, that the baby has a steady supply of pretzels or that his little floaty boat stays within reach, and that my daring little Sunflower (now made braver by her lessons "Look mom I can float sink!") does not run off to dive into the deep end or that she stays firmly attached with her arms around my neck in the pool.

When 11:30 hits, we are ready to come home and have a hearty lunch of Peanut Butter & Honey (a staple in this house) and take naps, waking up to realize that the almost forgotten and hastily applied sunblock barely did it's job.  We have got it good.

Note for tomorrow...put sunblock on before you leave the house.