9 February 2015

Growing up - and a new growth chart to prove it

The children started back at school last week after a long, hot, happy summer holiday. Jack, aged 11, was off to intermediate school for the first time, which meant getting a uniform together.

This is Anna on the first day of school, not Jack!
 He has asked me not to put his photo on this blog anymore.

It's at moments like this that I catch myself behaving like the mother of a cuckoo chick. The cuckoo egg has been illegally laid in a nest, and the resulting chick begs to its forcibly adoptive parents. The poor parents, utter slaves to their instincts, work themselves to the bone to feed the needy chick, even when it's as big as them and looks nothing like them.

I spent most of the day before school started sewing a new zip into a second hand uniform jacket - and it had to look GREAT before I was happy with it. Putting in a new zip nicely is harder than you'd think. The week before that I'd bought him an expensive pair of black leather shoes that fit the uniform code yet are all the rage (I can't even mention the brand lest it feed the beast of fashion and put more parents under pressure). He wore them to school on the first day, got a blister so painful that he walked home barefoot, and has worn a second hand pair of roman sandals ever since.

My cuckoo mother streak is rivaled by my streak of frugality and environmental awareness. This time last year someone told me how much the uniform cost to buy new, and a fortnight after that I'd bought almost an entire uniform set second hand for a fraction of the price. Jack doesn't care about second hand, as long as his gear is stylish. Thank goodness.

The boy is growing enormously fast now. We've been keeping track of the children's heights the old fashioned way: pencil marks scratched into a door frame.

Our continuing hallway renovation (read dragged out and way overtime - we are thoroughly sick of it) means that the door frames are being sanded and repainted. We can't bear to lose the height marks, so I splashed out on one of these:

It's a gorgeous pin-up wall canvas - photographed here on the floor, although eventually it will hang on the hall wall - and it can be moved or rolled up and stored away whenever needed. It's made in Christchurch. You can read more about it here.

I made a final measurement as I was transferring the numbers and dates from door frame to canvas. Jack has grown 2 cm in the last two months.

With a child-to-adult growth spurt looming - or even starting now - he's going to be more like that open-mouthed cuckoo chick than ever.

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