Buying Bubbles and Other Things …AGAIN

May 23, 2020


Robert has had a long and a complicated relationship with bubbles. In old posts and I wrote about Robert’s fascination  with bubbles which turned into a difficult to endure fixation.

For the first ten years of his life Robert believed that  the sudden appearance of colorful bottles filled with soapy liquid on the shelves of supermarkets heralded the arrival of spring. So, to properly celebrate spring he had to have bubbles.  He really had to.  For two or three months of each spring I was buying them and he was blowing them.  As he got older, his fixation subsided.  He still noticed the presence of bubbles in stores, he even kept stopping next to them and  touching  them but didn’t insist on buying.

This spring, it was I, who kept buying bubbles for Robert.  I believed, as it turned out correctly, that colorful jars with soapy solutions and wands would brighten our stay at home days. A few times a day, Robert opens each of the six bottles, takes out the wand and blows bubbles a few times.  Then he closes the jars and resumes his other activities.

Shelf liner

For many years, we used clear shelf liner as a laminate to prepare folders from Take Me to Your Seat workbooks. There were times when we made 4-5 folders a week. They were attractive and fun to make. They added variety to Robert’s learning. Lately, however, I was afraid that the educational tasks presented in these workbooks were too challenging for Robert, so we slowed down to maybe one folder every few month. But now, the need for refreshing variety in learning was stronger that my reluctance to subject Robert to more advanced tasks and we returned  to making 4-5 folders in a week. The rolls of clear shelf liner were gone in three weeks and I had to buy them again.  Just this time I did it on line.

Birdhouses and Other Woodworking Kits

When Robert was between 12 and 20, we built together many wooden birdhouses.  Then, the birdhouse kits were easy to find in Toys R Us.  Robert with my help assembled over 40 different birdhouses using on some screws, on some nuts and bolts, and on others just nails. We hang some outside, but only once they had a locators and they were…wasps.  The more sophisticated ones (shaped like pirate ship or a train) we keep at home. Many we gave as presents. Robert liked woodworking, although he preferred simple tasks like making a wooden planter instead of a two story birdhouse. I believe that this is also a good things to do while staying home, so I ordered another set of birdhouse kits. However, to my chagrin, they do require neither nails nor screws, just glue. Finally, I bought a set from Kiwico, a company advertising itself on TV -It is Make your Own Color Mixing LED Crystal. Yesterday Robert and his dad built it together. And it works!

Usborne Young Readers

Ever since I discovered, four or five years ago, Usborne Reading Programme, I kept buying Usborne’s books. I am not sure what an effect they had on Robert, but I appreciated the fact that they provided introduction to themes from classical literature.  Although one might argue that not much was left of the great literature -just a simplified plot and a few short quotations, I believed that it was important to Robert to be exposed even to the cut down versions specially since many great illustration supported his understanding of the texts.  After buying 10+ separate books I purchased the  The Usborne Reading Collection for Confident Readers. Robert read 39 out of 40 books in this set.  The last one which I was planning for him to read this March was Anne Frank. But with Covid 19 pandemic dramatically transforming Robert’s life I decided to postpone reading until return to “normal”.  As the return to normal seems farther and farther away I looked for other books to buy. And so I did.  However, I made mistake and instead of Usborne books I acquired Pearson English Active Readers. As I placed the first book  on a week long quarantine, I can only say, that it does some pictures and that each chapter ends with questions. I am not sure if those are questions checking understanding of text or something else.






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