Thursday, 29 September 2011

Shana Tova

We've been celebrating Rosh Hashanah, although we are Christian, we believe the Hebrew festivals are a shadow of Christ's life and of things to come.

Rosh Hashanah celebrates the anniversary of creation, and one of the things we have been doing is telling the creation story at breakfast and dinner each day by candlelight.

Cosmo is now very good at telling the facts of the story (the order things were made in, what Adam and eve did) but still struggles with questions like 'how did God feel when they disobeyed him?' or 'what do you think Adam and Eve felt like when they left the garden?'

I know it's in part because of the ASD, but it still always surprises me how well he can memorise facts, but how difficult he finds interpretation.

We've really enjoyed making a trumpet out of paper mâché and decorating it too. You can find directions on how to make the basic trumpet shape here. Cosmo especially likes waking daddy up with his trumpet in the mornings!

20110929-090841.jpgIsrael enjoy fruits dipped in honey, a reminder of sweetness, as they wish each other a 'sweet and good new year'. We had fruits dipped in honey, and chocolate sauce, because nothing says 'sweet' to my children like chocolate!

Cosmo helped make the sauce, by melting chocolate in the microwave and stirring in double cream and milk. He's actually getting pretty good at using the microwave without help and can stir without spilling everywhere now. Hooray for fine motor improvement!

Most excitingly, he also wrote hi own name in a 'Shana Tova' card we made to send his cousins. Lychee painted the front and he wrote inside. It's the second time his managed to wrote his name, the first time being nearly two months ago, with no attempts in between.

It is frustrating to know that he can, but won't practise. He's still very unenthusiastic about writing or colouring, but lychee is the complete opposite. Colouring and painting are her two favourite activities.

Later today we shall go and perform our 'tashlikh' or 'casting off'. We are going to throw some stones in the river as we confess our shortcomings, to remind us that God will wash away our sins. This has been cosmos favourite part of the festival in the past, and I'm sure he will enjoy it this year too.

So, have a sweet and good new year, may your name be inscribed in the book of life!

Thursday, 8 September 2011


Here's an easy way to boost your child's vocabulary, which let's face it, if it makes communication easier and prevents frustration, is always worth a try!

When you introduce her to a new word (for instance 'cup') show her lots of different ones (eg mug, glass, beaker, red, blue etc). Researchers in America did an experiment where they introduced 18 month olds to the word bucket. Half the group were left to play with identical blue buckets. The other half were given big ones, small ones, different colours, with handles, without handles etc...

All of the children learnt the word 'bucket'.

But here's the twist - 6 weeks later the children who were show. A variety of buckets were learning an average of 10 words per day, whilst those in the blue bucket group learned only 4 words per day (very typical for children that age).

So get some variety in your toddlers life! She'll thank you for it later, with plenty of new found words!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Sex Education

Who'd have thought I'd be starting sex education with my three year old?


But after listening to Mary Flo Ridley on FamilyLife today I thought I'd put some feelers out. We started off watching an episode of 'Mr Roger's Neighbourhood' on YouTube, which was thoroughly enjoyed by both kids, then we sang the 'Every body's fancy' song for a few days. After a while I asked if he knew what we were singing about and he said no. I told him we were singing about private parts.

From then on he couldn't get enough of singing the fancy song. He quickly grasped that boys were 'fancy on the outside' and girls were 'fancy on the inside', but really wanted to see what a girls fancy parts on the inside looked like. We took a trip to the library, but it was actually not helpful at all. Every children's book devoted to the human body either;

a) didn't mention the reproductive system or

b) talked about being gay/straight/bisexual and/or how to have safe sex (different types of contraception etc) which I didn't feel was appropriate for a three year old.


But Granny came to the rescue, having kidnapped the plastic model from the biology department at her school, she came over and let us take it apart and put it back together. It even has a tiny baby which fits inside the uterus, he loved that and was fascinated that it wasn't in the stomach. We chatted about where wee comes from and he had a look inside the heart. It was a great way to have a look inside and she showed him which of the girl parts came out to make space for the boy parts so that he could see we were mostly the same inside with just a few changes.


What a great resource it is to have a biology teacher for a grandma!

For those who are interested, Mr Roger's 'Every body's fancy' song goes like this:


Some of us are fancy on the outside

Some of us are fancy on the inside

Everybody's fancy, Everybody's fine

Your Body's fancy and so is mine


Boys they are boys from the beginning

Girls they are girls right from the start

Everybody's fancy, Everybody's fine

Your Body's fancy and so is mine


Only the boys can be the daddies

Only the girls can be the mommies

Everybody's fancy, Everybody's fine

Your Body's fancy and so is mine


I think you're a special person

And I like your insides and outsides

Everybody's fancy, Everybody's fine

Your Body's special and so is mine
You can see it at 3:40 in this clip.