Friday was eventful. The morning started with the cry of Jenson: The bird's on fire!!! Not good I thought as I jumped out of the shower to address the situation undressed!
Wren's little plastic bird whistle which she had enjoyed peeping on over the last few days was burning to a cinders on our gas fire. It was melting rapidly and oozing onto the expensive drift wood effect gas logs that are Simon's pride and joy. Bless him. He's only just got over our house pig taking a fancy to them and devouring them at every opportunity and now this. He used a few expletives at the kids when he got in from work that evening!
So, coming back to the story. I sensibly turned off the gas fire expecting the flames on the bird to go out as well. Obviously they didn't because they are not gas. So I fetched a glass of water and threw it over poor birdy. Result. Woman puts out fire.
Jenson and I had a little chat afterwards. It was similar to the lecture Simon gave me that evening about leaving the fire on with the kids around without me present. I know how Jenson feels now when he gets into trouble with Simon! It was a fair point he made though.
I never got to the bottom of why the bird ended up on the fire, although he didn't do it to be mean. I know this because I could hear them lovingly playing together right up to the point that Jenson cried the words. Anyway, we now had a problem. Wren had no bird and it was the result of Jenson's actions. I asked him how he thought the situation could be resolved and he was quite flippant what he'd done. He exclaimed that it didn't matter because we could just buy another one. That remark didn't go down well. I gave him the lecture and then he suggested that he could buy her another one. I asked him how much money he had. He fetched his piggy bank and no coins fell out. We had another problem. I asked him how he thought he could resolve the situation. He suggested he could do some jobs. Excellent. We were learning.
I never tire of seeing Jenson do household jobs. He's very familiar with where the hoover lives now and knows how to turn it on and how to use a plug socket safely. He's good at loading the washing machine and can now tell me where the powder goes. He knows where the start button is and we are still learning to read the numbers for the different settings. He did a good job cleaning and so we made our way to Gloucester Services, (where the first bird whistle came from) to buy Wren another one.
Obviously they didn't have the same whistle and I was about to give up hope of finding anything similar when I spotted a pile of little wooden birdies tucked right at the back of a shelf. Wren was thrilled. I was thrilled. It had been a successful trip where Jenson had learnt a very valuable lesson about how to make a bad situation right. There was even time for play and cake before zooming back up the M5 for forest school.
This is Jenson's third week at forest school and it didn't go particularly well. For whatever reason, Jenson was ratty, irritable and uninterested in any of the activities. He didn't want to be there. We were only 20 minutes into the two hour session and he was desperate to go home. Wren on the other hand was quite keen and was happily dressing up the Gruffalo in fairy wings and checking his heart beat!
I coerced Jenson into staying for just a bit longer and tried to get him interested in some painting. It did distract him from his troubles but not for long. I took him over to the shave horse, where Mindy, the forest school leader, was showing some children how to make a Christmas tree out of some beech. Again, his interest faded fast and he was very clingy. Mindy could see our struggles and she gently suggested he might like a cup of hot chocolate and a biscuit to warm him up. Needless to say this went down very well with both Jenson and Wren!
Spirits were lifted afterwards and although not keen to have a go at making a willow star himself, he did at least let go of me so I could have a go at making one! It was fun and I was pleased he became enthusiastic about decorating it. He perked up more and started to whittle some wood, which he finished just in time before story time and another cup of hot chocolate! A good lesson learnt in resilience, sticking at things and not giving up despite feeling cold, hungry and generally very miserable!