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Cheekiness is monkey-shaped. May 25, 2014

Posted by phoenixaeon in Conversations with Principessa, Parenting.
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Sunday. The day of inevitable argument. The day of taekwondo training and the excuses to be excused (not last Sunday, when we went to see Godzilla – a good but meh film all at the same time). Sigh.


So it hits about 11.30am. I tell Princi she needs to get ready, to make sure her hands and feet are clean, to find a t-shirt to be pressed and to get her trackie bottoms on. The first ‘But why?’ is disdainfully moaned as she peels herself away from the laptop and another episode of Mr. Bean. And so it starts.


She finally cleans up, finds a t-shirt, and disgruntledly climbs into her trousers, then runs into the kitchen to snaffle some biscuits. While she’s out there she bumps into Grandand and I can hear the mutterings of not-wanting-to-go-to-TKD. She comes back in with her biscuits and the tantalising taste of a hopefully winning argument on her lips.


Mummy, I don’t think I should go to takewondo today, because we could use the money for food and water.


Got to give her points here, this is a new argument. Not the regular “butIdon’twanna” that she usually throws at me. I give her the ‘are you really going with that as an excuse’ look.


Well, if we need the money for food and water, maybe we should call off the trip to town to see Francesca Simon on Wednesday? After all, that is going to cost much more than today’s training session.


Yeah, not getting to see her favourite author as my bargaining chip was a low blow, but parenting.  Princi gives me the angry stinkface, knowing that she’s not getting out of TKD,


P: But why would you say that?

M: I am using your argument against you, to show you how it isn’t going to work. If you want to save money by not going to taekwondo, then you need to be prepared to save money by not doing things you really want to do, too.

P: How would you like it if I did that to you next time we have an argument?


And normal programming is resumed: if Princi can’t win she has to dish out threats. But, if she could use my argument against me, well, I’d be pretty impressed. As it stands, Princi went to TKD and we are going to see Francesca Simon on Wednesday. Whether Princi gets a new book at the book signing is another question. We just might need that money for food and water…





Proud Mummy Alert! January 16, 2013

Posted by phoenixaeon in Homework with Principessa, Proud Mummy, Reading with Principessa, the perfect word.
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Yes, it is a day for peacock feathers.

This afternoon after coming home from school, Princi settled herself down to do her homework. Even before she had started she was strutting around saying how easy her maths homework was. True to form, it was completed within a minute. Onto spelling…

Spelling is a different case entirely. Most words she can spell without much trouble. However, words with ‘ugh’ or ‘ea’ seem to be a problem, so when we came across ‘unclean’ and ‘unhealthy’ we had the growls of frustration while she guessed her way to getting it right. But, in the end, she did. Yay! Onto comprehension…


Words are like weapons and this has certainly been in the wars!

So she read the book she had to write a synopsis for last night. We talked about the story so she could work out what she wanted to write and off she went. But then she hit one sentence where she decided she wanted to break from the norm of simple explanatory words and use something a bit more sophisticated. She wanted to find a word synonymous (yes, she even knew that it was a synonym that she wanted) with happy. So she tested out some words – liked, loved, joyful – but they didn’t seem to fit with what she wanted. Then *lightbulb*. She decided to look for her thesaurus. Unable to find hers, she dug out my old, battered pocket Collins dictionary and thesaurus and searched for the word.

contented… delighted… merry… pleased….

Still nothing. But then she saw the word propitious. So I told her that if she wanted to use that word, then she should check in the dictionary to make sure that it would fit properly in her sentence. She opened the dictionary side of the Collins, but lo and behold! The word wasn’t there! I gave her my computer and she typed the word into the search engine.


  1. Giving or indicating a good chance of success; favorable.
  2. Favorably disposed toward someone.
favourable – favorable – auspicious – opportune

Perfect! The word fit exactly! It described exactly what she wanted to say. The sentence? ‘The snow, the frost, the north wind and the hail found this very propitious.’ And what did they find propitious, you may ask. Well, the story was about a selfish giant who lost spring, making it eternally winter in his garden. The perfect conditions for the snow, the frost, the north wind and the hail. This made Princi very happy, knowing that using propitious would be very propitious for her when her teacher reads her homework next Monday.