Friday, 24 September 2010

Just what did we do last night?

Well, we THOUGHT we were going to visit some stables, see some horses, clean some tack, maybe stroke a few horses...

No. All 26 girls (24 Brownies and 2 Guides) got 30 minutes horseriding each, courtesy of the stables. Can you believe it?

You've never seen 26 happier girls! Or 5 more panicked adults - we had to ring 21 sets of parents and ask for permission for their girls to actually ride, all we had asked for was permission for them to attend!

We managed to reach a parent for every girl, so we were sorted. Half the girls rode for the first half, while the other half were halved again and either cleaned tack or groomed a horse, then swapped.

Horse-riding lessons round here are £15. £15 x 26 girls = nearly £400 worth of horse riding last night! It was amazingly generous of the stables - yes I know most of the girls will now be pestering their parents for riding lessons and that stables is of course where they will now turn, but still. There were 10-15 girls and adults helping our girls, giving up nearly two hours of their time for us. It was fantastic!

Update: Some kind of miscommunication happened when this was arranged, and it turns out that we have now been invoiced for nearly £200 by the stables. A bit of a shock! Fortunately, we had claimed Gift Aid from the government that we can use to cover that without affecting the rest of our term's plans, but it does mean we won't have that money to use for a trip or overnight in the January term. We feel we have to pay, we can't argue we didn't get that money's worth last night, but it was definitely a shock, and explains why the girls were actually riding rather than just meeting and grooming the horses. It has taken a wee bit of a shine off it for us adults, of course we're not letting the girls know, and since we can cover it by adjusting our plans, we're not telling all the parents either.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Drama v her smartly-dressed mama

Jumping back to daughter for this one post - she was waaaay happier yesterday, so far she has been willing to concede that each day is 1% better than the day before but yesterday it was 5% better. I wondered if I over-dramatised just how bad she felt those first few days
but I read my post back and I still feel a/ her pain and b/ the fact that she's happi-ER but still not happy.

So we're getting there but wow - it's been a tough few weeks!

Now, partly to compensate for home-based misery, partly because I had a 30% off voucher and partly because I'm trying to 21st century my wardrobe (those t-shirts that end on or near my waist have all gone), I spent quite a lot in Gap yesterday. I bought:
Can I confess I already own this in a burgundy and now I own it in this grey and also a navy?Despite me being nearly 5ft 10, this dress was closer to my knees than this. So this model must be about 6ft 2 I reckon! I'm thinking with a long sleeved tee underneath?
Again, this dress was longer than this on me. It looked very smart. Although I work in a very informal office, I'm thinking this will be good for when I train clients externally, and also for parents social stuff at school rather than my same old jeans-and-nice-top.It's hard for me to find a cowl neck that doesn't make my boobs look enorme. This fit the bill.This was like wearing a hug. Goes well with the smart dress too.

I drew the line at leggings under the dresses, not quite ready to make that 21st century leap but I did feel drawn...

Friday, 17 September 2010

Part daughter part Brownies

Thanks so much to everyone who posted helpful tips to help my daughter adjust to secondary school, we're still a long way off happy with her but there's signs that she's beginning to adjust, the odd smile, the first refusal of a lift so she can walk home with some girls. There's still tears, and feeling ill through nerves, but we can see the light even if she doesn't and your comments and emails have really helped us.

Brownies went back last night, we had a full house of 24 as ever but even more shocking - every girl paid up their subs (dues for non-Brits) for the term! No chasing subs this term! Yaaaaay!
We had a meeting about Rosh Hashanah (yes a little late but we missed our meeting last week as the school needed the hall) and sorted all the consent forms for the events this term: a visit to a stables and a vet plus the 20:10, 20/10, 2010 end of the centenary year celebrations.

So back to normal for Brownies and finding a new normality for my daughter - September is all about getting into the routine, right?

Monday, 13 September 2010

Ideas to boost my daughter

Not Guiding I know, but I’m asking for help from you guys, especially those who may have been through it.

Daughter is finding the transition to secondary school tough. Nothing major has happened, but the stress of lots of little things has combined to make her say I hate secondary school this morning – and she LOVED primary school so this is very new.

The little things:

• The friends she goes with walk slower than her, she worries about being late in the morning (alternative is walking alone, which I will let her do rather than worry but I’ve told her to stick it out with her mates until she actually is late as it is better to be in a group)

• The software that registers the kids for the canteen and library keeps breaking down, she was given a penalty by her registration teacher for staying in the queue as the technician told her to, thus making her late for a lesson (this was later retracted due to the obvious injustice, but it was really upsetting for her)

• Her instrument lesson is scheduled during another lesson, so 20 mins out of the 60 mins class. She is worried about a/ not being there at the start of the main class and therefore getting a penalty (I told her her classmates will say she is at her instrument lesson) and b/ the fact that this lesson is a new subject and there is only one per week and she will miss 1/3 of it each week (can’t do a lot about that, I have told her if she finds it very hard, we can withdraw her from instrument tuition at half-term and we’ll look at having instrument tuition after school somehow)

It’s been bad enough that the school have actually rung me one day to say she was not well, she was flashing hot and cold. I am 100% certain she felt ill, but she felt ill because she was stressed about these things.

This is before we even add homework etc!

I keep telling her in a month’s time, she will be in the routine, it will all make sense to her, she will wonder why she was getting so stressed about these things now. And that when she has a problem she can’t see how to deal with, tell me, and we will work out the solution.

What else can I do – all constructive comments welcomed whether you’ve had a kid start secondary or not but particularly from those who have. My brother remembers losing his money for pictures a week into starting and scraping together the money himself and forging a note from mum saying sorry the money was late, all because he didn’t want to get into trouble. His guidance teacher pulled him out of class, showed him the note and asked him what this was all about, he confessed, and his teacher pointed out he had already handed the money in. So he remembers how tough starting a new school is, but my daughter feels like she is the only one struggling.

Update: She had more highs than lows today for the first time, she got to school on time by marching ahead of the others (suspect she may just end up walking alone), she finally got registered for the software thanks to the lady on reception who looked after her when she felt ill and arranged for her to have it done today, her instrument lesson went well and she made it to the other lesson without missing too much. She did feel ill again but managed to stay in class.
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