These last couple of weeks I have been working on confrontation. I don’t find confrontation easy, I don’t think many people do, but I seem to have a bit of an issue with it. I have to work really hard at confronting problems and not running away from them. Small things will upset me and my first instinct is to shut down and avoid them completely. So I’ve been working on not bottling things up, it only ever causes trouble. Sometimes that means that arguments happen, or difficult discussion, but I’d rather that these days. It’s better in the long run. And so I’m saying this because I’m proud of myself. It’s hard work to re-train how I think and react to everything. So although I’m still not very good at it, I’m proud of my little self.
I read Frogkisser! by Garth Nix this week and really enjoyed it. It’s important to remember that it is aimed at children though. I’ve read a lot of bad reviews comparing it to his other books that are aimed at an older audience, and frankly, I don’t think they were fair. It’s a children’s book and the main criticism was that it was too simplistic in both plot and character development. Whilst it IS simplistic in these areas, I don’t think it’s outrageous to have a simplistic plot for a seven year old reader. It wasn’t a patronising read, it didn’t assume that children were stupid and could ‘only understand so much’, it seemed to introduce them to ideas and words that they may not have come across, whilst giving them a fun story to read at the same time. A story that was at their level of understanding without treating them like children- many children’s books have a nasty habit of patronising children and not challenging them at all in the name of ‘they’re children, they won’t understand’. That’s one of my biggest bug bears. (I also, incidentally, don’t like the phrase ‘bug bears’)
I know that as a child I frequently felt frustrated by what adults considered to be ‘appropriate’ for my age, because I could feel the condescension in an almost palpable way. Children understand a lot more than adults give them credit for. Adults seem to have this idea that children are innocent and pure- and they are, but they also are aware of things that adults deem ‘inappropriate’ in an almost instinctual way. Why do adults hide sex away from children like it’s a dirty secret, when most girls start puberty at the age of nine or ten (perhaps not starting periods and such, but their hormonal changes start at a young age) Why do they assume children can’t understand the intricacies of history or politics, when if they just explained them and taught them in a way that wasn’t patronising then they may have children that are capable and empathetic and aware of morality. There’s no need to hide these things away from children, we just have to learn how to talk to them about it with language that they will understand and in a way that engenders conversation between adults and children on an equal level. At any rate, Frogkisser! is a good book for a younger audience, depending on the individual child, I’d recommend it for a seven/eight year old, maybe a little younger,maybe a little older. (reading ages are a stupid construction as each child will have different levels of emotional intelligence and reading ability, but that’s a conversation for another day…)
I’m writing this on Thursday, which seems a little weird for me because I write about my week in these posts, and yet the second half of the week hasn’t happened yet. I like to post on Fridays because it was a schedule I set for myself a few years back, but lately I’ve been thinking that I might start posting on a Saturday or Sunday instead, just so that I can actually write about the entire week. I know that I could write about the seven days stretching between Thursday to the next Thursday, but I tend to forget what I’ve done from week to week, so it may be better to start posting at the weekend instead. The point of this rambling little paragraph is that I’m going to change, possibly, next week, and to ask your opinions of it. What days/times do you typically have the time to sit and read a blog post? Was Friday working for you? Or would it be better a different day? Let me know.
I’m going to give blood tomorrow. It’s important and I’ve been lazy since I was 16. Each time I’ve remembered that donating blood is a thing that I can do, I’ve recently had a piercing or a tattoo that prevents me from being eligible. This has been happening for seven years now, and I’m putting my foot down. I also have no money to get piercings or tattoos, so temptation has not struck! The Manchester bombing made me feel helpless and like there was nothing that I, one person, could do in the face of such a tragedy. But there is something that I can do. I can give blood. Although it may not help the people who were hurt, it will help other people that will be hurt in the future, and it will help to replenish the store of blood after the bombing. My city is a strong place that won’t be brought down to hatred by terrorism. There were people shopping in town the day after the bombing. We won’t be brought down, we will rise to the occasion and spread love. And blood donations. Because it’s a practical thing that most people over the age of sixteen are capable of doing.
And I shall leave you there, on that sunny note of hope!
Have a lovely week,