Gill took the boys to school and I got up slowly. I then let Gill sleep for the morning and I did a load of phone calls re Fiddlesticks bookings and preparation for the Northern Green Gathering which is at Lime Tree Farm near Ripon.
Received a comment about the anonymous comment yesterday, from regular reader Annabelecowarrior, a fair comment but once again, if you were a fly on the wall, you'd see how this family works, and there is no way that it is possible to understand that just from what I put in my online journal. As for my son damaging my laptop... what can I do? I left it in a place where he could get at it, I know he suffers terribly from his anger, and regrets it afterwards. Punishing him just makes things worse. I do not want to do anything which exacerbates his negative feelings about himself or increases his anger towards everybody else. He knows he damaged my property, he feels guilty about that. As we do not have lots of toys/gadgets etc, we cannot 'ban him from the X box' (no X Box!) and I'm very loath to put him in his room, grounding him, as this just doesn't work (CENSORED) If someone has no experience of an angry pre-teen, they will just not know how difficult it is. Interestingly, my visitor yesterday was very sympathetic as he has a difficult child who has particular needs and associated behavioural problems. It was good to have that understanding!
Did some gardening in the afternoon... potted up a pepper, a couple of tomatoes, pruned out sideshoots on the big tomatoes, now as tall as me. Then, as usual, all too soon, 3pm came and I had to go to school to pick up the kiddies. Just for once, to appease my critics, I'll tell in more detail than normal what I did re childcare/parenting. My youngest son is very tactile and likes to poke me, push me, and this afternoon I messed around with him, picked him up, gave him piggy-back rides etc. My friend Andy and I chatted, as his daughter and my eldest son are both capable of coming out very late. His daughter came out crying as she'd had a difficult occurrence just before hometime, and so between us we tried to cheer her up. The Green Thumbs Gang stall was in the playground, selling spinach, lettuce, chili plants, and potted marigolds with packets of lettuce seeds. I suggested to Andy's daughter that she come and see the stall (distraction technique) and she fell in love with the marigold/lettuce combo. However it was £2 and Andy only had 60p... so with his permission I lent her the money so she could get the marigold. My eldest son had come out and I took his school bag and asked him to get his lunchbox. Then he wanted to play kickaround with his friends so I asked him to decide whether he should stay and play or come home immediately. He said stay, so I said he could have 10 or 15 minutes, I chatted with a mum and played with my youngest on the climbing equipment.
On the cycle home I chatted to my eldest about his project, which is a pretend business based on coconut products. We had a good conversation. When we got home we continued some conversations about this and other issues. I cooked tea on the woodstove... boiled basmati rice with turmeric, cumin, asafoetidia and home-made sweet paprika, fried the marinaded tofu until tough, as it's nicer that way rather than soft and squidgy, and fried some onions, and grated carrot, added sweetcorn from a tin, peas from the freezer, put the cooked rice with that and added some cubed fresh tomatoes (rescued from the compostables!). So tea, eaten all together, was a bed of rice and veg, marinaded sweet and sour tofu with home-grown oyster mushrooms, garnished with cashew nuts. All of the family loved this and all complimented me on my cooking skills, which was kind of them. Pudding was fruit and ice-cream. Then coffee for Gill and myself and the boys requested a stint on the computer each, we negotiated 40 mins each.
A fairly typical family evening. Bathwater heated on the woodstove, both boys had a bath. I did more apples for drying. I sorted out my sister's bag of dried fruit which she asked for a long time ago. The boys headed for bed. Gill fell asleep and I watched a crap 1970's film.