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Bear (10) has been reading Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress, a book about sexism and Dungeons & Dragons players. He also picked up the big Edgar Alllen Poe anthology last night and read The Tell-Tale Heart. This morning at my request he read the introductory pages of The DK Illustrated Family Bible, on the history of the Bible and the themes of each section. He also read ahead to Genesis but I hope he’ll read it in a thicker form. The DK Illustrated is pretty light. I’d like to see him get into a narrative story Bible if not one of our actual Bibles. Last week Robin and I read through Timothy together, each in a different translation, discussing as we went. It made me realize the boys are big enough to enjoy that sort of comparison and discussion too, and it plays right into Bear’s interests in skepticism, mythology, and ancient languages. Bear also practiced piano some this morning, getting through a simplified-notation version of Oats, Peas Beans and Barley Grow. At the moment he’s working on a page in his grammar workbook on irregular verb forms.

Verdi (12) has been working his way through the novel Pure. He got some practice with the drill yesterday, anchoring a white board to the wall. This morning he played with a new music theory app for a good hour. I’m pleased that he remembers how to read music and kind of enjoys it even though he won’t play piano anymore. He also read the first seven chapters in the section on architecture in A Child’s History of Art, covering pyramids, Stonehenge, Assyrian temples, arches, the Parthenon and types of Greek columns.

Terran (7) started and finished the first Ricky Ricotta easy chapter book yesterday. He’s getting speedier, and as he gains reading fluency, his spelling is improving. I was surprised and impressed by the spelling in his freewrite today. During a freewrite, the only instruction is to keep pencil to paper til the timer goes off, just getting the ideas down and not thinking about spelling, grammar, handwriting, or any other mechanics. Today Terran wrote, “Minecraft is a world of blocks with fings that dont exist. Thier are fings you can do that you cant do in Minecraft. You can do what you cant do in real life. The mobs are zombie, skelitin, creeper and enderman. A skelitin hase a bow ‘n’ arrow. A creeper can icsplode. Dont look at enderman ore they hate you. Thiey can teliport and thier hard to kill. Oh, anover mob is a wich. Thier OK intil you atack them.” I was impressed that he remembered so much actual spelling. He does have a visual memory! His spelling errors mostly mimic his own speech problems, a normal enough issue that he’ll outgrow as his early-childhood dental issues recede. Odd phonetic spellings are disappearing as he sees these words spelled correctly in his reading. That’s what I want to see! He was pretty happy to do freewrites so I gave him three today. Each one doubled the length of the previous. He’s a natural. Right now he’s reading a Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out science picture book about skin, stopping to narrate to me as he goes. He also looked at his finger ridges under our microscope when he got to the page about prints.

I am in pain, sore and stiff all over. It’s been a whole week of doing an hour-long workout every day, mostly targeting my belly muscles but catching my legs up as we go kind of accidentally. In a way, it feels good. I’m aware of muscles I stopped using completely after Terran was delivered by cesarean section. When I stretch those muscles, the ever present pain in my sacrum disappears. It’s just that all those newly reactivated muscles are now taxed and sore. I hope that in a few weeks they’ll have adjusted and it won’t hurt at all. Meanwhile I will drag my body to physical therapy again in about twenty minutes, then run next door to the food coop and get almond flour to make pancakes for dinner. After dinner, I am planning to take Terran to see Birth Story, a film about the pioneers of the homebirth movement. It plays in with his interests in healing and health and the human body as well as the information he’s been getting as his brothers bring home information from their Our Whole Lives sex-ed classes at the UU church.

Update: Terran drew and wrote while I was in physical therapy this afternoon, showing off his crazy new 3D drawing skills. He drew a rope wrapped around a pole and it was amazingly realistic. He then walked 2.5 miles home with me, stopping to climb a tree. We had dinner together before catching the screening. He learned what a vulva is because they had vulva-shaped cupcakes beforehand. I don’t think it stuck quite, though, as after the movie (which included several graphic birthing scenes) he said, “Now I know that babies don’t come out of the tip of your penis; they come out where you poop.” We talked a lot more and tomorrow I’ll show him some drawings in an age-appropriate book.