At my son’s school there seems a strange divide over parties. Whole class parties have been quite common and everyone in the class has been invited. Some parties have been for smaller groups: often all the girls or all the boys.
We go to most of the birthday parties that J is invited to. We go if we aren’t busy doing something else. When we get there we see the same faces all the time. There are about 15 families out of 30 who seem to take their children to parties. The others never do. When I say never, I mean never. Some of these children have never attended any of their classmates birthday parties (and they have been invited) in two years of school.
Now I know that not everyone can make every party; we all lead busy lives. I know that some are difficult to access without a car, but some are easy to get to by public transport or on foot. I know that people might have a regular weekend commitment that means that they can’t make certain time slots at the weekend, but the parties have been held at various times between 10 and 6 on both Saturdays and Sunday. It can’t be for religious reasons because everyone is the same religion: it’s an oversubscribed church school. I guess some might be worried about the expense of buying gifts or feel awkward about not having a party for their own child.
It seems part of growing up and developing social skills to go to your school friends’ parties. It seems a shame that these children are missing out. Does this happen at your child’s school? Do you take your child to birthday parties?
My six year old boy still loves his cuddles. He is a bit of a Mummy’s boy if I’m truthful, but that seems to go along with being kind, sensitive and not overly boisterous, so I’m happy with that. If I go away for a few nights he wants to make up for the cuddles he’s missed out on and he goes into cuddle overdrive.
His favourite type of cuddle is either the mummy pick me up and give me a great, big, bear hug kind or the cuddle up properly on a sofa or bed type. I’m surprised that sometimes he wants a cuddle in the playground before he goes into school, even though his school friends are there.
I love that I still get so many cuddles, but I do worry a bit about it. I worry that he is too dependent on me. I worry that he will get teased by his friends. I worry that there will come a day when he doesn’t want his cuddles any more.
We recently had a school sports day. My son, J, is slim and about average height, but he isn’t a natural athlete. I work hard at encouraging him to push himself physically, as he is inclined to be cautious and lacks confidence in this field. I also insist that he does a weekly swimming class plus another weekly physical activity outside of school. His father isn’t a natural sportsman either, but I was reasonably sporty at school and I’m physically active now.
It started with a sprint. J was second last in this, with only the slowest boy in the class ( a good friend of his) behind him. They moved onto the obstacle race and the same thing happened: J narrowly beat the same boy and the pair of them were miles behind everyone else.
Last up in the school sports day was the relay. J was in a team with the same boy, plus the slowest girl in the class and another boy (faster, but no sprint star). It was a disaster. The little girl running the final leg was running on her own for practically the whole way. The parent of J’s friend wasn’t happy about the relay term makeup and I’m inclined to agree. It was an exercise in humiliation. Thankfully, J took it all very philosophically, but it certainly wasn’t a physical confidence builder. The teacher knew their capabilities because they’d done a lot of practising.
I’m not sure what the intention was. Surely though they could have rejigged the sports day teams once the problem became apparent. The team was half of the ‘top’ table in the class and these children are amongst the brightest in their year. This seemed to be how the teams had been put together through the whole class. Was it deliberate? Was it accidental? Was it an attempt to allow the children who are less academically bright to shine? If so, it succeeded, but at the risk of damaging the physical self esteem of the brightest. J seems to have brushed it off for now, but it may come back to haunt later. I feel sorry for the other child and his mother though, as their situation is even worse as her child came last in every race he took part in.
I know it’s the taking part and doing your best that’s important, but it would be nice to be doing that without having your nose rubbed in it that you are the slowest.
I’ve previously written about the fact that my son isn’t dry at night. We are using size 6 nappies still because he is very slim at the moment. Nappies are quite a bit cheaper than pyjama pants, not least because they come in bigger packets, so you can save if you buy in bulk. We need them in bulk too because J’s nappy is full pretty much every night. I know some children who have occasional accidents can wear the same pair of pyjama pants or nappies for several nights, but we are using one a day.
Anyway during my latest supermarket shop I got to wondering why companies don’t just make nappies in bigger sizes. Do they not want to do that because there isn’t sufficient demand? Is it because they can make more money by calling them something different (like pyjama pants)? Is there any difference between a nappy and a pyjama pant except the size? I think it would be really helpful to buy say size 7 or maybe even 8 nappies to fit bigger children. What do you think?