8 February 2013

Things Jenna has done this week:

Just a small sample, in demonstration of what it's like to live with a fiery creative passionate unschooled nearly-nine year old...

- Used the drop spindle some more, and made some gorgeous art yarn to play with.
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- Brought me drinks of water without asking.

- Baked a cake all by herself because she wanted cake.
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- Pretended to be a Viking for long periods, carding wool, baking bread, making detailed costumes...

- Said "I hate you" at least twice a day, every day.

- Made delicious soup for tea, from her own recipe.

- Voluntarily hung up all the coats that had fallen off their pegs in the hall rather than walking on them (as usually happens)!

- Attempted to throw her brand new boots in the bin because she doesn't like them.

- Put on at least three shows.

- Read for so long yesterday afternoon I went to check on her thinking she must have fallen asleep.

- Made huge dens out of furniture and blankets to entertain her little sisters.

- Built many many towers of blocks for Talia to knock over.

- Went shopping with a friend of ours, and came back with gold sparkly high heeled shoes.

- Patiently taught her sisters to play Cluedo even though they kept messing about and losing pieces.

- Stood besides me in the kitchen cracking eggs for me to bake for tea - and told me how much she loves me.

- Borrowed *every single one* of my beautiful art pens, and left them on the floor without lids.

- Gave me her last piece of chocolate.

- Pushed a letter under my bedroom door in the morning to tell me she thinks I'm the best Mumma in the world.

- Painted more of her beautiful and quirky watercolours.
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She is such an amazing, dramatic, busy, alive, INFURIATING creature.  There have been entire days this week when none of my carefully long-thought-out reasons for unschooling have felt like enough, and I have cried and thought that whatever it is I want for my relationship with this brave wild daughter I am failing at all of it, and fantasised about how easy it would be to enrol her in school.

I am having to keep reminding myself to be gentle on all of us this month.  I know they are reacting to my stress, too.  Oh, Jenna, I love you so much and I admire your spirit.  Remember that I'm not your enemy... and give me back my oil pastels, please?

19 comments:

  1. Oldest kids hey!? They teach us so much, put up with our mistakes and experiments in parenting and love us despite it all (even when they claim they don't!).

    Today I escaped into the garden when it all got too much. When I had calmed down enough to return Jake had them all making me a sorry card. The mess was still everywhere mind you.....

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  2. So many similar events at my house :-) Especially the shows and the art material borrowing!!

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  3. Such a perfect post! Made me smile :)

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    1. It made me smile today. Yesterday I couldn't decide if grief or joy would win! ;)

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  4. What an amazing list! Your writing is starkly honest - hope and despondency side by side in the same week, touches of humour. Just real. I wish I could say it gets easier in the teenage years .. . xx

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    1. That is just how it is here - no week is wholly one thing or another - I'm glad I can express how it really is. :) It's hard thinking long term, but I try to hold on to the idea of them as adults when it's particularly trying. ;)

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  5. What a lovely, spirited young lady... I also have a nearly nine year old, and it's a beautiful age to watch happen. Her cake looks delicious too :)

    Kate
    xxx
    http://newrhythms-kate.blogspot.com/

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    1. It was delicious but very sticky!

      The drama is hard for me, as a fellow intense fiery one, but I love how responsible she suddenly is. She's an amazing girl. :)

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  6. Oh how that reads like some days here! Jenna sounds feircy inderpendant as well, which isnt a bad thing at all:) But it gets to you sometimes! Hibiscus is very very like that, sometimes it really helps to write out all the good fun and amazing things that ahppen, that and a load of photos from not only now but the years gone by.

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    1. The gratitude journal keeps me sane (mostly). :)

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    2. That would help, I never get the time to journal much, but scrapbook, which has the same effect:)

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  7. What a lovely portrait of such a vibrant little girl. There's so much I recognise as a fellow eldest child too! What shines through your writing is that hard though it may be now, she is developing the character traits that you want her to have as an adult and that's what really matters in the long run.

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    1. I'm an eldest child too, and my mama is a first-child and strong independent woman. If I'm not managing to avoid repeating the butting-heads between myself and my own mama, at least knowing her as a close friend now is a bit reassuring!

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  8. Love this post ... i have a ninne year old too !

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    1. It's comforting to know I'm not alone with the ups and downs. :)

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  9. I'm struggling to think of her as nearly 9!!!! Gracious me. I'm suspecting Rye is about to jump into a new phase; things have got relatively easy lately, which is making me nervous as it seems to usually mean there's about to be a big development that will make life with Rye trying until we both learn to adapt...

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  10. Beautiful snapshot of your passionate daughter!
    Phoebe has also decided she wants to have a shop for her art. She's going to be drawing fairies apparently! Xx

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Penny for your thoughts? :)