The daily post question for today is:
You’ve now completed 33% of the challenge! Share your top 3 posts.
I’m going to share pieces of four posts – two from January and two from April.
20 Questions from 12 April.
Petra’s coming up with increasingly complex questions these days, taxing Mama’s brain in the process.
1) Why do bananas go yellow when they get ripe?
2) What do weasels do?
3) How does the moon get up in the sky? And why does it move?
4) What lives in the sea? What else? What else? What else?
5) What lives in caves?
6) Why is the sea different colours?
7) Why are sting rays flat?
8 ) What do fish eat? And horses? And cats? and dogs?
9) Where do birds poo? And fish? And cows?
10) Why is ice cream cold?
First Lines from 6 April:
I’ve read a couple of novels with fantastic first sentences recently, which has started me thinking about memorable beginnings. Here are some of my favourites.
Jane Austen of course. Pride and Prejudice begins: “It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” I know that sentence by heart, despite its length, and what a wonderful sentence it is. The novel’s themes, the narrator’s voice, the social milieu laid out for the reader in a few words. Read them and weep.
Patti Smith on Art and Motherhood from 22 January:
The flow of her life also gives the lie to the dichotomy between public work and domestic life, with its concomitant undervaluing of family life, that dogs women. She points out that being a wife and mother is a job and that she was productive and busy during the 80′s, even if she wasn’t performing.
[When she stopped performing to have her family], those who looked to her as a feminist pathfinder felt betrayed. They accused her of selling out, called her a “domestic cow”, a phrase that clearly still stings. “I was still a worker. Some people said, ‘Oh, well, you didn’t do anything in the 80s – first of all, to be a mother and a wife is probably the hardest job one can have. But I always wrote. I wrote every day. I don’t think I could have written Just Kids had I not spent all of the 80s developing my craft as a writer.” She wrote for three hours every day, from 5am to 8, when her baby woke; having two children, and a husband, “I had to learn, really, how to rein in my energies and discipline myself. And I found it very very useful. I rebelled against it at first, but it’s a good thing to have.”
She’s now a National Book Award-winning author, so all that quiet work in the 80′s has paid off for her.
She’s inspiring in a whole lot of ways that I couldn’t have imagined when I listened to her music back in the day. And, she’s still cool.
Permission from 20 January:
Parenting is challenging work, and the main challenge is not Petra’s behaviour and feelings – she’s a mellow, loving, and tolerant kind of kid who’s a pleasure to be around, and even when she’s none of those things and is instead lying on the floor wailing, I still don’t find her difficult. The main challenge is my own behaviour and feelings. My temper, my insecurities, my doubts, my judgements do daily battle with my patience, my loving kindness, my confidence, and my successes. Babies are easy, but learning to be a good enough mother for a preschooler is a whole other ball of wax or kettle of fish or cliche of your choice. And, if you don’t trust yourself and give yourself permission to be who you are, it can be overwhelming.