Just in case you're wondering if your children are learning anything much right now...I have been there. This week J-Man (nearly 11) decided he would like to do a stop motion video. He found software that he thought looked good. It was $US295. He looked around and found a trial for the same software for free.
I watched him at work, so skillful though he had only seen the software for the first time an hour ago. He made it look terribly easy, and the end result looks reasonably simple- but there is so much that goes in to even a short animation.
I thought about how cool it was that he decided to do this, and that he did it without a teacher, without any assistance at all actually- beyond reading help files and googling questions he had.
Then I got to wondering if everything he did last week, that was nothing new, was somehow "less than" what he has done this week. Crazy really- because all that went before helped get him to this point.
I thought about how he learns, with a bit of a cruise, just enjoying life, then a sudden flurry (like a whizz round an off-road track) then back to the Sunday drive. I realised too that it's a bit how I learn.
Looking in at my life, people wouldn't say "My goodness see how much she learned today"...or "Yes, I see it- a little bit more than yesterday, progress is being made".
Real life isn't like that. In school you get nice little dollops spoon-fed, and children can often recite what (the teacher said) was learned toady. Real life learning is far more random. Far more beautiful.
Princess discovered this week that she can read upside-down. It never occurred to her to check before, but it came up naturally whilst waiting for a bus, and it was cool to watch.
When J-Man gets home, I'll see if he can work out how to put his little animation on to here.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tombliboo had a bad accident on Tuesday night- he likes to climb on the climbing frame, then from there to the washing line, then hang there, or swing himself and jump (or drop) off on to the grass.
That night he missed something or other- my first time not watching him do it- heard him scream, ran for my life and found him curled up in a ball...I didn't really look at him too much, just snuggled him and brought him inside, then we noticed his bleeding knee and thumb- getting set to get him plasters, then looked at him again and saw the world's most enormous bump on his forehead.
I have *never* seen anything like it, and I have seen big bumps before...this was much bigger than a golf ball- i wish I had taken a photo, because it is difficult to explain the size of it- it sounds like an exaggeration, but is not.
Anyway, too busy for photos- he had been silent when I picked him up, and I didn't click at all until later that he was knocked out...he then proceeded to scream, and refuse to be put down...I showed the neighbour because I thought he probably needed to see the dr, he agreed...I borrowed their car, and drove to the hospital (not knowing where it was).
We waited for ever, then Tombliboo fell asleep- still alternating between drowsiness and screaming/moaning, but never getting off my lap.
The dr was concerned about the height from which he had fallen, and the size of the lump- by this time far, far smaller and still 6cm by 4cm...then he started to worry about a bleed on the brain, and while he thought (and hoped) Tommy would wake up fine, he couldn't say for sure and would hate to miss it- so requested an urgent ambulance for us to go to Starship for a CT brain scan.
He told the receptionist he needed the ambulance here in 10 minutes, no more than 12 for a suspected brain injury, and I held myself together only just. By this time Aimee was crying at the thought of losing her brother, and Josh was trying to cheer us all up by being supremely optimistic.
I arranged for Ben's Nana to pick the kids up from Starship Children's Hospital to take them home (already 10:45pm), and to call Ben to let him know what was happening (he had gone to Kerikeri a few hours before). Also rang J9 for moral support, and when we arrived at the hospital (miles after we should have I reckon), she and baby M(2 months) were waiting for us, as well as Nana.
Tomblioo slept for most of the ambulance ride, and they even took a blood-sugar sample without him flinching...when he eventually did come to, he spoke normally, and seemed ok albeit a little drowsy (but most chidlren would be at that time anyway). I had concerns about the CT scan- any radiation on such a small body can't be good...but J9 told me afterward that it is actually 100 times more than an xray! That is every pulse too, and there is no guarantee they will get the right shot in one attempt. He was also going to need to be sedated because of his age.
I opted for some more monitoring, so he was attached to an ecg, pulsoximeter and bp machine- until 5am...so the infernal beeping, and then fast beeping at the smallest change in readings made it impossible to rest.
In the morning, he woke perfectly lucid, with barely any swelling, and wanted to see Josh and Aimee and go to his house. They agreed he was unlikely to need a brain scan, and gave me a checklist for things to watch for over the next 12 hours. We were released around 9am, and then caught a bus and walked a bit to Ben's Nana's to pick up the kids. J9 met us there and took us to North Shore hospital so we could pick up the neighbour's car, and we went home.
He is very well now- the bruise on his head is very light, and his black eye is pretty decent, but lightening each day. He's annoyed at me for moving the climbing frame again, and really, really wants to hang on the washing line- but we'll leave that for a while I think.
Once again I have been helped by amazing friends and am very grateful we are all happy and healthy.