The day before school starts

This afternoon I took the girls up the street to our friends’ house, which gave my wife a break for a few hours. I didn’t have much to do as the girls played with their friend Emma, and squeaked and yelled. We did all play Dragon’s Breath, a game where you collect jewels by knocking down a plastic tower, in a simplified Jenga kind of way. It’s no Hamster Clan but it teaches the children about counting, and possibly about gambling, so that’s good.
After spending yesterday glued to the TV, I was keen we didn’t repeat this, but we still ended up letting the girls watch a third of the MotoGP race from San Marino. They were only allowed this after they ate their dinner, which did inspire faster consumption than on some nights…

After that, the usual reading of bedtime stories. La Serpiente demanded more Dogwoman, but my father is between escapades, so there was nothing for her. I feel the next one needs a longer mystery to unravel, and it’s also time that we do something to inspire our little ones to play chess, or at least backgammon.

Tomorrow is the first proper day of school. Last week, before they had their iPads, was really just a week of shakedown testing. Now we have to put them through two hours per day of screen time. With the pollution outside I need to plan new activities to wear them out between lessons – the climbing up the stairs Olympics may be the first one.

Somewhat unbelievably, it seems that whereas iPads are given for free to the children at our school, at other schools in the district they have to be paid for. This seems insanely regressive if true; our school can pay for them because it’s well funded, being in a rich neighbourhood, but that means with families generally more capable of paying anyway. That doesn’t sound right.

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