A few things have been going on with Oliver lately. Some of which have been keeping me from you. (I know you don't mind if it's Oli!).
The Thin Fat Kid
One thing that surprised me recently was a letter I got from the school. They had been doing this program called 'SmartStart', where they check the kid's health and fitness levels. Oliver's 'report' at the end was not what I expected. According to them, he is pretty unfit, and overweight.
This kid is 7. He's not a skinny rake of a kid, but he's definitely not obese. He develops a little tummy every now and then, but tends to run it off pretty quick. And run he does. He spends a lot of time running, because he actually likes it. So it surprised me to see that he had low levels of fitness and was int eh 90th percentile for weight for his age (I'd be interested to see what the 50th percentile is!). Mind you, he's also in the 90th percentile for height. Anyone else see a pattern here??
I'm not going to get too riled up about it, but it did surprise me. So he's now doing this workshop thing once a week after school, where they talk to the kids about health and nutrition and do lots of fitness stuff. He actually enjoys that (because he loves running around), but he has to do weird stuff like wear a pedometer and record his food and exercise in a diary.
I'll repeat. The kid is 7!
Good god! he has a hard enough time getting his shit together homework-wise (reading etc), let alone filling in a diary every second day.
Don't get me wrong, I think the concept is probably a good one. And there are probably many kids out there that don't have weight-obsessed mothers who do lots of home-cooking (including school snacks), insist on vegies as much as possible, and do emphasise good health choices regularly. But Oliver's not lacking in knowledge about healthy lifestyles. Yes, he probably eats more junk than some kids, but I don't know any of those ones!
Plus Oliver actually likes exercise. He likes to run. He often opts to come on my walks or go bike riding with me. He spends a lot of time climbing or playing with his friends outside.
I don't know what my problem is with this program, and maybe there isn't one. But if they start telling my beautiful boy he's fat and unhealthy. WATCH OUT....De Castella or no De Castella (Robert De Castella is the - apparently major health nut - who started the program), they'll have me to answer for!
The Emotional Kid
Oli's also going through another clingy/emotional stage. He wants me around all the time, and is back to cuddling up to me on the couch and giving me lots of hugs. He keeps asking me to take him/pick him up from school and gets disappointed if I can't (which unfortunately is fairly regularly).
On Sunday night, I told Oli that Merlin (our 16.5 year old labrador/retriever) was probably going to die soon. He had been pretty sluggish over the preceeding few days, and a couple of times we have not expected him to last the night (mind you, it's been very cold). Bless him, he's so old and has lost most of his hearing and sight, has dementia of some kind (he often barks at nothing at all) and has absolutely no muscle tone, but he just keeps on going. We were glad he hung on for a while after Sam died, but even Anthony is ready for him to go. Poor old chap!
Anyway, back to Oliver. When I told him that, he didn't say much. Just went out and gave Merlin a pat. But after his shower he suddenly burst into tears. He had to go back out and pat Merlin again for a while, and then came back and cried and cried. He then started talking about how when Merlin died, he would know 'four people who have died'. He named Anthony's grandparents, and Sam of course. Poor kid. So much for him to think and worry about. So much death in his short life.
Well of course we talked about how we make every day count, and how we love the time we have with people, and how death is a part of life and all that stuff, but I could see he was pretty upset. And probably not so much about Merlin.
Merlin's still with us, but we know he'll go sometime soon. Hopefully Oliver will be OK with that.