End of Term Quick Catch-up

So what’s going on at Trout Towers just now? Well, it’s getting close to the end of term…

She's so cool and she doesn't realise it

She’s so cool and she doesn’t realise it

Every work surface at home is covered in Mini Minx’s finger-painted cards of bunnies and chicks, Midi has been experimenting with hard-boiled eggs and Maxi has started taking the instrument home from school that she’s been learning to play. It’s a double bass. She can barely lift it. I struggle not to use it to corral the kids like a shepherd. I am, yet again, also glad that we live only a short walk from the school…

Scary sight. And the egg's a bit frightening, too

Scary sight. And the egg’s a bit frightening, too

Midi was tasked with decorating a hard-boiled egg like a book character for homework tomorrow. “OOoooh”, I enthused, “You’ve got about a hundred permanent colour Sharpies that Grandma got you – you could use those!” So Midi being Midi, she slouched in her chair for an hour, meticulously colouring in her egg as Toothless, the all-black dragon. I suppose I should be glad that she drew it smiling, which is vaguely normal.

Her second bit of homework was to construct something around the egg that would allow it to be rolled along the playground without it cracking. I’m not sure that covering it in a ton of bubble-wrap is really what the teacher had in mind…

One or 2 chicks...

One or 2 chicks…

Mini, meanwhile, has a blood test later this afternoon to start investigating why she’s now covered head to foot in eczema. It came on overnight in the middle of December, as did mine. It seemed obvious that it therefore was because of something we ate or touched or did. But it’s beaten my analytical skills – I can’t figure it out at all. We didn’t eat anything new that week. We’ve never changed washing powders, fabric conditioners, shower-gels, etc. – I’m really boring and stick to the same ones year in, year out. We didn’t go anywhere special that week. My eczema took ages to clear up. Hers hasn’t. She’s been covered in moisturisers and moderate strength corticosteroids since, glugging antihistamines night and day. The only thing that’s made any difference was taking erythromycin for an infected ingrowing toenail*. Her skin cleared up briefly, but it’s coming back in bright red patches again.

So: because antihistamines seem to have no effect, I don’t think it’s an allergy to anything. You never know, though, so I guess it makes sense to start checking there while we wait for the dermatology referral to come through (crikey, that hospital will be sick of the sight of us Trouts, trouping back and forth…). Today’s drill, then, will be applying ‘Magic Cream’ and taking Mini to the nurse. I fear I’m still a little traumatised from the last time she had a blood test.

I’m starting to plan Maxi’s birthday party. When I asked her what she wanted to do, the poor girl sadly said, “I’d love a birthday party, but I’ve got no friends”. My heart broke. So I’m planning a movie night for just a couple of the kids in her class. I’m not sure that they’ll come, though, because it’s in the Easter holidays and they’re much older than her. I figure that a Movie Night is less like a child’s party and a wee bit more grown-up, would be fun regardless of whether she has 5 guests or just her sisters, and therefore is low pressure for Maxi.

She’s still having a tricky time at school. She decided to quit a pupil-run dance club because she was getting fed up being ordered about by the older girl leading it, hated the music, thought the dance moves were silly, and had had enough of having no say. She said the other kids were fed-up too, but were too frightened to quit because the older girl threatened them with all manner of trouble and ire. I told Maxi just to quit: “No-one can force you to do anything you don’t want to do. I completely endorse your wish to have your lunchtimes outdoors again. Go for it”. The older girl didn’t like this at all, and has been crowing to anyone who’ll listen that she kicked Maxi out, rather than that she quit. Maxi’s very vexed with the lies, but I gave her another coaching session in how to shrug and smirk to devastating effect. “The less bothered you look, the angrier she’ll get, because there’s nothing else she can do”, I advised Maxi. “Smile sweetly at her, shrug and say nothing. And gloat inside”. Oooooo, I’m such a bad mother!!

Finally, my long-haired trio now all sport neat bobs. Maxi started it last year, and her bob has been getting shorter and shorter. It’s now chin-length. Midi had her waist-length blonde locks cut into a chin-skimming sharp cut that makes her look very grown-up. Even Mini’s ginger frizz is now swishable for the first time in her 5 years. Ah, they’re growing up so quickly, now.

2 thoughts on “End of Term Quick Catch-up

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