Happy Tracks in the Snow

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Confessions of a self assessor January 18, 2008

Filed under: parenting articles,Tatty Bumpkin — paulabrown @ 9:48 am


They say doing a self assessment tax return is a bit like doing a DIY mugging. I have to say that half of me is being dragged kicking and screaming to it and the other half is secretly enjoying the sums and spreadsheets. It’s just the whole juggling thing that comes with parenting: tax return one minute, making scones the next, hoovering while on the phone to a school then madly shopping while danging a phone to work from my ear before picking up from playgroup and then a playdate and then school pickup and so on. The brain switching from one thing to another is exhausting in itself!

We went to a brilliant children’s gig at the Cube Cinema here in Bristol last weekend – 3 bands that normally play for adults had written stuff for kids and we were encouraged to bring instruments along. There was a bar so I found myself with an organic lager listening to great music with the kids merrily playing along on the stage (funnily enough if you tell kids they can make a lot of noise they don’t!). The place was full with children of all different ages and it struck me that the reason it worked was that it was something both parents and children could enjoy together – neither was being dragging unwillingly to something they don’t enjoy.

For me that’s one of the brilliant elements of Tatty Bumpkin, that both parent and child enjoy it together, it’s not too ‘childish’ or unnecessarily ‘grown up’. The other element I love is the whole brain learning approach, it’s not a music group as such or straight yoga / dance / gym but a very natural mix of movement, music, rhyme, story, free play, sensory play etc. A well-known neuroscientist was interviewed for the book Toxic Childhood by Sue Palmer and said there was no such thing as ‘left brain, right brain’ but only neural connections which arose because of experiencing lots of different things. I’d love to ask him what is happening to a parents’ neural pathways with all that jumping from one thing to another, by all rights we should be geniuses…


One Response to “Confessions of a self assessor”

  1. I’ve been thinking of trying Tatty Bumpkin for a while, so thanks for the tip as it’s reminded me to look out for our nearest class. I completely agree with you about Sue Palmer’s writing. I met her once when she did a talk about her book in Bury St Edmunds and she’s a truly inspirational woman.

    BTW I too forged ahead with the dreaded self assessment this work. I can now breathe easily when I see those otherwise nagging ads on TV…phew ;-D

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