The view from here

Kitten thing fell asleep in my hand last night. And this morning she was purring and rubbing herself against Mark’s foot. We estimate that she is about 7 weeks old, and yesterday she weighed 600gm exactly. So next week, hopefully she will be ready for a great forever home, and we will be able to settle her in before I go to Dunedin for Unwind.

Small boy had a trial day at the Academy for Gifted Education in Takapuna last week, and he loved it so much that we decided that sending him there part time had to be part of our arsenal. This year, we are going to get our joyful kiddo back. Before he started school, he loved learning, and drawing, and reading and numbers, and every educational experience we could give him was devoured.

Over the years we have seen his thirst for knowledge devolve into a resistance, a sad place for a kid that thrives on learning. School, and the expectations and pressures have crushed him to a point that is unacceptable, and we want to spend this year reversing the damage that has been done. He’ll continue at MindPlus with Diana this year, and also spend 1 or 2 days a week at AGE, following his passions and dreams in a supported environment that is pretty similar to a structured unschooling approach. Tomorrow we will meet with the learning coach to work out a learning plan for him, and see where that path will lead.

Academically, he may slip behind. But my expectation is that our child will thrive and learn exponentially, once he recovers his sense of joy and wonder. Financially, it’s a good thing we like lentils. Philosophically, we are sad that public school hasn’t worked out for him. We passionately believe in public schools, and feel that if every parent supported public education, then public education would be well enough resourced to be able to accommodate kids like ours, that don’t fit into a public school shaped hole. At least, not yet.

Intermediate school might be better. High school almost definitely will. And by the time he hits university, and has found his tribe, and his passion, life will be wonderful. But for now, for this particular Inigo shaped kid, there won’t be any more trying to jam him into a hole that isn’t ever going to accommodate his complicated angles. Bean bags all the way baby!

In case you’ve ever wondered about what it’s like to have a gifted kid (and why parents who have gifted kids don’t always see it as a gift!), have a read of this. The intensity of living with a person who feels that the death of a butterfly is important, who feels bad about being rude once five years ago and it keeps him awake at night, and who can still barely tie his shoelaces at 10 years old, but also understands that time and space are really the same thing, is another kind of parenting challenge that isn’t well understood, and not talked about enough.

And then, a little furry person needed us

Today we did a trial day at the Academy of Gifted Education in Takapuna. Inigo loved it so much, we are going to have to eat lentils so we can afford the fees. He’ll go one or two days a week if we can wrangle it, and keep doing MindPlus.

We then had to go to Panmure to pick up some lost property from Wednesday, and ended up driving past his old school right at pickup time. I stopped to chat with our friend Engie, and the kids found a tiny, very terrified feral kitten.

I only lost a little blood getting them home (gender isn’t important at this point). Kitten is in the bathroom adjusting to the world of a pampered house pet, and Brooke has taken the kids on an expedition to find kitten milk while I make dinner.

Working title “Tifan”, short for Tiffany. A little witch with a cast iron frying pan.

My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today

Steph let me know that Carrot Vizzini Tiberius Rex Nettle-Da Silva didn’t wake from his sleep this morning.

We adopted him knowing that he was “older” and we were lucky to have had so many years with him. We were also lucky that his final year was spent very much dictating his own terms, as lord high ruler of the lounge room at Steph’s place since we moved to New Zealand.

Goodbye to the world’s most handsome bunny. We will always love you.

The first day we met

My bunny and my bunny boy

The most luxuriant tail in the world.

Attempted Murder

My blog friend Behan is living the life we all secretly want, sailing the world and homeschooling/unschooling/natural learning with her kids on the way.  I read voraciously, because I am taking notes for my next holiday, and hope I can be as cool as her one day!

She recently confessed a love of anemone fish (which I share), so I promised her an anecdote about one of these guys on our first Vietnam trip.  I may have already shared it here, so look away if you don’t want to read it again, but I suspect my storytelling is slightly better this time – cross posted from Behan’s blog.

We were staying at a little island of Nha Trang in Vietnam (Whale Island).  I’m asthmatic, and though enthusiastic, not a confident snorkeler.  I couldn’t go out unless the bay was as flat as plate glass, because getting water down my snorkel was terrifying (the asthma has made me quite claustrophobic).

So one day, the water is a little too choppy for my liking (but I’m becoming more confident), and Mark is intent on exploring some new areas we hadn’t visited before.  My rented mask keeps letting in water, but only a bit at a time, so I put on my bog girl panties and decide to just deal with it.

Until…

Mark freedives down to look at an anemone, out of which darts the most aggressive anemone fish I have EVER seen.  It fully charged him, stopping only about 6 inches from his mask, to stare him down in as bold a manner as a Kings Cross bouncer.

At which point I cracked up, my laugh lines created a channel by which the sea water was able to stream into my mask, and the resultant hysterical laughter coupled with inhalation of seawater was a sight to behold.

Well played small fish, well played.