Monday, 14 May 2012


Today's musing is about trust - sparked by a wonderful little unschooling incident which reminded me why it is so important to TRUST that learning will always always happening for your child.

Niamh has been really into the Happy Feet movies, lately.  I think I know them both off by heart, including all the songs, and most of the dance moves.  She does too, although her versions of the songs are as detailed as her comprehenion of the words she thinks she hears - and thus are 95% wrong, and endearing beyond belief.  I spend half the movie hiding around the corner with my fist shoved in my mouth while she sings her own versions of the songs, loudly and proudly as any two year old can.

As any mother who has been forced to watch and/or listen to countless repeat performances of any G rated movie, however, no matter how much you enjoyed it the first time (or even first four or five times), I must admit to a teeeeeeensy bit of resignation every time she requests it be played.  And by "resignation," I of course refer to the kind of resignation that prompts one to go to the shed, retrieve any item designed to pulverise and smash the heavy end of said tool repeatedly on the offending receptacle of entertainment.

 Anyway.  In a rare lull during repeats last week, I managed to drag Niamh away from the tv and to the shops, where she promptly found - joy of joys - a small orange and white box, upon which (yay marketing!) was a picture of one of the penguins from Happy Feet 2.  Negotiations ensued, and Niamh ended up the owner of said box, and its contents...which in this instance happened to contain three chocolate eggs with toys insides.  Specifically, toy figurines from the Happy Feet movies.  She has quite a collection, now.  They watch the movies together, and she re-enacts scenes using the figurines.  And I still stand around the corner, with my fist shoved in my mouth, because it appears that none of the figurines know the words to any of the songs in the movies either.

So stricken, earlier today, I heard plastic Mumble say to plastic Erik, something that made me prick up my ears and realise I was over-simplifying things.  "Nooo, Erik," said plastic Mumble.  "You're an Emperor Penguin.  You have black feet.  Sven is a puffin.  He has orange feet."

Huh? thinks I.  I never noticed that!  (I checked google, by the way, and yes, she is correct!)  But Mumble wasn't done yet.  "Puffins don't live in Antarctica," plastic Mumble told plastic Erik.  "They're Arctic birds.  That's north.  Antarctica is south."

There was suddenly a lot more room for my fist in my mouth, because my jaw had fallen on the floor.  But there you have it.  And so I bring this all neatly back to trust.  And if I am to self-reflect on this whole experience, I have to admit I had forgotten all about it.  While I was busy mentally smashing the Happy Feet disk into a thousand pieces, and worrying about being a bad mother for buying my child enough chocolate penguin-figurine-containing eggs to keep the Bunny out of business for several years to come, Niamh was busy learning a little bit more about our world.  Her teachers?  Two animated movies, and a box of cheap chocolate eggs.

Learning is always happening.  Sometimes, you just have get your fist out of your mouth and put your trust back in your child.

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