Today we went for two walks. One with the boys and then later in the afternoon, one with Clare. Aidan was hurting more again today so we are thinking that I will have to call the nurse tomorrow : (. It is a challenge keeping him quiet! He will play, then clutch his stomach and gasp, “The monkeys!” which is sort of hard to explain — he picks up expressions and kind of “loops” them — last week it was “the kitties at the office saying meow!” and this week it’s “the monkeys throwing apples at the zoo and saying, nss, nss!” He says this kind of thing over and over with various permutations — “the monkeys live in the jungle!” etc. He does this especially when he’s in distress of some sort, maybe it helps him deal with the discomfort sensory overload.
He was playing with his car today, pretending he was an Indy500 driver after watching some of it on TV yesterday. He also wanted me to look up images of race cars on Google, which is how he approaches everything he’s interested in. And he carried around: the broken off wheel of the stroller and the ambulance from his Doug and Melissa puzzle. This is another sign of distress for him; latching onto an object for security. Well, no, it’s normal for him to be attached to some object and the stroller wheel has been part of his life for several weeks, but when he’s under stress he does it “more so.”
I read to him several times today and he played his V-tech phonics game. He enjoyed the walks and also I sat outside for a while so he could play in the front yard.
I discussed lots of things with Clare — while I walked Aidan around the living room in his wheelchair. Mostly feminism and distributism. Sean read Brendan’s book and so did Clare. There are four comb-bound volumes around so everyone is on a different section. Clare gave me a copy of her book so far and asked me to mark it for typos and syntactical errors so she can reprint it.
We did our Monday house-cleaning and later on went to the market and bought our weekly candy bars.
Kevin again played Monastery Mystery (or whatever the title of the new board game is) with Liam, Sean and Kieron. I played Liam chess in the evening and he beat me, so I guess my last win was a onetime fluke. Oh, well. So it was a quietish Memorial Day. Lots more people around than usual in our neighborhood. It is a mostly vacation-home division with only a few permanent residents on our street, but today most of the houses were occupied.
Liam and I had a story-writing discussion after our Rosary tonight. He is reading Bulfinch’s Mythology among others in order to try to include some legend-type components in his story. I am reading Watership Down, at his recommendation. We talked about how beginning writers sometimes try to sound profound, and how Flannery O’Connor quoted Mauriac saying, “Purify the source” ie there aren’t really any shortcuts to being a really good writer. We talked about how sometimes writing gives us a chance to bring up a sort of distillation of ourselves that is somehow better and more real than our day to day selves. But today’s journal ain’t going to be one of those occasions. I am in under the tree with Hazel and co and this all seems sort of routine and not worth writing about — but I know if I don’t write it down, I won’t remember it, and this journal is sort of my springboard to remember what went on in a given day.
Math anxiety continues. It IS summer so I’ll try to bear it. But I don’t see how I can unschool math. It just doesn’t seem to happen on its own around here. Everything else we DO get to, in our unconventional way. I joined an unschooling math group at yahoo. We’ll see. I really want to work through this.
On the walk, Sean was asking me what college is like. He is 13 and the question took me aback. He wanted to know what sort of things you do and if he’d be able to do it. I was not prepared with a ready answer. I am not even sure why he asked!
OK, back to Watership Down!!