Thursday, 15 November 2007

Thursday's Child has far to go

[I apologise in advance if today's post sounds like a ramble. It probably is as I've been awake since 4 am but I was determined my week long attempt of writing a post for school would continue. I do hope you enjoy it nonetheless...]

Since daddy became an employee and we've adjusted to receiving a weekly wage, the children and I now have a regular day (Thursday) to do the groceries.

Today was quite a muddle in the end. We didn't get away from home till around 11 o'clock because my Well Child Kaitiaki from Tipu Ora (similar-type organisation to Plunket) popped in to see the children. As usual, we get to chatting and on average, she'll be here for at least an hour. We normally get on to talking about my parents as Wharangi and my folks and have known each other for years.

Wharangi no sooner left and our neighbour popped in briefly to discuss a couple of things to do with the upcoming weekend. Finally, we're away. We headed to the Recycling Centre and took care of business there. I wanted to pop into Urban Ore - the little store at the Recycling Centre, but there were too many vehicles so I decided to flag it for today.

Up to mum and dad's, get baby settled and DD1 and I head into the city to do the groceries. I enjoy having our little girlie time together. Her questions abound, but it's nice knowing I can take the time to answer her.

As for school work, DS1 did his next maths test and sailed through it. We proudly showed nana and koro his efforts as they haven't seen his tests before. I'm still reeling in the fact that he's grasped the "unknown" factor.

DD1 practiced some handwriting, but I think we left it a tad late in the day for her. She finds grocery shopping quite exhausting; possibly because she chats the whole time we're out, ie from the moment we leave in the vehicle, all the way through the shop and home again. Phew!

Anyway, today I wanted to share what a typical drive into the city is like for us because once upon a time the children couldn't speak or read, so it was possible to drive with the sound of the radio or if there's two adults in the vehicle, you could actually hold an adult conversation. Nowadays it's a totally different story.

When DS1 was learning to read and count, one of the first things he started to notice were the speed signs so he would point out if a sign read 50, 60, 70, 80 or 100. Then he started to read the words on road signs such as Stop and Give Way as well as distinguish the meaning of the colours at the traffic lights. As we sat at the traffic lights he would point out the flags on the souvenier store and rattle off what countries they belonged to.

Okay, okay, so none of this is new to parents. Yes, we all enjoy knowing our child is learning and is able to communicate what signs they can read or interpret. But then, it changes a gear. Once they're able to read, suddenly you are drawn into a conversation about brand names, how many Telecom vehicles there are on the road because they have the monopoly on our phone lines, or the fact that Ford Road connects between Sunset Road and Malfroy Road, or asking if we're going to the Mad Butcher at Te Ngae or Ti Street.

I find DS1's understanding of direction very intriguing at the moment. For example, when we arrived at nana and koro's today, he quickly lets them know that we saw Uncle W heading towards Sala Street going to work. (That's quite a distance for him to relate in which direction Uncle W had headed.)

But travelling into the city has its interesting rituals. If it's after 11.30am we always look towards the Airport to see if Uncle W's car is there. He always parks in the same spot. Then we get to Hannahs Bay and have to keep an eye out for the little black dog that is famous for being in the same spot. If the doggy's not there, where could it be? Then we get towards the Te Ngae shops where a house was burnt and is in the throws of being rebuilt, so we have to discuss the latest developments.

If I happen to take a different road at any stage I'm advised that if we go another way we can get to nana and koro's that way etc etc. My all-time favourite is that I have an extra pair of eyes to tell me "I just saw daddy". If DS1 hasn't actually seen daddy himself, he may have read "there's an Atikinson Donaldson van mum". He knows which van belongs to the boss too! His eagle eyes are very handy indeed. I'm able to pull off to the side of the road, give daddy a call and we can meet up to have a chat with him.

I mean, only a few years ago I didn't have that little voice to talk to, whereas now we have full-on conversations about the weather, the banks, the roadworkers, the buses etc.

So, do I miss having the difference of having nobody to speak to? Nope, and I love hearing the children discuss things around them. We all engage ourselves in amazing conversations. Simple little things and yet I'm sure that if the children were at school, we wouldn't be able to take the time to talk like this because we'd be stuck in gridlock traffic rushing from point A to point B, and the conversation would be steered around "so, how was your day? What do you have for homework?" and that's about it. They don't get the opportunity of saying "shall we take a different route to such-and-such today?"

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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